- President's Messages
10.03.2021 Sabancı University Gender Equality Action Plan
Dear Sabancı University Family,
I am very happy to announce that the "GENDER EQUALITY ACTION PLAN" (GEP) that we have been working on for a long time with full excitement is now ready to be put into action. As an institution that underscores the importance of gender equality in both our research units and our academic principles, we view GEP as a new milestone for our university.
GEP is an important part of the GEARING-Roles (Gender Equality Actions in Research Institutions to TraNsform Gender Roles) project, implemented within the scope of the EU Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program. Sabancı University is proud to be representing Turkey as one of the six international institutions to be implementing this project. Our Sabancı University Gender and Women's Studies Center of Excellence (SU Gender), one of the 10 international institutions executing the GEARING-Roles project, is among our most important supporters in the creation of the GEP.
I would like to share with you 3 important steps we have accomplished in the project so far:
- Within the framework of the EU Horizon 2020 GEARING-Roles project initiated in January 2019, for over a year and a half, interviews, focus groups and co-creation workshops were held with the participation of nearly 100 academics, administrative staff and students. The strengths, shortcomings and needs of our university in this area were evaluated, and areas of priority were determined for institutional transformation.
- The Gender Equality Task Force (GETF) was established in June 2019 with the participation of 28 faculty members, administrative staff, directors and students from different faculties and units of our university. In addition to contributing to different stages of the project, GETP played an important role in the Human Resources and SU Gender team finalizing the GEP framework. Following this, the GEP Committee took on an active role in executing the project.
- It has been decided that the gender equality studies to be carried out within the scope of GEP at our university will be carried out under the leadership of Human Resources. The “Gender Equality Officer" (GEO) role was created within the Human Resources Department in order to closely follow the gender equality studies to be carried out within the scope of GEP at our university. Gender Equality Officer is responsible for the consolidation and accomplishment of our university’s actions which are under deans’ responsibility for faculties and under directors’ responsibilities for centers and departments.
Our Action Plans
From July to December 2019, Human Resources and SU Gender worked intensively with the GEARING-Roles project team to categorize the determined development areas and turn them into action plans. The identified action areas are as follows:
- Institutionalization of Gender Equality
- Career Development
- Work-Life Balance
- Decision Making and Leadership
- Education and Curriculum
- Sexual Harassment, Anti-Assault and Anti-Discrimination Mechanisms and Gender-Neutral Communication
You can reach the details of the work we will carry out in GEP by clicking here.
What are our aims?
We view the Gender Equality Action Plan as a “living project” in which we aim to reflect our institutional stance in the field of gender equality in every point of our academic and administrative mechanisms. Our plan is a three-year one for now, will be carried out under the leadership of Human Resources in to spread it our organization and blend it into our culture; so it will renew itself over time and cater for upcoming new needs.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude to all those who contributed to the project, and especially to our Human Resources Directorate and SU Gender.
I strongly believe that this plan, which will be in effect for all members of Sabancı University and adopted and implemented by all units, is a beneficial step for our entire university and society, and I ask all of you for your wholehearted support in the realization of this valuable work.
Dear Sabancı University Students,
We have reached the end of the semester, which has been more difficult than ever with the hardships brought into our lives because of the pandemic. You, our students, and our faculty members finish this period which has been more tiring than normal semesters. In the same way, our administrative staff continued their support to the education and research activities with immense effort. Despite all the difficulties, and under distant learning and working conditions, we come to the end of an examplary and successful term.
I would like to express my sincere thanks the Sabancı University family.
Despite promising developments, it is clear that more time will be needed before the health risks are significantly reduced. We have to live our lives with great care and caution for some more time. Therefore, we have to start the Spring semester with distant education.
As in Fall semester, a limited number of Visual Arts courses will be held in-person on campus. In addition, we plan to have the lab hours of limited number of courses on campus with precautions to minimize risks. All other courses will be delivered online. FASS and FENS will provide you with information regarding these in-person education activities and their timing.
Undergraduate dormitory buildings will remain closed. As in Fall semester, the work of graduate students that require campus facilities will be organized by the relevant Faculties. Information regarding non-thesis master programs will be provided to corresponding students.
