17 August 2021 3.04pm

All student email from Professor David G. Lloyd, Vice-Chancellor and President

Dear Students,

For once, a ‘good news’ email on the topic of COVID-19.

Around the world we are still dealing with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it has had on our way of life and on our connections with our families, friends and each other. We have all adapted, pivoted and shown great cooperation to manage our way through all the changes and complexity of new rules and ways of studying and learning.

It has often felt over the past eighteen months that we had little control, and that the capacity for planning for the future has been taken away from us - and we haven’t enjoyed that feeling. However, among all those uncertainties and speculations, I don’t think we have recognised or celebrated enough the scientific achievement that has delivered high quality vaccinations to the world in record time. These breakthroughs present us with the opportunity to win back some of that sense of control.

Vaccines are backed by clear and strong science. We are all aware of the history of achievement that vaccination has given the world in dealing with many so many seemingly intractable diseases through so many generations – since 1796, if anyone’s counting.

Tried and tested.

As an institution of science and evidence, UniSA celebrates that achievement – and continue to contribute to that fundamental body of knowledge.

While we will clearly experience the other tried and tested measures of infection control - lockdowns, masks and physical distancing - for some time, the single most important and very best action we can all take now is to get vaccinated.

All adult age groups in South Australia are now eligible for vaccination against COVID19 and I urge you to take this up as soon as possible – simply book in, roll up and get jabbed.

If you’re based outside SA, my fundamental message is the same – as soon as the opportunity presents itself, please book your appointment for a vaccination. It’s the very best way to protect yourself, those you care about and to get our community and society back to normal.

Thank you all once again for your ongoing flexibility as we navigate these extraordinary days. Stay well and safe. Look out for one another.

Regards,

17 August 2021 10.49am

All staff email from Professor David G. Lloyd, Vice-Chancellor and President

Dear Colleagues,

For once, a ‘good news’ email on the topic of COVID19.

Around the world we are still dealing with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it has had on our way of life and on our connections with our families, friends and each other.  In our own institution we have adapted, pivoted and shown great collegiality and cooperation to manage our way through all the changes and complexity of new rules and ways of working. 

It has often felt over the past eighteen months that we had little control, and that the capacity for clear planning for the future taken away from us - and we haven’t enjoyed that feeling.  However, among all those uncertainties and speculations, I don’t think we have recognised or celebrated enough the scientific achievement that has delivered high quality vaccinations to the world in record time.  These breakthroughs present us with the opportunity to win back some of that sense of control.

Vaccines are backed by clear and strong science. We are all aware of the history of achievement that vaccination has given the world in dealing with many so many seemingly intractable diseases through so many generations – since 1796, if anyone’s counting.

Tried and tested. 

As an institution of science and evidence, we celebrate that achievement – and continue to contribute to that fundamental body of knowledge.

While we will clearly experience the other tried and tested measures of infection control - lockdowns, masks and physical distancing - for some time, the single most important and very best action we can all take now is to get vaccinated.

Now that all adult age groups in South Australia are eligible for vaccination against COVID19 and I urge you to take that up as soon as possible – simply book in, roll up and get jabbed.

If you’re based outside SA, my fundamental message is the same – as soon as the opportunity presents itself, please book your appointment for a vaccination. It’s the very best way to protect yourself, those you care about and to get our community and society back to normal.

Thank you all once again for your ongoing commitment and dedication as we navigate these extraordinary days. Stay well and safe. Look out for one another.

Best regards

5 August 2021 1.02pm

All staff email from Professor David G. Lloyd, Vice-Chancellor and President

Dear Colleagues,  

I want to thank you for your continued dedication and cooperation over the past few weeks as we have transitioned in and out of lockdown and at the same time welcomed our new and returning students for semester two. It seems advanced juggling is a skill we are destined to continue to develop.

I appreciate that we haven’t always been able to give everyone as much notice about changes to our operations as we would like, or to provide you with the levels of fine-grained detail and clarity that cover off on how best to approach every aspect of University business – inclusive, instructive, one size fits all reactive communication has proven quite challenging in an organization this large and complex, given the ever evolving landscape in which we are operating. 

