Staying safe and supporting students despite the “vaccination gap”: Four recommendations for UBC’s return to campus

234 signatories as of August 24

There is now an AMS letter writing campaign:

This post was written by Karen Bakker and Joanna McGrenere. We acknowledge that we are not experts, and are simply providing the perspective of faculty who will be teaching this fall. We recognize that there are ongoing discussions within the university to manage a safe fall restart. Our goal is to provide helpful, constructive suggestions to support our collegial discussions.

UBC is gearing up for a return to campus in September. The university’s plan seems to align fully with BC’s Step 4 Restart Plan, expected to take effect September 7.1 This means largely a return to the pre-Covid status quo, including no requireda6 masking. However, the science around Covid-19 is evolving quickly, and many students, faculty, and staff returning to campus are concerned about safety in light of emerging variants. Recently, both the AMS and UBCFA published open letters to the campus community that highlighted some of these concerns. The AMS also requested that UBC create a requirement for masking in indoor spaces (including classrooms) this fall, and has mandated continued wearing of masks inside AMS-controlled spaces such as The Nest.

Below, we discuss a key issue that provides further support for these concerns: the “vaccination gap.” We also make four recommendations relevant to enhancing campus safety for those teaching and learning this fall.

Principle 1: There is a collective responsibility to enhance campus safety in light of the “vaccination gap” — the difference in vaccination level on UBC campus compared with that in the province of British Columbia.

The “vaccination gap” is the difference in vaccination rates between the UBC campus community, and the province. At the start of term, UBC will have a lower vaccination rate than the province, because of the high proportion of international students enrolled. (International students represent approximately 25% of the student body.) Although the general population of BC is predicted to be 75% fully vaccinated by September, the campus community will have lower vaccination rates. Some international students will either be unvaccinated, or will have received vaccines which are not approved by Health Canada (some of which demonstrate lower effectiveness against the Delta variant).a1 After quarantine (14 days), and waiting the requisite interval between shots (currently 8 weeks), the percentage of international students who are vaccinated will rise. Before this time, the percentage of students vaccinated will be well below the minimum recommended. (An example scenario: if you mix 75% students from BC with 80% vaccination and 25% international students with 0% vaccination, the student body will be at a 60% vaccination level, at least for September. Thus, it is likely that the actual percentage vaccination rate will lie somewhere between 60% and 75% in September, and rise thereafter. The BC Covid-19 Modelling group is working on an app that will enable more accurate campus vaccination rate predictions.) A recent Globe & Mail editorial put it bluntly: “If every third student in every lecture hall is unvaccinated, get ready for a superspreader fall.”2

The federal government’s Public Health Agency recommends an 80% vaccination threshold,3 assuming Delta becomes the dominant variant by the fall, which is already proving to be the case in other jurisdictions such as the UK and Israel.4 (More recent independent modeling is recommending that 90% is needed.5) Precautions are definitely needed below the 80% threshold.6 Until at least that level is reached for the campus community, there are at least two adaptations that are within UBC’s control that will significantly increase physical safety on campus.

The first common sense preventive measure is masking.a8 Under Step 4 of the BC’s restart plan,7 masks will be a personal choice in indoor settings. However, as noted above, vaccination rates on campus will be more consistent with Step 2 levels. Accordingly, it seems prudent to apply the Step 2 requirements to campus: “physical distancing and masks continue to be required in public indoor settings.”8 We note that an overwhelming majority of students support a mask policy, based on a recent poll by the AMS.9

The second common sense preventive measure is a guaranteed minimum standard of ventilation. UBC, unlike other leading academic institutions across North America, is not guaranteeing a minimum standard of ventilation in all classrooms. Compare this to the University of Toronto’s commitment to a safe return to campus, which promises an “industry-leading standard” in all indoor spaces.10 UBC has not committed to such a standard for all spaces, and it is unclear what will be done about spaces which can not be ventilated to industry-leading standards.

We also note that many universities in Canada and globally have proactively put in measures to ensure a higher standard of safety than UBC. Just to name a few: the University of Toronto, Western, and several hundred colleges in the United States (including entire State University of New York system) are requiring students in residence to be vaccinated.11 McGill will only relax physical distancing a couple weeks after “75% of people aged 16 to 29 years old who are living in Quebec have been fully vaccinated.”12 Many universities in the United States are requiring all students on campus to be vaccinated, a decision that was recently upheld by the courts.13

Everyone desires and deserves a safe campus: students, faculty and staff. UBC needs to show greater leadership on this issue; if mandatory vaccination is not possible for legal reasons, then it should commit to mandatory masking, physical distancing, and industry-leading ventilation standards for all indoor spaces.

