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COVID-19 Academic Affairs FAQs and Resources

Welcome to the COVID-19 Academic Affairs FAQs and Resources hub with links to important updates, FAQs, and other resources for UC San Diego Faculty and Academic Appointees. Given the rapid spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), UC San Diego needs to be prepared should students, staff, and faculty on our campus be ill or under quarantine in the coming weeks and months. See below for guidance on preserving educational and business continuity at UC San Diego. For up to the moment updates from the university regarding COVID-19 from campus leadership, please sign up for Triton Alerts or also consult UC San Diego Return to Learn

Spring 2022 Course Modality Change Guidance

Timeline

The Academic Senate and Administration have been working carefully through established shared governance mechanisms to update the process used in Fall 2021 and Winter 2022, so that Spring 2022 scheduling and registration can be smoother. In particular, the inclusion of Senate review, provision for an appeal of initial decisions, and establishment of course schedules and modalities before student registration begins are significant gains. Please review the timeline below for your reference: 

  • Wednesday, January 26, 2022: Deadline for submitting course modality changes to AVC-EI
  • Thursday, January 27, 2022: AVC-EI submits modality change requests to GC and UGC for review
  • Friday, January 28, 2022: UGC and GC return approvals to AVC-EI, who passes list back to Registrar
  • Friday, January 28, 2022: Deadline for submitting appeals to Senate or Graduate Division
  • Monday, January 31, 2022: Appeal cases reviewed and decisions passed to AVC-EI, who passes them to the Registrar
  • Friday, February 4, 2022: Schedule of classes goes live, so students can plan for Spring 2022 courses
  • Friday, February 11, 2022: Registration opens up for students to select Winter 2022 courses

Overview and Criteria

The Academic Senate's Educational Policy Committee (EPC) has approved a limited-term exception to the Policy on Distance Education Courses for Spring 2022 courses to be offered remotely without an R-course designation. Please note that the term “instructor” applies to faculty and lecturers in all appointment series, as well as teaching and instructional assistants. 

A change in the modality of instruction from in-person to remote is appropriate in the following three situations: 

  1. Documented student need

Requests under this category will need to document why hybrid delivery or other accommodation would be inappropriate or impossible. In addition, evening/flex/part-time graduate professional programs may provide justification under this category, to be reviewed on an individual basis. We expect few accommodations to be granted on these grounds.  

  1. Inability to deliver course content with current in-person restrictions

Alongside the university’s vaccine mandate, symptom screening, and testing protocols, masking is required for indoor classrooms and all but two of the outdoor classrooms. We understand that some classes are difficult to conduct while masked [e.g., some language or music instruction]. An academic program impacted in this way will need to assess the alternatives for delivering instruction for each course offered (remote, in-person with masking, outdoor with masking, or outdoor without masking). Instructors need to explain why remote instruction is the only feasible solution for supporting students’ learning appropriately. Examples might include inability to use instruments, operate equipment, or wear necessary PPE with masks. 

Please note that each request submitted should be for an individual class (not an entire academic program).  

Also, note that challenges associated with bringing in outside speakers or collaborators is rarely a reason for moving an entire class online; having a speaker join an in-person class via Zoom on the classroom screen has been found to work very well. 

  1. Documented instructor health or caregiving needs

Some instructors may have health or caregiving situations that cause them to request to teach a course remotely. We have asked the office of Disability Counseling and Consulting (DCC) to assess requests when there are personal health concerns. They are a confidential office, and they will not share any personal information about why instructors request a workplace adjustment. If an instructor has received DCC approval for a previous term, they don’t need to request a new consultation and can resubmit the older paperwork. 

Requests based on non-personal medical exemptions (such as caregiving needs) cannot be assessed by DCC and should instead be reviewed and approved by the relevant department chair. If an instructor feels uncomfortable discussing caregiving needs with their department chair, they may reach out to their Associate Dean for an endorsement. Caregivers with children in school concerned with potential isolation requirements should bear in mind that they have the flexibility to shift their class from in-person to remote modality temporarily (up to 50% of the total class contact hours). Departments should do their best to support instructors in such circumstances.  

Please note that an unwillingness to comply with the UC vaccine mandate is not an acceptable reason for requesting remote teaching. Similarly, requests for remote teaching modality may not be based on housing or commuting concerns, or external commitments.  

Regardless of course modality, faculty members still need to maintain a significant presence on campus, meet classes, keep office hours, hold examinations as scheduled, be accessible to students and staff, be available to interact with University colleagues, and share service responsibilities throughout every quarter or semester of active service.  

