Due to the potential impact of COVID-19, UCSB has announced it will operate under remote instruction through the end of April. Other than instruction, the campus will still remain open and operational, including housing and dining.
According to a letter released to the campus on Tuesday, the university has taken this proactive measure to mitigate concerns over COVID-19, despite the fact that no cases have been reported on campus or in Santa Barbara County.
“We know that many of these recommendations will be challenging to implement, but it is important that we take the necessary steps now to respond to the rapidly evolving situation,” UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang said in the letter.
As Winter Quarter comes to a close next week, UCSB has strongly urged professors to make alternative arrangements for what in-person classes remain. Following the advice from leading health experts, these recommendations also include making final exams remote.
Going forward, instructors and departments have been advised to shift Spring Quarter to remote formats for those housed on and off campus at least through the month of April.
In light of UCSB’s upcoming spring break, which is set for the week of March 23, the university recommends that all undergraduates traveling in that time be prepared for the possibility of remaining away from campus until classes return to in-person. Likewise, UCSB urges faculty and staff to limit all non-essential business travel, both international domestic.
Students should also be prepared for limited on-campus activities and services. While no UC systemwide restrictions on large events have been implemented at this time, UCSB’s COVID-19 Response Working Group recommends that campus groups strongly consider postponing or rescheduling crowded on-campus events.
To avoid large gatherings, the UCSB Athletics Department will be moving to “fan-less” events for the foreseeable future, beginning with the upcoming weekend’s baseball games and men’s volleyball match.
“After much thought and discussion, with the safety of our student-athletes, staff and fans in mind, all UCSB-sponsored athletic events are scheduled to continue, however, events will now be held without fans, meaning there should be no fans (in) attendance,” Athletics Director John McCutcheon announced Tuesday. “Home events will be staffed with essential personnel only.”
Restrictions could also apply to UCSB employees, who may be designated to work from home if their managers deem necessary. If an employee falls under this designation, it will be considered paid work status.
“Our most valuable resource at UC Santa Barbara is our people – our staff, our students, and our alumni,” Chancellor Yang noted. “I want to express my sincere thanks to all as we work together to protect and support our community and meet the challenges related to COVID-19.”