Principle 2: It is important to provide inclusive support for students, a larger-than-normal proportion of which will not be able to attend classes in person, particularly in early fall.

In September, a significant proportion of international students will not be able to attend in-person classes for at least several weeks due to quarantine and/or reluctance in attending until they are partially or fully vaccinated. (There are currently 8 weeks between doses. It is also not clear whether and how UBC will enforce quarantine requirements.a4) International students who have not been fully vaccinated (or who have been vaccinated, but not with one of the vaccines approved by the federal government) will still have to quarantine. Visa delays may further contribute to late arrivals of international students on campus.14

Moreover, a proportion of domestic students may also not be able to attend classes in person. Epidemiologists predict that COVID case counts will rise in the fall;15 statistically, it is likely that there will be outbreaks either within the Greater Vancouver Region or within the campus community, requiring faculty, staff and students to self-isolate.

Thus, faculty should be aware that there will likely be a large number of student requests for teaching accommodation in the fall term (from both international and domestic students).

Bottom line: a much higher proportion of students than in the past will need to learn online in the fall term, particularly in early fall. Faculty will need to meet these demands with transparent, fair and inclusive options.a5 If online/hybrid options are not made available, faculty may find that they have inadvertently created perverse incentives that encourage students to break quarantine or self-isolation.

We recognize that there are implications of increased faculty workload, and it is within UBC’s power to address these. Moreover, we acknowledge that these burdens will be unevenly distributed, across departments, ranks, and types of teaching positions. It is incumbent upon the university to assess the likely increased workload, and make resources available to assist faculty and staff with planning to support students accordingly. Matthew Ramsey, media relations director for UBC, recently stated that students will have the option of online courses: “We will be working with them on a case-by-case basis ensuring that they are able to access their courses, whether that’s online or in person.”16 Faculty and staff need specific guidance and support, as well as extra resources, to prepare; particularly given the extra time required to prepare and teach courses in this unprecedented environment.

Imagine this happened to you in the classroom…

We conclude with four scenarios that illustrate the complexities of teaching in the fall, followed by four recommendations.

Scenario #1: It’s the third week of September, and you are administering a test to a packed lecture hall of 200 students. Every seat is filled, and the room is stuffy and hot. One of the students is coughing repeatedly and looks distressed. Another student raises their hand and tells you that they feel uncomfortable being in the room with someone who is ill. What should you do? Invite the coughing student to leave? Invite the other student to leave? Cancel the test and invite everyone to leave? Tell the student you can’t do anything,and continue with the test as if nothing untoward was happening?

Scenario #2: It’s early October, the night before students in your fourth-year seminar are scheduled to give group presentations. A student emails you: they have just been notified they are a close contact of someone with COVID, developed symptoms the day after last week’s class, but only went for a COVID test an hour ago. The test results will not be available until after the presentations are scheduled to take place. Because of privacy legislation, you are not allowed to disclose this information to the class. What should you do? Tell the student to come to class and present? Tell the student not to attend, despite the fact that they are part of a group presentation? Move the entire class online in order to allow the student to present if they wish to do so? (One thing you know that you cannot do: inform the students in the class that they may have been exposed to COVID.)

Scenario #3: It’s the second half of August, your first-year intro course with 250 students is set to start September 7 as an in-person class. It’s a highly interactive class with realtime clicker-type participation for grades. You are increasingly receiving panicked emails from the registered students indicating that their visas have been delayed such that they won’t arrive in Vancouver by September 7 OR that they will be here, but won’t have finished their quarantine by then. What should you do? Can you switch the class to online delivery, at least for those early weeks, so as best to accommodate everyone’s learning? Or will you receive support to record the in-classroom lecture, and make the recordings available to all students, but exempt those with permission from the participation (clicker) component? You want to accommodate everyone as best possible, and not give students any reason to not fulfill their quarantine requirements.

Scenario #4: You have developed significant expertise on how to effectively deliver your course online through considerable experimentation during the pandemic. You are keen to leverage that progress and continue to experiment this coming year (espousing the opinion that a higher percentage of UBC courses will be fully online in the future than they were before the pandemic). There is pressure from above to move your course to fully in-person. What do you do? Do you have the academic freedom to continue to explore fully online delivery? Do you make a compromise and opt for hybrid delivery such that the 30-person workshops that are part of the course are run in-person but the much larger lectures are delivered online? Are there other options?

These examples illustrate that faculty teaching in the fall will be challenged to respond in real-time to ensure equitable access and support student inclusion and safety (which is psychological as well as physical). Those faculty who will be teaching in person will need support to manage complex classroom dynamics in the fall. All faculty will need to be supported as they determine the best way forward for their courses and students.

