Planning for Spring 2021 

Monday, November 16, 2020 - 12:50pm

TO:  All Campus Community
FR:  Karen Moranski, Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs
        Joyce Lopes, Vice President for Administration and Finance and Chief Financial Officer 

We are writing as leaders of the Sonoma State 2020-21 Continuity Planning Group, appointed by Dr. Sakaki in September. The Planning Group has been working diligently on plans for the Spring 2021 semester. This week, our plan was approved by the President, and the documents required by the Chancellor’s Office have been submitted. The following is an update on our process and progress. 

The 2020-21 Continuity Planning Group (overview and membership) is focused on providing high-quality education and protecting the health and safety of our community. We are guided by local and state health and safety guidelines as well as the status of Sonoma County on the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy program, which designates counties to a COVID risk level. At this time, we are in the most restrictive risk level (often called the "Purple Tier"). We anticipate that social distancing and other public health requirements will remain in place during Spring 2021, and are prepared to adjust to any modifications of the public health orders.

The Chancellor’s Office of the California State University requires that campuses remain largely remote and continue in a similar format to Fall 2020. We anticipate a slight increase in on-campus activities, but for the vast majority of us, Spring 2021 will be the same as this semester. We will have: 

    •    no more than 5% of classes conducted on campus; 
    •    no more than 1,325 students in the residence halls; and 
    •    no more than 30% of our employees working on campus 

Classes and Programs
The planning group has reviewed instructional and programmatic requests for on-campus delivery of classes and services for Spring 2021. After reviewing class requests from faculty, we have approved 55 classes, which are taught in approximately 116 sections, for in-person format. Those classes are indicated in the dynamic course schedule and a full list is available here. No further courses will be approved for Spring 2021. Consideration was given to classes that require specialized equipment and unique classroom setups that cannot be duplicated in a virtual mode and to classes that serve students nearing graduation. 

In-person internships and field trips will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the appropriate Dean, the Provost, and the Risk Assessment Team. 

Student services and other programming will continue to be largely remote for Spring 2021.

Residence Halls and Dining
We will continue with limited capacity in the residence halls, allowing for each resident to have their own bedroom and bathroom. Our maximum capacity is 1,325 students. There is currently space available to accommodate additional students. Click here for information. Dining services will not open unless we have substantially more residents, which will make these services financially viable. 

All employee telecommuting agreements will continue through Spring 2021. Departments that were approved to work on campus during the Fall 2020 are approved to continue in the same format for Spring 2021. Departments can request to work on campus for Spring 2021 by completing the Department Return to Campus Assessment. Please keep in mind that not all employees will be able to work on campus during the spring semester. 

Short-Term, On Campus Visits
In Spring 2021, access to campus will be available through the current Short-Term, On Campus Visit Request process. Employees may request visits to their offices for telecommuting supplies, visits to service-based offices like IT Help Desk or Shipping and Receiving, and Library contactless pick-up. 

The pandemic continues to challenge us and our focus on health, safety, and educational mission has served us well. Thank you for all you are doing to support these efforts. Working together we can stay on track with our Strategic Plan and Graduation Initiative 2025, and support our Seawolf community.