Managing our way through these times requires flexibility, the application of local area best judgements and great collegiality.  That is being demonstrated time and again across our institution.  As I have said before, we’ve got this.

Further to the communication from the Provost, Professor Allan Evans, while he was acting for me last week, I would like to outline the state of play for the next period from Monday 9 August.

First, the University is open for business.

Lectures will remain online, and, wherever possible, tutorials, practicals and workshops will be delivered face-to-face, in line with the applicable COVID protocols.

As the University is open and we are providing our services to the student body, our research and industry partners and to members of the public, we have an obligation and responsibility to present for work on campus, to both support each other, but also to deliver those services to our various partners and students. 

Where a staff member has an agreed work from home arrangement with their manager – which has been agreed in the context of the current level of community restrictions and on-campus activity – where necessary, this may continue, having regard to the best arrangements for ongoing delivery of service, team connection and workplace connectivity. 

Clearly, until such time as there is a sufficient level of community vaccination, we will find ourselves in a situation wherein we can expect ongoing variable restrictions as outbreaks are dealt with.

Regrettably, we will need to be prepared to move to different working arrangements at short notice during this period.

Consequently, we need to adopt additional and more strategic local area responses to how we organise ourselves as staff members in our teams to ensure the best continuity of our services. 

This means that we will all need to recognise that arrangements in one area may well be different than in another as both individual personal circumstances and local area work requirements differ across the university, and managing those arrangements will vary depending on prevailing external conditions.

What doesn’t vary is our stated desire to adopt increasingly flexible working arrangements for the future and in support of this, I want to flag our intent to enable more ‘mobile’ working solutions through the strategic replacement of desktops with laptops in a timely fashion – which will also make it much easier for everyone to flex in difficult times. This initiative will be coordinated by ISTS across the university and in consultation with local area senior managers.

I want to reiterate the requirements for mask wearing on campus under the current health guidelines. Masks should be worn in public spaces. Masks should be worn in situations where there is engagement with the public and masks should be worn where prescribed social distancing cannot be maintained.  Masks are recommended in office work situations but are not required – I ask you to simply use your best judgement taking into account your own health situation, that of your colleagues, and ability to appropriately socially distance.

Lastly, I’d like to take this opportunity to encourage you to get vaccinated against COVID19. I’m fortunate to have had double jab, and do appreciate the challenges of supply and demand, but please do make the effort. There is no better protection for you, those you love and wider society than to be vaccinated. The science is sound, the upside is real and the benefits will be shared by us all.

Please monitor the website for communications and updates to FAQs as we get information to hand.

Do please continue to look after yourselves, your colleagues and significant others.

Best regards,

30 July 2021 12.28pm

All staff email from Professor Allan Evans, Acting Vice-Chancellor

Dear Colleagues

Thank you for your cooperation and support this week as the University has transitioned out of lockdown and navigated the implications of the current restrictions. Understandably, there has been uncertainty as we respond to the health advice and seek to do all we can to support each other and the community in the implementation of the new health guidelines.

Thankfully, we haven’t seen any new cases of community transmission and we are now looking optimistically to next week.

Our campuses are now open to staff and students and teaching is able to increasingly transition back to ‘pre-lockdown’ arrangements. Program directors and course coordinators are asked to communicate with students about any specific local arrangements.

Despite the positive developments, we have decided that our current ‘work from home advice’, as issued in my email from Tuesday this week, will continue for one more week.

Where staff can perform their duties from home, and they have an approved work from home arrangement with their line manager, they are encouraged to continue to do so until Friday 6 August. It is anticipated that we will be able to return to ‘pre-lockdown’ work arrangements from Monday 9 August (though use of masks is likely to continue for a while longer) but of course we will be tracking developments very carefully and we will provide further advice about future work from home arrangements as the status and duration of the overall State restrictions become clearer.

For staff working on campus, swipe card access will still be required next week for all university buildings to limit access to members of the public and enable tracking of the movements of individuals in the event this becomes necessary.

When I wrote to you earlier this week, based on the information available at the time, a significant change was the focus on masks and we have had a number of queries on when they should be worn, and when they are not required. Our staff FAQs have now been updated and you can find more detailed information on the website following release of more information by SA Health.