Four recommendations:

Recommendation #1: The UBC campus community should follow the recommended Provincial Restart Plan steps in accordance with campus vaccination rates. This means that in September, Step 2 should be in place on UBC’s campuses: physical distancing and masks continue to be required in public indoor settings. When the vaccine rate on campus matches that in the broader province (and should be at least 80% based on federal recommendations) masking can become optional on campus.

Recommendation #2: If UBC cannot guarantee a minimum standard of ventilation, it should commit to a minimum standard for PPM (parts per million) CO2 in all indoor spaces on campus, and report data in a real-time and transparent manner. This will require CO2 monitors in classrooms that do not meet the ventilation standard. A list of these classrooms should be publicly available, and easily accessible.

Recommendation 3: Faculty should be supported to create transparent, fair, and inclusive options for online coursework (including hybrid options for pedagogical delivery) to support students who are quarantining, yet to be fully vaccinated, awaiting a COVID test, self-isolating, or ill. Recognizing the unprecedented workload that this entails, the University should provide appropriate supporta2 and resources for faculty, based on dialogue with the UBCFA.

Recommendation #4: Faculty should engage in collegial discussions in their departments to create appropriate teaching modes and modalities, and clear policies to guide real-time classroom management responses. These policies should be transparent, publicly available, and equitably applied. Policies should be posted online and links provided in syllabi, to maximize student awareness.


If you are interested in adding your name to this list please send Karen Bakker or Joanna McGrenere an email at ( and/or

[Please note that there is a second list at the end of this one for faculty recommending a vaccine mandate.]


