Information from the Rectorate, March 13, 2020

13. March 2020
Dear university members,

The Austrian Federal Government has urged all people living in Austria to reduce contacts between people to the absolute minimum. It has asked employers nationwide to switch to teleworking wherever possible.
Following the government›s recommendations and requests of March 13, 2020, the Rectorate of the University of Applied Arts Vienna has decided to restrict access to all university buildings starting with Monday, March 16, 2020, 3 p.m. for students and staff until revoked. The university buildings will not be accessible from this point on. We will inform regularly about changes to the content and timing of these measures in accordance with the instructions of the Federal Government.

The following measures will take effect on Monday, March 16, 2020, 3 p.m .:

• Access to all university buildings is prohibited. There will be access controls at the entrances of the main university building OKP as well as at those of the branches VZA7 and Salzgries.

• The University Gallery Heiligenkreuzer Hof is closed.

• The University Library stops lending and remains closed.

• The Mensa and the Cafeteria are closed.

• The continued operation of the kokodil children’s group is still being clarified.

• Access to university rooms is only permitted for a precisely defined group of employees whose temporary presence is necessary for security reasons.

• The teaching continues in ‘home learning’ or ‘digital learning’ mode. You can find information on digital teaching methods http://info.uni-ak.ac.at/teaching. Vice-Rector Bernhard Kernegger regularly informs about developments in this subject area by email.

• The teaching and research staff has to carry out all teaching and research activities remotely.

• The meetings of academic bodies are moved to virtual rooms. Meetings with physical presence will be canceled until further notice. You will obtain information on individual meetings from the responsible administrative departments or the chairs of the relevant bodies.

• Services in planning, service and administration will be relocated to home office wherever possible. All superiors are asked to clarify with their staff members whether, in what form and to what extent the respective activities can be continued digitally or from home. If teleworking is not possible, in justified cases, individual employment regulations will be made. However, these regulations will not lead to any changes in the contractually agreed salaries.

• During regular office hours, all employees must be available by telephone and / or email for their respective superiors and the Rectorate.

• The Rectorate will find solutions in order to ensure mail distribution, the payment of urgent bills and other urgent requirements necessary for the university. Information on specific processes in this context will be communicated in the next few days.

• The timely payment of salaries will take place as usual.

• All events will be canceled without exception. Until further notice, no new events can be planned for the summer semester 2020. Room reservations are currently not possible.
Open questions regarding studies, especially regarding diplomas and theses, will be dealt with and answered centrally in the week of March 16, 2020 by the Rectorate in close coordination with hufak, the other Austrian art universities and the authorities. All involved parties are trying to find a solution that focuses on the interests of students.
The decision process will be supported by the greatest possible goodwill and the aim of avoiding disadvantages for students. More information will follow. Please check your university email account regularly.

We kindly ask all staff and teachers who still have access to university rooms, to pick up all materials required for home office work, to redirect the phones if necessary and to assure that data and emails can be accessed from home by Monday, March 16, 2020, 3 p.m. The ZID provides support in setting up your home office. At this point, a big thank you to the ZID for their excellent support in this extraordinary time.

We also want to thank all members of the university for the impressive and solution-oriented collaboration in the past few days. Teaching staff has impressively and enthusiastically demonstrated how––creatively and fast––alternative courses can be developed. Despite the fact that the entire university has been turned upside down, the staff in planning service and administration has prudently and efficiently ensured that the university operations can continue as smoothly as possible. And finally, student representatives and all other students have shown excellent cooperation and flexibility.

There are still no confirmed or suspected Corona- cases at Angewandte. Nevertheless, we continue to take the situation very seriously. In order to treat our fellow human beings with care and in the awareness of our social responsibility, we want to further contribute to containing the virus as soon as possible.

We thank you for your active cooperation!

With best wishes,

Gerald Bast (Rector), Barbara Putz-Plecko, Bernhard Kernegger, Eva-Maria Stadler and Maria Zettler (Vice Rectors)