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April 8, 1.20pm

All staff email from Jane Booth, Executive Director: People, Talent & Culture

Dear colleagues,

The efforts and achievements of our staff in service of our students, partners and the wider community have been extraordinary in recent weeks. We’ve moved our teaching and learning online, responded to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and transitioned to our new academic structure. With the vast majority of our staff and students now working and studying from home, and essential staff maintaining our campus-based services supporting research and other critical activities, we’re working in a way few of us could have anticipated.

We’ve done it by pulling together, as we always do at UniSA when faced with a challenge. And, as we’ve established new routines, new ways of working and in some cases new skills, we’ve also had to grapple with the personal impact of the conditions and constraints we need to observe to stay safe. It’s a heady mix of thoughts, feelings and experiences to navigate and we want to make sure you’re aware of the support that’s available to you.

Safety and wellbeing

Your safety and wellbeing remains our highest priority. Our wellbeing program has a range of supports available including this year’s flu shots program, we have options for supporting your mental wellbeing and remote working on the People, Talent and Culture website, and our Employee Assistance Program and Manager Assist are available through Human Psychology on 1300 277 924. SA Health also has a mental health support line you can contact on 1800 632 753 7 days a week from 8.00am to 8.00pm, as well as a mental health fact sheet with more information on their website.

Make sure you’re set up properly for working from home by taking the WHS29 Workstation Self-Assessment, take regular screen breaks and build some exercise into your new routine to stave off zoom fatigue - and even in these challenging times remember you can you can still take leave to help you manage your responsibilities and your wellbeing.

If you are remaining on campus please observe the social distancing protocols at all times and ensure you have downloaded the free SafeZone App to your smart phone and have activated the ‘Check In’ feature.  This will allow our Security Officers to concentrate their patrols in areas occupied by staff and students and quickly identify who is on campus if an incident was to occur. Rest assured our facilities management team are providing additional hygiene services to keep our campuses as safe as possible.

Thriving remotely

Whatever your current working arrangements it’s important for your wellbeing to remain productive and engaged in your work and connected to your team. Continue to invest in your development by exploring what’s available online via our Enterprising Essentials program, and check out the People, Talent and Culture website for ideas on staying connected as a team. Make sure you still find time for catching up one to one, particularly if you have direct reports or supervise HDR candidates.

Personal support

If you are personally affected by COVID-19, it’s important to know what support is available to you from the University. We have developed a series of COVID-19 Key Employment Principles to assist staff, including an exceptional special leave with pay provision for all staff impacted by COVID-19. We’ve also introduced a reporting Protocol for staff who need to access special leave provisions in the event they are required to self-isolate or are quarantined. In the event you become unwell with COVID-19, we ask that you contact your line manager and they will notify the ptc@unisa.edu.au inbox so we can ensure the appropriate support is provided to you.

Remember to review the COVID-19 FAQs for Staff and the COVID-19 coronavirus information webpage regularly as they are updated frequently. If there’s something you want advice on or support with that isn’t covered, contact ptc@unisa.edu.au or your PTC Business Partner.

The University will continue to do its upmost for the safety of our staff and students, following the advice of medical authorities and State and Federal Government agencies. Thank you for doing your part by being flexible, committed and professional. It is very much appreciated by our whole University community.

Wishing you all the very best, stay safe and enjoy the Easter break as best you can.

April 2, 12.19pm

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

Dear Students,

I know your email inboxes have been filled with communication from the University lately, both from me and your Course Coordinators and Program Directors.  But as we get closer to the weekend, I wanted to reach out again to just briefly confirm a few matters for you.

I hope that you are well and for those of you who have temporarily transitioned from face-to-face to online learning I hope the first two weeks of studying online has gone well for you.  I know that there may have been some initial glitches for some of you in the transition, for which I can only apologise and ask for your continued patience. I also note that some of you are waiting for delayed practicums, labs and studios – please be assured that a lot of work is going on to ensure we can provide you with all you need to sustain your studies in UniSA. By the time you return to study after the mid-semester break, we will be in a position to provide additional clarity around future arrangements.

We want to do everything we can to help you succeed in your studies and gain all the long-term benefits that study can provide, while staying safe and well.  You may also wish to access the range of study supports that are available through the Student Engagement Unit here: Study supports

  • Grace period for enrolment

Can I remind students enrolled in Study Period 2 courses that while the University’s official census date remained unchanged as at 31 March, we have introduced a ‘grace’ period; until 1 May.  If you need it, this gives you some extra time to assess your own situation, think about your study plans, and make choices without any financial penalty or an entry on your academic transcript.

Please check out the Frequently Asked Questions and further information here: Student FAQs.

  • UniSA Hardship Fund

I want to highlight to you that the University has established a dedicated $10 million fund to support those in severe financial circumstances as a result of COVD-19. This fund is now open to all students enrolled for onshore study in UniSA at all levels.  We understand that the current situation has impacted on many through loss of employment and other unexpected costs.  The fund has been established to assist those most in need of support right now and complements the wide range of support available across the University.

You can access information on this fund, its criteria, and how to apply for support here: Student Hardship Fund.

The University has also reached out to its alumni community, and the wider public and network of UniSA partners, to offer them the opportunity to add to this fund, and you’ll be pleased to know we are already received donations from around the world.  The UniSA community is a very strong one and that is something that we can all be proud of.

  • Grades and academic progression

We’ve had a number of emails and queries from students about whether the university intends to modify its grade recording processes during the ongoing health crisis – primarily as students are adapting to temporary new modes of learning. I want to let you know that we are looking into this in great detail – above all else, we have to ensure the academic integrity of all our assessments and processes to underpin the value of your degree and studies for you and your future careers. Through that lens, I want to reassure you that academic progression considerations will be thoroughly examined by the University (in consultation with Academic Board which includes student membership) in the coming weeks. We will provide clear information for all students prior to the conclusion of the grace period.

  • New academic structures

This piece of news has nothing to do with COVID-19, which is a welcome change in these uncertain times.  I wanted to remind you that UniSA’s academic structures are transitioning from our historical organisation of Divisions and Schools, to our seven new Academic Units on Monday of next week. This won’t impact on you or your studies, but you’ll notice changes to our websites and how we describe the structure of the university rolling out in the next while. All students will receive further information early next week in relation to their own Academic Unit.

  • Health and well-being

We understand that times like these are stressful.  This is a time to take special care of yourself and look out for your friends and each other.  Health and wellbeing supports are available from our Student Engagement Unit at https://i.unisa.edu.au/studentsupportservices.  Please reach out and connect with these services for advice and support at any time you feel the need.

And of course for all other study related enquiries you can also contact Campus Central.

Can I also ask that you please keep in regular contact with us and raise any issues with your course coordinator or program director. 

UniSA communications to staff and students 
(These updates are organised chronologically – with the most recent information first)

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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