UCSB Academic Senate
Published 10/1/2020. Last updated 12/21/2020.


The information on this page is intended as a resource for faculty/instructors during changes in campus operating status due to the COVID-19 crisis. It reflects current planning on our campus based on state and local restrictions, as well as public health and academic best practices. The situation is expected to remain fluid for some time, and new information will be added as it becomes available. At this time, the campus remains closed for most in-person instruction.

Helpful guides and strategies for remote teaching can be found on the Keep Teaching website.

Please contact Executive Director Shasta Delp (shasta.delp@senate.ucsb.edu) with questions or suggestions for information to add.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Policies and Updates (Archive)

Fall Quarter 2020

Campus Policy on In-Person Instruction

At this time, Santa Barbara County Public Health guidance restricts most in-person classroom instruction or gatherings on our campus. The campus is currently closed for in-person operations, except to essential workers whose work cannot be performed off-campus. Consequently, Fall Quarter courses will be offered almost entirely via remote instruction, with minimal exceptions for in-person laboratory, performance, or studio (i.e., non-classroom-based) courses.

Senate Policy on Undergraduate P/NP Grading

For Spring Quarter 2020 only, the Undergraduate Council permitted the expanded use of P/NP grading by departments for courses in the major and waived the unit limitation on P/NP course applicability toward the major. The deadline for students to change the grading option for their courses was also extended. However, these measures are no longer in place. The Undergraduate Council voted to affirm that the regular Divisional rules about P/NP grading, as stipulated in Senate Regulation 35, are in effect for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Senate Policy on Final Exams

A final exam is required for every undergraduate course, per Systemwide Senate Regulations 770 and 772. However, instructors have a lot of flexibility in terms of the weight and the style of the exam. See the FAQs below regarding remote assessment of student learning and options for administering remote exams.

Campus Policy on Use of Faculty Offices

Faculty are to work remotely through the remainder of 2020. The deans are working with departments to identify faculty with critical needs for instructional delivery that cannot be managed from home. At this time, unless you have been granted written authorized approval to be on campus, faculty use of offices is not permitted, even in buildings that have been approved for laboratory use (due to different ventilation requirements for labs vs. offices). Please note that, until further notice to the contrary, this guidance supersedes guidance provided in spring quarter that faculty offices can be used for essential instructional purposes.

The University is aware of the urgency for some access to appropriate space for faculty to work in fall quarter. Public health protocols require building-level plans to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19, building-by-building inspections to address air-flow and traffic-flow, and review and approval from the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department. Faculty should contact their building committee or department chair for the latest information about access to their office space and departmental facilities.

On October 1, 2020, the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor issued a memo, making available on campus 35 single occupancy spaces for limited use by graduate student instructors to deliver remote instruction. Reservations for the use of these spaces can be made via the following pages:

Campus Policy on Use of Research Laboratories

The campus is engaged in a gradual return to on-campus research activities. Limited access to laboratories and research facilities is available under state and county guidelines. The current status, stage 4a, restricts both the total number of researchers allowed and the density in each space at any given time. Only authorized users may access campus laboratories, with the permission of the appropriate building committee. The Office of Research maintains a webpage containing COVID-19 Information for UCSB Researchers. Vice Chancellor Incandela's September 14 update on the status of on-campus research is available here.

Library Open for Research Appointments

Starting October 6, and under the auspices of the Research Ramp-up, the UCSB Library Special Research Collections (SRC) will offer a limited number of research appointments for faculty and graduate students to use on-site archival and non-circulating materials from the Main Library and Music Library. The UCSB Library remains closed for general use.

For more details, and to request an appointment, please see this page.

After making a request, a UCSB Library staff member will contact the individual to confirm the availability of the materials of interest and help them identify relevant items so that they can make the most of their time in the Reading Room. Approved visitors will be booked for 3-hour appointments beginning between 9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday. Appointments related to scholarly projects with deadlines (e.g., promotion, book contract, dissertation) will be prioritized.

All visitors will be required to follow the terms of use for UCSB Library Special Research Collections and to adhere to UCSB's requirements for working on campus during COVID-19, including enrollment in the COVID-19 screening program and completion of the daily COVID-19 screening survey.

Campus Policy on COVID-19 Testing and Wellness Monitoring

According to Vice Chancellor Mac Pherson's recent announcement to the campus, all employees working on campus must pass an online training course about how to reduce potential transmission and exposures to COVID-19. The "COVID-19 Returning to Work Training" is required by Cal/OSHA and the California Department of Public Health. Everyone who is required to complete the course will receive an email notification with a link to the UC Learning Center. Employees working on campus should complete it within one week of receiving the email. Employees working remotely should complete the training at their earliest convenience.

