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A message from the Principal, Friday 1 May
Published on 1 May 2020
Latest staff announcement from Professor David Maguire, Interim Principal and Vice-Chancellor
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I hope you are keeping well after another busy work week. These challenging times continue but I have found my spirits lifted once again this week by the great work that keeps emerging from our University community in responding to the pandemic. Let’s hope we get some positive news next week from the government on an easing of some lockdown measures.
Over the past few days our alumni have responded magnificently to an appeal raised by our Development & Alumni Relations team to support our Student Hardship Fund. Close to £15,000 has been donated and monies continue to come in from those who remember their own times as a student here and the challenges they had to overcome. I encourage you to think if you can contribute as I have done.
This comes in addition to Scottish Government funds to support students in hardship. We also diverted the money from strike pay deductions to the fund, so the University did not profit other than through the benefits passed on to our students.
Many of our students of course are now sitting their end of year exams and taking assessments. I cannot praise enough those of you who managed to put in place the infrastructure to allow exams to take place. Now the hard work rests with the students, who I wished the best of luck in a video shared with them during the week.
Meanwhile we have had a team of eager textile makers sewing away in our #NHSScrubHub, a project co-ordinated by DJCAD to provide scrubs and gowns for NHS Tayside. DJCAD has also been able to announce an online Graduate Showcase for final-year students, including those from Architecture, in place of the Degree Show.
We have also seen research grants coming in, including from the Scottish Government’s rapid coronavirus response funding to Professor Doreen Cantrell and Dr David Connell. Those projects are looking at developing new diagnostic tools for Covid-19, identifying drug targets, and understanding more about what the long-term implications may be for people who have had Covid-19.
It really is extremely heartening to see our positive work continue and the impact that it is having.
We must also try to maintain a positive attitude throughout the current challenges, including following all of the government advice on health and safety. I know many of you are eager to make a return to campus, and like you I hope we can get back to something like normality sometime soon.
We are already planning how such a return will be managed, and it will be in a phased manner based on priority as determined by UEG. Further details will be provided as soon as we get clarity from the government about what’s possible by when. In the meantime I must ask you all to remain patient please. For now our campuses remain under effective lockdown for all but essential work, and the health and safety of staff, students and our visitors continues to be our ongoing priority.
I wish you all the very best of health.
Professor David Maguire
Interim Principal & Vice-Chancellor
Press Office, University of Dundeepress@dundee.ac.uk