Process for Modality Change Request:

  1. An instructor should submit a request to their department chair (or delegate) via the web form provided here. All forms must be submitted as soon as possible to allow a review by the chair and dean no later than Wednesday, January 26, 2022.
    1. If the request is made due to documented student need or inability to deliver the course content with current in-person restrictions, the necessary justification must be forwarded to the chairperson to review along-side the output from the web request form.
    2. If the request is made as a work modification with endorsement from the DCC, the endorsement should be forwarded to the chair along with the output from the web request form. To request a consultation with the DCC, please fill out the form linked on their website. (DCC approvals from Fall 2021 and Winter 2022 will be accepted for Spring 2022).
  2. The chairperson should review the request and if appropriate the request should be forwarded with all necessary documentation to the dean for their review by no later than Wednesday, January 26, 2022. If the chair does not endorse the request they must promptly inform the instructor.
  3. The dean reviews and forwards their approval and accompanying documentation to the AVC-EI no later than Wednesday, January 26, 2022. If the dean does not endorse the request they must promptly inform the instructor.
  4. The AVC-EI reviews requests and forwards approval to the Academic Senate for review and approval. 

Appeals of Modality Change Decisions: faculty and lecturers in all appointment series

A denied request may be appealed directly to the appropriate Senate body [Undergraduate Council for undergraduate courses, Graduate Council for graduate courses, University of Faculty Welfare for caregiving requests]. 

 Senate Associate Director Ashley Welch (awelch@ucsd.edu) will route the requests to the correct committee as long as requests are received by no later than January 28, 2022. Requests should include the following:

  • Course Information: Subject Code, Course Number, and Instructor of Record
  • A statement from the instructor or program documenting how the remote course will maintain course quality in a remote modality.
  • The required documentation for the modality change request. 

Note: The Academic Senate is not authorized to consider appeals of DCC’s recommendation.  

 Appeals of Modality Change Decisions: teaching assistants and instructional assistants

A denied request may be appealed directly to the Graduate Division. The Dean of the Graduate Division will consider appeals based on a justification from the instructor or program explaining how the educational quality of a course will not be adversely impacted if offered remotely.  

Appeals for both undergraduate and graduate courses may be submitted by email to Dean James Antony (graduatedean@ucsd.edu) by no later than Friday, January 28, 2022, and should include the following:

  • Course Information: Subject Code, Course Number, and Instructor of Record
  • A statement from the instructor or program documenting how the course will maintain course quality if the teaching assistant or instructional assistant works in a remote modality.
  • The required documentation for the modality change request.  

Note: The Graduate Division is not authorized to consider appeals of DCC’s recommendation.

Winter Quarter 2022 Instructional Changes and Guidance

Per Chancellor Khosla’s campus notices on Dec. 21, 2021 and Jan. 6, 2022, UC San Diego will return with remote instruction for the first four weeks of Winter Quarter 2022, from Jan. 3-30, 2022. While classroom instruction remains one of the safest activities on campus, moving the students back into their residences after the break will require extensive testing and a gradual move-in period spread out over two weeks. 

Given the unusual circumstances, the Educational Policy Committee of the Academic Senate granted an emergency limited-term exception to the Policy on Distance Education Courses on January 6, to allow any course to be taught remotely for this quarter, without requiring instructors to request any additional approvals from the Administration or Senate. This means that all instructors will have the flexibility to continue teaching in a mixed in-person/remote modality or in a remote modality for the remainder of the Winter 2022 quarter.

Instructors are encouraged to communicate with their department chairs about prospective modality changes as soon as possible, to support departmental planning. Likewise, department chairs should coordinate with and support their instructors to ensure consistent planning and be responsive to student needs. We ask instructors to communicate any teaching modality changes to students as soon as possible, and communicate any modality changes to the Registrar no later than Jan. 21, 2022. This robust pattern of communication will help ensure continuity of learning, as well as planning for absences due to illness or caretaking responsibilities

Please remember that any synchronous teaching must be done according to the Registrar’s schedule for Winter (which is not subject to change). 

Please continue to take advantage of the resources provided by the Teaching + Learning Commons and other campus partners on the KeepTeaching website, including pandemic-resilient strategies that help students who may become ill during the term keep up with coursework while in quarantine or isolation. Additionally, we want you to be aware that some campus spaces will be made available for student use to log onto Zoom for classes, to mitigate challenges some students experience with WiFi in their living quarters. 

FAQ for Fall 2021 Instruction

Support for instructors

1.Will the department tech liaison program continue for AY21-22?

The departmental tech liaisons will continue for the Academic Year 2021-2022

2. When I wear a mask while teaching, will students hear/understand me?

Yes. Most classrooms have built in means for voice amplification. Please see the following video of a test conducted in a classroom using different masks. For instructors teaching in campus lecture halls rooms who do not feel comfortable reusing a lapel mic, you may request your own dedicated lapel mic to use throughout the quarter. Please visit https://edtech.ucsd.edu/media-labs-and-facilities/classroom-technology for this and more classroom technology details.

3. Can instructors record lectures in the classroom and share these online? If so, how?

Most classrooms are equipped with technology to allow for lectures to be recorded. You may share your lectures via Canvas in order to make them available to students in your class.

