Summer is here and with it time off work. For some, this means reading a book in a quiet corner, for others, it’s time to spend on their own projects. Regardless of how you spend the summer, I hope it’ll be the way you want it, albeit with the necessary adaptations to the current reality. At the beginning of this semester, no-one would have guessed that we’d end up in a situation with social distancing, Zoom seminars, distance excursions and so many meetings on crisis preparedness.
After the summer, SLU’s campuses will open up again. I’m happy about that. But it won’t quite be business as usual. Some teaching will take place on campus, but teaching that during spring has been delivered online with high quality can usefully remain online. That way, we can limit the number of students on campus at any one time. On campus, we’ll all need to contribute to maintaining distance as long as there is a pandemic.
My first year as SLU’s vice-chancellor is coming to an end. It‘s been an exciting and challenging year. And although I’m sad that I wasn’t able to visit all SLU sites this spring, it is satisfying to end the academic year knowing that SLU has once again been ranked one of the world’s top three universities in agriculture and forestry in the QS World University Ranking.
Student recruitment has been successful and we’ve seen a huge increase in the number of applicants. Earlier this week, the SLU Board adopted a decision on next year’s course and programme offering, including several new exciting programmes and a transition to the Bologna model for our programmes in forest science and agricultural science.
But before that, and before you leave for your holidays, I want to extend a big thank you to all of you.
I’m proud and grateful that we have so many committed employees and students, and I know that you’ve all done your utmost to make things work, this spring as well as under more normal circumstances. And thank you for the great reception I’ve had.
To mention just a few things I’ve sampled this first year: staying on a research vessel, taking a ride in a combine harvester, rehabilitation coffee among flowers, identifying apple varieties, a close encounter with a curious young animal, a virtual tour of the forest, a disco WC, having a semla at the students' union and attending a fancy dinner in Uppsala carrying with me the distinct scent of the Lövsta stables (the hosts were polite enough not to mention it). All of this, and all of you, make up One SLU, the strategy I’m looking forward to us implementing next year. Together.