Dec. 3, 2020 

Dear Campus Community:

I write today to provide you with an update on our campus plan for instruction for the spring 2021 semester.

As many of you are aware, our proposed plan for spring instruction was submitted to the Chancellor’s Office on November 6. As a result of the rapidly deteriorating conditions regarding the spread and prevalence of the COVID-19 pandemic coupled with the increasing percentage of positive tests, the growing number of hospitalizations, and the subsequent mortality rates, Chancellor White has asked all 23 campuses to reevaluate their proposed plans.

Chancellor White also noted the national public health’s assessment that we are in the early stages of an eight-week surge of the pandemic that is likely to last through the end of January. As such, he has asked that campuses consider delaying in-person instruction – even for classes that have a limited in-person component – to as late as possible in January or even into February, with appropriate testing, sequestering and tracing protocols in place to help mitigate spread of the virus.

As a result, I will be asking divisional leadership and the Spring Planning Task Force to work closely with Ventura County Public Health to reassess our plan for spring 2021 and to make any necessary adjustments. It is my expectation that careful consideration be given for not only teaching and learning modalities, but also scholarly and cultural activities in which our campus might be engaged, as well as careful management of the repopulation of residence halls.

The Chancellor has also asked that we consider both the winter break and spring break given the reality of the pandemic’s progression coupled with the possibility that some members of our campus community may choose to act contrary to public health warnings during these periods of time. As we move forward with this reassessment, any significant changes to our plan will be communicated to campus as soon as they are finalized.

Our charge in this moment is clear. We must continue to assume collective responsibility to ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and the communities we serve, while enabling progression toward degree for the greatest number of students.

I know that these times present extraordinarily difficult and, on so many levels, overwhelming challenges. Please accept my immense gratitude for all that you do to advance knowledge, support our students and facilitate our academic mission. As we move into the winter break and celebrate the holidays, please be sure to stay safe and take care.

Erika D. Beck, Ph.D.

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