4. Will the campus provide microphones and other equipment and supplies for instructors?

Yes, the campus will provide microphones and other equipment to instructors. For instructors teaching in campus lecture halls rooms who do not feel comfortable reusing a lapel mic, you may request your own dedicated lapel mic to use throughout the quarter. Please visit https://edtech.ucsd.edu/media-labs-and-facilities/classroom-technology for this and more classroom technology details.

5. Will campus continue to provide support for remote proctoring of exams?

Yes, though we strongly encourage adoption of alternate evaluation approaches that both provide a more grounded assessment of learning and lower the likelihood of misconduct taking place. See our KeepTeaching site for best practices on this topic and many others.

Contingency planning

1. What accommodations do I have to make for students getting sick/being unable to join for class? 

You should have a contingency plan in place in case we need to revert to remote instruction due to public health guidance. Similarly, you may consider implementing a “resilient” syllabus outlining how students can continue to participate in class if they are ill or need to quarantine. This could include sharing lecture recordings over Canvas and working with the TLC to develop alternative assessment options in case they are needed. This will not be an option for all types of classes. Please coordinate with your department and communicate your expectations to your students.

2. What planning do I need to do in case I need to test/isolate/take care of someone who gets sick?

Instructors should always have a back-up plan for minor disruptions. In this case it may also be prudent to coordinate a plan with your department to deal with more serious disruptions. This could include temporarily shifting to remote instruction, asking someone else to cover absences, or alternate ways of covering material (pre-recorded lectures).

3. What happens if a student in my class tests positive

When a student tests positive, the contact tracing team immediately takes over. The student will need to quarantine for up to 10 days. The contact tracing team will determine if others were exposed through contact with the infected individual, and if so, they will be contacted and advised to get tested. If all protocols are followed (including vaccine mandates and masking), being in a room with an infected individual does not automatically qualify as exposure. To date, no exposure events have been traced back to in-class activities at UCSD.

4. What should I do if I feel under the weather?

Complete the symptom screener and if needed, get tested for COVID. Do not come to campus unless given the all-clear. 

5. What should I do if a student/TA says they feel under the weather?

Ask them to complete the symptom screener and if needed, get tested for COVID. Further, instruct them to stay away from campus unless given the all-clear.

6. What happens if I test positive? 

You should complete the symptom screener, and quarantine for 10 days.  You will be contacted by a member of the contact tracing team who will determine if you may have exposed others. If you need housing to prevent others from being exposed, more information on isolation housing  has been provided by UC San Diego from Housing Dining Hospitality.

7. What happens if my TA tests positive?

The TA should complete the symptom screener, and quarantine for 10 days. They will be contacted by a member of the contact tracing team who will determine if they may have exposed others. You should plan ahead for this eventuality, and ensure continuity of instruction. If they need isolation housing, it can be provided by Housing Dining and Hospitality.

Safe classroom rules/rule compliance

1.What rules do I/my students have to follow in the classroom?

Masking is required at all times, regardless of vaccination status. No eating or drinking is allowed in classes, regardless of whether these are indoor or outdoor. The only exception from this rule are short hydration breaks for instructors while lecturing. Social distancing restrictions have been lifted, but physical contact should be limited where possible.  The full masking policy is posted online.

2. Do I have to wear a mask while teaching? 

Yes, you must wear a mask at all times when in a classroom, and in all indoor locations in general unless you are alone in an office with the door closed.

3. If I need to teach without a mask, how do I request that? 

If you wish to teach without a mask, you must request to move your class to an outdoor classroom. In the outdoor classrooms, masks are not required, but are strongly encouraged.  If you cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition and have a documented accommodation, you may request to move your class to a remote modality.

4. Can we eat/drink in the classrooms?

No, but instructors may take hydration breaks while lecturing. Students should step outside to hydrate, if needed, during class. 

5. Can I check whether my students are in compliance with vaccination or testing mandates?

No, you cannot ask about or request proof of vaccination status. The university is enforcing the mandates rigorously for all students and employees, and doing so in a way that respects health privacy requirements.

For students in your class or lab, you or your TAs may ask students to show their daily symptom checker status (green thumb) and you can refuse them access if they refuse to do so, or fail to show that they have been cleared to come to campus. If you do this, you should do it for all students, do not profile or single a student out.

Note that you are not required to check the symptom screener, as Student Affairs monitors and directly intervenes with students who are out of compliance.

6. How do I ensure compliance with safety regulations, and who do I report infractions to? 

Non-compliance with safety regulations should be reported to the Office of Student Conduct or Human Resources, depending on if it is a student or a staff member in non-compliance. You can, but do not need to directly address the infraction yourself.

Modality change process

1. What is the process to follow to request to shift a class to online instruction? 

You should work with your department chair and provide a justification with necessary documentation from DCC, if applicable, for moving your class to a remote modality.  The chair will review the request with the intention to arrive at the most compassionate outcome towards instructors and students.  The chair should consider the blaance of offerings in reviewing the request.  Once the instructor and chair have reached a decision, the request shoudl be forwarded with all necessary documentation to the cognizant dean (or delegate) for their review through the department scheduler.

