President Steenkamp's video message: Friday, April 3

April 3, 2020
Philip Steenkamp, PhD

Hello everybody!

While I would much prefer to be talking to you all in person, I’m very grateful to have this opportunity to connect with you by video.

Over the last few weeks, we have radically altered the way we do business in response to the COVID-19 emergency.

I know this has taken a huge amount of time and energy and I could not be prouder of the way the university community has come together to meet this challenge.

In just a matter of days, we moved all of our programming online, and I really want to thank the faculty, the staff, the librarians and of course our amazing CTET team for doing this. You are superstars.

I also want to acknowledge those of you working from home or on alternate working arrangements. I know these adaptations are not easy, I’m living them myself.

I also know that many of you are balancing family responsibilities, so again, thank you.

And to those folks who remain on campus doing essential work for us, you are our superheroes and we are deeply, deeply grateful to all of you.

This has been a team effort, so we should all take a bow.

We're into our third week now of social distancing. I’m sure some of you will have seen the modelling that was released last Friday by Dr. Bonnie Henry.

What it shows is that the day-over-day transmission rate of COVID-19 has gone down from 24 percent before social distancing to 12 percent.

Now that's good news indeed.

But it’s no excuse for us to become complacent. If anything, it’s a sign we need to double down so we can continue to flatten this curve and reduce the transmission rate of COVID-19.

We have a webpage on the RRU site, which provides critical information on COVID-19, answers some commonly asked questions and also provides links to useful resources, including counselling. So please take a look at that. 

I know this is a time of great uncertainty and anxiety. It’s an unprecedented time in our lifetimes. But know this. We will come through this. We will come through this stronger than ever before.

Your leadership team is working really hard to respond quickly and effectively to the challenges of COVID-19 and also to prepare ourselves for when business returns to normal.

So please take care of yourselves, take care of your families, take care of your friends and neighbours. Be patient, be vigilant. We’re in this for the long haul. But we will come through this and we will come through this as I said stronger together.

Thank you, I hope we have the opportunity to talk again on video, and have a great weekend.