Office of Advancement
Office of Advancement

ALTogether Now

Vol. 62 – August 24, 2020

exterior photo of Summerhill building


Deanna Bennett

Work from Home Check-in results

By Deanna Bennett, Executive Director, Office of the Vice-Principal

While the world is still trying to understand the impact of COVID, one thing is clear:  it has radically changed how we work.  In the July 20 newsletter, staff were invited to take part in The Work from Home Check-in survey so that we could better understand employee working environments and assess our team’s satisfaction and needs.  The survey closed on August 14, having received 102 responses.

In summary:

- 92% of the respondents are somewhat (43) or very satisfied (50) with their current work from home arrangements. 

- 75% of the respondents consider their mental wellbeing while working remotely to be well (59) or excellent (18).

- The top four factors impacting the wellbeing of respondents in a positive way are: 1) the ability to work remotely 2) support from colleagues 3) support from management 4) more control over my day.

- The top four factors impacting the wellbeing of respondents in a negative way are 1) tied for top spot are missing the physical work environment and general anxiety about the impact of COVID on my life 2) social isolation 3) communication with coworkers. 

- The majority of respondents, approximately 75%, have accessed one or more campus resources to help support them during the pandemic.

- 20 of the 102 respondents indicated they do not have all of the equipment they need in order to work from home.

- 99% indicted they would be interested in continuing to work remotely, to some degree, post-COVID. Of that 99%, 9% 1-2 days per week, 29% 3-4 days a week, 16% yes with some adjustments to current remote working conditions and 47% a definitive yes.

- Question 8 and 11 provided respondents with an opportunity to indicate which equipment and resources they would want or need while working remotely ,and office chairs, office supplies, monitors, and a more ergonomical office set up topped the list. One person mentioned ice cream!

You can access the Microsoft Forms survey results here.

Tomorrow ALT will turn its attention to the longer-term working arrangements for the Office of Advancement, and the feedback in this survey will be incredibly helpful. In terms of additional resources and equipment needs, please see Employee Wellness and Support and Office Supplies, Furniture and Equipment for more information

Employee wellness and support

The Work from Home Check-in survey results indicated that the majority of respondents, approximately 75%, have accessed one or more campus resources to help support them during the pandemic.  As we continue to adjust to a new version of normalcy, we wanted to share some resources Queen's is providing for staff to help manage this new reality:

Queen's Human Resources has compiled information, resources, and strategies to help employees remain connected, healthy, and supported. You can visit the HR COVID-19 information website for more on:

  • Queen’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) provider, Homewood Health, continues to create resources to help employees and family members reduce nervousness and anxiety arising as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Toolkits to success while working remotely are also available for employees and managers.
  • The Campus Wellness Project encourages and supports a culture of wellbeing for everyone at Queen’s, and continues to do so through their “Digital Campus – WORK” site. Visit the site for links to information, services, support, and strategies to support the holistic wellbeing of staff.
  • Work guidelines and resources, including resources for managers, strategies and resources for remote work
  • An email went out last week about a four-part series, Online: Positive Psychology and You, facilitated by Lisa Sansom.  Each session must be registered for individually through the Learning Catalogue, and you don’t need to sign up for all of them. 

Also, the Advancement Staff group in Teams has a number of channels that staff have used to post resources and ideas for maintaining wellness, you can visit The Queen's COVID-19 website regular updates on academic, operational, research, and health and safety planning and information for the fall semester.

Office supplies, furniture, and equipment

Based on the results of the Work from Home Check-in survey, we wanted to offer staff another opportunity to retrieve items from their workspaces in Summerhill and Old Meds such as office chairs, monitors, and office supplies. 

Depending on the location of your work area, please coordinate your visit with Kate (Summerhill East), Natalie (Summerhill West), or Kelly (Old Meds).  We would also like to maintain an inventory of furniture and equipment staff are borrowing, so please let Kate, Natalie, and Kelly know if you have or are taking furniture or equipment home.

If you need office supplies that are not in the office, such as pens, notebooks, printer paper, ink, or sticky notes etc., contact your department admin and they will be able to get you what you need shipped directly to your home.

Get to Know Your VP (Advancement) profile and other onboarding resources

Advancement HR continues to build and expand our onboarding program to deliver a positive and memorable onboarding experience that successfully engages and aligns new employees with the university and Advancement. We all need to get onboard, as onboarding is a shared responsibility and we only have one chance to make a great first impression.

