March 23 Special Announcement | Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates | UNB

Special Announcement

March 23, 2020

A message from President Mazerolle

One year ago this week, I visited UNB for meetings with key officials to help prepare me for the handover as President beginning on July 1. These past nine months have been engaging, exciting and inspiring as I’ve come to learn more about the amazing UNB community we have and the potential for our university into the future. My first year at UNB has been terrific, but I did not anticipate –nor did anyone at UNB expect – the arrival and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our community, indeed the world. Frankly, the unthinkable has happened to our university and our community.

I am confident in saying that the actions that we have put in place over the past 10 days have been nothing short of extraordinary. The UNB community has stepped up to the major challenges presented to us by COVID-19. As President, I could not be more proud of the UNB community in demonstrating professionalism and cooperation when faced with the COVID-19 crisis. The number of people who went above and beyond are too many to individually mention. From all the students who have transitioned to online courses, to those who moved out of residence, to the faculty who have had their research disrupted and who have transitioned their courses to an online format, to our staff who are working to help run the university remotely, as well as the staff who still maintain the safety and security of our campuses—I acknowledge your commitment, professionalism, patience, understanding, flexibility and humanity in responding to this crisis. Your assistance in enabling the university to transition to an essential service remote operating model has been inspiring and I thank you all.

As of March 23, UNB is a fully operational in a remote format in providing essential services. Of course, some of our employees are working to keep the campuses safe, secure and warm for our return. This dedication is acknowledged and enables others to remotely work from home.

The COVID-19 pandemic will undoubtedly affect our UNB community, in direct and/or indirect ways. Everyone is affected as the levels of stress that individuals are experiencing is palpable. From the concerns people have for loved ones, to how students will cope with new learning arrangements, to how people will navigate new economic circumstances –there is a huge amount of collective anxiety and distress.

Fortunately, the New Brunswick Public Health agency provides advice for coping with the stress during COVID-19. Some useful tips include:

  • Connect with others while maintaining safe social distancing. Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Check-in regularly with loved ones, especially those affected by the virus.
  • Take breaks. Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate. Make time to unwind and remind yourself that strong feelings will fade. Try to do activities you usually enjoy. Maintain a sense of hope and think positively.
  • Get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat well.

There is a great deal of uncertainty ahead as our community, indeed the world, grapples with the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. I understand there will be many questions from students, staff and faculty as we work through these new arrangements. Rest assured that the health and well-being of our UNB community is our top priority.

We will be reassessing the situation continuously and issuing regular communication updates as they become available. We will continue to provide the latest information on COVID-19 developments at unb.ca/coronavirus as we continue to follow direction from New Brunswick Public Health.

The UNB community reflects an inspiring team of individuals committed to excellence and to working cooperatively and professionally to find solutions for the many challenges faced by COVID-19. Thank you for your continued support and unwavering commitment as we work through the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic in the community.

With kind regards,

Dr. Paul J. Mazerolle
President and Vice-Chancellor
The University of New Brunswick