COVID-19 Resource Centre

COVID-19 Resource Centre

The health and safety of King’s students, faculty and staff remain our highest priority, and it is vital we all do our part to reduce transmission of COVID-19.

As we enact safety regulations for a safe reopening of campus, we are still operational and offer pertinent information to help you stay informed. Whether you’re a student, future student, staff or faculty member, here you will find a chronological series of helpful updates that have been emailed to our community members as well as our University Central Coordination Plan for COVID-19 safety.

View community updates COVID-19 Safety: University Central Coordination Plan [PDF]

Community updates

August 7 — President Lahey’s message to all students

Dear King’s students,

First of all, let me say how much I am looking forward to seeing you again or, in the case of our incoming students, to meeting you, and to welcoming you to, or back to, our community, whether our meeting is in person or virtually. In the meantime, I hope you are enjoying summer in ways that are keeping you and your friends and family safe.

Above all else, King’s is a community and perhaps never since the fire of 1920 has its strength as a community mattered more. It is always the case that we come together to learn and to support each other in learning but also to protect and care for each other. In the pandemic, these intentions have greater relevance and more intense and specific meaning. We can only live together in community in the coming year if we are all committed to complying with the COVID-19 directives of Nova Scotia’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Robert Strang; those of other health and governmental authorities; and the policies King’s has adopted to reduce the risk of introduction or transmission of the virus into our community or from our community into the Halifax and Nova Scotia communities.

Nova Scotia has been successful in flattening the curve and keeping it flat for several months. For weeks, the number of new cases reported has been very small – on many days, and for long stretches, it has been zero. Similarly, the number of active cases has been in the single digits for some time. King’s students, faculty and staff contributed to this success in how they responded to the orders issued by Dr. Strang under Nova Scotia’s Health Protection Act, including the way in which they supported each other as they left residence early, completed the last academic year online and followed Dr. Strang’s guidance on physical distancing, avoidance of gatherings and hand washing hygiene.

It is now time for our community – and for each one of us – to do our part in the ongoing effort of all Nova Scotians to keep COVID-19 under control as we benefit from the relative security and safety from the virus that we enjoy by living in Nova Scotia. We owe it to each other but also to the people of Nova Scotia and of Halifax in particular. We can never forget the sixty-four Nova Scotians who have died in this pandemic, most of them elderly residents of Northwood, or the suffering of their families and of those who have been very ill or suffered significant economic and personal hardship. Nor can we ignore that the risk of an outbreak or of a second wave will be ever present during the coming academic year.

Our ability to have a successful fall semester depends on all of us committing to the health and well-being of ourselves, each other, our campus, and our wider community. Collectively we are doing this by committing ourselves exclusively to online learning in the fall term until further decisions can be made. By working together, we can do much more to help keep COVID under control in and beyond our King’s community. We need to encourage everyone around us to practice safe, supportive behavior, comply with university policies and public health directives and be responsible citizens.

I will outline these behaviors and university and public health measures in this message, primarily directed to those of you who will be living in Halifax, including those relocating to the city in the coming weeks. But first, I want to assure those of you who have decided to study with us from your homes across the country and beyond Canada that we are thinking of you as well. We respect the decision you have made to protect your own health and the health of others by studying with us through distance learning. Our faculty and staff – with the input of the KSU and the valuable work done by student employees – are preparing to do everything we can to welcome you and enable your participation in our lively academic community in the coming term, no matter how far away we may be from each other. We encourage you to participate as fully as you can through the many online opportunities that will be made available to you through our academic programs, the King’s Student Union, student societies, the Dean of Students and her team, the Registrar’s Office, the College Chapel and our athletics programs, to name but a few of the many parts of the King’s community that will be including you and supporting you online in the coming year. We also encourage you to follow the public health requirements and guidance in force in your community so that we can together be part of the fight against the virus not only in Halifax but in all of the communities that will be King’s communities in the coming year.

For those of you in, or soon coming to, Halifax, I ask for your careful attention to the following important obligations and requirements that are mandatory.

Self-Isolation Requirements:

As of today, anyone entering Nova Scotia from outside Atlantic Canada must self-isolate for 14 days directly after arriving in Nova Scotia. A self-declaration form is also required. If you have already self-isolated in another Atlantic province, you can enter Nova Scotia without self-isolating again. Self-isolation rules may change. Keep up to date on current protocols at novascotia.ca/coronavirus/travel. Do not assume that what you hear in the news or by word of mouth is accurate or complete and be sure to look specifically for information that is specifically for university students. Please check our website’s COVID-19 Resource Centre regularly.

Self-isolation is the critical front-line defence against the introduction of the virus into Nova Scotia from other jurisdictions. The contribution of university students to this defence is crucial given the number of students who come to Nova Scotia relative to the size of Nova Scotia’s population. Our collective commitment at King’s and Nova Scotia’s other universities to following self-isolation requirements is therefore vital to reassuring the permanent residents of Nova Scotia that students coming to the province for university will join them in keeping the virus under control in Nova Scotia.

You can expect to be contacted by health officials to confirm you are self-isolating as required. If you subsequently travel beyond the jurisdictions from which travellers to Nova Scotia are exempted from self-isolation requirements, you will be required to self-isolate again.

If you will be living in residence, you will have received an email on July 31 from Assistant Dean Tim Lade (see community updates) on how the obligation to self-isolate will be accommodated and supported in our residences. I urge you to read that email carefully if you have not already, noting that those living in residence who are required to self-isolate (and who have not self-isolated before coming to campus) are to make arrangements to arrive on August 21 or 22. I also urge you to join Dean Katie Merwin and Tim for the webinar they are holding on Wednesday August 12 at 1:30 PM AST to answer any questions you and your fellow resident students may have.

If you will be living off-campus, I urge you to become fully informed on self-isolation requirements and how they may apply to your living situation. We encourage you to plan your arrival carefully. If you are living with roommates, you and your roommates must arrange things to ensure either that each of you have no contact with each other and do not share washroom facilities during isolation or that everyone self-isolates until everyone has self-isolated for 14 days from the date of the last roommate’s arrival.

We are aware that self-isolating can be hard and difficult. The challenges can be as basic as running out of food or other basic necessities or as complex as what to do if you become ill. Self-isolating can also be lonely and cause stress or anxiety. We can provide more support in these regards to students self-isolating in residence – and we recognize this is our responsibility. We are also developing a self-isolation support and wellness plan for those self-isolating off campus. We will share more details with you as soon as we can. In the meantime, you may find the following now available resources helpful: Health Minds NS; Student Health and Wellness Centre; The Inquiring Mind Post-Secondary Virtual program; and COVID-19 Self Care and Resilience Guide.

Continuing Public Health Measures Applicable to Everyone:

Under the orders that have been issued by Dr. Strang under the Health Protection Act, students living in Nova Scotia, like everyone in Nova Scotia, are required to:

  • Monitor your health for symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Stay home if you are sick and contact 811 for screening and further instruction.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Practice physical distancing.
  • Wear non-medical masks or face coverings when using public transportation or in taxis and in most indoor public spaces, including many of the indoor spaces in universities.
  • Stay up to date with Nova Scotia public health requirements.
  • Only attend or host social gatherings that comply with Nova Scotia guidelines (i.e. guests within the maximum number, physical distancing, wear face coverings, etc.).
  • Self-isolate if traveling from outside the Atlantic bubble.
  • Quarantine in the event you test positive for COVID-19, as directed by health authorities, and cooperate with contact tracing and quarantine efforts.

These universal requirements have been incorporated into our COVID-19 safety plans, including the university’s overall COVID-19 Central Coordination Plan, that applies to everyone on the King’s campus. They have also been incorporated into revised Residence Guidelines that will apply to everyone living in residence.

In some respects, our COVID-19 safety plans and the new Residence Guidelines go further than the public health requirements and guidance. For example, Dr. Strang’s measure on masks does not apply to residences and some other university spaces. King’s and all other Nova Scotia universities have adopted polices that extend the requirement to wear masks to residences and essentially to the whole of campus with only very limited exceptions, such as to persons working alone in their own office, to students alone in their own rooms and to diners in Prince Hall when they are eating.

We can take responsibility for our health and the health of others in our community by adhering to these measures and encouraging our friends and others to do the same. These requirements are universal in their application. They apply to those living or working on campus but they apply also to those living off campus. They apply not only when we are outside of our homes but when we are in our homes, since we are a risk when in public unless we have followed the measures in our private lives.

There is no doubt that following these measures will unavoidably restrict vitally important social parts of student life. I recognize that your friendships and your enjoyment of all aspects of a student’s life in Halifax, including its night life, are important and meaningful parts of your education, not ancillary benefits of it. Your holistic well-being depends upon them. But I know you can find the ways to combine these joyful parts of your life with your responsibilities as citizens of Halifax. Have fun and enjoy but do it wearing a mask, washing your hands, maintaining physical distance, choosing outside venues and activities, avoiding crowded spaces, and monitoring your health and acting accordingly.

Campus COVID-19 Safety Planning and Plans:

Since July 13, we have had a comprehensive set of COVID-19 safety plans in effect. These will govern everything that physically happens on campus in the coming academic year. They also govern our lives off campus in all the ways that may be relevant to keeping the campus safe for those who live and work there.

These plans were developed under Nova Scotia’s Occupational Health and Safety Act, which requires them. They consist of a detailed plan for each program, office or facility (unit plans) and an overarching plan for the university, called the University Central Coordination Plan. The unit plans were developed by each responsible area and reviewed by the university’s Occupational Health and Safety Committee, which included a representative of the KSU, Mason Carter, VP of Student Life. The Central Coordination Plan was prepared by the university and reviewed and approved by the Committee. I have approved these plans. They have been reviewed by the Occupational Health and Safety Division of the Department of Labour and Advanced Education and by Dr. Robert Strang. They are, in short, the law, enforceable under the university’s Code of Conduct. They will be changed from time to time as circumstances change and our experience with them develops – so, when you have need to consult any of the plans, check to see you are consulting its current version.

Our plans are detailed, lengthy and important – too much so to be comprehensively summarized here. A core principle woven among all of them is that everyone – on and off campus – is required to be following all the safety measures prescribed or recommended by Dr. Strang. This is essential if being in Halifax and on campus is to be as safe for everyone as we want it to be.

The objective of our plans is to allow the university to continue to operate while protecting the health and safety of students, staff, faculty, service providers and guests, as well as the health of our families and all who we interact with in the community. In broad strokes, they do this by: limiting and controlling the number of people on campus and access by members of the public; preventing gatherings, meeting and events that create unacceptable risk of virus transmission; and ensuring that those on campus behave in accordance with applicable safety measures, including the wearing of masks, practising hand washing, and following posted instructions on designated entrances, exits and circulation paths, to maintain physical distancing.

