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Principal’s message to the Queen’s community

More Confronting COVID-19 Stories

'This is a time to demonstrate the values without which our university could not succeed, even in the best of times: compassion, understanding, trust and selflessness.’

Dear Queen’s Community,

Just one week ago I wrote to all of you that we were entering an entirely new reality, one that would test us in ways we never imagined.  I asked you to work differently and to prepare for a new way of delivering higher education. After a week’s hiatus during which faculty and staff have worked assiduously and creatively to find alternatives to face-to-face learning, Queen’s students are resuming their studies. Absorbed as we have been in addressing our local challenges, it is easy to overlook the momentous shift that has occurred over the last seven days as over a million university students across Canada have moved their learning online or onto other remote platforms. I have remarked to a few people that had we planned to do the same thing outside of the context of a public health emergency, we would have been hard pressed to manage it in less than a decade!

That we have done so here at Queen’s is testimony to the dedication and resolve of our university community. Of course, such rapid change comes at a price. For the remainder of the academic year our students have lost aspects of their Queen’s experience that are very important, in particular that sense of physical community which has always defined the institution. The university remains determined, however, that they should have every opportunity to complete their courses, and despite altered methods of assessment, to do so to the normal standard expected. Flexibility, innovative thinking and extraordinary efforts on the part of faculty and staff are prerequisites for that outcome, and I am grateful to colleagues across the university for their single-minded and unreserved commitment to the good of our students at all levels.

The challenges with regard to our research mission are also extremely complex and sometimes intractable. The need for social distancing and the shift towards working from home pose particular problems for research laboratories, and for many scholars the closing of the library to physical access is a serious impediment to their continuing research. While we may be forced to close our doors for a time, we will reopen and what we need now is patience, creativity and trust from everyone.

The paradox of our situation right now is that we are doing everything we can to keep ourselves, our institution and its mission together — even while the health crisis is driving all of those things apart. Public Health officials remind us daily that at times like these the public good trumps the needs and desires of the individual. I am grateful to all the individuals within the Queen’s community who have worked to support and advance the university mission despite the unprecedented challenges we are facing, and I am optimistic that we will emerge from this crisis with vitality, determination, and a renewed sense of purpose.

I wrote in my open letter last fall that we need to be ambitious for ourselves, that we need to be self-excelling, our eyes fixed on ways in which we can serve the greater human good. Unexpectedly we find ourselves confronted in our daily lives with an almost unimaginable threat to that good, and we must not fail to address it in our teaching, learning, and research. We must also confound it in the ways we relate to our community outside the university and in society at large. The university has been asked by health authorities and public leaders to offer its facilities and the talents of its members to support the people of Kingston and the surrounding region during this time of crisis. We will naturally work to do so. This is a time to demonstrate the values without which our university could not succeed, even in the best of times: compassion, understanding, trust and selflessness. 

A week ago I expressed the hope that we would together face the challenges that lie ahead, and that in our unity we would prevail. Over this last week, I feel more confident than ever that our university will come through this crisis.  I am proud of what we have accomplished thus far and how we have rallied to support our institution and its members and I am humbled to be your principal.

Patrick Deane

Principal and Vice-Chancellor

Update: Weekend move out protocol

Students living in on-campus residences have been asked, if they are able, to move out by noon on Sunday, March 22.

A protocol is in place for move out:

  • As students move out of residence, we ask that students and guardians carefully follow social distancing guidelines. Please maintain a space of 2 meters between yourself and others, including our facilities and desk staff. We request that you limit the number of people that come to assist you to just one and bring your own move out cart if you are able. 
  • In line with social distancing best practices, there will be no food services available for the public over the weekend of March 21-22 and elevators will either have restricted access, or be shut down. Free vitamin water will be provided. If you require the use of an elevator for accessibility reasons, please contact the Victoria Hall front desk at 613-533-2531.    
  • If you are moving out over the weekend between 8:30am-4:30pm, there will be temporary key drop stations set up on Tindall Field during the day for main campus residences, which will further support the social distancing protocols. If you are moving out before 8:30 am or after 4:30 pm, you may bring your keys to the Victoria Hall desk. For residents of Jean Royce Hall (on West Campus), keys can be returned at JRH desk all weekend.
  • Staff will be on site to help direct traffic and answer questions.
  • The Residence Life team has been guided by experts in Public Health in the planning of our move out protocols. The above measures are in place to mitigate risk, while ensuring that we can complete the move-out process in a timely manner. Social distancing measures will also help ensure the safety of students who are unable to leave residence at this time, and so that some buildings can be readied for other uses, should KFLA Public Health require them. 

