Friday 11 December 2020
All staff and PGR email
As we draw to the end of what has been the most difficult of years, I’d like to thank you.
I hope my video message sums up how grateful I am for your resilience and the community spirit we have all shown.
What we have together done to tackle such an extraordinary situation this year has been quite remarkable.
I’m very proud of how we’ve navigated these challenges and I hope you find some time this Christmas break to reflect on all that you’ve accomplished, and on what we have been able to achieve together.
To our staff, I am very proud of how we have come together to draw on our collective strengths, for our research, our teaching, in our commitment to our students, and in supporting each other. I hope we can soon move out of crisis mode and into exploring more of the possibilities this University can achieve over the next decade.
To our postgraduate researchers, who have faced so much upheaval and uncertainty, thank you for your resilience in adapting and taking forward your research in these very difficult circumstances. And thanks to those of you who are also our GTAs, who have worked so hard with our staff to support our undergraduate students and deliver teaching at such a challenging and fast-moving pace of change.
I will also take this opportunity also to express my thanks to Professor Deborah Smith, former Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research, who retires at the end of the year after a successful 15-year career at York in research and senior management roles. I am grateful too for the critical role Debbie has played in our covid contingency work and I wish her a very happy retirement. I am pleased to announce that what we currently know as R and T Blocks in Biology are to be renamed the Deborah Smith Building in recognition of Debbie’s outstanding contribution to the University.
And finally, to everyone who will be working over the break, supporting our students, keeping essential services running, or preparing spring term teaching: thank you. It is very much appreciated.