Dear Faculty, Staff and Student Employees:

I hope everyone is doing well. I wanted to provide a quick update that we are arranging logistics for our Spring semester safety protocols outlined in my message of January 4. I appreciate your patience as we finalize details about the following and more, which we will share with the campus via email next week and on our Spring 2022 website. As you know, conditions are extremely fluid and rapidly changing. We are closely monitoring conditions and are consulting regularly with Ventura County Public Health and the Chancellor’s Office to inform and guide our efforts as things continue to unfold.

  • Our campus remains open for all who continue to work on site and for those utilizing in-person services, including during the first two weeks of mostly virtual instruction (Jan. 22 through Feb. 6). I encourage employees to discuss telework options with their supervisor or Dean while we maintain campus operations and offer student services as needed during the first two weeks of the semester. All employees should plan to return for in-person work after Feb. 6 unless formal teleworking agreements beyond that date are in place.
  • Provost Avila worked with the deans to finalize courses that will be offered in person from the start of the new semester. This list of courses is posted on the Spring 2022 website and included in a communication campaign to students.
  • With the booster vaccination deadline required by our campus by February 6 for eligible students, administrators, and confidential employees, instructions for uploading booster documentation and for requesting a medical or religious exemption will be posted early next week on the website, emailed to employees, and included in the communication campaign to students.
  • We will again be utilizing the Not-Permitted-on-Campus (NPOC) system for identifying students who are out of compliance. We are hiring two additional people to join the EH&S Covid team to take over NPOC logistics from the Division of Student Affairs – with thanks to that leadership team for designing and operating those logistics through Fall 2021.
  • Our indoor masking requirement will continue, upgraded to reflect the CDC’s most recent guidance on masks most effective against the Omicron variant. Mask and other PPE requests can continue to be made through the procurement PPE website, and classrooms and common spaces will continue to be supplied as they were in the Fall.

As a reminder, Monday, January 17 is the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday and the campus will be closed for the day. I leave you with one of Dr. King’s observations, that “We must walk on in the days ahead with an audacious faith in the future.” Written as a reflection on the Civil Rights Movement and the critical importance of hope – specifically for an America united in the fights against racism and poverty – his words remain relevant on many dimensions.

To our audacious faith in the future.

Sincerely,

Richard Yao, Ph.D.

Interim President

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