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President Michael Benarroch update on Summer Term and supporting our collective success

January 13, 2021 — 

A message from UM President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Michael Benarroch:

Tansi. Happy New Year.

As we embark on 2021, we know that together we will continue to make our community proud. Looking forward with optimism and hope, I want to share an update on Summer Term 2021 as well as some of the innovative ways we are supporting our collective success.

Summer Term 2021 will be primarily remote

The health, safety, and well-being of our community continues to guide all decisions. That is why the University of Manitoba has decided that Summer Term 2021 will be delivered primarily remotely, with the exception of a small number of in-person courses, similar to your Winter Term experience.

We made this prudent decision as early as possible to supporting planning the rest of our academic year. Further communications regarding Summer Term will follow, and I encourage everyone to keep using the resources on our COVID-19 page, which is updated regularly and provides information on support services, study spaces, precautions and programming.

Thank you to faculty, students, staff and everyone for your continued resilience and commitment to UM’s mission and vision.

Continue to stay safe

I encourage everyone to continue to follow public health advice, despite the immense sacrifices that requires for so many of us. We all look forward to the day we can begin to safely welcome our community back to campus, but for now, we must stay the course while we continue to find new ways to support each other—students especially.

Supporting our students

I am excited about the many new initiatives we are piloting, including the launch of a Virtual Advising Help Centre, expanded options for virtual study halls, improved digital communications to students, as well as expanded workshops and counselling services.

We are also looking forward to offering an additional intake for student bursaries this winter term. More information will be coming soon. In recognition of how challenging this time has been for our students, the provincial government has provided an additional $3.1M through their Manitoba Scholarship and Bursary Initiative (MSBI). Thanks to this support and the generosity of UM alumni and donors, an additional $4 million in bursary support will be made available to provide immediate financial assistance to over 5,000 UM students.

Donors have also partnered with the University to help eligible students acquire financial support for needed technology. The COVID-19 UM Student Technology Fund has raised $245,000 to offer meaningful support to students in continuing their studies remotely.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

I am proud to lead a community that continues to advance equity, diversity and inclusion. As part of that effort, the University of Manitoba is releasing an important document: Upholding the Principles of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion During COVID-19. I encourage everyone to watch for the release of this handbook in the coming weeks as we work together to ensure EDI is embedded in all that we do.  

Our impact continues

Thank you again to our community for supporting enriching research and scholarship, and empowering students with a world-class education. As I look forward to 2021, I believe we have a bright year ahead. Our hard work, innovation and resilience have truly been worth it and we will make it to the other side of this pandemic with renewed strength and vision.

Miigwetch.

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