Planning underway for the Fall 2021 Semester

A close up of red fall leaves in the sunshine

Dear members of the McMaster community,

Though there are still many unknowns about how the pandemic will progress, the shape of the Fall 2021 semester remains at the top of our minds.

I am pleased to announce the formation of the Return to McMaster group, consisting of representation from all areas of the University, to guide our planning for the fall. This planning will be agile and evidence-based, leaning on the expertise of leading McMaster researchers and considering lessons learned from the previous months of both remote and on-campus activities.

Together, the following committees form the Return to McMaster group:

  • The Oversight Committee includes senior academic and administrative leaders from across University departments and faculties. This committee will provide strategic oversight and planning, developing the guiding principles and approaches for other committees as they work on scenario development.
  • The COVID-19 Expert Advisory Committee includes McMaster researchers with expertise in the areas of vaccine development and distribution, testing, and the spread of infectious diseases, in addition to Public Health representation. This committee provides advice and up-to-date research to the Oversight Committee.
  • The Workplace Employee Experience Working Committee includes representatives from Human Resources, administrative leaders within faculties and administrative departments, and academic leaders. This committee will consider the needs and expectations of work activities as we plan for Fall 2021, as well as the needs of different employee groups and roles at McMaster.
  • The Teaching, Learning and the Student Experience Working Committee includes instructors from each faculty as well as representatives from the MacPherson Institute, Student Affairs, Graduate Studies, and other relevant administrative units. This committee will consult with students and instructors to identify teaching, learning, and student experience priorities and best practices.
  • The Research and Innovation Working Committee will include researchers from across McMaster. This committee will identify and recommend ways to help researchers adjust to new working models or opportunities within the identified scenarios.

Each committee will be guided by the health, safety and well-being of both our University community and our neighbours in the broader Hamilton area. We will continue to provide updates throughout the planning process and look forward to sharing more details as the scenarios are developed.


Susan Tighe
Provost & Vice-President (Academic)