Update on fall quarter campus plans

September 4, 2020
Kim A. Wilcox
September 4, 2020

Dear Campus Community:

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we stated that our operational decisions would prioritize the health and safety of our community. Our instructional guidelines for fall quarter were guided by three core principles: 

1. Prioritize the safety of all members of our campus community 

2. Extend access to education to the greatest extent possible 

3. Create flexibility at both the individual and institutional levels

We continue to emphasize in our words and actions our fundamental belief that everyone deserves a safe option. 

In contrast, over the last month, we have observed what happens when colleges and universities choose a different path – to repopulate and require on-campus classes. While some institutions are now making last-minute decisions to flip online, other universities are nearing or exceeding 1,000 positive cases. While we watch with concern, we are continuing to examine our own operations. 

Earlier this summer, we announced the decision to limit in-person instruction. We wanted to provide as much time as possible for students, faculty, and staff to plan accordingly. Under normal conditions, we would have over 4,200 students living in residence halls. For this fall, we expect approximately 900 students to be living in modified residence halls, with one student per room.

For the safety of the entire UCR community, we encourage students to stay home and remain off campus. Please note that services on campus are significantly limited: the Student Recreation Center, Highlander Union Building (HUB), and library study spaces will remain closed, until further notice. Community spaces normally open to students, faculty, and staff for dining will not offer indoor seating. Additionally, we are removing or limiting patio seating near the HUB. Anyone planning to return to campus must follow all health and safety protocols including daily wellness checks.

We have worked over the last six months to support our educational and research mission with health-first thinking. And, for months, we have leaned into what we know about learning to prepare for fall quarter. As we approach the start of classes, we ask everyone to remember we are all in this together.

For a disease that spreads through community transmission, we can support our collective wellbeing and reaffirm our commitment to one another by following public health requirements such as masking, physical distancing, and limiting gatherings. 

Recent outbreaks reinforce our consistent approach to put health first. But as we move forward, we ask for everyone’s cooperation to remain careful and considerate. We look forward to the day when we can be together on campus, grateful not only for the end of the pandemic but for how we supported one another along the way.