Dear colleagues, dear students,

the developments with regard to the spread of the novel coronavirus continue to be very dynamic and lead to diverse reactions and communications. The Ministry of Science of Lower Saxony recommended on March 13 that on-campus teaching at universities should initially be suspended until 20th April. We do follow this recommendation.

We all have a special responsibility for our society. Out of consideration and prudence, it requires great attention and responsible action from all members and relatives of the university. We must therefore consider what we can do, individually and as a university, to prevent it, to slow its spread and to find an appropriate social response to these challenges and their consequences.

This also requires concrete measures for our university operations, the latest status will regularly be updated on this website. We can all make our own daily contribution to infection prevention, in particular by observing the recommendations and hygiene measures mentioned there. In this way we protect not only ourselves but also our fellow human beings.

We have discussed the current status and possible responses with the deans of the four faculties - in particular, questions of how to proceed if - as has now happened - classroom teaching and examinations as well as other parts of the university's operations have to be discontinued - partially or completely - for a certain period of time, and yet study and research as well as all supporting services are to be continued. To this end, all possibilities of online interaction, distance learning, limited presence combined with work from home and the postponement of appointments are discussed. We also need to develop strategies to work as best as possible under the new conditions.

We will keep you informed about all important developments and any decisions that may result from them. We should all be aware that we are at the beginning of a longer-term discussion with constantly changing conditions. In this respect, all members of the university are called upon to contribute with their inventiveness and creativity so that we can maintain the highest possible level of performance while taking the best possible precautions.

Detailed information on the consequences for university operations with regard to the operation of courses, examinations, other events, the operation of university facilities and administrative operations are provided on the following pages.

The tasks and challenges are likely to demand a high degree of flexibility, improvisation and pragmatism from all of us. We will tackle the developments ahead of us together and will certainly master them together. I would like to thank you very much for your commitment, especially now.

Kind regards
Sascha Spoun