The Dean will review the request according to the above criteria.  Deans should also consider the balance of offerings in the requesting department and across their programs.  If approved, the dean will forward their approval to the AVC for Educational Innovation at RTLschedule@ucsd.edu. He will review the requests to ensure that campus consistency and attention to student needs are being addressed by the request.  All course modality requests must be submitted to the requisite Dean by Sept. 10, 2021 at 4:30 p.m.

2. How should a chair/dean review a request to shift a class to online? 

The chair should review the request to ensure the request is being made because 1) there is  documented student need; 2) instructors are unable to deliver course content with current in-person restrictions; or 3) there are instructor/family health considerations with documentation from Disability Counseling and Consulting (DCC). The chair should review the request with the intention to arrive at the most compassionate outcome towards instructors and students. The chair should consider the balance of offerings for students, as well as the request of the Instructor, and any DCC documentation.  

3. What is the deadline for making modality changes? 

All course modality requests must be submitted to the requisite Dean by Sept. 10, 2021, at 4:30 p.m. 

4. Are there limits to modality change requests?

There is no numeric limit. That said, students have now completed their course registrations. We need to be considerate of the fact that future modality and schedule changes impact students’ ability to make progress toward their degrees. This is why future changes need to have documented justification and to be coordinated more closely.

5. How do we respond to students who want more remote offerings

Students who have a documented need for accommodation either because of travel restrictions or because of health restrictions have already been identified and this data has been shared with the appropriate academic programs. To the extent that we have capacity, programs and faculty have tried to accommodate students needing remote instruction for Fall, but understand that operating programs in both in-person and remote modalities increases demands on university infrastructure, and our ability to do so is limited. While individual students may express a preference for additional remote offerings, we do not have the instructional or operational capacity to simultaneously deliver all or most courses in both in-person and remote formats. Students who have an accommodation need must work with the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) to have their accommodation reviewed and documented.  

6. How do we respond to students who want more in-person offerings?

UC San Diego programs, classes and infrastructure are designed around an in-person experience and the UC system expects instruction to be predominantly in-person during the 2021-22 academic year We expect the number of in-person offerings to further increase over the next few terms as operations normalize.

7. How could shifting a class to remote instruction impact students? 

Students who have already enrolled in an in-person class that is switched to a remote course are usually disenrolled from the in-person class, requiring them to re-enroll in the online course, or if they lack access to areas in which they can comfortably complete remote classes, find another in-person class to enroll in. Students have already arranged their schedule and made housing arrangements, therefore making modifications to either at this late juncture can prove challenging. 

8. Why are events and classes following different restrictions?

Classes involve our own students and employees; expectations for vaccination and safety protocols, and the mechanisms for enforcing these among our students and staff are well-developed. Events that draw outside audiences would expose our campus to people outside these protocols, with limited ability to enforce compliance. Unlike classes, events also are often longer in duration and/or involve serving refreshments. We are also choosing to minimize unnecessary risks. Teaching and research are our primary missions, events are often an extension of that, but not mission-critical. 

9. Why are we going back to in-person teaching and not doing everything online

UC San Diego and the Return to Learn program have proven extremely effective in helping maintain the safety and well-being of those on campus. UC San Diego has a robust system of testing, wastewater monitoring, contact tracing and a team of medical and public health experts monitoring data and trends on a daily basis and there is also a vaccination mandate in place for the University of California system. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the campus infection rate has remained below 1% and more than 80 percent of faculty and staff are already fully vaccinated. While the pandemic is still impacting our lives, UC San Diego is designed to be an on-campus, in-person learning environment. 

10. Do instructors have to teach in a hybrid modality (cater to both online and in-person students in the same class)? 

No. Instructors are welcome to cater to remote learners by using Zoom and other tools, but no one is required to teach to two audiences at once. This decision is one the faculty member should make as it is strongly affected by the nature of the class.

11. Why did the policy/process for shifting modality of classes change as of September 1?

Because all of our students are now fully registered, we need to carefully weigh any final changes so as to minimize the impact on students, while still taking into account the concerns of instructors who still need to make necessary modality changes.

Campus/classroom preparation

1. How have classrooms been prepared for a safe return, and what safeguards are in place? 

Facilities Management has provided extensive information on their activities preparing classrooms and other facilities for individuals to return to the campus in fall 2021. More information about the specifics related to air filtration in classrooms and campus buildings, as well as cleaning protocols and more can be found on their COVID-19 information page. Technology support can be found on the Educational Technology Support page on the Keep Teaching website.

Course modality for future terms

1. Will we be able to teach remotely in the winter or beyond? When will we know? When can I make a request? 

We are planning for an in-person winter quarter. The Administration will work together with the Academic Senate to consider what future flexibility is warranted, and how this might be implemented.