This is some of what it means for access to buildings, people and services on campus and for how we are all expected to conduct ourselves on campus:

  • The buildings at King’s will remain closed to the general public. Access will only be provided by employees who have keycard access, or by Security.
  • Faculty and staff are being provided keycard access to the A&A front door and NAB front door upon confirmation of the completion of their COVID-19 safety training.
  • Residence students will be provided keycard access to their own residence building, and to the Prince Hall dining room via the A&A front door and the NAB front door. They will thereby have access to the public areas of A&A, NAB and Link complex, abiding by all requirements for social distancing in these spaces, including wearing masks, maintaining six feet of distance, and refraining from gatherings outside of Prince Hall or in other shared spaces, such as hallways. The same goes for other students when they are on campus.
  • Residence students will also be expected to follow all of the COVID-19 provisions of the Residence Guidelines.
  • Offcampus students will not be provided keycard access to buildings. Like residence students and students studying from a distance, they will be encouraged to engage faculty and staff online as much as possible. Arrangements have been made to ensure most student services, including those received from the Registrar’s or Bursar’s Office, are fully available online. Where in-person interaction is required, off-campus students will need to previously schedule access through the relevant faculty or staff person and will need to comply with all relevant COVID-19 safety protocols, i.e. those of the university and the office unit.
  • Access to the gym will be limited to those engaged in previously scheduled individual skills practice. All access to the gym will be determined by Athletics staff and directly supervised.
  • Limited and controlled physical access to the library will be provided by the library staff during limited operating hours, while the library continues to offer services and support online in partnership with the Killam Library.
  • The chapel is developing its plans for how it will, in ways that comply with the university’s COVID-19 safety planning and applicable public health directions, support students, conduct services and be a place for quiet reflection and mutual support through a combination of in-person and online activities,.

Again, this is just a summary of our policies and procedures on COVID-19. I have not even touched upon the parallel policies of Dalhousie that will also be relevant to your experience in the coming year. I urge you to stay current by being on the outlook for emails and social media posts from both universities and by regularly checking the COVID-19 space on each university’s website. I assure you that King’s will continue to provide you with the information you need to make your year successful and safe. The KSU too, continues to do an excellent job in communicating the pertinent information, as it will do so at the beginning of the year with its first virtual O-Week.

Concluding Thoughts:

I started by saying that the strength of King’s is the strength – and I would say resiliency – of its community. The coming year will test that in new and continuing ways as we do our part to support each other and contribute to our society’s response to COVID-19. We will be denied much of the physical togetherness that has nurtured and strengthened our distinctive and defining sense of community – of belonging – for generations. Personally, I will miss hosting student events in the Lodge and participating in all of the in-person events, gatherings, meals, performances, lectures, services, celebrations and Blue Devils’ games that in normal times embody our communal life.

But I am confident we will show that our care and concern for each other and our ability to learn with and from each other is not dependent on the circumstances of physical proximity. My confidence partly comes from all the preparations that are happening to creatively and frequently bring us together in virtual spaces. This work is happening in every department and program of the university, in the ongoing collaborative response to the pandemic of King’s and Dalhousie, in the King’s Student Union and in student clubs and societies. More information about these preparations will be shared in the near future.

But my confidence has deeper sources. It is the reason for all the preparations, more than the preparations themselves, that will matter. That reason is our common shared desire to belong to a community where we are known and cared for as unique human beings and have the opportunity in turn to care for others and to make common cause in serving the good beyond King’s. It is this embracing motivation that will unite us in the coming year, including in doing our part in the fight against COVID-19.

Yours in solidarity,


William Lahey
President and Vice-Chancellor

July 31 — Message from the Assistant Dean to incoming residence students

Hello Future Blue Devils,

Thank you for choosing residence at the University of King’s College as your “home away from home” for 2020-21. We know this year will be unlike any other. Thank you for your patience as we work to make your residence experience the best possible, given ongoing changes in response to COVID-19.

This message contains important information. Please read through carefully and share it with anyone helping you with your move (Hi parents!):

Moving into King’s Residence

Students will arrive on campus in two stages. In order to make the necessary preparations for your arrival, please complete the King’s Arrival Registration Form by AUGUST 5, 2020 (requires Dal login credentials). Questions about the form can be directed to Tim Lade, Assistant Dean of Residence, at tim.lade@ukings.ca.

IMPORTANT: As of July 30, anyone entering Nova Scotia from outside Atlantic Canada must fill out a self-declaration form before travelling to the province, and must self-isolate for 14 days directly after arriving in Nova Scotia, or for the duration of the stay if less than 14 days. If you have already self-isolated in another Atlantic province, you can enter Nova Scotia without self-isolating again. Self-isolation rules may change before you move in. Keep up to date on current protocols at novascotia.ca/coronavirus/travel.

Early Arrival for Self-Isolation in Residence – AUGUST 21-22, 2020

Students travelling from outside the government bubble must self-isolate for 14 days. Students living in residence will be able to self-isolate for 14 days on campus. Efforts will be made for students to self-isolate in their permanent room;however, students may need to self-isolate in a different residence building during these 14 days and relocate to their permanent room on September 5-7. This is inconvenient to be sure, but it is the only way to ensure the most effective residence room and bathroom de-densification. Access will be restricted to your assigned room and washroom during these 14 days.

Non-medical masks and physical distancing will be required at all times during the move-in process. Family members travelling with you who also need to self-isolate will not be permitted on campus if they have not completed their self-isolation. This means that families from outside the bubble who want to be present when you move should arrange to self-isolate before arriving on campus. This government-issued directive may change at any time, so please visit https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/travel/ for the most current information.

Meals will be delivered to students twice a day (brunch and dinner). Students will be charged a small flat fee to help cover the cost of meals over these 14 days (estimated cost $8/meal). Any dietary needs will be accommodated. This fee will be added to your Student Account and will be due September 18. King’s will not be charging additional residence fees to students who arrive early for self-isolation. Students with financial need should contact the Registrar’s Office for information on bursaries.

There will be no in-person residence activities during the early arrival self-isolation period. However, your Don and Junior Don will connect with you virtually. More information on Orientation Week and Residence programming will be shared soon. Students will also receive resources on how to plan for self-isolation.

Please note that, due to COVID-19 restrictions, there will be limited move-in assistance (don’t worry, there will still be a few of us from the Residence team around, but not the usual moving crew of upper-year students). We recommend that you pack light and limit the number of items you bring to residence as you will be responsible for moving your items into residence, and several areas of residence include stairs.

A COVID-19 Care Kit will be provided with information, resources, non-medical mask and other items. Students are encouraged to bring cleaning supplies for their personal use (hand wipes, sanitizers, disinfectant cleaner) while in self-isolation—also, snacks and a fan (August in Nova Scotia can get muggy!).

Self-Isolating Off-Campus:

Students and families who choose to self-isolate off-campus will need to provide documentation to confirm where they self-isolated (e.g. hotel invoice, AirBnB booking, a letter from a host) and a copy of the Nova Scotia self-declaration form. Both documents can be uploaded via the King’s Arrival Registration Form. Please help us by naming your files


Those that do not provide proof of self-isolation may be required to self-isolate on campus if space is available or off-campus at your own expense.

More information about early-arrival can be found on the Early-Arrival FAQ page.

Only students who need to self-isolate can move in on August 21-22. Students who do not need to self-isolate or have completed their self-isolation elsewhere cannot move-in before September 5.

Students Within the Bubble or Who Have Completed Self-Isolation Elsewhere – SEPTEMBER 5-7, 2020

Students travelling from within the government bubble can move into residence by appointment on SEPTEMBER 5 and 6for first-year students and SEPTEMBER 7 for returning students. Please complete the King’s Arrival Form to pick your preferred time.

Students will be assigned one-hour move-in time slots. Students are welcome to bring one helper to assist them with moving belongings. Helpers will only be allowed in the student’s residence room for the designated hour and will only be permitted access to washrooms in the A&A Building. Everyone will be screened on arrival and be required to wear non-medical masks for the duration of their time on campus. The move-in schedule will allow for only one student per entrance/building to move in at a time. Masks and physical distancing will be required at all times during the move-in process while in any King’s buildings.

More information on King’s campus-wide COVID-19 response can be found at https://ukings.ca/coronavirus

Additional Residence Guidelines during COVID-19

All students living in residence have already signed a Residence Agreement committing to uphold our Residence Guidelines. These are our community expectations for one another that helps create a safe and comfortable living and learning environment for all who live on campus. As we learn to live with COVID-19, we need your help, and the help of your peers, to look out for each other and hold each other accountable for Residence Guidelines and ongoing public health requirements. Additional COVID-specific guidelines have been created, outlining specific COVID-19 safety requirements while living in residence. Students will not be permitted to move into residence without agreeing to these additional guidelines.

As circumstances evolve, changes to Residence Guidelines are expected. All residence students will be informed of applicable changes via their Dalhousie email address. Notices will also be posted throughout residence and on the King’s website. Students are expected to remain up-to-date regarding all enhanced restrictions and the consequences of non-compliance. The Residence Office will be available to answer any questions or clarify required changes.

Please submit your agreement to these additional COVID-19 Residence Guidelines by AUGUST 5, 2020: https://bit.ly/UKCPhases (requires Dal login credentials). Questions can be directed to Tim Lade, Assistant Dean of Residence, at tim.lade@ukings.ca.

King’s Phased Approach and Consequences for Disrespecting Residence Guidelines:

King’s residence is taking a phased approach to reopening beginning with stricter requirements in the initial weeks while we get settled into our life in community. With your help, we expect to ease these restrictions as the Fall Term progresses. Even in this initial phase in September you can expect access to common rooms, dine-in options in Prince Hall, and opportunities to meet other students while wearing non-medical masks and respecting physical distance (if you are not self-isolating).

Infractions against these COVID-19 safety guidelines will result in the closure of these privileges. Please note: no non-residence guests will be allowed in residence at any time and there will be restrictions on the number of students allowed per room. Disrespecting these guidelines will be considered a serious infraction and may result in enhanced restrictions for the broader residence community and/or the termination of the student’s residence agreement (in which case the student will need to vacate residence). This is to support the safety, health, and wellbeing of students and staff in the residence community. Students living in a Bay or Floor may collectively decide they want rules from earlier phases to be upheld in their residence space even in later phases. The most up-to-date residence rules in effect will be posted on the main door of each Bay and Floor. We are counting on all students to see these measures as our way of caring for our community.

Updates to King’s Code of Conduct to include COVID-19 requirements, such as students’ obligation to self-isolate if traveling from outside the government bubble, are also forthcoming.

KING’S RESIDENCE 101 WEBINAR – Save the date!

Join the Assistant Dean of Residence and the Dean of Students on AUGUST 12, 2020, at 1:30 PM AST to talk about residence life during COVID-19, what to expect, and how to stay safe. They will be joined by colleagues from across campus – Residence Dons, Dining Services, Registrar’s Office, Student Accounts and more – to answer your residence-related questions. Stay tuned for a link to the event closer to the date.

How to cancel or defer your application

We know your plans may have changed and we understand. Please contact the Residence Office at residence@ukings.ca by AUGUST 13, 2020 if you want to cancel or defer your application to next year.

Note: Student may request to defer their residence arrival to Winter 2021, but we will not know whether rooms will be available until December 2020. Students who want to live in residence this year are encouraged to arrive for the Fall Term.

