UCSB Classes Move Online Through April Amid Coronavirus Fears

UCSB Classes Move Online Through April Amid Coronavirus Fears title=
UCSB Classes Move Online Through April Amid Coronavirus Fears
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UC Santa Barbara campus (file photo)

Source: UC Santa Barbara, Office of the Chancellor

Dear Members of Our Campus Community,

I am writing to update you on a number of immediate actions our campus is taking to help protect the health and well-being of our campus community.

Following the discussions with our COVID-19 Response Working Group and recommendations from public health experts, we are asking community members to assist us in taking proactive steps to mitigate the potential impact of COVID-19 here on campus, in IV, and in the broader Santa Barbara community. We know that many of these recommendations will be challenging to implement, but it is important that we take the necessary steps now to respond to the rapidly evolving situation, despite the fact that no cases have been reported on campus or in Santa Barbara County.

Our campus will be transitioning to remote instruction for the remainder of Winter Quarter and the start of the Spring Quarter through at least the end of April. Given our campus’s transition to remote instruction and the possibility of additional travel disruptions and restrictions, we are recommending that all undergraduate students traveling for spring break be prepared for the possibility of remaining away from campus through the month of April. We understand that graduate students have different academic commitments and recommend that they consult with their advisors and departments.  

The campus will remain open and operational, including Housing and Dining, which will continue normal operations.

Based on advice from the leading health experts, the following actions are necessary to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19.

Instruction

• Effective March 11, 2020, for the remainder of Winter Quarter, we strongly recommend that instructors make alternative arrangements for in-person classes and for final exams. In addition to alternative assignments, such as remote exams, instructors may make use of Proctor U for online exams. Instructors will be communicating directly with their students with more specific details.

• To the extent possible, instructors and departments should make plans to shift Spring Quarter classes from in-person formats to remote formats, using alternative modalities, at least through the month of April.

• Students who remain on campus through the break and during the month of April will also be receiving instruction remotely, and must also be prepared for limited on-campus activities and services. More detailed guidance and information about services for students will follow in subsequent communications.

• Additional guidelines and information will be sent to instructors to assist with this transition.

Our COVID-19 Response Working Group will continue to consult and evaluate the evolving situation in the coming days and weeks in order to make additional recommendations related to instruction for the Spring Quarter. We know that this transition is not going to be easy and we will all need to be flexible.

Travel

We are recommending against all non-essential business travel, international and domestic, for UC Santa Barbara employees through the end of April. This guidance is in addition to current UC systemwide restrictions already in place to CDC Level 3 (widespread community transmission) and Level 2 (sustained community transmission) countries.

With spring break approaching, we also encourage our faculty, staff, and students to carefully consider the risks associated with travel, both international and domestic. All personal international travel is strongly discouraged and we urge extreme caution and judgement for your personal domestic travel.

Events

While no UC systemwide restrictions on large events or mass gatherings have been implemented at this time, the COVID-19 Response Working Group recommends that campus groups strongly consider postponing, canceling, or rescheduling crowded on-campus events.

The Athletics Department will be moving to “fan-less” events.

The CDC provides guidance on mass gatherings and large events.  

Working Remotely and Staff Leave Policy

We urge managers to use maximum flexibility in working with members of our staff in order to address challenges caused by COVID-19.  

The Office of the President has enacted temporary emergency leave policies in anticipation of potential scenarios. The Working Group recommends that managers work with employees to explore opportunities to work remotely when job duties permit.  Highlights of the policy are below and the full guidelines can be found online.

• Managers may designate certain employees to work from home. If employees are designated to work from home, it will be considered paid work status.

• Employees unable to work due to their own or a family member’s COVID-19 illness should use available leave balances (e.g. sick leave, PTO-sick, or other accrued leave), and if there are no available leave balances, the University will provide up to 14 days paid administrative leave to cover the absence.

• Employees unable to come to work due to a COVID-l9 day care or school closure that requires them to be home with their child may work remotely if operationally feasible; if remote work is not operationally feasible, employees may use available leave balances including sick leave.

I would once again like to take this opportunity to express the great appreciation we all feel to be members of this dedicated community.

Our most valuable resource at UC Santa Barbara is our people — our staff, our faculty, our students, and our alumni. I want to express my sincere thanks to all as we work together to protect and support our community and meet the challenges related to COVID-19.

