Visit Carleton’s COVID-19 website.

March 20, 2020 – 8:30 a.m.

Good morning everybody,

Yes, thanks all around. The past week has seen absolutely unprecedented change come to our campus, and the way that our entire community has reacted to this rapidly evolving, stressful situation has been nothing short of phenomenal.

Every single one of us deserves thanks and congratulations for playing our part in keeping ourselves and others safe, in helping to flatten the curve, in keeping our required services going on- and off-campus, and for preserving the integrity of our academic mission by swiftly and efficiently moving all our courses to online and other modes of distance learning within a short week!

I can’t thank everyone individually, but I can recognize many – but by no means all – of the key groups who have distinguished themselves this week, starting with all teaching staff and students who connected online, with flexibility and compassion, and were there to support one another. I’m thinking of student Jessica Martins who took her Neuroscience class online on Wednesday and took the time to tweet a ‘big shoutout’ to her professor Alfie Abizaid.

To all the great people who were on campus this week to keep us safe, to ensure our IT and online learning systems performed well, to fix a steam leak (J.P. Sabourin, thanks so much for staying late!) and so many other maintenance issues, to make sure our students still in residence were taken care of and well fed, to keep our facts straight and everyone informed (hello Pia Chin!), to offer health and counselling appointments to whoever needed it, to help in moving our courses online on such a tight timeline (looking at you Kim Loenhart!), to play your important part in the smooth functioning of our wonderful university: THANK YOU!

I would like to tip my hat to all our union leaders who as always have represented their members professionally and effectively, while at the same time showing remarkable collaboration and flexibility in service to our students and community. The same can be said of our student leaders who have shown tremendous courage and grace under pressure throughout the week.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t honour the frontline leadership of Department Chairs, Program Supervisors, Associate Deans, Administrative Managers and Directors, and all those we all counted on to make daily decisions in a way that wisely balanced safety and the wellbeing of our community, the needs of students, faculty and staff, and the continuity of our operations and academic mission. A lot of people deserve great kudos for finding creative and innovative ways to keep their units going in a virtual environment.

Looking to the near future, the Provost confirmed yesterday that the Academic Continuity Committee has a plan to ensure we are able to offer a summer 2020 term at Carleton. In short, all summer courses will be offered through online and other methods of distance learning. We wanted to communicate this information as soon as possible so that teaching staff and students could plan accordingly.

In order to give our departments and faculties time to appropriately adjust the slate of summer course offerings, we have delayed summer course registrations by three weeks to April 16, 2020. The full schedule of courses offered will be available on Carleton Central on April 6, 2020 and the summer term will start on May 4 as planned.

As always, any questions not answered by Carleton’s COVID-19 information website and its FAQ section should be forwarded to

Please ensure that the information you read and share online comes from credible sources like Ottawa Public Health, the Ontario Ministry of Health or the Public Health Agency of Canada, as the spread of misinformation poses a significant risk to the health and safety of our community.

Well, I’m glad it’s Friday and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Unless something big happens, I’m signing off for the weekend and will be back with an update on Monday morning.

Have a good weekend everyone,


Benoit-Antoine Bacon
President and Vice-Chancellor

Friday, March 20, 2020 in
Share: Twitter, Facebook