AMU INFO - Special COVID19 - n°7

Newsletter from the President of Aix-Marseille University to the entire university community.

Tuesday, April 07, 2020,

Dear all of you,

We are entering a fourth week of home containment as the COVID-19 virus continues to claim victims around the world and in our own backyard. Once again, I urge you to be extremely vigilant. Barrier gestures are the best defence against the disease. Respect containment and social distancing to protect yourself and others, to break the chains of transmission of the virus and, in fact, to try to reduce the number of hospitalized victims. The duration of total containment is still uncertain. However, I am convinced that, from this crisis, we will collectively be able to keep the positive actions that I perceive and that many of you regularly comment on. On the one hand, the strong adaptability you have shown to the benefit of our large community of 90,000 individuals with very different needs. On the other hand, the strengthening of the sense of belonging to AMU which is manifested every day in your exchanges, on the networks, by telephone, and by all the other means at our disposal to keep us connected. In this I thank you because the power of our solidarity makes our organization powerful and strengthens our ability to overcome obstacles. Our links will be even more necessary when we meet again physically in a few weeks time. Our capacity for resilience and rebound will be tested. The caring that it is important to nurture today, in managerial situations as well as among colleagues, will be our strength when we return to "normal" activities. Continue to be attentive to it.

Once again this week, university life continued in its so-called "vital" missions as stated in our BCP: distance learning, research, particularly on COVID-19 and pet store maintenance, payment of community members and certain suppliers, and communication. I continue to meet by videoconference every day with the members of the crisis unit, every week with the directors and deans, and every two weeks with the members of the governance. The governance team was enriched on 1 April when Damien Verhaeghe took up his position as Chief of Staff, alongside me. He will also hold the position of Vice-President "Human Resources and Heritage". I welcome his arrival at this special time.
In addition, institutional life via virtual meetings of the bodies has resumed. The remote working tools to achieve this are at your disposal and are being perfected every day, with the number of users of business applications constantly increasing. Many of you are connecting to digital tools by adapting your professional time to your new rhythms of personal life, I thank you warmly.

Continue to take great care of yourself and everyone else.

1. Reactivation of central and component bodies

Yesterday afternoon, I brought together by videoconference the members of the Technical Committee and then the members of the Board of Directors. On the agenda : The modalities of keeping all AMU bodies at a distance - these proposals were adopted unanimously by the members - as well as the extension of the delegation of power from the Board of Directors to the President to facilitate the steering of AMU during confinement, particularly for aid to students stranded abroad.

As for the members of the CHSCT, they met today to discuss the framing of the flexible modalities of telework.

2. Easter Holidays

With the school holidays approaching, we have received many requests for leave. Unlike other universities, we have decided not to impose anything. For many of you who work remotely in new conditions of confinement, it is important that you and your family can rest and that you can disconnect if you wish.
Also, we have decided not to impose any closure due to the crisis we are going through, nor any deposit of vacation days. Everyone is responsible and aware of the professional stakes they carry. You are in a position to evaluate your needs, I have complete confidence in you. I invite you to think about it and, if need be, to take the necessary days off for your well-being and that of your loved ones. Of course, when you are released from confinement, the interest of the service will then be paramount.

In addition, following the example of our partners EPST, CNRS and Inserm, agents with special leave of absence (ASA) continue to benefit from their RTT days.

3. Pedagogical Continuity Plan - Examination procedures under consideration

A reflection on the organization of the exams and their modalities (dates, formats, expectations) is underway with academic colleagues and student representatives. The national texts governing this reflection concern the General Bachelor's, Professional Bachelor's and Master's degrees. The principles on which our reflections are based are clear: equal treatment for all students; recognition of the student's work; respect for the calendar, which does not propose an exam between 15 July and 20 August. At the end of this collective reflection, an Examination Guide will be presented to the members of the CFVU and then distributed to all the components for the benefit of training managers and students.

Aware of the specific problems of the 1,500 students with disabilities at AMU, we are going to send a message to each and every one of them in order to support them as best we can in the pursuit of their learning.

4. Call for applications

Under the IAP, most calls for projects and calls for applications have extended deadlines. With regard to calls for applications for future doctoral students, the two institutes "Cancer and Immunology" and "Microbiology, Bioenergy and Biotechnology" are funding interdisciplinary doctoral contracts for the start of the October 2020 academic year. The deadlines are short but these calls for applications are open by law, you can freely apply: click here.

5. Solidarity actions

  • The first distributions of lunch baskets took place on Saturday and Sunday on the Luminy and Saint Jérôme campuses to students on presentation of their AMU card. Demand was high. In conjunction with charities, mass distribution partners, the City of Marseille, the Métropole and the CROUS, the distribution of the baskets will now take place every Friday on all the university campuses in Aix and Marseille for the residents - surveys having revealed that students on the relocated AMU sites did not show up as being in need. This distribution will be supplemented by vouchers, valid in supermarkets, given by the CROUS to students in need. Hygiene kits will also be distributed
  • The survey emailed to 52,000 students on March 24th to identify their medico-social needs was answered by 50%, among which many requests for contact with a medical or social professional are being processed. This online survey will be sent again this week to students who have not responded.
  • For those who do not have access to their e-mails, we have today sent 20,000 SMS messages to the students who remained silent following the online survey, giving them the telephone numbers of the medical-social teams of the BVE, SIUMPPS and CROUS.
  • The AMU website has been enriched with emergency numbers for help for people in great difficulty. The information has also been disseminated on our social networks, do not hesitate to share it, this too can save lives: The emergency numbers are here

6. Let's keep the link and positive thoughts

  • If you have not been attending the daily and live appointments of the SUAPS teams on our FaceBook pages " Rendez-vous Sport AMU " : Find all the sessions here
  • Multidisciplinary scientific popularisation: find the playlist of all the "Little scientific questions" produced with our researchers and already published: Discover the little questions here
  • Other questions, other scientific culture: Does life exist inside and outside the Solar System? What is climate change? How to detect exoplanets? Researchers from five laboratories answer us
  • The photo and video gallery, which you have contributed to the site, contains a video of a distance learning course on theatre activity, which is worth discovering! Feel free to add to this gallery some unusual moments or situations that are part of your daily life, to share:
    • To discover it : click here
    • To participate and add a contribution (image, video), go here: click here
  • New this week, a tool allows everyone to have free access to a reliable and regularly updated information resource: Discover it here.

Take great care of yourself and all,

Eric Berton

President of Aix-Marseille University

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Other issues of AMU Info

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Eric Berton
AMU Info 7
Information to the staff
crisis centre