Accessing workspaces to prepare for working at home: Friday, April 3
While most employees are now working from home, buildings will remain open from March 30 to April 3 for employees to access their workspaces to collect belongings. Employees may also now take their chairs home by completing the Take-home Chair registration form (mobile friendly).
It is recommended that employees come to campus on Friday, April 3 between 7 a.m and 6 p.m. to collect any remaining personal belongings and materials they may need to work from home until the university resumes normal operations.
Please follow these guidelines for accessing your workspace:
- Do not come to campus if you are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.
- Remember to bring your access card/key card
- Enter the building that your workspace is in through the doors listed below, as movement on the second floor between buildings will be restricted.
- Building 5: West side manual door (access from 106 street turnaround parking)
- Building 6/7: North and South clock tower doors
- Building 8: East side manual door (access from 108 street turnaround parking)
- Robbins: South-east doors (corner of 109 street and 104 avenue)
- Allard Hall: North door (facing Residence)
- Please go directly to your workspace and remember to maintain appropriate physical distancing.
- Retrieve your belongings. In addition to personal items and any materials (books, files, etc.), you need to work from home, you may take your chair, computer, monitor(s), keyboard, mouse and foot rest. Visit the Health, Safety and Environment Google site for information on setting up your home office and best practices regarding ergonomics.
- Please leave the building through the designated door.
Setting up your home office
Employees may also now take their chairs home by completing the Take-home Chair registration form (mobile friendly).
Employees are encouraged to set up home offices to meet ergonomic best practices and can refer to the Health, Safety & Environment site for more information on setting up a home office. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
As you know, the provincial government declared a state of public health emergency under the Public Health Act on March 17, and is implementing aggressive public health measures across the province to limit the spread of COVID-19. In order to align with the province’s directive, and to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the university has decided that anyone who can reasonably and appropriately conduct their work from home is encouraged to do so.
Managers and supervisors are developing plans to sustain critical business activities and will communicate these plans with their teams by Friday, March 20. We have developed some guidelines to help employees and supervisors as they discuss options for working from home.
Employees who are not feeling well
If you are unwell, you are not expected to work from home. Focus on getting healthy. If you think you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, complete the Alberta Health Services COVID-19 self-assessment. Based on the outcome of the assessment, you may be directed to self-isolate and contact Health Link at 811 for further instructions about testing, if required. Please ensure you keep your manager/supervisor informed of your situation.
Employees experiencing challenges finding alternative childcare
We recognize that the cancellation of K-12 classes and daycare closures is presenting challenges for some employees. We hope that employees will be able to make alternate childcare arrangements (day home, babysitter, relatives, etc.) within a two-week period. After that time, if you are still experiencing challenges, please work with your manager / supervisor to discuss options for balancing your work and family responsibilities.
As the Chief Medical Officer’s decision to close schools and daycares includes keeping children away from places of employment, we would like to remind you that you should not bring children to work.
Employees whose work cannot be done remotely
If you are unable to come to campus due to self-isolation or other reasons, or your duties cannot be performed at home, discuss options with your manager / supervisor. Managers / supervisors should also be flexible to help their employees adapt to these unprecedented changes to their work and home lives.
Employees and supervisors should discuss the following:
Work at home assignments
The manager/supervisor will identify if the work of the employee can be reasonably and appropriately completed from the employee’s home. Work to be completed from home will be assigned by your manager.
Hours of work
Hours of work while working from home will meet the same expectations as if the employee were working at their work location, as set out by the manager/supervisor. Any alternate arrangements must be discussed with and approved by the manager/supervisor.
Availability and responsiveness
The ability to communicate and be responsive while working from home is expected. Managers/supervisors will set expectations around response times and the preferred mode of communication. It is the manager/supervisor’s responsibility to set expectations, assign work and track measurable outcomes. It is the manager/supervisor’s responsibility to ensure that every effort is made to keep individuals working from home connected to the team and the workplace.
