Dear employees, students and friends of the University of South Bohemia, in connection with the end of the state of emergency in the Czech Republic, please allow me to thank you on behalf of myself and also the whole management of the USB.
I would like to thank you for the way that we have all managed the often unclear situation and I think that we are doing very well in comparison with other universities. We were able to ensure the continuance of instruction, develop distance and online forms of instruction incredibly quickly to an extent that no one would have expected just a few weeks ago. Much of it was certainly provisional, but even that significantly increased our IT competencies that are going to be useful to all of us in the upcoming years. We will not be afraid of systems like Moodle or MS Teams and their use is going to be an easier choice for many of us in the future, even only as a support of standard “frontal” forms of instruction. The IT competencies of students and educators, one is linked to the other, were undoubtedly improved by it and at times it was the students who taught their educators something new when it came to new technologies. Even that is a part of universities as a whole and the collegial spirit between students and teachers that the word universitas, as a community of teachers and students, contains.
Thank you for the effort to manage the crisis at faculties and all constituent parts and for the effort of all academic and non-academic employees, from departments of international relations and employees ensuring the functioning of the IT to the library or the dormitories and refectories, and students to work on issues honestly, but also with grace. Of course, the main mission of a university is science and instruction and their interconnection. I, therefore, believe, that even in these times we have been able to do research, write projects and even think about new topics for research with regard to the turbulent modern world. Educators learn to use new technologies and they deserve our gratitude for it, but students also deserve it for their lenience when something does not go exactly as planned technically or otherwise.
Many of you are taking part in voluntary activities and I thank you for it, after all, we have publicised many of these activities on the website of the USB and in the media. The USB has proved that we can stick together in tough times. That is the positive thing about these days.
As the state of emergency is ending, we are gradually returning to normal life, however still limited, in the private and work life. In terms of instruction, exams and the functioning of institutions, including the USB, we are gradually returning to the “normal” enriched by new experiences, like working from home for example. Some may have gained the experience that much can be arranged from home easily and others gained the feeling that they would rather not work from home ever again, because everything seemed more complicated to them than it was during personal meetings with co-workers. Even that will be a part of the experience of these days that will be, hopefully, slowly ending together with the state of emergency as well.
I wish you all that the upcoming days and weeks are joyful in the expectation of holidays and the upcoming summer with which - let’s hope – there will also come relief from all limitations set by the epidemiological situation of this year’s spring.