Date: Friday, September 18, 2020
Subject: Welcome back and thank you!
Dear faculty, staff and students,
As the first official week of classes comes to an end, we welcome you back with a deep sense of appreciation for so many remarkable achievements during this unforgettable summer. You have redesigned courses, kept your scholarship alive, and likely worked double-time with no days off. You have shared your expertise in forums such as LUMS Live, which reached thousands of people each week putting a spotlight on topics and concerns that have been at the forefront in our society. Pedagogical training sessions have enhanced learning and teaching, university-wide committees have produced recommendations and protocols that have kept us healthy and safe and critical working groups have prepared us for the fall semester. Thank you for contributing to the COVID-19 campaign to support the disadvantaged during the height of the pandemic. We are also congratulate all students, faculty and staff who made the virtual convocation and O-week a runaway success.
The pandemic however, will continue to test us to go beyond the call of duty. During these extraordinary times our actions will set new standards to re-envision and integrate research and teaching for a more holistic understanding of scholarship that will strengthen LUMS long into the future. We congratulate all of our Department Heads, Directors and Deans – many of who were recently appointed – for their determination and clarity of purpose to meet unforeseen challenges as caretakers and problem solvers.
Our recent experience has also revealed critical issues that have lied dormant for too long such as sexual harassment, inequities in access to education and financial sustainability. We have asked difficult questions and openly discussed ways forward with the unified purpose of strengthening LUMS. We have cut budgets significantly but continued to implement strategic priorities including two summer semesters and centres of Academic Advising, Accessibility and Inclusion, the Learning Institute, Continuing Education, and more. We have also managed to keep our salaries budget for all faculty and staff, as well as our financial aid program intact.
The summer has been like no other – just as the fall portends to be – for everyone. There is no doubt that together we can navigate through challenging situations. Let’s start this semester by taking the time to thank the teachers that go out of their way to mentor colleagues and care for their students; staff members who work quietly behind the scenes; and students who give strength to their friends in need. Our values of hard work, integrity and empathy are on full display. We are proud of all that you have been able to do and overcome together and we wish you a successful term ahead.
Tariq Jadoon, Vice-Provost
Farhat Haq, Provost
Arshad Ahmad, Vice Chancellor