Defining terms and other guidance

1. What classes receive special consideration for outdoor classrooms?

Outdoor classrooms, because of increased air movement, allow for teaching with different safeguards, including low-density maskless instruction. Faculty who need an ADA accommodation, or those teaching classes which require students to be without masks for at least part of the instruction (Music, Theater, Dance, Language, etc.) will get first priority. Other classes which wish to make use of the outdoor spaces are welcome to apply and will be accommodated as long as there is availability.

2. What is an event?

An event is any planned gathering at a UC San Diego Location, including but not limited to celebrations, dances, lectures, forums, performances, social gatherings, concerts, speaker presentations, conferences or athletic contests or tournaments where 25 or more people are in attendance or are reasonably anticipated to be in attendance. An event does not include academic classes or seminars, department meetings, laboratory meetings or other routine business meetings. More COVID-19 event guidance can be found on the Return to Learn Event Planning Page.

Fall 2021 Course Modality Change Guidance

Fall 2021 Course Modality Change Guidance, Effective Sept. 1, 2021 

With the majority of students already signed up for full course loads, changes in teaching modality can have a disruptive effect. Therefore, we need to establish some additional guidance for when sections may change modality this close to the start of classes. 

The most pertinent policy clarifications, with regard to change of modality, are as follows:

  • Sections cannot be changed from remote to in-person instruction; however, new in-person sections may be added to address the needs of students. 
  • Although we hope to minimize last minute changes to avoid confusion for the students, there are a few situations in which modality changes can take place. All such changes should be the result of collaboration between instructors and department chairs. Chairpersons will work with individual instructors to accommodate their needs while also ensuring the department’s instructional needs are met. (Please note that the term “instructor” applies to faculty and lecturers, as well as teaching and instructional assistants.) 
  • In-person sections may be cancelled for lack of enrollment, and enrollment caps may be decreased for room capacity issues.
A change in the modality of instruction from in-person to remote is appropriate in the following three situations:   
  1. Where there is documented student need
    • Cases of documented student need include critical courses that groups of impacted students must take. Examples of critical courses include those leading to timely graduations (e.g., part of a prerequisite chain or a senior requirement).  Impacted students may include those who cannot attend in-person due to travel/visa restrictions or OSD accommodations). These courses might shift to remote delivery under the following conditions:
      • There are no available alternative sections/courses for students to take that meet the same requirement
      • The section is too small to be broken into separate in-person and remote sections
      • Hybrid delivery is overly burdensome on the faculty
  2. Where instructors are unable to deliver course content with current in-person restrictions
    • Cases will address space requirements as well as instructional needs:
      • Justification should be provided for why in-person delivery with masking, vaccination and other current safeguards will negatively impact the delivery of the curricular experience. Examples include inability to use instruments, operate equipment, or wear necessary PPE while wearing masks.
      • Lack of suitable in-person instruction space, provided there are no appropriate department or university-controlled teaching spaces available during the regular instruction window (8am-6pm, M-F). This must be verified by the registrar.
  3. Where there are instructor/family health considerations
    • (Again, please note that the term “instructor” applies to faculty and lecturers, as well as teaching and instructional assistants.)
      • Where instructors with ADA accommodations are unable to perform their job with masks and other current on-campus restrictions. Accommodations should be requested through Disability Counseling and Consulting (DCC).
      •  Instructors who are exempt from the UC vaccine mandate for medical reasons are allowed to request shifting classes to remote instruction (DCC or HR documentation should be provided).
      •  Instructors with medical/family concerns. To make sure the request process is private and non-discriminatory for the instructors, we have asked DCC to play the role that OSD has played for students. DCC staff are best trained to approve the request without disclosing the underlying condition and reasoning. DCC will consider three types of cases:
        • Instructors with underlying medical conditions making them vulnerable (CDC List: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html).
        • Instructors with primary caregiver status for someone with an underlying condition from the list above can request an accommodation through DCC.
        • Care for children under the age of 12 not attending in-person school or daycare.
        • Please note that vaccine hesitancy or unwillingness to comply with the UC vaccine mandate are not acceptable reasons. Similarly, requests cannot be based on housing or commuting concerns, or external commitments.
  • The following schedule changes can continue to be made directly with the Registrar:
    • Scheduling sections of Senate-approved R-Courses
    • Adding capacity to already scheduled in-person or remote sections.
    • Adding sections of classes in a modality already approved by the registrar (e.g. already appearing in the schedule)
    • Changing the location of in-person sections (within different indoor locations or between indoor and outside locations)
  • In-person sections may be canceled due to a lack of instructor availability, but the department should document this for the dean. All instructors are expected to meet the teaching obligations of their appointments.

