CoronavirusStaff update 20 May

Dear colleagues,

With Glasgow’s COVID-19 numbers under close review, we can expect further news from the Scottish Government this Friday 21 May, as to whether the city can move to Level 2. Last week’s decision to keep the city at Level 3 underlines the need to remain vigilant in adhering to the FACTS guidance and to take advantage of regular testing.

Universal testing is now available throughout Scotland, and we are encouraging all members of the University community to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by finding cases that might otherwise be missed. Around one-in-three people with COVID-19 do not have symptoms.

If you are currently working or studying on campus, you can access regular lateral flow testing by booking tests at our Barony Test centre. For those off-campus, you can order the tests online for home delivery. Results are available in less than 30 minutes. Accessing tests regularly will play an important part in helping to protect the people around you – thank you for your ongoing support and diligence. You can keep up-to-date with the latest COVID-19 announcements in Scotland, and view information about protection levels, on the Scottish Government’s coronavirus web pages.

In other news, the month of May marks six months until the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) takes place in Glasgow. Recently, we gave our University Court an update on the exciting range of activity taking place across Strathclyde as we work towards our ambitious plans to reduce carbon emissions by 70% by 2025 on our journey to net zero by 2040 or earlier. This includes sustainable operations, capital projects, teaching, research and innovation. Court was also pleased to see the growing programme of events we are planning to deliver – many in collaboration with national and international partners – during and in the run up to COP26.

This week, we announced our membership of a major project to support Shetland in becoming an international clean energy hubProject ORION (Opportunity Renewables Integration Offshore Networks) will see onshore and offshore wind energy harnessed to power repurposed oil and gas platforms to produce green hydrogen at scale.  Wind generated electricity and hydrogen production will also be used to power the Islands’ homes and businesses, replacing fossil fuels by providing affordable renewable energy.

It is a great example of Strathclyde’s innovative research – combined with our partnership approach – making a difference to communities and supporting economic recovery. We will continue to keep you updated on our sustainability developments, their impact and our progress, in the months ahead.

This week, colleagues received guidance on completing their Accountability and Development Reviews (ADRs). After a year of exceptional circumstances, the ADR is an important opportunity to not only look back and reflect on our individual contributions and progress over the last year, but to look forward and examine priorities for the year ahead.

Importantly, the ADR also gives you a chance to discuss your development needs as you consider the next stages of your career, and any specific assistance you may need to enable you to thrive in the year ahead.

As a traditional marker of the start of the ADR cycle, I have concluded my own ADR with the Convener of Court, Dame Sue Bruce. I would ask each of you to follow suit - and make the most of the opportunity by reviewing the guidance that has been shared with you. Please remember that training is available whether you are embarking on your first ADR, are looking for refresher training, or if you are a reviewer.

I am delighted to remind you that our consultation to name the two wings of our flagship Learning and Teaching building is now underway. The building will be a wonderful place to bring our vibrant and diverse community back together as soon as COVID-19 restrictions allow, and we are working hard to complete the fit out work and make it ready for the new semester in September.

The shortlist of names was compiled by a dedicated group of staff and students with the aim of celebrating the diversity of our university community. If you haven’t already done so, please take a moment to vote for your preferred names via the website.

Finally, I am delighted to tell you that we have been shortlisted for no fewer than 10 categories at this year’s Herald Higher Education Awards. Now in their sixth year, the awards recognise excellence in a wide range of areas, from supporting student wellbeing to outstanding business engagement. The winners will be announced at an online ceremony on Thursday 17 June, and you can read more about our shortlisted entries here.

Many congratulations to everyone involved.

Please enjoy your weekend.

Best wishes,

Jim