Dean's Messages

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

Safely resuming in-person activities on campus

January 19, 2022

To our U of T Engineering community,

You will have received the latest message about the University’s plans to resume in-person activities on campus over the coming weeks. I am writing today to share some key updates and timelines for us here in the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering:

Students

  • Undergraduate classes and labs will resume in-person on Monday, 7 February 2022.
  • Graduate courses that were planned to be delivered in-person will resume in-person on Monday, 7 February 2022. Those that were planned as remote delivery for the Winter Term will continue remotely.
  • Undergraduate and graduate students should carefully read all messages from their instructors for details about their specific courses.
  • We understand that some students who travelled for the winter closure may now face challenges in returning to Toronto — for example, some students in China may be subject to city or regional lockdowns. If you expect you will be unable to return to campus in-person due to restrictions, undergraduate students should contact the Registrar’s Office. Graduate students should contact their home Graduate Administrator.

Faculty and staff

  • Faculty and staff who have been working remotely should anticipate a return to campus to support in-person learning.
  • Employees, including faculty members, should discuss specific return plans with their chairs, directors or managers — where business needs allow for hybrid arrangements, where an employee is working remotely for any portion of the week, alternative work arrangements will need to be in place beyond 7 February 2022.

Reminders about mandatory health and safety policies for everyone:

  • U of T requires all students, staff, faculty and visitors to campus be fully vaccinated; at this time, additional vaccines or booster doses are not required to be considered fully vaccinated. Ensure your proof of vaccination is uploaded to UCheck. An update is underway to the UCheck system to allow proof of booster doses — this feature should be available around 31 January 2022.
  • Everyone coming to campus in person must complete UCheck every day, and receive a time-stamped green screen, before arriving on site. Spot checks will be conducted around campus.
  • Face masks are required in all indoor spaces on all three University campuses, including classrooms, labs, offices and other shared areas such as lobbies, elevators and hallways. A new update to the University’s guidelines on masking is expected shortly.

We are also working to make more spaces available to study, eat and drink safely in between classes — we will post signage and share that info once we have it. I am optimistic we can complete the rest of the Winter Term in person — and I know that if we do need to pivot again, we will do so with all the resilience, flexibility and creativity for which we are known.

I will update you again if plans shift. In the meantime, please do your best to take care of yourselves — mental health resources are available for U of T Engineering faculty, staff and students. Though it may not feel like it just yet, things will keep improving. Together, we have learned a great deal over the past two years, and I am incredibly proud of everyone at U of T Engineering for doing their part to keep this community healthy and safe. Let’s keep going.

I look forward to seeing you on campus!

Chris

 

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

Changes to final examinations & remote start to Winter Term

December 15, 2021

To our U of T Engineering community

You will all have received the message today from Trevor Young, Acting Vice-President and Provost, and Kelly Hannah-Moffat, Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity and Culture. As they shared, in following guidance from local governments and public health agencies, there will be no more in-person final examinations taking place this term.

For U of T Engineering, this means:

  1. Final examinations originally scheduled to take place remotely between Thursday, 16 December and Tuesday, 21 December 2021 will proceed as planned.
  2. For final in-person examinations originally scheduled from Thursday, 16 December through Tuesday, 21 December 2021:
    • These final exams will not be moved online, rescheduled, or replaced with another assessment.
    • Final course marks will be calculated from existing term work.
    • Undergraduate students can petition via the Faculty’s Special Consideration petition process.
    • Graduate students can pursue a petition by contacting their course instructor.
    • Petition deadlines will be extended such that students will be able to see their final assessed mark before deciding whether they wish to petition for a deferred final examination.
    • Students taking courses offered by the Faculty of Arts & Science will follow their protocols — please take direction from instructors in those cases.
  3. Winter Term 2022 classes will start remotely, and undergraduate and graduate courses will plan to resume in-person classes on January 31, 2022.
  4. For staff and faculty members, the University will return to essential in-person work only on campus until January 31, 2022, until further notice. All members of the U of T community must still upload proof of vaccination to UCheck if attending campus for any reason.

I understand these changes bring additional stress, at a time of the year that’s difficult for many. I am again sharing the list of supports available to our students, staff and faculty, and I encourage everyone to keep them handy.

We continue to receive changing information and to prioritize the health and safety of our U of T Engineering community. Please do keep an eye on your inboxes — I will be sure to continue to share updates as they come. I know this is tough. At this point in the long pandemic, I take courage from the knowledge that we’ve made it this far — we will keep going together.

Chris

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


Support Resources for Students

Each of us responds to stress, anxiety and uncertainty differently — at one time or another, we all need help. If you are feeling overwhelmed or unsure where to turn, please reach out.

U of T My Student Support Program (MySSP)

  • Immediate and/or ongoing confidential, 24-hour counselling support
  • 1-844-451-9700 (outside of North America, call 001-416-380-6578)
  • Download the My SSP app: Apple App Store | Google Play.

Multifaith Chaplains

U of T St. George Health & Wellness

  • Physical & mental health care by physicians, nurses, counsellors and psychologists.
  • 416-978-8030

U of T Engineering Mental Health & Wellness

  • Mental Health learning opportunities, COVID-related resources, reports, services & supports for U of T Engineering.

Student Mental Health Resource

  • U of T’s mental health resource hub containing the tools, strategies and experts to meet you exactly where you are on your mental health journey.

Support Resources for Staff and Faculty

For staff and faculty who are supporting students navigating mental health challenges, the U of T Engineering Student Well-Being Resource Guide outlines additional considerations and a variety of resources for both you and the student. We thank you in advance for all the ways that you continue to foster a culture of care and support here at U of T Engineering.

All U of T staff and faculty members have access to the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP). If you are experiencing distress, please reach out at any time – 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year – by contacting the EFAP at:

Appointment of Interim Vice-Dean Research

December 13, 2021

Following the recent announcement of Professor Ramin Farnood’s appointment as Chair, Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Stark Draper as Interim Vice-Dean Research for a 6-month term, from January 1 – June 30, 2022. During the course of this 6-month appointment, we will be conducting a search to appoint a continuing Vice-Dean Research.

Professor Stark Draper joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering as an Associate Professor in 2013 and was promoted the Full Professor in 2018. Prior to joining the University of Toronto, he was an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Stark has served in administrative roles within the Faculty, as Chair of the Standing Committee on Admissions (2016-18); and Chair of the Machine Intelligence major in Engineering Science (2018-19; 2020-present) including contributing to the creation of the major program. He currently serves as a Governor on U of T’s Governing Council, and is a member of Academic Board, Academic Policy and Programs, and Academic Appeals.

His research areas include information theory, optimization, and error-correction coding and the application of tools and perspectives from these fields in communications, computing and learning. He has extensive collaborative research experience with industry, including with Mitsubishi Electric, Huawei Technologies, Disney Research, Bell Labs, HP Labs, and Advanced Micro Devices Inc.

Please join me in welcoming Stark to this important position for the Faculty.

© 2022 Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering