You will no doubt have seen or heard coverage of yesterday's announcement from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon of the route map that will guide the easing of lockdown restrictions.
This includes specific reference to Scottish universities.
It is anticipated that Phase 1 of the Scottish Government route map will begin next Thursday (28 May). This will not, however, mean any material change for the University.
The road map, as it currently stands, does not envisage that on campus university lab research with physical distancing will restart until Phase 2 - which is likely to be some weeks away. But we also note that the route map is subject to consultation with stakeholders and we will be working closely with Universities Scotland to emphasise the importance of restarting lab work as soon as possible.
The Campus Planning Group is working to ensure that when we reach that point, we will be ready to resume lab work safely, with plans being developed for the sequencing of the return and the preparations of the relevant buildings.
Meanwhile, the Blended Learning Implementation Task and Finish Group is close to finalising our plans for teaching and the wider offer to students in the first half session.
Professor Ruth Taylor, Vice-Principal for Education and Aberdeen University Students’ Association Education Officer Dariya Koleva will discuss these with the community at their Open Session on Tuesday next week. A reminder will be sent to you on Monday.
Finally, we recognise how frustrating it is for staff not to have access to their office IT kit and, in the case of some academic staff, books and papers needed to prepare teaching or for research. Now that the collection and delivery of equipment to those who already had workplace adjustments prior to the lockdown is complete, we will be commencing delivery of IT kit to other staff next week.
A form is being issued to staff and PhD students through your School or Directorate to gather the information on what is needed. While the delivery of IT kit will be prioritised, where feasible other materials from academic staff offices will be collected and delivered to support teaching and research.
We anticipate significant demand for this collect and deliver service and therefore we request your patience while we order and fulfil the requests as quickly as possible from next week.
In the meantime, please do enjoy a restful weekend.
Professor Karl Leydecker