Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton, Mark Smith, has set out a framework for how ‘we will move forward together as a University community through COVID-19.’
Having spoken to over 100 fellow university leaders, the VC shared that his first priority is the ‘continuing safety and wellbeing of our staff and students.’ In addition, he expresses his intent that University will emerge from the crippling pandemic with Southampton’s ‘high-quality research and education infrastructure intact.’
Smith also highlights his aim to minimise all ‘non-essential expenditure‘ in light of the likely economic downturn in the near future, and says that the bar for any new recruitment within the University should be set ‘extremely high.’
The Vice-Chancellor also commits to reviewing all major 10-Year Plan projects, stating that those not immediately relevant to fighting or recovering from COVID-19 will be stopped or paused.
Looking to the approaching academic year 2020/’21, Smith says that no one should ‘assume that anything will stay the same, and that we will be returning soon, if ever, to a previous “normal”,’ with new ways of teaching already being explored.