Since the beginning of this challenging period back in March, we keep following the achievement awards earned, and the success stories created by our students, alumni and faculty members. Our university, our students, alumni and faculty members continue to produce exemplary and extraordinary work, which makes us very proud. As I shared with you in my earlier messages, I firmly believe that our students and our University will take on leading roles in adapting to the post-pandemic period and will be guiding many of the developments in this new era.
I wish you, your families and loved ones a healthy semester break. I hope that this will be a peaceful period where you relax your mind and body. I hope to meet with you on our campus in near future.
With my best wishes,
We are leaving behind a year that has made radical changes in our lives. While the year 2020 put us through a difficult test as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, it showed us once again that the greatest power in the hands of humanity is science and technology. As a scientific institution, our goal to produce answers to the problems of the world and to educate intellectual people who can develop these answers has gained a much greater meaning during this period.
We know that we can only sustain our contribution to the development of science by creating and developing together. For this reason, since the beginning of the pandemic, it has been our top priority to protect your health and continue your education in the best possible way without interruption. In this period, while developing our technology infrastructure, we worked devotedly to protect your health, and we continue to do so.
I am happy to share with you that we have completed 2020 with very few COVID-19 cases among the entire Sabancı University Family, including our subcontractors. In addition, I would like to share with you the pride and joy of being able to open our new Altunizade campus and the brand-new Art Workshops Building affiliated to our Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, in 2020. We are hopeful and excited for 2021.
While welcoming the new year with these important developments for our University, we believe that the new year will be much better than the previous one. With this excitement, we are impatiently waiting for the time we will be together again on our campus.
Dear SU Students,
We all miss being together on campus in this period, which had to start online due to current conditions. Under any circumstance, you will be provided with education matching Sabancı University standards. I would like you to know that all of us, faculty members and administrative staff, are putting all the effort to ensure this. Although we are going through times we are not so used to, experiences and knowledge we collected during Spring and Summer terms will be useful for all of us. We may still face some challenges during this period, which we will overcome together, working hard and in solidarity.
The pandemic we face brings various complications that are not limited to health. Since last Spring, we are working hard to address the needs of our students which are caused by this special period. Scholarships based on yearly success or need have been our usual practice for a very long time. The number of need-based scholarships have been increased in this period. Additional support has been provided to many of our students during Spring and Summer terms.
Most recently, in our message dated September 17, we asked our students who face difficulties due to continuation of online education to contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org for their situation to be evaluated. All requests that we received have been evaluated, and the process has been finished with mostly positive answers.
Wishing all of you a successful and healthy new academic year...
Dear Sabancı University Students,
In my last message to you on September 8, 2020, I shared the information that all of our courses will be delivered online, with the exception of few practice courses which cannot be transferred to digital medium and hence will be physically held. In Fall 2020-21 semester, a limited number of Visual Arts courses that require studio environment will be given in-person. All other courses and practices (labs and studios) will be delivered online. Information about the physical courses will be shared by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences on mySU.
Labs and other practices will be delivered in the best possible way, using all the possibilities of online environment. Moreover, arrangements will be made to allow you to experience the physical aspects of these practices in-person, when you are back to the University.
Undergraduate Dormitory buildings on campus will be closed during the Fall semester. We are in communication with a small number of undergraduate students, who are currently on campus, concerning the arrangements for their return back home.
As I shared before, the work of our graduate students which require the use of campus facilities will be arranged by the relevant Faculties and Professors.
We are all saddened by the fact that we cannot implement the plans and preparations made in Summer months for the hybrid education on campus. All of these plans will constitute the basis for the scenarios the University will work on in the coming months. We added new technologies to already existing infrastructure on campus in the last couple of months in preparation to hybrid education. We are prepared to provide you the best education under any circumstance. I would like to emphasize that the quality of education you will experience will continue to be world-class, as always. You can be sure that the quality and the scope of education will be commensurate with the level and prestige of the Sabancı University diploma you will receive at the end of your education. You will be joining the successful community of Sabancı University graduates in the end, with the same qualifications.