Room assignments

They say patience is a virtue, and good things come to those who wait. Room assignments have been completed with the same “sorting hat” care King’s is known for; however, we expect some changes in response to the arrival registration information students will be providing to ensure the most effective room and bathroom de-densification. Residence is collaborating with the FYP Office to try to put at least a few students living together in a Bay or Floor in the same tutorial. Additional confirmation of your room assignments will be coming in August.

We cannot wait to welcome you to campus in a few weeks. We won’t let non-medical masks keep us from welcoming you warmly to the Quad, even while maintaining our 6 feet distance!

Until then, stay safe and reach out to Monica or me in the Residence Office at residence@ukings.ca.

My very best,

Tim Lade
Assistant Dean, Residence

July 31 — Update regarding the wearing of non-medical masks

In our continuing effort to keep each other safe, the University of King’s College now requires the wearing of a non-medical mask or face covering on campus. This addition to our University Central Coordination Plan and to our Residence Safety Plans has been endorsed by our Occupational Health and Safety Committee.

This additional measure, effective today, July 31, has been taken by all of Nova Scotia’s universities to reinforce the decision of the Chief Medical Officer of Health to require mask-wearing in public indoor spaces, which applies to universities. It extends the mask-wearing requirement into spaces not covered by that requirement, such as to the hallways of residences, classrooms and meeting rooms. You can find the provincial order on mask-wearing here.

We ask individuals to bring their masks when arriving at the campus and to wear them when inside any university building. The spaces covered by the combined effect of the provincial requirement and the university’s policy include hallways, elevators, washrooms, classrooms, dining hall, gym, chapel, meeting rooms and other common areas with the following exceptions:

  1. Individuals with valid medical reasons for being unable to wear a mask.
  2. Masks will be mandatory inside the gymnasium but may be removed during workout activity if you are at a safe physical distance from others.
  3. Individuals may remove their masks when they are alone in a private office (no guests permitted without masks).
  4. Masks may be removed briefly while eating and drinking, provided you are stationary and observing a safe physical distance from others.
  5. Masks will not need to be worn by individuals who are alone in their residence rooms.  All other areas or residence will require wearing a mask.

Masks should be changed immediately if they become damp or soiled; be sure you are washing your hands before putting on your mask and after taking it off, and that you avoid touching your face while wearing one. Frequent laundering is required to prevent cross contamination and microbial build up on reusable non-medical facial coverings.

Resources for guidance on the selection, usage and care/washing of non-medical masks and face coverings can be found here.

King’s is in the process of procuring a bulk order of reusable masks for Students, Faculty and Staff.  Single-use disposable masks are available by request from the Reception in the A&A.  Only one mask per person will be provided at a time, and the University cannot guarantee a continuous supply of disposable masks. Individuals are therefore encouraged to secure their own masks whenever possible.

Physical distancing (2 metres) must still be observed while wearing non-medical masks. Please note that all modes of public transportation also now require masks to be worn.

The COVID-19 University Central Coordination Plan has been updated with these new requirements and can be found here.


Ian Wagschal
Director of Facilities

July 2 — Next Steps in our COVID-19 response

Dear King’s community,

I write to provide an update on the ongoing work to gradually lift the restrictions we have been working under since Friday, March 13.

On May 6, I advised that measures taken on March 13, supplemented by those taken on March 19, would remain in place until at least July 1. These measures included locking of all buildings (with the exception of the Chapel during the daytime), working from home, cancelling of all non-essential in-person meetings and gatherings and all non-essential university-related travel, and on campus compliance with all public health requirements on physical distancing and limiting gatherings to fewer than five people.

Today, all departments and programs, and the University as a whole, are in the final stages of developing COVID-19 safety plans that will, when implemented, allow more of us to work safely on campus. I want to thank all programs and departments for the work they have put into the development of these plans, Ian Wagschal for his coordination and leadership of the process and our Occupational Health and Safety Committee for its diligence in reviewing and fine tuning these plans.

These plans will take effect on Monday, July 13. Until then, the measures implemented on March 13 and 19 will remain in effect.

For most employees, little will change on July 13. Under the combined effect of the COVID-19 safety plans, all employees who can continue to effectively do their work from home will be asked to do so. This is in accordance with the core strategy imbedded in all of the plans that have been developed, which is to limit the overall number of people working on campus. However, there will be greater latitude for those working from home to do some of their work on campus when there are important reasons for doing so, provided it can be and is done in compliance with the COVID-19 safety plan of the relevant department or program and that of the University.

The situation will be different for employees who have not been able to do their jobs, or their full jobs, working remotely. The combined effect of the safety plans will allow these employees to safely resume working on campus, and to once again resume their full duties or alternative duties. Employees in this situation who have questions should discuss them with their supervisors.

There may also be some employees who want to sometimes work on campus, even though being on campus is not necessary for their work. When COVID-19 safety plans are implemented, these situations will be accommodated, to the extent they can be safely accommodated for everyone under the COVID-19 safety plan of the unit or department and of the University, including the overriding priority of limiting the total number of people on campus.

The University’s Campus Safety Plan will be shared and posted to the website next week. Additionally, Ian Wagschal will lead a community webinar to provide an overview of the plan and respond to questions. This will be scheduled soon.

For the time being and until further notice, our buildings will remain locked, but from now on as they are normally locked on the weekends. Campus swipe cards will be re-activated to allow access and, importantly, to permit contact tracing, should it be necessary.

Similarly, limitations on non-essential meetings and gatherings will continue. In general, meetings and gatherings should continue to be conducted virtually. Essential meetings of ten or fewer people can occur in-person where there is an important reason for an in-person meeting and provided they are conducted in compliance with still mandatory physical distancing requirements and when Ian Wagschal has been given notice in advance. This is to ensure necessary safety arrangements are made, including the giving of appropriate notification to others and limiting the total number of people on campus. Larger meetings of an essential nature may be permitted in special circumstances when I have approved them in advance.

The non-essential university-funded travel ban will continue for travel beyond the Atlantic bubble now in place. This may be extended to other jurisdictions if public health mandated restrictions on travel are relaxed further. However, to ensure safety and prudent control of expenditures, all university-funded travel will require advance approval from the Bursar.

I would also like to share information about specific campus services and facilities.

The Library, like the libraries at Dalhousie, is currently providing access to library materials for Dalhousie and King’s library users who send an email request to library@ukings.ca. The Library will remain exclusively online through July. In August, under its COVID-19 safety plan, it plans to allow physical entry by limited numbers of users. It plans to increase its hours and the number of people it can allow in the library at one time in September, as safety conditions allow.

The goal for the Gym is to open for individual skills training by small numbers of people practising ample physical distancing. While there is no set date for this controlled reopening, in early July staff will periodically return to campus under all necessary health restrictions to prepare for this eventuality.

The Chapel continues to work on its new COVID-19 safety plan. The Chapel will operate under its existing plan until the new plan is approved, which we are confident will be in place by Monday, July 13.

The Bursar’s Office and the Registrar’s Office will continue to provide service online for the time being. This may change as we approach the beginning of the new academic year, provided provision of in-person services can be done safely.

We will have students living on campus this year, with some coming in August to accommodate their requirement to self-isolate for 14 days. On June 26, the Dean of Students advised incoming and returning students of the reopening of residences for September, and of the measures under which this will be done to ensure health and safety of students and everyone at the College. These measures will include:


  • Single occupancy only, reducing the number of residence students by 50%.
  • Designated bathroom facilities to reduce the number of students sharing bathrooms.
  • The enforcement of physical distancing, aided in some cases by temporary modifications to the buildings.
  • Enhanced cleaning by custodial staff and making available disinfectant supplies to students.
  • Modifications to Prince Hall to allow for in-person dining.
  • Designated quarantine space in case of illness and robust protocols for response to illness
  • Adapted move-in process with arrangements for 14-day self-isolation, as necessary
  • Additional student code of conduct expectations to comply with applicable public health rules

There is risk involved in reopening our residences. The measures being taken, which are in accordance with guidance provided by Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, will reduce this risk. It will also be reduced by the resumption of classes solely with online teaching, which will reduce gatherings and crowding of hallways and other spaces by students coming to and from classes.

Once implemented on Monday, July 13, all of our COVID-19 safety plans will be continually reviewed and refined as circumstances unfold and as we learn more about how we can keep each other safe in a world that is not locked down but is not fully open either. You can keep up to date by following the latest postings on COVID-19 matters on our website.


William Lahey
President and Vice-Chancellor

June 26 — Letter regarding residence re-opening

Dear incoming King’s Students & Parents,

I am happy to inform you that our residences at King’s will be open for Fall 2020.

All students living on campus will have their own room. This will reduce the overall residence occupancy by 50% pending further updates from public health. King’s students who have already applied to residence and paid the necessary fees are guaranteed a single room.

Students are reminded that classes at Dalhousie (with limited exceptions) and at King’s will be conducted online this fall. Any students who have not yet completed the residence application process are encouraged to do so right away. New applicants or applicants who have not yet paid all the necessary fees are asked to self-identify on their residence application if they will experience barriers to online education (e.g. limited access to reliable internet, need academic accommodations better met by living on campus, etc.), so their application can be prioritized. Students with questions are encouraged to contact residence@ukings.ca.

As President Bill has stated previously, we are working on plans and measures to allow a gradual and responsible physical reopening of campus when this becomes possible under prevailing public health conditions and directives. In doing so, our first priority will be the safety of those who would then, for compelling reasons, be working on campus on a limited basis with protective measures in place for their safety and that of their families and the broader community. This will be the first stage of a larger plan to welcome all students back to campus under conditions that will similarly protect their health and safety, when that becomes possible.

Additional safety measures will be in place for those living in residence, including:

  • Designated bathroom facilities to reduce the number of students sharing bathrooms
  • The enforcement of physical distancing, including renovations to existing campus spaces
  • Enhanced cleaning by custodial staff and making available disinfectant supplies to students
  • Modifications to Prince Hall to allow for in-person dining
  • Separate designated quarantine space in case of illness and robust protocols for response to illness
  • Adapted move-in process with arrangements for 14-day self-isolation as necessary for students
  • Additional student conduct expectations to comply with applicable public health rules

More details about safety measures and expectations for students living in residence will be forthcoming in updated residence guidelines. These guidelines will be strictly enforced when students move into residence in order to protect the health and safety of the residence community. These guidelines are also subject to change. If public health or government officials issue directives that further impact residence operations, we will communicate this as soon as it is known.

There is no doubt these measures will impact students’ experiences in residence. What sustains our hope for the coming year is our student community. We know it won’t be the same, but the strength of students’ contributions to our community are what make King’s special—and that will be no different in the year to come.

I recognize that not all incoming students will be living in residence. More students will be living off-campus in Halifax or beyond. I know some of you plan to continue living in your family home. We are working to include all incoming students, wherever you may be living, in the programming and supports normally available only to students living in residence.  Those of you not living in residence are King’s newest “Day Students”. You play an important role in the student life of our campus.

To say that “we are all in this together” has no truer meaning given that your Dean of Students and your President live on campus with their families. That said, I am the Dean of all students—no matter your postal code—and I cannot wait to welcome you all to our community in a few short months.

