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Return to campus info for faculty & staff

Learn what you can expect when you return to campus this year.


COVID-19 health and safety update

Post-secondary educational settings are low risk settings for COVID-19 transmission, particularly in the context of a highly immunized population.

Self-declaration program results

Thank you to everyone who has participated in the university’s self-declaration program. As of Sept. 26, 24,603 people had completed their self-declarations. Of those, 98.5% declared they are fully...

Health and safety self-declaration program open

The COVID-19 self-declaration platform is now open, and will remain open until midnight September 26 for you to complete your self-declaration.

View update archive

Health & safety

Current step: 3

UVic is currently in Step 3 of our restart plan.

  • If you're sick, stay home
  • Masks required in indoor public spaces, classrooms, and shared workplace areas
  • Self-declaration required for all students and employees coming to campus
  • Rapid testing for asymptomatic UVic community members who have not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19
  • Enhanced cleaning and hygiene measures
  • UVic Communicable Disease Plan in effect

Our safety programing is informed by guidance and direction from the provincial health officer, COVID-19 Go-Forward Guidelines for B.C.’s Post-Secondary Sector and WorkSafeBC.

Learn about:

Course delivery for Winter Session

In alignment with guidance from the provincial health officer and Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training, UVic is planning for a return to face-to-face teaching and learning in fall 2021.

We acknowledge the challenges associated with planning for the fall term while in a rapidly changing pandemic environment and want to assure you the planning team is watching the development of the pandemic carefully and working closely with government health officials to ensure that our planning parameters are aligned with provincial direction. Should we need to update our plans, we will communicate those changes as quickly as possible.

Course design and delivery

The timetable was released on May 31, with the majority of courses offered face to face. To help ensure equity and access for students who are not able to attend campus this fall, about 100 courses normally offered face to face will be taught online. The spring 2022 term is expected to be entirely in person, as it was before the pandemic. However, we are exploring opportunities to offer more online courses going forward, building on successes and learnings from the past year.

If instructors wish to supplement their in-person delivery of courses with online or virtual elements (such as holding virtual office hours, conducting online quizzes or posting recorded content), they may do so as long as lectures, seminars and/or labs are delivered as they were pre-pandemic. Instructors will not be expected to teach a course section in multiple modes.

Whether your course is online or in person, you are always welcome to consult the Division of Learning and Teaching Support and Innovation for teaching advice and support.

Classroom safety protocols

BC's Go-Forward Guidelines outline health and safety protocols for post-secondary institutions, including for in-person classroom and performance instruction. Please also see UVic's latest health and safety information.

If a student in your class informs you that they have COVID-19, please contact your one-over supervisor (e.g., chair, director or dean). Provincial privacy legislation and university policy require that the privacy of the ill student must be protected. Specific and identifying details about the student and their health condition should not be shared with your supervisor, others students or employees. Your chair or dean will contact the UVic COVID-19 Case Coordination and Support Team, who will work with Island Health on next steps.

Field schools and activities

Instructors are encouraged to return to field schools and activities as they were pre-pandemic. Please note that the process has changed in light of the pandemic and recommendations from the recent Bamfield report.

Visit the OHSE website for more information on field activities.

International student mobility programs

Outbound mobility programs (e.g., international co-ops, internships, field schools, volunteer opportunities, practica, etc.) remain on hold until Global Affairs Canada changes its travel advisories to level 1 or 2. Students may continue to request special authorization to travel, which will be approved on a case-by-case basis.

Inbound mobility programs continue to be offered with consideration given to academic program capacity and in compliance with travel, immigration and public health requirements.

Download the international student mobility programs for fall 2021 memo for more information.

Supporting students

Students who are ill or self-isolating

There are several strategies for providing class materials to students who are ill, self-isolating or otherwise unable to attend classes for a short period of time. For instance, students could be provided with the PowerPoint or other class materials.

Starting in September, we also expect to have "lecture capture" technology available in some high-use classrooms for high-demand courses so that instructors can record live lectures should they wish to do so.

Medical documentation for absences

Faculty and instructors are asked to waive the medical documentation requirement (i.e. a health care practitioner’s note) for students—regardless of how long they are ill—starting March 2020 and until further notice.

Students with disabilities

All accommodation information can be found in a student’s Letter of Accommodation, accessible on the Centre for Accessible Learning website. Questions about how specific accommodations can translate to an online academic environment should be directed to the Centre for Accessible Learning (CAL) Advisor appearing on the Letter of Accommodation.

There are accommodation pathways available for immunocompromised students, and we are reviewing our accommodation supports throughout the summer to ensure students are well supported come fall.

Graduate students

Please continue to recruit international graduate students into your programs, in cases where you would normally do so. Where feasible, some flexibility may be needed in response to current travel and quarantine requirements.

In-person signatures will not be required in letters of recommendation for graduating graduate students at this time. Graduate Admissions and Records will accept an email confirmation of your approval. Please be specific in your email that you are recommending the graduate student for graduation. We will also accept digital signatures on the Letter of Recommendation document. Consult with your graduate secretary if you have questions about submitting this information.

International students

There are currently challenges with obtaining study permits and navigating travel and quarantine restrictions, and we are hopeful the situation will improve in the coming months. We do plan to continue supporting students through UVic’s self-isolation program for the fall term.

Please refer all international students to International Student Services for support with immigration, settlement and travel to Canada.

Working remotely

As part of return to campus planning, UVic has introduced opportunities for staff to work remotely on a part-time, trial basis.

Faculty workload

Speak with your chair/director or dean if you are a faculty member who is experiencing workload challenges due to COVID-19. If your ability to complete all of your academic responsibilities is impacted, it may be possible to alter your employment obligations or extend deadlines. 


We encourage supervisors, managers, chairs/directors and deans to exercise flexibility when responding to requests related to child care responsibilities related to the pandemic. Your manager might choose one of the following flexible options:

  • flexible remote or other work arrangements
  • the use of vacation time or banked overtime/compensatory time off to continue normal pay
  • a personal leave of absence without pay

Leaves and vacation

Time off from work to recharge is as important today as it has ever been. Staff are expected to take their full annual vacation during this calendar year, subject to any normal vacation carry forward limits in the applicable collective agreement or terms and conditions handbook.

Sick leaves


Please contact your academic leader/University Librarian to report any inability to undertake expected academic or professional responsibilities, due to illness or need to self-isolate.

Faculty & librarian leave requests


Please contact your supervisor to report your absence if you would normally attend campus, but are self-isolating.

Find information on leaves and accommodations for staff.

Study leaves

The University and the Faculty Association have agreed to a process for faculty members with current or upcoming Study Leaves to request a deferral or cancellation on the grounds that they are unable to meet the commitments in their Study Leave plan due to COVID-19-related restrictions.

Please work with your unit leader on any requested adjustment.


New hires can begin to work remotely either here in Canada or elsewhere. Please ensure you are working with the Faculty Relations or Human Relations Consultant for your area.

If your new hire is non-Canadian please ensure you and your new hire are working with Lori Shaw on addressing any immigration matters. Given current travel restrictions, your new hire may not be able to enter Canada even with a positive Provincial Nominee decision.

Your new hire will still receive an employee number and NetLink ID.

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