UCLA transitions to remote learning

In response to concerns surrounding COVID-19 and to ensure the health and safety of our university community, teaching at UCLA transitioned away from in-person instruction as of March 11, and this approach will continue for the foreseeable future.

University Resources

UCLA’s information page and FAQ about novel coronavirus

Bruins Safe Online

Archive of UCLA messages related to COVID-19

UCLA’s Twitter feed

The UCLA Student Guidebook discusses the unique challenges of navigating higher education during a global pandemic.

Faculty, staff, and students can email covid19@ucla.edu with any questions regarding UCLA’s response to COVID-19.

For Students

Remote instruction is being offered through the fall quarter, and updates will be provided as they become available. For more information, please review the resources on this page and these additional links:

Mental Health and Wellness resources:

Financial Assistance

UCLA Resources 

CARES Act – The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law to provide economic relief from COVID-19. One section of the CARES Act established the Higher Education Emergency Relief fund sent money to schools to use for emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic. You can find additional information here and read the FAQs here.

There are 3 types of new grants available at UCLA as a result of CARE Act.

  1. UCLA CARES Universal Impact Grant ($200)
  2. UCLA Universal Impact Grant ($200)
  3. UCLA CARES Need Based Grant

For Faculty and Staff

Events

Public-facing events were canceled or postponed to a later date.

Please check the school’s events calendar for events that have transitioned to virtual presentation formats.

Updates from Dean Gary Segura

July 14 Memo to Students

I have just received the news that Immigration and Customs Enforcement has rescinded its directive that threatened the visa status of any international student attending classes remotely during the global emergency of COVID-19. At this moment, no student will be compelled to attend in-person classes to retain their current visa status.

We are always wary and so it behooves me to share a bit more information. The original order would have applied to UCLA on August 1, not July 15, as our campus has not gone entirely remote as of this writing. When the directive was initially issued, the University of California filed suit along with 200 other universities and 17 states to restrain the federal government from this action and, indeed, it was at the court hearing this afternoon to hear arguments in that suit that the administration’s reversal was announced.

Rest assured that the Luskin Administration—in all our departments and degree programs—were committed to adopting the necessary programmatic changes and strategies to protect the status of all our students. We remain committed to this approach should we find ourselves threatened once again. You should know that since the announcement of the directive, every member of our leadership and dozens of your professors stepped forward to volunteer time, ideas and in-person instruction to protect the educational progress and personal security of all our students.

I know that this entire episode was both emotionally costly and incredibly disruptive, and I am deeply sorry for this. Please know that your colleagues, professors and administrators in the Luskin School welcome every international student, value your presence in our intellectual community, and recognize the vital contributions that immigrant and international students provide to the American academy, society and economy.

All the best,

Gary M. Segura

March 25

Friends and colleagues:

First, I hope all of you are well and continuing your aggressive efforts to isolate yourself, and protect your health. I miss the hell out of all of you, and I cannot wait until we can safely return and engage.

I wanted to reach out with some updates from this week’s Deans’ Councils and also catch up on a little NON-COVID related matters and news.

There are documents of interest and multiple memos copied below.  I am sorry this is such a dense distribution but it may be helpful in keeping track of information.

Document 1: Charging grants and contracts costs to Federal sponsored awards during COVID-19

Document 2: Guidance for UCLA ASE GSR Appts under COVID, 24-March-2020

In the meantime, take care and be well. And wash your hands.

All my best,

Gary

Gary M. Segura
Professor and Dean
Luskin School of Public Affairs
University of California, Los Angeles
310-206-8858
dean@luskin.ucla.edu

LUSKIN SCHOOL ANNOUNCEMENTS AND UPDATES

UNDERGRADUATE ADMISSIONS AND CALLS TO UNDERGRADUATES

Great news…the news from the enrollment management folks is that over 100 Potential Freshmen have been admitted to UCLA with Public Affairs as their intended major.  Thanks to the entire team at UG/PA for their outreach efforts. This is remarkable, since we’ve not yet graduated our first student!  We will hear about JC transfers into the Junior Class next month.

These folks have the potential to significantly add to the…  305 !!!! …current majors/pre-majors in the School!

Of course, not every one of these students will ultimately choose UCLA.  To that end, we will be making some calls in hopes of converting the highest share of admits as possible.  (THREE have already SIR’ed!)

If you are willing to call some undergraduate admits, please let us know.  Jocelyn and Meredith will be reaching out in the coming days to ask for your help.  With 62 full time faculty, this is an easy task if lots of us participate.  Naturally, we are happy to provide a bit of a script to help you get started.  Stay tuned.  Bruin Day is two weeks from Friday and, though the campus will be silent, we will be holding a virtual recruitment that day complete with a student panel and other presentations.

LUSKIN SUMMIT

Like all Luskin events, the Summit cannot go forward as originally planned.  However, after some internal discussions and a meeting with the Board Summit Committee, we have decided to reformat and replatform the Summit into a new tool for keeping the School connected with its constituencies, including elected officials, leaders of community based organizations, donors, alumni, volunteer supports, and our frequent Luskin Lecture subscribers.

More details will be coming soon, but we anticipate twice-weekly webcasts, possibly in partnership with our media sponsors, that feature the research of the School, including and especially the work we had hoped to highlight on April 22. Those who were set to present research on April 22, those who had other Luskin events planned and unfortunately cancelled, and directors of the research centers in the school, we will be reaching out to schedule a virtual presentation of your work to the broadest possible audience.