In line with the government advice to wear masks to limit potential spread, we do ask staff and students to bring their own masks to campus, so that they are prepared for those instances when they are required, such as across the University’s public spaces.  We also ask students to wear masks in face-to-face classes, where it is safe and practical to do so (bearing in mind that there will be instances where masks cannot be worn as they will interfere with the learning activity).

Inevitably, personal judgements will need to be made and there are instances where masks are not required, such as in the case of those delivering teaching, where there are health reasons and in office environments that are not engaging with the public.  This detail is outlined in our FAQs and the SA Health website.  I know that as a University, and wider community, this new requirement will take some adjustment and I thank you in advance for your collaboration and tolerance as we all adapt to this new normal for the time being.

A limited number of masks are available from Campus Central and Security offices in the event some staff or students do not have their own with them. 

Again, thank you for your continued cooperation as we respond to the new requirements.  I genuinely appreciate the massive effort you have been making, and will continue to make, to navigate ongoing uncertainty. I am particularly keen to ensure that we support our students the best we can, minimising any unnecessary disruptions to their studies.

Further information will be provided to staff and students as more information is available regarding the current restrictions, and we anticipate that will be mid-late next week.

With kind regards,

27 July 2021 4.07pm

All student email from Professor Allan Evans, Acting Vice-Chancellor

Dear students,

As you would have seen there has been some positive news on the current COVID situation and I can now confirm that the University’s campuses will be open from 7am tomorrow morning. 

Nevertheless, we anticipate that the majority of our teaching will continue to be delivered online wherever possible, at least for the remainder of this week. In some instances campus attendance may be required (eg practicals, workshops) and program directors and course coordinators will communicate with you on any specific arrangements. 

In what is a significant development, masks will now be required to be worn on campus in all public and shared indoor spaces, including teaching, learning, research and shared office spaces. This is in line with the new State Government guidelines. This requirement applies to all staff and students and members of the public who wish to access our campus spaces. There will be some exemptions for the wearing of masks and masks do not need to be worn all of the time (eg when eating/drinking). We will ensure the staff and student FAQ’s are updated overnight as we get more clarity on what these exemptions will be.

You are asked to bring your own masks to campus. The University will make a limited number of masks available at Campus Central and Security offices for those who require one while on campus.

In order to limit the movement of members of the public through our campuses, swipe cards will be required for access to our facilities.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation with these new requirements as we do our part to work with the wider community to help limit the spread of the COVID virus and hopefully return to a vibrant campus environment as soon as we can.

27 July 2021 3.11pm

All staff email from Professor Allan Evans, Acting Vice-Chancellor

Dear Colleagues

Further to my communication last night, where I outlined that University campuses will re-open from 7am Wednesday morning, I want to briefly update you on the University’s approach to the recently announced restrictions and how we can support the community in its implementation of the new health guidelines.

While our campuses will be open to staff and students, teaching should continue online wherever possible, at least for the remainder of this week. In some instances campus attendance might be required (eg practicals, workshops and instances where use of university resources are required), most likely from next week onwards. Program directors and course coordinators are asked to communicate with students about any specific local arrangements. 

In what is a significant change, in response to the strong encouragement from the State Government, face masks will now be required to be worn on campus in all public and shared indoor spaces, including teaching, learning, research, recreation and shared office spaces. Until further notice, this requirement applies to all staff and students and members of the public who wish to access our campus spaces. There will be some exemptions for the wearing of masks and masks do not need to be worn all of the time (eg when eating/drinking). We will ensure the staff and student FAQ’s are updated as soon as possible once we get more clarity on what the rules and exemptions will be.

The University will make a limited number of masks available from Campus Central and Security offices in the event some staff or students do not have their own with them. 

As outlined yesterday, while the campus is open from tomorrow, where staff can perform their duties from home, and they have an approved work from home arrangement with their manager, they are encouraged to do so for the remainder of this week.  We will provide further advice about future work from home arrangements as the status and duration of the overall State restrictions become clearer. For those who are required to attend campus to fulfil their roles, swipe card access will be required for all university buildings.

For the foreseeable future, swipe card access will also be required for students to access University buildings including our libraries and shared student spaces. This will necessarily limit access to members of the public and enable tracking the movements of individuals should this be necessary.

