Further clarifications regarding fall teaching issues – June 2, 2021
Hi again colleagues,
I am writing to clarify a few points regarding my email this morning about fall teaching.
The Association has consulted further with the administration, and faculty and librarians will have full autonomy to decide whether or not to wear a mask at any time or place in the workplace in the fall. However, as noted in my earlier email, the university will be following public health guidelines, and it is assumed at this time that by the fall public health guidelines will not mandate masks, so in that case it will be the position of the university that mask wearing is a personal choice for each individual student and employee to make and not for instructors to make on behalf of other individuals, so faculty will not be able to mandate masks in their classrooms. At the same time, the Association has been told that there may be specific situations where wearing a mask is periodically necessary. These will be guided by public health advice in each situation.
For those who are wondering whether any other practitioner other than a physician can fill out the COVID accommodation form, we have received a response from the administration which indicates that at present medical documentation for an accommodation is to be completed by a physician or medical specialist (eg. oncologist, immunologist etc). A non-medical care provider can provide evidence to a physician or medical specialist should they not be aware of care plans (ie. A clinical counsellor or nurse practitioner could write to the physician). The university is apparently initiating a project to look at the possible use of nurse practitioners in filling out the medical documentation form, but that is currently not an option.
A few members have written me to ask whether they would be able to hold office hours on Zoom. I have consulted with the university, and they tell me that it will be up to individual faculty members to make their own decisions as to whether to hold office hours over Zoom or face-to-face.
I hope you are all having at least some time to enjoy the summer weather, which doesn’t look like it will last.
All the very best,