Updates from EVC Simmons
July 15, 2020
Dear Academic Affairs Colleagues,

I am writing to share news regarding the recent rule issued by the federal Student and Visitor Exchange Program (SEVP) and to provide an update on flexible instructional plans for the upcoming year. Please see details below and please be sure to visit the Return to Learn website (returntolearn.ucsd.edu) regularly for the latest campus updates impacting faculty, staff, and students.

 Thank you again for your ongoing patience, flexibility, and resilience during this period of uncertainty.

With best regards,
Elizabeth H. Simmons
Executive Vice Chancellor
SEVP rule impacting international students rescinded July 14
On July 14, the White House rescinded the July 6 policy update that would have barred international students from staying in the US while taking only online courses. The change comes after the temporary rule issued by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) last week sparked widespread concerns and significant pushback from higher education, state governments, and the business community. The cancellation reinstates earlier exemptions for student visa holders. While news of a return to the status quo is welcome, detailed guidance for the fall is still pending Read more.

Faculty, staff, and students across our Triton community will continue to actively collaborate on solutions for supporting our international scholars amid ongoing immigration policy changes. T he International Faculty & Scholar Office (IFSO) and I nternational Students & Programs Office (ISPO) continue to work with Federal Government Relations and to actively monitor the situation. We will forward updates as they become available.
Flexible instructional plans for 2020-21
The Academic Senate has approved a limited-term policy exception that allows for the as-needed use of remote instruction throughout the 2020-21 academic year. The waiver extends our ability to develop flexible instructional plans for courses through the Winter 21, Spring 21, and Summer 21 terms. The accommodation will allow us to adapt to evolving local, national, and international developments, while fulfilling our educational mission. Read the Educational Policy Committee's letter for details.

Please see below for more information about distance education at UC San Diego and visit the Return to Learn website regularly for the latest updates regarding campus plans for Fall 2020.
Distance education and R course approvals
As the current public health emergency has made clear, UC San Diego's long-term educational plans must incorporate strategic use of distance education. A key step in such a strategy is for departments to identify which courses they wish to be able to regularly offer via distance education -- and to get them designated as R courses by the Senate.  Being able to offer high-demand courses in remote format can enable a department to more easily accommodate sudden enrollment pressures, smooth out curricular bottlenecks that were slowing students' academic progress, and create flexible summer offerings. After all, the 50% surge in Summer 2020 enrollment has shown that our own students are eager to take UC San Diego courses remotely rather than enrolling at other campuses.

The Teaching and Learning Commons has posted guidance and templates for developing online courses , including the details of the R course approval process and information on creating brand-new online courses.  Further updates and resources will be posted soon -- and interested individuals are encouraged to contact the Digital Learning Hub (online@ucsd.edu) for assistance. The Senate and Administration are working together to further clarify and streamline the process for seeking R course approval.