SDSU Flex Update
 

Dear SDSU Community,

Out of caution and concern for public health, we announced an in-person instruction pause on Sept. 2. Today, we are providing an important update.

Throughout the month, we consulted with faculty, including University Senate leaders, deans, associate deans and Associated Students leaders, about decisions moving forward. We also consulted with county public health officials on a daily basis, and with our California State University (CSU) system leaders. This work allowed us to carefully and methodically evaluate the COVID-19 case rate and spread both off- and on-campus.

This robust assessment, combined with the strong and persistent reduction in cases over these past several weeks has shown the resilience of our community. The changes below also further strengthen our ability to respond to the coronavirus itself.

In-Person, Virtual Courses

The in-person pause, which was initially put in place through Monday, Oct. 5, is now being extended one week further, through Monday, Oct. 12.

Effective Oct. 12, a limited number of unique courses will resume in-person. Most of these courses are upper-division or graduate level, and have been determined by faculty and academic leaders to be essential to student degree completion, licensure, and career preparation. These courses cannot be fully carried out in the virtual space due to equipment use, off-campus research or clinical requirements, or because of accreditation or licensing requirements. Approximately 2,100 students, total, will be enrolled in an in-person course. Prior to the in-person pause, 6,200 students were enrolled in an in-person course.

The course list of in-person classes will be published on the Registrar’s site on Wednesday, Sept. 30. The remaining majority of courses will continue to be offered virtually.

Like colleges and universities across the nation, we face the challenge of maintaining our core mission while protecting public health during a pandemic. To be clear: this mission is education, and it must continue. Our ongoing plan for virtual instruction as the default for the vast majority of courses is aligned with those of peer universities nationwide.

Mandated COVID-19 Testing, Test Verification

The SDSU COVID-19 Surveillance Testing Plan is ongoing with randomized re-testing of on-campus students each week. This plan will continue to be finalized and adapted in consultation with the county this week. Further, beginning tomorrow, this effort will expand.

We have a very important update to share: Working in consultation with the California State University system, our university is now able to require testing of undergraduate and graduate students taking in-person courses. This means that all students living on campus and, now, all students taking an in-person course will be tested at least every 14 days.

This is a required program. This means that after every 14-day period, based on the individual testing schedule provided to each student, we must have a new confirmed negative COVID-19 test on file for every student living on campus and every student taking an in-person course. Additional information will be shared with these students via their SDSU email accounts.

Students may be tested at Student Health services or at a provider of the student’s choice, so long as the student submits their results via HealtheConnect, a secure documentation portal. If students find that their test result information is not appearing correctly in WebPortal, contact [email protected].

Resources

Library services are continuing to be offered virtually, and SDSU will continue to maintain the 1,100 outdoor seating spaces, to include the Love Library Patio. The Library Domeside Pickup service is still being provided.

For faculty, we recognize the pandemic has created new and demanding challenges for teaching, for research, scholarship and service. This is especially true for those who work with human subjects, in laboratories, in music, dance, and arts studios, and in archives. Please know that the campus is developing renewed support resources to alleviate concerns among probationary faculty, assistant professors, and for many others given how the pandemic may impact their professional development and advancement.

Also, students should continue to rely on virtual support services available, including remote lab support. Resources for employees are available online (SDSUid required).

Next Steps

Our SDSU Flex plan continues to prioritize flexibility during this ever-changing global pandemic. Every effort — restricting the amount of people on campus, offering testing, enforcing university policies — is to reduce the spread of COVID-19 while sustaining our academic and research mission. We do not have jurisdiction over most of the locations in which our students live, and not every action or individual choice is within our power. But everything that we can do, we commit to continue doing. We cannot be more proud of the many faculty, staff, and San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) experts who continue to share their expertise, and who work daily to maintain the health of our shared community.

We will continue to provide timely updates about COVID-19 mitigation efforts and testing in the weeks ahead, including decisions about Commencement and spring 2021 instruction. We continue to ask that all students rely on their official SDSU email, as information is being regularly shared via those accounts.

To our SDSU community, again, we thank you. Continue to be kind to each other, and extend that kindness to yourself.

Adela de la Torre, Ph.D.
San Diego State University President

Salvador Hector Ochoa, Ph.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

 
 

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