To further mitigate the spread and impact of COVID-19, UCSB has decided to end all in-person classes and continue remote instruction for the entire spring quarter, according to a memo released to the campus on Saturday.
“I would like to acknowledge what a challenging time this has been for all of us,” UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang said in the memo. “Together we have worked collaboratively and continuously to take precautions against the COVID-19 virus.
“The current situation is serious, and we need to make adjustments to our normal routine in order to prevent widespread transmission in our community.”
Aware of how disappointing this situation is, especially for students graduating this quarter, the university made this difficult choice in light of Santa Barbara County officials declaring a local health emergency Thursday night.
Following the county’s social distancing order, UCSB hopes this decision reduces campus density, allowing students, faculty and staff to minimize close contact with one another.
With these changes in order, the university has urged students who can safely leave the area to do so and to take all of their personal belongings if they reside in university-owned housing. Students have received direct guidance in regards to dining and housing refund requests.
As UCSB makes the transition from in-person instruction to online, concerns over campus-based fees and financial aid will be addressed in a new policy set to release by the end of next week.
The campus will remain open and operational to accommodate students who are not able to leave. That said, with the K-12 school closures, the university is asking managers to exercise maximum flexibility for staff.
“Our COVID-19 Response Working Group continues to convene daily to monitor the evolving situation,” Mr. Yang said. “We greatly appreciate your flexibility and understanding as we navigate this challenging time together.”