As we approach the May bank holiday weekend to mark the anniversary of VE Day, and with discussions at government level increasingly focussed on emerging from the current lockdown, many people’s thoughts will be turning to the potential for more positive developments in the coming weeks and months.
Before I turn to this however, I want to once again acknowledge the fantastic work of our front-line colleagues who are keeping our campus secure and looking after the welfare of those students who remain in residences. These staff deserve our sincere thanks, and I am pleased to tell you they are now included in the national Covid-19 Testing Regime. This also extends to any member of their family who is showing symptoms.
Prioritising the health, safety and wellbeing of our students and staff will continue to be our focus as we develop our values-based plans to commence the process of returning to the campus. We will as always ensure that colleagues are well informed and supported as we put these plans into action.
In addition, and as part of our ‘Positive Response and Planning’ activities, the Executive Team has initiated three work streams to deliver on the next phase for Strathclyde.
Firstly, we are looking at Lessons Learned ensuring that we capture all of the experience the past seven weeks has given the institution. We will be using it to shape our future response through Student Experience, Research Excellence, Innovation, Industry Partnerships, Engagement with Local and National Governments and Business Continuity.
The second work stream is the Innovation Forum – a vehicle for releasing our creative capacity, to enhance our approach to innovation, gathering cross-University ideas to solve problems and ensure that all staff voices are heard. The third work stream is Opportunities in a post-Covid Environment which is examining how we can further enhance and diversify our activity to address local and global challenges and to make a clear and distinctive contribution to economic and social recovery in the context of our Vision 2025 Strategy.
This week both University Court and Leadership Group met and contributed to all three work streams, and I was delighted to see the sessions generating significant innovative thinking.
I am particularly looking forward to the Innovation Forum being rolled out and extended, as the creative thinking within Strathclyde is sector-leading and, combined with our track-record of delivery, we are constructing a positive and confident response to the pandemic.
I am also keen to hear your contributions at my first Staff Engagement Sessions which begin next week. As we grow more accustomed to remote meetings, I am sure these will generate positive discussion on the next steps for the University.
There will be sessions allocated to each Faculty and Directorate as well as one ‘all staff’ option for those who cannot make their dedicated time. I will be joined on the panel for each session by our Vice Principal Professor Scott MacGregor, Chief Financial Officer Steven Wallace, Chief People Officer Sandra Heidinger and the relevant Executive Dean or Senior Officer for that area.
If you are interested in attending, you can reserve your place via our Principal's Engagement Sessions webpage.
Please submit any questions you would like the Panel to consider by replying to this message. If you are unable to attend, the key messages from the sessions will be shared with staff within your area.
Finally, our rest days continue to be well received by colleagues. Tomorrow’s day has been moved to Monday due to the VE bank holiday. Along with the rest day on Friday 15 May, next week will give you additional time to spend with families and loved ones over a ‘long weekend’.
Please enjoy the extended break and I look forward to hearing your innovative ideas as we meet in the weeks ahead.