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Vice-Chancellor: A Day of Reflection

22/03/2021

The last twelve months have seen the biggest change in my lifetime across our society, our economy, our behaviour and our approach to life. 

It has been a period of real loss in the families that make up the University community.  We have all witnessed tragedy, sadness and absences.  None of this was planned and much of it was managed on how to respond in very changing and uncertain circumstances.  In fact, “uncertainty” became a much used expression.

During these twelve months I have been able to witness and appreciate the depth of university community and commitment.  That spirit of “we will work together” and make everything happen is alive and well.

If we think about the changes that have happened then it does become mind boggling:-

  • The majority of staff suddenly having to work from home for an unspecified period.
  • Looking after students in our residences during a lockdown.
  • Keeping open learning spaces for our students as much as possible.
  • Making all our buildings safe and socially distanced.
  • Welcoming new students and graduating others.
  • A mass move to digitalisation but without enough laptops.
  • A herculean commitment by thousands of students and staff working on the frontline in the pandemic.
  • The manufacture and gifting of essential supplies to the NHS.
  • Our teaching and assessments changing overnight.

None of this has been easy and it has all been costly in many ways.  I have been personally touched by the commitment and passion of so many colleagues operating in challenging circumstances.

What is very clear in terms of reflection is that we will need to mark and commemorate all that has been contributed and all our losses.  We have worked hand in hand with Public Health (England) to make everything as safe as possible.

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We are and will continue to be a changed place but at the heart of what we do will always be a caring and committed University community. 

Thank you to everyone for doing so much.

Geoff Layer

Vice-Chancellor (University of Wolverhampton)

For more information please contact the Corporate Communications Team.

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