We envision this new series as both a continued (albeit modified) effort to highlight our work, as well as a public service, providing programming alternatives to the isolated civic-minded population of Los Angeles.

Ron Brookmeyer, dean of Public Health, has agreed to cohost the opening session with me, during which the topic will (not surprisingly) be COVID-19 as both a public health and a public policy challenge.

If you have an idea for a session that would reflect your work, and serve as a welcome interruption, please let Assistant Dean Julie Straub or Events Manager Tammy Borrero know. We will be building out the entire quarter program in the coming weeks.

STRATEGIC PLANNING PROCESS

As you may recall, we were in the early stages of a strategic planning effort when the evil virus stole our attention.  Provost Carter would like those processes to move forward, so we will continue to have these conversations in the coming days with the hope of finalizing a document in mid-June.  I know it is easy to get distracted and overwhelmed in moments like these, but I am hopeful we can still do the work of thinking through our future in a thoughtful way.  And it’s probably better than reruns of “Grey’s Anatomy” …

COVID-19 UPDATES AND POLICIES

BRUIN POSTS ABOUT MUTUAL SUPPORT

Two new Bruin Posts from the Provost focus on mutual support for students and colleagues alike.

Post 1: Supporting Each Other

Post 2: Supporting Students

This includes language Ananya shared with us from UCR, which was very helpful.

SUMMER SESSION

It would NOT be helpful to cancel summer courses.  In fact, summer courses might help maintain UCLA and Luskin enrollment and assist in progress to degree for students who have faced challenges with the pandemic.

The decision is NOT YET MADE to move summer session to remote learning, but for my take, it seems VERY LIKELY.  Summer session and Deans’ Council will make a final decision next week.

ZOOM-BOMBING

OK—In case you hadn’t heard, there is this new thing where a jackass comes into your ZOOM meeting and shares their screen—with something stupid or offensive—thereby having locked you out.

Two easy fixes. A) Password protect your ZOOM meeting.  Note that the students won’t need the password when they enter through CCLE, but anyone coming from elsewhere is blocked out.  B) Limit screen sharing to Host Only (you).  Problem solved.

GUIDANCE ON P/NP ENROLLMENT FOR UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

Undergraduate Council has passed a resolution that suspends the normal limit of 1 P/NP per quarter for undergraduates in good standing.  It is possible that the GC will pass a similar resolution concerning S/U classes and I will let you know if they do. What this means is that it will be possible for students who choose to do so to take only P/NP courses in Spring quarter.  But as I know that you will most likely receive lots of questions I want to be clear what this doesn’t do as well:

  1. This is not a directive to offer all classes P/NP.  Nor is it a directive to change courses that now are only offered for a Letter grade to also be offered P/NP.  Individual colleges may choose to do that but the Division is not requiring it.
  2. This does not alter either college or departmental requirements that some classes have to be taken for a letter grade (this is most often concerning what can be counted towards credits for the major).  Again, if departments want to do this, they will come to you.  But it is not something that the Division is changing or interfering in.  I will urge students to be very careful in making sure that they fulfill departmental requirements when I announce this to them later in the week.  I expect that this will lead to pressures on advising, but I don’t see how that is avoidable.
  3. Because of the complexities of the registrar’s system, the option to register for multiple P/NP will not be available at the start of the quarter.  Instead it will be possible for students to make this change later in the quarter when the system is set up.  What this means is that students do not have to do anything before next week.  The only thing that they do need to do if they care is to make sure that the classes they are taking already allow for the P/NP option.
  4. UgC has also called for the deadline to change from a letter to P/NP grade without petition to be moved back to the end of the 10th week. We have also requested that the fee for changing be waived for this quarter.

GUIDANCE ON S/U ENROLLMENT FOR GRADUATE/PROFESSIONAL STUDENTS

*Please direct any questions to Michael Meranze regarding the following message.*

To Deans and Department Chairs,

The recent changes to Spring quarter at UCLA to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 are likely to substantially impact graduate students, and many students and instructors are especially concerned about the inevitable changes that come with remote instruction. To allow graduate programs to provide as much flexibility as possible for both students and instructors, the Graduate Council has voted to temporarily delegate authority to departments, IDPs or schools to allow graduate students in good academic standing to enroll in more than one course graded on an S/U basis for Spring 2020 quarter, including courses within the major, with the stipulation that departments, IDPs or schools must accept these courses towards fulfilling degree requirements if taken for S/U grade. 

While programs will have the flexibility in grading for Spring, they do not have the ability to mandate all courses be offered on S/U grading only, nor are programs mandated to offer S/U as an option for all graduate courses. There are many reasons why students may be unable to take courses on an S/U basis, and they must not be denied the option for letter grading for courses that are traditionally graded on a letter basis. In advising graduate students about their options, SAOs and advisors must carefully consider the impact of taking S/U courses.

