Planning for a Fall Return to Campus
Chancellor Block and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Carter sent the following message to the UCLA campus community.
Dear Bruin Community:
More than a year ago, many of us left the UCLA campus unsure of when we would return. Now, with Los Angeles County recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines becoming more widely available, we are at long last getting close to reconnecting in person. If public health conditions in the region continue to improve and our faculty, students and staff are able to be vaccinated in the coming months, we are very optimistic that UCLA will once again be a bustling campus community by the start of fall quarter.
Our COVID-19 Response and Recovery Task Force has developed preliminary recommendations regarding in-person classes and on-campus student housing this fall, as well as additional guidance on remote work. While planning continues on each of these fronts, we would like to share some of this current thinking with you now:
• Instruction: We expect that UCLA will offer in-person instruction for a substantial majority of fall courses, as well as most labs, and students and faculty should plan to be on campus for the quarter. Some in-person classes may be modified or subject to enrollment limits in order to limit classroom density. Large undergraduate lectures will likely be taught remotely with corresponding discussion sections held primarily in person.
While we do not believe it will be needed, the campus will develop a contingency plan to reduce in-person learning and other activities should that become necessary.
International students who have not been able to come to the U.S. will be able to join us this fall by enrolling in on-site courses. The Dashew Center will provide additional guidance to international students by the end of April.
• Housing: Our goal is to offer on-campus housing this fall to all UCLA freshmen and students with an institutional need. We will also prioritize first-year transfer students as well as our sophomores, who were largely unable to participate in the traditional first-year on-campus experience this past year. If we are not able to accommodate the demand from these groups in the fall, additional housing will be available starting winter quarter and we may be able to accommodate more students at that time. Graduate housing will continue to be offered as usual.
The amount of housing UCLA can provide is directly tied to Los Angeles County Department of Public Health mandates, so while we unfortunately cannot guarantee housing for the upcoming academic year, we will make available as much of our housing inventory as we can. Students who do not fall into one of the above groups but who plan to return to campus should secure housing off campus in privately-owned accommodations. More information about fall housing is available on the UCLA Housing site.
• Remote work: UCLA previously announced that staff and faculty currently working remotely should expect to do so through June 30. As the campus ramps up its operations to support in-person instruction and other on-site activities for the fall, some staff will likely need to return to campus in July to support these efforts. Other employees who continue to successfully work remotely should expect to do so through at least the end of August and possibly later into the fall to reduce on-campus density. Supervisors will be in touch directly with staff to provide more detailed information about returning to campus. Faculty should plan to teach in person at UCLA in the fall, with limited exceptions.
Please note that employees must complete the state-mandated COVID-19 Prevention Training either before returning to on-site work or by June 30, 2021, whichever comes first. Faculty and staff requesting an accommodation from in-person work should contact Employee Disability Management Services.
Since remote work has been successful for many employees, the campus is developing flexible work options and standards for those who are able to effectively work fully or partially remotely even after we recover from the pandemic. We are excited about the ways in which this can help improve quality of life for employees, reduce our environmental impact and create additional space on the UCLA campus.
As we invite more members of our community back to campus this year, we will maintain and potentially expand health and safety protocols to reduce the spread of the virus and facilitate a safer return. Departments that plan to increase on-site activities between now and fall quarter are required to complete a departmental resumption plan (PDF) and submit it to Environment, Health and Safety for review by May 1.
We will keep the campus community informed about definitive fall plans in the weeks and months to come. If our plans must change and public health concerns require us to pursue some additional temporary remote options for the fall, we will let you know as soon as possible what to expect and how to prepare. In the meantime, stay tuned for detailed updates from the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Task Force, visit our new return to campus page on the COVID-19 resources website for additional information, continue to follow public health guidelines and please schedule an appointment to be vaccinated as soon as you’re able.
We also recognize that many graduating students are still awaiting information on the nature of this year’s commencement activities. We are expecting additional guidance from the UC Office of the President and plan to provide more information about commencement activities within the next few weeks.
In closing, we want to reiterate our deep gratitude to all students, faculty and staff. Whether you have been teaching or learning or working from home, or providing frontline services on campus or in our health system, we know it has been a very difficult year and appreciate your continued dedication to UCLA. Please continue to take good care of yourselves and one another.