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Message to Academic Affairs Community: Start of In-Person Instruction Spring 2022

Wednesday February 02, 2022 8:25 am

Dear Academic Affairs Colleagues,

We write to confirm that Cal State Fullerton will resume in-person instruction as planned on Monday, February 7. We know that students benefit from a variety of instructional modalities and educational experiences, especially those offered in person. The previous decision to begin the semester with a two-week period of virtual instruction was based on the reality, at that time, of high case counts and positivity rates from the Omicron variant. There has been a recent decline in the surge, as data from the Orange County Health Care Agency shows, and models predict that this decline will continue. Given our mission and our passion for the transformational experiences we create at Cal State Fullerton, it is important that we continue with the in-person components of our curriculum.

We also have other reasons to be confident that our February 7 return date can be achieved safely. We are now at 96% of our staff and faculty and 93% of our students vaccinated. All students will be required to be boosted or have received an exemption by February 7, or at the required time since last vaccination. We also have mitigation measures on campus that have, in the past, proven successful at keeping us safe while enabling in-person learning. These include advanced air filtration systems in each of our buildings, contact tracing, and complimentary mask distribution (now including KN95 and N95 masks). And last week our Academic Senate approved a resolution that will provide up to three weeks of flexibility starting February 7th for all instructors teaching in-person courses this semester, during which time they may choose to deliver instruction virtually.

As we return to campus, we will take steps to protect our ability to continue with in-person instruction and the in-person components of Titan life. These steps include adhering to the public health measures and protocols that our campus has in place — staying home if sick, reporting COVID-19 cases or exposures, testing when required, following Presidential Directive 22 and wearing our mask indoors, and receiving a booster dose of the COVID vaccination if we are eligible. Information on these items can be found on the Titans Return: COVID-19 Recovery website.

We are both especially grateful to Titan staff who have been here in Academic Affairs (and across the campus) preparing for the semester to begin, supporting our students virtually and in person with advising and enrollment questions, and supporting our faculty with all of the regular business that the beginning of a semester requires. To faculty who are returning from virtual instruction, please take time to appreciate those who are enabling your smooth transition back to campus.

Finally, we want to call your attention to what is new on campus. As you head to your classes or offices or the library, you will see several new installations of outdoor seating areas around campus, some of which are large enough for small-course instruction. You can grab a bite to eat at the newly reopened Pieology and Hibachi San as our dining services return to full operation. Around the Rec Center is a newly opened outdoor space and the Aquatics Center is waiting for its grand opening. The updated Titan Athletics Baseball/Softball facility is nearing completion. This has been a long and difficult road as we wait for the pandemic to fully pass. We continue, however, to move forward. Our commitment to life-changing experiences for our students through interactive, faculty-driven teaching demands nothing less.

Best wishes for a discovery-filled semester and thank you for all you do to keep our community Titan strong.

Best wishes,

Carolyn Thomas, Ph.D.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Steve Stambough, Ph.D.
Chair of the Academic Senate