Employees who work from home should be aware of the privacy and sensitivity of the information they are accessing because of additional IT security risks that may be introduced when working from home. The recommended option for working at home is to use the university’s secure VPN network, which can be downloaded to a home desktop or laptop or your MacEwan-supplied laptop. Learn more at https://myportal.macewan.ca/staff/tech-support/general.html
For IT and technical support, contact Tech Support at email@example.com or 780-497-4357.
Best practices include:
- Wherever If you have access to a MacEwan laptop, use only this device for your work activities, and not your personal home computer.
- If you need to use a personal computer, confirm that this is acceptable with your manager first.
- If you are allowed to use your personal computer, it should not be a device that you share with other members of your household.
- Any personal computers that are used to work remotely must also have adequate antivirus software installed and enabled.
- Please remain vigilant about phishing emails or phone calls while working from home.
- Be cautious about any communications that invoke a sense of urgency while asking you to change data or supply sensitive information.
Worker’s Compensation Board (WCB) coverage is applicable for working at home. Employees are expected to report any work-related injury to their manager/supervisor immediately.
Privacy and security
Employees are responsible for maintaining privacy and ensuring the confidentiality and security of information as they would at a MacEwan work site. All MacEwan policies regarding privacy, appropriate access to information, information security and appropriate use of internet and MacEwan technology apply to working from home as they would in a MacEwan worksite.
Policies, directives, procedures and guidelines
Employees who work from home must adhere to all MacEwan policies and procedures.
Support for employees
Employees are encouraged to discuss their concerns with their supervisor, or to reach out for support to MacEwan’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP), a confidential and voluntary service that is available to benefit-eligible employees and their families. Their services can be provided remotely over the phone or using web-based tools. Contact Shepell at 1-800-387-4765, TTY: 1-877-338-0275 and workhealthlife.com.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
March 23, 2020
GRADES AND EXAMS FOR WINTER 2020
MacEwan University is committed to providing letter grades for Winter 2020. These grades remain the most meaningful indicator of student achievement. Each instructor has been asked to deliver by electronic means only essential material remaining in the semester so that students meet the learning outcomes for each course.
We have cancelled face-to-face final examinations and have encouraged instructors to assign final grades based on requirements completed or in progress. Where a final examination is necessary, we have asked that these be done through take-home exams. Where this is not possible, each instructor has worked on alternatives that keep students safe.
There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution across our range of programs. Students should contact their instructors for concerns about completing remaining course requirements so that accommodations can be arranged when appropriate.
LOCKERS AND UPCOMING BUILDING CLOSURES
In the coming days, plans will be made to limit access to all buildings. More information about changes to building access and a schedule for students to collect the contents of lockers will be released this week.
March 20, 2020
Thank you from the Acting President
You will all agree that we are living in unprecedented times. The pace at which events have unfolded in the last two weeks, and the uncertainty for the weeks and months ahead is creating considerable stress in our personal and professional lives. I have been so impressed with the amazing response to this crisis from our students, our faculty, and staff. The quick response from across our community, the willingness to take on additional work, and the absolute commitment to the well-being of each other and for our students has been clear to see.
As of March 19th, the university transitioned to electronic delivery of classes, and this has required many hours of work. I would like to thank and recognize the faculty and staff that have been working tirelessly to get us ready for this and to make this transition smooth. Of particular note, our e-Learning team, our Information Technology Services group, Office of the University Registrar, all of our student-facing services in the Library and Student Affairs, our schools and faculties, our communications team, and all of our behind-the scenes staff have been doing extraordinary work under enormous pressure. This has been done quickly, efficiently, and with our students-first focus while prioritizing the health and safety of our entire community.
All of us contribute in different ways to manage this type of crisis across our campus. I would also like to thank the staff working in the Emergency Operations Centre who manage all the planning as we manage this challenge and adjust our operations. This has required significant focus and effective decision making.
