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Redeemer University officials are monitoring the coronavirus situation. We are in contact with local public health officials and we continue to heed the advice of local, provincial and national health organizations to ensure the safety of the campus community.

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Update – May 22, 2020

Developing a Framework for Being on Campus in September

I pray that this latest update finds you and your loved ones well. As we look ahead to the fall at Redeemer, my hope for each of you is that you lean into God’s presence and peace allowing you to move forward in his strength.

Redeemer University is, and has always been, an institution dedicated to educating the whole person – body and mind, heart and soul. Integrating faith in the classroom and living in intentional community is central to the Redeemer experience. That is why we are doing everything possible to prepare for an on-campus experience for students this Fall. As part of that effort, I have activated a new COVID-19 Management Committee, led by the Provost, Dr. David Zietsma, and composed of senior leaders. The committee’s goal is develop an action plan to prepare Redeemer to deliver the best quality education to students that maximizes the in-person, on-campus experience while protecting students and employees in line with public health directives. Redeemer’s detailed framework for how residences and classes will work will be released on June 15. Plans to begin having faculty and staff return to campus this summer to prepare for the fall are being developed within this framework and more information will be provided in the coming weeks.

While there will certainly be changes to normal routines, Redeemer’s smaller-sized student body allows us to leverage smaller classes and household group living. Innovative solutions for larger lectures and other large group experiences will be developed within a framework that adheres to public health guidelines. Courses may incorporate online components, but labs, seminars, tutorials and other instruction will aim for in-person learning while taking appropriate safety precautions. Residences will be open to domestic and international students. As a community, this will be a time when Redeemer can actively demonstrate Christ’s love by showing care for the health of those around us, while living, learning and working together, and doing so safely. And as I write, space is being prepared for Redeemer’s new health clinic  and the hiring process for a new director of student health and wellness is underway. We look forward to being able to offer this on-campus service.

Last week we were pleased to learn more about the federal government’s response to the financial needs of students and employees. Robust financial aid options were announced and outlined in an email sent to Canadian students and applicants earlier this week. We are confident that with this news and Redeemer’s continued tuition freeze for 2020-21, high-quality Christian higher education is still within reach. Further to this, we also learned that Redeemer’s application for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) was accepted, allowing us to retain our valuable employees and reduce reliance on Employment Insurance.

Many students are awaiting announcements about the format of learning and opening of residence before they commit to attending. I am hopeful that Redeemer’s commitment to being on campus safely in September will give them the confidence they need to enrol and that will lead us into an academic year that will be marked by a renewed dependence on Christ and the hope he holds for each of us. Whether you are a student planning to attend this fall, a parent of a student, a member of our great team of faculty and staff, or part of our extended community, I invite you to join with us as we take on Redeemer’s mission, preparing the next generation of Christian leaders to make an impact that resounds in our culture and across the world. 

Sincerely,

Robert J. Graham, PhD
President

Update – April 24, 2020

From the President: Redeemer is preparing for Fall Term

As of yesterday, this most unusual winter term at Redeemer is complete. While faculty continue their final grading and wrap up the academic year, students have finished with online exams, completing the term under challenging and unprecedented circumstances. This was no small feat and I am truly grateful for the efforts, adaptability and cooperation I have observed through these challenges.

The resilience and fortitude of the entire Redeemer community was tested and found up to the task as we pressed forward together through this time of great upheaval, uncertainty and isolation. From students who have risen to the challenge of online learning, to faculty who have continued to deliver academic excellence while moving classes online, to the many staff who have quickly adapted to working from home, their hard work and perseverance has paid off! And we are especially thankful for the dedication of the essential workers who continue to come to Redeemer faithfully each day to perform important tasks for the safety and security of campus and the continued operations of the university. The ingenuity and determination I have witnessed through this time is a testament to the strength of this institution and we give God all the glory.

As the pandemic continues to evolve, Redeemer is moving past the initial phase of emergency response and urgent change. At this point in time, we are planning to begin the new academic year this fall, in person and on campus despite many uncertainties. In the event that being on campus is not possible, we are making contingency plans to ensure that all students can start the term on time and are ready to transition to in-person learning smoothly and quickly as soon as public health and government regulations allow. Our hope is that faculty and staff can return to campus in the coming months and we are eagerly watching and waiting for public health and government directives to clear the way to begin the transition back, as soon as it is safe to do so. Be assured that whatever the circumstances, Redeemer remains committed to delivering a whole-person education experience this fall that will prepare students to make an impact wherever they are called.

