Thursday, 19 March
First of all, I hope this message finds you and your beloved ones well in this moment of concern that has put our lives on hold.
The ordinary course of our lives has been upset as never before, at least for as long as I can remember. I recall feelings of fear and alert at the end of the Seventies, in the gloomy season of terrorism - I was a young student in the Faculty of Literature and Philosophy at Università Cattolica back then - but even then the cities were not locked down and people were not prevented from moving, meeting, working, in short ... from living.
And yet, as human beings we are capable of finding extraordinary resources to react, to keep going, to overcome the fear that we face in very difficult and unexpected situations, which is exactly the moment we are living now. And I am not only thinking of the very tight commitments, at the limit of heroism and sacrifice, that women and men, scientists, biologists, doctors, nurses all over the world are experiencing now in their fight against the spread of the epidemic.I am also thinkingof their involvement in scientific research and the care of those who are ill, but also of all those in all other fields and sectors of activity who play their role with rigour and professionalism, carry out their duties orderly and promptly, as far as possible.
In these times of forced seclusion, study and reading can be of great help to us. I can guarantee that our Faculty is close to you in this moment of heavy commitment. The system of remote teaching, in the forms and procedures that have been established by each professor and lecturer, in line with the specific necessities of each discipline, are now completely operative. In addition to recorded or live lectures, you have access to materials, slides, texts, comments and graphics to help you study and deepen your knowledge.
I therefore invite you to gain the most from this unusual time, and not to miss the opportunity for a more relaxed, more meditated, more in-depth study. Give feedback to your professors and interact with them, as you are already doing: they will not fail to answer your questions.
I also invite you not to ignore the interaction among students with the tools that technology provides. A chat between fellow students and friends not only strengthens the bonds and makes you spend some time in company, but also allows you to deepen and enrich what you heard in class: the exchange of impressions, the conversation among students after the class, after reading and commenting on a text, have always been an opportunity for mutual enrichment.
Some practical information
On the University homepage, there is a general disposition by our Magnifico Rettore (Magnificent Rector), which contains instructions on how to conduct graduation sessions and examsonline.
The courses of the Faculty are not affected by exams at least until June: before then you will be promptly informed about calendars and possible variations, also in relation to the evolution of the health crisis and the consequent government measures.
For graduation session of graduate programmes and the final examination for undergraduate programmes, subject to the provisions of the Rector's Decree, the following is specified.
The sessions previously scheduled for 6/7/8 April have been moved to 20 and 21 April, and the delivery of the papers uploaded in pdf format on the BB platform changes from 31 March to 6 April.
Students who expressly request this to the professors may postpone the discussion to an extension of the session scheduled for May 28th and 29th; in this case the final thesisshould be delivered by May 15th.
The sessions scheduled from 30 March to 14 April remain in place and will take place in telematic mode. The paperwork is expected to be uploaded by 26 March, the proclamation on 18 April will take place in the absence of candidates and will be replaced only by the compilation of the graduation minutes. The final grade will be communicated by e-mail to the students.
Students who expressly request it to the professor may postpone the discussion during the first call of the summer exam session; in this case the final thesisshould be delivered by May 15.
As in the previous press release, I suggest you check the University web page and the Icatt mailbox, which are the official channels of communication.
My very best wishes, hoping you will spend these days with serenity (as much as possible at the time of COVID-19).
Thursday, 5 March
I am giving you a further update in the light of the recent measures that impose an additional week of suspension of teaching. Based on what stated by our Rector, I would like to share the following guideline.
We continue, as indicated by our University, by adopting online distance teaching until 15 March, or in any case until the resumption of classroom lessons. Last week, our Faculty's professors and lectures began to provide you with activities to be carried out at home in different forms. It is still valid the recommendation to consult our Blackboard platform to receive materials and work instructions. alternatively (if a professor or lecturer do not use this platform) the Professor/Instructor's personal page on the University's website.
Student reception hours
You can contact professors and lectures by email and agree with them how to communicate.
Graduation and exam sessions
As far as the undergraduate and graduate degrees graduation sessions are concerned, the actual calendar is stilla valid, but it could be made flexible, depending on supervisor's decision, to whom students are invited to turn for any problems they may have in finalising their work. To clarify, for the first deadline, it will be possible to proceed with the delivery of the dissertation even after the deadline of 24 March 24 and in digital format (e.g. pdf), and to discuss it in extraordinary sessions scheduled after the first week of April, according to needs and possibilities.
There are no short-term deadlines for exam sessions, however our University is working to manage these moments in alternative forms to the traditional ones, if necessary, ensuring everyone the possibility to take the exams in the scheduled sessions and to graduate within the scheduled time.
Wednesday, 4 March
The communication that our Rector sent you explains the guidelines along which our University intends to face the difficulties posed by the actual health situation and the consequent restrictions. And, the underlying reasons that drive the choices of Università Cattolica.
In my turn, I will provide you with some general and practical indications, in order to face the next days of suspension of the activity.
First of all, I would like to express to you the closeness of the Faculty's academic staff and their participation in the state of discomfort caused in many of you by the situation we are experiencing, and to reassure you that the programmes of study will continue until the regular end of the year, also with alternative and integrative teaching methods. Alongside the efforts of the University and the Faculty, however, attention and commitment on your part are essential.
Concerning the recovery of the suspended lectures, currently there are two hypotheses to consider:
- that the Health Authorities authorise the resumption of lessons from Monday 9 March (and possibly from Monday 16 March);
- that the suspension be extended for more than three weeks.
In the event of resumption of classes on Monday 9 March, the two weeks lost can be recovered using both the holiday days preceding and following the Easter break, and the week provided for in the academic calendar for recoveries at the end of classes, and also until the end of May. This solution is also applicable if the suspension of lessons is extended until Monday 16 March. In this case you will be given immediate notice of the reorganisation of the tuition calendar.
If the suspension is extended beyond the end of 9 March (and even more so beyond 16 March), in addition to the recovery of lessons as indicated in the previous point, it will be necessary to provide for the use of additional forms of distance learning, in ways that will be considered appropriate to the variety of programmes and teachings present in the Faculty. Also in this second hypothesis, once the exact terms of the resumption of lectures are known, you will be given proper information.
In both cases, there will be no consequences on the calendar of undergraduate and graduate graduation sessions, however, it will be made flexible with regard to the terms and forms of presentation of the dissertation. The way in which the dissertations are discussed and the participation of relatives and friends will be communicated for the occasion and will depend, of course, on the conditions offered by the health situation. However, it is advisable that in the presence of particular difficulties in the completion of the dissertation, these should be brought to the attention of the supervising professor, and possibly to the coordinating professor of the degree programme, so that targeted and appropriate measures can be taken.
No change, for the moment, also for the calendar of the summer exam session.
I would now like to make a final recommendation: it is important that in the next few days you monitor the University's web page, which contains general press releases, and your iCatt email site, which is the ordinary and official communication tool.
This communication is an opportunity for me to offer you and your families a kind greeting, and I sincerely hope that this challenging moment will soon be resolved for all of us and for our country, and that life will continue to be normal and happy.