During challenging times like these, particularly while many of us are working from home and while you are taking steps to protect your health and that of your family, please prioritize your mental health as well. Mental health supports are available both within the city, province and the Employee and Family Assistance Program is available to all staff.
You will see updates and changes to operations, services, building access and functions within the university as this situation evolves and as we take steps to limit the community spread of the virus. As always - on campus or in public, please continue to practice good hygiene and social distancing. To get accurate information, please refer to the university website for updates and Alberta Health for the most up-to-date health information.
Thank you again for your ongoing understanding efforts, knowledge and innovative ways of making this change. I have worked at MacEwan for some time, and I have never been prouder of our institution. You will continue to receive regular updates from me as we navigate through these uncharted waters.
John McGrath, Acting President
March 19: 5:30 p.m.
Now that face-to-face classes are suspended and courses are being delivered in alternate formats, we'd like to remind students that they should collect any personal items they may have left in their lockers. Campus remains open, but hours are now Monday - Friday: 7 a.m. - 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Tech support hours
Virtual (online/phone) support
Contact: email@example.com, 780-497-4357.
Walk up support available at City Centre Campus Library: Monday – Friday: 7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Starting Friday, March 20, access to the City Centre Campus Library will be limited to the Tech Support section of the library (second floor, east side). Access to the space will be via the spiral staircase at the 107 street (clock tower) entrance. The Alberta College Campus Library is now closed.
The Library has made several changes to services in response to the online delivery of courses and other developments related to COVID-19. Updates will be posted to the Library Services website. You can contact the library through their website or through their IM chat service. Click the “Need help” box on the bottom right corner of the Library website.
- Course materials: If you need portions of materials from the library's physical collection made available to courses, you can use the existing eReserve service to request that these be scanned and available via Blackboard. This includes streaming portions of DVDs.
- Reserve items, textbooks, and other physical resources: The Library offers a scan-on-demand service that faculty, staff and students can access online. Library staff will scan the portion of the book you need and email it to you.
- Materials from other libraries: Materials are not moving between libraries so holds and interlibrary loans of physical items will not be available. ILL of electronic scans is still in place.
- Online access: Most of the Library’s collection is available in eBook format and via online journal databases on the library website. Some publishers have enabled unlimited eBook access for the time being.
- Existing loans: All loans have been extended until June 1 and late fees from March 13, 2020 onward are cancelled. Do not return current loans until further notice.
- Liaison librarians: Librarians are available for video or phone consultations. Appointments can be booked by using the “book appointment” buttons on the library’s subject guides or by emailing their librarian directly. Liaisons are offering virtual instruction sessions, as well as recorded and online instructional resources. Please contact your liaison if you need instruction for your class.
- Writing assistance: Students who would like feedback on their writing can submit their paper online using a Google form. Tutors will provide feedback within 1-3 business days: updates to this timeline will be noted on the form. Students may also schedule a virtual appointment with a tutor by emailing WritingCentre@MacEwan.ca For faster coordination, indicate your availability during regular business hours (Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.).
- Effective Monday, March 23, only the 106 street (cafeteria) Tim Horton’s location will be open Monday to Friday only: 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Griffin’s landing and the Sport and Wellness Tim Horton’s location will close indefinitely at 2 p.m. on Friday, March 20.
- Alberta College Campus food services are closed. Vending machines are available.
March 17: 8:30 p.m.
As of March 17, the provincial government has declared a state of public health emergency under the Public Health Act and will implement aggressive public health measures across the province to limit the spread of COVID-19. Post-secondary institutions are designated as an essential service: in-person post-secondary classes remain cancelled as institutions move to alternate delivery formats, and the province has instructed that campuses remain open. As you know, MacEwan will move to alternate course delivery starting this Thursday.
Also effective Thursday, we will be reducing building hours, as well as the hours of operations for some service areas. These will be posted on our website tomorrow. We are also assessing the possibility of closing some buildings and limiting student access on campus to Buildings 6 and 7 only. Staff access to campus buildings, including the University Service Centre, will be maintained. We will determine the best way to provide access to buildings for staff and any students who must meet specific academic requirements. We will communicate further on this as the week progresses.
