Weekly Repopulation Update 4/19

Sent: April 19, 2021

From: Vincent J. Del Casino, Jr., Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Dear Colleagues,

Another week, another set of questions related to COVID policy in the state and county. Over half a million people in Santa Clara county above the age of 16 have completed their COVID vaccinations. An outstanding number but one that still needs to go up a lot before we get anywhere near “herd immunity.” So, we continue to grapple with COVID impacts for the fall even as the Governor suggests a new “state of things” in June. 

There are many issues on the table this week for discussion by the president’s leadership team and policy group (a team composed of cabinet and other key campus leaders). Here’s just a taste: addressing a new memo from the CO changing travel restrictions; questions about fall Study Abroad programs (“should we stay or should we go now”); the role of volunteers in fall classes, studios, and labs; class capacities and moving to 100% fill rates for rooms that can maintain some physical distancing; and adjustments to the course schedule to allow for airflow systems to clean out classrooms; and parameters for live events, to name a few. If you want to discuss any of these issues or if you have any other questions, a series of Repopulation Drop-In Sessions have been scheduled by constituency - faculty, staff, student. These sessions will provide an opportunity to ask questions and get a pulse of what the rest of your peers are thinking.

I wanted to take this opportunity to share some information about housing on campus as we continue the repopulation discussion. Housing has projected 65-70% occupancy for fall, about 2700-2900 students. They currently have 1360 applications submitted for fall Housing. Housing will have double occupancy during the year but have no plans to place 3 students in triple rooms. They will still hold spaces for COVID19 Isolation and quarantine if students should become ill and they will continue to test students for COVID19 during the academic year. They will also continue with COVID19 cleaning protocols for the year with double/triple cleanings per day in common areas and high-touch locations. Thanks to Eric Rollerson for sharing this update!

As more restrictions are lifted in this pandemic, travel will be at the forefront for many of us. We will need to respond quickly to changes and I am proud of the partnership my team has had with Business Services in Admin and Finance. Special Shout Out to Kim Gamblin and Sara Bonadkar for working with us on this moving target called, Travel! Sometimes it feels like we are building the plane while it is in the air! There will be more to share soon in this area and we appreciate everyone’s patience.

Please take care and stay safe!