Michael Meranze
Professor of History
Chair UCLA Academic Senate, 2019-2020

GUIDANCE ON POLICIES SHAPING CHARGES AND EXPENSES AGAINST GRANTS

CFO Gregg Goldman has shared systemwide guidance regarding how to proceed with the charging of salaries and expenses against grants, particularly if there has been a suspension of activities.  See the attached document, but here are the main points…

  • The effects of the COVID-19 crisis are still unfolding and guidance from federal agencies is evolving.
  • Federal OMB has provided guidance directing agencies to provide additional flexibility to recipients affected by the loss of operational capacity and increased costs due to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • NIH and NSF have issued their guidance implementing the expanded flexibilities in the area of proposal submissions, travel costs and salary expenses authorized by OMB. Others should follow soon.
  • From OP, At this time, campuses should continue to charge salaries, stipends, and benefits to currently active awards consistent with the UC policy of paying salaries from all funding sources, federal and non-federal. Likewise costs related to the cancellation of events, travel, or other authorized activities due to the COVID-19 crisis, may charge these costs to their award if they would have otherwise been allowable. Please ensure appropriate records and cost documentation are maintained to substantiate the charging of any cancellation or other fees related to interruption of operations or services.  (I will confirm but I assume Marcia will get this information out to PIs and fund managers)
  • Recently President Napolitano announced all employees are eligible to receive a one-time allotment of up to 128 hours of paid administrative leave in recognition of the extraordinary demands staff and their family members are facing as a result of the impacts of the coronavirus on the UC community. This employee benefit is an allowable cost could be charged to federal grants and contracts consistent with other employee benefits.
  • However, it is important that you verify if your sponsor offer such same flexibility. In the event that your sponsor does not afford such flexibility, these costs should be removed. Additional resources are available in the Research Policy Analysis and Coordination (RPAC) webpage.  RPAC is regularly updating information on this website as additional guidance is received.

Thank you,

Gregg

Gregg Goldman
Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer
University of California, Los Angeles
2107 Murphy Hall
Box 951405
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1405
(v) 310-825-3444
(f) 310-206-5465

GUIDANCE ON REVISED APPOINTMENT LETTERS FOR TAs AND GSRs WHOSE DUTIES ARE LIKELY TO BE MODIFIED

The following note is from Robin Garrell, VPGE and Graduate Dean and applies to ALL UNITS with graduate employees. See also the document link above.

Dear Colleagues,

Guidelines have been prepared to help you, your faculty and staff address the many questions that have arisen regarding ASE (TA) and GSR appointments for Spring 2020.

Please note:  We strongly recommend that hiring units prepare and send a revised supplemental letter to each ASE (teaching assistant, teaching associate, teaching fellow, tutor, reader, special reader) whose duties in Spring 2020 will differ from what was described in the letter the ASE was provided when they were hired. You may also need to revise appointment percentages to reflected anticipated changes in workload.

Please share this information with every unit in your purview that hires ASEs and/or GSRS, including departments, IDPs, centers, counseling units, etc.  I encourage you or your staff to follow up with each of them to ensure they have taken the necessary steps.

The Graduate Division will distribute this document through our director of graduate studies + SAO listserve.  It will also be archived in go.grad.

With thanks and best wishes,

Robin

March 21

Folks:

I have had more than a few requests to delay the start of the spring quarter. Obviously, this is not my call and well above my pay grade.  The Council of Chancellors considered this, along with the Council of EVCs, and the collective decision was the following:

“The academic calendar will not change, but campuses on quarters recognize that instructors may need to exercise flexibility during the emergency transition to remote instruction for spring quarter courses as they develop syllabi, assessments, and other instructional materials or processes.  All instructors should communicate with their students before the beginning of the quarter to inform them about plans for the course and provide them with any appropriate assignments. Campuses on semesters have made and are continuing to make similar adjustments. The University is grateful for all the efforts that its instructors, students, and staff have made to rise to the occasion in this crisis.”

I can share some of the reasoning but, in the end, whether or not its persuasive to you or me is beside the point.  This is what they decided to do.

Of course, there are other concerns at stake, particularly the sense of stress and anxiety for student and faculty alike, all in the context of significant social stress.  With that as a background, I want to pass on three thoughts

  1. Both Merced and Berkeley,  as well as UCLA Law and Medicine, are semester units who essentially had to make the re-platforming transition overnight.  Was it perfect? NO.  Is it ever?  NO. But on the whole, it went ok.
  2. We all need to give ourselves a collective break and say—I will do my best and the students know it’s a mess and we’ll all just muddle through.
  3. Ananya Roy passed this message along from the UC-Riverside leadership.  They have made more explicit what I have shared more informally—that we need to, just this once, treat the first week of the quarter as a ramp-up moment and not a broadway debut.  Here is the UCR directive:

“Dear Colleagues:

Our faculty and instructors are dealing with high levels of stress as we grind out the Winter quarter and do our best to prepare for remote teaching during the Spring quarter.  These extraordinary emergency conditions compel us to redefine Week 1 of the Spring quarter as a “transition week.”

While the academic quarter will begin on time, we encourage all faculty and instructors to treat Week 1 with maximum flexibility, with an emphasis on being patient with your students and yourselves.  Treat Week 1 as an extension of your time to prepare for remote teaching, and use this transition time to begin to build strong lines of communication with your students.  Above all, students need to know that we are being attentive to them under these unprecedented institutional circumstances.

If you choose to hold “synchronous” lectures during the first week, we ask that you record them for students who may miss classes because they are trying to access loaner computers and mobile hotspots, both of which are being procured by UCR for student use.  Recorded lectures can also help students who get sick or whose technology fails sometime during the quarter. As always, you have the discretion to delete these recordings after a certain date.