Updates on other recent developments follow.
Working from home
Depending on the nature of your position, you may have the option of working from home. Employees should discuss their options for working off campus with their manager or supervisor. Human Resources has developed guidelines for working from home which will be shared with employees on Wednesday, March 18.
We understand the challenges of balancing work and family responsibilities and recognize that the cancellation of K-12 classes and daycare closures have been very difficult for some employees. We ask that those employees who have been unable to come to campus or work from home due to childcare issues to discuss their options with their supervisor or manager. As the Chief Medical Officer’s decision includes keeping children away from places of employment, we would like to remind you that you should not bring children to work.
Alternate course delivery implementation
Work continues on developing course materials for electronic delivery, which will start on Thursday, March 19. Faculty members will contact students with details about course delivery as they become available. Students should be directed to forward any questions about courses to their instructors. Questions about program completion should be directed to the dean’s office for the student’s faculty or school.
To accommodate employees during this challenging time, the daily parking rate for Surface Lot S, located behind the Residence, has been reduced to $7.
If you receive any inquiries from the media, please direct them to the university’s media relations advisor, Samantha Power (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Once again, thank you for your support and patience as we work through this unprecedented situation. Updates will be posted on MacEwan.ca/coronavirus.
March 17: 9 a.m.
- Face-to-face classes are suspended.
- Work continues on developing course materials for electronic delivery, which will start on Thursday, March19. Faculty members will contact students with details about course delivery as they become available. Students should direct any questions about courses to their instructors. Questions about program completion should be directed to the dean’s office for the student’s faculty or school.
- While our campuses remain open, we are asking those who must come to campus to practice preventative measures including good hygiene and regular hand washing, avoiding groups and social gatherings, and maintaining social distancing at all times. It is essential that you stay at home if you are feeling sick.
March 14, 2020: 12 p.m.
We understand the anxiety that many people are feeling around the rapidly-changing COVID-19 situation. We will suspend classes from March 16-18 on all MacEwan campuses to prepare to move courses to electronic delivery, beginning on Thursday, March 19.
March 16-18 will be used to allow faculty to prepare to deliver course material electronically wherever possible or practical, depending on specific program demands.
Your instructors will contact you through email or Blackboard about your courses before resumption of classes on Thursday. Please direct any questions about your courses to your instructors. Questions about program completion should be directed to the dean’s office for your faculty or school.
Campus and student services will remain open. If you do come to campus, please remember to continue to practice good hygiene and social distancing while in public spaces.
You will have many questions about this change, and we ask for your patience as faculty members take the next few days to plan to deliver course materials in other formats and assign final grades fairly and quickly.
Some students wish for us to do even more. We continue to monitor and respond to the COVID-19 situation in accordance with direction from the Public Health Agency of Canada and Alberta Health Services. We are currently evaluating further impacts to our programs and services, including convocation and spring semester, and are working to make informed, thoughtful decisions to protect our community. We will be providing further information as it is available about campus service impacts, including library, food services and sport and wellness. Your understanding of the complexity and larger impacts to everyone here at MacEwan and beyond is appreciated.
Updates to the university community will be regularly posted on the university website. Please refer to Alberta Health for the most up-to-date and accurate health and travel information on the provincial COVID-19 response.
Dr. Craig Monk
Provost & Vice-President, Academic
March 13, 2020: 7 p.m.
Alberta Health Services provided an update on COVID-19 in Alberta at 4 p.m. today.
The update emphasized that post-secondary institutions have not been advised to close at this time. The full update can be found on the government’s website.