Sincerely,

Henry T. Yang
Chancellor

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18 Comments

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a-1594039249 Mar 11, 2020 09:57 PM
UCSB Classes Move Online Through April Amid Coronavirus Fears

Soooo..... what about all the foreign students that went home for Winter break, and then came back in the beginning of January? The UC system (UCSB has 17% foreign students, 18% Asian students) were all on break from mid December to the first week of January. And when they all came back?... Shopping at TJ's, restaurants, etc. I'm not pointing the finger at anyone, but the fact that shutting everything down now is like closing the barn door after the cows have gone. Everyone I knew was sick in the middle of January, with a really awful cold. No one I knew went to the doctor. It was just a really bad cold. My point being, it's already here, and has been for months. The rest of it is just theater.

pstarSR Mar 11, 2020 01:09 PM
UCSB Classes Move Online Through April Amid Coronavirus Fears

Interesting side tangent. it is related so dont get mad. The students in china that are currently attending school "online" because of this. have banded together and are spamming the APP that is used for online schooling in the area. Spamming it with 1 star reviews, so that it gets removed from the APP store and they dont have to do it anymore. This will be interesting to see, Self motivation can be hard for some.

chico berkeley Mar 11, 2020 09:31 AM
UCSB Classes Move Online Through April Amid Coronavirus Fears

If quality instruction is available online, why cant the whole system go "online"? Sounds like the campus could go "online" in general and save my hometown alot of stress from too many people in way to small of a space. Gee. maybe housing would not be such a hassle and the work force could live in SB without the commute hassels. Locals can only dream.....

giftedinSB Mar 11, 2020 02:53 PM
UCSB Classes Move Online Through April Amid Coronavirus Fears

While online instruction is a nice convenience and very important to offer in situations such as these, it's really only good for large lectures. There are smaller, more interactive sessions and labs that I found invaluable because discussing our learnings with other classmates helped crystallize the information I had studied - or showed me what I didn't understand and needed to study more. I wonder what science majors will do, or other departments with classes in lab settings. How do you move that online?

pstarSR Mar 11, 2020 01:05 PM
UCSB Classes Move Online Through April Amid Coronavirus Fears

unless you could take classes at your home town, this wouldnt fix housing. Think of all the dorms and on campus living. They would then ( Might ) have to find accommodations outside that area. for "home schooling". I think although its a good idea for online classes, I dont think it will solve our housing crisis.

a-1594039249 Mar 11, 2020 08:33 AM
UCSB Classes Move Online Through April Amid Coronavirus Fears

What a fortuitous silver lining. The very institutions that harbor the most Bernie Sanders supporters have forced students from campuses statewide. In doing so, they've eliminated any possibility of protest. Get to take out the TA protest as well. How convenient.

jqb Mar 10, 2020 10:33 PM
UCSB Classes Move Online Through April Amid Coronavirus Fears

There's a lot of good, sensible information in this interview with Dr. Scott Gottlieb (not a lawyer), 23rd commissioner of the FDA, 2017-2019 (Trump administration). Read and learn: https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2020/03/09/coronavirus-past-containment-but-usa-can-limit-epidemic-scott-gottlieb/5007417002/ one of the items relevant here: "The case fatality rates really start to increase dramatically above 60. So you look at some of the literature, 60 to 70 case fatality rate is probably about 4%; 70 to 80, it's probably 10%; above 80, it looks like it's 14 or 15%. It really goes up dramatically. But this isn't a benign illness, even for someone who's 45, or 47 like me. (Potentially) 1 in 250 to 1 in 550 45-year-olds who get this will die. That's enormous." -- note: people ignoring the importance of social distancing increase these numbers.

Yeti Mar 10, 2020 08:53 PM
UCSB Classes Move Online Through April Amid Coronavirus Fears

Once again, society is caving into the damn attorneys. In three or four months we are going to wonder WHY we were even slightly concerned about another low grade virus going around. 80% of us will never realize that it went by or through us.. 20% will get sick and 3-4% of the 20% will die. Mostly the very old and or health compromised. THESE are the people that should be hiding out away from the rest of us for 6 months.. NOT the rest of us being forced to check out of school, our lives or our kids being forced to stay home and a parent having to miss work and the needed income to watch the kid at home. Absolutely insane. Where are the real leaders that are willing to stand up and challenge the politically correct nuts that are driving this bus?

jqb Mar 10, 2020 10:07 PM
UCSB Classes Move Online Through April Amid Coronavirus Fears

Here's an informative thread from Marc Lipsitch, "Infectious disease epidemiologist and microbiologist, aspirational barista" (that's not a lawyer; you may be thinking of "barrister"): https://twitter.com/mlipsitch/status/1237347774951305216 "... We need measures that while painful for all will slow social contact - cancelling public gatherings, paid sick leave, working from home, and the like. Social distancing is the general name for these interventions...." -- unless, of course, we're ok with 3% of 20% dying from this, which is 4 times the number of cancer deaths per year.

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