Gradual Return to Campus Planned as OC Restrictions Lift

This post was updated on

President Struppa released the following statement on Friday, September 11:

As you likely know, Orange County has shifted into a less restrictive category according to Gov. Newsom’s new blueprint for opening California. This has allowed greater flexibility in many industries, including education. As we work closely with our local health agency, we anticipate they will authorize limited in-person instruction as of September 22. However, we are approaching with caution and want to ensure that the county numbers remain stable for the two weeks following the Labor Day weekend before we make changes to our current state. If Orange County COVID-19 cases remain stable following Labor Day, we plan to begin a gradual reopening in early October.

We remain confident that the best approach to bring students and faculty back to campus for in-person instruction is to phase it in beginning with graduate programs. If we can remain open, we would then introduce additional undergraduate instruction. If we see an increase in COVID-19 cases on campus, we will quickly roll back to remote instruction.

Please note:

  • With both graduate and undergraduate instruction, we will deliver classes as they were designated and registered for (in-person, hybrid, online) at the beginning of the semester.
  • Students will not be required to return to campus.
  • It is possible that some classes intended for in-person or hybrid format could remain online if the faculty chooses to remain remote.
  • Faculty will also need to accommodate students who choose to remain remote, therefore all classes need to be accessible online even after in-person classes begin.
  • All faculty need to be preparing for a return to in-person instruction including how to implement a HyFlex modality for each class.
  • Whether you are teaching on campus now or will return soon, faculty should only be on campus during their scheduled teaching hours as we work to keep the campus population as low as possible.

We will keep you informed as the situation progresses, as the Provost Office administrators, deans and faculty prepare for a smooth transition. Provost Pfeiffer will schedule a Faculty Town Hall prior to returning to in-person instruction to assist with planning and logistics.

For supervisors of staff, the goal remains to keep the staff population on campus low; however, if you anticipate additional staffing needs to support the increased in-person instruction, I recommend you begin to prepare for an early October return. Please keep in mind the process for returning could take 7-10 days to complete.

Also, a reminder, as we near the full-tuition refund deadline on Monday, all details concerning refunds are available here.