In the meantime, please take good care and reach out if there is anything me or my team can to do to support you.

Sincerely yours,

Katie Merwin
Dean of Students
University of King’s College

June 9 — Letter regarding athletics in fall 2020

Dear King’s Blue Devils:

COVID-19 has made a profound impact on our lives. As administrators and university professionals, the safety of students, faculty, staff, and community has been our utmost concern.

As you all know, the university has announced that education will be delivered online for the fall term, and longer if necessary. I know that this has raised serious questions about competitive athletics and conventional team gatherings in larger groups. The following is the official decision that the ACAA has cancelled the sport seasons for the fall (below).

Based on the risks to safety, our regular way of delivering the sports you love is going to change. However, make no mistake, you are all still part of your team and the Blue Devil family and we value every opportunity to connect with you as we work together to remain active in the absence of regular competition. We encourage you to make your academic plans as you prepare for your education in the fall. We are already planning exciting virtual programs that will be beneficial to all of you during these strange times. These and other activities are taking shape. We recognize that it can be difficult to find the motivation to do workouts on your own but remember that you will always have your teammates and coaches for both ideas and support. It is extremely important for both your physical and mental health that you stay connected and active.

The support you will receive from your Athletics Department will be a combination of virtual yoga and strength and conditioning training delivered as separate programs. The programs will be coordinated through your coaches and tailored to the needs of your sport. Qualified, experienced instructors have been secured and coaches will be consulted on all aspects of these programs. Coaches will be in touch with you on skill development and will be working toward actual in-person, sport-specific workouts as per public health guidelines involving physical distancing and smaller groups.  The details of our programming will come as we learn more about what we are able to do within public health restrictions and with university guidance. Through online platforms, teams will be able to stay in regular contact with each other and their coaches. Even though we are all in the middle of this pandemic our goal is to provide the best possible experience in the absence of what you would normally do in practices and games. We will be providing regular updates to you in the near future as more programming is organized.  To this end, we will soon host an online Q&A session for student-athletes where you can all find out more and ask questions about any of the concerns you might have.

On the academic side, we are very happy to report that free tutoring is available for any student-athlete who needs it. More details will be available soon as to how to book this and an e-mail will be sent with all the necessary information you need. We are also pleased to inform you that any athletic scholarships you were to receive will still be in place for you even though we are not playing in the fall. Whether there are games or not, you are still members of the team! We are very proud of all of your academic and athletic achievements and are honoured to provide this support!

To all Blue Devils, both new and current, know that your coaches are incredibly supportive and share your concerns about the upcoming season. They await guidance from the Athletics Department and will be in touch very soon to take you through their plans for this COVID-19 period and beyond. Trish Miles, Athletics Coordinator, and myself, Neil Hooper, Director of Athletics, will be working closely with our coaches to provide you with the best possible opportunities to stay active and help you focus on skill development with your teammates. King’s is very much a family and we will all work together with excellent support from Athletics staff, coaches, faculty, university departments and administrators, to make this year enjoyable for everyone!

In closing, we have missed all of you who are returning and cannot wait to meet our newest members of King’s family, our first-year players. Although this is not how you were all planning to start your athletic seasons, we will be working every day to provide you the next best experience. We want to keep you connected to your teammates and build new relationships with first-year student-athletes. King’s is a school that values sport and the experience it adds to a great education, while making fond memories that will be cherished for the rest of your lives.

For more information please use our website www.ukings.ca. Please reach out to Neil Hooper (Director of Athletics) neil.hooper@ukings.ca or Trish Miles (Athletics Coordinator) trish.miles@ukings.ca if there are any concerns or questions about varsity athletics or any services offered by our department. Follow us on social media for new information.

We are thinking about all of you and know that we are in your corner! Please stay safe and healthy. We will be working toward a better day and getting back to what we all love to do.

Neil Hooper
Director of Athletics

June 9 — ACAA announcement regarding first-semester sports

Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association Cancels 2020-21 Season First-Semester Sports

After deliberation among its 10-member institutions, the Atlantic Collegiate Athletics Association has cancelled its first-semester sports schedule in light of health and safety considerations for its student athletes, coaches and athletics staff.

“We understand this is a very disappointing situation for our student athletes and fans across the region,” said William Lahey, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of King’s College who spoke on behalf of fellow presidents of the ACAA member institutions. “At the same time, I am confident that everyone understands the requirements for physical distancing and protection measures are not compatible with competitive sport at our level of play and the risk of transmission among athletes is too great. In a nutshell, the health and safety of student athletes, coaches and athletics staff comes first.”

The decision to cancel first-semester sports affects men’s and women’s soccer and cross country and women’s rugby, as well as exhibition and early season competitions for men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball and badminton.  A further decision on basketball, volleyball and badminton will be made at a later date as these sports could potentially see a January 2021 start to a condensed season. Under that scenario, exhibition and season play until January would be cancelled and schedules after January 1 reduced.

The decision follows meetings between ACAA university and college presidents on the impact of COVID-19 on sports programming said Ron O’Flaherty, ACAA Chair and Executive Director.

Member institutions are also in the midst of announcing decisions related to their fall semester and preparing to deliver classes with a combination of delivery options, depending on the institution.  All institutions have been clear that adherence to public health directives will be applied to all learning, living and campus activities.

“We are dealing with an issue that has impacted every aspect of society including colleges and universities and now it has impacted ACAA sports. Before this announcement, athletics directors and coaches have been reaching out to their student athletes to relay the news,” said Michael Eagles, Athletics Director at St. Thomas University.

“It is hugely disappointing as athletics is an important part of campus life. But there are also serious education and campus issues being addressed by universities, all with safety and health as the main goal. I know ADs and coaches will do their part to support their players and help them succeed as students.”

The ACAA is hopeful that student athletes in first semester sports may be able to participate in forms of athletic programming at their respective institutions consistent with requirements mandated by public health authorities. This could include options for individual or small group training and conditioning. As well, student athletes are leaders in their communities and many of their community activities could continue.

Over the past few weeks, the presidents of the ACAA member institutions reviewed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on athletics. Provinces in the region are presently in different stages of recovery with public health authorities guiding gradual, staged re-openings while remaining cautious to avoid a major resurgence of COVID-19.  Physical distancing, screening and controlled facility access are among mandated measures and border control measures remain in place.

May 29 — Letter to residence applicants

The University of King’s College is known for its strong and vibrant community. King’s is continuing this tradition within the new context of COVID-19. I know first-hand the importance of the residence experience, as Dean of Students living in Alex Hall and as a former FYP student.

Residence will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so. Residence space will be limited to comply with public health requirements. We will make rooms available for as many students as is safe to have with us, especially for students who experience barriers to accessing online learning.

Here is what you need to do next:

  • Apply to residence as soon as possible, if you have not done so already and are interested in living on campus.
  • Email residence@ukings.ca by June 15 if you no longer want to live in residence. If you still plan on attending King’s in the Fall, your $400 residence deposit will be credited to your student account. Room assignments will proceed in July.
  • Check out this resource—Transitions—about preparing for university, developed by a Dalhousie professor. I encourage you to share this with your family.
  • Monitor your @dal.ca email for updates.

We are working hard to ensure supports, services, and programming are available to all students, regardless of where they are. You play a critical role in building community.  In true King’s tradition, there are already student-led initiatives for incoming students to connect such as the University of King’s College 2024 Facebook group. Join the group and introduce yourself!

There are also plans to connect you to other students in the King’s community who have been through what you’re going through and can help you along the way. Stay tuned for more details.

The summer before university is an exciting—and sometimes challenging—time for you and your family. Enjoy your summer as best you can. Reach out with any questions. We are grateful to have you as part of the King’s community!

Sincerely yours,

Katie Merwin
Dean of Students
University of King’s College

May 29 — Letter regarding athletics in fall 2020

Dear King’s Blue Devils:

COVID-19 has made a profound impact on all of our lives.  As administrators and university professionals, the safety of students, faculty, staff, and community has been our utmost concern.

Recently the university has announced that education will be primarily delivered online for the fall term and longer if necessary.  I know that this has raised serious questions about athletics and any means of team gatherings.  Based on the risks to safety it is looking more and more like our regular way of delivering the sports you love is going to change.   It is almost certain that we will not be playing and practicing in our usual way during first term.  No formal announcement has been made, but it is important that we follow upcoming news from the ACAA and the university about sports in the fall.  Make no mistake about it, you are all still part of the Blue Devil family, and we value every opportunity to work with you as we look to remain active in the absence of regular competition.  We encourage you to make your academic plans as you prepare for your education in the fall.  We are already planning exciting virtual programs that will be beneficial to all of you during these strange times.  We recognize that it can be difficult to find the motivation to do workouts on your own, so you will always have your teammates for both ideas and support, which is extremely important for both your physical and mental health.  Rest assured that help is on the way!  

To new students, please reach out to our very helpful staff in the Registrar’s office (admissions@ukings.ca), Bursar’s Office accounts@ukings.ca), and Dean of Student’s Office (residence@ukings.ca) with any questions you might have. If you are a Foundation Year Program student, register for a FYP 101 webinar this week to get a feel FYP and learn more about the online delivery of that program.  Many of our returning students have relied on these valuable services and continue to lean on their expertise.  To those who have earned Athletic Scholarships, these will be in place for you.  Also, to those of you who need tutors, the Athletic Department will continue assist you.  More details will follow in terms of contact and how to set this up in the fall.

To all Blue Devils, both new and current, know that your coaches are incredibly supportive and share your concerns about the upcoming season.  They await guidance from the Athletics Department and will be in touch very soon to take you through their plans for this Covid 19 period and beyond.  Trish Miles, Athletics Coordinator, and myself, Neil Hooper, Director of Athletics, will be working closely with our coaches to provide you with the best possible opportunities to stay active and help you focus on skill development with your teammates.  King’s is very much a family and we will all work together with excellent support from Athletics staff, coaches, faculty, university departments and administrators, to make this year enjoyable for everyone!

For more information please use our website www.ukings.ca.  Please reach out to Neil Hooper (Director of Athletics) neil.hooper@ukings.ca or Trish Miles (Athletics Coordinator) trish.miles@ukings.ca if there are any concerns or questions about varsity athletics or any services offered by our department.  Follow us on social media for new information.

We are thinking about all of you and know that we are in your corner!  Please stay safe and healthy. We will be working toward a better day and getting back to what we all love to do.

May 20 — Letter to returning students about the fall 2020 term

Dear King’s Students,

We are writing to provide you with the most information we can at this time about our plans for teaching and learning in the coming fall term.

We know from the emails we have received from a number of you, as well as from the continuing advocacy on your behalf by the KSU, that our plans, along with those of Dalhousie, are a major matter of concern and worry for you, which adds to the many other kinds of worry and uncertainty we all face as the coronavirus pandemic continues. Faculty, our academic programs, and the University, in collaboration with colleagues at Dalhousie, have been working continuously for weeks to make the decisions that would allow us to give you meaningful information on how our academic mission will be conducted in 2020/2021.