As stated earlier today, the university has enacted the institution’s Emergency Management Plan. Several changes have been implemented or are underway to ensure we are following government direction around COVID-19. These include:
Enhanced preventative infection control efforts,
Food and beverage service changes,
Reducing seating capacity in public areas, including the cafeterias,
Reviewing and implementing changes to exam and course delivery, and
Cancellation of events or gatherings in accordance with Alberta Health Services' recommendations. This includes all performances and shows in the Faculty of Fine Arts and Communications and the remaining playoff games and tournaments for Griffins athletics teams.
The situation will continue to be monitored and we will respond in accordance with direction from the Public Health Agency of Canada and Alberta Health Services. The university is also working closely with the City of Edmonton and Edmonton’s Emergency Operations Centre to manage this unique and challenging situation in our province.
Staff and students should continue to practice good hygiene, including hand washing and social distancing in all public settings. As per Alberta Health recommendations, anyone that has travelled outside of Canada should self-isolate for two weeks after their return, even if they are feeling well. Please stay home and call Health Link at 811 if you have had contact with someone who was suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms, do not go to the University Health Centre, your family doctor or an emergency room.
Students who have a specific concern or need to self-isolate, should contact their instructors to make alternate arrangements. There are also mental health and crisis supports available to students: resource information can be found on our website.
Faculty and staff who are self-isolating or have other concerns should discuss their situation with their supervisor. More information for employees can be found on the HR segment of myPortal.MacEwan.ca. The employee family and assistance program is also available should you need support.
March 13, 2020: 1:30 p.m.
Update from the Acting President
We understand that there is a high level of anxiety around the COVID-19 virus and I want to assure our community that we share your concerns. As you know, the situation around COVID-19 is changing rapidly and I am writing to provide you with the most recent updates on the situation here at MacEwan.
Many of you have expressed concern that classes remain open. We recognize that some postsecondary institutions have suspended classes to address classroom size, business operations and public spaces on campuses across Alberta remain open. The government’s advice is that post-secondary institutions remain open, while restricting gatherings of over 250 people. Specific information to post-secondary institutions is also available on the government's website.
As of 11 a.m. today, the university has enacted the institution’s Emergency Management Plan. This will ensure that all essential staff and decision making bodies are involved directly in the immediate response to the COVID-19 situation on our campuses.
Our taskforce has been actively planning for this scenario for weeks to ensure the health and safety of our university community. The situation will continue to be monitored and we are currently implementing several strategies to ensure the health and safety of our students. Enhanced preventative infection control efforts are in place which include increasing the frequency of cleaning of high-touch points. Staff and students should continue to practice good hygiene, including hand washing and social distancing in all public settings.
We are continuing to work to ensure that we are prepared and following recommendations posted by the Public Health Agency of Canada and Alberta Health Services. The university’s role in any situation involving a public health issue is to assist government authorities in their efforts.
New information about COVID-19 and the university’s response to our emergency planning and next steps will be available on our university website by 5 p.m. today.
As per Alberta Health recommendations, anyone that has travelled outside of Canada should self-isolate for two weeks after their return, even if they are feeling well. Please stay home and call Health Link at 811 if you have had contact with someone who was suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms, do not go to the University Health Centre, your family doctor or the Emergency Room.
More updates will be provided as this situation evolves. Please refer to Alberta Health for the most up-to-date and accurate information.
March 13, 2020: 1:30
Classes at MacEwan have not been cancelled, and there are no interruptions to our other operations. We are aware that other post-secondary institutions have temporarily suspended classes in compliance with the Chief Medical Officer of Health’s instruction to avoid having more than 250 people in a room at one time: MacEwan does not have classes of that size.
Students who are in self-isolation should contact their department chair to discuss academic accommodations. Students who self-isolate will be accommodated without documentation (doctor’s note). Employees in self-isolation should notify their direct supervisor to discuss.
