Dean's Messages

Latest information for Engineering students, faculty & staff from Dean Chris Yip

Solidarity and actions against anti-Black racism

September 8, 2020

To our U of T Engineering community 

In June, I wrote to students, staff and faculty that anti-Black racism and prejudice have no place here in U of T Engineering, in academia, or in society more broadly. The Faculty reaffirmed its commitment to Black inclusivity through a number of existing and new initiatives, including implementing more Black-specific K-12 outreach programming, expanding race and demographic data collection, streamlining pathways to disclose incidents of discrimination or harassment, and hosting conversations addressing anti-Black racism and unpacking active allyship.

We have a long way to go to truly eradicate anti-Black racism within ourselves and our institutions. In U of T Engineering we are committed to doing this work continuously. And while the pursuit of equity and empathy is an everyday mission, on Sept. 9 and 10, 2020, many academics throughout Canada may, in their own unique ways, acknowledge and protest against the unjust police brutality perpetrated against many Black people across Canada and the United States.

U of T Engineering classes on Sept. 10 will continue as scheduled, and there are many ways that our community can participate — including taking time that day to learn more about issues around anti-Blackness, Black inclusivity and ways to act in solidarity. This first day of classes offers an opportunity to come together online and engage with resources on addressing anti-Black racism, learn more about the Black Canadian experience or learning more about how the Faculty is working toward addressing Black inclusivity in our community. 

As learners, teachers and researchers, as a professional school, and as citizens of this Faculty and members of society, we all have a responsibility to act against anti-Black racism and to serve as agents of change. We recognize the importance of continuing to shed light on these important issues and support our students, faculty and staff as we educate ourselves and act confront racism wherever it arises.

Chris

Christopher Yip
Dean
Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering
University of Toronto

Changes on campus for Fall Term

September 1, 2020

To our U of T Engineering community

I hope you’re keeping safe, healthy, and enjoying these last weeks of summer. We all know Back to Skule™ will look different this year — for the majority of our students, staff and faculty, we’ll be starting the Fall Term remotely. But more than ever, I’m reminded that U of T Engineering has always been a strong community and we’re undertaking this new experience together.

Our instructors have been working intensely this summer to reimagine their Fall Term courses to deliver an engaging and interactive semester for all our undergraduate and graduate students. And on campus, many changes have been put in place to ensure those who do plan to visit can move through every one of our buildings with physical distancing. Those include:

  • Installation of directional signage for one-way entry, exit and movement through buildings
  • Maximum capacity signs posted on the doors of all classrooms and around common-use spaces to ensure distancing can be maintained
  • Maximum capacity signs on elevators, limiting entry to one or two people. As always, we encourage anyone who is able to do so to take the stairs
  • Classrooms will be fully cleaned and disinfected every day, and high-touch points such as doorknobs and elevator buttons will be wiped down twice a day
  • Wearing non-medical masks will be mandatory in all common-use indoor spaces on University property, including hallways, labs, meeting rooms, shared offices and classrooms
    • U of T is providing all students, staff and faculty with two non-medical masks
      • students can pick theirs up at these locations: uofteng.ca/G3pEpw
      • masks for faculty and staff will be distributed through home units, with first priority given to those who are working on campus
  • Residences have been making modifications, including having students live in single rooms, modifying dining facilities and meal programs to enable distancing, and performing additional maintenance and cleaning of all rooms and common spaces prior to the arrival of students. More information can be found at: https://www.viceprovoststudents.utoronto.ca/covid-19/#ResidenceFall2020
  • The Engineering & Computer Science Library in Sandford Fleming will remain closed, and we are renovating the space. There will be some pretty dramatic changes to the Library space and I think everyone will really like the updated facility — stay tuned for the unveiling. Gerstein and Robarts will be partially reopening, though the stacks will remain off-limits
  • Our Engineering Computing Facility (ECF) labs and printers will remain closed, but the entire ECF environment is remotely accessible from any internet connection. Remote access instructions and a complete list of resources is available on the ECF webpage

Just like when we resumed some in-person research activities earlier this summer, as we continue to gradually return, we will be following step-by-step processes to evaluate how student spaces and offices are configured and used. As always, these processes are guided by current government policy and the recommendations of our public health agencies, as well as input from our own experts here at U of T.

While our remote access guarantee will remain in place for both Fall and Winter Terms, like many of you, I remain hopeful that we’ll be able to offer more in-person activities next term. I continue to be inspired by the resilience and tenacity I’ve seen — this pandemic isn’t over, and I’m sure there are many changes still to come. I’ll continue to share those updates. I thank everyone — from students, staff, faculty to alumni and the broader community — for all their hard work, patience, comments and suggestions. We’re all working hard together and I’m excited and proud of our Skule™ community.

 

Chris 

Christopher Yip
Dean
Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering
University of Toronto

Tragedy in Beirut

August 7, 2020

To our students, faculty and staff,

The devastation and despair resulting from the massive explosion in Beirut is heartbreaking. Many in our U of T Engineering community have close ties to Lebanon. We share in your sorrow and concern for family and friends affected by this terrible tragedy.   

Today, flags across all three campuses fly at half-mast as the entire University mourns for the lives lost and the traumatic impact on survivors.

Wherever you are in the world, please know that these immediate resources and supports are available to you 24/7: 

Grief support is also available through the Multi-Faith Centre. 

If you would like to contribute to humanitarian efforts in Lebanon, consider supporting relief organizations like the Canadian Red Cross. 

Chris

Christopher Yip
Dean
Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering
University of Toronto

© 2020 Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering