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View from the VC

Today, 26 November, the Vice Chancellor wrote to all staff. You can read the full email below:

This will be a shorter email than usual, as we have a meeting of our governing body, Council, on Friday and I will be sharing a longer update with you early next week.
However, I do want to give you the latest on our Covid-19 testing centre and a few other items.
We have now received all of our testing supplies and we are on track to finish setting up our site tomorrow (Friday), giving us the weekend before testing begins on Monday (30 November). This is a remarkable achievement, considering it has been only just over a week since the Government confirmed our participation in the programme. I know that many colleagues have been pulling out all stops to make this happen, including working evenings and weekends. Tellingly, the driver who delivered our supplies had just come from another university and was hugely impressed with our set-up, commenting on how well organised we were in comparison. My sincere thanks to all those involved in this herculean team effort.
This, of course, includes all of you who have come forward to volunteer for one of the many roles we need to fill across the 12 days the site is operational. We still need more volunteers, so please do consider whether you can help. We have updated the FAQs on our website, to answer some of the questions you have been sending in.
You will have seen from my email earlier in the week the University is awarding all staff extra holiday during the upcoming winter break, in recognition of the extraordinary efforts everybody has put in this year. While teaching, student support and the preparation of our Covid-safe campus have been at the forefront, my gratitude extends to everybody and I know that lots of crucial work has been happening under the radar. To give just a few examples, the Sussexsport team has been running a programme of exercise classes online since March, the technical team in the Biomedical Research Facility have been on site every day in order to ensure that vital research projects have been able to continue, we have continued to successfully fundraise for the vital support that our students and research projects require and colleagues supporting students with mental health needs have continued to provide an exceptional service, despite the challenges and an increase in demand. I know there are many more teams and individuals than I could possibly list here – please know that I receive reports from leadership team colleagues and your work does not go unnoticed.
Some teams have even managed to achieve external recognition for their performance. One such example is the Housing team, who learned this week that they have been awarded the Investors in People Silver Accreditation. This national award recognises the team’s commitment to recognising the power of their people. To achieve it, in this of all years, is truly outstanding. Well done all.
Finally, I’ve written in earlier ‘Views’ about our phenomenal technological response to Covid-19, so it is gratifying to see that our Director of IT, Jason Oliver, has been named once again in the top 100 Chief Information Officers for CIO100. I know that Jason and the IT team, worked hand in glove with Student Experience colleagues, including those in Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL), as part of our gargantuan online efforts.
We still have a busy few weeks but I hope you can all begin to look forward to a well-earned, extended break this winter.

With best wishes,

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By: Sean Armstrong
Last updated: Thursday, 26 November 2020

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