SUMMER GREETINGS. We can be proud of all our efforts during the pandemic, though we haven’t reached the finish line just yet. It is soon summer vacation and a chance to take some much-needed time off to recharge our batteries for the coming autumn, writes Dean Agneta Holmäng and Pro-Dean Henrik Hagberg in a summer greeting to all staff at the faculty.
“We had an odd spring, where we all had to adopt new ways of working to help reduce the spread of the corona virus. And we have succeeded well beyond expectations but of course it required hard work by everyone. Our thanks to you all. Our teachers, in particular, have done an tremendous job, with the sudden transition to online teaching. Within research, virtually all clinical studies in the recruitment phase are now on hold, but we hope that the effected researchers can instead focus on completing studies where data had already been collected before the pandemic.
We need to avoid gatherings on our campus
The virus continues to spread in the community, and the University of Gothenburg must be unwavering in doing what it can. We will continue to follow the guidelines of the Public Health Agency for the autumn. This means that we need to avoid gatherings on our campus, and that most classroom teaching needs to be provided online for a period after the summer. To facilitate planning, Sahlgrenska Academy has produced guidelines now being disseminated in the educational organization (the Dean’s decision for Sahlgrenska Academy in Swedish: https://gubox.box.com/s/2vtvc7oy89o4yh3o2zvn025b8hx613b7).
We still have an interesting and exciting autumn ahead
Our major call for applications from ALF, which would have opened this year, has been postponed until 2021, and it recently became clear that the national ALF evaluation by the Swedish Research Council has been pushed back one year. We have already come far with the work ahead of the evaluation, and we are well prepared to provide the information that the Swedish Research Council will request. UKÄ’s evaluation of doctoral education in physiology, surgery and odontology has also been delayed. There is not much we can do about these postponements, but what is not done today will have to be done later. When it finally comes time for all these evaluations to be conducted, we will have our hands full.
Though we are facing a situation where many things are being cancelled or delayed, we need to remember that we still have an interesting and exciting autumn ahead of us. This includes finding out if we will be granted degree-awarding powers for our new medical program from UKÄ. So far, the signals have been very positive. The GoCo Health Innovation City initiative at AstraZeneca will continue with the theme of physical activity and health. The initiative can serve as an exciting new arena for implementing research results in these areas. Internally at Sahlgrenska Academy, we will be focusing on online seminars with prominent researchers, where we are currently weighing how to best provide interaction between the lecturer and the audience. A bit later in the autumn, we will also send out an invitation to a general academy-wide meeting, where we will provide an update on our local projects and discuss the strategic premises supply plan, under the leadership of Vice Dean Eric Hanse.
Our deep gratitude for all the fantastic work that has been done
Now during the pandemic, we are particularly happy about our close relationships with our important partners. Together with Sahlgrenska University Hospital and Region Västra Götaland, we have been able to solve our clinical training needs, under the leadership of Vice-Dean Silvana Naredi and RD & E director Diana Swolin Eide . The students’ union, through SAKS, has also contributed in ensuring that all education and examinations were able to be conducted this spring.
Let us conclude with once again expressing our deep gratitude for all the fantastic work that has been done this spring semester. Our most important message to you all right now is: enjoy the summer! We all need to rest and recharge our batteries for the coming semester.