As our campuses re-open and we return to some face-to-face operations, local area managers will need to liaise with staff to deal with specific matters in relation to student and staff services, and we genuinely appreciate this.

I thank you in advance for your cooperation with these new requirements.

For your information, the email that will be sent to students is provided below.

Regards

26 July 2021 6.37pm

All staff email from Professor Allan Evans, Acting Vice-Chancellor

Dear Colleagues

You will have heard the positive news today that it appears highly likely that South Australia will be able to come out of its current lockdown from the start of business Wednesday 28 July.

Nevertheless, there will still be significant restrictions in place as part of the pathway out of lockdown and we await further information from the State Government tomorrow, particularly around public events and the requirements for the wearing of masks in public spaces.

To enable some advanced planning, I would like to outline the University’s approach given the information we have to hand.

From Wednesday 28 July, subject to any further advice (!):

  • The University’s campuses, including the library, gym and retail outlets, will be open from 7am Wednesday and operate in line with COVID social distancing requirements. Swipe access will be required for our libraries and student spaces.
  • While students will be able to attend campus to utilise university resources, it is anticipated that the majority of teaching will remain fully online for the remainder of this week. Program directors and course coordinators will need to advise students of specific teaching arrangements for those activities that will require on-campus attendance.
  • Student placements can resume in line with the arrangements put in place by placement providers. It is likely that we will not know the status of cancelled or postponed placements until the placement providers are in a position to operate in compliance with the new restrictions, so we may need to be patient in this regard.
  • MOD, Hawke Gallery, Samstag, Planetarium, Architecture Museum will remain closed for the remainder of this week and are expected to be open next Monday.
  • The University Medical Clinic and Child Care Centre remain open.
  • Our campuses will be open for the delivery of services to staff and students. Accordingly, staff attendance on campus is required unless individual staff have an agreed work from home arrangement on the basis of their individual circumstances. Staff with a work from home arrangement agreed with their manager may continue to work from home for the remainder of this week. We will continue to monitor this matter as more information becomes available.
  • Staff directed to quarantine or self-isolate by health authorities must register their absence with their line manager and through the myHR system.
  • While we anticipate staff will be able to return to campus to undertake teaching, research and administrative activities from Wednesday, some spaces will require time to be reactivated. The local areas will liaise with staff with regard to specific arrangements.

We will continue to provide updates as further information comes to hand through email and on the University’s website.

Again I thank everyone in our community for your patience and cooperation as we continue to navigate the ever-changing environment.

Regards

23 July 2021 5.35pm

All staff email from Professor Allan Evans, Acting Vice-Chancellor

Dear all

As we head to the weekend I just wanted to thank everyone for their hard work and commitment over the past few days as we moved into lockdown mode and adjusted to teaching, learning and researching remotely (in what is becoming a disturbingly familiar way).  I know the change presents challenges for us all in different ways but we can be collectively proud of the way in which the University community continues to respond.

Teaching commences again in earnest next week (and has been ongoing for many) and current arrangements for online learning as previously outlined will continue for the period of the lockdown.  Students will be informed by program directors of any changes to these arrangements. As we learn more about the extent and duration of the lockdown we will also look at additional support for our students (we discussed this briefly at our Academic Board meeting the afternoon).

For the information of staff, the planned upgrade to LearnOnline which was scheduled for this weekend has been postponed.

As I write this we don’t know at this stage about the timing of the lockdown or any changes to restrictions, so I encourage you to please keep monitoring the University website and your inbox for further information – we will continue to communicate whenever there is a significant change in arrangements.  The FAQs on the website are regularly updated and also provide links to further information. Please also note that:

I thank you again for the great cooperation, collaboration and collegiality shown by our community.

Regards

20 July 2021 12.46pm

All staff and student email from Professor David G. Lloyd, Vice-Chancellor and President

Dear Staff and Students

At a press conference this morning the Premier enacted special measures to ‘lock down’ South Australia in response to the escalating COVID19 health crisis.

These measures directly impact the regular operations of UniSA, our staff and our students.