For further information visit the Queen’s University Residences website.


Stay active with the help of Queen’s Athletics and Recreation

Queen’s Athletics and Recreation is providing virtual get-active workouts and fit tips to assist the Queen's and Kingston communities in staying active and finding new ways to workout and maintain physical activity as part of your daily self-care routine.

“We understand that our community is adjusting to social distancing and feeling cooped up at home can lead to sedentary behaviour. Our hope is to provide inspiration to take some time and get active," says Gareth Cunningham, Associate Director, Recreation and Active Living at Athletics and Recreation.

Through the @QueensARC accounts on Facebook and Twitter, Athletics and Recreation will be releasing daily Get Active videos and workout tips to encourage physical activity at home. 

Athletics and Recreation has also created a web page – gogaelsgo.com/QueensGetsActive – with a list of home items that can be used in instead of gym equipment.

Join us on the @QueensARC Facebook page every Friday at noon for a Facebook Live Fitness Class instructed by one of Athletics and Recreation’s amazing staff members.  

Library resources and supports for students, researchers

Queen’s University Library is committed to supporting faculty, students, and staff while maintaining its core academic operations to facilitate the institution’s educational mandate.

Our primary concern is the health and safety of library users and staff. We will maintain close contact with the university's COVID-19 planning and preparation group in the days and weeks ahead, making adjustments to our operations as needed.

Library Spaces

All library locations were closed effective March 18, 2020.  We understand this will have a significant impact on many in our community and we will continue to monitor the situation in coordination with the university. Library staff continue to support faculty, students and staff with online learning, teaching and research, and offers expert help and services that library users can access online as outlined below.

Online Resources

Online resources (e-journals, e-books, databases, etc.) continue to be available to support the university's academic and research mission. Consult the library’s website, subject guides and off-campus access instructions for more information.

Print Collections

Currently, there is no access to print collections as our library facilities are closed. The library is reviewing options for providing access. There is no need to return books to the library at this time, and late fines will not be charged. If you choose to return materials, please use the return drop-offs located on the outside of each library building (for the Law Library, please use the Stauffer drop-off)

Renew/Recall Materials

Renew materials online through  MyAccounts page. Should you have trouble renewing your loans or have any questions, please contact us library’s Ask Us service.


Recalls/Holds services are suspended.

Interlibrary Loans

The library continues to provide Interlibrary Loan services for electronic materials only. Borrowing and lending of physical materials is suspended at this time as many of our partner library locations are closed or operating at reduced capacity. Due dates for materials currently out on interlibrary loan will not be enforced, and late fines will not be charged.

Library Reserves & Copyright

All library eReserves remain available via OnQ. However, library print reserves are not available as our facilities are closed. Faculty members, please email library.reserves@queensu.ca to discuss any changes to your print reserves and options for accessing materials online. Students are encouraged to check with their professors with questions about revised course readings.

Our Subject Specialists are available remotely to help faculty members find alternative course content, including openly licensed teaching materials such as Open Educational Resources (OERs).

The Copyright Advisory Office has created a Copyright & Remote Instruction guide for instructors who are digitizing course materials. Online consultations are available with Mark Swartz, Copyright Manager at swartzm@queensu.ca.

Archives and Special Collections

Physical items in the University Archives and W. D. Jordan Rare Books & Special Collections that can only be consulted on site are not available at this time. Some digitized materials are available.  Please see the Archives and W. D. Jordan Rare Books & Special Collections websites to research our holdings online.

Staff are working remotely but can provide some virtual reference services and answer questions about supports for classes and research. Please contact us via email at archives@queensu.ca or jordan.library@queensu.ca. At this time, we will be unable to receive archival, rare books, or special collections donations or university records transfers. Please email for more information.

Open Scholarship Services

Open Scholarship Services (OSS) librarians and staff continue to support research data management, open access publishing, copyright and access to statistical, government and GIS information in your teaching and research.

You can email an OSS specialist to schedule a remote consultation, attend a virtual OSS Information Series session, access the online Researcher Training Program, and respond to our Call for Proposals: Open Textbooks.


The library’s Ask Us service and Subject Specialists remain available to work remotely with members of the Queen’s community.