Dr. Yusuf Altintas, Faculty of Applied Science (UBCV)
Dr. Hugh Anton, Faculty of Medicine, (UBCV)
Dr. Karen Bakker, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Elisa Baniassad, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Andrew Baron, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Jennifer Berdahl, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Ivan Beschastnikh, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Konstantin Beznosov, Faculty of Applied Science (UBCV)
Dr. Vijay Bhargava, Faculty of Applied Science (UBCV)
Dr. Alec Blair, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Nadine Borduas-Dedekind, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. William Bowman, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Ben Britton, Faculty of Applied Sciences (UBCV)
Dr. Wayne Broughton, Faculty of Science (UBCO)
Dr. Julia Bullard, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Sarah Burke, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Ron Cenfetelli, Sauder (UBCV)
Dr. Sunita Chowrira, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Gordon Christie, Faculty of Law (UBCV)
Dr. Valter Ciocca, Faculty of Medicine (UBCV)
Dr. Jeff Clune, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Anne Condon, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Leanne Currie, Faculty of Applied Science (UBCV)
Dr. Clarence de Silva, Faculty of Applied Science (UBCV)
Dr. Jessica Dempsey, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Hadi Dowlatabadi, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Mauricio Drelichman, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Shan Du, Faculty of Science (UBCO)
Dr. Guy Dumont, Faculty of Applied Science (UBCV)
Dr. Elizabeth Dunn, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Lauren Emberson, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Peter Englezos, Faculty of Applied Science (UBCV)
Dr. Tamara Etmannski, Faculty of Applied Science (UBCV)
Dr. Will Evans, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Alexandra (Sasha) Fedorova, Faculty of Applied Science (UBCV)
Dr. Mike Feeley, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Sid Fels, Faculty of Applied Science (UBCV)
Dr. James J. Feng, Faculty of Applied Science (UBCV)
Dr. Michael Friedlander, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Jennifer M. Gagnon, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Liisa Galea, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Yong Gao, Faculty of Science (UBCO)
Dr. Ron Garcia, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Mike Gelbart, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Amanda Giang, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Sathish Gopalakrishnan, Faculty of Applied Science (UBCV)
Dr. Gaston Gordillo, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Matthias Görges, Faculty of Medicine (UBCV)
Dr. Peter Graf, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Kathy Greaves, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Dana Grecov, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Mark Greenstreet, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Chen Greif, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Amy Hanser, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Kiley Hamlin, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Leila Harris, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Cinda Heeren, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Annette Henry, Faculty of Education (UBCV)
Dr. Nina Hewitt, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Daniel Hiebert, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Reid Holmes, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Liisa Holsti, Faculty of Medicine (UBCV)
Dr. Jordi Honey-Rosés, Faculty of Applied Science (UBCV)
Dr. Alan Hu, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Bowen Hui, Faculty of Science (UBCO)
Dr. Andre Ivanov, Faculty of Applied Science (UBCV)
Dr. Joss Ives, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Reinhard Jetter, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Mark Johnson, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. David Jones, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Pamela Kalas, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Deirdre Kelly, Faculty of Education (UBCV)
Dr. Thomas Kemple, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Emily Kennedy, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Brian Klinkenberg, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Sara Knox, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Varada Kolhatkar, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Claire Kremen, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Merje Kuus, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Izabella Laba, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Laks Lakshmanan, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Victoria Lemieux, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Barbara Lence, Faculty of Applied Science (UBCV)
Dr. Kevin Leyton-Brown, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Zheng Liu, Faculty of Applied Science (UBCO)
Dr. Simon Lolliot, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Paul Lusina, Faculty of Applied Science (UBCV)
Dr. Andrew MacFarlane, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Karon MacLean, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Sabina Magliocco, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Allison Man, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Katie Marshall, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Joanna McGrenere, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Aastha Mehta, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Karina Mochetti, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Gene Moo Lee, Sauder (UBCV)
Dr. Kwang Moo Yi, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. R.D. (Dan) Moore, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Shaylih Muehlmann, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Tamara Munzner, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Ryozo Nagamune, Faculty of Applied Science (UBCV)
Dr. Lisa P. Nathan, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Minkyun Noh, Faculty of Applied Science (UBCV)
Dr. Bonny Norton, Faculty of Education (UBCV)
Dr. Raymond Ng, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Gunilla Öberg, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Heather O’Brien, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Kemi Ola, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Dinesh Pai, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Karthik Pattabiraman, Faculty of Applied Science (UBCV)
Dr. Jenny Peterson, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Dr Lucy Porritt, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Rachel Pottinger, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Catharine Rankin, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Erfan Rezaie, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Helge Rhodin, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Matei Ripeanu, Faculty of Applied Science (UBCV)
Dr. Sandra Robinson, Sauder (UBCV)
Dr. Susan Rowley, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Moshe Rozali, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Julia Rubin, Faculty of Applied Science (UBCV)
Dr. Terre Satterfield, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Margo Seltzer, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Mark Schmidt, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Hongxia Shan, Faculty of Education (UBCV)
Dr. Alla Sheffer, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. John Sherman, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Bruce Shepherd, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Karen Shklanka, Faculty of Medicine (UBCV)
Dr. Chad Sinclair, Faculty of Applied Science (UBCV)
Dr. Michelle Stack, Faculty of Education (UBCV)
Dr. Ingrid Stairs, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Jaclyn J. Stewart, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Juanita Sundberg, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Danica Sutherland, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Mark Turin, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Jennifer Vadeboncoeur, Faculty of Education (UBCV)
Dr. Michiel van de Panne, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Mike Van der Loos, Faculty of Applied Science (UBCV)
Dr. Alan Wagner, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Jessica Wang, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Janet Werker, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Hannah Wittman, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Lyndia Wu, Faculty of Applied Science (UBCV)
Dr. Elvin Wyly, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Robert Xiao, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Alexia Yavicoli, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Dongwook Yoon, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Ruben Zamar, Faculty of Science (UBCV)

Added July 29: Signatories recommending a campus-wide vaccine mandate

The following faculty share the concerns outlined in this post but feel that our recommendations do not go far enough. Given this, we have added the following comments, with a separate group of signatories.

Given that increasing numbers of universities and governments are now mandating vaccination, there should be a university-level discussion of instituting such a mandate at UBC. Developing an inclusive approach to a vaccine mandate, which allows for medical or religious exemptions where appropriate, would provide much stronger protection than the measures proposed above. In the opinion of the three UBC engineers who are the lead signatories on this comment (Green, Rogak, and Rysanek, who collectively have expertise in building ventilation and the airborne transmission of disease), even excellent ventilation well above industry-leading standards will not be sufficient to prevent widespread transmission in the absence of extremely high rates of vaccination, given the Delta variant’s increased transmissibility and lack of physical distancing in classrooms.a3

