Resources for faculty & staff


A SMU faculty member working remotely.

Staying connected

As we continue to face uncertainty, Saint Mary’s University is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of our entire university community. In our continued efforts to provide a high level of academic continuity and service delivery, we are here to help facilitate faculty and staff needs during virtual operations.

We will continue to make updates to this page as the situation evolves, and more information becomes available. Overall, our efforts and contributions continue to make a difference during these challenging times while taking care of one another.

Plans for Fall 2020

Since the onset of COVID-19, we have made the health and safety of the entire Saint Mary’s community our highest priority. With that in mind, from September to December 2020, all undergraduate and graduate courses will be delivered online.

Learn more.

During these extraordinary circumstances, Saint Mary's University is continuing virtual operations. With the advice and direction from public health authorities, continuing this way of operating keeps our entire university community safe. At this time, the majority of faculty and staff are working remotely. The university continues to review and assess needs and service delivery based on changing conditions. For more information on remote working and core operations, including employees who fall ill or have childcare/eldercare responsibilities, please go to the Human Resources page.

With all the uncertainty, faculty and staff are facing health and well-being challenges. We encourage eligible members to use the support available to you through your benefits.

Professional counseling and other supports are available to you and your family through the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP). For medical concerns, Best Doctors is a confidential service that is easily accessible to gain the right diagnosis and treatment.

Patrick Power Library

While you can't visit the Patrick Power Library in person, we are still open and offering services online through alternative methods of instruction and supports. For questions, virtual hours and help with spring course planning, please go to the library’s page.

Fred Smithers Centre

Our staff is available to help faculty with student accommodations for online classes, tests, and final exams during virtual operations. If a student has contacted you directly about accommodations, please contact us by email to answer your questions. You can also call the following staff for assistance:

· Katherine Heim, Exam Assistant: 902-440-9573

· Kim Penny, Accessibility Resource Facilitator: 902-220-7785

ITSS is here to help you with service requests, web-based online meetings, online course delivery, and setting up your laptop/computer for the virtual campus. Learn more.

Cybersecurity

With faculty and staff working remotely, everyone must take steps to secure the university's systems, including financial and personal data. We offer tips to keep your devices and networks safe.

With the move to virtual operations, faculty may face challenges with putting academic contingencies in place. We offer many supports and resources to help you.

For tips, strategies, and resources of how to make the transition, please go to the Planning Transition to Alternative Modes of Teaching page.

If you have questions, please see the FAQ for Academic Contingencies during COVID-19 page.

For information on faculty supports in the transition to remote forms of delivery and assessment, please check out The Studio for Teaching and Learning.

SECOND PHASE of implementing the Return to Research process

Starting Friday, June 19, applications will be accepted following the process outlined here for research activities falling into this category:

  • research that requires specialized facilities available only on the Saint Mary’s University campus (with particular priority for campus laboratory facilities that have been shut down since March 23).

In addition, applications will continue to be accepted for research activities falling into one of the two categories previously announced for the First Phase on May 25:

  • research related directly to COVID-19 issues
  • field research

Only applications for research activities falling into these identified First or Second Phase categories will be able to be reviewed at this time.

For more information on the phased approach for recovery, please visit the Return to Research page.

During this time, there is guidance on research-based activities from the university, Federal Tri-Agencies, and Research Ethics Board.

For NSERC and SSHRC programs as well as undergraduate summer research awards, please refer to the Information for the Research Community page.

Brightspace

Brightspace is a Learning Management System (LMS) that enables collaboration between faculty and students. The goal of this system is to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of university courses. For more information, including training sessions and support, please refer to the Brightspace page.

Office 365

Office 365 is a suite of integrated formatting and management software, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneDrive. All Saint Mary's University community members have an account. For information including how to access the software or help, please refer to the Office 365 page.

With the shift to virtual operations, Financial Services' goal is for continuity of service delivery while keeping our university community safe and healthy. Adapting to the circumstances, we have made changes to functions and processes with purchase requisitions, reimbursements, invoices, and direct payments. For more information on these changes, please refer to the Financial Services page.

Until further notice, there is no domestic and international university travel. For faculty, it includes any travel-related activity for research, conferences, professional development, and collaborations. We understand this may present challenges. However, we encourage faculty to explore virtually feasible options to continue research and collaboration opportunities.

The Government of Canada announced travel restriction exceptions that apply to faculty travel to Canada. Faculty who applied for permanent residence and were approved before March 16, 2020, can be considered for entry back into Canada as "essential travel."

Under these circumstances, faculty will be subject to health screening before travel. Additionally, they will have to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival in Canada.

Learn more about university travel and/or travel restriction exceptions.

Faculty and staff (non-student) have the opportunity to take part in mental health training to offer students the best support and experience possible. Learn more.

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