Tim Rahilly message to campus community

Posted May 8, 2020


Hi everyone,

Tim here, checking in. As I record this video I’m looking out the window and I see that the sun is almost shining and it seems that spring has almost descended upon Calgary. As I reflect on it, it appears to me that MRU is doing everything that we can do in light of the COVID pandemic.

You may have seen last week that the Premier announced a three phase re-opening of Alberta. I think that this framework is helpful, because it helps us plan for days ahead. The University, as I’ve mentioned before, has had a scenario planning team working together; that’s a team of some deans, some faculty members and some administrators who are looking at what options we have for the fall. We want to get out ahead of this as soon as we can and make a decision, so that everyone has the time to plan, to register for the courses, and to know how they’ll be delivered. That is a priority for us and I hope to be able to communicate with you very soon about the results of that. Obviously what we’re trying to accomplish with this is to take care of our campus community and to follow the directions of the Chief Medical Officer and AHS. I have had the opportunity to speak with faculty and staff and the MRFA and no one has questioned the importance of this. We will continue with that work.

However, people have asked me a few questions about MRU and it’s commitment to face-to-face instruction in light of alternative delivery that has taken place. I want to be very clear about this. The COVID pandemic has not changed who we are as a University. We still remain committed to who we are, our values, and I’m confident that in the days ahead - or the months ahead - we will be able to return to our preferred methodology. We are so lucky to have the faculty and staff that we have that care about students and one thing that binds us together, it’s part of our DNA, is our commitment to the student experience at MRU. It’s one of the reasons that I am so proud to be President of this fine institution.

With that mind, this week I would like to give a couple shout outs. If you have some suggestions of who I should do some shout-outs for let me know, because you know best what’s happening throughout the University. This week I would like to give some shout outs to our student-facing staff. I’ve mentioned so many times what’s been taking place in the classroom and the heavy lifting happening there - I remain grateful to faculty and students for that. But this week, if I may, I’d like to recognize some of our staff teams who have been working hard as well. A shout out to Academic Advising, who have been helping students online with course selection for next year. Student Counselling offer daily webinars and remote appointments. Residence has been following pandemic protocols and going above and beyond to keep students safe. The recent New Student Advising and Registration online event I understand was a big success, with more than 600 new students registered for that program. The work of the Registrar’s Office as we know, dealing with the COVID pass fail, along with other regular demands is always ongoing so thanks to our enrolment and registration people.

All of these teams and people around campus, sorry if I didn’t mention you, let me know, thank you so much for the support that you offer our students. We are all indebted to you for that. In closing I want to thank all of the students for your patience navigating the changes. I’d like to thank the faculty for your heavy lifting and again to all the staff for what you do behind the scenes. Please continue to take care of yourselves, and I look forward to chatting with you soon.

Take care.