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Provost Message to Academic Affairs: Spring Course Instruction Update

Friday January 07, 2022 12:34 pm

Dear Academic Affairs Community,

You likely have seen the President’s announcement today that in order to keep all Titans safe—students, faculty, and staff—we will minimize the population density on our campus during this Omicron surge by shifting spring instruction to virtual modality through February 6, 2022. 

All faculty teaching in spring will hold all classes virtually the first two weeks of the spring semester. As a reminder, we have a campus MOU with our chapter of CFA that ensures faculty who are assigned to in-person or hybrid courses for Spring 2022 receive consecutive non-instructional work days in order to transition their courses. Please take these January 18-21.

The campus will remain open during this two-week period, and staff will be available for services in accordance with previously approved telecommuting plans within the Academic Affairs Division. We are fortunate that we have implemented telecommuting across the division with a very high level of participation as this reduces density for those of us on campus during the virtual instruction time. Faculty are welcome to come to campus prior to the resumption of in-person instruction. Faculty may use their office as they normally would do, and faculty are welcome to teach (virtually) from the classrooms they have been assigned. Faculty and staff may continue to use on-campus research facilities, including labs, while taking appropriate precautions. The library will continue to be open as scheduled as posted on the library website. Please remember that the campus indoor masking mandate remains in effect. Information on how to acquire masks on campus, including N95 and KN95 masks, can be found here.

During these two weeks of virtual learning, faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to obtain their booster vaccination so that they can meet our new CSUF deadline of February 7 for this CSU system requirement. More information on how to submit your vaccination record will be coming soon. If you have not had a chance to get your booster, plan for the January 18 & 19 campus vaccine clinic at the Titan Student Union. This event will be open to all Titans and their families and will offer the flu vaccine, the COVID-19 vaccine, and the COVID-19 booster.

I know that some of you have questions about on-campus COVID-19 testing. At this time, testing is limited, and priority is given to students who are experiencing symptoms or have been recently exposed, as well as to employees who have been exposed on campus or are required to test weekly. Employees who are experiencing symptoms or have been exposed off campus should contact their health care provider or acquire a free test kit through the Orange County Health Care Agency testing resources. For any questions, please contact campus Health Services at (657) 278-2800.

Experts who are tracking the spread of Omicron have expressed confidence that the apex of the spread will occur within the first three to four weeks of January. As a result, we can be confident that the February 7 date will hold, and that we will return to our regularly planned spring semester at that time.

I am especially thankful to our staff who are keeping continuity of service in the division during this period when students and faculty interaction will be virtual. Moving instruction virtual lowers density on campus and keeps everyone safe. At the same time, a few of our staff members are not able to telecommute, and even the majority who are partially telecommuting will be here often to keep operations going so all can have a smooth return to an in-person community. Thank you, Academic Affairs staff team.

Thank you, all, for your flexibility as we move to this two-week virtual spring start.

Best wishes,

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