Dear colleagues,

Congratulations on completing this year’s spring term exam period!  Transitioning to online course and exam delivery in such a short time frame was a substantial effort for many faculty and staff. Thank you to everyone for working together to make this happen and thank you to our Education Office team for providing crucial support throughout the transition and beyond. 

Learning from our experiences

While some programs at the Faculty have been holding exams online for sometime, this was a new experience for many. We are intent on learning as much as possible from this experience so that learnings and improvements can be integrated back into enhanced student experience should we need to hold online exams across our programs in future.

Graduate Virtual Town Hall

Next week our graduate program leadership will be hosting a virtual town hall.  The goal of this session will be to discuss issues pertinent to graduate trainees including TA-ships and the effect of COVID-19 on program completion timelines, among others. Virtual town halls continue to be an important way for us to engage with our students and trainees as we work remotely.

Ongoing Faculty and Staff meetings

Based on the feedback and success from the first Faculty and Staff meeting, we will be holding regular bi-weekly meetings starting this Tuesday May 5th, 10:00am-11:00am via Microsoft Teams. Similar to the previous meeting, these bi-weekly meetings will give us the opportunity to share priorities and plans, communicate emerging issues and decisions and connect with each other.

LDFP Meeting Free time

As with previous communications, we are expanding the request for no internal meetings to be scheduled:

  1. before 09:30am
  2. after 4:30pm
  3. Tuesdays and Fridays from 2pm onward
  4. where possible keep free the 12-1pm period to help facilitate families having lunch together and people taking a break in the middle of the day

I recognize that there may be some critical exceptions including meetings already planned that cannot be changed.  I also recognize that some urgent matters come up and some meetings with external parties may not allow these scheduling boundaries. 

Message from President Gertler

Yesterday we received a message from President Meric Gertler with updates regarding the University’s government relations and advocacy efforts and insight into how the pandemic is expected to impact our operations across U of T in the foreseeable future. If you haven’t already, please take time to read this important message.

The message also outlines a shift in focus from crisis response to planning for restart and recovery. This shift certainly comes with a degree of relief. However, it is important to remember and be prepared for the fact that this process will be gradual with many challenges and details to be worked through in the months ahead. Substantial effort has begun to address the many considerations for restarting more of our on-site research and education activities.

It is welcome news from the Government of Ontario who announced this afternoon that certain businesses and workplaces can reopen on Monday, May 4th.  While colleges and universities are mentioned, the announcement limits permission to essential construction projects at the university as long as they comply with strict public health measures and operate safely during the COVID-19 outbreak.  The Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy building remains open only for essential activities that have received authorization to continue on-site.

Further information on the university planning for restart and recovery will be provided as soon as it is available including opportunities to provide feedback on how we will implement the various processes facilitating the restart and recovery.

I remain confident that we have the strength, skill and willingness to continue to move forward together.



Lisa Dolovich
Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy
University of Toronto