The university will close for a mental health day on Tuesday, Feb. 16
In an email statement sent to Ryerson faculty, president Mohamed Lachemi announced the university would close Tuesday, Feb. 16 for a mental health day, extending the Family Day long weekend to four days.
“I am writing to follow up on the recent message I sent to both Ryerson faculty and staff extending remote work until the end of April 2021, to remind faculty and contract lecturers that it is critical that we continue to prioritize the well-being of ourselves and our loved ones,” said Lachemi.
The additional day off is part of the Ryerson Recharge initiative, an effort that began during the summer to support the well-being of employees throughout the pandemic. The initiative features basic tenets like keeping meetings short, ensuring they conclude before 6 p.m. and limiting evening and weekend email.
“It’s important to me that well-being remains both a university-wide and individual priority through the months to come,” said Lachemi.
The statement also announced that employees would be granted an additional “recharge day” of their choosing — an extra vacation day meant to promote mental well-being.
A number of other initiatives were also announced, including: funding to support additional costs related to remote learning and teaching, development opportunities on best practices for remote learning and teaching, and redistributing some of the Test Centre’s funding towards hiring a team that will modify supports for faculty and students in a remote environment.
Lachemi also announced that Ryerson has invested an additional $2.5 million in teaching assistant and graduate assistant support for faculty members this academic year.
“In my meetings with you, I heard loud and clear that additional resources are required for further TA/GA support,” said Lachemi. “I encourage you to work with your chairs and deans to access funding for the support you need.”