September 10, 2020
Dear SDSU Community,
In the past several weeks, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has outlined several scenarios for state public health officials related to a COVID-19 vaccine. Indicators suggest that there is a possibility that we may have such a vaccine available before the end of the calendar year. While this development presents very good news, COVID-19 conditions remain both fluid and unpredictable, and we also know our faculty and students soon need to make decisions regarding their classes and planning for the Spring 2021 semester.
Given our ongoing and active management of the pandemic, we must begin planning for instruction during the Spring 2021 semester without the guarantee of a timely vaccine in mind. Today, the California State University (CSU) system shared that each of its 23 campuses would continue with coursework primarily delivered virtually in Spring 2021.
The CSU and SDSU will continue the current practice of allowing certain limited exceptions for in-person instruction for courses that have very specific requirements to do so. Further, the CSU and SDSU will continue to maintain housing for students with reduced on-campus housing populations. Our plan is to share our new class schedule for Spring 2020 in October to allow for timely student registration.
As Chancellor Timothy P. White shared in his announcement today: “We have learned from experience that announcing this decision now will allow faculty and staff to continue or start professional development to be even more effective in the virtual space. We also know that deciding now will allow our students and their families time to plan appropriately.This decision is the only responsible one available to us at this time. And it is the only one that supports our twin North Stars of safeguarding the health, safety and well-being of our faculty, staff, students and communities, as well as enabling degree progression for the largest number of students.”
Recent proactive measures the university has implemented to address general prevention and off-campus gatherings are working, and additional testing actions are being explored. These actions will serve us well going forward, and we must develop a spring 2021 plan that continues to prioritize our commitment to individual health and community wellbeing.
More information regarding our planning for spring is to come.
Adela de la Torre, Ph.D.
San Diego State University President
Salvador Hector Ochoa, Ph.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs