Update: Research and administration at Kiel University



Dear CAU members,

The CAU has now been working in ‘coronavirus mode’ for a week:

  • The majority of face-to-face lectures and examinations have been suspended as part of implementing the corresponding decrees and ordinances by the state of Schleswig-Holstein, initially until 19 April 2020.
  • Attendance at the CAU has been reduced to the greatest possible extent over the course of the past week, and several university institutions have been closed to members of the public since 15 March 2020.
  • University employees should only work on university premises for the absolutely necessary amount required to complete their tasks. Many members of staff have already agreed on home office solutions with their supervisors and are now working from home.

The goal of these measures is to reduce social contact at work to a minimum and therefore slow down the overall spread of the new coronavirus. The crisis management team and the University Board, in coordination with the Dean’s Offices, have provided the following specific information and recommendations in order to protect the CAU’s members, guests and service providers, and to do our part towards the state’s strategy:

  1. Even though the state government has not expressly restricted research activities - unlike teaching and examinations - the University Board and the Dean’s Offices appeal to all researchers to organise their work in such a way that as little presence as possible is necessary on university premises. Exceptions should only be made where important research infrastructures must be maintained or where research activities are set up in such a long-term manner that it would be very difficult to reorganise them or interrupting them would lead to the loss of crucial, sensitive data. If work takes place on site in labs, offices or open air spaces, your superiors will ensure that the hygiene and distancing regulations are adhered to on site through appropriate planning (e.g. working in shifts, minimum two metres distance between workplaces).  This also applies for travel to and from work, and business trips. You can only work by yourself in labs and workshops if this is permitted in accordance with the relevant occupational health and safety regulations.
  2. Core administrative activities should be maintained in the Central Administration and the decentralised departments and faculties. Wherever it is possible, staff should work from home by telephone and e-mail. If staff must be present on site because, for example, access to certain systems is only possible from within the university network or because post needs to be processed, then daily attendance must be reduced to a minimum and, where feasible, in shifts in different teams.
  3. Both central and local invoices and staff measures in particular must still be processed. The departments have provided and will continue to provide information on this point directly. Please ensure to plan in enough time to process everything, especially applications for staff measures, so that these can be implemented within the deadlines.
  4. Administrative processes which (can) require presence on campus in a reduced scope include technical and infrastructural operations (supplies, house admin, postal and messenger services, servers and networks), Student Admission and Registry and the Examination Offices. Please bear in mind that processes in all areas of the university are a bit slower and more restricted than usual at the moment, due to the current circumstances.
  5. Meetings for university and faculty committees and commissions should predominantly be held as telephone or video conferences, and decisions should be effected in circulation methods. It must be made possible for all ex officio members and participants to also join in meetings by telephone or video which are held with partial presence. The regulations for hygiene and distance to others must be adhered to for meetings which are held with partial or full presence.

On 23 March 2020, the state government issued “general rulings on the prohibition and restriction of contacts in certain public areas” on the basis of a meeting between the Federal Chancellor and the Minister-Presidents of the German states. In comparison to the general ruling of 13 March 2020, there are no further restrictions for universities (see no. 11). In accordance with no. 9 of the decree, you are still permitted to be at your place of work. We ask all members of the university to adhere to the provisions related to being in public areas and to social distancing. Please reduce direct business contacts to an absolute minimum to protect yourselves and others.

More information, current news and frequently asked questions related to all measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus can be found at www.uni-kiel.de/corona. If your question is not answered in this list, you can send an e-mail to corona@uni-kiel.de.

Your Dean’s Offices have sent and will continue to send you separate information and guidelines related to teaching.

At this point, the University Board would like to thank all members of the CAU for your efforts and for the creativity with which so many of you have impressively reorganised university operations and processes in several areas over the past few days, and developed new routines and procedures. We must also give a big thanks to all those who are still on site, maintaining the central processes within administration and research.

We are confident that over the next few weeks, we will manage to organise our collaboration in such a way that we can still ensure the necessary physical distances between one another, but still maintain the close personal connections and networks, thus strengthening our solidarity in a virtual manner.

The University Board of the CAU