How about a coffee this autumn?

23 June 2021

Dear colleagues, Campus Umeå is in full bloom but our halls are echoing from emptiness when the summer holidays are now upon us. This year has been an unusual one, to say the least.

The Campus Pond.

Photo: Erik Vesterberg

The extensive spread of COVID-19 has affected us all in various ways, privately or jobwise. Guidelines have changed multiple times and we live in a society characterised by worry and grief. Reports from the higher education sector, just like our own employee satisfaction survey, shows a periodically strenuous reality, but also evidence of development and commitment. Work during a pandemic causes new challenges.

University students and staff have handled the necessary transformation in a truly impressive way. The adaptation that the pandemic has caused has set huge demands on the university. The University Management has daily received examples of flexibility, innovation and perseverance. Despite conditions that are far from ideal, we sense a stability in this organisation that continues to provide quality in education and research. And of that we are genuinely grateful and proud.

Our individual experiences of working from home vary. Some are thriving. Some are struggling – mentally, physically or both. We hope you are aware that support can be found. Please contact the occupational health care services or your manager if you need support.

All crises have room for growth. Even a pandemic. Working remotely is an area in which the university has made huge improvements. A part of the upcoming investment into digitalisation concerns those aspects in particular – learning from the pandemic. Hopefully, various technical solutions can simplify your workday even when we are back on campus again.

Vaccination is currently underway all over the Sweden. The ambition is to be able to cautiously and gradually return to life on university premises again. To ensure your safety on campus, the university will make sure to follow the relevant recommendations and continue to be in regular dialogue with the Department of Communicable Disease Control and Prevention at Region Västerbotten.

When the University Management discussed what we look forward to the most this autumn, we were all unanimous: it's all about the social aspects. Beyond the digital screens, that is. We dream of vivid discussions in campus conference rooms. Chatting away by the coffee machine. Catching someone in the corridors. Grabbing a coffee with a colleague. Being able to spontaneously laugh together, and most of all – seeing a campus bustling with life again. What are you looking forward to?

We wish you a wonderful and relaxing summer. Take care!

Vice-Chancellor Hans Adolfsson
Pro-Vice-Chancellor Katrine Riklund
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Dieter Müller
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Heidi Hansson
University Director Hans Wiklund
Deputy University Director Per Ragnarsson

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