Dear College of Arts Students, Staff, and Faculty,
Our quick crisis-response to move to alternate delivery of College of Arts courses continues apace and I want to thank everyone, again, who has worked hard to make that possible. It was a tremendous effort but we did it. Thanks everyone for your patience, creativity, generosity, and most of all your hard work.
Things are continuing to change on campus as more buildings close and research winds down. As the Ontario government updated its list of essential services, Physical Resources has confirmed that the MacKinnon renovation project is affected by this decision by the government and will be shut down for now. All construction on site will cease until further notice. Contractors will make the site safe before they vacate. During the shutdown, we will continue to work with the team to resolve coordination issues and other project details so that when construction resumes we can make speedy progress. There are still many unknowns on how the shutdown will affect the overall project and schedule, but I will share any updates as we receive them.
But it’s not all a matter of endings, there are also some new beginnings:
- The College’s Interdisciplinary Design Lab (formerly the Digital Haptic Lab) is using John Phillips’ brilliant design expertise and U of G 3D printers to create critical medical equipment, including face masks, as is SOFAM tech Paul Lovell: https://news.uoguelph.ca/2020/04/u-of-g-using-its-3d-printers-to-create-critical-medical-equipment/.
- Nine students in the University of Guelph’s creative writing MFA program have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic — through writing. Their efforts have been compiled in a booklet called tbd: A Mixed-Mode Response to COVID-19. The works of short fiction, poems, personal reflections explore life under COVID-19 – the isolation, the encounters in grocery stores, the fears. See more here, https://news.uoguelph.ca/2020/04/u-of-g-writing-students-reflect-on-pandemic-in-new-online-booklet/
- Our communications team are also looking for faculty members to feature on the College of Arts podcast, Where Arts Thou? They are changing the format slightly going forward with shorter “ChitChats” with a number of faculty. Stay tuned for these. They are fun and encouraging. You can listen to the latest one, “Hourie gonna call?” a spooky conversation about performance art in theatre with awarding winning theatre Arts Prof, Troy Hourie.WAT? is Written, Recorded, Edited and Hosted by:
Danielle DiFruscia and Paul Forrest, https://soundcloud.com/whereartsthou/wat-ep3/likes. They are also always looking for good covid-coping content, including books you are reading, art you (or your children!) are doing, music you are loving, etc.
Finally, as we all settle into our new reality of working from home, more questions are arising every day. There are questions that need responses today and there are also questions for the future. As a leadership team, the associate deans, chairs and directors, the dean’s office staff and I are working to find answers. We are meeting pretty much non-stop most days.
It is a challenge to keep track of all the decisions we need to make, where we are in the decision making process, and when and who should communicate decisions once they are made. You are no doubt getting a lot of email from the President, from Chairs and Directors, from Associate Deans, and from me.
Today my message is ending with a request. To ensure that we are addressing the needs of our community, I want to know:
- What issues do you think have not been addressed?
- What stressors exist that we might be able to alleviate or lessen?
- What do you need (more or less of)?
- How are you doing?
I am hoping that your responses help us see some unrecognized areas of concern and guide our conversations as we start planning for the summer and the fall.
Please send your feedback to ArtsDean@uoguelph.ca with the subject line “feedback.” I look forward to hearing from you, and hope you are doing okay.
Look after yourself and take care.