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Polytechnique's University Executive highlights the community's dedication

April 14, 2020 - Source : NEWS

Pierre Lassonde, Polytechnique Montreal's new Chair of the Board of Directors as of March 18, 2020, and university President Philippe Tanguy thanked the Polytechnique community for their patience and dedication during this challenging time. The following message was sent to all community members today.

Dear Polytechnique community members,

As you surely know, the current pandemic is unprecedented. First and foremost, we would like to acknowledge with gratitude the work of Polytechnique personnel over the past few weeks, whose agility and creativity is remarkable and impressive. It would have been impossible for Polytechnique to recover so quickly and effectively were it not for your dedicated involvement, your resilience, your determination when facing challenges, your calmness and patience, and in more concrete terms, the practical measures that you have implemented.

Personnel safety and well-being remain priorities. Polytechnique is in constant communication with government services to ensure the university adheres to the Directeur général de la santé publique’s health guidelines. While social distancing and restricted campus access have radically altered daily routines, the entire University Executive – including Pierre Lassonde who joined Polytechnique and Chair of the Board of Directors March 18, 2020 – have worked together tirelessly since the implementation of these changes to ensure the continuation of the university’s critical operations, all while protecting Polytechnique personnel.

This transition has not been an easy task. Polytechnique personnel have demonstrated exceptional care and concern for Polytechnique’s 9,000 engineering students registered this Winter 2020 semester, whether in certificate, undergraduate, Master’s, or Doctoral programs (with 30% of said students coming from abroad). It has been a complex and sizable challenge, and you are owed a debt of gratitude for efforts that continue to this day. Truly, Polytechnique Montréal is proud of its personnel.

As of March 16, Polytechnique was required to restrict campus access, yet online courses began as of March 30, 2020, and the academic year will come to a close as originally set forth in the calendar. This period remains stressful for undergraduate students, for whom this pandemic adds to the challenges of university studies. As a result, Polytechnique has implemented several accommodation measures to assist students, while balancing governmental health and safety guidelines, as well as the university’s high accreditation and educational standards.

Polytechnique labs remain closed to researchers as well as Master’s and Doctoral students for the time being, yet the initiative of students who are using this time to analyse and prepare papers about their experiments should be celebrated.

Over the past few weeks, Polytechnique has gathered together and donated equipment to some of Québec’s hospitals, public institutions, companies, and government research agencies, all in the effort to defeat this pandemic. The Fondation et Alumni de Polytechnique has also contributed to the latter effort via fundraising, among other actions, by creating an emergency fund for students.

Polytechnique Montréal is here for students and staff, regardless of the nature of the question or need, simply reach out and contact the university for assistance.

Continuity measures implemented to address the current context do not hinder Polytechnique from looking towards the eventual reopening of the university, and the restarting of all its research and educational activities. Polytechnique will celebrate its 150th birthday in 2023, and nothing can shake the institution’s commitment to top-tier scientific and technological research – regardless of the trials society is presently experiencing due to COVID-19. While no one can say with certainty when things will return to normal, it is certain that Polytechnique will endure, and be ready to restart its activities when the time comes.

Polytechnique has offered its services to the federal and provincial governments, and remains in contact with them as to when and how educational and research activities can be undertaken once again. Rest assured that Polytechnique will communicate this information as soon as it becomes available - all while maintaining its preoccupation with the community’s health and safety.

A sincerely thank you goes out to those personnel members who have been ensuring essential services on-campus at Polytechnique Montréal since the beginning of this crisis – your professionalism and dedication are acknowledged and celebrated.

Lastly and on a personal note, the University Executive extends its warmest wishes to everyone in the Polytechnique community, may you and your loved ones remain healthy and hopeful, remembering to follow governmental health and safety guidelines so we may all resume normal life as soon as possible.


Pierre Lassonde, OC., COQ., Eng., MBA.
Chair, Board of Directors

Philippe Tanguy, Ph.D., Eng.

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