Announcement

A message from the Principal: planning for a return to campus

Published on 8 May 2020

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

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Dear colleague,

As you may have seen from news reports, the UK and Scottish Governments are considering updates to their guidance on potential easing of some lockdown measures and areas of business being restarted.

Our Business Recovery Group (headed by Rose Jenkins, Director of Estates and Campus Services) has been planning how we will manage a return to campus, as and when the guidance allows.

It is important to note this will be a phased return over weeks and likely months. It is not going to mean an instant return to pre-lockdown working arrangements for most of us, and may involve people working on campus in different areas than their normal one. 

The University's activity is extremely varied. Some of our work can only be done on site, for example in studios, laboratories and workshops. Other work can be undertaken from home, as has been shown very successfully in this recent period, and many of us will need to continue to do so.

As and when the governments' guidance allows, our plan is to re-open areas of our campuses in stages, starting with essential infrastructure support from Campus Services and IT. Other groups and teams will  follow, as safely and quickly as is possible.  This will be managed by the Business Recovery Group working closely with the University Executive Group, Deans and Directors, and their leadership teams.

No return to campus should be made without the explicit agreement of the relevant Dean/Director, and only after it has been cleared by the Business Recovery Group. Staff should assume they are working from home, or continuing current arrangements such as furlough, until they are told otherwise by your Dean, Director or manager.

This will allow us to ensure that buildings and services are ready to be used again, we are working in full compliance with government guidance and protecting the health and wellbeing of our staff and students.

In areas where the easing of lockdown allows us to reopen property and resume identified critical activity, there will be an initial requirement to prepare buildings. Once full health and safety checks, interventions and preparations for buildings have been made, a return to work will be carefully coordinated.

There is likely to be a range of legislative requirements that staff and students will need to observe, possibly including use of PPE, movement rules in and around the buildings, and social distancing. We will provide full advice and requirements before anyone returns to the campuses.

I know that it is frustrating for everyone that we cannot yet get back to work on campus and the company of our colleagues. However, we aim to ensure the campuses will open as soon and quickly as is possible once the prevailing national advice allows. In the meantime, I ask for your continued patience please.  I will continue to update you as plans develop.

Warm regards,

Professor David Maguire
Interim Principal & Vice-Chancellor

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