Process for Modality Change Request: 

A program wishing to schedule a new remote section, or to change the modality should follow this process:

  1. If a request is initiated by an instructor, they should submit a request to their department chair (or delegate) with the necessary documentation/justification from DCC.
  2. The chair should review the request according to the above criteria and with the intention to arrive at the most compassionate outcome for students and the instructor. The chair should consider the balance of offerings for students, as well as the request of the instructor, and any documentation when considering the request. Once the instructor and chair have reached a decision, the request should be forwarded with all necessary documentation to the cognizant dean (or delegate) for their review through the department scheduler. 
  3. If a request is originating with the department chair, as a request on behalf of the department and its pedagogical needs, the chair should forward justification to the dean directly. 
  4. The dean should review the request according to the above criteria. Deans should also consider the balance of offerings in the requesting department and across their programs. If approved, the dean will forward their approval to RTLschedule@ucsd.edu for the AVC-EI who provides final review for campus consistency and attention to student needs. 
  5. Upon approval, the Registrar will contact the department scheduler to finalize details.
All modality change requests must be submitted to the cognizant dean for approval by 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 10, 2021.
  •  There are additional resources available to faculty uneasy about teaching in person due to current conditions, including for faculty who would like to seek education and mentoring, including teaching demonstrations and classroom tours. Faculty can also request a shift to using the outdoor classrooms, which will be granted as long as there is enough capacity and availability.
  • A department may request to break up large classes into smaller sections, but teaching a large class is not a sufficient reason for shifting sections to remote instruction.
  • To make things easier for the students, now that they are fully enrolled in classes, we recommend:
    • Sections currently scheduled without an assigned remote designation are assumed to be in-person. 
    • A section shifting to remote instruction must keep the same time block as previously used; however, the instructor may choose to deliver the class asynchronously.
    • Only in-person sections may schedule in-person exams or other assessments.

The Importance of a Pandemic-Resilient Syllabus:

We encourage instructors to design their courses with pandemic resilience in mind. UC San Diego continues to follow the pandemic data very closely and will do everything possible to help ensure that instruction is as safe as possible. This means that if conditions change and in-person instruction is no longer deemed as safe as it could be by public health officials, we will pivot immediately to remote teaching, as we did last year. Thus, having a flexible syllabus that can allow instructors to pivot quickly will save a lot of last-minute activity should the shift need to be made. The Teaching + Learning Commons is available as a resource to help explore further ways to flexibly structure your class. Resilient syllabus features include:
  • Avoiding high-stakes situations that may lead people to make poor decisions or try to bend the rules. This could include inflexible examination policies or refusing reasonable accommodations or flexibility that could lead a student to have to choose between making the right health decision and receiving a passing grade in the class.
  • Recording and posting lectures through Canvas. This will allow a student in quarantine or out sick to follow along/catch up.
  • Planning for how alternative assessments might be handled.
  • Some suggested language that could be included in a syllabus would include:
    • Public Health Expectations and Best Practices
      • Public health is a collective effort. Keeping the UC San Diego community healthy takes all of us following campus safety requirements to help prevent infection. You are also expected to follow university public health requirements and pursue personal protection practices to protect yourself and the others around you. These include: 
    • Participating in the university’s daily screening process.
    • Participating in the university's testing program.
    • Wear a well-fitting mask that covers your nose and mouth at all times.
      • Everyone is required to wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status. If you see someone not wearing a mask, or wearing it incorrectly, kindly ask them to mask up.
    • Monitor potential exposures and comply with contact tracing efforts.
      • Look out for the daily updates and potential exposure list that the university sends out with building information and the dates of exposure. 
    • Stay home if you’re feeling ill.
      • If you’re not feeling well, complete the symptom screener and if needed, get tested for COVID-19. Do not come to campus unless given the all-clear. 

Campus and UC Notices about the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

COVID-19 Extension of the Probationary Period and Academic Deferral Toolkit

In light of the COVID-19 crisis and the potential impact on academics’ scholarly and creative work during the Spring quarter, on March 24, 2020, Chancellor Khosla and EVC Simmons, in consultation with the UC San Diego Academic Senate, announced that that, effective immediately, appointees with a probationary period could receive automatic extensions to their probationary periods due to the pandemic. See the Probationary Period Extension and Academic Deferral Toolkit vetted by CAP and the Academic Senate for eligibility guidelines and procedural guidance.

Employee Symptom Screening and COVID Testing

Employee Symptom Screening and COVID Testing information is available and continuously updated on the Return to Learn site.  In addition, please see the BLINK Required COVID-19 Testing FAQ

ETS - Education Continuity Teaching Tools and Resources

Visit Education Continuity Tools and Resources on the Ed Tech site for guides, tips, and tools for faculty to lessen the impact of COVID-19 illness-related disruptions.

Faculty Return to Learn Town Halls

Visit Return to Learn for more information on upcoming and past Town Halls and a comprehensive FAQ.


