Friday, July 30, 2021
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UCI Announces Phased Transition Back to Campus

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Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Hal Stern announced an update on UCI’s plans to transition to full in-person occupancy for Fall 2021 in an email sent to the campus community on April 19.

Stern stated that the transition back to campus will be managed in phases beginning July 1. These phases will be carried out with plans to make UCI fully operational in-person by Sept. 1, but the ability to participate in in-person activities will depend on the percentage of vaccinated community members. 

“We look forward to welcoming back residential students at nearly full capacity for the fall quarter … As we move forward, we are focused on promoting and maintaining a healthy and productive environment for all students, faculty and staff,” Stern said.

On April 22, the UC Office of the President (UCOP) released a statement encouraging UCs to adopt the proposed SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program, which would require students and faculty on UC campuses to be vaccinated before returning to campus next school year. This would be implemented once a vaccine is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

In his email, Stern stated that he encourages all faculty and students to get vaccinated wherever and whenever possible, and provided the link to the UCI Forward website, which offers more information on their policy and how to receive a vaccine. 

Stern also stated that asymptomatic testing of non-vaccinated persons will continue, and that the face coverings and physical distancing mandates will remain in effect in accordance with the California Department of Public Health guidelines.

Addressing the plans for fall instruction, Stern announced in his email that while teaching will be delivered primarily synchronously in campus classrooms, some instructors may offer hybrid and remote options. Students are expected to attend in-person classes on campus, but faculty will work with the Division of Teaching Excellence and Innovation to make necessary accommodations for students who are reasonably unable to be on campus.

The New University reached out to Stern for further information about the next phases of the plan. “We are still waiting for final guidance from UCOP regarding recommendations for the fall, ” he said.

“As we transition back to the campus, the well-being and success of our community is the top priority and we intend to offer our students, faculty and staff a healthy and supportive environment that encourages their best work,” Stern said. “I look forward to engaging with many of you as we work through this process over the next several months. Please continue to take care of yourself and stay safe.”

Clara Chao is a Campus News intern for the spring 2021 quarter. She can be reached at