Be generous, be healthy, and do your best.  You and the students are the university.”

Thanks Ananya for passing this along. Again, this is not a UCLA statement but it does express, effectively, how I think you should be thinking about week 1.

Take care and enjoy your weekend. This shall all pass eventually and our lives will resume.  In the interim, please take care of yourself and…

Yup—Wash your hands!

All the best,

Gary

Gary M. Segura
Professor and Dean
Luskin School of Public Affairs
University of California, Los Angeles
310-206-8858
dean@luskin.ucla.edu

March 19

Greetings friends.  I hope this update finds everyone well.

We have had relatively few immediate updates the last several days, but enough have accumulated that I felt it was time for an update.  I will start with the general announcements and then move to specifics.

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, TELECOMMUTING FOR STAFF SHOULD BE CONSIDERED MANDATORY.  THE STATE, CITY and COUNTY have issued stay-at-home orders.

  • Should you need to make a last trip to campus to retrieve materials, that is fine.
  • Those with public facing and student facing roles: Please consider rerouting phones and voicemail to an accessible format.
  • FACULTY: My understanding is that transit to educational institutions is considered “essential” if you prefer to deliver spring lectures in your office.  That said, we encourage you to be at home for as much of the quarter as circumstances permit.

SHOULD YOU FALL ILL—PLEASE notify Occupational Health. They can be reached at (310) 825-6771. The campus is hoping to track infections to allow contact tracing. 

DELIVERIES—If you are ordering equipment, books, etc., remember that no one will be present to receive deliveries. Items ordered for individual research and teaching efforts should be shipped to your home.

SAVE RECEIPTS—Remember to save all receipts. MSOs will be keeping a record of all emergency-related expenditures that would not have otherwise been necessary.

FACULTY PERSONNEL PROCESS—We are sensitive to concerns by assistant professors regarding the tenure and promotion process.  We will certainly take into account the effect of this on the personnel process.

    • Teaching evaluations will be discounted for this quarter UNLESS the candidate wants them counted — some of you will be particularly skilled in the new environment.
    • Self-statements should include reference to the impact of the shut down on teaching and research.  The conversion to remote teaching will tax time away from other activities, and junior faculty will be disadvantaged by a delayed review process, cancelled meetings and other academic credential building activities.
    • The VC Academic Personnel will be issuing guidance on this, which will be updated over time. At this time, there is no blanket extension of tenure clocks, but I would consider that plausible if the emergency lasts more than a single quarter.
    • Rest assured that the Chairs, Associate Deans and I are committed to protecting the interests of assistant professors in this process.

UG Admissions decisions are going out for prospective freshmen Friday.  Over 900 students applied to enter as first-years or juniors in Public Affairs.

IN A BIT OF CHEERY NEWS—We now have 305 majors/pre-majors, which is more than halfway to our six-year goal in one year and two quarters.

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS-—Modification to grad degree requirements are permissible at the individual level (Grad Division and Grad Council approved). Departments have always had latitude to modify requirements for individuals.  Lots of latitude exists for course substitutions and others.  Blanket modifications still require approval of the FEC and Senate, so it is best to avoid this approach.

Online PhD orals have blanket approval.

PASS/FAIL GRADES—This remains an option but it’s best to avoid on a blanket basis. P/F grades are detrimental to some credentialing and post-graduate applications, and they are explicitly forbidden by many degree programs for courses that are required for graduation.

CA RESIDENCY POLICY SUSPENDED—Rules requiring grad students seeking CA residency status are suspended, permitting them to reside elsewhere during the crisis without affecting their effort to establish a CA address.

SABBATICAL CANCELLATION—Some faculty whose sabbatical was intended to provide field research and data gathering opportunities, particularly with international travel, can be cancelled, so the faculty member does not lose the asset or waste it.  Chairs have discretion to assign returning faculty additional duties if they are not on the teaching schedule.

TUITION and fees are due at UCLA on April 10 (moved from March 20).  That is also drop day.

  • We are waiving all course-based material fees.

SUMMER SESSION—Course development for this summer should assume remote delivery.

MEDIA INTERVIEWS—Don’t speak for UCLA.

NO LAYOFFS PLANNED—We want the entire enterprise to continue.

SENATE GRANTS—Those who have received research support from the Academic Senate are eligible to request an extension on that grant if the emergency has made the project difficult or impossible.

https://www.senate.ucla.edu/committee/cor/fgp

In addition to my announcements, you will have received guidance earlier today from IT Manager Mits Yamahata.  Please read both announcements.

I am DEEPLY proud of all of you and forever in the debt of our amazing staff.  Stay safe and, as always…

Wash your hands.

Best,

Gary

Gary M. Segura
Professor and Dean
Luskin School of Public Affairs

March 18 Memo to External Constituencies

My Friends:

As you have no doubt heard, these times of deep uncertainty have not spared UCLA.  I wanted to bring you up to date with regard to events on campus and how the Luskin School is coping with the new reality.

First, UCLA has its first cases—one staff, one student.  There will be more.  Moreover, Chancellor Gene Block and John Mazziotta, VC-UCLA Health, are both under quarantine for possible exposure.  At this writing, neither is ill or showing any sign of infection.

