The New (Un) Normal to Continue: Classes to be Primarily Online in Fall 2020csudhbulletin May 12, 2020 0 COMMENTS
California State University Chancellor Timothy White announced today that in-person classes, with possible exceptions, at all 23 CSU campuses across the state will be canceled and most instruction will be delivered solely online.
White informed the CSU Board of Trustees of the decision at today’s board meeting, which was live-streamed. He said it came after consultations with all 23 CSU Presidents.
“Our university, when open without restrictions and fully in person, as is the traditional norm of the past, is a place where over 500,000 people come together in close and vibrant proximity with each other on a daily basis,” he said, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times. “That approach, sadly, just isn’t in the cards now.”
White said there could be exceptions to the virtual-only classes, including clinical nursing courses and biology labs, but even those would be done with increased levels of protection for student and faculty.
“The enrollment per section will be less; for instruction and research laboratories the distance between participants greater; the need for personal protective equipment appropriate to the circumstance prevalent; and the need to sanitize and disinfect spaces and equipment between users essential,” White said, according to the Times report.
In a statement released today, White said even with possible exemptions, “predominately there will be limited in-person experiential learning and research occurring on campuses for the fall 2020 term. On some campuses and in some academic disciplines course offerings are likely to be exclusively virtual.”
Here is in the full text of Chancellor White’ statement issues this afternoon:
CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White’s Statement on Fall 2020 University Operational Plans
(May 12, 2020) – “This approach to virtual planning is necessary for many reasons. First and foremost is the health, safety and welfare of our students, faculty and staff, and the evolving data surrounding the progression of COVID-19 – current and as forecast throughout the 2020-21 academic year. This planning approach is necessary because a course that might begin in a face-to-face modality would likely have to be switched to a virtual format during the term if a serious second wave of the pandemic occurs, as forecast. Virtual planning is necessary because it might not be possible for some students, faculty and staff to safely travel to campus.
Said another way, this virtual planning approach preserves as many options for as many students as possible.
Consequently, our planning approach will result in CSU courses primarily being delivered virtually for the fall 2020 term, with limited exceptions for in-person teaching, learning and research activities that cannot be delivered virtually, are indispensable to the university’s core mission and can be conducted within rigorous standards of safety and welfare. There will be hybrid approaches and there will be variability across the 23 campuses due to specific context and circumstances.
Some possible examples of potential exceptions – and only when there are sufficient resources available and protocols in place to assure that rigorous health and safety requirements are in place – include clinical classes with training mannequins for our nursing students such that we keep students on track for licensure and entry into the state’s healthcare workforce; essential physical and life science laboratory classes enabling degree completion and entry into the energy and bioscience fields; access to kilns and other unique facilities to enable students in the performing and creative arts to explore and express the depth, breadth and beauty of humanity; hands-on experience with unique instrumentation and senior capstone projects for engineering, architecture and agriculture students; and access to the blue-water hands-on interactive simulator for boat and ship handling, to provide students with knowledge, understanding and skills necessary for the maritime industry and required for licensure by the US Coast Guard and UN International Maritime Organization.
The granting of limited exceptions to permit in-person activities will continue to be informed by thoughtful consultation with academic senates, associated students, staff councils and union leadership, and will be based on compelling educational and research needs, while continuing to meet safety benchmarks. Any exceptions may be permitted only in the continued presence of the aforementioned rigorous safety measures and training, and only in consideration of resource availability and other matters of local context, and be in accordance with the guidance of local and state public health agencies, the repopulation directives of governmental authorities along with other relevant regulatory agencies.
This combination, really a myriad of factors, will result in variability across the 23 campuses due to specific context and circumstances, but predominately there will be limited in-person experiential learning and research occurring on campuses for the fall 2020 term. On some campuses and in some academic disciplines course offerings are likely to be exclusively virtual.”