In the past few weeks, more than its fair share of the so-called brown substance has hit the fan. Nevertheless, as a responsible public actor and internationally ranked research university, we have prepared for many unusual situations and don’t turn the fan off even if something hits it.
I’m very honored to be working at LUT University. I like the fact that we don’t chain ourselves to the nearest tree to protest the wrongs we have suffered. I couldn’t be happier about the fact that when one of our own – be it a student or employee – is faced with any kind of problem, we tackle it head-on together. That solution-focused attitude is in our communal DNA. Outsiders can’t imitate it, try as they may.
I was burning with enthusiasm when I read about the idea for the first Autumn Mayday or Wappu in the universe. While the old-school crowd focuses on cancelling everything, our amazing students decide to postpone our wappu celebrations until the fall. That’s the perfect embodiment of LUT’s spirit. The only thing that bugs me is that my age is starting to weigh me down – I can’t take part in wild nights without taking a couple of days to recuperate afterwards.
Another thing that brings a smile to my face is our students’ solution-focused approach to distance studies. The Regional State Administrative Agencies closed the universities for good reason (although we jumped the gun and closed ours ahead of time because we saw what was coming). But things are going surprisingly smoothly considering the circumstances. Not all course arrangements are fully finished or perfected yet, but I can sense the spirit of #becausewecan in the air. Both teachers and students have the desire to succeed. I hope that everyone can hold on to this desire and display it in the coming, challenging weeks. I also hope that our students will support our teachers as they strive to do their best. When something needs improvement, I hope that you present your development ideas constructively. When we treat each other in a constructive manner, everyone wins and we will be able to keep our spirits high.
Finally, I’d like to ask something of you. As we know, experts in technology and business – our Master’s level graduates – will play a key role when organizations and our society have to reinvent themselves. We also play a key role when our society faces great challenges, as it now does. I hope that our students and staff members will contribute to the stability of our society by acting responsibly and by taking concrete action. When we push forward with determination and by fostering high quality in our studies, our student union activities and other everyday pursuits, taking health guidelines into consideration, we show the world that life goes on. As I have previously written, the sun also rises tomorrow and the day after that.
Let’s do our best to convey this message to others as well: we make the future together – no sense in hiding from it.
Post on social media with photos and don’t forget hashtag @UniLUT. 😉
Finally, I’d like to leave you with one last thought. Keep in mind that at LUT, no one is ever left alone. Remember to help each other, to ask others about their day, to help each other with grocery shopping, or anything else you can think of. When we take care of each other, the world will truly be a better place.
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to work with each and every one of you.
Your wacky rector, @JuhisSaksa, +358400166659 #becausewecan
The writer is the rector of Lappeenranta University of Technology. Keep on rockin’ in the free world.