Frequently asked questions

When will on-campus life resume?

The University continues to operate virtually at this time. We are delivering MSVU academic programs online this fall, with a very limited number of small on-campus classes in exceptional circumstances, and with approval. Most student services will continue to be offered only through virtual means and most employees continue to work from home.

How much longer will we continue to work from home?

For the fall, the overarching premise remains that if you can work from home, you should work from home. Our approach to fall office access is based on the approved framework for Nova Scotian Universities in which remote work is identified as the primary risk and exposure mitigation strategy. We all have a collective responsibility to limit the spread of the virus on campus and beyond.

The Information Technology & Services Working From Home intranet page features tools and links to resources you might find helpful. Thank you for your continued support and cooperation.

I need to make a short visit to my office on campus. Can I?

For the remainder of August, requests for short office visits should be sent to VPAdmin@msvu.ca. For occasional office access in the fall, a simple office access request form will be available on the MSVU website for use starting September 8. On the day you are scheduled to visit your office, you will be required to fill in an online COVID-19 health form. You will be sent a link to the form when you request access, and the form will be available on the MSVU website. Note that non-medical masks or face coverings must be worn while in common indoor areas at MSVU.

If I can’t work effectively from home, can I arrange to work on campus?

We recognize that there may be certain circumstances in which individuals may not be able to work from home effectively or safely. For those individuals, requests for more regular office access can be made directly to vpacademic@msvu.ca. In the email, please include the days and times that you would like regular access and the reason regular access is required. Privacy with respect to individual circumstances will be respected. Please note that, beginning September 8, requests can be made for campus access between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday to Friday and between 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

What resources are available to help me adapt my course materials for remote learning?

Teaching and Learning Centre and Online Learning (TLCOL) support services may be accessed through the email address online@msvu.ca. This email account is monitored at all times, and requests for support are assigned to the appropriate team member in a timely manner.

The TLCOL team has prepared a Moodle site called Preparing your Course for Online Delivery that you can use as a resource as you prepare for the fall. Faculty assigned to teach in the fall term have been enrolled in the site as students. The purpose of the course is to provide ready-to-use tools, information and technical knowledge about our online learning platform. All materials and activities in the course are self-directed and happen asynchronously, so you can use it as you see fit and at your own pace.

How do I submit a computer request?

If you have a computer request, please contact helpdesk@msvu.ca.

I need a new headset or webcam for work. Can you provide it?

If you require a webcam and/or headset please contact helpdesk@msvu.ca.

If you prefer to source your own, these are the specifications we recommend:

If you source your own, please submit receipts to Tracy.MacKenzie@msvu.ca for reimbursement. Reimbursement is only provided for costs associated with the products listed above or comparably priced items.

My home internet is poor, making it difficult to work. What can I do?

If you are working in a part of your house where the internet signal is insufficient, IT&S has created a web page on how to get the best out of your home wifi.

You can also request an appointment with the tech advisors to help you with this. Please contact helpdesk@msvu.ca to arrange an appointment.

Can you provide me with a printer or scanner while we are working at home?

MSVU has purchased printers with scanning capabilities that you will be able to borrow while working at home. If you require a printer please contact helpdesk@msvu.ca.

At the present time, we are unable to open common utility rooms on campus that are used for printing and scanning. We will continue to assess and re-evaluate this situation based on cleaning protocols and the availability of supplies.

For high volume printing (e.g. more than 10 pages), remote printing capabilities with curbside pickup through the print shop is available. This will allow you to print large documents from home and pick them up at campus. More details are available on the Print Shop website.

When the library opens in the fall, printing and scanning will be available there as well.

I need office supplies. What should I do?

Paper continues to be available at Assisi. If you are accessing your faculty office, paper will be available for pick up there. There is no need to request it prior to pick-up.

For other office supplies (e.g. printer cartridges), please submit your requests to Melanie.MacIsaac@msvu.ca. Please include your home shipping address and a contact phone number. Procurement Services will order the item for you, and it will be delivered to your home.

If you have already purchased standard office supplies such as printer cartridges, please submit your receipts for reimbursement to Tracy.MacKenzie@msvu.ca.

Is the University providing technical support?

Technical support is provided by IT&S, with the helpdesk@msvu.ca being the first point of contact for all support requests. The Helpdesk hours of operation are 8:30 am – 4:00 pm Monday through Friday. Pease use your msvu.ca email account when contacting the Helpdesk.

IT&S has hired two new Tech Navigators to assist faculty with support for the use of the university’s digital resources (e.g., Office365, OneDrive, software for home use such as SPSS, browsers, logging into Moodle, Skype for Business, email) and to prepare the technical aspects of online delivery of courses this fall. These tech navigators are available via phone, email, video conferencing, and screen sharing. Please email helpdesk@msvu.ca to request their support.

Can I travel for work?

All work-related travel (not including research travel) outside of Canada remains suspended until further notice. Essential work-related travel within Canada by eligible employee plan members, and for which no remote alternative exists, is now covered by our insurance partner SSQ (intranet link), so can proceed with departmental approval. Essential research-related travel for which there is no remote alternative (including field work) can also proceed with insurance coverage in place. Such travel, covered under MSVU’s emergency medical travel insurance plan (for eligible faculty and staff), requires pre-approval by our provider, SSQ. Please consult with your Dean and then contact Human Resources for assistance – human.resources@msvu.ca. More information is available on the Covid-19 Travel page.

What do I do if I am experiencing COVID-19 symptoms?

If you are experiencing any flu-like symptoms – whether or not you believe them to be related to COVID-19 – you should self-isolate and see a healthcare professional as you deem appropriate. You are also encouraged to consult the Nova Scotia government’s self-assessment guide, which will dictate whether you should report your symptoms to 811.

I am not having symptoms, but I am feeling anxious about COVID-19 and want to talk to someone. Who should I contact?

If you or a family member would like to speak to someone, the Employee and Family Assistance Program, (EFAP) can provide you with immediate and confidential help for any work, health or life concern.

To access your EFAP:

  • By phone: 1-800-387-4765
  • By website: workhealthlife.com

If am self-isolating due to recent travel or potential community exposure to COVID-19, but not sick (or without symptoms), will I be expected to work from my home?

Yes, where possible we will ask employees to continue to work during self-isolation. Please check with your manager to confirm.

If I am sick, will I be expected to work from my home?

No, if you are sick, you will not be expected to work from home.

If I cannot work due to illness while working at home, will I have to use my sick time?

If you are unable to work due to becoming ill with COVID-19 or another illness, you will be expected to follow your work group’s normal sick time protocols. This means that in most cases you will be required to use sick time, but you will be paid for this time.

If I become ill while working from home, do I need a sick note?

A sick note will not be required. However, you are required to notify your manager as outlined within your collective agreement or employment guidelines if you are unable to attend work, even while working from home. Please contact Human Resources for further information.