Faculty & Staff Update:
A Message from President Gordon
Dear Faculty & Staff,

Last week, you may have read about the recent announcement from The Ministry of Colleges and Universities regarding preparing for a full return to in-person classes for the Fall 2021 semester.

In a recent memo to Ontario’s post-secondary institutions, Deputy Minister Shelley Tapp wrote that “while we must remain vigilant and responsive to the trajectory of COVID-19, I am optimistic that the (post-secondary education) sector will resume many of the cherished in-person experiences that have been on pause for so long."

Although we welcome and share the enthusiasm, we know these remarks could be considered a bit contradictory and confusing.

This past April, May, and June, the pandemic’s grip on the province was unrelenting. Presenting in-person learning on-campus as a lone option for the Fall 2021 semester would have been out of touch with the reality presented at that time. The Fall Action Group was charged with maximizing on-campus experiences for the UWindsor community and have done so while ensuring that the ability to pivot to an online environment remains.

Despite this recent Ministry directive, we made a promise to staff, faculty, and students that once announced, class schedules and delivery modes would not change. This remains a promise kept. Faculty and students needed assurance that should they choose online learning, there would be no mid-semester requirement to shift to in-person learning. This disruption would be difficult to manage for faculty, but also difficult while in the midst of studies for any student, local or international.

From its earliest phases, the COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be unpredictable. The variables including the nature of transmission, changing guidance on protective measures, and the unexpected duration of the waves demonstrated that much was to be learned about the pandemic while we were in the midst of it.

To that end, we put the health and safety of our students, staff, and faculty first by shifting to a primarily remote framework, limiting on-campus activity to essential staff and critical research personnel. Our Health & Safety Department worked in lockstep with the local health unit to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 as much as possible.

Almost 18 months later, the COVID-19 landscape in Ontario and Windsor-Essex is promising. Case counts are down dramatically as a direct result of vaccinations, with over 80% of Ontarians having received their first dose. Locally, over 60% of adults are fully vaccinated. 

We know that lifting of provincial restrictions is directly tied to our rate of vaccination. That is why the University of Windsor encourages our campus community to consider getting the COVID-19 vaccine for the health and safety of our community. We have recently launched the Take a Jab campaign in partnership with student leadership to help raise awareness about COVID-19 vaccinations.

As mentioned, our course schedules and delivery modes will not change, but we know that as Provincial guidance evolves and capacity limits increase, we will have the opportunity to expand in-person learning opportunities for students registered in the face-to-face or Hy-Flex delivery courses. 

We also know that as we return to campus this fall, there will be many opportunities for students to engage in-person on campus and celebrate the return to campus life and community. From student and faculty-led events to in-person labs and tutorials, to open study spaces, to recreational activities or utilizing our green spaces for leisure, we look forward to welcoming all students back to campus to enjoy the full university experience. These opportunities will only continue to expand as health guidance and directives from our local health unit evolve and allow.

I am optimistic that our gradual reopening this fall is a transition to our hopeful full return to campus and in-person instruction for the Winter term. 

Thank you for your patience and your exceptional dedication to providing a great student experience.


Rob Gordon, PhD
President & Vice-Chancellor