Campus return updates for March 31

March 31, 2021
University Communications
March 31, 2021

UC Riverside has created five campus working groups to plan for the fall and the transition to returning to campus.

See below for the latest updates from the working groups:

Research Ramp-Up

Undergraduate students at UC Riverside will again have the opportunity to conduct laboratory research on campus — invaluable educational experience that COVID-19 disrupted.

Until now in the pandemic that COVID-19 spawned, only graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, their faculty advisors, and key personnel were permitted to work in labs at 25% occupancy capacity. The availability of more testing sites for the coronavirus as well as vaccines has made it feasible for undergraduate students to return to doing research in labs, starting this spring term. The labs will continue to operate at 25% maximum occupancy with current preventive measures in place.

More information is available here.

Instructional Continuity

An FAQ addressing specifics around fall instruction has been posted on the Campus Return site. The FAQ addresses issues including dual-mode instruction and the decision-making process for which classes will be in person, and which will be remote.

At its most recent meeting, on March 16, the Instructional Continuity working group further discussed its creation of six sub-committees for fall instruction. Those subcommittees address: classroom technology for dual mode instruction; remote teaching best practices; student equity issues; in-person final exams; spaces for on-campus students to attend remote classes and possible adjustments to Faculty Senate regulations. The sub-committees will report back to the larger working group every two weeks.

At its March 9 meeting, the committee discussed a proposal to greatly expand dual-mode instruction , which means the same class would be offered simultaneously in-person and by remote, using classroom technology. The proposal would expand the number of classrooms equipped for dual-mode instruction from seven to more than 100.

The Instructional Continuity working group’s next meeting is Wednesday, March 31.

COVID Management

The COVID Management working group has organized around two subcommittees that are meeting regularly – one on COVID testing and the other on vaccines. Three other ad hoc subcommittees – public health,  student health, and exposure management – meet on an as-needed basis.

The on-campus COVID-19 vaccine site, managed by UCR Health, has been focusing on administering second doses in recent weeks – with 605 appointments scheduled on campus this Friday, April 2. As vaccine availability increases, UCR Health may increase availability of first doses for individuals eligible to be vaccinated. A dashboard with details of on-campus vaccinations can be found on the Campus Return website.

The testing committee is discussing COVID testing protocols and availability on campus for the fall quarter. The group also is continuing to refine the groups of students and employees who are eligible to be tested via the on-campus lab at the Multidisciplinary Research Building.

Operational Continuity

The Operational Continuity workgroup is updating the current campus planning framework, aligning the framework to the California Department of Public Health and Riverside Public Health tier system. As part of the updated framework , the workgroup is also developing campus wide assumptions for fall and incorporating those assumptions into the campus framework document. The framework document will be the method to lead the return to campus efforts. 

In addition, the Operational Continuity working group is reviewing a proposed policy for gatherings on campus and hosted events and has created a sub group to ensure the policy aligns with California Department of Public Health tiers.

The policy will include a campus wide process and procedure for what size gatherings are allowed for indoor and outdoor events, campus visits, and athletic events.

Student Services

The Student Services working group met for the first time on Thursday, March 18. The committee is currently finalizing their bi-weekly schedule for future meetings. However, the next meeting is slated for Friday, April 9. The project manager and communications lead are working closely with staff from The Well to initiate a student ambassador program to be implemented in the fall. More details on the program and how students can apply will be provided at a later date. A key area of focus for this group will be on the services available and open to students come fall (i.e. the HUB, Student Recreation Center, etc.).