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Our Head of The Board Trustees Dr. Bahar Akıngüç Günver’s Message Regarding The İKÜ Agenda - XXII

İstanbul Kültür University (İKÜ) Head of The  Board of Trustees Dr. Bahar Akıngüç Günver published a message regarding the İKÜ agenda which has changed with the New Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).

My Dear Kültür Family,

We are about to leave the sixth month of the pandemic crisis behind. Despite all the difficulties brought by the process, we are a larger family in the 2020-2021 academic year with more than 2500 new students joining our family.

The fall semester will be a busy period in which we can convey the experiences we have learned from the pandemic and develop ourselves in different layers from an institutional point of view.

Distance education, which we had compulsory in March, will continue in the Fall semester of the 2020-2021 Academic Year. The distance education decision taken by our Senate in line with the principles of the Council of Higher Education (YÖK) on "Education Processes in the New Coronavirus Outbreak" dated 04.09.2020 and the "Guide to the New Normalization Process in the Pandemic" was officially announced last week. In this context, our education service will be offered synchronously (simultaneously) in the digital platform of IKU CATs in the fall semester. Our applied courses will be planned taking into account the "diluted classroom and campus principle". When necessary, face-to-face education will be done according to the hybrid learning model using protective equipment. Our main goal in 2020-2021 will be to focus on the sustainability of the education service without compromising the health and safety principle.

Adapting to a new education and working model will surely have some difficult aspects in this period, which requires a challenge for all of us. Student satisfaction, educational efficiency, continuity of business processes, trying to manage the uncertainty brought by the crisis… Each one requires an emotional, mental, physical and intellectual effort. At this point, we should not ignore the fact that what happened is a common experience shared by the whole world. Our constructive feedback, sharing and solidarity spirit are much more meaningful and valuable in this challenging journey.

My Dear Kültür Family,

We are in a period in which we are reviewing our way of doing business and our processes with the new learning model. The distance working system, which we have made the transition to compulsorily and which we have learned by living, will be arranged within the framework of certain principles in the new period. In the upcoming days, we will share with you the principles of the distance working system, which we will design on four basic principles: health, safety, protection of work-private life balance and sustainability in service.

In our business processes and social life shaped by the effects of the pandemic, our other basic need is to be able to protect our physical as well as our mental health and endurance. After our meeting with Prof. Dr. Önder Kavakçı, our Head of Psychology Department, we received very valuable ideas from our Psychology Department on this topic. I wholeheartedly believe that working in coordination with our Psychology department will make a difference for all of us in the work that will be carried out on our staff and students throughout the year.

Before the new academic year, we will organize a workshop open to the participation of all our staff, taking into account the importance of our emotional health. I believe that the e-workshop “Resilience in Times of Crisis” that will be organized by Belkıs Kazmirci (MA, MCC.) from Kazmirci Coaching and Consulting, for specially our university on September 24, will be a sharing environment for all of us; I strongly request your participation in our event.

My Dear Kültür Family, 

September, when we reach the end of the preparations for the fall semester, is very important for all of us. Our Student Orientation Programs are about to take its final shape. Our academic staff will complete their learning programs until September 28. It is a busy and different period for our students as well. Recently, we listened to the expectations of our Turkish Language and Literature Department students regarding distance education. I met with our Student Council President. In both dialogues, the main agenda was the social life restricted by the pandemic and the efficiency of distance education. Our contact with our Student Council President will continue with short discussions every month. I sincerely believe that every opinion that reflects the voices of the students will be very important for the education and work processes in the Kültür family.

My Dear Kültür Family, 

The crisis that we have been experiencing will take a little longer than we think and anticipate. We have overcome the most difficult and sensitive times of this period together. Our habits have changed. Distance and even isolation have become a must. Despite all this, as the Kültür family, we ensured sustainability in our communication and managed to remain as positive as possible. When I review the past six months, especially in our meetings; I saw promising examples of making an effort, belonging, bonding and empathy. There were times when we worked much harder than before the pandemic. At this point, I have no doubt that we will show the same spirit of solidarity and sharing in the 2020-2021 academic year.

Hope to see you on healthy days.

Dr. Bahar Akıngüç Günver 
İKÜ Head of The Board of Trustees