In addition to the necessity of this ongoing work, the continuing uncertainty about the public health conditions and directives that will apply in September and beyond has constrained our ability to make decisions about the coming academic year. That uncertainty, while abating in positive directions, remains. As a result, we are still not able to provide all the information we would like to provide or answer all the questions you may have. In this memo, you will find the information we can currently and confidently share. We will provide more information as it becomes available.

As has been the case since the beginning of this pandemic, our fundamental and overarching concerns are your health and safety, and that of our faculty and staff, and of the broader community of Halifax. Within that context, we are equally motivated by our determination to ensure your learning at King’s continues to be of the high and inspiring quality to which you have been accustomed and which you rightly expect. A further consideration of high importance is alignment of our plans with those of Dalhousie, especially in the faculties of arts and social science, and of science, so that you and your families have as much clarity as possible to make decisions (such as where you will live) in the coming year.

With these key considerations in mind, our academic programs have all agreed that they will be offering their courses online in September. This is–with some exceptions that will most likely not apply to King’s students–the same decision that has been made by Dalhousie. Based on evolving public health conditions, some in-person teaching may be delivered in the winter term in ways that comply with public health directives on physical distancing and the size of gatherings. But if this happens, it will happen in ways that will allow you to continue to take any course at King’s you want to take through distance (online) learning. In other words, if your preference is to continue your studies online throughout both semesters in the coming year, you will be able to do that at King’s.

We are also working on a plan to reopen our campus to first allow staff and faculty and then students to be once again physically on campus, if you so choose. This plan is being developed to ensure compliance with the public health requirements on physical distancing and limiting the size of gatherings that are likely to remain in effect over the coming year in Nova Scotia and across Canada. It is our objective to have the plan in effect before September 1 so that we can better ensure the quality of our online teaching through the access to facilities, resources and supports that faculty will have if the campus were open.

The reopening of the campus will also allow you to work and see each other on campus and receive support on campus through face-to-face interaction with faculty, staff and each other. This may include a limited number of rooms in residence for returning students. We believe reopening the campus in this way, under public health protocols, may be a good option for some of you who believe your technology and other academic needs can be better met by living on or in proximity to campus with the support we can then provide to you. We hope the availability of this option will help to address some of the equity issues that we recognize are inherent in online teaching and learning. Again, however, we wish to stress that you will be fully and equally supported by our faculty, staff and programs if you are completing courses from a distance.

We assure you the courses we will offer in the fall are being developed for learning in an online context. They will be different from in-person courses but that does not mean they will be lesser versions of those courses. As a university community, we long to be back together, just as we were before March 13, 2020. But just as you know that in-person courses are not great simply because they are offered in person, you can imagine or perhaps know by experience that online teaching and learning varies in quality from course to course and from teacher to teacher. At King’s, our online courses will be of high quality for the same reason as our in-person courses are– they will be taught by your wonderful professors who will be totally committed to your learning needs. Technology will enable that, and at the same time, we’ll do all we can to ensure it does not get in the way of it.

An additional consideration in our decision to begin the year with online teaching and learning and to commit to allowing you to continue with online learning for the entirety of the year to come is that we know that these are very challenging economic times. The year ahead may be financially difficult for you and possibly for your family. We want you to know that in addition to the bursaries King’s always offers to students with financial need, we are also offering supplementary funding to help students facing financial difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the associated public health measures governments have taken to address the pandemic. These bursaries are meant to supplement the support being provided through the governmental responses to student need in the form of both student employment and student loans. We urge you to complete the bursary form [PDF] and talk to our Registrar’s Office by emailing Catherine Read in the Registrar’s Office at catherine.read@ukings.ca to talk about your situation if you think you may need one of these bursaries.

If you have any questions about any of what we have covered in this letter, please reach out to Bill at william.lahey@ukings.ca or Peter at peter.obrien@ukings.ca, or our Registrar’s Office by contacting Julie Green at julie.green@ukings.ca.

We end by leaving you with two thoughts. The first is to urge you to continue your university career if doing so is feasible for you in the coming year. We are confident that in this time of physical distancing and limited gatherings, you will be healthier and happier if you carry on with preparing yourself for the future. Our society needs you preparing yourself for that future more than ever before.

Our second thought is to simply send our best wishes for safety, health and well-being to you and your loved ones as we all continue to do our part to get through our current situation together, with concern and love for each other, all vulnerable people, and those who work to protect and serve us at this time.

William LaheyPeter O’Brien
President and Vice ChancellorVice President


May 15 — Letter to incoming FYP students about the fall 2020 term

I am delighted to know you are considering the King’s Foundation Year Program (FYP) as your first step in acquiring an exceptional university education at King’s and Dalhousie. Your interest in FYP will naturally reflect your own understanding of what makes FYP remarkable and distinctive. It is our experience that FYP does what a first-year of university should do, which is to prepare you for success in the rest of your degree and in life beyond your degree. As summed up by FYP Acting Director Dr. Susan Dodd and her colleagues, “You really can’t get a better start to an undergraduate degree and you only have to ask anyone who has been through FYP to know why”.

I recently received a note from Michele Sanders, a King’s parent, who wrote about her daughter Bethany’s FYP experience:

“Our family welcomed our daughter back from her FYP experience a month ago. She is hale and hearty, and perhaps even more importantly, she is full to the brim with a new confidence and fresh insights into literature, history, and current events. Despite a fall hurricane, a winter blizzard, and a spring plague, she has had an excellent year. We sincerely hope she will be joining her FYP friends again in September.”

In the meantime, a sincere thank you to all the excellent professors and staff at Kings. Your devotion and care of your students is clear, and deeply appreciated.”

On a similar theme, we recently conducted a survey of our alumni to find out what they are doing in life and how they reflect on their time at King’s. Ninety-five percent say they would come to King’s again if they had the chance. The survey also showed that our graduates are doing remarkably well in a wide range of careers and in making a difference in the world. Overwhelmingly, they attribute that success to their education at King’s and in FYP more particularly. We invite you to read more about our alumni and their perspective on the difference that FYP and King’s have made in their lives in an article in an article written by Assistant Registrar Dr. Yolana Wassersug.

Ultimately, however, FYP is about self-knowledge, knowledge of our world, and of each student’s place in that world through the careful and attentive reading and discussion of books that shape our world and our understanding of it. It is a communal intellectual journey. As Dr. Neil Robertson, (FYP Director currently on leave) is fond of saying, the purpose of that journey is not to make you a liberal or a conservative or any other kind of person, other than your true self. As T.S. Eliot puts it, it is instead to “not cease from exploration”, knowing “the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time”.

The truth of this wisdom is only accentuated in the global pandemic that has caused so much disruption, disappointment and uncertainty in your life. I know this raises questions for you about whether FYP will be online or in-person this year and whether it will be as good online as it would be in-person. Although the situation is a fluid one, changing with the pandemic and public health directives, I want to answer those questions as fully as I can with the information we now have. We anticipate making our formal announcement very soon. Meanwhile, we want to give as much information as we can today.

While final formal decisions remain under review, faculty are preparing to make FYP available in the coming academic year as a holistic online experience that incorporates the intense community building that is always at the centre of the FYP experience. This will be to ensure your safety and health and that of our faculty and staff and fellow students. But equally, it will be to ensure that FYP– in all its richness– is available to you and others who are searching to understand where we are. It is particularly important that we come together now to explore timeless questions such as what it is to be human, what it means to live in community, and how to make sense of a world in time of uncertainty.

The truth of this need to seek together will be accentuated, and not reduced, in the coming year. At a time when most university education will be online, FYP will uniquely unite you with other FYP students through the common experience of giving care and attention to the same important books, and on the same schedule. As it always does, FYP will give structure and rhythm to your transition from high school to university. Unlike other first year offerings, which could see you taking as many as 10 different courses over two terms, you will take one or two electives (depending on your degree choice) and then FYP. In this way, FYP will immerse you in a single, curated, cohesive and interdisciplinary curriculum. You will also be challenged and supported as you explore the readings with a small number of academic tutors. These tutors will meet with you and about eight other students either four times a week (for FYP Arts and Journalism) or three times a week (for FYP Science).

FYP tutorials, which if offered online would be reduced from their normal size of about 15, will ensure that the FYP experience continues to be defined by our tutors’ care and attention to the complex and personalized needs you may have as you follow the ambitious FYP curriculum. Just as they do when FYP is fully on campus, these tutorials will pull you into a stable community of learned discussion, mutual support and friendship. You will indeed be supported by our Associate Director of Student Support (Dr. Susan Dodd), several tutors (one of whom will stay with you through the year as your “main tutor”) , our writing coach, Dean of Students (Katie Merwin), and the full range of formal and informal supports we always provide to our students on King’s campus and in collaboration with Dalhousie.

In all of these and in other ways, I promise that this year’s FYP, however it is delivered, will give you and your fellow FYP students what it gave to Bethany: “a new confidence and fresh insights into literature, history, and current events,” when that is perhaps more important than ever.

I want to also share the following further general information with you:

1. For those of you considering FYP Journalism, I want you to know that our faculty in the School of Journalism are also preparing to offer Fundamentals of Journalism online. This means that the entirety of your first-year program would be available to you.

2. For those of you contemplating FYP Arts or FYP Science, we anticipate announcements will be coming from Dalhousie very soon, and well before you are required to register. Meanwhile, we are confident that through our partnership we will continue to provide you the opportunities you need to take the other courses you may want to combine with FYP. For those of you in FYP Arts who may be interested in taking History of Science and Technology first year courses at King’s, which also will be offered online.

3. We are currently working on a plan to reopen our campus. This plan is being developed to ensure compliance with public health requirements on the physical distancing and limiting the size of gatherings that are likely to remain in effect over the coming year in Nova Scotia and across Canada. When it is safe to do so, we will welcome students into residences, for those who want a residential experience to complement their online learning. These requirements will likely mean that we will have to limit the number of students in residence to ensure the safety of everyone. We believe that living in residence, even though teaching and learning is happening online, may be a good option for some students who believe their technology and other academic needs can be better met by living on campus with the support we can provide to them.

4. If conditions change and it looks possible for some elements of FYP to be offered in-person, or to allow a larger number of students to be accommodated in residence, we will make those adjustments. But I want to assure you that this would only be done in such a way as to allow you to continue to fully experience FYP online, if that were your preference.

5. In addition to the bursaries King’s always offers to students based on financial need, we are also offering supplementary funding to help students facing financial difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the associated public health measures governments have taken to address the pandemic. These bursaries are meant to supplement the support being provided through the governmental responses to student need in the form of both student employment and student loans. I urge you to complete the bursary form [PDF] and talk to our Registrar’s Office by emailing Catherine Reid in the Registrar’s Office at catherine.read@ukings.ca to talk about your situation if you think you may need one of these bursaries.

If you have any questions about any of what I have covered in this letter, please reach out to me at william.lahey@ukings.ca or directly to our Registrar’s Office by contacting Julie Green at julie.green@ukings.ca or Yolana Wassersug at yolana.wassersug@ukings.ca.