Based on the available information, I ask you to please note the following:

  • All university buildings and our campuses will be closed to all but essential staff from 6pm this evening 20th July for the duration of the applicable restrictions.
    • Staff and students should not present on campus during this period as they adhere to the applicable COVID19 restrictions
    • All university buildings across all university campuses will be locked and on restricted swipe card access during this time.
    • The SafeZone app must be used by any essential staff accessing facilities for approved business continuity purposes.

  • All staff who are able to conduct their work and duties from home should now do so and are required to have an approved working from home plan in place by COB of Friday 23rd July.
    • Staff are encouraged to move to remote working arrangements with immediate effect.
    • Access arrangements for essential on-site business continuity will be communicated to appropriate staff via the their relevant manager.

  • All teaching and learning activities will be delivered online for the duration of the restrictions.
  • All experimental research activities should be safely concluded by close of business today, with all appropriate safety measures enacted to furlough the activity for at least one week.
    • Access arrangements for essential welfare and business continuity purposes will be communicated to staff via the Research portfolio.

  • Staff who cannot perform their scheduled duties from home will be advised by their managers as to the specifics of their working arrangements next week. 
  • All Student Placements in South Australia during this period are subject to those restrictions applicable to the placement provider.
    • Students on interstate placements can continue to present for placement as scheduled if able to do so.

  • The university libraries will be physically closed from 6pm today.
  • UniSA student accommodation at Whyalla will remain open for residents.
  • UniSA Childcare facilities at City West will remain open for families of essential workers.
  • CampusCentralIT Helpdesk and Library Helpdesk services will continue to be monitored during this period.
  • The Employee Assistance Program and Student Counselling Services will be accessible during this period. The Out-of-Hours Crisis Line has been extended to 24/7. If you need urgent mental health support, please contact the Out-of-Hours Crisis Line on 1300 107 441 or via text on 0488 884 163
  • The University’s COVID19 information pages will be regularly updated with information and answers to frequently asked questions for both students and staff.

Hopefully, we will return to work and study on campus on, or before, 28th July – you will be advised by email on the specifics of our return to work and study plans in advance of that date.

Regrettably, this is another unexpected turn of events which is being enacted in the wider public interest and for our collective protection. I ask that you take care during this period of enhanced restrictions, stay connected to family, to your friends and to one another and continue to contribute to successfully combating the spread of infection at this time.

Keep an eye out for one another and for those around you – please follow the directives to protect yourself and others – and remember, this will pass, we’ve got this.

Best regards

20 July 2021 9.15am

All student email from Professor Allan Evans, Acting Vice-Chancellor

Dear students, 

You will have seen the news late yesterday about new restrictions in South Australia as a result of a rise in COVID-19 cases. While the formal directions (which give the necessary detail about the full extent of these restrictions) have yet to be released, I want to let you know how the University will respond based on the information currently at hand.

Of course, things can change rapidly. Please monitor your myUniSA student e-mail and also visit the University webpage which contains updates and FAQs. But for now, we offer the following:

The University, as an essential service, remains open and University teaching and research can continue. We are committed to minimising any unnecessary disruption to our students.

Nevertheless, there will need to be some modifications to our operations this week, and the following summary has been sent to staff:

Teaching and Research

  • Online teaching will continue as normal. Face-to-face teaching can also continue with appropriate physical distancing arrangements. Our interpretation of current rules mean that masks are not required on campus or in office spaces unless physical distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Student placements can continue unless otherwise determined by the placement provider.
  • Research activity can continue with appropriate physical distancing and/or PPE where required. If the research activity requires engagement with the public, then suitable adjustments to arrangements may be required and in some cases the research may need to be postponed. This will need to be determined on a case-by-case basis.
  • O-Week social activities will be cancelled and program information sessions will be provided online where possible, or postponed until other arrangements are made.
  • The University library and other learning spaces will remain open, with appropriate adjustments made to accommodate changes in social distancing requirements.

On campus Events, Gyms and Galleries

  • The Hawke Centre, Samstag, the Planetarium, Architecture Museum and MOD. will be closed for this week.
  • University gyms and the pool will be closed, and UniSASport activity will be cancelled.
  • All public events, including campus tours, will be cancelled.