Faculty working on campus, even periodically, are required to complete a daily COVID-19 screening survey prior to coming to campus. The link to enroll is here.
To report a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis for yourself or a UC Santa Barbara community member, contact one of:

Per Chancellor Yang's message to the campus on October 15, faculty, staff, and members of our research community who have received authorization from their department chair/building committee or supervisor to come to campus for instructional, research, or work purposes that cannot be performed at home are strongly urged to participate in weekly COVID-19 testing. This asymptomatic testing is critical to helping mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on our campus and in the broader community.

Currently, the following testing sites at the Calaveras Lounge in San Joaquin Villages apartments, and Loma Pelona are open by appointment weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Additional testing sites will be added in the coming weeks for the convenience of those faculty and staff on the east side of campus.

For more information, please consult the FAQ section of the Chancellor's message.

Campus Policy on Physical Distancing and Face Coverings

Physical distancing guidelines may require building stairwells to allow one-way travel only; elevator capacity may be limited to one, two, or three people at a time; and physical distancing within office spaces may require reconfiguration of work spaces, meeting rooms, common areas, and lobbies to ensure appropriate physical distancing measures. These types of changes will be evaluated and implemented on an on-going basis by appropriate campus officials.

All individuals on the UC Santa Barbara campus and UCSB-controlled properties are required to wear face coverings (indoors or outside), in compliance with the California Department of Public Health and the County of Santa Barbara Health Officer Order. (This does not apply when (a) in a personal office when alone with the door closed; (b) while eating or drinking when well separated from others, or (c) if a reasonable accommodation granted by the University exempts the individual from this requirement.)

Childcare Resources and Active Service Modified Duties (ASMD)

The University's Early Childhood Care and Education Services (ECCES) center has reopened. Resources and programs for families with school-age children are posted on the following websites:

ECCES may be able to assist families in need of childcare by connecting them with trained student employees. For more information and a list of interested students, contact Annette Muse, Director of ECCES at: annettemuse@ucsb.edu

Please note: ECCES’s students are required to complete several mandated trainings (Healthy Schools Act, Mandated Reporter trainings, UCSB COVID-19 training). Depending on where they are within the hiring process, students may have completed these trainings and received additional trainings specific to ECCES. All vetting of candidates and families is to be conducted by the parties involved.

Faculty members with family responsibilities that conflict with their university duties should communicate with their Chair and Dean about possible ASMD accommodations.

Systemwide Executive Order on Flu Vaccination

To support the health and well-being of UC students, faculty and staff and our communities, the University of California, in consultation with UC Health leadership, issued a systemwide executive order requiring all members of the UC community to receive an influenza immunization before Nov. 1, 2020. The Office of the President has compiled a list of frequently asked questions for employees about the 2020-21 UC influenza vaccination order.

UCSB is holding a flu vaccination clinic on campus for all faculty and staff members and students. Those who receive their vaccinations at the clinic should incur no out-of-pocket expenses. Health insurance providers will be billed automatically, and any costs not covered by insurance providers will be paid by the University. More information can be found here:

If faculty or staff working remotely need to access a UC facility in person, they must certify, by November 1, that they have received the 2020-2021 flu vaccine or have an approved exemption or accommodation. For more information on exemptions or accommodations, please visit this frequently asked questions page.

Questions can be directed to FluVaccination2020@sa.ucsb.edu. Additional information about the clinic is available in a Q&A on The Current.

Summer Sessions 2020

Instruction in Summer Session

The Academic Senate engaged in extensive consultation with campus administrators regarding instructional plans for Summer Session 2020.

On April 10, 2020, the Senate issued a memo to Associate Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education Jeffrey Stopple expressing agreement that Summer Sessions A, C, D, and E be offered remotely. After due consideration, it was determined that the campus will also offer Summer Sessions B, F, and G remotely.

The Executive Vice Chancellor convened a Contingency Planning Group to examine possibilities and strategies for resumption of in-person instruction for Fall Quarter 2020.

Spring Quarter 2020

Undergraduate Council Statement on Pass/Not Pass Grading Options for Spring Quarter 2020

In the interest of maximal flexibility for students in this unprecedented time of crisis, the Undergraduate Council (UgC) voted to grant pre-approval of departmental requests to allow additional courses in the major to be offered with optional grading for Spring Quarter 2020.

The University Committee on Educational Policy (UCEP) issued a recommendation (dated March 18, 2020), endorsed by the Academic Council, to grant flexibility for the Divisions of the Academic Senate to set local grading policy.

Campus Resources for the COVID-19 Pandemic