Universiteit Utrecht
Coronavirus update 3 April
Dear students and colleagues,

This is the coronavirus update of April 3, 2020.
Elections student seats University Council
The Central Voting Bureau has adopted an adjusted timetable for the nomination of candidates and elections for university participation. Elections will be held before the summer. Nomination of candidates and campaigning will all take place online. In concrete terms, this concerns the university council and faculty councils election of student members, and the Science, Humanities, Geosciences and the University Library staff members election in connection with existing vacancies. The list of candidates for the University Council will be drawn up on Monday May 18, votes can be cast from Tuesday through Thursday, the 2nd through 4th of June, 2020, and the results will be determined on Friday June 5. More information will follow. Vote! Employee participation plays a crucial role in the management of our university.
Safe Handling of (research) data from home
Due to the corona measures, as much work is done remotely as possible. We ask that you be careful when working with personal data at home:
  • only use this data when absolutely necessary,
  • do not store local copies on your own devices, and
  • use the UU's VPN tools.
For researchers working from home: follow the directions given by RDM Support in the guide: Working safely with research data from home.
Use of online educational applications and privacy
Professors are working hard to convert their courses to distance learning. As a result, the need for various online educational applications has increased significantly in a short period of time. We have therefore accelerated work on arranging additional privacy requirements. In the meantime, the applications recommended by Educate-it can be used by instructors. For a number of tools, additional instructions will be given that must be followed in the interest of privacy. This may mean that a number of tools will no longer be used after block 4. We discourage the use of applications that are not recommended and supported by Educate-it.
In general, it is advised to communicate as much as possible through existing communication channels such as Blackboard, MS Teams and MyTimeTable. Do not use personal mail accounts and/or WhatsApp. For online education, it is advised to use MS Teams as much as possible. As a second possibility Starleaf can be used. Applications that are not recommended in the current situation are Scalable Learning, Vyond and Peerwise. ZOOM is also not recommended. All applications that Educate-it recommends, including any additional instructions, can be found on the Educate-it tool guide.
Staff: HR matters in corona time
The UU would like to remain a supportive and dependable employer, even in these circumstances. This means that we will continue to adhere to the existing laws and regulations and collective agreements, and where we deviate, we do so to the benefit of our employees. We assume that you are acting in good faith and we know that everyone is doing their best to contribute in whichever ways possible. We also want to limit the administrative burden of any changes as much as possible. 
In addition, we must ensure the continuity of the current work taking place, but also the work later in the year and next year. This means that we have to look at both financial and organisational aspects for now and the future in the choices we make.
With regard to a number of HR matters, we have made agreements on a number of HR matters about how we will deal with these in the period up to  June 1, 2020. The UU will not cut salaries if the current circumstances prevent you from doing all of your work such as providing childcare. Furthermore, travel expenses and the supplement via the choice model (if applicable) will also be continued unchanged in April. In the second half of April, a decision will be made on travel expenses for the period from May 1 onward. We will await the Cabinet’s decisions on the period in which work will continue from home, as well as the tax rules for the reimbursement of travel expenses. On the intranet you will find all information about salary, holidays, travel expenses and working with children in the time of COVID-19. For questions about these agreements and other HR matters you can contact the HR Service Desk by e-mail.
New colleagues
We want to give special attention to new colleagues who have joined the various faculties and departments on April 1. We understand that it is surreal and difficult to get started during this time. We would like to welcome you to our university, regardless. We are tremendously pleased that you are joining our team. Your supervisor will try to support you as best as possible and in spite of everything to get you started with your work for the UU. On the intranet you will find a nice article from the faculty of REBO about how to work remotely.
Frequency of university-wide updates and questions
We have noticed that an increasing proportion of the announcements that are important to you must come from your study programme, faculty, or department. That is why we will reduce the frequency of these University-wide updates to once a week. From now on, you can expect them on Thursdays. We will revisit the transition between bachelor and master and how we will deal nationwide with research delays and temporary contracts. Of course, the information on the website will be updated on a daily basis and questions you may have can be e-mailed to coronavirus@uu.nl. Do you have an HR-related question? Email to the HR Service Desk. Do you have a study-related question? Then contact your lecturer (about a specific subject). If you have a specific question that your lecturer cannot answer, please contact your study advisor by phone or e-mail.
In closing
It's amazing how much study, research, and work continues as though these were normal circumstances. That's incredible to see, and it fills us with gratitude. And it's not just about education, a lot of research work or online doctoral ceremonies. Even Meet the Professor for primary school students has been transformed into Stream the Professor in a insightfully creative way. Re-view the live stream here with Appy Sluijs. Now, that's class! The crowdfunding campaign that employees of relationship management and Utrecht University Fund set up from home for students in need has already yielded over 18,000 euros, and touching reactions from donors.
The crisis has brought about some great accomplishments and we are proud of that. At the same time, we also recognise the great burdens upon our community members that we as the board of directors take very seriously. Some students and staff are deeply stressed. Some people feel alone, or have had incredible difficulty intertwining their work-life with their care-taking duties. As the board of directors, we must do our best to provide for these situations. But this is also a task for all of us, including you. During this time, please ask your fellow students or colleagues a little more often how things are going; whether you can help them with something. If we all do that, we'll get through this as a U.U. community, and as Utrecht University, we can represent our best selves for the rest of society.
Hang on, stay healthy!
Kind regards,
The Executive Board,
Anton Pijpers, President 
Annetje Ottow, Vice President 
Henk Kummeling, Rector Magnificus

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