I'm happy to be able to report that the concrete campus plans for Fall Quarter operations are coming together. For the latest information, please keep checking the Return-to-Learn website. In the meantime, here is a quick overview:

  • UC San Diego is presently planning to offer about 30% of our Fall 2020 courses using an in-person or hybrid modality, with the rest taught remotely. Continuing students have already enrolled in fall courses, choosing their preferred class modalities directly; entering students are now starting to enroll. We will be tracking enrollments, classroom space and course modality changes in real-time, and working with departments and colleges to make necessary adjustments. Meanwhile, Information Technology Services is upgrading the WIFi in residence halls and improving classroom technology to support hybrid and simulcast courses.

  • To make the classroom experience healthier for faculty and students, the campus will be requiring face coverings in class, providing personal lapel microphones for instructors, enhancing the daily cleaning schedule, providing sanitation supplies in each classroom, improving ventilation in campus buildings, and specifying social distancing requirements for classroom ingress, usage, and egress. Based on a suggestion from faculty, we are identifying outdoor spaces for potential instructional use.

  • We appreciate how creatively UC San Diego’s instructors have worked to provide our students a rigorous, intellectually engaging academic experience, in a novel educational environment. As fall approaches, the Teaching and Learning Commons and our keep teaching site are ready to assist faculty with refining their remote course elements and we will also sustain the departmental technology liaison program to provide discipline-specific assistance during the academic year. Units interested in developing full-blown online courses or requesting R-course approval for key offerings are encouraged to consult the Digital Learning Hub.

At the same time, it’s important that we not let the pandemic be our only focus.

There have been notable developments in our core areas of scholarship, education, and inclusion this summer.  To just name a very few:  The Black Studies Project has earned major reinvestment from the Chancellor, the EVC, the Division of Social Sciences and the Graduate Division to further the expansion of its intellectual impact, mentoring of rising scholars, and community engagement.  A research team spanning the physical, biological, and computational sciences and engineering has been awarded NSF funding to launch a Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC).  And colleagues from across campus have collaborated to engage a diverse cohort of students in summer research, entrepreneurship and preparation for the next stage in their educational pathways through initiatives like the Summer Research Conference, the Converge Summer Incubator, the TRELS summer scholarships, the PATH program for transfer students in the arts and humanities, the SPIS program for new CSE students, the STARS academy for aspiring graduate students, and ENLACE for rising high-school and college seniors.

Finally, as you think ahead to teaching and advising students in the new quarter, please do remember that they – like all of us – are experiencing stress and anxiety.  Anything we can do to provide greater clarity around expectations and a listening ear when they encounter challenges will make a big difference. Please see the Academic Updates below for specific resources available to help in working with students.

Wishing you all the best,

-Elizabeth H. Simmons