Monday, January 11, 2021

Hosted by: Elizabeth Simmons, Executive Vice Chancellor
Moderated by: Robert Continetti, Senior Associate Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs
Opening remarks by: Pradeep K. Khosla, Chancellor

Panelists:

  • James Antony, Ph.D., Dean of the Graduate Division
  • Steven Constable, Ph.D., Chair, Academic Senate, San Diego Division
  • Carlos Jensen, Ph.D., Associate Vice Chancellor, Educational Innovation
  • Hemlata Jhaveri, Ph.D., Executive Director, Housing, Dining & Hospitality
  • Gary Matthews, Vice Chancellor of Resource Management and Planning
  • John Moore, Ph.D., Dean of Undergraduate Education
  • Robert Schooley, M.D., Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health

 


Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Hosted by: Elizabeth H. Simmons, Executive Vice Chancellor
Moderated by: Robert Continetti, Senior Associate Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs
Opening remarks by: Pradeep K. Khosla, Chancellor


Thursday, November 12, 2020

Faculty Town Hall: Classroom Culture and Assessment - Models and Resources

Thursday, Nov. 12 
Hosted by: Elizabeth H. Simmons, Executive Vice Chancellor
Moderated by: Carlos Jensen, Associate Vice Chancellor - Educational Innovation
Opening remarks by: Pradeep K. Khosla, Chancellor

Panelists

  • Tricia Bertram Gallant, Director, Academic Integrity Office
  • Steven Constable, Chair, Academic Senate
  • Karen Flammer, Director Digital Learning Hub, Teaching + Learning Commons
  • John Moore, Dean of Undergraduate Education
  • Caryn Neiswender, Senior Instructional Designer, Digital Learning Hub, Teaching + Learning Commons
  • Josephine Relaford-Doyle, Education Specialist, Engaged Teaching Hub, Teaching + Learning Commons
  • David Ruiter, Faculty Director, Teaching + Learning Commons
  • Carolyn Sandoval, Associate Director, Teaching + Learning Commons

Classroom Culture and Assessment - Models and Resources Presentation.


Tuesday, October 20, 2020

This special Return to Learn Town Hall is focused on in-person instruction and COVID-19 and the lessons learned so far.


Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Hosted by: Elizabeth H. Simmons, Executive Vice Chancellor
Moderated by: Robert Continetti, Senior Associate Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs
Opening remarks by: Pradeep K. Khosla, Chancellor

Panelists:

  • James Antony, Ph.D., Dean of the Graduate Division
  • Steven Constable, Ph.D., Chair, Academic Senate, San Diego Division
  • Carlos Jensen, Ph.D., Associate Vice Chancellor, Educational Innovation
  • Alysson Satterlund, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
  • Angela Scioscia, M.D., Interim Executive Director for Student Health and Wellness
  • Gary Matthews, Vice Chancellor of Resource Management and Planning
  • John Moore, Ph.D., Dean of Undergraduate Education
  • Robert Schooley, M.D., Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health

Friday, September 18, 2020

Hosted by: Elizabeth H. Simmons, Executive Vice Chancellor

Moderated by: Robert Continetti, Senior Associate Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs

Opening remarks by: Pradeep K. Khosla, Chancellor

Panelists: 

  • James Antony, Ph.D., Dean of the Graduate Division
  • Steven Constable, Ph.D., Chair, Academic Senate, San Diego Division
  • Carlos Jensen, Ph.D., Associate Vice Chancellor, Educational Innovation
  • Alysson Satterlund, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
  • Angela Scioscia, M.D., Interim Executive Director for Student Health and Wellness
  • Jana Severson, Director of Housing Services, Housing, Dining and Hospitality
  • Gary Matthews, Vice Chancellor of Resource Management and Planning
  • John Moore, Ph.D., Dean of Undergraduate Education
  • Robert Schooley, M.D., Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Tuesday, August 18, from 3:30 - 5:00 p.m.

Co-hosted by: Maripat Corr, Academic Senate Chair and Elizabeth H. Simmons, Executive Vice Chancellor 

Moderated by: Robert Continetti, Senior Associate Vice Chancellor—Academic Affairs

Opening Remarks by: Pradeep K. Khosla, Chancellor

Panelists:

  • Cheryl Anderson, Ph.D., Professor and Dean of The Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science
  • James Antony, Dean of the Graduate Division and Quynh Nguyen, President of the Graduate Student Association
  • Sandra Brown, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor for Research
  • Carlos Jensen, Ph.D., Associate Vice Chancellor, Educational Innovation
  • Gary Matthews, Vice Chancellor of Resource Management and Planning
  • John Moore, Ph.D., Dean of Undergraduate Education
  • Robert Schooley, M.D., Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health

Friday, July 10, 2020

Hosted by: Elizabeth H. Simmons, Executive Vice Chancellor

Moderated by: Robert Continetti, Senior Associate Vice Chancellor—Academic Affairs

Opening Remarks by: Pradeep K. Khosla, Chancellor

Panelists:

