Campus Return Planning Guide for Academic and Administrative Managers and Supervisors


Under the direction of the BC Provincial Health Officer (PHO) and with support of Vancouver Coastal Health, we have welcomed back faculty, staff and students to our campuses, to join the many who have been working on campus throughout the pandemic. Together we will bring vibrancy to our campus, as we see the increased resumption of in-person teaching, learning, and research activity this fall. Many of our staff and faculty have spent over a year working remotely and being advised, and at times required, to reduce contact with others. In alignment with BC's Restart plan, and with the health and safety of the UBC community as our first priority, we are taking a phased approach to facilitate a return to in-person teaching, learning, research and other on-campus activities

We recognize faculty and staff may have concerns on different aspects of returning to campus, and on SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and its variants. The university continues to monitor the course of the pandemic and we are working closely with public health officials and will adjust our approach as required.

This resource has been developed to help Managers and Supervisors, as well as anyone with managerial responsibility, plan for the resumption of activities on the Vancouver campus. It aims to provide you with information and resources that you can access to better support your faculty and staff as we prepare to return. This electronic guide will be regularly updated as new information becomes available. Check back often. (Last revised: Oct. 1, 2021)

Our Safety Approach

Learn about our new safety planning process and UBC's relationship with public health with regards to case identification, contact tracing and notification.

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Campus Return Expectations

Read about UBC's COVID-19 campus safety rules, vaccine information, training for faculty, staff & students, as well as layers of COVID-19 protection.

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Employee Supports


Learn about mental health and support for faculty and staff, reporting illness and sick leave, as well as the accommodation process.

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Operational Supports

Read about the return-to-campus resourcing planning tool, building re-opening and access hours, custodial services & cleaning information, as well as developments on HVAC/ventilation.

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Campus Services

Read about what's happening with a number of campus services, including the  Library, Food Services and the Bookstore, as well as information on student housing and self-isolation, getting to and from campus, the new student safety ambassadors program, and the manager and supervisor checklist.

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Contact Us

Questions about this Guide? Please contact us.


Guiding Principles

As the university plans for a phased resumption of on-campus academic activities, the following guiding principles will aid Managers and Supervisors in their discussions and decision making regarding our return to on campus activities. Managers and Supervisors are asked to work with their teams to plan the timing of their returns with the following principles guiding their decision making:

  • Prioritize the physical and mental health and safety of faculty, staff, and students;
  • Recognize that the return to campus is an evolving process and that flexibility, adaptability, and an awareness of unique circumstances are needed;
  • Ensure the operational requirements of the university are met, irrespective of where employees happen to be working;
  • Ensure the student and broader campus experience is as positive and engaging as possible;
  • Ensure that people are treated fairly and equitably, through a transparent process that balances respecting the right to privacy; and
  • Ensure that all faculty and staff working on campus have completed the Safety and Risk Services (SRS) training (UBC Go Forward COVID-19 Safety Planning Training), respect the COVID-19 campus safety rules that have been established, and are aware of the safety plans that are in place for the particular types of facilities that they use.


As faculty and staff return to campus for the 2021/22 Winter Session, the process for returning will vary according to different parts of the university. This phased approach will allow for the operational needs of each Faculty and administrative unit. Deans, Vice-Presidents, Associate Vice-Presidents, department heads, directors and supervisors will be provided with further details to support their decisions on timing for faculty and staff to return to campus.

Return to campus — phased approach:

  • Phase #1 (June-July): Faculty and staff who are returning to campus to support instructional and operational planning or preparation for the 2021/22 Winter Session will discuss their return date with their unit lead (Deans, Vice-Presidents, Associate Vice-Presidents, department heads, directors, and supervisors).
  • Phase #2 (July-August): Faculty and staff who are returning to campus to prepare for direct, in-person teaching, learning, student support and other activities for the 2021/22 Winter Session will begin to transition back to campus in discussion with their unit lead (Deans, Vice-Presidents, Associate Vice-Presidents, department heads, directors and supervisors).
  • Employees who are not returning to campus as part of Phase #1 or #2 — but who wish to return earlier — should discuss this with their Deans, Vice-Presidents, Associate Vice-Presidents, department heads, directors and supervisors. Employees who are not on an approved Remote Work agreement by November 1, 2021 must return to campus. Please note, some Faculties are adjusting this timeline based on local needs and operations, as determined by the respective Deans. 

For those employees associated with UBC's research activity, decisions around a return to campus will be made in line with respective Faculty and/or administrative unit planning.

In addition to this guide, the university will provide the necessary tools and measures to ensure a safe environment for educational and operational activities as advised in the COVID-19 Return-to-Campus Guidelines.

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