April 6, 2021 

Dear CSUCI Community:

I write today to provide another update on progress toward planning for the Fall 2021 semester. Before getting into those details, I want to acknowledge the difficulties we are all facing in having to make plans with incomplete and evolving information. We are having to “skate where the puck is going to be,” as Chancellor Castro has described our systemwide challenge of envisioning realities that August will bring. This requires us to be both forward thinking and open to a range of possibilities as to what those realities may be—difficult as it is to have to plan for multiple possible scenarios. I also offer my sincere thanks to each member of our campus community who shares responsibility and accountability for planning our return. This work has been underway since shortly after my interim presidency began, and I know how taxing it is.

As we move forward, our planning continues to assume a return to campus that aims to bring back in-person instruction, activity, programs, and operational support, allowable under State and Ventura County Public Health guidelines in cooperation with University’s Environmental Health & Safety personnel.

As you may assume, all scenarios will be based on the level of density that can be safely supported depending on where we find ourselves in August relative to COVID-19 positivity rates and progress toward herd immunity. As such, the continued rollout of the vaccine will be of critical importance to our return.

CSUCI will comply with all federal, state, and local orders in order to achieve a safe return of the campus community and expect all students and employees to follow the same. The University continues to work out the details, but we anticipate requiring testing and/or vaccination for students and employees physically returning to campus, subject to accommodations where appropriate, in addition to our continued requirements for wearing masks, handwashing and physical distancing.

First and foremost, the number one thing that each of us – employees and students – can do to protect our own personal health and welfare, along with the health and welfare of our family, friends and co-workers, is to be vaccinated.

Given these assumptions about vaccinations, our planning efforts are occurring within the context of the following assumptions:

  • CSUCI will prioritize meeting student needs as best as possible and within the context of facilitating their academic success and co-curricular engagement.
  • All plans and the actions taken to implement will be in compliance with national, state, local, and CSU system guidelines.
  • In the process of creating plans, all necessary vetting, coordination, and communication will happen within the accountable division/area, as well as across campus as needed.
  • Those who are responsible and accountable for common-area facilities such as the Student Union, Dining Services, Housing & Residential Education, Broome Library, and other spaces that provide student services and centers, are also planning within the context of these various scenarios.
  • Facility improvements will address health and safety guideline requirements and consider student success and course learning outcome objectives. The campus will require, at a minimum, the duration of the summer break to assess these requirements and to renovate, purchase/install equipment, and meet Protective Personal Equipment (PPE) requirements.
  • The repopulation of employees back onto the campus will occur. Employee repopulation will be based on the goal of a phased return of employees to on-campus work and will follow applicable public health and CSU guidance and requirements.

At this time, the University’s planning efforts are moving forward assuming a minimum 3-foot physical distancing requirement as its baseline for classroom instruction, although in practice classroom capacity is typically calculated using a 5-foot (20 square feet) model and thus exceeds a 3-foot requirement. In recognition of the possibility that guidance from public health agencies may change, planning will also include two additional scenarios: 1) reinstituting a 6-foot requirement; and 2) achieving herd immunity with no physical distancing requirements. This later scenario is feasible in the coming months.

Our goal is to create a comprehensive campus plan for the Fall 2021 semester by April 20, giving time for our final Fall 2021 Semester Campus Plan to be prepared and submitted to the Chancellor’s Office by the set deadline of April 30.

As recently announced by the State, people who are 50+ years of age are eligible to receive the vaccine April 1 and people who are 16+ years of age will be eligible to receive the vaccine beginning April 15. Learn more about the benefits of the vaccine by visiting the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.  We encourage you to consult with your physician or healthcare provider about vaccine options as they pertain to your health.

Vaccine eligibility and appointments for first doses are available by visiting myturn.ca.gov. You may also check with your healthcare provider or local pharmacies such as Ralphs, CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, Albertsons or Vons. Individuals who already received their first dose and need to schedule their second dose should make an appointment using the same county of residence website that was used for scheduling their first dose.

I encourage you to visit our Fall 2021 Semester Planning webpage where these updates will continue to be provided, as well as the current Spring 2021 Semester webpage for information and FAQs related to the ongoing pandemic, campus operations, as well as how to report a COVID-19 case for someone who has been physically on the campus.

If you have any questions, please email csuci.news@csuci.edu so your questions may be directed to the appropriate area for a response.  Thank you.

Richard Yao
Interim President

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