Statement from the Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Regarding the University's Response to Coronavirus COVID-19

Updated - March 16, 2020, 7:00pm

This message is to provide clarification on how academic related matters will proceed following Principal Deane’s announcement on March 16. I recognize that this is a challenging time, and the situation is changing rapidly. The health and safety of our graduate and undergraduate students, staff, and faculty is a priority.

Moving to remote delivery of academic programming and not holding in-person exams means many students will now complete courses from their homes. We are strongly encouraging students living in Kingston or any of our other locations where they may temporarily reside in order to access our academic services, to return home.

Specific information is outlined below:

Undergraduate and Graduate Classes, Labs, and Research Activities

  • In-Person Classes: No in-person undergraduate or graduate classes will be held for the rest of the term. For undergraduate courses, a one-week suspension of all classes is intended to provide planning time for instructors and academic support staff to develop alternate delivery models, and to adapt to a rapidly changing situation. Some graduate courses have already transitioned to remote delivery formats and those classes may be held this week and continue through the end of the term.
  • During the one-week suspension, all assessments (exams, tests, essays due, labs) should be delayed or cancelled except for those graduate courses that have already transitioned to remote delivery
  • After March 23rd, the academic session will resume until April 3rd, but there will be no in-person academic activities. The campus itself will remain open.
  • In light of this circumstance, we will be asking instructors to adjust their class syllabi and adjusted assessment schemes. Ideally instructors will circulate details concerning the adjusted form of the courses to students by Friday, March 20th at the latest. These details would include matters such as changes to content, modes of delivery, and assessment. The goal is to enable our students to complete their courses remotely.
  • We will resume the undergraduate academic session on March 23rd with the new, adjusted syllabi but with remote delivery of academic content. The term will end on Friday, April 3rd as originally planned.
  • *Updated on March 26 Labs and Research Activities for Students: There will be no more in-person labs for the duration of the term for undergraduate or graduate courses. Graduate student research activities (for example, research in support of the thesis) should be accessed remotely. (See updated information on labs via the Provost's Statement on Academic Adjustments for the Winter 2020 Term.  As this situation is very fluid, please bookmark and visit the Associate Vice-Principal (Research) website for regular updates on the impacts to Queen’s research.)
  • Online classes: Faculties and Schools will determine to what extent fully online classes will continue to operate through the suspension period and through to the end of the term.
  • Summer Courses: All in-person summer course offerings are cancelled. Fully online summer courses (for example, as offered through Arts and Science Online) will continue to be offered. Summer programming at the Bader International Study Centre will not take place. Summer courses offered by the Faculty of Health Sciences (Medicine, Nursing, Rehabilitation Therapy) will continue. Some graduate programs may offer summer courses online or remotely. Graduate students should contact their Faculty office for further details.

Exams and Thesis Defenses

  • There will be no in-person exams (with the exception of comprehensives/dissertation defences). 
  • Students with comprehensive/dissertation defences should contact their supervisor and Graduate Coordinator for clarity on the specific details regarding how their comprehensive/thesis defences will be held. They are also asked to contact the relevant Associate Dean of the School of Graduate Studies for any particular questions/concerns. The School of Graduate Studies has developed a detailed contingency plan on thesis defences.

Resources to Work, Connect, and Teach Remotely

Graduation and Convocation

  • Students will graduate and degrees will be conferred; however, in-person spring convocation ceremonies will not be held. We will continue to communicate alternative arrangements for the convocation ceremonies as they are developed.

I will keep you updated when we have more information, and the University is providing up-to-date information on the COVID-19 website.

Mark F. Green
Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic)