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On Friday, 20 March 2020, Rector Professor Beate Schücking wrote another email to all students and staff of Leipzig University. In it, she stressed that it had been possible to “reduce University operations to a minimum” in order to help slow the spread of coronavirus, “whilst continuing to ensure basic functions”. The Rector also wrote: “I thank all those who are so committed to our Alma mater Lipsiensis in this crisis, which we can only overcome together!”

Rektorin Prof. Dr. Beate Schücking.

Rector Professor Beate Schücking. Photo: Leipzig University, Swen Reichhold

Translation of the Rector’s email:

Dear members of staff of our university, dear students,

Recently, coronavirus has completely turned our everyday lives upside down. But we have achieved a great deal: within a few days, in the spirit of prevention we have reduced University operations to a minimum, whilst continuing to ensure basic functions. I would like to thank all those involved for this! This is our contribution to protecting the health of us all, of our families, and of society as a whole. The Rectorate and crisis management team have acted swiftly in coordination with the Deans and the Senate as well as in close consultation with the State Rectors’ Conference (LRK).

What does this mean? The work of the University, its faculties, Central Institutions and administration has been reduced to essential functions. People are working from home if possible, laboratories have scaled down to basic operations, access to University buildings has been restricted, and all public access – including in the University Library and refectories – has been suspended. The faculties and Central Institutions are responsible for maintaining minimum operations, and will ensure cooperation with the University administration and the Rectorate by providing on-site staff for essential tasks.

Members of staff and their superiors will stay in contact through the channels they have agreed with each other. All employees must be reachable by telephone or email so that they can be assigned tasks if necessary. In the event of a government-imposed lockdown, employees with duties that are essential to University operations, whether in administration or laboratories, will be granted special permits.

In order to complete the tasks that continue to arise as promptly as possible and to be able to resume normal operations soon, I ask you to work from home if you can. Your ideas for making good use of the time available are also welcome – please send your suggestions for training formats, etc. Keep in regular contact with your colleagues. And stay active! If you have any questions, please use our central email address: corona(at)uni-leipzig.de.

This applies to all central and decentralised structures of the University. The Faculty of Medicine has its own crisis management team which will decide on how to proceed there. All salaries will continue to be paid as per your contracts.

My special thanks go to all those who are carrying out their duties by looking after the animals and other living organisms, the laboratories, and the buildings, and by continuing necessary administrative procedures here on site. I would ask of you the following: please stay informed by visiting our website www.uni-leipzig.de/en/coronavirus, preferably twice a day. It is constantly being updated. And also check your University emails regularly.

Managing the crisis in this way will also allow us to continue teaching and research as well as we possibly can. If I can promise you one thing, it is this: in the Rectorate and in the crisis management team, we are doing everything we can to ensure that the University will function well in this new standby mode – and at the same time do our part to slow down the spread of coronavirus.

As for cases of quarantine and illness: all University students and staff are obliged to report to corona(at)uni-leipzig.de – and employees must additionally report to their direct superior – if they are diagnosed with coronavirus or sent into quarantine by the public health authorities. This email address is being monitored by the Office for University Communications. All members of staff who have access to it have been instructed on data protection. Once emails have been forwarded to the relevant departments, they are deleted. When notifying the University, please ensure that:

  • no documents (certificates) are attached to your quarantine notification.
  • you only use this email address to notify the University of your quarantine.
  • the only information to be reported is whether your case involves a confirmed infection (quarantine with infection) or quarantine without infection.
  • you refrain from explaining the reason for your quarantine.

In any case, stay calm.

I thank all those who are so committed to our Alma mater Lipsiensis in this crisis, which we can only overcome together! Life goes on, for all of us. Every day we will heighten hygiene standards, demonstrate our resilience,  and work to ensure the continuity of our university – from preparing the digital start to the summer semester, to staff training.

Your Rector
Prof. Dr. med. Beate A. Schücking