Statement from the rector of the UPC, Francesc Torres, to the university community

The rector of the UPC, Francesc Torres, issued a statement on 27 October on the meeting of the University’s emergency committee to assess the current COVID-19 situation that was held earlier that day. In the statement, which can be read below, the Rector also reports on changes in the Executive Council and the Office of the General Manager in his fourth year in office.

Nov 02, 2020

Dear UPC community,

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the start of the academic year. Nonetheless, we now have more knowledge and experience of the measures for fighting it. On Sunday 25 October, the Government of Catalonia approved new public health measures imposing a curfew to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Catalonia. These measures have also been managed at the University to further reduce commuting, minimise the exposure of especially sensitive staff and extend the time period during which staff can start work. 

I would like to take the opportunity to thank the whole university community for their commitment to the institution and for continuing their activities despite the difficulties. We are striving to maintain close contact with the heads of units and services in order to provide quick responses to new needs. Today, the University’s emergency committee has held a meeting to assess the situation and make the necessary decisions.

This month, the Rector’s team has started its fourth year in office, which coincides with the University’s 50th anniversary celebrations. It is the perfect occasion to look back and remember the values that have made our institution strong, but also to set new goals. The team is working on exciting projects to meet the commitments for its term of office that are specified in the action plan, including:

  • Focusing on strategic areas such as the energy transition, artificial intelligence, 5G, health technologies, the agri-food industry, data analysis, mobility, Industry 4.0, etc.

  • Boosting UPC doctoral studies by restructuring the Doctoral School, seeking institutional accreditation and implementing a new grant programme.

  • Providing further support to remote teaching and new needs stemming from COVID-19 by implementing a computer and audiovisual equipment plan and a teaching equipment plan, among others.

  • Firmly choosing to move towards electronic administration to provide a better service.

  • Strengthening support for research based on the conclusions of the working group of management and support units.

  • Increasing the University’s interaction with society with cross-disciplinary projects related to technohumanism, such as UPCArts, and proposals linked to sustainability and inclusion.

  • Enhancing institutional presence to increase the UPC’s regional and social outreach.

With the aim of achieving the aforementioned goals, we have restructured the management team as follows:

  • Professor Santi Gassó, current vice-rector for Academic Policy, will take over the Office of the Vice-Rector for Teaching and Research Staff Policy, replacing Professor Miquel Soriano, whom we would like to thank for his good work throughout these years.

  • Professor Carme Pretel, current assistant director of the ETSEIB, will take over the Office of the Vice-Rector for Academic Policy.

  • Professor Pep Simó, assistant director of the Department of Management, will take on the new Office of the Vice-Rector for Regional and Social Outreach.

  • Francisco Navallas will take over the Staff and Organisation Area, replacing Carla Bragós, whom we would like to thank for her good work throughout these years and who will take on the coordination of North Campus services and shared facilities.

  • Juan Francisco Córdoba will take over the Teaching Area.

  • Responsibilities in the Architecture Area will be taken on by the Rector directly, but the emeritus professor Estanislau Roca will remain linked to the Office of the Rector, supporting strategic architecture and urbanism projects and acting as a link to related units.

Best regards,

        Professor Francesc Torres 

        The rector of the UPC