CoronavirusStaff update 1 July

Dear colleagues,

I hope you have been enjoying this week’s summer weather and making the most of opportunities to spend time with family and friends. I also hope that you are planning to enjoy some annual leave over the summer period in order to rest and recharge after another busy year for us all.

At the end of June each year, the University celebrates the achievements of our graduates from all four faculties. This summer is no different – despite the restrictions – and this week we held the third of our Conferment Day online celebrations. The Class of ‘21 received a digital ceremony for each Faculty, with contributions from the Convener of Court, the Executive Deans, the Student Executive and from myself. It is always important to mark one of the highlights of the University year and our digital Conferment Days have allowed us to do this, while limitations on gatherings remain in place.

I very much look forward to celebrating in person with our students and families as restrictions lift in the future, and I have made a commitment to offer each of our recent graduates an opportunity to enjoy a conventional graduation ceremony in the Barony Hall in due course.

For those students not graduating and returning to study in the new session – and also to those joining us for the first time – we are currently working with the Scottish Government and the wider sector on planning for students to have the best possible teaching and student life experience next academic year. Our planning is at an advanced stage, we are keeping our students updated and we are ensuring the health and wellbeing of all of our students and staff is central to our activity.

For those staff members who are on campus over the coming weeks, please remember that we remain in protection Level 2 and to continue to observe social distancing rules and wear a face covering when required. The full Scottish Government guidance can be found on their website.

On Tuesday of this week, I had the pleasure of formally launching our industry-facing Clusters to the Strathclyde community. The internal launch was an opportunity for colleagues to hear more about our six areas of focus: 5G Communications; Space; FinTech; Industrial Informatics; Quantum; and, Health Tech. The interactive session saw the Cluster leads outline the areas they are working on and invite further collaboration from colleagues from all disciplines. The Clusters provide a new and innovative way for our academic community and their cutting edge research to be shared with industrial and public sector partners – and other key stakeholders – and they form a key part of our leadership in and contributions to Glasgow City Innovation District.

Since last week’s message, I have completed my latest round of Principal Engagement Sessions, with almost 1,500 colleagues attending the Zoom meetings and more viewing a recording of one of the sessions. It was enormously encouraging to see such excellent attendance from all four Faculties and all our Professional Services Directorates as I updated colleagues on our progress towards Vision 2025, with support and input from members of the Executive Team. The sessions were lively, with plenty of questions on a range of topics which demonstrated how well engaged our staff are.

As with the graduation ceremonies, I very much look forward to a time when these sessions can be conducted in person.

Please enjoy your weekend when it comes.

Best wishes,