Message from the Dean | Fall 2020

June 11, 2020 | McMaster University
Contributed by Leonard Waverman

Len Waverman

Dear DeGroote students, staff, and faculty,

In recent days McMaster has shared its perspective on tuition and announced that classes will be online in the fall. I’d like to take this opportunity to clarify what this means for students at the DeGroote School of Business this September.

  • Classes will be online. Students should plan for a variety of learning experiences in virtual classrooms through the entirety of the fall term.
  • DeGroote’s fall 2020 courses won’t just be virtual – they’ll set the standard for technology-enhanced learning. We’re scaling up our instructional design team right now to double the professional expertise that our faculty can draw on to develop best-in-class online learning experiences. Since March, faculty have also been working to transform their course materials with the help of a full range of distance learning tools, resources, and webinars. We’re focused on ensuring DeGroote’s virtual classrooms are delivering the academic excellence our community expects from us.
  • While you’ll be learning online, you will not be learning alone. We’re developing both synchronous and asynchronous deliveries of our course materials, designing virtual group assignments, and implementing new technologies across our program areas to ensure that fall classes will be rich and dynamic.
  • We want to hear from you. In the coming days, we’ll reach out to current students to learn what’s working now and where we can make things even better as we head into the fall. Watch your inbox for invitations to participate in an upcoming feedback session, survey, or peer discussion.
  • DeGroote has frozen tuition rates for all international students in our programs this academic year (2020/2021). This mirrors the tuition freeze currently in place for domestic students. We are deeply concerned about the challenges our students are facing and are seeking ways to provide meaningful support. These will include new DeGroote internship opportunities as well as access to McMaster scholarships, bursaries, emergency financial aid program.
  • DeGroote is exploring the possibility of offering some limited activities in person at the Ron Joyce Centre in September. This would apply only to EMBA activities and second-year MBA courses that could greatly benefit from a hybrid delivery model. All such in-person activities would be optional and fully adhere to public health guidelines. Students who choose to opt-out of such on-campus activities will have the opportunity to participate remotely without any negative impacts on their learning or grades. More information will come as plans are developed.
  • Our DSB Family comes first. In our collaborations with McMaster’s cross-functional crisis response teams, academic planning committees, HR working groups, Facilities and IT teams, and external property management and security partners, we’re working to safeguard the health and safety of all DeGroote School of Business students, staff, and faculty. Every decision is being made through this lens.

At DeGroote, we’re missing our students, our colleagues, and the buzz of learning in our hallways. And so, it’s with renewed focus that we’re looking towards the fall. We’re exploring every opportunity to deliver better student experiences and more robust learning, despite our current circumstances.

As dean, I have many reasons to be proud of our talented students, the knowledgeable faculty who lead them, and our endlessly dedicated staff who support them. Every single individual carefully selected for our small community has been chosen from a long list of worthy candidates.

You are all here because you embody DeGroote’s values and our hope for the future.

Heading into the fall, our shared vision for education with purpose will be more important than ever.

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