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 The functioning of the university in the state of epidemics

Dear All, Employees and Students of the Lublin University of Technology,

we are starting another week of struggle, not with an epidemiological threat, but with an epidemic. Our University operates in accordance with the recommendations of state, departmental and epidemiological services. The most important of them is the Regulation of the Minister of Health from the 20th of March 2020  on the announcement of an epidemic status in the territory of the Republic of Poland.

Taking into consideration the state of the epidemic, the Minister of Science and Higher Education decided to continue to limit the activity of universities supervised by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education throughout the country. According to the information on the ministry’s website,  in the period from 26th March to 10th April 2020, employees (both academic teachers and employees who are not academic teachers) will not be required to work at the university, except when it is necessary to ensure its continuity. I, as a rector, also present such working principles of the Lublin University of Technology. Realistically speaking, this is not the last message about the suspension of the normal operation of the University.

I am convinced that in our community the actions specified both in official statements, as well as by common sense and a sense of responsibility, are properly implemented. Remote education is developing, administration and technical services are functioning, documentation of research and investment projects is being carried out, despite the limitations scientific research is being conducted. Remote work and activity plans in the form of shifts were presented I assess them positively in the majority and consider sufficient.

It is obvious that ensuring epidemiological safety, in addition to such commonly raised issues as washing hands and refraining from direct meetings and consultations, requires behavior that avoids direct contact between employees and students and maintains a distance of not less than 2 m. The vast majority of university affairs can be handled remotely and if it is necessary to work with paper documents, their circulation is ensured by the university postal system, personal contacts are not necessary. Obtaining the approval and signatures of the rector, vice-rectors, bureaucrats, chancellor, deans, and heads of departments on documents does not require personal peregrination on the campus, just remember that the procedures will now last a little longer. This should be taken into account in expectations regarding the timeliness of dealing with matters. 

The recommendations presented in the rector’s statement from 16/03/2020 and 17/03/2020 regarding the mode of work of academic teachers and the distance learning process remain valid. 

As I mentioned before, a coronavirus-infected student of LUT left the hospital healthy. People who have had contact with her are quarantined and her closest friend got a negative test result.

The University’s supply services purchased another portion of disinfectant liquid and several dozen containers that were placed in toilets (hanging) and corridors and other selected rooms. We also managed to purchase an additional number of masks and gloves which are allocated to employees in positions most exposed to contact with other people and the risk of infection. The use of protective gloves is treated as a natural element of prevention.

I authorize you to identify places and jobs that you consider to be particularly vulnerable to the spread of the virus. You can report them to the Technical Infrastructure, Investment and Renovation Department (see M.Eliza Naklicka). Whenever possible, epidemiological safety will be raised on them, through the use of transparent partitions and tapes signaling distance behavior.  We strive for the purchase of additional protection measures - helmets, masks, overalls which is not an easy task. If you were able to purchase them yourself and use them at work, the University will provide reimbursement of the costs of this equipment.

The preparation of Student House No. 1 for the epidemiological purposes of the Lublin Voivode has practically been completed. It is obvious that the fees for rooms in student dormitories, for people who do not currently use them, will be significantly reduced, although one should remember about fixed costs incurred by the University.

I would like to thank those who in this difficult and dangerous situation reliably support the activities of the LUT’s authorities, in particular deputy deans for student affairs, heads of departments, DS managers, Chancellor PL and services subordinate to him, employees of Kwestura, employees of the International Education Office, employees of the Rector’s Office, service staff - well, simply everyone, the list goes on.  Sometimes your activity is so high that I try to limit it for security reasons.

As in any community, some people have difficulty finding their way in these difficult and unusual times. I also have to mention this.

A student whose belongings (with the utmost care and diligence) were removed from the room in DS1 and placed in a deposit, wrote a fiery complaint to the local media. You have no penance for compassion and understanding for people who will have to (not of their own free will) quarantine at the dorm.

I wish you immunity and health.

Prof. Piotr Kacejko