Dear Campus Community,
All around us we are seeing encouraging signs of the ebbing tide of COVID-19. In Los Angeles County, we have moved into the less restrictive Orange Tier, and vaccines are more widely available. With this substantial progress, CSUN is planning for a fall 2021 semester with significantly increased face-to-face instruction, student services and overall operations that will serve as a bridge to an anticipated full return to campus for spring 2022.
While much remains to be determined, I want to share the direction of this planning with our campus community as we launch our fall planning gateway that will house the latest updates on everything from academics to health and safety to student life. As always, our planning is grounded in our commitment to ensuring the health and safety of our academic community while also providing our students with the opportunity to realize their educational aspirations and advance our academic mission. At every step of the way, our work is guided by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) guidelines and is a collaborative effort among faculty, staff and student leadership.
Instruction, Student Support Services and Academic Advising
The fall schedule is now complete, and early registration has begun. Nearly 2,000 course sections include on-campus instruction. The online class schedule indicates whether a given class section includes any in-person sessions and the on-campus location if applicable. Students who elect to continue with fully virtual learning classes should work with their advisor to map out an appropriate plan. To best support all of our students this fall, academic advisement and other student support services will be offered in both on-campus and virtual formats. We will be implementing numerous technology tools and enhanced professional development opportunities — for students, faculty and staff — to facilitate a high-degree of flexibility in our learning environment this fall.
Health and Safety
Given current state and local guidelines, we anticipate that many of the mitigation strategies we have employed to lower the risks associated with COVID transmission will continue this fall. First and foremost, we are encouraging every member of the campus community to take advantage of the increased availability of vaccinations. We plan to continue a daily health screening survey for those coming to campus and require physical distancing and the use of face masks consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and LACDPH guidelines. Enhanced cleaning protocols, COVID testing availability and encouraging consistent hygiene will all help keep our campus as safe as possible.
We expect that buildings across campus will begin reopening over the summer and that all buildings and offices will be open, although operating at reduced capacity, in fall. Based on current guidelines, we anticipate that faculty and staff will be able to repopulate offices as soon as this summer with increasing capacity heading into the fall semester. Supervisors will be communicating with their teams with more details in the coming weeks.
Concluding the Spring Semester and Commencement
For the remainder of the spring semester, instruction and operations will remain largely virtual with the exception of the University Library, which is partially open for study spaces and computer access from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, through the end of the semester. Learn more and make a reservation online.
The culmination of every academic year is the celebration and recognition of our graduates. As Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students William Watkins communicated to campus, we are planning for virtual commencement ceremonies for the 11,151 graduates of the Class of 2019-20 and the 11,538 graduates of the Class of 2020-21. To offer graduates of both classes the opportunity to mark their achievement on campus, we will also host in-car Commencement Parades May 25 through May 28. Additionally, the university will add a day to the 2022 commencement ceremonies so that graduates of the 2020 and 2021 classes can return to campus to participate in a traditional on-campus commencement ceremony.
With the rapidly improving landscape, there remains many questions about this gradual transition back to campus. In the coming weeks, decisions will be communicated relating to student housing, food service on campus, operations at the Student Recreation Center, and more. We will provide updates as they become available. As I have said before, if there is one certainty upon which we can rely in this pandemic, it is that uncertainty abounds, which affirms the imperative to remain nimble and let the science be our guide. Please visit the fall planning gateway for the latest information.
COVID-19 deeply affected every member of our campus community. I want to share my tremendous appreciation for the dedication and commitment of our faculty and staff who have remained laser focused on the success of our students since the start of this pandemic. Similarly, I am in awe of the perseverance of our students who overcame such significant challenges to persist in their pursuit of life-changing degrees and certificates. I thank each of you for remaining tenacious and am grateful your creativity, resilience and grace as we work together to navigate these unprecedented times. I wish you continued health and happiness as we conclude our semester.
ERIKA D. BECK, PH.D.
California State University, Northridge
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330-8230
Pronouns: she, her, hers
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