The university has suspended all university travel (as defined by the Travel policy) by students, faculty and staff to regions that are under a Government of Canada travel advisory to “avoid all non-essential travel” and “avoid all travel.” The university has also decided to recall all students who currently in an education abroad study program which is a region that is under a health travel advisory and any students who are at risk. We are asking that students, faculty and staff returning from a country or region that is under a travel advisory to self-isolate for 14 days after the date of arrival and contact Alberta Health Services Health Link (call 811)
The university also encourages individuals returning from other destinations to closely monitor their health for at least 14 days. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, avoid contact with others and contact Alberta Health Services Health Link (call 811) https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx If symptoms persist or get worse, seek medical care.
Prior to visiting your healthcare provider in person, inform them about your symptoms and recent travel. Advice for individuals planning to travel to study or on university business outside areas under travel advisory MacEwan University takes guidance from the Government of Canada with respect to Travel Advice and Advisories, as well as appropriate precautions. We also monitor information from the World Health Organization, Public Health Agency of Canada, Alberta Health Services and updates from International SOS.
As the situation around the COVID-19 is changing rapidly, we advise our students to visit these websites for up-to-date and reliable information. Students should consult www.travel.gc.ca regularly before and during their time abroad. Travel authorization can be cancelled if a travel advisory of “avoid non-essential travel” or “avoid all travel” is issued for a region or country. Faculty and staff should discuss their plans with their travel authorizer. Any students travelling to other destinations during the term, or shortly before new classes begin, should email their instructors for guidance on coursework, assignments and possible accommodation requests.
MacEwan is working with areas across the university to anticipate scenarios and provide guidance for our community with respect to COVID-19, taking guidance from Alberta Health Services and the Government of Canada. The university will inform our community and partners of any updates or recommendations. These, and links to all the resources listed above, are posted on the university website at MacEwan.ca/coronavirus.
March 9, 2020
The health and well being of the university community is a top priority for the university, and MacEwan is carefully monitoring and developing a proactive strategy to address any risks associated with COVID-19. A working group representing areas across the university is developing plans in anticipation of a number of scenarios and to provide guidance for our community.
We continue to work closely with health authorities in monitoring this rapidly-changing situation, and preventing the spread of COVID-19. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has assessed the public health risk associated with COVID-19 as low for Canada, and Alberta Health considers the current overall risk to Albertans to be low. Public health risk is continually reassessed as new information becomes available.
Currently, we are following the Government of Canada’s guidelines of preventing the spread of the virus through travel restrictions to Hubei, China and Iran as well as any active health notices for travel to other countries. We continue to encourage students and staff to follow the Health Canada guidelines of taking precautions when travelling and self-monitoring for symptoms within 14 days of travel. Anyone planning to travel should consult with their faculty advisor or travel approver for guidance.
At this point, the most effective way to protect yourself against COVID-19, is to follow Alberta Health’s guidelines on preventing and reducing the risk of infection through staying home when you are sick, washing your hands and avoiding contact with those who are sick.
We also want to emphasize that every member of our university community has the right to be treated with respect and dignity and to be welcomed and supported on our campus. No person should be targeted in any way or subjected to discrimination resulting from a perception that they may be a carrier of a communicable disease based on factors including perceived disability, race, ancestry or place of origin. If you feel you have been targeted based on any of these or other factors, you should report the behaviour to the Office of Human Rights, Diversity and Equity (email@example.com or 780-633-3709), Human Resources (780-497-5434) or Confidence Line (MacEwan.confidenceline.net).
We have launched a webpage that will provide updates from the university as well as links to additional information and resources. New information about topics including prevention, travel restrictions and university processes for issues including student and employee absences will be posted as they become available.
January 31, 2020
On January 30, the Director-General of the World Health Organization declared that the outbreak of COVID-19 constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). As of this update, The Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the public health risk associated with the coronavirus as low for Canada and for Canadian travellers.
January 28, 2020
On January 27, public health officials in Ontario announced Canada's second presumptive confirmed case of the coronavirus (COVID-19) that first was identified inWuhan, China. At this time, the World Health Organization has not determined that the coronavirus outbreak is a public health emergency of international concern.