Provost outlines winter course completion and summer term contingency plans

Vari Hall from the exterior
Vari Hall

Lisa Philipps, interim provost and vice-president academic, issues this letter to the University community:

Dear members of the York University community,

We are now half-way through the seventh week of the strike, raising questions for many students about how they can finish courses that have been interrupted and confirm their plans for summer study, work, or travel. We recognize that these uncertainties have been immensely stressful for students and their families.

The University’s highest priority at this time is to help students resolve their current courses and move forward with their plans for the summer and beyond. To this end, I am writing to inform the community of additional steps the University is now taking to support students, in addition to other options previously announced by the Senate Executive Committee.(See:

This letter also explains how our summer course offerings will be impacted should the strike continue beyond Monday, April 23. Details about how and when to access all the following options will be emailed to students directly and posted on the FAQ section of the Labour website at 

Tuition Credit Opportunity

When the strike is over, courses that have been suspended will resume and can be completed within approximately four weeks. However, we recognize that not all students will want, or will be in a position, to resume their courses after such a long disruption.

Starting on Monday, April 30, the University will be offering a Tuition Credit Opportunity (TCO) to any student who withdraws from a fall/winter 2017-18 or winter 2018 course between March 5, when the strike began, and December 31, 2018, the new deadline to be able to withdraw from a course without any penalty or notation on the student’s transcript.

The TCO will allow students to retake the course(s) they have dropped, or another course, anytime before the end of the 2019 winter term, without paying additional tuition. To be eligible for the TCO, students must be undergraduates enrolled in undergraduate courses.  The Division of Students will be emailing students directly with more details about the TCO and how to elect this option.

Bursary support

York will be providing additional bursary support (up to $1,500) for domestic and international students pursuing undergraduate courses in fall/winter 2017-18 who have experienced extenuating financial circumstances during the disruption, including students who have had to make changes to their travel arrangements after March 5, 2018.

Students will be required to submit an application with relevant supporting documentation that outlines their specific financial situation (e.g. rent receipt for lease extension period, proof of costs to change travel plans, child care costs for extension period, etc.). The online bursary application form will be available on Monday, April 23.

Course completion options 

The Assessed Grade option is among the academic accommodations available to help students affected by the labour disruption to complete their courses.   To assist students whose courses have been suspended to access this option, we will be adding an Assessed Grade Attestation form as of April 30.  The Attestation Form will be based on students’ own confirmation of work done in the course, subject to review by their program or Faculty once the strike ends and grades are submitted that verify their results.

Students who need further assistance should go to to find their Faculty contact. 


We will make every effort to assist those eligible to graduate to complete their degrees in time for the spring Convocation, should they wish to do so. Those who complete their requirements later in the summer will be invited to attend the fall Convocation ceremony held in October 2018. Further information regarding convocation will be available in May.

Summer 2018 courses

Many students have asked for information about how the strike will impact summer term courses.  With rare exceptions, summer courses cannot begin until after we complete the winter term, which will take approximately four weeks from whenever the strike ends.

The University has determined that if the strike ends in time for winter term classes to resume by April 30, it will be possible to start the summer session on May 28 and to run all of our planned summer terms (SU, S1 and S2). We very much hope that this will be possible.

I must also inform you however, that if the strike does not end in time for winter term classes to resume by April 30 at the latest, we have determined there will not be sufficient time remaining before Labour Day to offer all of our summer terms.  Based on advice from the University Registrar, Senate Executive and Deans’ Offices, it has been determined that in this event the University will not run the S2 term. Course offerings for SU and S1 will also be reduced in some areas. Planning efforts are underway and will be focused on preserving those courses that students most require to progress in their degrees.

If the strike continues further into May, there will be additional impacts on the summer session. Specifically, if winter term classes resume after May 14, the University will be able to run only a single six-week summer term (S1).  If winter term classes resume after June 11, the University will not be able to offer any summer courses, with rare exceptions to be approved by Senate Executive.

In closing, I wish to acknowledge the impact that this has had on our students and their families and thank all members of the community for continued patience and good will as we work to mitigate the impact of the labour dispute on our students. I also want to thank students and their families for your understanding. We are committed to doing everything we can to assist you through this period in order to make your experience at York as rewarding and positive as possible under these difficult circumstances.