As a follow up to the Chancellor’s message, I am writing to update you on plans to transition the campus to nearly full in-person occupancy for fall 2021. We sincerely appreciate your continued flexibility and excellent work during this time, and we want you to be fully informed on next steps. This plan is premised on the assumption that the large majority of our community members will be vaccinated by the fall.
The transition back to campus will be managed in phases starting July 1, with a plan to be fully operational in-person by September 1. We acknowledge that faculty and staff will need time to make arrangements, such as for childcare and other personal obligations, to prepare for this transition. Your supervisor or department lead will begin discussions over the next month regarding the return to work date and details for your role/unit. Unit leaders will be provided guidelines for potential long-term remote or hybrid work agreements subject to supervisor approval—keeping in mind that fulfilling the University’s mission will be the key factor in determining appropriate work agreements.
We look forward to welcoming back residential students at nearly full capacity for the fall quarter. As you can imagine, bringing the campus back to full in-person engagement involves many details, and students will receive additional communications on housing options and other elements of the plan.
As we move forward, we are focused on promoting and maintaining a healthy and productive environment for all students, faculty and staff. To that end, below are some updates, and more information will be shared as it becomes available.
The percentage of our community that is vaccinated will play a key role in determining our ability to transition to more in-person activities. All students, faculty and staff are encouraged to get vaccinated through any available channel – whether with your health care provider, a community-based site, a pharmacy, etc. Information on how to find a vaccine can be found on the UCI Forward site.
To support the on-campus learning experience for students, teaching will primarily be delivered through in-person instruction in campus classrooms, although some instructors will offer hybrid, remote, and online options as appropriate and approved. While students are expected to be on campus for in-person learning, the Division of Teaching Excellence and Innovation will provide support to faculty when accommodations are needed for students who are not able to be on campus for a variety of reasons. All general classrooms are outfitted to support the planned instructional modes from a technology standpoint. Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning and Dean of Undergraduate Education Michael Dennin has been working with the schools to prepare for fall instruction. Instructors can visit the Transition to Post-Pandemic Teaching website for guidelines and resources.
Students, faculty and staff who are fully vaccinated will be exempted from asymptomatic testing in the fall. Asymptomatic testing for non-vaccinated students, those in athletics, and other groups required by regulations is expected to continue. The daily symptom check and symptomatic testing for all students, faculty and staff is also expected to continue in accordance with guidance and/or regulations.
Facial Coverings and Physical Distancing
Facial coverings and physical distancing continue to be required in all public spaces in accordance with both California Department of Public Health guidance as well as Cal OSHA regulations. The campus community will be notified when the facial covering and distancing protocols are amended or no longer required.
As we transition back to the campus, the well-being and success of our community is the top priority and we intend to offer our students, faculty and staff a healthy and supportive environment that encourages their best work. The intent is to be flexible and in compliance with public health guidance and CDC protocols.
I look forward to engaging with many of you as we work through this process over the next several months. Please continue to take care of yourself and stay safe.
Hal S. Stern, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Chancellor’s Professor, Department of Statistics