May 12, 2020

Dear Campus Community,

As you are aware, the Fall Planning Task Force, multiple stakeholder groups and five working groups within Academic Affairs have been working diligently to develop planning parameters for the Fall semester. As I have indicated in previous communications, our plan will be finalized by the end of the spring semester.

This morning, the Chancellor of the CSU system announced that the planning framework for all 23 CSU campuses will be virtual instruction with very limited exceptions that meet rigorous and extensive safety and training requirements and are approved by the Chancellor’s Office as well as public health.

While we are all eager to finalize our fall plans, we are committed to establishing a plan that both ensures the safety of our campus and maintains the exceptional quality of our education. To do so requires continuing our deep and broad consultation with faculty, staff, and students. It will take a collective effort to leverage the strength of our values, innovation, and diverse perspectives to develop a plan that integrates campus safety, pedagogical and instructional considerations, student support services, co-curricular engagement and all aspects of campus operations to best support our students and their continued success.

The forthcoming guidance from the Chancellor’s Office will be used to provide the overarching framework to our current planning efforts and, as a result, fall instruction at CSUCI will be predominantly virtual in nature. That said, our plan will be tailored to fit the specific needs of our academic community and we are committed to ensuring the continued success of our students. Once we have finalized a plan for fall instruction and scholarly activities, we will continue to work through details regarding campus operations.

As part of our ongoing planning efforts, we are hosting multiple virtual town hall meetings with our faculty and staff this week and next to ask questions, identify needs and provide feedback on potential scenarios. The Fall Planning Task Force and Academic Affairs working groups will continue their consultation with campus stakeholders to address the operational and technical components of our developing plan. To ensure that students’ voices are helping to inform these discussions, there is a student body stakeholder group as part of the task force, and Student Government representatives will be active members to ensure that student needs and concerns are heard.

We have been working diligently to address the questions and concerns that have been communicated to us directly by students and through student leaders, faculty and our various support programs. We know how much a sense of campus belonging and community means to each of you and how many of our students rely on us for their housing, food security and connectivity needs. Please know that the safety of our campus and the academic success of our students remains at the forefront of our decision making and, regardless of the format, we are unequivocally committed to ensuring the continued experience of the thriving academic community that you know as your Dolphin Pod. My hope is that students will not lose sight of their academic aspirations. They are the heart of our educational mission and we are here to support them.

The experience of COVID-19 is the most difficult challenge that our campus has ever faced and it will require all of us to work together. In doing so, we will emerge stronger and continue toward our beacon of a more learned, just, and equitable future. Although we live in a time of much uncertainty, I remain certain of the collective dedication, creativity and resourcefulness of our entire campus community. We are Dolphins and I am confident that we are up for the challenge.

Stay well Dolphins and, as always, remember to take care of yourselves and each other.

Erika D. Beck, Ph.D.

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