Tim Rahilly message to campus community

Posted Oct. 9, 2020


Hello everyone, it’s Tim here. It’s been awhile since my last video. I wanted to check in on all of you and give you a few updates and, of course, wish you well and thank you for all the hard work you’re doing.

I’ll start off by talking a little bit about the winter semester. I had lots of questions early on about what we would be doing in the winter. Given the situation we thought it prudent to come out with the information that we would continue more or less with how we’ve been approaching delivery up until this point. The majority of our courses are currently alternative delivery and of course we have some courses that require face-to-face and those courses are going forward. We’re going to do something similar for the winter. I think we’re going to try to have more in person classes, we’re going to try to have more in-person services et cetera, but as you know right now there is some concern with increase outbreaks and cases so we will continue to work closely with health authorities and our ministry around the best advice that we have to go forward. So stay tuned for all of that and, again, thank you for everyone who is working hard to make sure that we’re successful.

The next thing I’d like to talk to you about is the President's Advisory Committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. I’m happy to say we had our first meeting and we’re finding our feet. Just as a reminder this is a preliminary initiative, that working group will find some terms of reference and we will have a more robust process to make sure that we’re reaching out to the campus community to find the right people to be part of that dialogue. We will be setting up a website, it will just have high level notes of what we’ll be doing as a group. I’m optimistic and very hopeful around this process, I want to make sure that the folks that are taking part in this have the opportunity to share their lived experiences with me, and help provide some advice so that both I and the University can find our way forward on this important topic.

And, finally, I want to talk to you a little bit about some things I’ve spoken to you about before. That has to do with compassion for others. Sometimes it feels like we forget that we’re in the midst of a pandemic and I think that’s because we’re so dedicated to the work we do. Things that happen in September are happening in September, things that happen in October - it’s Friday, the whatever of October and something’s supposed to get done. Sometimes it feels like we get caught up in the mundane or the administrivia of being a University. I think that’s good - we’re doing our jobs. On the flip side it’s really important to recognize that these are extraordinary times with extraordinary pressures. People are responding really well for the most part, but sometimes not so well because they’re human. Part of my message - and I’ve said it before so please bear with me - but I think it’s really important that we try to remember everyone’s doing their level best and we try to make allowances when they’re not doing their level best. If they’re kind of a little bit cranky or seem to be on their last nerve that we give them a little space, circle back, make sure that they’re okay. Also that if we see people struggling, if we have the capacity to do so, that we reach out and we try to support them to the best of our ability. There are some supports, and I know they’re imperfect, but they are there. I strongly encourage people to look at mru.ca/StudentWellBeing in terms of the services for students and mru.ca/EmployeeWellBeing for services for employees of the University.

We’re going to keep trying to see what we can do in the midst of all of this, but for now I do really strongly recommend that you look and see what’s available if not for yourself than for others.

In closing I want to wish you well. I hope that everyone in your families, your loved ones and friends are doing well and staying clear of this nasty virus. For goodness sake, if you’re not feeling well stay away and self-isolate. That’s something we need to do for everyone in our campus community.

For now I’ll sign off and again, thank you for all you’re doing. I hope to speak to you very soon.