News roundup from the Office of the Provost: Fall 2022
The fall 2022 term is an exciting time at McMaster. It marks the return to regular, in-person learning as the university welcomes students, faculty, staff and visitors back to campus.
As provost, it is a point of pride to note that despite the many challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic over the last two and a half years, the McMaster community continued to thrive, earning some well-deserved recognition along the way.
Our work on vaccine discovery, solutions for health equity and innovations in pandemic preparedness helped McMaster earn the top rank in Canada and sixth in the world for impact on health and wellbeing in an international ranking by Times Higher Education (THE) of more than 1,400 universities.
A different international ranking of universities saw McMaster’s clinical medicine program rank 47th in the world and second in Canada in the Shanghai Ranking’s 2022 Academic Ranking of World Universities.
There is so much going on at McMaster at this time. Below, are some initiatives of interest that everyone on campus should know about.
Teaching And Learning
McMaster’s commitment to teaching and learning excellence continues to advance, driven in large part by the university’s first Partnered in Teaching and Learning Strategy. A key element is the development of a Digital Learning Strategy to leverage technology to enhance pedagogy, foster inclusive excellence and cultivate innovative learning spaces.
Having a strategy will provide focus given that digital learning is already happening organically around campus. Neuroscience students have been partnering with students at a university in Ecuador to share knowledge while gaining intercultural and interdisciplinary experiences. Elsewhere at McMaster, instructors are utilizing digital tools to make presentations and course materials more accessible. Our Digital Learning Strategy framework will be introduced in the upcoming term.
Health And Safety
McMaster’s top priority is health and safety. We consulted with public health, the Ontario government and our own faculty experts in virology and other health fields before deciding to continue to pause the vaccine mandate and strongly encouraging masking.
In the message to our campus community about the fall 2022 term that I co-signed with President David Farrar, we commit to continuing to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely. We also remind everyone that they should stay home if they feel unwell and that if the pandemic and public health advice shift and government requirements change, we may need to quickly re-instate a mask requirement and a vaccine policy.
The latest updates to McMaster’s response to COVID-19 can be found online at Back to Mac and I encourage you to also read this story about how McMaster’s ventilation team is preparing for the academic year.
Work or Study Outdoors
In many ways, everything old is new again. If you see something you hadn’t noticed before, there is a good chance it wasn’t there two years ago. Outdoor spaces on campus have been equipped with new benches, picnic tables and even Muskoka chairs. Many of these are in areas covered by wifi, which is available outdoors throughout McMaster. See the map below for seating and wifi coverage locations.
Before Your First Commute
With the start of the academic year just around the corner, it is time to plan how you will get to campus, including applying for or renewing a full-time parking pass or researching public transit schedules.
If you’re a cyclist, bike racks and secure bike storage options are available throughout campus. Just remember that if you choose to bike to McMaster, do not lock your bike to a tree, fence or any other university property. Please use a bike rack.
By the end of 2022, McMaster will open an 8,000-square-foot collaborative learning space in Toronto at 180 Bloor Street West. It will be open to all McMaster students and act as an information centre for prospective students and administrative officers. It might even be a great place for people to learn more about Hamilton’s thriving life sciences sector, of which McMaster can be said to be the anchor institution.
Campus Services And Supports
Whether you are new to McMaster or you expect to help incoming students navigate the university, it may be helpful to get to know the services and supports below:
- Issues with MacID or email? Contact University Technology Services (UTS).
- Have questions about tuition, fees or enrolment? Contact the Registrar’s Office.
- Need help with your course schedule or have other academic questions? Reach out to your Faculty’s advising office or the Student Success Centre for support.
- Feeling stressed, anxious or overwhelmed by the transition? The Student Wellness Centre has resources that can help.
- Experiencing a financial emergency? Reach out to Student Services for support.
- International travel questions? International Student Services is here for you.
- Looking for information and resources for grad students? Check out the Grad Studies website.