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Planning for our future

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Principal strikes new COVID-19 steering committee to plan for 2020/21 academic year.

The COVID-19 outbreak continues to pose unprecedented challenges for universities across the world, and the Queen’s community is no exception. Most students, faculty, and staff are learning and working remotely to aid public health efforts, and it is unclear how long the situation could last. In readying to weather this uncertainty, Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane has struck a COVID-19 response steering committee that will focus on planning for the upcoming 2020-21 academic year, ensuring that Queen’s continues to fulfill its academic mission for faculty and students. 

“With the current public health crisis posed by COVID-19 we must not only respond to immediate needs, but must also prepare for what may lie ahead to ensure we can face future challenges and, more importantly, emerge from them as a stronger institution,” says Principal Deane. “Over the coming weeks, the steering committee will identify and analyze a range of potential scenarios, providing crucial insights to Queen’s senior leadership as we navigate what lies ahead and look beyond it to the future of the institution.”

The steering committee will be responsible for oversight and direction of seven sub-groups tasked with developing forward-looking recommendations for key areas of university operations. These areas range from academic regulations to research impacts, and from enrolment to remote delivery. The small, agile teams will include representatives from faculties and shared services.  Some groups will also seek input from students. They will meet regularly throughout April to craft strategic recommendations for the Senior Leadership Team and Principal for review in early May.

“The university must plan for a variety of possibilities over the coming months that will directly affect how we conduct ourselves,” says Principal Deane. “Exceptional times call for exceptional solutions, and I am optimistic for our future having seen both the resilience and the creativity of our campus community in confronting COVID-19. I know the steering committee will bring this same ingenuity to the planning ahead.”