November 24, 2020
To the Campus Community,
When we made our plans for this fall, the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and visitors were at the forefront of every decision. I am so thankful and proud of all that you have done together as a dedicated community of learners — CSUN as One. However, we planned for contingencies should circumstances change. With COVID-19 cases surging across the region and anticipated to worsen significantly over the holidays, out of an abundance of caution we have made the decision to pivot back to fully virtual learning to protect the health of individuals currently coming to campus as detailed below.
This new decision is driven by the guidance of public health officials reporting record numbers of COVID-19 transmission in Los Angeles County and around the country. I want to be clear — the CSUN community followed the public health guidance and reduced our campus exposure to COVID-19 — but despite the best efforts of the entire campus, CSUN will return to fully virtual learning following the Thanksgiving Recess, from Monday, November 30 through the end of the fall semester. As a reminder, the last day of formal instruction is Tuesday, December 8, with final examinations taking place December 9 to 15. In addition, other than critical operations, all employees should plan to work remotely through the end of the calendar year.
For the students, faculty and staff engaged in limited face-to-face learning and operations occurring on campus this semester, I know you may have mixed feelings on this decision. I am confident in your ingenuity, tenacity and determination to persist as we all did in the spring. We have learned much about converting learning to virtual formats and still delivering transformative educational experiences and support services. I am asking all faculty who are currently instructing face-to-face to inform all your students, in writing, of how they will complete this semester’s coursework while working in a virtual mode. To our students, we regret that this adjustment must now be made. If by November 30 you have not been provided guidance about how to complete your course virtually, please email your instructor.
Starting November 30, employees who are not directly instructed to work on campus must no longer come to campus. That said, CSUN’s campus remains open to maintain critical operations including, but not limited to, Student Housing and related food service, the Klotz Student Health Center, the CSUN Food Pantry, Information Technology in support of virtual and alternate learning modalities, maintenance of laboratories conducting research, physical plant management, fiscal, payroll and other operations as approved by the appropriate vice president, and services to ensure the physical safety and security of campus.
Employees will receive direction from their managers if they are required to come to the campus to support these critical operations. CSUN state employees and student employees will be paid their normal rate of pay for their normal hours assigned, as they will either be working on site with physical distancing or telecommuting. Employees may connect with Human Resources to learn more about available resources including but not limited to accommodations, leaves and the employee assistance program.
While the campus printing kiosk in the University Student Union (USU) and the Bayramian Hall service counter remain available, the study rooms in the USU and Extended University Commons previously available to students with face-to-face classes that have pivoted to virtual will no longer be available. Information Technology continues to provide students, faculty and staff with access to the technology and support needed to realize student success, including a device loaner program and other technology resources.
Faculty researchers and Principal Investigators should consider the necessity of on-campus research and implement plans to operate remotely, immediately, to the greatest extent possible. Critical access, limited to sustaining research capability, will be authorized by the Office of the Provost in coordination with Deans.
Matador Athletics will continue supporting student-athletes and will be communicating plans to student-athletes and staff.
CSUN was already operating in a primarily virtual environment, focused on the health, safety and well-being of the entire campus community as our top priority. I encourage you to visit some of the excellent resources available through the CSUN as One website, such as:
With the promise of vaccines on the horizon, we can see a time when we can return to on-campus operations. CSUN’s diligence has helped our community stay safer and prevent illness and hospitalization. I thank you for your continued flexibility, patience and persistence as we minimize campus operations during this period of increasing COVID-19 cases within our region. Please continue to monitor your email over the holiday breaks as we will provide updates or changes to our plans as circumstances evolve. To our students, your resilience and responsiveness to all we have asked of you have been remarkable, and I know we can count on you yet again! Together, we will do our part as a campus to fight the further spread of COVID-19 and take care of each other, while supporting student success through it all.
Stay safe and be well.
Dianne F. Harrison, Ph.D.