Please consult this website for up-to-date information on library operations and visit the university's Coronavirus COVID-19 Information website to find up-to-date information from Queen's University

Bill Flanagan named president of University of Alberta

Dean of Queen’s Faculty of Law for 14 years, Bill Flanagan to lead the university at a ‘critical juncture.’

Bill Flanagan
Bill Flanagan, who led the Queen's Faculty of Law as dean for 14 years, has been named the 14th president and vice-chancellor of the University of Alberta. (Queen's University / Greg Black)

Kate Chisholm, QC, chair of the University of Alberta Board of Governors, announced on Thursday that Bill Flanagan, dean of Queen’s Law from 2005-2019, will be the next president and vice-chancellor of the University of Alberta, effective July 1,

“After an extensive international search and careful consideration of many outstanding candidates, we are proud to select Bill Flanagan – an outstanding academic leader and innovator,” she said.

With the University of Alberta at a “critical juncture,” given dramatic shifts in the province’s postsecondary landscape and its immediate reaction to the coronavirus pandemic, Chisholm cited Flanagan’s “proven ability to identify opportunities for growth to the benefit of the research and teaching mission of the whole university” at Queen’s Law as key to his selection for the role. 

“The school’s reputation for research and teaching excellence deepened, and students’ learning experience was enriched by a larger range of learning opportunities and fully renovated learning environments,” Chisholm said of Flanagan’s time as dean.  

Under Flanagan’s leadership at Queen’s, the law school established a PhD Program, the Centre for Law in the Contemporary Workplace, three pro bono legal aid clinics, and two online programs: the Certificate in Law for undergraduate students, and the Graduate Diploma in Legal Services Management for law students and practising lawyers. It also saw the expansion of its international program at the Bader International Studies Centre (BISC), where Flanagan’s guidance and influence led to alumni establishing a fund in his name, the Bill Flanagan International Studies Award, upon his departure in 2019. 

“The decisions and solutions we reach today will set the trajectory of this university for years and decades to come. Bill Flanagan will guide that trajectory and position the University of Alberta to excel,” Chisholm said.

For President-elect Flanagan, his new position is “a very exciting opportunity.” He’ll also be returning to his home province. 

“I grew up in Alberta,” he said in a statement. “I know the significance of the university and its importance not only to Alberta but the country, and really the world. I’m absolutely delighted to have this chance to serve as president and vice-chancellor.” 

Update for food services on campus

Queen’s University is committed to protecting the health and safety of all of our student, staff, and faculty. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the university is closing down most of its food service outlets over the course of this week.

After March 20, only two outlets will remain open to serve the students who are still living in our residence buildings and the university has been granted an exemption from the Ontario government’s directive for immediate closure due to this situation. The Ban Righ Dining Hall on Main Campus and the Jean Royce Dining Hall on West Campus will remain open but with reduced hours.

The university worked closely with KFLA Public Health and has taken measures to increase health protection for students and staff in all facilities that remain open. Public Health is aware of the revised operating plans for these locations.

For all dining halls that remain open, the following steps have been taken:

  • Trays and cutlery are handed out by gloved staff
  • Cashiers wear gloves, and change them regularly 
  • Students swipe their own card at cash wherever possible 
  • Sanitizer is available at all food stations, cash stations, entrances and exit doors  
  • Supervisors are directing and informing students about no ‘self-serve’ until further notice 
  • ‘$5 Friday’ meals for staff and faculty are suspended
  • Salt and pepper have been removed from tables and made available upon request 
    (cleaned after use)
  • Dessert B/L/D rotation reduced /altered to allow items to be individually wrapped 
  • Condiments served at appropriate stations including grill 
    • PC ketchup available (request only) 
    • Condiments provided in small portion cup 
  • Extra cleaning in all dining rooms of doors, tables, multi touch areas
  • All dining room capacity has been reduced by 50 per cent to encourage social distancing. Counts are monitored on an ongoing basis
  • Operating hours moved to continuous service at Leonard and Jean Royce Hall (Ban Righ already in place) to help spread out demand 
  • Students encouraged to take meals ‘to go’
  • Messaging provided for students to visit outside of ‘peak periods’
  • Promotion / communication provided in social, web and posters encouraging social distancing and informing students of changes

Retail food locations:

  • In an effort to limit social gatherings of any kind, The university has been continuously reviewing opportunities to close locations. Given the first priority is to support mandatory residence students, this has been done in conjunction with continuous monitoring of how many students are still in residence and require access to food services.
  • The Lazy Scholar, a retail food operation located in Victoria Hall, is still open – however with restricted capacities. The entrance gate is closed to provide a single point of entry. Staff are managing controlled access to the three stations with only 10 customers permitted per station. Staff are also receiving orders from customers in the line to assist with expediting traffic flow as quickly as possible. Signage has been posted at all entrances and food stations.