I would like to remind that our priority in this process is the health of our students and their loved ones, and we will be with you, as always, in the new academic year. Just as we supported our students, who contacted us with hardships they experienced during the Summer School, we will continue our support for those of you who have problems caused by the continuation of education online. I would like our students, who experience problems due to online education in the fall semester, to contact us via email@example.com so that their situation can be assessed.
I have full confidence that Sabancı University and its students will be among those who best adapt to the conditions caused by difficult times we are experiencing.
With My Best Wishes,
Dear Sabancı University Students,
COVID-19 continues to affect our lives seriously, both in our country and worldwide. Taking the Higher Education Council’s (YÖK) announcement on September 4, 2020 into account, I would like to share with you our plan for the 2020-2021 Fall Semester.
On September 4, 2020, the Ministry of Health shared the following recommendation with YÖK: “to avoid face-to-face physical contact and to provide theoretical course-work by digital/distant methods, to postpone practical/application-based education in relevant programs if possible, and if not, to take all necessary precautions and to use all protective gear to continue such education in person”.
The letter of YÖK, which is accompanied by the above recommendation of the Ministry of Health, compels us to revise our hybrid education plan, on which we have been working for quite some time and whose outline was communicated to you in my earlier message, dated July 26, 2020.
We have two main goals for the Fall Semester: To use our online education capacity to maximum extent and to allow the use of campus only for education and research activities which require campus infrastructure, with strict rules and restrictions. You can find the details of this plan below.
2020-2021 Academic Calendar was announced in MySU on August 21, 2020. The Fall Semester classes will start on October 5, 2020.
All of our courses will be delivered digitally (online). Lab/studio components that can be carried to digital environment will be fully or partially delivered online. Detailed information and planning about these practical/application-based education activities will be shared by our relevant Faculties.
As mentioned in my previous message, the video recordings of majority of our lectures will be available to students at all times, in order to allow flexible learning.
The work of our graduate students which require the use of campus facilities, such as labs and studios, will be arranged by the relevant academic unit and Professors.
Use of Campus
We will ensure the required social distance and health conditions in physically held education and research activities.
- Faculty members and students must wear masks during a physically held activity. Similarly, it will be mandatory to wear a mask both indoors and outdoors on campus.
- After every physically held activity, the room will not be used for at least 1 hour and the following event will only start after this break.
- The building ventilation systems are configured in such a way that there is no air circulation between rooms/classes and use 100% fresh air from outside.
- Sensor systems are being deployed into all classrooms and spaces which will be used for physical hours, in order to monitor the air quality and the amount of particles in air.
- Entry-exit doors and other indoor directions are prepared in all of the buildings. Thus, the movement of students and employees inside the building will be ensured in a certain order.
With the exception of limited number of students who will have to reside on campus, dormitories will be closed during the Fall Semester. Reimbursement plan for the previously made dormitory payments will be announced in the coming days.
The floors and spaces accessible in the faculty buildings will be determined in advance and clearly marked. There are many other comprehensive precautions on campus, which we need to comply with in order to minimize health risks. Details of these will be shared with you in the coming days.
All of our faculty members have greatly contributed to Fall Semester course planning during the Summer. All of these plans have been prepared with different scenarios in mind, including online. As University Administration, we are trying to provide the conditions which will best reflect the devoted efforts of our faculty members to your education. Serious work has been done for this to happen, from preparing the technological and physical infrastructure to safe-campus preparations, to the necessary administrative planning for all possible conditions. We continue to work in this direction. I would like to thank both our faculty members and our administrative staff for their dedicated efforts.
I would like you to know that we are prepared to provide you the best education in all circumstances. Cooperation and innovative problem-solving culture of the University are among our most important values during these days. I am confident that we will endure difficult times by strengthened solidarity.
Dear SU Students,
The framework for the education that our university plans to implement in 2020-21 Fall Semester has been formed. I would like to share the details of this with you.
