Additional Resources


Message from the President - St. Thomas University to Continue Remote Teaching and Learning Model for the Winter Semester that Begins January 2021

October 6, 2020


While we continue to settle into our new teaching and learning environment for the fall semester, I know many of you have been anticipating a decision regarding course delivery for the winter semester. Recognizing the planning required for both students and faculty to prepare for a new term, I am writing to inform you that we will continue with the current remote teaching and learning model for the winter semester.  


There are many reasons for this decision, and we have communicated already with the Students’ Union, Faculty Association, and PSAC. The primary factors that support the continuation of remote teaching and learning are the concern for the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff, as well as the desire to minimize the disruption to the current learning and living arrangements of our students. We also want to communicate the decision early to provide as much certainty and stability as possible to our community. 


From a public health perspective, a university is viewed as a high-risk setting given the cumulative number of potential contact points from in-person teaching, residence living, dining halls, etc. The Chief Public Health Officer of Canada recently spoke of her on-going concerns about COVID-19 cases in Canada, particularly accelerated growth rates in those aged 20-39. Although the pattern has been more positive in our region, this is likely due to the precautions taken in Atlantic Canada and we must remain cautious in our planning for the immediate future. 


The factors that influenced our initial decision to opt for remote teaching and learning for the fall term remain relevant. These factors include the likely continuation of border restrictions, self-isolation requirements, and practicing physical distancing as the best public health protection measures. While we have a much better understanding of risks and how to mitigate them, there are still many barriers to a resumption of in-person classes and campus life. While the circumstances have improved in our province and region, we do not want to contribute to a setback. There are also factors specific to the second term and complications arising from the upcoming cold/flu season including testing, self-monitoring, and self-isolation.   


While the winter semester is currently scheduled to begin January 6, 2021, we will be taking a resolution to Senate in October to have the semester begin Monday, January 11, 2020. This will allow faculty and students as much time as possible to prepare for the term and for students who leave the Atlantic bubble to have more time to self-isolate upon their return. 


Given this decision, the next cycle of questions naturally relate to traditional in-person, second-term activities and events, from athletic competitions to Spring Convocation to the mode of delivery for Intersession and Summer Session.  For these, we will continue to monitor the situation, take guidance from Public Health, and inform you of any decisions as soon as possible.  


I wish to express my appreciation for the hard work that faculty, staff, and students have put into navigating the many major adjustments we have had to make as a community. It has not been easy. Your dedication, compassion, and creativity have been evident over the past few months. Let’s continue to work together and support each other through the ongoing pandemic.    


Thank you.    


Dawn Russell 

President and Vice-Chancellor  


Gradual Reopening Scheduled - Staff to Return July 20 and Campus Opened to Students and Public August 4

July 10, 2020

Updated University Operational Plan - July 10, 2020


As New Brunswick is in the yellow phase of the Provincial Recovery Framework with businesses and activities operating with distancing and other public health measures, we will continue to the next stage of the gradual reopening of campus.


All staff will be expected to return to campus beginning Monday, July 20 and we are planning to reopen campus to students and the public two weeks later on Tuesday, August 4. This two-week period will give us the opportunity to ensure that distancing and other public health measures we are implementing will be adequate for a larger number of people on campus. Prior to the August 4 reopening to students and the public, we will share more information about the operation of campus on issues such as food services.


(Until campus is open to students and the public on August 4, buildings will remain locked; if you need to access a different building from the one in which your office is located, please make arrangements for an employee to meet you at an entrance. As well, we are presently working on an operational plan for the JB O’Keefe Fitness Centre so that facility will remain closed in the near-term.)


This staged reopening is based on our COVID-19 operational plan that has measures to assess and mitigate risks. Since it was issued in late May, we have adjusted the plan to account for changes to the provincial mandatory order. It has also been updated to include public health measures for classroom and other spaces. There are items that faculty in particular will find relevant to classroom space. Administrative unit employees can contact their supervisor if they have questions or concerns regarding the specific operation of their department including any requirement for potential accommodation.


It will be very important for us to adhere to these new ways of working in order to keep each other safe. Two of the most important measures relate to wearing non-medical masks and maintaining visitor logs:  

  • Physical distancing of two metres is the most important public health measure.  However, for the many situations where it is not possible to ensure a physical distance of two metres, faculty, staff and students must wear a non-medical mask. This includes hallways and when using washrooms on campus. Employees are also encouraged to wear a mask when walking across campus where physical distancing may be difficult to maintain. 

  • In the unlikely situation that an area/room is to be used in a way where minimal interaction of people within two metres of each other is not possible, the Director of Facilities Management must be contacted so that a visitor/employee log can be utilized and other preventive measures put in place. 

As always, please refrain from coming to campus if you have any of the symptoms listed by the New Brunswick Government FOUND HERE. Please self-isolate and call 811 if you have two or more of the symptoms.   

Updated University Operational Plan - July 10, 2020

If you have any questions, please submit your question to 

Thank you.
Lily Fraser 

Vice-President (Finance and Administration)


COVID-19 Administrative Operational Plan

May 23, 2020


The Government of New Brunswick announced the implementation of the Yellow Phase of the Provincial Recovery Framework on May 22 which involves the reopening of more businesses and activities. St. Thomas University can be open to staff and faculty provided we follow Public Health directives including the requirement to have a COVID-19 operational plan that documents measures to assess and mitigate risk consistent with Public Health guidance and the Occupational Health and Safety Act.


Beginning Monday, May 25, we are moving away from an “essential services” model to a gradual return to campus for staff and faculty—please note that the campus remains closed to students and the public until further notice, and buildings will remain locked.


St. Thomas University Administrative Operational Plan includes a University-wide Administrative Operational Plan, as well as individual plans for each administrative department. The Directors responsible for administrative departments have prepared operational plans based on a gradual return to campus in order to facilitate physical distancing measures. Given the nature of the work and the time of year, the Administrative Plan is a first step in the gradual reopening of campus. It will be followed by an Academic Plan at a later stage.  


The information includes:


  • What to do to in a situation where an employee tests positive for COVID-19 and may have been in the St. Thomas workplace.

  • Instruction on the personal protective equipment required to protect against COVID-19. This will include the selection, use, washing (if applicable), storage, handling, and limitations of non-medical masks.

  • The supervisors’ responsibilities and the employees’ rights under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and work-refusal process.

  • The requirement that an employee who has been outside New Brunswick must self-isolate for 14 days after their entry to New Brunswick, and, if they experience symptoms of COVID-19 during that period, must remain self-isolated until they meet the clearance criteria set by the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

  • Additional guidelines and processes established by Public Health applicable to COVID-19.

  • Mental health support is available to all STU employees through our Employee and Family Assistance Program.  

For situations where it is not possible to ensure a physical distance of two meters, employees must wear a non-medical mask. This includes but may not be limited to hallways in ECH, GMH, DDH, and HCH, and when using public washrooms on campus. As a precaution, employees are encouraged to wear a mask when walking across campus or moving around inside a building as they may unexpectedly encounter others (for example, such as when exiting a meeting room or office).  If an area/room is planned to be used in a way where minimal interaction of people within two metres of each other is not possible, the Director of Facilities Management must be contacted so that a visitor and employee log can be implemented.


Additional Resources



If you have a question regarding the Administrative Operational Plan or the policies, procedures and guidelines related to COVID-19, please submit your question to 


Lily Fraser

Vice-President (Finance and Administration)