You provided feedback – and we listened! We are pleased to introduce new and improved onboarding tools included in the Microsoft Teams Onboarding Channel, which is accessible to all Advancement staff. Please visit this channel frequently, as new resources and updates will be launched regularly. Advancement HR also relies on your feedback to ensure these tools are useful, and welcome any new ideas you may have to enhance our employee experience. Please contact Katelyn or Carla.

A new resource we are excited to feature is the Get to Know Your VP (Advancement) profile, offering an up close and personal 1:1 with Karen. We’ve fearlessly gone where no one has gone before to ask all the burning questions we know have been on your mind. Use this information to get to know Karen better, test your knowledge of how well you think you know her, and spark a conversation.

icon of clipboard with chart on itHiring students toolkit

Co-curricular engagement through on-campus positions is a hallmark of the Queen’s experience. Given the impacts of the pandemic on summer jobs, and the primarily remote nature of the fall term, the Enrolment and Retention Management Group has identified student positions as a key strategy for helping with student retention and engagement. Despite the changes this year, the university wants to ensure that students still have access to a wide range of campus positions across a wider range of units and departments. To support this, the Experiential Learning Hub has just launched the new Hiring Students Toolkit to support units across campus in continuing to hire students into paid and volunteer roles this coming year. These roles include paid part-time jobs, peer positions and other volunteer roles, involvement in research activities, and roles in student organizations.  To assist with your student recruitment, Advancement HR has created a casual employment offer letter template. Please reach out to Katelyn to ensure your team is using the most up-to-date version. 

Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE)

In case you didn’t know, we, Queen's Advancement, are members of CASE which is "the global non-profit association dedicated to educational advancement—alumni relations, communications, development, marketing, and advancement services—who share the goal of championing education to transform lives and society."  The U.S. and Canada are divided into eight districts to support members, and we are in CASE District II/Mid-Atlantic, which is the largest.

This year all CASE districts are working together to develop a single comprehensive online district conference program, rather than the traditional eight separate conferences, to be held February 16–18, 2021. CASE has launched a call for sessions for the conference with a proposal deadline of Friday, September 4th.  If you have a suggestion for session content please let your manager or ALT member know!

Employee Spotlight

The Employee Spotlight celebrates the arrival of our new staff by profiling responses they share through a fun and informal survey that will help us get to know them better. Be sure to review these profiles and use these fun facts and tidbits to find commonalities, embrace differences, and spark a conversation! 

This week we welcome the arrival of Deanna Theander to the position of Fund Stewardship Officer within the Department of Advancement Communications, Marketing, Events and Donor Relations. Click here to learn more about Deanna, her favourite travel destination, and what she’s most looking forward to on her first day!

Jobs with Advancement

We need your recruitment help. Know great talent that would be a good addition to our team? If so, please promote the vacancy below with your networks and let’s find some amazing new team members.

Applications (including a cover letter and resume) must be submitted through CareerQ. For additional information on this posting, please reach out to either Katelyn, Carla, or the hiring manager for the position you are interested in.

Available Position:

Associate Vice-Principal (Development) Development September 21, 2020  

photo of wooden desk with laptop, coffee mug, note pad, cell phoneFun fact

Continuing and Distance Studies

Queen's became the first university in North America to offer "distance education" in 1889. In that year, the Senate formalized an earlier practice and announced that it would permit arts and science students who could not attend classes to write the final exam, as long as they completed assignments by mail.

From the start, "extension" studies were intended mostly for teachers who, until 1973, did not need a university degree to get a teaching certificate, but often wanted one to improve their career prospects. Teachers dominated Queen's correspondence enrollment until the early 1970s, although after 1914 a growing number of students also signed up for special correspondence-only professional courses offered by Queen's in banking and accounting.

At first, correspondence students had to come to Queen's to write their exams. That changed in 1892, when three students from western Canada lobbied successfully to be allowed to take their exams locally under a Queen's representative. The idea of bringing university education to Canada's frontiers, at a time when there was no university in Canada west of Toronto, meshed well with the national vision of Principal George Grant. From then on, local exam centres proliferated. By 1931, there were 197 centres in all, from St John's, Newfoundland to Victoria, B.C.

By about 1900, the university started to require that students spend at least one year attending Queen's "intramurally" before they could obtain a degree. This requirement was dropped in 1971, but until then it was largely responsible for the flourishing of Queen's Summer School, which was founded in 1910.

Correspondence enrollment in both arts and science courses and Queen's special non-degree credit business courses peaked in the early 1960s at about 8,000. At this time, Queen's dominated the field in university correspondence studies in Canada and many Canadian teachers had received a degree by correspondence from Queen's.