True Heroes Arise in Times of Hardship

21 Apr 2022

True Heroes Arise in Times of Hardship

A Letter to XJTLU Faculty and Staff from the Executive President

Dear Colleagues:

It’s been a challenging time for everyone, and I hope all is well!

In the spring, we were supposed to gather on this beautiful campus, where we could discuss work and life, and share our experiences. Unfortunately, the spate of infections in February prevented students from returning to campus after the break. Just when we thought things had improved, the pandemic returned in March, and pandemic control measures are still underway.

The current situation has created significant obstacles for our teaching, research, and day-to-day activities. Once again, our classes were forced to migrate online, and uncertainties remain as to when students will finally return to their classrooms. The once vibrant city has come to a halt, presenting unprecedented challenges, particularly for those who are still in quarantine.

Challenges and difficulties unfolded in the last two months. Faculty members, students and staff have fallen victim to the pandemic control protocols and routines. Your resilience in the face of adversity has been truly inspirational. Despite the hardships, perseverance and strong teamwork have won the day. Staff and students have worked hand in hand to ensure that teaching and research continue as usual.

Our academic staff have fulfilled their duties with the highest level of professional standards. They have overcome unimaginable challenges as they continue to explore, innovate, and ensure quality online instructions.

The support teams have also been working around the clock to keep the University running at all times. Our technical team, for example, has been providing support services almost non-stop.

For our staff, students, and colleagues across the University, there has been a genuine sense of mutual respect and understanding as they collaborate seamlessly and create innovative solutions to tackle issues as they emerge. For instance, many units swiftly moved campus activities online in order to help our students relieve all the stress and anxiety caused by long time study at home.

Furthermore, the professional service teams have been working tirelessly with the local government and education authorities to formulate plans and resolve thorny issues in a way that could balance all parties involved and mitigate the impacts of pandemic control. These examples can go on and on.

Understanding, compassion, perseverance, courage, and taking ownership are some of the key characteristics shown by our XJTLU community, and kudos to everyone for doing such a wonderful job. As an international academic institution, the level of teamwork and solidarity exhibited by you has been exemplary. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all of our colleagues for their hard work.

In particular, I want to recognise the additional challenges our international community has faced during the pandemic. Possible language barriers, cultural differences and frustrations created by pandemic control for not being able to travel or see family or loved ones have certainly added to the stresses of daily life during this period. You have made enormous sacrifices to stay with us and continue the University’s exploration.

An ancient saying goes: “Preparing for the unexpected enlightens one’s mind, and adversity rejuvenates the country.” In today's complex and turbulent world, coupled with the global pandemic, human beings face severe challenges. True heroes arise in times of hardship, and hardships shape one’s character. At this special moment, organisations and individuals alike need to shoulder their social responsibilities. Those of you at XJTLU should demonstrate your sense of responsibility as global citizens. In the face of the rampant pandemic, everyone needs to contribute to society.

Many people in the XJTLU community have, in their capacity as researchers, educators, communicators and volunteers, fulfilled those obligations. As a cutting-edge international university, XJTLU will carry on the mission of leading and shaping the future of education. I am confident that despite the myriad of challenges, we will go through the storm together and only emerge stronger than ever. XJTLU has already established its Five Star blueprint for the future, with which we aim to explore and innovate across the full education chain.

To unleash the full potential of the XJTLU community and accelerate the realisation of our strategic goals, the University has continued to upgrade its services to meet the increasingly demanding needs. For example, given the fact that many of our employees have been living away from their families for an extended period of time due to the pandemic, the University has been working hard to ensure that our international colleagues can return home for the summer. Hopefully you can come to campus as planned to ensure the new academic year gets underway smoothly.

In addition, to support our research efforts, we are upgrading and improving our policies, such as expanding the scope of the Research Development Fund, so that all of our new academic faculty have the opportunity to receive research funding. The University is also establishing the Match Fund to match external resources with research projects. To enhance the level of support for teaching and research activities, the University advocates cultivating an active service culture among the professional service centres. Lastly, we are also continuously designing and optimising ways to better support career development and improve compensation.

Colleagues and friends, the realisation of our vision depends on the efforts and wisdom of everyone at XJTLU. Each and every one of you is a defender of the University’s vision and mission, a loyal companion, and a contributor to its success. You are the cornerstone of this institution. When the clouds break and the sun shines through, what we will have achieved is the collective experience of working as one team to get past the tremendous obstacles presented in front of us. Let us unite to get through this difficult period and forge ahead with resolve, as XJTLU continues on its path towards achieving its grand vision.

Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to our faculty and staff again for their hard work and contributions over the recent months. If you have any needs or suggestions, please reach out to your department, office, HR, or the pandemic prevention and control task office. The University will do its best to provide help and support to everyone. Wherever you are, please take good care of yourself and your family, so that you get through safe and sound. I look forward to seeing everyone on campus soon!

Professor Youmin Xi
Executive President, XJTLU
Pro-vice-chancellor, University of Liverpool

21 Apr 2022


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