Dr. Tor Aamodt, Faculty of Applied Science (UBCV)
Dr. Chris Addison, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Amy Angert, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Richard Anstee, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Mohammed Rafi Arefin, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Patrice Belleville, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. James T Enns, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Timothy Brook, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Doug Bryman, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Michael Byers, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Kai Chan, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Jingyi Chen, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Cristina Conati, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Joseph Dahmen, School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (UBCV)
Dr. Franco De Angelis, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Simon Donner, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Bianca Eskelson, Faculty of Forestry (UBCV)
Michael Fabris, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Sylvia Fuller, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Dragos Ghioca, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Nassif Ghoussoub, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Michael Gordon, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Carl Ollivier-Gooch, Faculty of Applied Science (UBCV)
Dr. Peter Gouzouasis, Faculty of Education (UBCV)
Dr. Edward Grant, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Sheldon Green, Faculty of Applied Science (UBCV)
Dr. Eldad Haber, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Cara Haney, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Michael Hasinoff, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Elizabeth Hirsh, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Antony Hodgson, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Darren Irwin, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Greg Johnson, School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (UBCV)
Dr. Rob Kiefl, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Young-Heon Kim, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Jennifer Klenz, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Maja Krzic, Faculty of Forestry/ Faculty of Land and Food Systems (UBCV)
Dr. Karen V. Lee, Faculty of Education (UBCV)
Dr. Jim Little, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Tina Loo, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Chris Macdonald, School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (UBCV)
Dr. Dr. Wayne Maddison, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Christoph Ortner, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Scott Oser, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Thomas Oxland, Faculty of Applied Science and Faculty of Medicine (UBCV)
Dr. Leslie Paris, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Debra Parkes, Faculty of Law (UBCV)a7
Dr. Stephen Petrina, Faculty of Education (UBCV)
Dr. A. Srikantha Phani, Faculty of Applied Science (UBCV)
Dr. Steven Plotkin, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. David Poole, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Kelly McCormick, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Janis McKenna, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Sean Michaletz, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Kota Mizumoto, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Priti Narayan, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Alireza Nojeh, Faculty of Applied Science (UBCV)
Dr. Anthony Peirce, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Paige Raibmon, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Stefan Reinsberg, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Steven Rogak, Faculty of Applied Science (UBCV)
Dr. E. Wayne Ross, Faculty of Education (UBCV)
Dr. Adam Rysanek, Faculty of Applied Science (UBCV)
Dr. Tim Salcudean, Faculty of Applied Science (UBCV)
Dr. Lauren Schafer, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Patricia Schulte, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Jeffrey Severs, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Pablo Shmerkin, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. T’ai Smith, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Sean Smukler, Faculty of Land and Food Systems (UBCV)
Dr. Diane Srivastava, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Naomi Schwartz, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Lisa McIntosh Sundstrom, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Eric B. Taylor, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Maria Tokuyama, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Robin Turner, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Ludovic Van Waerbeke, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Stephanie van Willigenburg, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Fei Wang, Faculty of Education (UBCV)
Dr. Michael Ward, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Mark Warren, Faculty of Arts (UBCV)
Dr. Dominique Weis, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Steve Wolfman, Faculty of Science (UBCV)
Dr. Stepan Wood, Faculty of Law (UBCV)
Dr. Margot Young, Faculty of Law (UBCV)

10. Noting the complexity of this issue, see: Lewis, Dyani. “Why indoor spaces are still prime COVID hotspots.” Nature 592, no. 7852 (2021): 22-25.
11. See also:

a1. Added July 28. We acknowledge the intersectional injustices that underlie differential access to vaccines and different vaccination rates (both domestically and internationally), and stress that we do not wish to single out or stigmatize any group. This is a collective issue for our UBC community, which must be handled in an inclusive manner.

a2. Added July 29. Appropriate support needs to be actionable and result in clear time savings for faculty. Things like additional TA/administrative support are a good example of appropriate support. Emails and webpages with lots of links to online materials that faculty can spend time reading are generally poor examples such support. Putative support mechanisms that put the onus on faculty (but do not save time or provide substantively, timely, easily actionable resources) should not be used as an excuse for the University to say they have provided support.

a3. Added July 29. We note that UBC pharmacy students are apparently required to be vaccinated, indicating that there is precedence for mandated vaccination at UBC. See: Also see: and

a4. Added August 1. Some details on how UBC will be supporting quarantining are provided here:

a5. Added August 2. We note that at least some units have elected to remain fully online this coming fall as a means to meet student demands (e.g., Department of Family Practice), whereas it seems that most other units are requiring faculty to teaching in-person, unless their courses were taught online before covid.

a6. Modified August 2. Initially this simply said “including no masking” and has been changed to say “including no required masking”.

a7. Added August 5. Debra Parkes co-authored an Op-Ed indicating that there is a sound constitutional basis on which universities can require proof of vaccination:

a8. Added Aug 6. CDC is now advising “Jurisdictions might consider expanded prevention strategies, including universal masking in indoor public settings, particularly for large public gatherings that include travelers from many areas with differing levels of SARS-CoV-2 transmission.” This is after an outbreak in Massachusetts where 74% of the covid cases were in fully vaccinated people.

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