Message from the President

An Update on COVID-19 Response and Planning

Dear TRU Students,

It has been over a year since we became greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. I know it has come with challenges and the need to quickly adapt. I have been truly impressed by how students have persevered and pivoted with us in pursuit of your education. 

As many of you wind down the winter term and think about the months ahead, I would like to provide an update on several fronts regarding our September return to campus planning. While there is a recent surge of COVID-19 infections in many parts of Canada, we know, based on modeling from the Provincial Health Office, combined with vaccinations, the fall will look dramatically different and much better than today. Hence, we continue with our fall planning for a significant return of students, faculty and staff and are working diligently to ensure your return will be safe and supportive, and, as much as possible, allow for the excitement and activity you expect on campus. 

Pictured: President and Vice-Chancellor Brett Fairbairn receiving his first COVID-19 vaccine last week.

Return to campus report

The fall 2021 Return to Campus Initiative, which was launched in January by our Provost Christine Bovis-Cnossen and led by Donna Murnaghan, is nearing completion. A final report was recently submitted to the Provost and is being reviewed by the executive (President, Provost and Vice-Presidents). More details on fall planning will be shared with you once these discussions have concluded. This planning is designed to support our students and reconnect our community. The report will also be made public on our website. We again wish to thank the many students, faculty and staff who participated in this planning work by taking surveys, submitting information or reviewing data. 

Vaccines and pandemic measures

We know how difficult the past year has been and encourage everyone to continue to do their part. Please take a personal pledge to commit to following health measures, for you, your family and your community. Today, that includes the crucial action of limiting contact with others so the virus variants do not enter your circle. 

Looking ahead, vaccines are quickly becoming available to British Columbians. We encourage you to get registered for your vaccination when eligible. If you’re an international student, you are also eligible to receive the vaccine. Details on registration can be found here.

Web pages updated

As we prepare for a fall return to campus, we have launched a new layout for the return to campus web pages. We are hopeful this will make it easier for you to find the information you are looking for now and in the future as our efforts ramp up. Please check this site regularly for updates. 

Go-Forward Guidelines

These are comprehensive health and safety guidelines for campus operations during the pandemic for BC’s post-secondary sector, first released in summer 2020 and last revised in February. Working closely with the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training and the Provincial Health Office, Matt Milovick, TRU Vice-President Administration and Finance, has been leading the provincial steering group to release a primer document within the next few weeks, followed by a full revision of the guidelines in June. As we wait for the updated and comprehensive Go-Forward Guidelines, the primer will provide a preview of what to expect and planning recommendations for a fall return to campus. 

Town hall

In June, we expect to host a TRU town hall with an Interior Health medical health officer for students, faculty and staff. We will share event details later this spring. 

We appreciate that you have concerns and our commitment to the TRU community is to provide regular communications and updates as new information becomes available. In the meantime, we appreciate your patience and understanding as we continue to navigate a challenging planning environment and encourage you to continue to check our web page where information will be updated regulary.  

In closing, please take a personal pledge to commit to following health measures, for you, your family and your community. I again encourage you to register to get a vaccine as soon as possible by registering here.  

Sincerely,  

Brett Fairbairn
President and Vice-Chancellor