Campus Update on Fall Quarter Instruction

September 1, 2020
Thomas Smith
Interim Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
September 1, 2020

Dear UCR Community, 


We are now one month away from the start of fall quarter and I am writing to provide updates on our fall instruction plans. 


Class Delivery Modes for Fall Quarter 

As you may know, the Governor issued guidance for institutions of higher education on August 7, and updated the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy on August 28. While our instructional plan was mostly consistent with these updates, we had to make some important changes. You can review the updated plan here


Higher education in Riverside County is currently allowed to operate with modifications. However, indoor lectures are prohibited. Therefore, UCR has not approved any in-person instruction activities that use standard classrooms or lecture halls. This means that instructors for all lectures, discussions, colloquia, seminars, workshops and other similar course types should plan to teach remote-only in fall quarter. Undergraduate research also must be conducted remotely in fall. 


Courses offered in “specialized indoor settings” are currently allowed to meet in person in Riverside County. Therefore, we have approved a small number of laboratory and studio courses to meet in person, with remote options for students who prefer not to participate in person. We also have approved some field courses for in-person instruction off-campus, with remote options. And there is a set of unique classes that can meet in person without a remote option, at the instructor’s discretion. These are limited to clinical classes in the School of Medicine, as well as individual study, practicum, consultation, tutorial and other course types that meet in 1:1 settings. International students whose visa status requires registering for at least one class with mandatory in-person participation should plan to enroll in one of these classes. 


The schedule of classes is currently being updated to reflect these changes, and instructors will be contacting their students soon with more details. We will keep the schedule of classes updated and notify the campus via email if we must make further changes to our instructional plan for fall. 


Instructor Access to Campus Space for Remote Teaching 

Fall quarter instructors have been inquiring about using their private offices, or empty classrooms with appropriate technology/equipment, for remote teaching. While our goal remains to keep campus density as low as possible, we also want to try to accommodate instructors whose off-campus work environments are exceedingly challenging. To request use of a private office to record or broadcast lectures, please contact your department chair and follow the protocols in the Return to Campus Guide. To request use of an empty classroom or other space (e.g. laboratory, studio), please contact the academic scheduler for your department who will work with the Registrar’s Office and Facilities Services to determine if a suitable space is available. Please make every effort to teach remotely from off-campus if possible, and preserve use of on-campus space for colleagues who do not have acceptable alternatives. 


Instructors also have been asking about on-campus space for teaching assistants who do not have appropriate off-campus workspace. Please contact your department chair who may be able to arrange for your TA to use departmentally controlled space, subject to campus safety standards. If the space is anticipated to receive heavy use (e.g. hoteling space for use by multiple TAs), department chairs should contact Facilities Services at or 951-827-4214 to ensure proper cleaning protocols can be implemented. Again, please try to find acceptable off-campus arrangements before inquiring about on-campus space for TAs. 


As I said before, I remain proud of the collective effort I’ve witnessed to provide the best possible learning environment for our students, and grateful for everyone’s adaptability to ever-changing circumstances.