Update (March, 17th) of the Information for Employees

2020-03-17 Dear colleagues, against the background of the measures to restrict public life, which were only passed yesterday by the federal and state governments, we are all called upon under the motto "Leuphana Virtual" to rethink the university, to reorganize ourselves virtually, to develop new routines and processes. In short, it is now a matter of organizing our cooperation for some time in such a way that we ensure the spatial distance that is now necessary, but that we connect all the more closely, network personally and strengthen our cohesion virtually. Since the spread of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 continues to develop very dynamically, we would like to inform you again about the current status from the perspective of the university management. The university management continues to coordinate closely with the health authorities, with the state government and also with the other universities in Lower Saxony.

Work organization and meetings

Since yesterday you can find the first information pages on remote working, teaching, research and studying on Leuphana´s Corona information pages (www.leuphana.de/portale/coronavirus/coronavirus). Please set up the necessary technical tools to be able to work mobile from home. Professors and lecturers will also find first parts of advice on technical and didactic possibilities for organizing teaching. In addition, we will soon provide our professors and lecturers with more detailed information in separate information letters.
Please do not hold personal meetings on campus any more. Please use only telephone or digital rooms (video conferences, telephone conferences) for meetings with several people. Initial information on technical possibilities can also be found on the Internet at www.leuphana.de/portale/coronavirus/coronavirus/ortsunabhaengig-arbeiten. We will continuously update the information and possibilities. To reduce the load on the networks, please also use the individual options of your telephones at your workplace or your mobile phones, which usually also allow conference calls between several participants.

Particularly vulnerable groups

If you are at particular risk of a possible infection with the coronavirus due to previous illnesses or special health restrictions, please seek medical advice. Please do not come to the university under any circumstances if you have a doctor's recommendation. Please stay at home and, if possible, arrange mobile working from home with your superiors.

Business trips

The Foreign Office today issued a worldwide travel warning against unnecessary tourist travel abroad. Against this background, the Presidential Board is amending the existing rules for business trips as well: For Leuphana University Lüneburg, all business trips abroad are currently also prohibited until further notice. Business travel authorizations already granted are hereby revoked. Urgent business trips abroad remain possible, but currently require the express permission of the Presidential Board. The reimbursement of expenses that are no longer cancelable by the university remains possible.

Home-Office

The Presidential Board requests all departments and facilities of the university to ensure the absolutely necessary operations of the university on campus by means of the personal presence required for this purpose. Beyond these operations, that are absolutely necessary to perform on campus, all employees are asked to organize their work - as far as possible - from home until further notice. The management of the university's departments and facilities are requested to develop appropriate deployment plans for their respective areas, in which the times of personal presence on campus and the times of mobile work from home, including contact details, are specified for all employees. Please update the contact information about the accessibility of your department or institution on the internet and intranet pages of your department.

Cases of illness

To date, no cases of coronavirus infection in employees or students have been reported at Leuphana. However, several colleagues have been quarantined due to orders of the Public Health Office, especially due to the known infection at the Johanneum grammar school. Other colleagues and students have been placed in domestic isolation because they have only recently been in risk areas designated by the Robert Koch Institute. If you yourself are affected, the following still applies: Please report to the occupational safety department. The department is also available for other questions regarding health protection (arbeitssicherheit@leuphana.de).

Culture of virtual cooperation

The pages published on the Internet at www.leuphana.de/portale/coronavirus/coronavirus/ortsunabhaengig-arbeiten also contain a section entitled "Cultural information on virtual cooperation". These notes were compiled by the colleagues in the Personnel and Organizational Development department and are intended to help us all to adapt to the new formats of cooperation in such a way that, despite physical distance, the cohesion among each other, the personal contact and the common orientation can be strengthened.

Use of university office space

All supervisors are requested to organize the use of offices by means of suitable regulations for mobile working from home or alternating teleworking (home office, see above) in such a way that, if possible, university office space is not used by more than one person at the same time. If this is not possible, all colleagues are asked to keep a minimum distance of two meters, i.e. a desk length, from other employees. Please also make sure that work equipment (e.g. pens or keyboards) is not used by more than one person at a time, if possible. Please procure any missing work equipment additionally if necessary. If shared use of work equipment is unavoidable, you can use disposable gloves, which can be obtained from the Occupational Safety Department (arbeitssicherheit@leuphana.de).

Local public transport

The Presidential Board recommends that all employees - even those who are not on their way to the university - avoid public transport. Please use your car, bicycle or walk as an alternative. If you live outside of Lüneburg and do not have a car, please contact your supervisors and, if possible, arrange mobile working from home.

Remuneration and working hours

We can and must all trust that all university members will show the greatest possible commitment in this exceptional situation in order to meet the challenges ahead. We all currently need our mutual help and support. Against this background, we would like to assure you that we will find pragmatic solutions for those employees who currently have to stay at home to care for children or relatives and are unable to work the full amount of their contractual working hours und that Leuphana will, of course, continue to pay all salaries and benefits. Detailed information on this will follow shortly.

Access to the library

Contrary to what was communicated on Friday, the library is now completely closed as well. The only exception is an emergency operation, which is intended to ensure access to literature for final and qualification work as far as possible. Detailed information can be found on the MIZ homepage (www.leuphana.de/services/miz).

The Studio 21 fitness studio has also been closed in the meantime; university sport has thus completely ceased to operate on campus. Thankfully, the university sport center has already developed an alternative (virtual) offer with a HomeFit program, which you can find on the homepage of university sport (www.leuphana.de/services/hochschulsport).

Access to the canteen (Mensa)

According to current information, the canteen operated by Studentenwerk Ostniedersachsen will continue to operate in order to ensure basic services. Further information about the effects on the operation of the cafeteria are not yet available. However, the operation of the Eateria in the central building has been discontinued with immediate effect due to the current situation.

With the measures taken, we want to protect the health of all university members in the best possible way. On the other hand, as civil servants and public employees, we are jointly obliged to ensure that the university continues to fulfil its public task of research and education as best it can - at least as long as we do not receive instructions from the state government to close the university completely.

Together, we will be able to cope well with this situation, which is exceptional and challenging for the university, both personally and institutionally, if we pay close attention to each other, to our joint cooperation and to mutual support.

Please also note the information published at www.leuphana.de/portale/coronavirus/coronavirus. In addition, we will continue to be at your disposal for individual queries, tips and comments at cv-info@leuphana.de.

On behalf of the entire Presidential Board,
with kind regards

Sascha Spoun
President

Christian Brei
Executive Vice President