The majority of food locations on campus have been or will soon close. Closures include:

Tuesday, March 17:

  • Tim Hortons - Biosciences Complex
  • Khao
  • CGC
  • Location 21
  • Starbucks - Mitchell Hall
  • Pizza Pizza - Mackintosh-Corry Hall  
  • Pita Pit Mackintosh-Corry Hall

Wednesday, March 18

  • Khao
  • CGC
  • Location 21
  • Starbucks (Mitchell Hall)
  • Pizza Pizza and Pita Pit (Mackintosh-Corry Hall)
  • All Queen’s Center locations
  • Stauffer

Thursday, March 19

  • Leonard Dining Hall
  • Starbucks (Goodes Hall)
  • Market Street Café (Botterell Hall)

Friday, March 20

  • Lazy Scholar and MC2 in Mackintosh-Corry Hall close
  • Only Ban Righ and Jean Royce dining halls to remain open

These plans are subject to change. Please consult the information on the hospitalities website for the most current information.

Queen’s offering free parking to support hospital staff

As part of the university’s growing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Queen’s is now offering free parking on two of its largest lots to heath care staff who work at the nearby Kingston Health Sciences Centre.

Parking will be now be available at the Tindall Parking Lot, located at Albert and Union streets, and the former site of St. Mary’s of the Lake Hospital, on Union Street, without permits from March 18 through April 5, 2020. 


Working remotely? Learn how to leverage Microsoft Teams

As many members of the Queen’s community make the transition to work, teach, and learn remotely, it is important to stay connected to our colleagues, professors, and students. Microsoft Teams empowers the higher education community with technology that helps foster a positive environment grounded in collaboration, creation, and connection. Teams empowers users to work remotely with seamless and secure communication across the entire organization. Teams is available for all staff, faculty, and students with a Queen’s University NetID.

To get started with Microsoft Teams:

Download the Teams app for your device(s)

Visit https://teams.microsoft.com/downloads to download the Teams app for your device. You can download the app on multiple devices (including mobile devices) to stay connected wherever you are. Just click “More Options” beneath the Download button.

Log in with your Queen’s email and password

The first time you start the app on your device, you’ll be prompted to enter your Queen’s email (netid@queensu.ca) and password to authenticate. Your Queen’s email address is your NetID followed by “@queens.ca”, NOT your email alias (firstname.lastname@queensu.ca).

As you become familiar with these tools, make sure you have a few test runs to work out ay troubleshooting.

Learn what Teams can do for you:

For University Operations

  • Hosting an Online Conference or Presentation
    • Use Microsoft Teams to schedule online meetings, display presentations, and collaborate.
      • When creating a new meeting in Outlook, selecting “New Teams Meeting” will add a Teams link to the meeting invite, allowing participants to connect remotely.
      • If you are attending a Teams meeting, simply click the link in the meeting invitation.
    • Collaboration with external parties is available if required.
    • Note: IT Services is offering Teams Webinars and Virtual Drop-in Sessions.
  • Making Voice and Video Calls (for Calls Internal to the Queen’s Community)
    • If you have a queensu.ca email address, Microsoft Teams is available (at no cost) to make and receive audio calls to Queen’s staff, faculty, and/or students. Note: the device of both the caller and receiver must have the Microsoft Teams app installed and configured in order to complete the call. Tutorials are available on the IT Services website.
    • Collaboration with external parties is available if required.
    • To make a call using Microsoft Teams:
      • Open the Microsoft Teams App on your device
      • Navigate to the ‘calls’ icon along the side or bottom of your screen (if you don’t see the calls on your mobile device, tap the grey bar above the icons at the bottom of the screen)
      • Click ‘Make a Call’
      • Type the name of the person you want to call
      • Select the telephone icon for audio calls and the video camera icon for video calls
      • Teams will call your contact - start chatting!
  • Sharing and Collaborating on Documents
  • Chatting Online
    • Microsoft Teams can be used to chat in real-time with staff, faculty, and students. Just tap the chat icon, type the name of the person you want to chat with, and type your message. Press enter to send.

