Stages of reopening are guided by Provincial recommendations and guidelines, but USask may decide to move more conservatively in some areas to ensure the health and safety of students, faculty and staff.

USask is currently in Stage 3 of reopening.


Reporting to the PEC (President’s Executive Committee), and engaging with all members of the university community, including students and faculty, the Pandemic Response and Recovery Team (PRT) is responsible for planning and coordination of fall and winter terms and ongoing daily operational monitoring.

The mandate of the PRT is to:

  1. Lead the preparation of a feasible, principles-based implementation plan for a “hybrid” (primarily remote) approach to Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 terms;
  2. Plan for and coordinate increased on-campus activity, with close attention to Provincial Health recommendations, COVID-19 monitoring, risk mitigation, internal and external communication, and the university’s emergency management procedures and protocols.
  3. Continue day-to-day pandemic-specific operational duties consistent with the university’s emergency management procedures and protocols.

PRT Composition

Reporting to the PEC (President’s Executive Committee), and engaging with all members of the university community, including students and faculty, the PRT include representation from each of the University’s major portfolio areas including teaching and learning, research, finance and resources, communications and stakeholder relations. Additionally, representation from the Crisis Operations Team (COT) will facilitate the continuance of day-to-day operational duties related to pandemic response. 

Pandemic Response/Recovery Team (PRT)
Darcy Marciniuk AVP Research Research; Chair of PRT
Dion Martens Director, Research Services & Ethics Research
Patti McDougall Vice-Provost, TLSE Academics and Students
Preston Smith Dean, College of Medicine SHA Liaison, Deans’ Liaison
Cheryl Carver AVP People & Resources Finance and Resources
Wade Epp AVP Services Operations
Rob Kliewer Manager, Safety Resources Health and Safety/COT
Gord Hunchak AVP Strategic Communications & Chief Communications Officer (CCO) Communications
Shari Baraniuk AVP Information and Communications Technology & Chief Information Officer (CIO) ICT
Dara Hrytzak Chief of Staff, Office of the President PEC link

The PRT will be supported by an Advisory Hub which will provide timely strategic advice and input, review documents, and bring expertise from aspects of the institution that may inform and/or facilitate the development of the reopening implementation plan.

Advisory Hub members will include:

  • Sara Daniels (Government Relations)
  • Chelsea Willness (Governance)
  • Jackie Ottmann (Indigenous Engagement)
  • Ken Wilson (Faculty Relations)
  • Dena McMartin (Institutional Planning and Assessment)


  • Identifying and implementing mechanism(s) to monitor the status of the COVID-19 pandemic and the university's recovery and response.

  • Processes to coordinate the transition from current state to the primarily remote Fall-Winter scenario for academic mission/teaching and learning; discovery mission/research, finance and resources, communications and stakeholder engagement, and governance.

  • A “transition strategy” that allows swift and responsive return to prior or other phases (i.e., reduction of activities) should events require such action.

  • Communication strategies and timelines.

  • Identifying stakeholders/partners and a process for informing them of our plans or actions in advance, when required.


Principles that will guide planning, decision-making, and implementation include:

  • Value, protect and support our people.
    We will seek and implement the best guidance possible for the health and safety of our students and employees; and ensure the return of people to campus will be done in a conscious, careful, and methodical way. We will strive to minimize financial hardship to employees when contemplating reward and employment strategies; and ensure that all legal and regulatory obligations are fully considered.

  • Deliver the academic, research and service missions of the University of Saskatchewan.
    We continue our important academic, research, and community engagement work as the University the World Needs.

  • Support Student Success
    We prioritize students’ academic progress and supports and strive to minimize adverse impacts to their academic progress. Decisions will consider the mitigation of financial hardship to students, including the consideration of federal and provincial programs available directly to students.

  • Ensure the University of Saskatchewan’s long-term excellence and financial sustainability.
    We are responsible not just for the university’s success today, but for its long-term sustainable future, and will actively seek opportunities to improve the way we deliver on our mission. COVID-19 will have a significant negative impact on the university’s financial situation on a one-time, and ongoing basis. Significant and immediate actions are required that support long-term cost reductions and revenue enhancements to protect the university’s longer-term financial sustainability and reputation.

  • Engage and Contribute.
    We will effectively contribute to the province’s efforts to respond to the rapidly shifting public health situation and the province’s recovery, while also contributing to the global efforts to address the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Communicate and consult with our community. 
    We will share and seek input regarding our CoVID-19 status, plans, and actions around increased activity with internal and external.

  • Acknowledge Impact.
    We recognize and appreciate that the decisions the university makes and the actions taken may have an impact on our external communities. We are committed to factoring that impact into the ongoing decision-making in our approaches to increasing activity.