We successfully completed Spring 2019-20. Despite the unexpected pandemic, our learning management systems such as SUCourse, our classrooms equipped with cameras and other necessary equipment, and our technological infrastructure have undoubtedly made the rapid transition to online education possible and led to the successful completion of the semester. In addition, quick adaptation reflexes and solution-oriented culture of our university, when faced with problems, together with the education practices we developed over the years have also helped. In addition to all of these, I would like to acknowledge the superior efforts of our academic staff, sense of responsibility of our students and the efforts of our administrative staff, who support our work, and present my sincere thanks to all.
Considering the course of pandemic in our country and the suggestions of the Higher Education Council (YÖK), we decided to continue with online education at Summer School. Our staff started working in a rotating and diluted way, in accordance with strict health rules, over the summer.
Our university started planning for the 2020-21 Academic Year before the end of Spring Semester and our work will continue until the Fall semester begins. In addition to the planning meetings within each educational unit, intense work has been carried out together in coordination. During these efforts, the plans of the leading universities of the world have been closely followed, also using our individual contacts. Separate questionnaires were sent to students and faculty members in the Spring, in order to get their feedback on online education and with the purpose of use in future practices.
Finally, at the beginning of July, another questionnaire was shared with our students to get their ideas about the 2020-21 Academic Year. 51% of our students took part in this survey. Among those who participated, 45% favored completely physical, 29% favored completely online, and the remaining students declared the mix of the two as their first preference. Another question of the survey was about the practices that should be followed in a physical course. 62% of our students favored the option of fully online registration to a physical course, 50% suggested that some portion of such a course should be delivered online to reduce physical contact hours, and 36% suggested that the students should be grouped and attend physical lectures in a rotating manner.
Due to the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, our University, like all other institutions, needs to be ready for different scenarios and should be able to switch and adapt between various plans before the Fall begins or while it continues. As of today, we intend to return to the campus in the Fall 2020-21, following all of the necessary health practices. Our goal is to adopt what is called the hybrid model in the Fall, which uses both physical and online education.
Thinking realistically, we are all aware that our classes and the life on campus will have to be different than the normal life before March. We will use our larger classes to assure the necessary safe distances. In addition, we will also conduct classes in venues such as the Cinema Hall and the Performance Center.
We plan to have as many physical courses as possible, and to hold some of the courses online,
There will be an option to register fully online to a course that is held physically. We are making arrangements so that all physical courses can also be followed online,
For flexible learning, we plan to present the video recordings of most of our lectures to our students,
Smart board/screen infrastructure required for distance education is available in all of our classrooms. Cameras and sound systems are available in many classrooms, and extra devices are being purchased for all the classrooms and venues to be used,
In addition to the existing professional studio on campus, another one has been put into service to enable our faculty members to prepare asynchronous parts of their lectures before the semester begins,
We are preparing the dormitories and the campus in accordance with the necessary health conditions. Mask and physical distancing rules will be strictly followed in the common areas of the campus, including the lecture hours,
Construction of two new dormitory buildings is underway,
Our Health Center is ready to perform PCR and antibody tests when necessary.
Fall Semester is planned to be started either on September 28 or October 5. The decision will be finalized in the coming days according to the developments.
There are many details currently in progress under each item I outlined above. We will keep informing you about the developments in due course. We will continue to follow the developments related to pandemic, and the directions of the Ministry of Health and YÖK, and make necessary arrangements/changes so as not to put our students and staff at any risk.
Wishing all of you health and happiness,
Esteemed Faculty Members,
As you know, our campus has been closed since March 16th 2020, within the scope of COVID-19 measures. All necessary precautions have been taken to prevent the risks that may emerge in our campus, and in this context, all entrances to, and all exits from the campus have been restricted.
In order for all these measures (that are solely in place to ensure your health and safety) to achieve their purpose, it is vital that you display the exact same sensitivity and that you remain within your homes unless obliged otherwise, in full compliance with the curfew requests.
In this context, I would like to share with you once again the points we would like to ask you to take into consideration against the risk of epidemic in our campus:
● You should not leave the campus unless necessary. In cases where you feel obliged to do so, public transportation and taxi should not be used, if possible.
● Please ensure that you wear a mask during the fever-checks conducted at the main entrance of the campus.
● No external visitors shall be invited into the campus throughout the epidemic.
