April 2, 2020


SUBJECT:    A Message of Thanks to UC San Diego Academics

Dear Colleagues,

The last few weeks have presented our campus and community with
extraordinary challenges. I would like to offer my sincerest thanks to
you, my fellow academics, for your efforts on behalf of our students,
faculty, staff, and the broader community. I understand that many of you
are also navigating personal matters related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Your evident dedication to UC San Diego's educational, scholarly,
clinical, and engagement missions during this difficult time makes me
proud to be a Triton.

Together you've enabled the university to transition well over a
thousand Spring Quarter courses to remote instruction, almost overnight.
I know that making this pivot while also finishing out Winter Quarter
and holding final exams in unfamiliar formats was a monumental
challenge. You have risen to it magnificently.

I deeply appreciate your collective response to our call for educational
continuity - the creativity and energy demonstrated as you've redesigned
courses, embraced new approaches, and collaborated thoughtfully with
designers in the Teaching + Learning Commons and Educational Technology
Services. It's also been wonderful to hear about your collegiality in
sharing knowledge with each other as you prepare to teach remotely. And
you have accomplished this while staying home and contributing to social
distancing, as frustrating and isolating as that can be.

I'm inspired by your commitment to enabling all students to continue
their studies, regardless of their personal circumstances - whether they
are ill, navigating new technology, in a different time zone or just
feeling apprehensive. As the spring quarter progresses, our students who
are facing challenges due to the pandemic will increasingly appreciate
your continued efforts to ensure that all course materials and
opportunities for engagement are offered asynchronously to all of our
students. They will also appreciate opportunities to connect with you
via Zoom or Canvas chat for free-flowing discussions about everything
from course topics to graduate school and careers. You represent a
beacon of hope and continuity for them.

Not only have you dramatically changed the way you teach but the rest of
the work we are doing as a campus is also more important than ever. The
decisive action of our faculty and staff has enabled UC San Diego to
keep teaching (, keep learning
(, and keep working
so we may continue to serve the people of the state of California during
these turbulent times. The research, applied work, and clinical care
many of you are undertaking to provide for the needs of current
patients, counter the spread of the virus, and move us closer to
treatments and a cure is vital. Moreover, doing this in the midst of a
crisis demonstrates great courage.

Despite everyone's herculean efforts during this public health
emergency, we will continue to face a long list of challenges and
unknowns as the global situation evolves.

Please know that your efforts are deeply appreciated and that you are
not alone in this. I and your Deans, Chairs and colleagues throughout
the campus are here to help and support you. The COVID-19 Academic
Affairs FAQs and Resources page:
( also provides
important updates and information on resources available to support our
faculty community.

With deep appreciation and warm regards,

Elizabeth H. Simmons Executive Vice Chancellor - Academic Affairs