May 8, 2020


SUBJECT:    May Updates for UC San Diego Academics

Dear Colleagues,

As we enter the final stretch of our unprecedented remote Spring Quarter, I would like to thank all of you for your collective efforts to teach and mentor our students and to preserve the intellectual vitality of our campus community. Through your remarkable collaboration, creativity, flexibility, and resilience, you are enabling UC San Diego to sustain its educational, scholarly, and engagement missions at a time when California needs us more than ever.

While we know that instruction and programs will continue to occur remotely during the summer, many of you have been asking about plans for fall. UC San Diego has just launched a unique Return to Learn Program: that aims to broadly test students, faculty and staff on campus on a recurring basis for the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. This evidence-based program, which includes plans for exposure notification and isolation housing for on-campus resident students who test positive for the virus, is intended to better position UC San Diego to resume in-person activities when fall classes begin in October 2020.

We are currently planning to offer Fall Quarter courses across all divisions, colleges, programs and majors through a combination of in-person and remote instruction. The Educational Continuity Task Force (which includes administration, Senate, and student leaders and subject matter experts) is working closely with academic units to iteratively develop a fall portfolio of courses that offers the most engaging educational experience possible for all students while also adhering to public health and safety guidelines. Fall registration has been delayed to accommodate this careful planning effort, and is expected to begin on May 22.

As you prepare remote or blended courses in the coming months, many resources are available to support you and your students. The Engaged Teaching Hub in the Teaching + Learning Commons is offering a series of webinars on remote instruction. For details and recordings of past events see: Please also visit the Commonsí newly developed page on resources for remote teaching: as well as

Finally, I want you to know that we are working with the Academic Senate to support faculty whose scholarly and creative work is impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Details of present efforts are available here: and a toolkit and updated FAQ for implementation of probationary period extensions is forthcoming. These efforts to support faculty will continue to develop as the full scope and nature of the impacts becomes clearer over time. In addition, work/life resources to support your health and well-being as you navigate personal matters related to the COVID-19 pandemic are available here:

Additional academic updates, highlights, and information to support remote teaching can be found in the new Academic Affairs weekly newsletter, I hope you will find it useful, and will look forward to your feedback.

Please know that your outstanding efforts on behalf of our students, faculty, staff, and the broader community are deeply appreciated.

With best regards,

Elizabeth H. Simmons
Executive Vice Chancellor