UCLA has suspended all events through the academic year. This includes our Second Annual Luskin Summit, of course, and we will be meeting to consider whether we might offer an alternative program on line. Our other events are, similarly, cancelled.

With the suspension of in-person classes…We completed the winter quarter using information technology, delivering the final four days of instruction over the internet. We are currently in the middle of examination week and those exams are also being delivered remotely.  The students have been instructed not to return from spring break, since the dormitory environment is not conducive to health and transmission avoidance.  That said, students with no place to go, including international students who may not be able to return if they leave the US, are being permitted to remain in their dorms.  And residential life staff has made preparations to isolate any remaining students who become ill.

At the Luskin School…

The faculty of UCLA Luskin will continue to deliver our outstanding programs at the bachelors, masters, and doctoral levels, albeit with modifications.  As of this morning, no course for Spring has been cancelled, and our hope is to deliver the full curriculum, electronically, to all of our students.  Our faculty are hard at work modifying spring courses for remote delivery, and our IT staff have been heroic in their efforts to prepare 60+ faculty to re-platform their courses in a week.

  • All field social work placements have been suspended.  Second year MSW students have sufficient hours to meet the credentialing requirements, and will fulfill remaining hours with research and training modules.
  • All doctoral defenses are being done by video teleconference.
  • Faculty have begun to innovate course delivery in interesting ways which may have lasting downstream benefits for our teaching.
  • There will be no in-person graduation ceremony this year.  We are working on options for an alternate celebration and potentially a delayed opportunity.

Luskin Dean’s Office and Departmental Staff—To the extent possible, staff will primarily telecommute, including all staff over 65, those who are medically fragile, and those with child/elder care responsibilities during the breakdown of services.  Those staff who are able will platoon into the office on an as-needed basis to be certain that the business continuity of the university and school is assured.  These fine folk are still hard at work, admitting next year’s entering students, processing student and faculty needs, counselling current students on course-selection and job placement, paying our bills, publishing our work, and developing future resources. That said, we are prepared for a shelter-in-place command that would end any staff presence on campus apart from critical services that maintain the physical plant.

Reaching Me—I am available to you should you have any questions.  I can be reached at 206-280-5069.  I am in the office regularly to check on the remaining staff until such time as we receive a shelter command, in which case I will be at home but still at work for the School.  Rest assured that the Assistant Dean, Associate Deans, Development Staff and I continue to work to enhance the programs, reputation, and financial well-being of the School.

Until we meet again, please take good care of yourselves and your loved ones. Know that we appreciate your support of the Luskin School and its mission, and whatever you do … wash your hands.

Gary

Gary M. Segura
Professor and Dean
Luskin School of Public Affairs

March 16

Friends.

Here are today’s updates from the Council of Deans.

TELECOMMUTE

As you saw last night, those over 65 are encouraged to not leave their homes.  Moreover, medically fragile folks, those with a history of cancer/asthma/immune suppression are similarly asked to stay home.

Local and State authorities are drifting toward complete lockdowns.  With this in mind, we are updating our telecommuting policy.

IF YOU ARE ABLE TO WORK FROM HOME, DO SO.  MSO’s and Staff Managers should revised rotation schedules to keep only the minimally necessary folks for business continuity.  If Managers have a reasonable expectation that business continuity can be maintained, then 100% telecommute is permitted.

Please make sure Julie and Pam are notified of each unit’s plans.

TEACHING

Exam Policy—There has been some concern that the on-line exam structure has rattled students.  The academic Senate leadership has advised us that instructors DO have the discretion, should they choose, to tell students that they will give the student the higher of these two averages: Grade WITH the exam, and Grade WITHOUT the exam.  You are not required to offer this option, but if you believe it will reduce anxiety, this option is available.

There are no plans to delay the start of the Spring Quarter.  This would appear to be problematic for union contracts and similar matters.

Backup instruction for those who fall ill—Chairs are again reminded to work on backup plans for every course should a given instructor become ill during the Spring quarter.  Instructors are encouraged to work with their chairs on this effort.  Here are some options to consider:

  • Early in the quarter, record as many lectures as plausible, for delivery in the appropriate class time but without the lecturer’s delivering in real time.
  • Early in the quarter, identify a set of alternative exercises that TAs could use to provide alternative instruction in one or more classes.
  • Make all PPT shows available, either by posting to CCLE or by sharing with TAs or backup instructors, IN ADVANCE.

Summer Session—At this point, summer session is possibly remote.  Chairs should plan accordingly.

Libraries—A modified schedule for libraries is forthcoming.  Library is having trouble maintaining sufficient staffing and social distancing.  New measures are likely to include:

  • Closing all but Powell, YRL, and Life Sciences.
  • Limiting Hours to something approximating 7 a.m. to midnight.  Not 24 hours.
  • Limiting library access to UCLA affiliates (Bruin cards required for entry.)

TAs—Please remember that TAs are contracted for a specific amount of work. We are not allowed to add to this without compensation.  TA duties may CHANGE as a result of the crisis, but we do not have the discretion to simply ask for more work.  Chairs should think about arrangements should any TA lose their appointment because the course was cancelled.

MEETINGS

All group meetings should be electronic.

CAMPUS CHILD CARE

Alas, there are not going to be additional child care resources for staff and faculty.  Staff turnout in existing care facilities has been impacted, and the campus has made the decision to prioritize childcare for healthcare workers.