● Some restrictions have been imposed on entry and exit procedures for the personnel such as care-providers, assistants and cleaners. We ask your full compliance with these measures taken for such services.
● Please note that a mask should be worn at all times in enclosed areas within the campus.
● Children should not play together on the playground. Please ensure full parental supervision for those children playing outside the lodgings.
● Home visits between households on campus are not advised.
● In case of health complaints such as fever and cough for any member of the household, please call the Health Center and act in line with the directions to be provided by the doctor.
These measures are not only critical for the health and well-being of yourself and your loved ones, but are equally so for those of each and every individual on our campus. Please allow me to remind you that we all stand responsible for one and another in our efforts to ensure our safety and our protection from the epidemic.
I sincerely believe that you will display the required sensitivity and I wish you all a healthy day.
Our Valued Students,
Last week, we shared with you our decision to hold the graduation ceremony planned for 20th June 2020 on an online platform, in accordance with the exceptional safety measures applied worldwide.
We are very well aware of the great significance that the graduation day holds for you, our students, and your families, even though it will not be possible to organize the graduation ceremony as we originally intended on campus in June 2020, with the physical participation of our graduates and their families. It is also difficult for us not to be able to celebrate this exciting event in the way that we had planned, especially as this year marks the 20th anniversary of enrolling the first students of our university. The online graduation ceremony that we are planning for 20th June 2020 aims to congratulate our students who have qualified to graduate, and send them off to successful careers, in keeping with our university’s enduring traditions. However, it may not be possible to convey the excitement of graduation and the joy of celebrating it together, on an online platform. Taking into consideration the overwhelming demand from our students, we would like to celebrate this great achievement with you and your families at a later date (which we are unfortunately not able to foresee as of now) when the conditions are suitable with regards to public health and safety. Even though it is not yet possible to determine the date and the circumstances of this celebration, we are hoping that it will be an occasion that you will all be able to join, and share the joy of getting back together.
I wish you all good health…
Dear Valued Students of Sabanci University,
In the year that we proudly celebrate the 20th anniversary of our university, we are looking forward to sending our successful new graduates into a bright future. From the beginning of this academic year, we had begun planning a fantastic graduation ceremony where we would share the joy of our students who have worked so hard in order to obtain their diplomas from Turkey’s most respected and pioneering university. However, as you know, we are having to reconsider all of our plans due to the COVID-19 outbreak which has caused so much turmoil.
In the present circumstances, considering the health risks which may be caused by the mass gathering of you and your families, the decision has been made to carry out our Graduation Ceremony, which we were planning for 20th June 2020, on an online platform.
Our senior year students who successfully complete their education, which has continued through distance learning since 23rd March 2020, will receive their diplomas in an online Graduation Ceremony. I would like to emphasise that our principal motive for this decision has been to avoid forcing you to postpone your plans for the future.
We are well aware of the importance that the Graduation Ceremony holds for you. I would therefore like to assure you that we will do our best to ensure that the online ceremony will be as unforgettable an experience.
We will keep you informed of the details regarding the ceremony in the coming days.
You can be assured that we will overcome this difficult time by uniting, by drawing strength from each other, from science, the arts, communication and education, with a bright vision of the future.
I wish you all good health.
Dear Students of Sabancı University,
Because of the COVID-19 outbreak that started in December 2019, we are going through an unprecedented period of change on a global scale. For all of us, this period entails much more than just fighting against a disease. We are trying to rapidly adapt to new conditions while also experiencing various difficulties in all aspects of our lives. The online education program is one of the fields in which we are quickly adapting, for the benefit of both our valued students and for our faculty members.
According to the announcement of the Higher Education Council on 26 March 2020, the decision has been made to fully carry out the 2019-2020 Spring semester through online distance education. This decision will allow your education to continue at the highest possible standards, while also presenting you with a new experience. In a world that is being besieged by extraordinary circumstances, we remain of the few privileged universities within which education is continuing online and uninterrupted, thanks to the new decisions and changes being implemented.
