Dear colleagues,

As we conclude this third frantic week of cessation of our normal teaching activities, I feel the need to express my heartfelt gratitude to all of you for your invaluable input.

In addition to our own individual daily limitations and challenges, this health crisis confronted us with the impossibility of exercising our accustomed role as professors, in the classroom with our students. Despite this difficulty we have risen to the challenge and we have competently guaranteed the continuation of lessons in all our Faculties by carrying out, to date, almost 6,000 distance learning sessions. The university staff was shouldered with the additional, and not always easy, task of adapting to unfamiliar ways of carrying out their roles.  

Our university has an important tradition of pastoral care and our choices always prioritise the education and wellbeing of our community. In the current emergency situation, the significance of our unique history is indeed a valuable resource and our identity is not in question.

The decision to advocate student-centred asynchronous teaching methods proved to be appropriate and successful; it continues to ensure that all our students have access to content that is qualitatively relevant to the prestige of our institution. Streaming sessions are undoubtedly valuable for maintaining a vivacious student-teacher relationship but can only be effective in limited contexts and are less useful when bearing the impact of courses with hundreds of subscribers. Apart from some technical hitches or some unpleasant, if not openly rude, complaints I believe that all of you, directly or indirectly, have felt the great appreciation in this period of the many students and families who are reassured by their choice to rely on us here at Università Cattolica.

I, too, wish to add my voice to theirs by sincerely thanking you for your dedication and swiftness in responding effectively to the plea from the Deans and myself to re-plan your lesson delivery modes.
We must also acknowledge the University’s technical and administrative staff, which has strived tirelessly to ensure all possible support.
In the near future we must tackle the even more complex challenge of profit exams, which we must also face with the same readiness, commitment and adaptable spirit that we have already demonstrated, with the main objective of not curtailing the educational path that, despite many difficulties and concerns, our students are resolutely pursuing.

Our ability to respond to the many problems that this emergency situation poses will be decisive for maintaining the status that the University has gained in the upcoming academic year, thanks to everyone's work in recent years.

I believe that, aside from the inevitable evaluations that will take place once this phase is over, we will feel very proud to have risen to the occasion and given our best to ensure that our university community emerges from this crisis even more united, stronger and appreciatively aware of its precious resources.

Thank you
Franco Anelli
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore