Spring quarter instruction will continue to be remote

January 5, 2021
Thomas Smith
Interim Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
January 5, 2021

Dear Campus Community,

Three months ago, I wrote to you about improving COVID-19 conditions in Riverside County and the possibility of relaxing constraints on instructional activities if conditions continued to improve. Instead, conditions worsened significantly. The third wave of the pandemic hit California particularly hard and Riverside County regressed back into the Purple tier. ICU capacity in Southern California remains critically low and we have been under a Regional Stay Home Order since December 7.

Despite the recent arrival of multiple vaccines, we remain cautious in our outlook for spring quarter. To help all members of our community plan ahead and prepare, we are announcing the continuation of remote instruction through spring quarter. This means that the policies and procedures we have had in place for fall and winter will continue through spring. Importantly, we will continue to require exceptional approval for in-person instruction, and remote-options for all but a small number of clinical courses in the School of Medicine and 1:1 courses such as individual study (at the instructor’s discretion). More details are here in the Instructional Continuity Plan.

For instructors who are contemplating in-person teaching, please discuss first with your department chair or program director. Note that indoor lectures are currently prohibited while the campus remains in Phase 2 operations. Courses offered in specialized indoor settings (e.g. labs, studio arts) whose design imposes substantial physical distancing on participants based on the nature of work performed in the space, are permitted.

Requests for exceptional approval for spring quarter courses should be submitted here. Proposals must be received by the Registrar by January 29 for priority consideration. For instructors who have questions about the submission process, a user guide is available here and email contacts are listed in the submission form.

Thank you again for all of your efforts to keep our campus safe and continue our teaching mission during the pandemic. We will continue to keep you updated as conditions change.