The continued excellent progress in restricting the spread of COVID-19 across Australia has led the National Cabinet to announce a clear three stage process for the lifting of COVID-19 related restrictions.
Our campuses have remained open and operational throughout, but the vast majority of staff and students have been working and studying from home. However, we have been seeing increasing numbers of students and staff back on campus suggesting that our community is keen to return to greater normality.
In anticipation of a more widespread return to campus, our College and Portfolio managers have been developing COVID-safe plans so that we can implement appropriate physical distancing and related measures designed to ensure that staff and students remain safe.
Staff are welcome to return to campus from Tuesday 12 May if agreed with their manager. All staff are expected to return to their duties on campus on Monday 18 May unless advised otherwise by their manager.
This will allow staff to make arrangements to open staff and student-facing services and facilities by 25 May.
Some students will be unable to return to campus due to continuing travel restrictions so all teaching, learning and assessment activities which moved online will stay online for the remainder of Semester 1.
Other teaching activities that can’t be done online can recommence in line with the South Australian Government’s roadmap released this afternoon. These activities will be scheduled in ways that will ensure that no student is disadvantaged.
All of the above will be done in line with the physical distancing and hygiene guidelines from the Health Department, which will continue for the foreseeable future, as well as any restrictions announced in each State and Territory.
As each remaining restriction is lifted in the coming months, it is clear that we will enter a so-called “New Normal”. This requires us to re-think how we do the things we do.
Flinders University is extremely well positioned to respond and we have learned a lot over the past three months. I have asked the College VP&EDs and Heads of Portfolios to seek feedback on your experiences; what worked well and what didn’t; what we should continue and what new opportunities are now available. We are also asking this of our students.
We will draw on what we have learned as we plan for the coming months and for 2021.
Take care and I very much look forward to seeing you all soon.