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University of Guelph pauses search for new president, names interim one – Guelph

The University of Guelph says it is suspending its search for a new president and vice-chancellor amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Instead, the board of governors have appointed current provost and vice-president Charlotte Yates as president on an interim basis for two years.

University of Guelph cancels ‘face-to-face’ classes, events in response to COVID-19

Board chair Shauneen Bruder said universities and organizations worldwide are focused on addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and this is where their efforts and resources should be concentrated.

“COVID-19 is creating much uncertainty, both now and for the future,” Bruder said in a statement. “We expect that even once the crisis subsides, the implications will be long-lasting. At the same time, there are many other strategic imperatives the university must address to continue to move forward.”

Yates replaces outgoing president and vice-chancellor Franco Vaccarino, who announced last year that he was stepping down. His term will end on Aug. 1 and Yates will officially take over the following day.

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A search committee has been working since last fall and the university said it was at a critical stage of the process when it made the decision to pause the search.

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Bruder said Yates was chosen in part because of her effectiveness in a range of complex situations and circumstances.

“Her significant experience and extensive knowledge of the complexities and challenges facing the university will enable her to act immediately on priorities during this critical period,” Bruder said.

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Yates has served as provost since 2015 and the university said since then she has built a strong leadership team that includes five new deans and other key academic leaders.

She previously served as dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at McMaster University.

“I am deeply honoured by the trust the board has placed in me to lead the University of Guelph during this challenging time,” Yates said.

“I welcome this opportunity. The university has extraordinary, dedicated faculty, staff and students and exceptionally strong academic and administrative leaders. Working together, we will rise to meet the challenges before us while also enhancing our reputation for quality and excellence.”

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An announcement regarding an interim provost and vice-president to replace Yates will be forthcoming, the university said.

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In response to the pandemic, the University of Guelph has cancelled all in-person classes for the remainder of the winter semester and more than 4,000 students living on residence have moved out.

Classes resumed on Monday in what the university called an “alternative delivery format.”

More information on its response to the pandemic can be found on the university’s website.

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Seven injured as Swansea University bus hits railway bridge

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Media captionSwansea bus crash: ‘It was like a tin opener took the top off’

Seven people have been injured and a man has been arrested after a bus bound for Swansea University crashed into a railway bridge.

One person has been seriously injured and another has life-threatening injuries, South Wales Police said.

Emergency services are at the scene following the crash on Neath Road, Swansea, just before 09:40 GMT.

A 63-year-old man has been arrested and the bus company, First Cymru, said a full investigation had been launched.

Four people were taken to Swansea’s Morriston Hospital, one with serious injuries, two to Neath Port Talbot’s minor injuries unit and a number of other people were assessed at the scene. One person was airlifted to University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff with life-threatening injuries.

The bus was travelling from Swansea University Singleton campus to its Swansea Bay campus when the crash happened but was off its normal route due to a temporary road closure, a First Cymru spokesman said.

Swansea University said its students were among the passengers and its welfare staff were offering help and support.

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The roof of the bus could be seen on the railway tracks

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Alastair Hawkes

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Alastair Hawkes was on the top deck of the bus when the crash happened

Swansea Bay health board asked people to avoid attending Morriston A&E “unless you have a serious illness or injury”, saying the department was “extremely busy”.

The road remains closed and people have been asked to avoid the area.

Lines to Swansea railway were closed for a time but have since reopened. National Rail said trains at Swansea could still be cancelled, delayed by up to 20 minutes or revised.

‘There was a crunch and smashing glass and screaming’

Alastair Hawkes, 22, was on the top deck when the crash happened: “There was a lady who was cut out, she was bleeding heavily and flown to hospital in Cardiff.

“I think there were three injured – somebody else was bleeding badly and an older gentleman was shaken, in shock. We thought he passed out.”

Mr Hawkes, who got on the bus in the Uplands area, said it had taken a different route to normal, he believes because of a fallen tree.

“There was a crunch and smashing glass and screaming.

“Everyone was thinking ‘what just happened?’ as there was a bridge halfway up the bus.”

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Several lines to Swansea station closed after the crash

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Dimitris Legakis

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Motorists are asked to avoid the area, and only visit Morriston A&E if they have a serious injury or illness

The student, originally from Kettering, said he dialled 999 while another passenger managed to hail down police.

He described the top half of the bus slicing off on to the train track above and passengers in shock.

“Those that were bleeding were taken to hospital and the rest brought here (Landore Social Club),” he said.

“Most are alright, but they’re just making sure.”

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Tom Evans

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Seven people were taken to hospital and others were assessed at the scene

What is the bus company saying?

The managing director of First Cymru, Andrew Sherrington, said: “We can confirm one of our vehicles operating Service 10 between Swansea University Singleton campus and Swansea Bay university campus has been involved in a collision with a bridge, which has resulted in a number of passengers sustaining injuries.

“We’ve immediately dispatched a support team and launched a full investigation to establish the circumstances that has led to this collision, and are assisting South Wales Police with their enquiries.

“Everyone at First Cymru is shocked by this incident and our heartfelt sympathies go out to those injured.”

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A social club nearby has opened to offer tea and coffee to passengers

‘We heard an almighty bang’

Tom Evans, who works near to the scene of the crash, said it looked like “a tin opener had taken the top of the bus off”.

He arrived on the scene shortly after the crash and said he believed the bus driver had misjudged the height of a railway bridge and tried to drive under it.

He added: “I heard it and went out soon after. Police were there quickly, cordoning it off. It’s now a no-go area.”

A man who works nearby who did not wish to be identified, said the crash looked “really serious”.

He added: “We heard an almighty bang and all thought it was thunder because it’s raining, but then we saw an ambulance, we thought somebody’s crashed on the M4 but then, no, they’re outside.

“We ran outside and saw the bus and we could see anyone who would have been on the top deck at the front, well it would be really serious… it was destroyed.”

Secretary Terry Edkins opened up the nearby Landore Social Club at the request of police to offer tea and coffee to passengers.

“There are about 20 people at the social club having teas and coffees. The ones at the club are a bit shaken but OK,” he added.

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Tom Evans

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Disruption to transport is expected to continue until 17:00

What about transport disruption?

Transport for Wales (TfW) were reporting delays. “Due to a road vehicle colliding with a bridge at #Swansea fewer trains are able to run on some lines. Services are running but will not call at Swansea Station,” it tweeted.

It said replacement buses were in operation and motorists have been asked to avoid the Neath Road and Hafod area.

TfW said coaches are being sourced to run between Swansea and Cardiff, and services between Carmarthen and Manchester are also disrupted and will not call at Swansea.

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A recovery vehicle is at the scene of the incident

National Rail said disruption was expected until 17:00 and the routes affected are Great Western Railway between Swansea and London Paddington and TfW’s service between Shrewsbury and Cardiff Central.

Traffic analyst site Inrix said there was queuing traffic on the A483 Fabian Way, more than one mile away from the crash.

What do the emergency services say?

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said crews were in attendance and the Welsh Ambulance Service said it sent five ambulances, two rapid response cars and three ambulance officers to the scene.

South Wales Police said: “We and our fellow emergency services are currently in attendance at a road traffic collision involving a bus and a bridge in Neath Road, Swansea.

“We are asking motorists to avoid the area while this incident is ongoing.”

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