Campus k-12 schools have moved to remote instruction and are closed to physical attendance.

More updates will be coming from City, County, State and Campus officials.  Please be sure to read them as they occur.  Thank you all for your patience and professionalism.

Best,

Gary

Gary M. Segura
Professor and Dean
Luskin School of Public Affairs

March 14-15 (weekend)

Team Luskin:.

Here is our update for the weekend … Sunday night, 3/15.  Beware the Ides of March.

UPDATED PUBLIC HEALTH GUIDANCE ON AGE AND EVENTS

The State of California has recommended that all individuals age 65 and above remain in their homes.  The Luskin School STRONGLY recommends that faculty and staff to whom this guidance applies remain home and avoid coming to campus. The information regarding the effect of the virus on older patients suggests that this is a matter of serious concern.

The CDC has recommended that all gatherings of 50 or more persons be cancelled for the next eight weeks.

ALL LUSKIN SCHOOL EVENTS THROUGH MAY 10 ARE CANCELLED.  This, unfortunately, includes the:

  • Luskin Summit
  • HHIPP Launch Event
  • Global Lab Launch Event
  • Global Governance Index & Global Perspectives Launch Event
  • All Interdisciplinary Seminars
  • Joint Event with USC Schwarzenegger Institute
  • Deans Associates Event

FOOD SERVICE

Food service is an open question after the Mayoral Directive that all restaurants close for in-person service.  I am informed that Plateia will be open for delivery and take out.  I have inquired about North Campus and Lu Valle and am awaiting guidance.  Those staff on duty should consider this when planning for lunch on days you are on campus.

SOFTWARE AND REMOTE INSTRUCTION

Click here to read a notice from EVC-P Carter regarding the use of instructional technology and software for remote platformed teaching this week and for the Spring Quarter.

VANDALISM AND SECURITY

The Public Affairs Building experienced a break-in over Saturday night that resulted in significant vandalism in a stairwell and bathroom.  At least one exterior door had been propped open by an extension cord, while another had been intentionally wedged open with paper when the building was closed.

PLEASE BE AWARE OF BUILDING SECURITY WHEN ENTERING AND EXITING. The significantly lower presence of faculty, staff and students presents a tempting opportunity for mischief.

My friends, the situation continues to evolve rapidly and it is clearly not a matter to be taken lightly.  Good judgment and good hygiene will go a long way toward seeing us through this.  I am deeply moved by the incredible effort and serious deliberations exhibited by faculty and staff alike, and know that I appreciate all that you do.

Take care and be well.

(And wash your hands.)

Gary

Gary M. Segura
Professor and Dean
Luskin School of Public Affairs
University of California, Los Angeles
310-206-8858
dean@luskin.ucla.edu

March 13

Here are updates from the two Council of Deans meetings today, as well as my conferral with the clinical deans.

SENIOR LEADERSHIP UPDATES

  1. Chancellor Block is quarantined for the next 14 days.  At this time, he is not ill and remains in operational control of the campus.
  2. Vice Chancellor John Mazziotta (UCLA Health) is quarantine for the next 14 days.  Similarly, he is likely to have been exposed but is not ill at this time.

SPRING SCHEDULE AND DELIVERY OF SERVICES

After careful consideration of the available data, and considering the signals which would be required in order to permit a return to campus as originally announced, the campus leadership has decided that:

COURSEWORK WILL RELY ON REMOTE/ALTERNATIVE DELIVERY FOR THE DURATION OF SPRING QUARTER.

  • International internships over summer are NOT permitted.
  • Commencement will either be postponed or cancelled.  Campus leadership is exploring options and will confer with student leadership.
  • Social Welfare will be announcing to its MSW students that Field Placements will be suspended through the spring quarter.
  • PP and UP are encouraged to consider alternative and remote arrangements for APP and Capstone projects.
  • Doctoral defenses should be electronic.
  • Syllabi Language—Spring Quarter syllabi should include the following language:

As a response to the national emergency related to the Coronavirus, and till further notice, parts of or the whole of this course will be offered remotely using electronic communications.  Details will be updated on the class ccle website for each week. Despite these unusual circumstances, the published schedule will be observed.  These circumstances are, no doubt, extraordinary, and we encourage students to be patient as we adjust to these new processes.

REDUNDANCY OF LEADERSHIP

In the event I am seriously ill or incapacitated, Associate Dean Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris will assume decision authority for the School.  Operational leadership of Dean’s office services would fall to Assistant Dean Julie Straub.

Department Chairs have been asked to make similar succession plans to insure the continuity of administrative decision-making.

OTHER MATTERS

  • Remote decision making on personnel matters requires careful attention to security for the privacy and confidentiality of candidates for appointment and promotion.  Guidance will be coming from the VC-AP’s office, but in the interim, please take special care that zoom meetings are limited to those with rights to participate in these very sensitive processes.
  • MITS and team remain available to support our re-platforming.  Be patient and thankful.

THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR PROFESSIONALISM AND FLEXIBILITY.

Wash your hands,

Gary

Gary M. Segura
Professor and Dean

March 12

Team Luskin:

Today was another busy day of preparations and accommodations for the global emergency and its effects on our operations.

