Current information from the Rector
Ladies and Gentlemen, colleagues,
Dear members and affiliates of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg,
Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic you have done outstanding work in many respects and ensured that the Bergakademie has proven its efficiency even in a state of preventive stand-by. On April 6 we were able to start teaching with more than 500 courses in digitalized format, the laboratories and technical equipment were secured and you can now continue your research and teaching activities or resume them at any time. The administrative work of the university, which is also one of the largest employers and economic factors in the region, was able to continue in an orderly manner under the difficult conditions. This has placed extraordinary personal and organisational demands on all of us.
As you know from the constant reports on the Covid 19 crisis, the federal and state governments have agreed on moderate relaxation of special measures to prevent the rapid further spread of the infections. But we all also know that this by no means marks the end of the crisis, let alone when society as a whole or the universities can return to normal. However, through your efforts and your responsible behaviour, you have ensured that we at TU BAF have been able to maintain our high level of performance in both research and teaching in this special situation, while keeping the infection rate at the university low.
I would like to thank you for this and ask you to continue to contribute to this.
Our responsibility towards all members and affiliates of the university continues to require creativity and discipline in everyday life and in the overall organization that you have implemented so far.
Together with the deans of the faculties and the heads of the departments, the university management has in recent weeks, under the difficult conditions of a general lack of essential materials, placed the main emphasis on providing technical solutions and maintaining academic self-administration, protecting the university staff and students, ensuring the financing of special expenses and the social concerns of students through efforts at the federal and state levels. This is to remain so. As far as possible, measures to be taken should be discussed with the university groups before they are ordered. This may take more time than other procedures, but is necessary.
After consultation with the University Staff Council, the deans, the management of the central institutions, representatives of the students, the SMWK and within the State Rectors' Conference, the Rectorate has issued the instructions as set out in the regulations published at https://tu-freiberg.de/en/corona (Current Rector Information). They serve to moderately expand research and teaching activities in small steps.
Our efforts to keep the infection rate at our university and in Freiberg as low as possible remain in the foreground. This requires constant observation of the infection situation and reaction to changes. Therefore, the start of classroom teaching should involve as small groups as possible and initially concern the most urgent activities. In the summer semester 2020, contactless teaching will unfortunately remain the standard. This requires special efforts on the part of both teachers and students. Nevertheless, not all content in digital or contactless formats will be able to be conveyed sufficiently securely and completely. For this reason too, the conditions for examinations in the summer semester should be made more flexible and adapted to the circumstances. Likewise, the crediting of the summer semester to standard periods of study etc. should be made more flexible in the interest of the students. Corresponding guidelines have been prepared and will be presented at the next committee meetings.
Like the students, professors and staff will remain committed to the requirements of special hygiene measures. This makes everyday work more difficult and for this reason, the possible working hours will be made more flexible by extending the time frame for flexitime in agreement with the staff council of the university. The corresponding service agreement can be found at https://tu-freiberg.de/zuv/d3/dienstvereinbarungen.
The principle remains that for most employees, living and working outside the university premises will be the rule in the coming weeks. The measures introduced by the university management will ensure that salaries and wages continue to be paid even in cases where attendance on university premises cannot be guaranteed.
Please find further details about the publication of the Rectorate's orders at https://tu-freiberg.de/en/corona/information-for-students-and-doctoral-students for students and doctoral candidates, at https://tu-freiberg.de/en/corona/information-for-staff-in-teaching-and-research for lecturers and for administrative staff.
In the 255th year of the existence of the Bergakademie, we are in a deep crisis together with the whole society. We will concentrate on what is essential, overcome the crisis together and emerge from it stronger. Stay on the ball!
Glück auf and stay healthy
Prof. Dr. Klaus-Dieter Barbknecht