Recent CA Closures’ Impact on Chapman

This post was updated on

Update From President Struppa, July 14, 2020

This week, California Governor Newsom announced statewide closures impacting business sectors that had previously been allowed to open. With the significant rise in COVID-19 cases, this has essentially begun the rollback of the phased approach to opening the state during the pandemic. You may recall that higher education was designated to open if California reached Stage 3 of the Governor’s plan, and our interpretation of this week’s action seems to be bringing the state closer to Stage 1 restrictions. It’s important to note that our local health officials provide the necessary approval for higher education to return to campus based on the Governor’s guidelines.

We are monitoring this situation very closely and believe additional guidance specific to higher education should be released from the Governor’s Office late this week.  While we feel it’s reasonable to believe that it would be very challenging to reach Stage 3 prior to the fall semester, we are waiting to make any changes to our plans regarding in-person instruction until we have additional guidance. We are also in close contact with our local health agencies and will continue to collaborate with them on any changes regarding our CU Safely Back planning.

With that, we had a Town Hall scheduled this week to provide updates on the CU Safely Back planning that I will reschedule to next week. I believe we will have more information to share after the Governor’s Office releases additional guidance. Joining me in the rescheduled Town Hall will be Executive Vice President and COO Harold Hewitt, Executive Vice President and Provost Glenn Pfeiffer, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Jerry Price, Vice President and CIO Helen Norris and Vice President of Strategic Marketing and Communications Jamie Ceman.

Staff and Faculty Town Hall

Students and Families Town Hall

Tuesday Updates, July 14, 2020

  • Exciting news to share! The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is rescinding its new temporary final rule that prohibits international students from returning to or remaining in the United States this fall if the colleges they attend adopt online-only instruction models amid the pandemic. DHS has rescinded the July 6, 2020 policy directives and July 7, 2020 FAQ which precludes enforcement, and the Government will return to the exception it put in place in March that allows our F1 visa students to participate in online courses amid the pandemic without jeopardizing their visa status. We participated in both a lawsuit and an amicus brief with universities across the country and the actions have made an impact for our students!
  • We do not plan to alter the academic calendar at this time. This is, of course, contingent on the status of the pandemic, but we plan to begin the 2020-21 semester and trimester on August 31st and end on December 19th. The Fowler School of Law will begin their semester on August 17th and end December 13th. Read full article.
  • We continue to wait for guidance from the Governor’s Office and approval from local health authorities, but we understand the need for clarity and therefore will alert undergraduate students no later than August 7 if our plan to return changes. Graduate programming announcements may come at different times depending on the program.
  • During the Fall 2020 semester, nearly all large gatherings will ​not be permitted to take place. ​ If an event is core to Chapman’s mission and able to take place in a safe manner for all participants, event organizers will need to apply for an exception to be decided on by members of the CU Safely Back Executive Committee. Read full article.
  • While Chapman had hoped to host commencement for the class of 2020 in late summer, restrictions on large gathering are still in place. Chapman leadership continues to monitor the situation and will update everyone about commencement plans as soon as we can safely do so.

As the start of Fall semester rapidly approaches, the situation within the state is changing just as rapidly. I will continue to keep you informed as the situation progresses.