I end by leaving you with two thoughts. The first is to urge you not to delay the start of your university career if going to university this year is an option for you, whether you decide to register at King’s or another university. I am confident that in this time of physical distancing and limited gatherings, you will be healthier and happier if you carry on with preparing yourself for the future.

My second thought is to simply send my best wishes for safety, health and well-being to you and your loved ones as we all continue to do our part to get through our current situation together, with concern and love for each other, all vulnerable people, and those who work to protect and serve us at this time.

Yours truly,


William Lahey
President and Vice-Chancellor
University of King’s College
6350 Coburg Road
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 2A1
902.422.1271 ext. 121
C: 902.456-4764
F: 902.423-3357
E: william.lahey@ukings.ca

April 9 — Updated process on changing Winter 2020 grades to PASS/ILL

Dear King’s students,

We hope you are all coping as well as possible in these difficult times. We continue to be here to support you as you navigate the end of term.

Below you will find updated information related to end-of-term grade options and procedures, the details of which we have been working with our colleagues at Dalhousie to confirm and finalize over the past couple of weeks. If you have not already done so, please be sure to go back and read the March 26 – New Grade Options for Winter Term (below) for more background around grading options.

Once your grades are posted, if you accept them you do not have to do anything. Do not fill out a waiver form.

What to know about PASS/ILL:

  • A PASS option is available to you if pass your course but do not feel your final grade is reflective of your overall performance. The ILL option (which reflects “compassionate reasons or illness”) is available to you if you do not pass your course.
  • PASS will not be included in GPA calculations (“GPA neutral”); credit will still be earned for the course.
  • ILL will not be included in GPA calculations; credit will not be earned for the course.
  • Your original letter grade will not appear on your official transcript. There will always be a record of your original letter grade earned if you ever need it (i.e. application for graduate schools) via DARS (degree audit system).
  • A PASS grade may not automatically fulfil prerequisite requirements (see below)
  • Minimum grade required for a PASS is dependent upon your Program. If you are unsure what minimum grade is required, please contact your program directly (e.g. Journalism, Contemporary Studies, Early Modern Studies).

Process to change your grade to PASS/ILL:

  • Submit the waiver form to change your grade(s) to PASS/ILL after ALL your final grades have been posted. Requests will not be considered until all your grades have been posted in Dal Online.
  • The process to do this will be available in Dal Online starting April 15, 2020.
  • To access the waiver form, log in to your Dal Online account and choose Student Records>Academic Record. Click on the link at the top of the page and complete the required information in the waiver application.
  • Once you submit your waiver, an academic advisor will reach out to you via your dal.ca email to discuss your options.
  • For potential graduates, waivers should be submitted by May 8, 2020.
  • For all other students, waivers should be submitted by June 1, 2020.


  • PASS will count as having achieved basic prerequisite requirements. However, a PASS will not automatically be accepted as a prerequisite for courses where a minimum grade is required (e.g. a C or above in the prerequisite course). Prerequisites with minimum grade requirements will be assessed using the final grade you received in your course. Your advisor can inform you about the process for requesting instructor permission if your final grade is below the minimum requirement for a course.
  • ILL will not count as having achieved any prerequisite requirements, as the credit was not successfully earned.

Repeat policy:

  • The repeat policy will be applied to the letter grades earned, as usual.
  • PASS: if you have repeated a class and want the neutral grade included in the GPA calculation, indicate this on the waiver form when you make your request to have your grade changed to a PASS.
  • ILL: ILL grades are not included in the GPA calculation and cannot replace the grade of the course you took previously.


  • For upper-year undergraduate students (i.e. second year and beyond), renewable/consideration criteria will remain the same: a 3.7 GPA for full time students. A PASS grade is a credit and will count towards required credit hours, but it will not be used in the calculation of your GPA. For students in the Foundation Year Program,​scholarship criteria remain the same. While you may take a PASS if you wish, you must receive a letter grade (B+ and above) in the Foundation Year Program to be considered for a scholarship. ​ Please note, in response to COVID-19 additional bursary funding will be available for the 2020-21 academic year.
  • There is an appeal process in place for students who may not meet conditions for retaining renewable scholarships. Appeals should be sent to Catherine Read at catherine.read@ukings.ca by September 1st for consideration by the Scholarships Committee.

Academic standing:

  • Academic standing will be assessed starting in May (i.e. dismissals, probation, Dean’s List, etc.).
  • As is normally the case, students who have completed at least 24 credit hours and receive a standing of “academic probation” or “academic dismissal” will be informed by communications from the Registrar’s Office.
  • If you have requested any change of grades to ILL and/or PASS, your standing will be reassessed once these changes are processed.

You may have other questions regarding this process. This is why, if you submit a waiver form, your advisor will reach out via your Dal email. We are requiring students to meet with an advisor prior to finalizing any academic decisions.

Registrar’s Office
University of King’s College

March 27 — President Lahey’s message to students

Dear King’s students,

I have many messages I want share with you. At the top of the list is my desire to tell you how immensely proud I am of all of you. Much has been asked of you and your families in the last two weeks. You have shouldered massive changes and disappointments and yet you have transitioned with us quickly, offering your support to our collective effort of fighting the spread of this virus. You have done this in the best King’s tradition, by also offering support and friendship to one another at this difficult time.

As ever, the health and safety of King’s community remain our highest priority, and it is vital that we continue to show our willingness to do our part as citizens and a community to reduce transmission of COVID-19.

As you know, the Province of Nova Scotia declared a state of emergency on Sunday. The province’s new measures mean Nova Scotia’s borders have been tightened to travellers at all entry points and anyone entering the province needs to self-isolate for 14 days. 

I want to emphasize an important exception to this rule, which is that entrance to Nova Scotia is allowed for the pick-up of a post-secondary student provided the travel is direct to the post-secondary institution or off-campus residence. Travellers should self-isolate if they stay in Nova Scotia overnight and again for 14 days when they go home.​

At King’s, we achieved social distancing compliance because of you and your efforts. I am grateful to you and your families for working with our Dean of Students and the dons to cooperatively leave our residences so quickly. Our residences are now nearly empty, and it is because of this that we are better able to offer a higher level of safety to the six remaining students who, for a variety of reasons, are simply unable to leave.

And to those of you living off-campus, we appreciate the support you are giving to this collective effort by deciding where best to ride this out and to also doing all that is necessary to keep yourself and others safe.

While pride and gratitude overwhelm my feelings, I acknowledge what is at the heart of this difficult transition. I know this is a tremendously disruptive time and that many of you are filled with profound sadness.

No matter what year you are in or how long you have been a member of this community, this abrupt and unexpected change to the close of our year together has been exceedingly hard for all of us. The rights of passage of each year that do so much to cement our life-long attachment to each other have been taken away from us, and especially from all of you. We understand this and share your sadness and disappointment. We are working on ways of lightening our hearts and bringing us together in new ways.

For example, in addition to starting on-line delivery of FYP this week, FYP faculty began to share “FYP Letters” for FYP students and the wider community, to help us all come together. If you have not yet taken a look, you can find it on the King’s website at ukings.ca/fyp-letters.

For my part, I address myself particularly to the graduating class of 2020. While I cannot pretend to know exactly what you are feeling, I can say unequivocally that I too am heartbroken about our inability to celebrate Encaenia as planned on May 29. Of all our College celebrations, Encaenia is the most special – the day on which I am most grateful to be part of the King’s community and its traditions. This year was to be special for me in a particular way. Many of you started at King’s when I did; your move-in day was my first move-in day. I cannot express how much I was looking forward to once again being together with you and your families, and all our graduates and their families, to celebrate what we started together.

And so, to you, the class of 2020, whenever you started at King’s and whatever your degree, I make a personal promise. I give you my word that, whatever it takes and however long it takes, we will have Encaenia for the class of 2020 when it is safe for you and for our whole community to celebrate with you. And like all of our Encaenias, it will be a grand and glorious celebration.

As you work to finish your school year, we will continue to communicate with you regularly. You can always get the most up-to-date information at ukings.ca/coronavirus. There will be regular communications from members of the college. You will be in contact with your professors. And, at a minimum, I will be sending regular Friday updates as we go through this unprecedented period in history together.

At King’s we have a bond and we are a community, not only for our time together at King’s but for life. The fact that we are now scattered does not change that. In the fullness of time I believe we will see that it will have strengthened our community and our love for each other. Like generations of our graduates who have sustained their friendships nurtured at King’s for a lifetime, we will pull through this together, despite our premature separation. And we will be together again.

Keep your spirits high, for your sake and the sake of those around you. Stay healthy, support each other and do what you can for others as we all stand together in difficult times.


William Lahey
President and Vice-Chancellor

March 26 — New Grade Options for Winter Term

Good evening students,

Dalhousie has just sent a memo regarding grading (below). I would strongly encourage you, in every instance, to work closely with you instructor on developing a plan for successfully completing this term.

The option outlined below will be available to all King’s students in all King’s and Dalhousie courses for this semester. Your inquiries should be directed to the Registrar’s Office at King’s through registrar@ukings.ca.

Dr. Peter O’Brien

To our Dal student community, we have heard your questions and concerns. We have developed a process to ensure the protection of your academic record, given the unusual and extreme circumstances of the 2020 winter term. We have come up with a number of academic options for you to consider once you receive your final grades. Once grades have been posted to Dal Online, you will be able to choose one of the following options for each of your courses. If you receive a passing grade, you may:

  • keep final letter grade and earn the credit OR
  • request to have your grade changed to “PASS”, which is GPA neutral and does give you credit for the course. This is a good option if you feel that your final grade is not reflective of your overall performance.

If you do not receive a passing grade, you may:

  • request to have the F grade switched to an “ILL”, which is defined on your transcript as “compassionate reasons, or illness”. It does not give you credit for the course, but also does not negatively affect your GPA.

Depending on your circumstance, there may be other options available to you as well. More information will be made available in the Student Support Brightspace page in the coming days. If you recently withdrew from a course (special note, that the withdrawal deadline was previously extended to March 30, 2020), and wish to change your mind, please consult with an advisor at the Bissett Student Success Centre by emailing advising@dal.ca or calling 902-494- 3077 for next steps. We wish you all the best in the coming weeks as move forward with your classes and exams.


Teri Balser
Provost and Vice-President Academic


Spring/summer term also moving to remote teaching

We have made the difficult decision to move the spring/summer courses, set to begin in May, to remote (distance) teaching. This means in-person classes will not resume on-campus until the fall. Additional details on spring/summer courses will be shared in the coming weeks.

Please watch your inboxes and the Dahousie and King’s websites for forthcoming information, and please continue to take care.

Dr. Peter O’Brien


Dear King’s Graduands of 2020,

You have all worked so hard and are now close to completing your degree. Everyone at King’s was looking forwarding to celebrating this milestone with you at Encaenia on May 29, 2020, and we know that its cancellation is hugely disappointing.

Our graduands—along with the whole King’s Community—look to Encaenia as a symbolic transition point from years of collegial study and living together to the next stage in your journeys. Encaenia is also a time to make fond farewells to friends and teachers, and to celebrate with loved ones. Please know that the decision to cancel it, announced in a joint King’s-Dalhousie communication on March 14 (“Clarifications, Questions and Answers”), while consistent with ongoing government advice concerning public health and wellness in uncertain times, was not made lightly.