TELECOMMUTING and WORKPLACE POLICY—ANOTHER UPDATE

In establishing a remote-working routine, we have two particular priorities:

  1. We must assure business continuity so that the School and campus may continue to thrive during and after these events.
  2. We must reduce density to slow transmission/infection rates to “flatten the curve” and keep the growth of the affected population within the capacities of our health system to provide needed care.

With this in mind, we want to use telecommuting to protect the most vulnerable, reducing our “in office” workload to allow social distance, but maintain active and effective management of the School and its programs.

We recommend that managers develop plans for alternating patterns of telecommuting, which can reduce the risk for everyone and provide backup and redundancy.  For example, in departmental staffs or the finance office, half of those able to telecommute should do so, and half be in residence in the office to meet the needs of faculty and students in real time.

In a sense, this is splitting the difference between “everyone go home” and “everyone come to work.”  If additional equipment is required to allow some staffers to work remotely, we should do so and keep track of those expenses.

As I indicated yesterday, if you are ILL, STAY HOME.  If you have conditions that make you medically fragile, including pregnancy, asthma, immune suppression, etc, you should telecommute if at all possible. Telecommuting is permitted for those with child/elder care constraints.  More details are in tonight’s BruinPost.

NOTE: Private cubes and offices are STRONGLY preferred to pooled work locations.  Research centers with student researcher pooled space, including Lewis, ITS and LPPI, should move to remote working.

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY—Luskin School meetings with more than a handful of participants, including faculty meetings and Staff leadership meetings, are to be held using ZOOM or other teleconferencing approaches and NOT in person.

CLASSROOM ISSUES INCLUDING WINTER EXAMS AND SPRING PREPARATIONS

IN SYLLABI AND COMMUNICATIONS — USE THE TERM “Remote” NOT “Online.”  There are federal regulations at stake and could affect a variety of students’ status, financial aid, and, in particular, international students on F visas. There are also UC regulations regarding courses deemed fully “online,” so let’s say “remote.”

EXAMS—In the last 24 hours, the academic senate has addressed examination regulations applicable for next week.

  1. You DO have the authority to modify the NATURE of the exam and final assignment.
  2. You DO NOT have the authority to fully CANCEL a final exam or final assignment.  Frankly, students approaching finals with a 93 are more excited about such an outcome than those with a 76, who were counting on an exam to raise a grade.
  3. You DO have the authority to make an EXAM OPTIONAL.  This solves the previous problem. NOTE however, that you should develop a protocol for students to indicate their choice and for you to acknowledge this, so that professor and student BOTH have a record of their decision to take or not take the final exam.

PLANNING FOR SPRING

  • MY BEST GUIDANCE: Prepare to teach the spring quarter “remotely” in its ENTIRETY, even though we are only certain to be at distance until April 10.
  • SUBSTITUTE TEACHING: Develop succession plans for substitute teaching—that is, working with your chair, identify who could step in to complete a course should you be unable.  Should a faculty member become ill during the delivery of a course, cancelling that course will not be possible or advisable. It could trigger a change of status for the student based on total credit hours, delay graduation and the like.

Unfortunately, we are not all equally well-versed in mental health delivery, microeconomic theory, and transportation planning.  It will be important for chairs to develop redundancy for courses in which an instructor becomes ill.  Some options may include colleagues, doctoral students, post-docs, and lecturers.  As in other matters, any additional expenses should be noted for future action.

  • SIMPLIFY COURSE MATERIALS—Not all students’ computers will be the same. Some will be quite old. Ditto for wifi connections.  With this in mind, we want to impose the least stress on our communications as possible.  Some ideas:
    1. Record all zoom lectures, even if being delivered live during the appointed class hour.  If we load that video to CCLE, then students who are ill, or who lose web connectivity during the class, can still see your lecture.
    2. Think about recording lectures in advance…This will allow you to make sure it’s right, especially if you are new to this teaching approach—you may want to tinker with presentations.  You will still need to be ‘present’ for student questions and to enhance the experience, perhaps for one class period a week or for virtual office hours.
    3. Print POWERPOINT slides to PDF before posting to CCLE, which will be smaller and easier to download/open for all students, including those with older technology.
  • COURSE TIMES: Spring instructors teaching remotely must hold classes only at the time they are assigned to teach. That does NOT mean that there must be a lecture in each time slot.  But you cannot ask students to “zoom in” during other times that are not assigned to their class—the schedule still serves to help students avoid conflicts and be present for all the courses for which they are registered.  Remote interaction with students as well as discussion time is important, even if lectures are taped and posted. Faculty also should hold office hours at accessible times such as the 12:15-2pm range when classes are typically not in session.

Ladies and Gentlemen…please be kind to MITS and the Luskin IT team, who have been working like crazy the last several days and who shoulder a tremendous share of the burden as we move the university into virtual mode.

As always, wash your hands, cough into your sleeve, and stay safe.

Best,

Gary

March 11

Faculty and Staff:

First—sorry for the frequent updates.  As you can imagine, all of this is new to everyone and we are coping in real time.

Here are some important updates from the Council of Deans and the Task Force on Continuity (where Laura Abrams has ably represented us).

STAFF GUIDANCE ON TELECOMMUTING

Work goes on here at Luskin.