As part of these efforts we are committed to providing a safe and healthy campus environment.  This means enhancing appropriate health measures such as cleaning, providing hand sanitizer, increasing health awareness, and following physical distancing guidance as required. In addition, Redeemer is working toward launching an on-campus student health clinic. The clinic will provide walk-in health services focused on mental and physical health and will be operated by a medical professional. We hope to have the clinic up and running by September and if so, will provide details as to the location and hours as they become available.

Over the past few weeks, Redeemer has had to make many decisions in rapid succession, often with incomplete information. Temporary layoffs were announced a few weeks ago. Last week those employees were informed that temporary layoffs were suspended as a result of Redeemer’s eligibility and decision to apply for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), a program that will subsidize up to 75% of the wages of some employees for a maximum of 12 weeks. These have been tumultuous times for those most impacted, yet we are grateful for this development and more information will be shared directly with affected faculty and staff. 

With the abrupt change of the past few months, and so many unknowns about the future, it can be easy to become overwhelmed, discouraged, and anxious. Now, perhaps more than ever before, we can see that we are a people called to place our absolute trust and hope in the God of all creation. Christ sits on the throne and he reigns over all. He is mightier than any challenge we face. 

Sincerely,

Robert J. Graham
President

Update – April 8, 2020

Here is the latest information about Redeemer’s response to the COVID-19 situation:
  • Redeemer’s campus – including outdoor recreation facilities – remains closed to the public, to students, and to non-essential employees
  • the west entrance to campus (off Kitty Murray Road) has been closed to vehicular traffic
  • the reception desk has been closed
  • the north doors (by the main parking lot and Athletic Centre) will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday (except holidays) for authorized employees/contractors and for deliveries
  • for deliveries after hours, please call Security at 905-961-4444

Update – April 1, 2020

Here is the latest information about Redeemer’s response to the COVID-19 situation:
  • students and faculty are working together to complete online courses, with online exams scheduled for the second half of April
  • Redeemer’s campus – including outdoor recreation fields – is closed to the public and to students; the main building may be accessed only by authorized employees, contractors and for deliveries
  • students have been provided with information about housing, meal credits and key returns, and Financial Services staff are working to calculate credits to student accounts and refunds where applicable
  • Graduation has been postponed until early fall. However, those graduating will officially be graduates after the May Senate meeting. Students who would like to check on their graduation status may contact the Registrar’s office.

Update – March 26, 2020

Here is the latest information about Redeemer’s response to the COVID-19 situation:

  • in compliance with the government of Ontario’s direction to non-essential businesses, Redeemer’s campus remains closed to the public and to students. The main building may be accessed only by authorized employees, authorized contractors, and for deliveries.
  • Redeemer staff and faculty continue to work remotely where possible.
  • Students who moved out of residence will receive a pro-rated credit for the time between the required move-out date and the end of the term; credits will be applied to student accounts and refunds, where applicable, will be mailed out in approximately one month.
  • Graduation has been postponed until early fall. However, those graduating will officially be graduates after the May Senate meeting. Students who would like to check on their graduation status may contact the Registrar’s office.

Update – March 19, 2020 – 7 p.m.

Here is the latest information about Redeemer’s response to the COVID-19 situation:
  • the university continues to prioritize and support those services and functions which are critical to its mission
  • most students will move out of residence by Friday at 4 p.m., and plans are in place to assist those who cannot leave by that time
  • arrangements and protocols are in place for employees who can work remotely
  • effective Monday, March 23, access to the main building will be restricted to essential-services employees, deliveries, approved contractors, and employees who have been given specific permission
  • Library, athletics facilities, and food service operations will be closed
  • the front doors and reception desk will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday to Friday; the north doors (leading to the main parking lot) will be open during business hours, Monday to Friday; the building will be closed Saturdays and Sundays

Update – March 17, 2020 – 5:30 p.m.

Here is the latest information about Redeemer’s response to the COVID-19 situation:
  • Redeemer’s campus is now open only for essential functions and operations
  • campus is closed to visitors and guests
  • students must leave residence as soon as possible but no later than Friday, March 20, at 4 p.m.
  • until students have moved out, some facilities and services will continue to be available, including IT help desk, some classrooms, the library and food services. Some services may be limited and hours reduced.
  • where possible, employees will work remotely; only employees whose physical presence is required for essential functions will work on campus
  • the Redeemer community continues to pray for all those affected by COVID-19, and we are grateful for your prayers for Redeemer as well

Update – March 16, 2020

Here is the latest information about Redeemer’s response to the COVID-19 situation:
  • faculty members continue to work to move classes online
  • employees must hold meetings electronically instead of in person, where possible
  • employees returning from out of country must self-isolate for 14 days after return
  • most student services – including library, classroom study space, food services, and recreation facilities – will continue to be available, although with reduced hours and implementation of screening, hygiene and distancing precautions. Facilities and services are closed to community members.