As Sabancı University, we have quickly established our roadmap thanks to the efforts of our faculty members, our experience with innovative education which includes distance learning, and our existing infrastructure. In addition, we have contacted the world’s most prestigious educational institutions and chosen the most suitable digital platforms in order to offer you the most effective learning experience in the present circumstances. At a time when many universities in developed countries are struggling to provide a clear plan of action for their students, we are determined to offer our students all the possibilities with which they can pursue their education without wasting time. As of today, we anticipate that the 2020 Summer Term will be taking place with the previously announced courses and schedule.
Furthermore, we can proudly state that the research carried out by our university has started to contribute directly to the development of effective solutions in the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak. We intend for our scientific contributions in this effort to continue and increase. The ongoing developments can be followed on our website. It is befitting for our university, which in the past 20 years has been a pioneer in every field, to direct its trailblazing research capabilities towards this important goal.
It should not be forgotten that we are dealing with completely new conditions that have never been experienced in any part of the world to this day. We need to implement a new model of operation adapted to these new conditions in every domain in which we are active, be it education, research, or scientific activities. Consequently, the new solutions being implemented must naturally be different from the solutions that were valid up until a few months ago. Some of these solutions may not be ideal but are designed to work to the best of our abilities, in the present circumstances. We should turn the various limitations, created by the extraordinary conditions in which we find ourselves, into opportunities, using the capabilities that technology offers. Together with our faculty members, our staff and you, our dear students, we are committed to continue our pioneering work in this new era. For us, it is out of the question to sit and wait.
Promising examples in a few countries show us that, with the help of concerted effort and good practices, the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak can be contained – and these successful examples give us hope for the future. In a few months, when the impact of the outbreak is contained worldwide, we will be faced with completely new conditions. For our entire university community, and for the whole of our country, it is within our reach to be prepared, as much as possible, for these new conditions, and for this new world. If we are able to take advantage of the current situation, and use our present circumstances to prepare ourselves, we can take our rightful place in the new world that awaits us. We wholly trust in our ability to succeed.
We will continue to rapidly adapt ourselves according to the developments and continue to inform you. We are going through a very dynamic period and we need to make decisions accordingly. In the online education period that will continue until the end of the semester, our wish is for you to focus on your education, adhere to our university’s most important principles – academic honesty and awareness of responsibility – and to trust in us.
As your university, we will continue to be by your side, despite you being away from campus.
I wish you a semester full of learning and inspiration, where you remain healthy and safe in your homes.
Our Dear Students,
As you all know, we are going through very difficult and challenging times, on a global scale. As Sabancı University, our first priority in this process is and will be the health and security of our students, our faculty and our staff. We trust that our country, and our university, will succeed in overcoming the difficulties with the help of good preparation, experience, and perseverance.
We are closely following the developments and we are taking the measures necessary to minimize the impact of the epidemic on the academic life of our students. In cooperation with the Turkish Higher Education Council, we have started the preparations for on-line education in all of our programs. As of Monday March 23rd, Sabancı University will be initiating on-line education at undergraduate and graduate levels.
The details will be sent to you by the teaching staff and faculty members who are responsible for your courses. I would like to thank all of our faculty and staff who have worked very hard to make this transition in such a short time. As Sabancı University, we are well aware and proud of our leading role in this endeavor. I wish the best of success to all of you in your on-line studies, and I sincerely hope to be able to see you all on campus, in a few weeks.
With my best wishes,
Dear Sabancı University Employees,
Our university administration has decided to adopt a "home office" policy for all academic and administrative staff, effective Monday 16 March 2020, until a second announcement. Through this period, all work-related activities are expected to be carried out at home (if necessary by remote connection to the university network), and all personnel are expected to remain accessible via e-mail and phone, during working hours.
The list of personnel who need to be physically on campus (and on other locations of the university) for the continuity of various tasks and campus operations has to be sent by the related unit directors to the Human Resources office, by 22:00 today (15 March 2020). Academic personnel who prefer to continue their activities in the faculty/center building shall inform their respective deans/center directors, accordingly.
Personnel shuttle / transportation services will operate normally on Monday 16 March 2020, and will be suspended for the remainder of the "home office" period.