Campus Outlets

  • If they are to continue operating, campus food outlets will need to move to outdoordining and/or takeaway operations. Operators will need to make suitable adjustments.

Campus Facilities and Services

  • Campus Central will remain open, so that support for our students can continue.
  • Counselling and other services will move to virtual engagement where possible but will otherwise be available on campus.
  • The University medical clinic will remain open.

There will, of course, be likely changes and adjustments made over coming days and we will continue to communicate as often as possible. We are not in a position yet to answer all questions, but I hope the information above gives some clarity around immediate matters. I encourage all our community to maintain the new norm of ‘social distancing’ and good hygiene practice. Of course, if you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, please do not attend the University and get tested as soon as possible.

Regards

19 July 2021 9.21pm

All staff email from Professor Allan Evans, Acting Vice-Chancellor

Colleagues

You will have seen the news late this afternoon about new restrictions in the State as a result of a rise in COVID-19 cases. While the formal directions (these give the necessary detail about the full extent of these restriction) have yet to be released, I want to let you know how the University will respond based on the information currently at-hand.  Of course, things can change rapidly. I would ask that you monitor your e-mails and also visit the University webpage which will contain updates and FAQs. But for now, we offer the following:

The University, as an essential service, remains open and University teaching and research can continue. It is important that wherever possible we support our core activities and we minimise any unnecessary disruption to our students.

Nevertheless, there will need to be some modifications to our operations this week, as summarised below:

Teaching and Research

  • Teaching can continue with appropriate social distancing arrangements. Our interpretation of current rules mean that masks are not required on campus or in office spaces unless social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Student placements can continue unless otherwise determined by the placement provider.
  • Research activity can also continue with appropriate social distancing and/or PPE where required. If the research activity requires engagement with the public, then suitable adjustments to arrangements may be required and in some cases the research may need to be postponed. This will need to be determined on a case-by-case basis.
  • O-Week social activities will be cancelled and program information sessions will be provided online where possible, or postponed until other arrangements are made.
  • The University library and other learning spaces will remain open, with appropriate adjustments made to accommodate changes in social distancing requirements.

On campus Events, Gyms and Galleries

  • The Hawke Centre, Samstag, the Planetarium, Architecture Museum and MOD will be closed for this week.
  • University gyms, and UniSASport activity, will be closed
  • All public events, including campus tours, will be cancelled.

Campus Outlets

  • If they are to continue operating, campus food outlets will need to move to outdoor dining and/or takeaway operations. Operators will need to make suitable adjustments.

Campus Facilities and Services

  • Campus Central will remain open, so that support for our students can continue
  • Counselling and other services will move to virtual engagement where possible but will otherwise be available on campus.
  • The University medical clinic will remain open.

Staff work-from-home and travel arrangements

  • As mentioned above, the University remains open, with teaching and research continuing. However, where individual staff members are able to perform their duties by working from home, and where they have a work from home arrangement formalised with their supervisor, they are encouraged to do so.  Staff who intend to work from home should consult their line manager and update their work from home documentation as soon as possible.  The University will remain open and will continue to support staff to attend for work and there is certainly no obligation to work from home.
  • All domestic travel (within state and outside state) should be postponed this week unless deemed essential in consultation with line management.

I appreciate that these restrictions will require some quick adjustment across our community and I thank everyone in advance for their cooperation and collaboration.  The University has weathered this past year or more with its usual flexibility and responsiveness and I know we will continue to demonstrated the strength and collegiality of our community.

There will of course be likely changes and adjustments made over coming days and we will continue to communicate with staff and students as often as possible. We are not in a position yet to answer all questions, but I hope the information above gives some clarity around immediate matters. I encourage all our community to maintain the new norm of ‘social distancing’ and good hygiene practice. Of course,  if you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms please do not attend the University and get tested as soon as possible.

Many thanks for your patience, commitment...and endurance.

Regards

2021

2020

Stay updated

Ensure you stay updated with the University’s response to the novel coronavirus by doing the following:

  1. Check your emails regularly – this is the University’s main source of communication.
  2. Download the UniSA App and turn on your push notifications! (students only)
  3. Refer to this page regularly to keep up to date on any changes and developments.
  4. Follow the University’s social media pages for key updates.

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