A message from the Principal Friday 21 May 2020

Published on 21 May 2020

Latest staff announcement from Professor David Maguire, Interim Principal & Vice-Chancellor

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Dear colleague,

I am happy to be writing to you at what will be the start of a long weekend for most of you, as we take advantage of the extra rest day tomorrow.

This is Mental Health Awareness Week, and the Scottish Government’s campaign is ‘Clear Your Head’. That is a very apt thought for the rest day, a chance to take a break from emails, Teams meetings and other activity, to recharge batteries and to look after ourselves and others.

I have seen hugely encouraging feedback from some of our international students who are still here in Dundee, who have been unable to get home due to the pandemic and in some cases are thousands of miles away from their family. They have been glowing in their praise of the support they have had from areas such as the Global Room, English for International Students and the Careers Service.

The students have emphasised how they have felt supported not only in their academic studies but also in terms of their mental health and life beyond the lecture theatre or exam hall. I think this speaks to the great work that has been done across our Professional Services, in addition to that done in Schools. From applicants through to students completing their final exams, our Professional Services staff are doing so much to ensure strong support and good services are there at all stages of the student journey. Professional Services staff are also continuing to ensure that all essential university operations are functioning well. I thank you all for the great efforts you have made, particularly over these past three months, before and during lockdown.

We await more positive news from the Scottish Government on some easing of lockdown, should the circumstances allow it. A lot of our work now is focused on how we manage the eventual return to campus and planning for the next academic year.

We will shortly be updating all of our students and applicants with regards to our planning for next year. Our intention is to welcome students back to campus in September, ready for teaching starting on October 5. We hope to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as the guidelines will allow come autumn, but we will be ready to deliver a blended approach, where some larger lectures, for example, may have to be delivered online.

Preparing all of this will require a lot of work over the summer. But before we get to that let us enjoy a day of rest tomorrow. I recognise that some of you are in roles that will require you to still do some work tomorrow or over the weekend. Some also will have Friday as a normal day off. In all cases I urge you to arrange to take the extra rest day as soon as possible, with your line manager.

Warm regards,

Professor David Maguire

Interim Principal & Vice-Chancellor


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