Students will still be awarded their degree(s)/credentials. More information will be shared with you in the near future about how you can expect to receive your parchments. Rest assured that we are committed to finding a meaningful way to mark Encaenia 2020. In the current circumstances, we simply don’t know when or what form that will take. As soon as we are able to turn to such considerations, we will.

For the present, I wish you all the best in these difficult times. Please take care of yourselves.


Dr. Peter O’Brien

March 19 — Message From the Registrar’s Office

The Registrar’s Office has moved to working remotely as of today, Thursday, March 19. Although this move has happened more quickly than anyone could have anticipated, we are well-equipped to continue to provide support to our students (current and future) and our community.

Registration, Academic and Enrolment Support

Today marks the beginning of the registration period for the 2020/21 academic year for the majority of our students (Journalism students registered yesterday). We are available for email and phone support for registration issues. We are also working with the Advancement Office to provide answers to general registration questions on social media.

We will continue to provide students support as they think through the implications of these challenging circumstances on their academic plans.

Please refer students to registrar@ukings.ca.

Recruitment and Admissions

Tomorrow we will host our scheduled Open House online. Please contact Yolana (yolana.wassersug@ukings.ca) or Ashleigh (ashleigh.baxter@ukings.ca) with any questions.

We are transitioning our normal interactions with applicants and potential applicants to online means. We will continue to accept applications, make decisions and connect with new students throughout this time. Please direct questions to admissions@ukings.ca.

Financial Awards

The College is offering COVID-19 emergency bursaries. Please direct students to julie.green@ukings.ca and catherine.read@ukings for further detail.

We will continue to offer financial awards to current and future students.


As you are all experiencing in your own roles, this has been a huge transition during a peak time in the academic year. We have been working hard to minimize the disruption in the service we provide but, obviously, it is challenging. I appreciate your ongoing support as we figure this all out.

I would also like to acknowledge the amazing efforts of all members of the Registrar’s Office and our partners across the College who are going above and beyond in their roles during a stressful time for all.

We will be in touch with those of you we work with on various committees regarding the scheduling of online meetings.


Julie Green


Dear Members of King’s Faculty and Staff,

We are reaching out today with details of how we’re working to support you and your work at King’s. Please consult with your department head, supervisor or their delegate if you have additional questions.

Effective Thursday, March 19, the university remains open. However, in keeping with public health recommendations around social distancing, we are encouraging all faculty and staff who are able to work from home to do so provided that arrangements and approvals are made with department heads, supervisors or their delegates.

  • Employees who are self-isolated but otherwise able to work from home are expected to do so.
  • It is expected that, to the extent possible, anyone working remotely will maintain a normal workload. We recognize this is a challenging time, and certain aspects of our broader community’s response to COVID-19, such as school and daycare closures, could impact the ability of employees to work. Supervisors should make every effort to be flexible in the circumstances.
  • Working from home may require access to appropriate technology. Visit the ITS website (login required) for information about working from home. Speak with your department head, supervisor or their delegate if you have questions about how best to transfer your workstation into a home environment.
  • Despite our collective best efforts, there is no way a situation such as this can ever truly be business as usual. Consider what work is most essential to continue. Take breaks, look after yourself and stay healthy.
  • Employees who are sick will not be required to provide medical documentation or sick notes. Such leaves will be with pay. This time will not be taken from an employee’s vacation or sick leave bank.
  • Finally, this is a stressful time for many in our community. Remember that our Employee and Family Assistance Program is there for you to access at any time .Do not hesitate to reach out if you need support: 1-800-387-4765, www.workhealthlife.com.

Online Learning

As some employees may wish to use this time as an opportunity to take advantage of online professional development, we wanted to introduce you to the Percipio online learning platform.

Percipio was launched in September 2019 to all Dalhousie employees as a result of change in users expectations demanding simplicity, ease of content discovery, and an aesthetic more like Netflix, Facebook or Spotify. You can customize your learning experience by creating your own learning channels by browsing a rich library of content in multiple disciplines including Leadership Develop, Management Programs, Personal Development, Project Management, IT related certifications and more.

To access Percipio, please click on dal.percipio.com and click the Log in button to use your NetID and password. You can also access Percipio through your smartphone and tablet. Just type Percipio in your Apple Store or Play Store.

We recognize and appreciate the impact of these circumstances on you and your families. Thank you for stepping up, bringing your best under less-than-ideal circumstances, and continuing your vital contributions to our community.


Dr. Peter O’Brien

Bonnie Sands


Further to yesterday’s email, please be advised that buildings on the University of King’s College campus will be locked at the end-of-day Friday, March 20. The closures will begin at 4 p.m., and all buildings will be locked by 7 p.m. The only exception will be Alexandra Hall, which will remain open until Sunday night to facilitate the easy departure of student residents.

Locking the buildings will secure the campus and ensure the safety of the few remaining occupants. Limiting access is also a social distancing measure, essential to the effort of slowing the spread of COVID-19.

Security will now be present on campus 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. Staff and faculty can request individual access to buildings by calling Security at (902) 430-7938. Please minimize these requests to only essential visits. Your patience and consideration will help keep our University safe.


Dear Residence Students,

A lot has happened since Friday, when King’s and Dalhousie issued joint directives concerning their respective plans for evacuating residences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At that time, King’s asked all residence students who were able to move out by noon on March 22 to do so. Many of you made quick arrangements to go home and have already left. Thank you. Some of you have plans to leave in the coming days. And a very small number of you have circumstances that preclude you from moving out.

Accelerate your plans to leave

For those students still mobilizing to move out of residence, King’s urges you to accelerate your plans and leave as soon as you’re able. For example, if you can get an earlier flight, book it now. King’s has emergency bursary funds available if you require financial assistance to assist with increased travel costs. Contact catherine.read@ukings.ca and julie.green@ukings.ca in the Registrar’s Office for more details. Today, Porter Airlines announced its plans to suspend service at the end of Friday. Further restrictions on your mobility could be implemented; for example, for now there is no limit on inter-provincial travel but that may not continue to be the case.

Last Friday, there were no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia. As of today, there are 12 (9 presumptive, 3 confirmed). Public health officials tell us this will continue to increase and at an accelerated speed. We also know Coronavirus spreads through close contact and the only way to stop it in its tracks is to self-isolate.

Social distancing enforced

Everyone who remains in residence, or comes to campus for any reason, must strictly adhere to public health recommendations around social distancing. This is no longer a recommendation—it is a rule. You must remain a minimum of two metres apart from one another. Do not attend social gatherings. Do not hug your roommate goodbye. For everyone’s health and safety, make social distancing your practice, along with proper hand-washing protocols and not touching your face.

Dalhousie and NSCAD students

Lastly, we are working to support Dalhousie and NSCAD students living at King’s:

  1. NSCAD students: If you can’t leave King’s residence by March 22, contact Joann Farmer at jfarmer@nscad.ca
  2. Dalhousie students: If you can’t leave King’s residence by March 22, and you are an international student, contact international.centre@dal.ca. If your financial situation precludes you from leaving, contact financialemergency@dal.ca.

International students who cannot return home and students unable to leave for extraordinary reasons

Our intention is to help everyone who is unable to leave find a place to live. We will work with you to make that happen.

We understand these are highly unusual and stressful times. Thank you for understanding and working with us to help protect everyone’s health and wellness.

Katie Merwin
Dean of Students

William Lahey
President and Vice Chancellor
University of King’s College

March 18 — Message from the Bursar’s Office

Dear Members of the King’s Community,

Please be advised that the Bursar’s Office will be working remotely as of Thursday, March 19. The purpose of this message is to inform you of how we plan to continue our operations during this time.


  • Permanent and contract faculty and staff – monthly payroll deposits will continue as well as all employee benefits.
  • Casual employees – department heads and program directors should continue to email timesheets to Dolly as usual at payroll@ukings.ca.
  • A communication will be going out in the near future to department heads and program directors regarding student employees whose anticipated hours of work will have come to an end or are anticipated to do so in the near future because of COVID 19.
  • For all payroll inquiries please email Dolly McIntyre at dolly.mcintyre@ukings.ca or at payroll@ukings.ca.
  • This is a stressful time for many in our community. We would like to remind faculty and staff that King’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) is there for you to access at any time. Please reach out if you need support at 1-800-387-4765 or www.workhealthlife.com.

Student Accounts

  • All inquiries regarding student accounts should be directed to Sharlene Salter at accounts@ukings.ca.
  • Students requesting a refund as a result of residence withdrawals should contact accounts@ukings.ca to obtain a banking information form for direct deposit. We are unable to process cheques at this time.
  • Registration holds on outstanding accounts related to winter term fees have been temporarily lifted to allow for registration. These outstanding fees will need to be paid by April 15. If outstanding fees are not paid by April 15, holds will be reinstated and registration in the summer and fall/winter terms may be removed. Please contact accounts@ukings.ca if you have any overdue amount that you are not able to pay before April 15.
  • Payments on student accounts should be paid via online banking. Please refer to the payment guide for more information.

Accounts Payable

  • Purchase orders (POs), Visa transactions, vendor invoices and payments will continue during this time.
  • All vendor payments will be made through electronic funds transfer (EFT). To obtain a vendor EFT form for direct deposit, please contact accountspayable@ukings.ca. We are unable to process cheques at this time. Vendors who wish to continue being paid by cheque should expect a delay in payment.
  • All vendor invoices should be emailed to King’s at accountspayable@ukings.ca since access to physical mail will be limited during this time.
  • All inquiries pertaining to accounts payable should be directed to Peggy MacIsaac at accountspayable@ukings.ca.

Accounts Receivable (i.e., invoicing by King’s to outside parties)

  • Invoicing will continue to be done by Tami Kendell in the Bursar’s Office. Please email the pertinent information to her for the creation of the invoice.
  • For payments, we are recommending that our customers pay King’s via online banking. Tami will communicate this directly to all customers who receive an invoice from King’s.
  • Please forward inquiries to Tami Kendell at tami.kendell@ukings.ca.


  • Year-end will proceed as planned. The year-end deadlines as stated in Jackie Digout’s email of March 3, 2020 (addressed to department heads, program directors and support staff) still apply. The manual cheque deadline of April 6 will still apply but will apply to EFT payments.
  • Please forward all year-end inquiries to Jackie Digout at jackie.digout@ukings.ca. If you are unable to locate the March 3 year-end email, please reach out to Jackie.
  • For all other inquiries please contact Bonnie Sands, Bursar at bonnie.sands@ukings.ca or bursar@ukings.ca.

All email accounts will be actively monitored while voicemail will be checked daily.

These are unprecedented times and we sincerely appreciate everyone’s patience as we make every effort to operate our office in a “business as usual” manner albeit in a modified fashion.

