Department of Clinical Science shut down March 12. Staff and students lost access to their workplace and campus, leaving them to find new solutions to keep the wheels running. The K2 leader group recently made a survey to map how the corona crises has been handled. Here follows an excerpt of the answers and comments.
Thanks to good IT solutions, many have been able to work effectively at home. Researchers have spent time working on applications and writing papers. Meetings have been held using Zoom, Teams or similar platforms. Still, there are many critical voices that the shutdown has been too extensive and rigid, without local adaptions. Helse Bergen staff have been able to work more or less as before applying infection control measures, while UiB employees have not had access to the laboratories. Shutdown of the core facilities is another point that has been criticized. They could have been operated more or less uninhibited with necessary infection control measures. In particular, the shutdown and slaughter of valuable laboratory animals at the animal facility has been met with harsh criticism. PhD students and postdoctoral fellows have been particularly affected, and many ask for extension of their grant period. After seeing that Norway and especially Vestland has controlled the pandemic effectively, the UiB leadership is criticized for the slowness in reopening activities.
Many public defences of doctoral thesis have been held digitally, but the experiences have been divided. In particular, it was pointed out that IT support has been deficient. When it was allowed for 50 people to meet, UiB did not follow up, but adhere to the rule of a maximum of 5 people, why?
The technical staff is the group that has had the least benefit from home office, and has not had enough tasks to fill their time. The administrative staff, on the other hand, have mostly been able to work as usual. Digital solutions and meetings have mostly worked well, but the social community and the collegiate community has been sorely missed.
In summary, experience shows that local adaptations and considerations must be used in the prevention measures. In addition to a quick shut down, one must also be quick to open up when the situation allows. In the event of a new infection peak, we hope for a slightly more forward-leaning and dynamic UiB management that can better coordinate initiatives with Helse-Bergen, which we share work places with.
Thanks to all who responded to the survey.
Eystein and Julie