Update on winter quarter instructional planning

To: UCSC Community

From: Lori Kletzer Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor

As we get ready for the launch of fall quarter, we also need to be planning for winter quarter in order to meet the Office of the Registrar deadline of October 12 for schedule corrections. With a vaccine mandate, widespread vaccination, mask mandates, asymptomatic testing and other COVID-19 mitigations in place, the UC campuses (Berkeley and Merced) that have already started fall instruction have seen little or no evidence of transmission of the virus in classroom settings. We approached fall quarter as a transitional quarter, returning predominantly to in-person instruction from pandemic remote. We recognize there may be apprehension about resuming in-person instruction - we are committed to doing so and we are committed to the significant health and well-being measures put in place to mitigate risk. Our campus message on fall instruction, including information on these mitigation practices and policies, is available here.

For winter quarter, the instructional modality for all classes will be in person except as noted below. There are three exceptions to winter quarter in-person instruction. First, those instructors with a disability who want to request an accommodation that does not involve teaching in person in winter 2022 can contact Disability Manager Kelly Roberts (roberts@ucsc.edu ) and Director of Academic Employee Relations Danny Gray ( dggray@ucsc.edu ) in order to initiate the disability accommodation process.

Second, instructors with a household member at high risk for COVID, such that under the September 2, 2021 CDC guidelines they would be eligible for an additional COVID-19 vaccine dose (a “booster”), may request a modification to their work duties and responsibilities, per the recent communication. This process, just announced for fall quarter, will also apply to winter 2022. In order to receive this consideration, the instructor must submit their request, along with this form, filled out by themselves and their household member’s health care provider, to apo@ucsc.edu as soon as possible. Additionally, the instructor’s department chair, college provost, or program director, as appropriate, must submit a letter directly to apo@ucsc.edu stating the learning objectives of the course being requested to be shifted to remote, and the chair’s opinion on whether the learning objectives can reasonably be met through a remote modality. It is the instructor’s responsibility to request this letter from their department chair.

Finally, as was the case pre-pandemic, courses may be offered in a hybrid or fully online modality for pedagogical reasons. These modalities require approval from the Senate Committee on Courses of Instruction (CCI). Please note that online courses will NOT be approved because of COVID accommodations. Also, required courses for undergraduate majors and minors, as well as graduate degrees must be taught in-person at least once during any academic year in which they are offered. As has been done in previous quarters, a call for proposals is now open for faculty who seek support to teach in online or hybrid formats in winter ’22.

These guidelines apply to primary sections (main lectures). Secondary sections ( e.g. , discussion sections) should be treated similarly to primary sections, although CCI approval is not required for the offering of remote sections for pedagogical reasons. Some instructors and students have found learning benefits of remote sections, and depending on the course learning objectives, in some classes it may be appropriate to offer a mix of in-person and remote sections. Course sponsoring agencies should work with their dean’s office on determining modalities for secondary sections.

As we return to operating as an in-person university, we will continue to follow public health requirements and guidance. I thank you for your flexibility, resilience, and partnership and for your commitment to the continued success of our students.