As mentioned in our update to the community on March 18, 2021, at this time the university is optimistic that we will be able to safely open our campus to some degree in the fall. This could include welcoming some members of our community back to campus for limited in-person activities such as small classes and labs, extra curricular activities, access to services and study space, and experiential learning opportunities.
It is our goal that, by June 9 — 90 days prior to the start of the fall term — we will provide our community with a thorough update on what the fall semester will look like so that students can make arrangements for the term and faculty have time to do preparatory work for their courses.
Given the wide scope of evaluation needs and assessment required across our diverse range of programming, we are encouraging departments to work within their faculties to best determine effective and appropriate evaluation approaches and we are continuing to urge faculty to explore alternatives to examinations.
The virtual proctoring tool available for use at Ryerson is Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor. This tool provides automated virtual proctoring using a student’s camera to monitor the student during an exam. Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor are accessed through the D2L Brightspace quiz tool. Additional functionalities are currently being investigated. The tool has been assessed based on availability, data privacy, and security by the Virtual Proctoring Working Group, a committee with representatives from each faculty, CCS, the Test Centre, the Academic Integrity Office, the Office of the Registrar, and the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, reporting to the Keep Teaching Taskforce.
Faculty and instructors should review the Privacy Considerations for Virtual Classes and Virtual Proctoring page before choosing to incorporate virtual proctoring in their courses.
Policies on work placements and experiential learning opportunities are being developed. We are working with the Experiential Learning Office to develop protocols on this activity that will be aligned with the recommendations and guidance from public health authorities and other government guidelines.
Faculties and faculty members are encouraged to connect with their colleagues in the Office of the Vice-President, Research & Innovation (OVPRI) for information and protocols on the research piece of programming.
In addition, the Scenario Planning Working Group contains extensive inter-campus membership across Ryerson including OVPRI and Faculties. Part of this group’s mission is to facilitate communication and disseminate information throughout Ryerson.
We have provided pre-tenure faculty with the flexible options to extend their tenure timeline by a year. We continue to develop options and flexibility for new hires that have joined us recently.
Ryerson is in good financial standing, but like all sectors across the province, country and the world, universities are also feeling the impact of the pandemic. Our institutions are experiencing broad and increasingly complex financial repercussions that will have long-term implications for our sector and the students and the communities they serve.
Additionally, Ryerson is required by our Board of Governors to develop an annual budget that does not result in a deficit. This ensures that we are able to remain forward-looking and do not accumulate financial issues over time.
For more details about Ryerson’s budget, visit the 2021-22 Budget website.