Updated: May 20, 2020

A Message to the Smith School of Business Community

As we adjust to the impact of COVID-19, the top priorities at Smith School of Business and Queen’s University are the health and safety of students, faculty, staff and our local communities, and supporting our students and alumni as they navigate the changing dynamics of business.

Following are highlights of our approach.

University Planning & Coordination

Queen’s COVID-19 response is led by David Walker, the former dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, and a professor of emergency medicine, family medicine, and policy studies at Queen’s. Dr. Walker chaired Ontario’s Expert Panel on SARS and Infectious Disease Control.

Queen’s dedicated information site at queensu.ca/covidinfo provides a comprehensive view of the university-wide effort.

Sharing Insight & Expertise

As the business community responds to the massive changes wrought by COVID-19, Smith’s faculty have been providing expert perspectives and analysis in articles, commentaries and webinars. Learn more at Smith Business Insight.

In addition, the business school is providing support to the local Kingston community through a student resource matching program and free Community Classrooms on topics aimed at assisting local organizations in navigating the new reality. More information is here.

Queen's Executive Education

Now more than ever organizations and individuals are being challenged to function at the top of their game. Queen’s Executive Education is providing professional development programs in engaging and dynamic remote learning formats for open enrollment and custom corporate training.

New and timely topics are being added on a regular basis. Find out more here.

Program Delivery

Queen’s University is anticipating that we will still be under some physical distancing restrictions from public health authorities come September. As a result, we are having to adjust our program delivery plans for the term. The COVID-19 situation has required us to carefully balance the ability to return to regular program delivery with our responsibility to the safety of our community through compliance with public health requirements.

Under this plan, all Smith undergraduate Commerce students will be participating via remote delivery for the fall term, with a planned return to the Kingston campus in January 2021.

MBA and Professional Master’s programs such as Master of Finance, Master of Management Analytics, etc. will align their deliveries as required to follow public health requirements regarding social distancing, gathering sizes and other safety measures. As the programs vary in timing and format, the details of delivery for fall will be communicated on a program-by-program basis. See below for more information.

MSc and PhD activities will be able to occur on campus as long as public health guidelines are strictly followed including physical distancing and group size limitations. Smith’s Research/PhD-MSc Office is undertaking detailed planning for the fall graduate program offerings and will communicate directly with students in the weeks to come.

More details can be found at smithqueens.com/fall2020.

Smith's Remote Experience

Smith School of Business has been at the forefront of delivering business education in dynamic and engaging remote formats for many years. With state-of-the-art technology — including a dedicated, interactive teaching studio — we have been delivering outstanding business education to the classroom, the boardroom, and the desktop for thousands of students for more than 10 years.

Much more than broadcasting lectures, Smith’s approach facilitates dynamic engagement, discussion, and networking. From team projects and collaborations, career preparation and employer roundtables, to virtual coaching, team project facilitation, and special events, Smith’s approach and platforms ensure rich engagement.

International Students & Exchange

Smith and Queen’s dedicated enormous effort to support international and exchange students when the COVID-19 impact hit. Students abroad returned to Canada or to their own home country.

Based on the continuing uncertainty about public health, travel restrictions and health insurance factors, Queen's is still determining the best way forward for incoming and outgoing fall 2020 exchanges.

Career Advancement Centre Services

The CAC team remains fully available to support Smith students with their career education, coaching and corporate recruiting needs. We are encouraging students to remain active with their career coaches and continue preparing for recruitment opportunities.

Recruiting activities such as job postings and interviews will continue, as required by companies. Coaching and career education services and events remain available virtually — students should continue to check Quest on their program portals for schedules and to book an appointment.


The important research of Smith faculty and students continues while abiding by current public health considerations.

Alumni Engagement

Smith alumni have shown great support to the school and the ongoing progress of students at this unique time including participating in webinars, panel discussions, and more.

In addition, a directory of student and alumni entrepreneurs and businesses has been added to the SmithConnect platform so that alumni can support other alumni.

Operations & Campus Access

In keeping with the directions of the Ontario government, the university has restricted access to campus buildings to only essential staff and faculty functions that require a physical presence on campus. All other faculty and staff are working from home.

Students should not come to campus. Student residences remain open and supported for those students who have been unable to travel home.

Other key university services — teaching, counselling, career services, libraries, etc. — are accessible in alternate formats.

Spring Convocation

Unfortunately the traditional Spring 2020 convocation ceremonies will not take place. The university is committed to ensuring that graduates have the opportunity to celebrate their achievements in person when prudence, public health orders and guidelines eventually allow it.

The Office of the University Registrar is considering options for a rescheduled convocation. They will be reaching out directly to affected graduates via email in September with regard to what alternative scheduling is being planned. Updates will also be posted on their website.

In the meantime, we appreciate your understanding and look forward to providing you with an update in the near future.

Finally I want to acknowledge the extraordinary dedication demonstrated by the whole Smith community in responding to this unprecedented situation. The focus on acting in the best interests of our students, faculty, staff and local communities has guided our actions and will continue to do.

Brenda Brouwer Dean, Smith School of Business