Message from President Steenkamp, Mar. 20


Hello everyone,

We have come to the end of an extraordinary week. I want to extend my deep appreciation for your hard work and provide a recap on what we have accomplished together in the past few days.

The movement of all our on-campus and residency programs to online platforms is going well. Our CTET group has worked around the clock to assist faculty with this transition and to ensure Moodle is functioning well and is able to manage the increased volume.

Our faculty members, program staff and the Student Services team are answering students’ questions, and helping them to finish their terms and start new ones. Our finance teams are assisting students so they can pay tuition. Despite the significant challenges the COVID-19 crisis has sent our way, our university is running. Well done everyone!

I know there are numerous other Royal Roads teams also hard at work and I want you to hear this: all of you are doing incredible work. I am immensely proud to work with you all as we pull together for one common purpose: to make sure our students are well taken care of and our university is able to weather this uncommon set of circumstances. I am certain, because of your work and dedication, Royal Roads will shine in the months ahead. Your collective expertise and willingness to go the extra mile has always inspired me. Now more than ever, as you all rise to this challenge, you embody the best of what teams can do when they row together.

Other great news that speaks volumes of the important work done at Royal Roads and its far-reaching impact across the country. Two of our faculty members, George Veletsanios and Jaigris Hodson, have been awarded a Government of Canada research grant of $478,000 to study misinformation, stigma and fear regarding COVID-19 in collaboration with researchers from Ryerson University. The cross-country research team will develop bite-size education initiatives, such as infographics and other digital media, and study online social networks to improve people’s understanding, knowledge, and beliefs about the novel coronavirus.

This is critical work that will help governments and organizations better understand how communities respond to and cope with crises. Read the full story on our news site.

As a community, we are experiencing uncertainty and anxiety in both our personal and professional lives. I commend each of you for your commitment to our university through this difficult time. I strongly encourage you to let us know if you need assistance, personally or professionally. We are here to support you, and my gratitude and respect for your work and resilience grows with each passing day.

Please take good care of yourselves, your families, friends and neighbours.

Thank you,