Stay safe everyone,

Bonnie Sands

March 16 - Update from the University of King’s College Library

Starting Wednesday, March 18, the University of King’s College Library will be closed for three weeks. This decision is consistent with that of Dalhousie with regard to Dalhousie libraries. The Dalhousie announcement is available here.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17, the King’s Library will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Health and wellness of the King’s Library users and staff is our top priority. The difficult decision to close is based on advice from the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, Dr. Theresa Tam, who has said that our opportunity to “flatten the curve” is now.

We recognize that not every student has a computer or internet access. Dalhousie’s Kellogg Library Learning Commons in the Collaborative Health Education Building (CHEB) will be open from 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday from Wednesday, March 18 onward, to provide access to computers and internet-based scholarly resources for students.

Online services will continue to be available during the closure, including research and reference assistance through LiveHelp.

Over the coming weeks, the Library will be assessing the situation and communicate plans for going forward after that.

Thank you for your patience as we do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19. Please send questions or comments to library@ukings.ca and we’ll reply as soon as we can.

Peter O’Brien, Vice-President
Janet Hathaway, Interim University Librarian and Archivist

March 14 - Updated Registration Dates & Times

As noted in the latest university-wide update #5 regarding COVID-19, registration for returning students has been adjusted to better support our campus community as we transition to temporary remote (distance) delivery of courses.

Registration will now open on Wednesday March 18, 2020.  The registration dates and times for your specific faculty are listed below. Please refer to Dal Online for your specific assigned registration time under “Check Your Registration Status.”

Updated Registration Dates & Times

March 18 at 7:30am: Returning and transfer students in the Faculties of Agriculture, Architecture and Planning, Engineering, Health, Graduate Studies and Journalism

March 19 at 6:00am, 8:00am and 10:00am: Returning and transfer students in the Faculties of Arts and Social Sciences, Computer Science, Management and Science

The Registrar’s Offices at both Dalhousie and King’s are here to support you with all matters related to registration (e.g. requiring an instructor’s approval, online overrides, systems errors, and general inquiries). We appreciate your patience as we work through this unprecedented situation.

March 14 - Clarification, questions and answers

PLEASE READ THIS MESSAGE IN FULL. Also, please check your university email regularly in the days and weeks ahead. While we will continue to update our websites (dal.ca/coronavirus, ukings.ca/coronavirus), the latest news will be shared with you via email.

We’ve received many questions since our universities’ communication yesterday afternoon. We don’t have answers to all of them yet, but there are others we can address or clarify with what we know at this point. We appreciate your patience as we work through this unprecedented situation to ensure that, despite these disruptions, our students will be able to complete their academic term. We will be reassessing and evaluating the situation continuously and issuing regular communication updates.



  • To be absolutely clear, in-person classes, in-person labs and in-person exams will not resume this term. Any course delivery will occur through temporary remote (distance) teaching – in most cases, this will mean online delivery through tools such as Brightspace.
  • Instruction will be paused next week (March 16-20). This is to allow instructors time to develop their plan for distance teaching through to the end of the semester. Note that instruction in existing online courses will also be paused next week to allow students and instructors time to focus on transitioning to the new circumstances.
  • Instructors will be confirming plans for distance course continuation and exams with students by Wednesday, March 18. As noted, in most cases, this will be online, but there will likely be some variation. After receiving these instructions, students requiring accommodation should contact their instructor.
  • Students should expect instruction to resume (via distance) on Monday, March 23.
  • Clinical placements, research activities, co-op work placements and King’s journalism workshops (online only) are continuing.

Fall Registration

  • Registration for returning Dalhousie students will go ahead next week as planned, but will open on Wednesday, March 18 instead of Monday, March 16. This is being moved to better support our campus community at this time. More detailed information will be shared with you from the Registrar’s Office.

Residence and campus buildings/services

  • Residence remains open for those who are unable to leave (for reasons such as international travel or personal circumstances). Dining halls also remain open.
  • Those students who are able to move out should do as soon as possible — by no later than March 22. Those who do will receive a prorated refund (room and meal plan) deposited to their student account. Please contact the Residence Office if you have further questions.
  • Campus buildings remain open and operating. This includes recreation facilities such as Dalplex, university libraries and learning commons spaces, Student Health and Wellness, Registrar’s offices and Student Accounts, etc. Please note that hours of operation may vary from normal hours in order to accommodate changing circumstances. Check online hours if you have any questions.

Student inquiries

  • We know students have many questions about this situation. We are in the process of setting up dedicated phone and email support lines to help answer your inquiries and will share these contacts with you early next week.
  • Details (including FAQs) will be updated regularly at dal.ca/coronavirus and ukings.ca/coronavirus

All university community members


  • As stated yesterday, all non-essential university events are cancelled or postponed. At this point, this is in effect until June 1 at a minimum. Do not book university events until further notice as we continue to monitor the situation.
  • This cancellation, regrettably, includes Dalhousie Convocation and King’s Encaenia ceremonies scheduled for May 2020. Students will still be awarded their degree(s)/credentials. More information will be shared with prospective graduates in the near future about how they can expect to receive their parchments.

Travel and self-isolation

  • As stated yesterday, all those who have travelled internationally or from any provinces with confirmed cases of COVID-19 should self-isolate upon their return for 14 days. We are consulting with external partners (including Public Health) on these parameters. If they change, we will let you know. Please note these parameters are effective as of time of notification (5 p.m., Friday, March 13)
  • As a reminder, all non-essential university travel is suspended. Do not book university travel. This suspension will be until June 1 at a minimum.

At this time, additional questions can be sent to COVID19@dal.ca and we will get back to you as best we can. We will continue to update information, including FAQs, at dal.ca/coronavirus and ukings.ca/coronavirus.

Please continue to take care of yourselves. Look out for your own health, and also the health of others. We will have more updates for you next week.


Teri Balser
Provost and Vice-President Academic
Dalhousie University

Ian Nason
Vice-President Finance and Administration
Dalhousie University

Peter O’Brien
University of King’s College

March 13 - Message from President Lahey

Dear students,
You just received an email jointly sent by Dalhousie University’s President Deep Saini and myself. Please read it through to the end.

In addition,

  • Details of remote course delivery will be arranged by your professors
  • FYP students will hear directly from FYP interim director Dr. Susan Dodd
  • If you live in residence, you will soon receive a detailed procedural email from the Dean of Students, Katie Merwin
  • If you have academic advising questions, contact the Registrar’s Office by emailing registrar@ukings.ca
  • Existing student employment will continue
  • Students requiring an emergency bursary can find out more by emailing catherine.read@ukings.ca or julie.green@ukings.ca

The university remains open including the library, computer labs, gym, chapel and Prince Hall (subject, possibly, to reduced hours). The Registrar’s Office will be open this weekend from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. Updates will be posted to ukings.ca/coronavirus.

Your health and safety continue to be our top priority. Whatever questions or concerns you may have, please bring them forward.


William Lahey
President and Vice Chancellor

P: (902) 422-1271
C: (902) 456-4764
E: william.lahey@ukings.ca

March 13 - Coordinated response to COVID-19 from King’s and Dalhousie’s Presidents

In the interest of ensuring alignment between our affiliated institutions, we are sending this update jointly to our respective Dalhousie and King’s communities in Halifax, Truro and elsewhere. Please review this entire message carefully as there are several new developments.

Over the past several weeks, we have been preparing diligently for the impacts of COVID-19. We know our community is large and complex, with significant mobility of our people. Given the current public health situation, and in consultation with both Nova Scotia Public Health and government officials as well as our other postsecondary partners, it is time for our institutions to take concrete measures to encourage social distancing and limit the spread of the virus. The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is highest priority, and it is vital we do our part to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. These measures reflect our unique circumstances for Dalhousie and King’s. We recognize the situation for other institutions may be different and those institutions may need to respond differently.

We have taken many measures to date and are announcing additional measures today in response to the latest information from Public Health. We ask your patience as we work through additional details and decisions and will share more next week.

In-person classes suspended next week

In-person classes and labs for Dalhousie and King’s students will be suspended next week (March 16-20) as a preventative measure to increase social distancing and allow instructors time to shift to alternative means of teaching.

We are working to ensure that, despite these disruptions, students will be able to complete their academic year. Our intention is to begin transitioning classes into a temporary remote teaching environment (such as online, etc.) for the remainder of the term. We expect classes will be suspended at least a week before they recommence. Instructors will receive further instructions through their Deans or Program Directors in the coming days. In-person exams will not take place on campus. More details to come next week. We will be consulting with CONSUP (Council of Nova Scotia University Presidents) and NS Public Health on next steps.

Clinical placements, research activities and co-op work placements are continuing.

Residences — those who can move out are encouraged do so

Residences remain open. We request those students who are able to move out to do so by Sunday, March 22. Please be assured that anyone who cannot return home for reasons such as international travel restrictions, serious personal reasons, or university obligations will continue to be provided accommodation. Those who move out by March 22 will receive a prorated refund (room and meal plan) deposited to their student account. Please note, for students’ continued safety we reserve the right to move students to another residence. Students in residence can expect to receive additional information by email shortly.

University remains open

University offices and buildings remain open. Our decision to suspend classes represents a measure to reduce large gatherings of people in line with public health advice. Research operations will continue.

Further information on HR procedures for employees are being provided to leaders across the university shortly. Please consult with your director, department chair or supervisor for more information.

Cancellation of events and activities

In line with Public Health advice, non-essential university-sanctioned events must be cancelled or postponed at this time. The Dalhousie Presidential Installation (March 30) is also cancelled and may be rescheduled to a later date. The situation with campus events will be reassessed as we go forward.

All non-essential university travel suspended, self-isolation for travellers

All non-essential student, faculty and staff travel for university purposes is now suspended. Any exceptions must be approved by the Provost, or in the case of King’s, the Vice-President.

In line with Public Health advice, all those who have travelled internationally or from any provinces with confirmed cases of COVID-19 should self-isolate upon their return for 14 days. For employees, this time will not be taken from an employee’s vacation or sick leave bank; employees are expected to work from home, where possible.

Final thoughts

A reminder that the Public Health Agency of Canada and Nova Scotia Public Health remain the best source for up-to-date public information on this rapidly changing situation. More information related to Dalhousie can be found at dal.ca/coronavirus and related to King’s at ukings.ca/coronavirus. In the coming days we will continue to update our Frequently Asked Questions on those sites to address common concerns.

These are exceptional times, unprecedented in the modern history of our institutions. We know these measures represent a significant disruption to our operations. No aspect of our mission is unaffected. We are, truly, all in this together.

To our students… we are doing everything we can to limit the impact on your studies, and we are here to support you. We know this is a stressful time. Practise empathy with your peers and reach out if you need support of any kind.

To our faculty, staff and instructors… your commitment to our students and their academic experience is what makes Dalhousie and King’s such great institutions. We know that commitment remains strong. We’re here for what you need in making this difficult situation work for our students.

To everyone in our shared community… Ours is a strong community — and that strength is grounded in our compassion for one another. Now is the time to draw on that strength as we come together and prepare to come through this situation even stronger and more compassionate. Be kind to each other.


Deep Saini
President and Vice-Chancellor
Dalhousie University

William Lahey
President and Vice-Chancellor
University of King’s College