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Provost Email to Faculty: Coronavirus – Keep Teaching

Friday March 06, 2020 7:58 pm

Dear Colleagues:

The outbreak of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a dynamic situation, which means that shortly after I send this memo, it may be outdated. We will be frequently updating the campus based on the recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Orange County Health Care Agency. The most current updates can be found by following the link on the CSUF homepage to Corona Virus resources and updates

Because there are cases of COVID-19 in Orange County, Cal State Fullerton is planning and preparing so that we may react quickly should more cases be identified. Many people who have this respiratory illness show minor or no symptoms at all. However, this illness is very contagious, and we want to be ready if students, staff, or faculty on our campus become ill or are under quarantine in the coming weeks and months. We need to plan for the continuity of teaching, learning, and research and the wellbeing of our community. A continuity plan would provide for the best possible educational experiences for our students in the event of an emergency or campus closure, or other potential scenarios in which students or members of campus need to stay home. In addition to assuring the physical safety of our campus community, we also want to make certain that no one is stigmatized because of their ethnicity or where they have traveled.

Our policies already indicate that we should be able to provide an education, even if our normal campus operations are interrupted. UPS 300.004, item 9 states that “…syllabi shall give detailed information on the following matters: Actions students should take to continue their coursework and to communicate with the faculty member in the event of an emergency that disrupts normal campus operations or causes the University to close for a prolonged period of time due to circumstances such as an earthquake.” Thus, in the event that the Orange County Health Care Agency recommended we close the campus, we should be able to keep teaching.

Current situation:

We have an Infectious Disease Working Group who is meeting regularly and in close daily contact with the Orange County Health Care Agency. This working group maintains the up-to-date website and an email address for questions ( and coordinates the communication with all campus divisions.

At this time, faculty should maintain the regular attendance policy for their courses, encourage students not to come to campus if they are sick and ensure that no one is stigmatized if they choose to wear a mask for protection.

We also suggest that faculty begin now to consider what they would do in case several students could not attend class because of illness or in the event we needed to cancel in-person classes as the University of Washington did today, Friday, March 6, 2020.

How to prepare now in case of a local increase in confirmed cases:

  1. Consider how to adjust course policies related to class attendance so as not to penalize students who become ill or need to be quarantined.
  2. Ensure all major course documents (e.g., syllabi, assignments, reading lists) are on TITANium so that students can access them remotely and download them, even if they are unable to come to campus because of illness or quarantine.
  3. Develop alternative course delivery to prepare if campus closure is required. The Faculty Development Center has a new page, Resources to Keep Teaching, which includes a link to Online Education and Training’s Keep Teaching: Strategies and Resources that provides simple steps to continue teaching. There will be a link of ideas for continuing lab work also.
  4. All classrooms will be equipped with cameras to enable the use of Zoom for lecture capture/recording if desired. Please contact the IT Help Desk at 657-278-7777 for assistance with classroom equipment support. Please visit Keep Teaching: Strategies and Resources to explore options for creating lecture recordings to post on TITANium
  5. Determine existing, available online resources and consider sharing newly created resources (e.g., videos or podcasts) with your department, as part of an inventory for other instructors to use if necessary.

If you need assistance with educational technology, please contact the IT Help Desk at 657-278-7777 or Online Education and Training at

Although COVID-19 poses challenges, we can keep calm and carry on. We will continue to update you all as we plan and prepare for issues related to COVID-19.

Thank you for being such an outstanding group of colleagues,

Pamella H. Oliver
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs