(COVID-19): Campus Health Updates
7/2/2020 - Daily COVID-19 Graduate Division Update
Can you believe it’s already July? This year seems to simultaneously be taking a decade and be passing by lightning fast. Of course, there is some research that explains why it might feel this way, but that doesn’t make it any easier.
This has been a worrying week for Orange County, with us seeing the highest COVID rates we have had since this began. Campus is monitoring these developments closely and any plans we have provided around things like returning to in person research and instruction may change.
Coming to Campus for Teaching, Learning, or Research
As a reminder, you are not allowed to work on campus for any reason without going through the official process to return to physical facilities. This includes working with PIs, Associate Deans, and others around research obligations on campus. This may include working with the Office of the Vice Provost of Teaching and Learning for teaching and classroom assignments. If you are confused about who to talk to, start with your department chair.
One thing that is mandatory for everyone on campus is the online course on COVID-19. You can take this anytime, and everyone will need to take it at some point. If you live in graduate housing and/or you are working in some way on campus, you should take it now: https://www.uclc.uci.edu/ and search for “eCourse: Returning to Campus”
Summer Funding for Terminal Degree Students
For those of you who are Inclusive Excellence Ambassadors, DTEI fellows, or contact tracing fellows, your funds should be disbursed today if they haven’t moved over already. Other fellowship funds to address those of you slightly short of the $5,000 mark [e.g., serving as a TA that pays less than our minimum], should also be disbursed shortly if not already. As a reminder, our commitment to a minimum funding level for PhD and MFA students includes things like TA and GSR funding as well as internships. If by next week, you still think you are under this minimum funding level, please reach out to your Associate Dean.
UC Systemwide Extension to Max TA Time
The UC system has a limit on the number of quarters that one can serve as a Teaching Assistant, Teaching Association, and/or Teaching Fellow. This limit is 18 total quarters or 12 total semesters [essentially, six years, because summers do not count against this limit]. In light of the pandemic and remote instruction increasing the need for TAs as well as delaying progress for some students, Provost Brown has authorized an extension of one additional year to the max number of terms one can serve in these positions [3 quarters or 2 semesters for a total of 21 quarters or 14 semesters] system-wide. Please see the memo for more details. Notably, while students are now allowed to serve in these positions for 7 years, they are not guaranteed such positions. Schools and departments will still be charged with making these assignments.
Fall Course Scheduling
We are still planning for around ⅓ of fall GRADUATE courses to be offered in person. However, please note that this can always change. As of today, the registrar has been able to change all courses in the SOC to VTRL REMOTE for the building/room information with the exception of the courses that are currently planned to be offered in-person. The registrar is now working to assign in person courses to rooms based on the reduced capacities. For those who are interested, the new room capacities based on the latest public health guidance are here: www.reg.uci.edu/addl/classroompriority-reducedcapacity.html
Virtual Town Hall For Continuing Graduate Students and Post-Docs
Friday, July 10th | 2 pm - 3 pm PT
You will all be receiving an email inviting you to a virtual town hall for next Friday, July 10th from 2 pm - 3 pm PT. I and Vice Chancellor for Research Pramod Khargonekar are hosting this event in an effort to answer as many questions and concerns as possible as we plan to at least partially return to campus as well as for any post-docs and students who have already returned to campus-based research activities and have questions. ALL continuing graduate students and post-docs who are conducting research are encouraged to attend. Pleaseclick hereto register andfill out this short formto ask any questions you may have ahead of time.
We are living in unprecedented times, and UCI is committed to working with our students on their housing challenges as best we can through all of this. Given the recent updates and challenges here in Orange County as well as our curricular plans for next year only being recently released, we have worked with graduate and family housing to expand options for you. All current residents of Verano Place, Palo Verde, and Campus Village should have received a message today extending the opportunity to cancel your 2020-21 housing contract via the lease termination process through July 15, 2020 without penalty. Click here to find the lease termination request form. Current residents choosing to cancel these leases may select to cancel anytime up to Thursday August 13 --except not July 4. If you are already scheduled to move out at the end of summer, because you are currently in a summer extension, you do NOT need to submit new paperwork to maintain the summer extension. Students who leave housing will retain their guarantees, but housing cannot promise any particular floorplan or rental rate for your return.
For those who live in ACC, housing continues to work with them. We expect some detailed information to come out next week regarding the plans related to ACC.
As always, those who need rental assistance, relief, and/or payment plans, please reach out to housing directly. They are working very hard to be as flexible as possible.
Questions? Please contact your community housing office. Please note that their call and email volume is ENORMOUS right now, and so it may take them a day or two to get back to you. When possible, try to set up an appointment to talk by phone/video as they can work more efficiently to try to help you understand options.
If you do not hear from them within two business days, please reach out again, or you can of course get in touch with us in Graduate Division to help you.
Campus Village Community Housing
Palo Verde Community Housing Office
Verano Place Community Housing Office
Graduate Support Group Dates For Summer 2020
Wednesday, July 8th | 3 pm - 4 pm PT
Wednesday, July 22nd | 3 pm - 4 pm PT
Graduate Division Counselors Phong Luong (email@example.com) and Elizabeth Dunn (firstname.lastname@example.org) will continue to hold their Graduate Support Group throughout the summer. These drop-in sessions will be held on Wednesday, July 8th from 3 pm - 4 pm PT and Wednesday, July 22nd 3 pm - 4pm PT. These sessions are meant to be a safe space for students to express their frustrations in a safe environment, gain advice from the graduate community about establishing routine, remaining motivated, and strategies for integrating back to campus life, and share their wellness and school-from-home tips with their peers. No registration required, just click here to enter.
Dean’s Office Hours
As always, come see us in Office Hours. I or someone from my Graduate Division staff will be here to answer questions, listen to you vent, or just chat. See the upcoming schedule below. Please note that tomorrow, July 3, is an official UCI holiday. I hope you will all take some time either tomorrow or at some point this weekend to relax. Graduate Division will be back and ready to serve you online Monday morning!
Upcoming Dean’s Virtual Office Hours: https://uci.zoom.us/j/7277477057
- Monday, July 6th 11:00am – 11:30am
- Tuesday, July 7th 9:00am – 9:30am
- Wednesday, July 8th 12:00pm – 12:30pm
- Thursday, July 9th 9:00am – 9:30am
- Friday, July 10th 4:00pm – 4:30pm
Donella Meadows, climate scientist and pioneer of systems thinking, spoke about the challenges she faced in conservation and the environment. Her comments are years old but they sum up the past few days, weeks, months pretty well:
“There is too much bad news to justify complacency. There is too much good news to justify despair.”
Whatever else you may be experiencing right now with all the bad and good news, I just want you to know something simple. I want you in our community, and I want you to succeed. I also feel confident that I can speak for all of Graduate Division when I say WE want you in our community and we want you to succeed. I know this is a very tough time in America, in California, and at UCI right now. We see you, we welcome you, and we wish for you only the best.
Be well and stay safe this holiday weekend!
On behalf of all of us in Graduate Division,
Kleist Professor of Informatics
Vice Provost for Graduate Education
Dean of the Graduate Division