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Notes from 13 March 2020 meeting of the Division of Academic Affairs COVID-19 Committee

On Friday, the Division of Academic Affairs COVID–19 Working Group met to talk about adapting instructional operations to reality of the COVID–19 outbreak.

The Provost began by asking:

Provost Say talked with the Emergency Operations Center every day, cabinet every day. Can bring them issues and bring back ideas.


Local hotel has offered space for infected community members.

Messaging to Staff

Campus messages have largely been focused on students and faculty. Staff feel left out of the messaging.

Questions that come up most include HR issues for staff. Expect information on Monday. President Back is talking with the Chancellor’s Office (their HR people) to have information for staff by Monday. Rich Yao is working with Sara and Isaiah (Student Government president and vice-president, respectively) to put out a virtual message to students about what is happening.

There’s a theme to the messages that will be going out: “Keep Teaching”, “Keep Learning”, and “Keep Working.”

Are there directives for student assistants? President Beck has been very clear that we do not want out students in harm’s way. ISAs Re represented employees, and the Chancellor’s Office is talking with all bargaining units. While details are being worked out, if a student gets sick, the student will get sick time. We all know that many students rely on their income as ISAs and student assistants.

We are confident that there will be a solution that keeps student employees safe.

President Beck has also met with Rosario Cuevas, Chair of Staff Council. Information about what we can say to staff will be shared out as soon as possible.

Student Technology Challenges

People are working on solutions for students with respect to technology. Want to help them keep learning. Sue Andrzejewski learned that Comcast is offering free internet for low income households. She and Alicia Virtue are gathering related information. The Chancellor’s Office has reached out to Verizon and AT&T for hotspots. CSU received 100 of them. The current idea is to make drive-up hotspots in the remote parking areas so students can get access without having to interact with others.

The library has 76 laptops that are ready to be lent out through the library’;s check-out system. Those with more technology to add to the stable of computers should contact Alicia Virtue.

Students are still welcome on campus. They can stay on campus.

Reports are that students are sad that school is being disrupted. They are anxious. Some can’t put words to it.

Travel by Community Members

How will we know if a student, staff member, or faculty member has traveled over the break time?

Europe is a CDC Level 3 country. If someone travels to Europe over break, they will be quarantined for two weeks on their return. The public health system will protect the campus from such travelers.

On Monday, an email will go out about a voluntary travel registry for University employees.

Refunding Fees for Travel

Faculty and students will be refunded for costs they’ve incurred while preparing to travel for the University. Faculty travel allowance will be made whole again.

Instructional Notetakers (DASS)

What is going to happen with the use of personal notetakers for students who need that kind of accommodation?

Jill Leafstead has met with Charles Osiris and Michell Resnik. A specific message will be going out from them. TLI is working to make sure these classes are ready for students that need that accommodation.

Please Keep It Simple

There was a plea that the University keep solutions simple.

Provost Say then said, “Sometimes good enough is good enough.”

Hands-on Learning

If a student wants to come to campus for hands-on learning experiences, can they?

Provost Say said that events of more than 250 people will not happen. Smaller events are OK if they use social distancing methods.

Santa Rosa Island

All IRA-sponsored course trips to SRI are cancelled.The SRI will continue to support small research things

SRIRS expects to lose $8300 of revenue due to cancellation of internal activities. It expects to lose $10000 from external activities. Cancelation are reducing the programming from 1831 user days to 1331 user days.

Provost Say asked Russ to forward those numbers to Kirk England so that they could be included with an accounting of damages and the SRIRS would not be responsible for that loss.


A request was made that Deans direct their Chairs to bring faculty together to communicate about the issues we’re facing, faculty concerns, etc. Just talking about what’s happening can have a positive effect on mood, stress.

The meeting ended with a declaration that future meetings of the group would be virtual.

Members participating (present+Zoom): Provost: Beth Say
Deans: Vandana Kohli, Osman Oztugurt, Alicia Virtue, Susan Andrzejewski
TLI: Jill Leafstedt and Megan Eberhardt
Faculty A&S: Jason Miller, Catherine Burris Faculty SOE: Jeanne Grier Faculty Library: Debi Hoffman
SRIRS: Russel Bradley

Questions for the Academic Senate can be emailed to senate@csuci.edu.