  • James Antony, Ph.D., Professor of Education Studies and Dean of the Graduate Division
  • Sandra Brown, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor for Research
  • Maripat Corr, M.D., Professor in the Department of Medicine and Chair, Academic Senate, San Diego Division
  • Dulce Dorado, Director, International Students & Programs Office Global Education
  • Stephen Jackson, Associate Vice Chancellor of Resource Management and Planning
  • Hemlata Jhaveri, Ph.D., Executive Director of Housing, Dining and Hospitality
  • Natasha Martin, M.D., D.Phil., Associate Professor of Medicine
  • Gary Matthews, Vice Chancellor of Resource Management and Planning
  • John Moore, Ph.D., Professor of Linguistics and Dean of Undergraduate Education
  • Cindy Palmer, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Academic Personnel Services
  • Robert Schooley, M.D., Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health
  • Lance Scott, Research Safety Manager and Associate Director of Environment Health and Safety

FAQ on Academic Recruitment During Remote Operation

The Executive Vice Chancellor- Academic Affairs has called for departments to use a remote interview process for all candidates using teleconferencing options such as Zoom. Virtual interviewing means moving interviews and presentations to video.  Click here to see the complete list of resources.

FAQ on Educational Continuity

Visit the FAQ on Educational Continuity for answers for faculty and academic appointees regarding specific, non-technical questions about how we can preserve our educational mission.

FAQ on COVID-19 Leave Options, Remote Work Provisions, and Duties Modifications

Helpful Internal Links and General Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information for the UC San Diego Community

International Faculty and Scholars Office Updates and Notices

For news and updates related to visas and international scholars, visit IFSO Coronavirus News and Updates.  Also, subscribe to the listserv for International Faculty & Scholars for up to the moment news.

On the IFSO website, Notices of Intent to Hire H1-B Employees are posted on an electronic bulletin board and will be posted on or within 30 days before the date the labor condition application is filed; these shall be available to the affected employees for a total of 10 days.    

 

Our Principles of Community in the Online Classroom 

Our goal is to deliver the best educational experience possible, even under these challenging conditions. Observing our Principles of Community in the virtual environment will help us create and maintain a positive and vibrant online learning community. Recognize and take into consideration that our richly diverse cultures and life experiences will influence our online engagement. Treat each other with respect and the dignity we all deserve. If you witness or experience online behavior that constitutes harassment or discrimination, remember to report it to the Office for the Prevention of Harassment & Discrimination (OPHD).

Pre-Approval for Essential Travel

Academic Appointees planning essential travel require pre-approval. For information about initiating a request, visit the APS Pre-Approval Process for Essential Travel page. 

For additional information on current university travel protocols, please see the UC San Diego PPM 1-1 Interim Policy on Official University Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

 

Privacy Guidelines for Remote Instruction

As UC San Diego modifies the ways in which we conduct business and interactions move online during this pandemic, please be mindful that general privacy requirements remain intact. Visit COVID-19 and Privacy for details about privacy guidelines related to remote course instruction, online exams, videoconferencing, and more.

Remote Instruction Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Like in-person classes, online courses are required to provide reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities. All course content for Spring 2020 must be provided in accessible formats. The Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) is working with numerous departments, divisions, and units to communicate information regarding accommodations for students with disabilities for Spring Quarter 2020. 

Please visit the OSD COVID-19 website for details, including Information for Faculty and Information for Students. Be sure to check back regularly for the latest OSD updates related to remote instruction. 

Students or faculty who have specific questions or concerns about accommodations should contact osd@ucsd.edu for assistance.  

Student Referral Resources

When asked for referrals by students, faculty should direct students to the larger, university COVID-19 Student Affairs Resources and Information hub. Please note: the Office for Students with Disabilities also has a dedicated OSD COVID-19 Information Page.

Please see below for a brief FAQ about resources for students: 

Q:  Where should I refer students with questions about computer access during Spring Quarter?

A:  Here are helpful links you may provide:

ETS Computer Lab Look Up by Lab Features

Instructional Computing: Labs & Remote Access

Q: Where can students go for assistance with remote learning?

A: It's best to direct them to COVID-19 Student Affairs Resources and Information, which is continuously updated with new resources.   

Q: Where can students learn about the approved extension to Spring 2020 P/NP grading options?

A: Please see this communication to students from the Academic Senate about the Spring 2020 P/NP extension.  

Q: Where can I direct students for information about campus plans for Fall Quarter 2020?

A: VCSA has posted a Fall 2020 FAQ for students

Q:  How can I refer students who are in personal or emotional distress to appropriate resources?

A:  Consult this informational guide from the VC Student Affairs.

Q: Is there a dedicated COVID-19 related financial aid and scholarship information page I can refer students to if they must change their enrollments?

A: Yes. Send them here.

 

Work/Life Resources During COVID-19 Physical Distancing

Visit Work/Life Resources During COVID-19 Physical Distancing for a new page for faculty and academic appointees with links to internal and external work/life and mental health resources, virtual entertainment, and more.