Another update will be posted as soon as any of the above information changes given the rapidly changing environment.

Update – March 13, 2020

The well-being of Redeemer students, staff, faculty and visitors is of the utmost importance. The university’s Emergency Response Team continues to assess, plan, and act, in consultation with public health officials and other institutions and organizations.

As a result of that risk assessment, Redeemer will:

  • Cancel all in-person classes, effective at 5 p.m. today (March 13);
  • Cancel all university-sponsored and student-sponsored events until further notice; and
  • Advise students living in residence that they may choose to either move out or continue to live in residence until the end of the term.

Classes

There will be no more in-class instruction or required in-class examinations, tests, labs, etc. for the remainder of the winter 2020 term. Redeemer is making every effort to ensure that the academic term is not at risk, but students will be required to successfully complete course work as amended by instructors. Instructors will provide further information to students next week about how coursework will continue.

Residences

Students living in residence may choose to move out upon notifying Residence Life staff.

Students remaining on campus are asked to continue to practice proper hand hygiene, to apply social distancing measures, and to avoid physical contact with those who may be ill.

More information on classes, residence life and other important matters will be provided next week. Please regularly check www.redeemer.ca/coronavirus for the latest information.

Update – March 12, 2020 – 5 p.m.

The Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) is implementing a rule effective tomorrow (Friday, March 13) that only essential personnel be permitted at any OCAA sanctioned event; including student-athletes, coaches, trainers, team staff, convenors and host staff. All other people will be prohibited from entering the Indoor Soccer Facility at Redeemer during the OCAA event.

Update – March 12, 2020

While there are currently no cases on Redeemer’s campus, plans are in place to respond quickly in the event the situation changes. Redeemer is in contact with public health officials, Universities Canada, the Council of Ontario Universities and other institutions to ensure that we have access to the latest information and to best practices for dealing with the situation.

Redeemer’s Emergency Response Team has been activated and has scheduled regular meetings. The team includes Redeemer’s vice presidents as well as various area directors and managers, and is led by our Emergency Manager, Ed Bosveld.

Redeemer has already taken precautionary measures to protect the health of our campus community. We have brought on additional custodial staff to provide increased cleaning and disinfecting of common areas, augmented supplies and imposed travel restrictions (more information below.)

There have been no indications at this time from public health officials that we should cancel events or classes, though some events may be cancelled on a case-by-case basis. Plans are being made to respond appropriately, including with flexible learning options, if the situation changes.

Please continue to practice proper hand washing, and cough into your sleeve or a tissue. If you use a tissue, dispose of it immediately. Avoid close physical contact with others. If you have a fever, cough or other flu-like symptoms, please stay home or in your residence until you feel better. Students in residence should ensure that surfaces, especially those frequently touched, are regularly disinfected.

Students who are being examined or tested for COVID-19 should email Kevin Johnson, Dean of Students (kjohnson@redeemer.ca), immediately. Staff and faculty should email June Hulbert, Associate Vice-President of Human Resources (jhulbert@redeemer.ca) immediately.

Travel

Virus transmission within Canada is still predominantly related to travel. With the elementary/secondary school March Break coming up, you are encouraged to be cautious with travel plans. Government-imposed travel restrictions, as well as mandatory days-long quarantines, have been implemented for many international travellers. These restrictions may increase in the short term and March Break travel plans may be disrupted.

In light of that, all Redeemer-sponsored international travel is cancelled until further notice. Staff, faculty and students are strongly encouraged to cancel plans to attend  large gatherings (100+ people) such as for academic conferences and professional development workshops. Costs (flight, conference cancellation fees, hotel reservations, etc.) arising from cancelled Redeemer-sponsored travel will be reimbursed and/or covered by Redeemer.

If you have returned from China’s Hubei province or from Iran in the last 14 days, you should stay at home for 14 days after your return and avoid close contact with others. You should also contact Hamilton Public Health’s COVID-19 hotline at 905-546-2424 ext. 7970.

If you have returned from mainland China (outside of Hubei province), Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Singapore, or South Korea in the last 14 days, you should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days after your return. If you develop symptoms, please contact Hamilton Public Health’s COVID-19 hotline at 905-546-2424 ext. 7970.

Respect for others

It’s important to remember that the virus is not related to race or ethnicity, but to geography. Please continue to treat all members of the Redeemer community with respect and grace, and do not assume or suggest that someone may be at higher risk because of that person’s race, country of origin, or ethnic background.

Update – March 6, 2020

At this time, there are no known cases of COVID-19 on the Redeemer University campus. Redeemer officials are continuing to monitor the situation and have plans in place should further action be required.

Redeemer is undertaking extra cleaning and sanitation in an effort to provide a healthy and safe environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors.