CoronavirusStaff update: 18 February

Dear colleagues,

I hope this note finds you well and that you continue to strike an appropriate balance between your work commitments and your home life and responsibilities.

Like many of you, I am aware of increasing numbers of people who have received their first vaccination dose and we can sense the optimism and encouragement this is bringing. Nonetheless, we must remain cautiously optimistic over the coming months and continue to observe all the rules to help keep ourselves and others safe.

This week, the First Minister made the announcement that pre-school and primary 1,2 and 3 children will make a full return to school from Monday. This is a very welcome development for the children and their families, and is a signal that the lockdown and vaccination programme are having the desired effect. I know that this will come as huge relief for those who have been caring for children at home, with some pressure lifting as the designated children return to classrooms and nurseries next week.

As the older primary and the vast majority of secondary children do not yet have a date to return, I can confirm that we will continue with our Rest and Recuperation Fridays; these days have been a key part of our commitment to support our people throughout this lockdown. Please remember that, if you cannot take Fridays, you can opt to take another day or spread the hours throughout the week with the agreement of your line manager.

In another supportive measure for families, we have extended the deadline for Global Talent applications as we recognise that balancing work and home life can be challenging at present.

This latest phase of our Global Talent programme aims to recruit up to 40 outstanding academic colleagues – from Strathclyde Chancellor’s Fellows to Professors and Readers - across a range of strategic institutional themes and as prioritised by the Faculties. The extension is designed to give prospective candidates more time to work on their applications and full details can be found in this week’s Inside Strathclyde.

As part of our ongoing support for our European EEA staff, we have arranged for our legal partner, Anderson Strathern, to hold short one-to-one consultations with staff members to allow them the opportunity to discuss their own personal circumstances in relation to the implications of leaving the EU. The consultations will run from 1 to 3 March. To find out more, and to book a consultation, please go to our EU referendum outcome - information for staff webpage. 

On Thursday of last week, I had the pleasure of hosting the third Strathclyde Executive Leadership Awards (STELAR) ceremony.

Established in 2019, the awards acknowledge the many Strathclyde alumni who go on to succeed in leadership roles in business, industry and in the public sector.

This year we have recognised: Gary Aitkenhead, Chief Executive, DSTL; Lindsay McQuade, Chief Executive Officer, ScottishPower Renewables; Dr Andrew O’Hagan, Novelist; Claire Mack, Chief Executive, Scottish Renewables; and, Mark Napier, Managing Director of Global Technology, JP Morgan.

I am proud that the awardees’ Strathclyde education has been a platform for such success.  All five of the medal recipients are an inspiration to the new generation of Strathclyde graduates and they are valued members of our global alumni network. For more on the ceremony and our inspirational alumni, see this week’s Inside Strathclyde.

On Monday of this week, the Leadership Group was updated on the establishment of Strathclyde Acceleration Teams. With a focus on the delivery of Vision 2025, these Teams will take forward the outputs and recommendations of the Visioning Groups which we established in Spring of last year, to help identify new opportunities after the initial Covid outbreak.

The groups will focus on: Global Context and Distinctiveness; Financial Sustainability & Optimal Diversification; Values and Culture; the Learner Journey; and, Research and Innovation Districts. I look forward to many colleagues from across the institution making a valued contribution to their work in the coming weeks. I have asked these Teams to focus on outcomes and early impact where appropriate and we will ‘mainstream’ the resulting key actions and resource strategic projects where required. Together, we will help to write the next chapter of Strathclyde’s success story and these groups will help to deliver this at pace.

Finally, this week I would like to remind you that a series of Principal’s Engagement Sessions have been arranged for next month. This is the third block of sessions since lockdown began in March last year.

There are dedicated sessions for each Faculty, the Professional Services areas and Support Staff colleagues, so please make sure you reserve your place at the relevant session for your area.

Once again, thank you for your on-going efforts on behalf of Strathclyde and I hope you can make the most of your Rest and Recuperation Day.

Best wishes,