I want to thank everyone for their continued patience in the evolving guidance on COVID-19.  It is important to remember that UCLA is still OPEN.  We still need to pay the bills, admit students, process student needs, advise students and accept new students and majors.  Most of the staff at Luskin have individual work spaces, either an office or an individual cube and are not in more danger of contracting COVID-19 when coming to work.  One on one meetings with staff, students or faculty is okay.  We just ask that you maintain a safe social distance from one another.

The guidance from the campus has changed.

If you are ill, ABSOLUTELY STAY HOME.  If you are immune compromised, pregnant, have child or elder care responsibilities that have arisen because of COVID-19, then telecommuting is an option.  It is important to talk to your manager and determine the best way to proceed.  UCLA has the following guidelines to determine if you are eligible for telecommuting.

However, we are NOT encouraging everyone to telecommute (this is a change from my email yesterday, reflecting a change in campus guidance). If you are well and have a secure place to work, you should come to work and proceed as you normally would. When the time comes for normal operations to resume, it is important that we have an enterprise to come back to…

I understand this is a stressful time for everyone. If you feel that you are unable to come to work because of COVID-19, I have attached UCOP’s Paid Leave and Remote Work Provisions.

And these recommendations may be subject to revision as new information becomes available.

UPDATES ON CONTINUITY OF PEDAGOGY DURING THE CRISIS

  • Library has loaner laptops for students who will have trouble accessing on-line courses.
  • The Libraries will remain open for the duration of the crisis with as close to normal hours as possible.
  • Computer labs will be open.
  • Our own Luskin Computer Lab will maintain normal operations during the crisis period.
    • Lab openings, however, will be subject to revision if crowding occurs. We do not want close quarters.

MSOs should share these in a message to students.

  • No reduced fees for online instruction are planned.
  • More zoom licenses are being ordered and we have capacity for up to 1,000 people.
  • Have webinar capacity for up to 500 students (for next quarter).
  • Per my earlier note, syllabi should reflect the new arrangements.

***DO NOT VARY from standard class time. Instructors should be aware. Anything that is time synchronous should be consistent with the published schedule.

***You should proceed from the assumption that the period of remote-learning is likely to extend beyond April 10.  Naturally, we hope not, and the campus will continue to monitor the public health information as it becomes available.  But prudence dictates that we prepare for an entire quarter of improvisation and accommodation.

FINAL EXAM GUIDANCE FROM THE ACADEMIC SENATE

 This note is sent on behalf of Michael Meranze, Chair of the Academic Senate

Dear All,

I spoke with the Chairs of Graduate and Undergraduate Councils and they are of the opinion that under the circumstances an instructor may offer to make the final optional for students.  However they request that the instructor make sure that they receive and keep a written request (an email is fine) from each student who chooses to skip the final.  We don’t want a situation where a student says that they don’t want to take it verbally and then later insists that they did and weren’t given the chance.  There has to be an active opt-out.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Michael

Additional information:

Faculty will have to tell students they are not off the hook until they receive a written confirmation of their request to skip.  We can’t have a situation where a student claims they sent a request that was never received.  Faculty should require a CONFIRMED written record from the student who decides to opt out.

Gary M. Segura
Professor and Dean
Luskin School of Public Affairs

March 10

Students, Staff and Faculty of the Luskin School of Public Affairs:

By now you may have seen the announcement from Chancellor Block regarding the continued operations of UCLA in the face of the current health emergency.  Beginning tomorrow, all in-person courses will be transitioned to a remote method of provision.  Final exams will be given remotely or in an alternative assignment mode at the discretion of the instructor.  This replatforming of course delivery will continue through the first two weeks of the spring quarter, April 10 at the earliest.

Students in undergraduate residence halls are free to go home and should not make plans to return before April 10. Students without alternative residence, however, are free to remain in the dormitories.

While there is no known infection on campus, the ease of spread and our concern for our collective safety warrant these precautions.

In addition, all Luskin School events with 100 or more attendees are cancelled, thru April 10.  Nonessential gatherings of any size should be postponed or cancelled.  Luskin sponsored spring break trips to Japan, Mexico, and the District of Columbia are hereby cancelled.

UCLA remains open.  No one who is ill should come to campus for any reason.

During the spring break, departments and the undergraduate program will communicate with students regarding the initiation of on-line instruction for the spring, so please stay alert to email updates and the materials placed on CCLE. Faculty—Luskin IT has been distributing resources and on-line tutorials to assist you in planning spring course delivery and they remain available for assistance as necessary.

With all of these steps, our sincerest goal is to slow and mitigate the spread of the virus and prevent a spike in illness that might test the limits of our healthcare system.  At the same time, we are mindful of the urgent concern of students whose progress to completion and graduation is an important concern.  To the extent possible, our hope is that the Luskin School and its degree programs continue to provide outstanding instruction through this emergency.

Questions regarding course-specific or program-specific accommodations should be addressed to the Department/Program Chairs and administrative leads and, where appropriate, the instructor.

As new information becomes available, I will be in regular contact with all of you. Our hope is that this epidemic runs its course quickly and with the fewest possible harmed, and that life returns to normal in Westwood in the near future.  Until then, wash your hands, cover your cough, and exercise good judgment.

Sincerely,

Gary

Gary M. Segura
Professor and Dean
Luskin School of Public Affairs
University of California, Los Angeles
310-206-8858
dean@luskin.ucla.edu