For Teaching and Learning

  • Hosting an Online Class
    • Using Teams, students can join live video conferences with the ability to ask real-time questions using the microphone on their device or via Teams chat. Video conferences can be facilitated/presented by an instructor or teaching assistant.
      • Note: Teams meetings are limited to 250 participants in a single session. You will need to be logged in with your Queen’s email account to access a Teams meeting.
    • For large classes, Microsoft Live Events is available. Live Events is an extension of Teams meetings that enable a faculty member to schedule, produce, and deliver live events that stream to large online audiences of up to 10,000 attendees.
      • Note: Live Events is currently limited to 15 concurrent sessions, and a maximum of 4 hours per session. If you would like to request a Microsoft Live Event, please contact IT Services using this online form.
  • CCT+ Integration
    • Faculty members can now create a Microsoft Team through the Course Creation Tool+ (CCT+).  CCT+ will allow you to create a Team for an existing onQ course or create a new onQ course and Microsoft Team – both automatically populating your PeopleSoft enrolments into your new Team.
    • Check the onQ Support site for more information and step-by-step instructions.

Need Help?

IT Services offers many resources for getting familiar with Microsoft Teams. The department is offering Teams Webinars and Virtua Drop-in Sessions. Learn more here.

Microsoft has set up a remote learning community where you can connect with global education institutions for best practice sharing, tips & tricks and direct connection with Microsoft experts.

If you have any questions about Microsoft Teams, please contact the IT Support Centre by completing the Online Help Form or by calling (613)533-6666.

Microsoft has also set up daily office hours from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm EST that you can use to ask questions and get support if needed. The first hour is a webinar about an Intro to teams, the second hour is about Teams Class Workflow, and last hour is dedicated to a Q&A period.

Stepping up to help

Students in the Faculty of Health Sciences are offering support for Kingston healthcare workers.

Photo of groceries being loaded into car.
Health Sciences students are offering free services to Kingston healthcare workers, including childcare and grocery shopping.

As healthcare workers take on the COVID-19 pandemic, they are also facing disruptions in their daily lives just like everyone else due to closed schools and daycares. Seeing this dilemma, students in the Queen’s Faculty of Health Sciences are banding together to help healthcare practitioners in Kingston by offering free services such as childcare, pet care, pickups and drop-offs, and grocery shopping.

“During public health crises like COVID-19, the demand on healthcare workers becomes extremely high. As aspiring health sciences professionals, we wanted to come together as a community to offer our support. Many of the healthcare workers in the Kingston Health Sciences Centre are also our teachers and mentors, and this felt like something we could do to give back to them after all they’ve given us,” says Shikha Patel, an organizer for the initiative and student in the Queen’s School of Medicine Class of 2022.

The initiative was started by members of the Aesculapian Society, the student government for the Queen’s School of Medicine, but quickly expanded to include students from across the Faculty of Health Sciences, which also includes the School of Nursing and the School of Rehabilitation Therapy. In the few days since announcing the effort, many students have come forward to volunteer and many healthcare workers have reached out to request assistance.

The students are being sure to practice social distancing while they help out. Each student volunteer will work with only one family, to minimize the chances of spreading the virus. And any student who has travelled internationally or been working in a hospital will self-isolate for 14 days before offering any services.

“This is a very new initiative, so we’re still figuring out some details, and our capacity may change as the weeks go on. But we’ll be working to make sure we can provide as much help as we are able to,” says Patel.

Students who are interested in helping can fill out the volunteer form circulated by the Aesculapian Society.

Learn more about the initiative or request support by visiting their online form. For updates, follow the Aesculapian Society on Twitter.

Stay informed with the Coronavirus COVID-19 Information website

COVID-19 Information website
For up-to-date information about Queen's response and resources regarding the coronavirus outbreak visit the COVID-19 Information website.

As new information about the spread of the coronavirus emerges, Queen’s University continues to work closely with public health authorities to protect the health and safety of everyone in the Queen’s community, whether on campus in Kingston, at SmithToronto, the Bader International Study Centre (BISC), or elsewhere in the world.

As the university steps up its transition to remote learning and working over the coming days, everyone is encouraged to visit the university’s central Coronavirus COVID-19 Information website to stay up to date with what’s changing. The website brings together daily updates and provides quick connections to many resources available across the university community. There is a daily updates section, as well as sections highlighting Messages and Statements, Symptoms and Response, Prevention, Travel, Public Health Updates, and FAQs, as well as information specifically for Students and Faculty and Staff.


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