University of California, San Diego
October 30, 2003
We return to work profoundly aware that members of our campus community have been touched by the deaths and injuries, loss of home and treasures, and searing memories wrought by the worst firestorm to ravage San Diego in three decades.
We have seen heroism and extraordinary generosity among our ranks in the past several days. Not only have our employees and students helped in their own neighborhoods, such selflessness was also abundantly evident on the campus. Staff worked in a fire-ravaged area to get our research animals out of harm's way; our health professionals are caring for the region's most critical burn and respiratory cases; our students collected provisions and volunteered by the dozens in shelters; and a dedicated core of faculty, staff and students left their homes to personally provide essential campus services throughout this crisis. And those are just a few examples of our campus community in action.
The slogan, "Proud to be UCSD" has never been truer. UCSD is an exceptional place for many reasons, but the events of the past week have again shown that the most important reason is the people who are UCSD.
As we return to work, we are aware that the transition may be understandably difficult for many. For that reason, we have created a number of services and information sites that you may find helpful. We invite you to consult UCSD's fire resource website at: http://blink.ucsd.edu/go/fireinfo
In addition, we encourage employees to speak to their supervisors about any other fire-related concerns, and our students to consult with their College staff. For employees, the absences of the past several days will be considered as leave with pay, and not count toward your accrued sick or vacation time. For students, our faculty will determine how to make up the material in missed classes.
Again, my thanks to each of you for your efforts to get the university back on its feet. We ended last week with Open House--a wonderful example of what we can accomplish when we join together as a community. And we end this week aware that such community spirit now will enable us to continue the vital work of the university.
Marsha A. Chandler