Campus Updates

To provide the campus with the most current information, this webpage will be updated regularly. Please check back to get accurate and up-to-date information. 

Campus Updates

9/24/2020 - President Armstrong shares update on campus coronavirus testing and surveillance efforts

Dear Campus Community:

I am writing today to update you on Cal Poly's coronavirus testing and surveillance efforts. At the end of this message there is a brief but detailed explanation of our current efforts and plans, prepared by Dr. Aydin Nazmi, Professor of Food Science and Nutrition and an expert in epidemiology who is also serving as Presidential Faculty Fellow for COVID-19 Response and preparedness. Dr. Nazmi, Vice President Renee Reijo Pera, Assistant Vice President Tina Hadaway-Mellis and Senior Vice President Cynthia Vizcaino Villa are leading our testing taskforce. We continue to seek advice from our local experts in infectious diseases (Dr. Trees Ritter) and testing (Dr. Kevin Ferguson).

Before we get to Dr. Nazmi's update, I want to thank each and every one of you — students, faculty and staff — for your hard work and sacrifice in following Cal Poly's coronavirus rules and the County Public Health Department's guidance. I know that this has not always been easy, and I know that it has required some of you to postpone plans, decline invitations and work harder to do things that are usually easy. I am profoundly grateful for the care that you have taken of yourselves, each other and the community as a whole.

Please do not allow this relatively good start to the quarter lull you into a false sense of safety! Your good choices have helped SLO County move from Purple/Widespread to Red/Substantial on the state's coronavirus risk level chart. That is terrific news for everyone, especially local businesses that have been badly hurt by the pandemic shutdown and can now partially reopen. But it does not mean that the danger is passed, nor that we can relax use of personal protective equipment, social distancing, hand washing or the ban on social gatherings (still no parties!) Realistically, those safety protocols will have to remain in place until there is a widely available vaccine - which more than likely means through the end of the spring quarter.

The Central Coast is a beautiful spot, with many opportunities for safe outdoor activities, and lots of fun, socially distanced things to do. Student Affairs' What's Up Now guidebook is a great way to find ways to make friends and have fun while still being COVID-careful.

So, we have done very well so far, and I ask that everyone keep up this good work! Cal Poly cares about the health and safety of each of you, and we want to help you stay safe and well while also making progress in your work, studies and research. Please keep reading below for Dr. Nazmi's important update.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey D. Armstrong
President

Cal Poly Testing and Surveillance Program

Cal Poly's COVID-19 testing and surveillance program is a robust, multi-level approach using proven public health tools to stem new infections and inform strategic interventions.

The university closely coordinates its testing and surveillance efforts with San Luis Obispo County Department of Public Health, which has sole authority for issuing orders for isolation for positive cases and quarantine for close contacts or congregate settings.

Diagnostic and Surveillance Testing

Cal Poly Campus Health and Wellbeing (CH&W) has been offering diagnostic testing for symptomatic students since March 2020, and has been processing samples in-house using state-of-the-art equipment since July. To date, 978 students have been tested, with 86 positive results (8.8% positivity rate). This service is continuous and open to all students at no charge.

The goal of surveillance testing of asymptomatic people is to identify those who are infected and their close contacts for isolation and quarantine, respectively, to mitigate the spread of SARS-CoV-2. Campus Health and Wellbeing has been conducting surveillance or asymptomatic testing since late August. Groups tested have included on-campus residents, students with face-to-face classes, athletes and others. To date, 2,691 students have been tested with 11 positive results (0.4% positivity rate).

The university is expanding asymptomatic testing in two ways. First, the CH&W laboratory is undertaking validation to perform pooled sampling, which will increase cost-effectiveness and capacity from 1,000 individuals to 2,500 per week (approximately). In addition, external contractors are being engaged to further supplement capacity. The latter will add capacity of at least 3,000 and up to 5,000 or more tests per week.

Surveillance testing goals for Fall 2020 are 1,000 tested/week in weeks 1-2, ramping up to 2,500-3,500 in weeks 3-5, increasing to a target of 5,000/week thereafter, and more if feasible. Certain groups, such as athletes and the wind ensemble will maintain testing recommendations per NCAA and/or State/County regulations. Others, such as fraternity and sorority houses will be invited to participate (Cal Poly cannot require students not coming to campus at all to test). On-campus students will be tested at least five times over fall term. Off-campus students with virtual classes will also be offered free on-campus testing, as will faculty and staff.

Cal Poly Center for Applications in Biotechnology (CAB) experts are also working to develop a high-throughput saliva-based surveillance test that has the potential to dramatically decrease cost, ease sample collection, and expand surveillance testing to thousands per day. Cal Poly's pursuit of this cutting-edge technology and approach is noteworthy. Validation tests are currently underway and anticipated launch for this effort is Winter 2021.

Information Systems and Technology

The surveillance program requires incoming on-campus student residents and those taking in-person classes or working on campus to show proof of a negative test or get tested on campus. Students submit their tests via a new online platform powered by Qualtrics, and the results are verified by CH&W staff. Using this tool, nearly 4,500 students moving into the residence halls submitted their verifications or were followed-up for additional information or testing.

The platform also features a symptom screener, which is required daily for students coming onto campus — and recommended as good practice for others. Students needing additional follow-up are contacted for further information or tested or referred if relevant. On average weekdays, more than 4,000 students use the symptom screener.

The platform is currently being examined as a potential adjunct to other efforts, such as informing groups of their surveillance testing requirements or appointments, following up with student reporting concerning symptomology, and public health outreach. Efforts to integrate data and information systems are also being undertaken to facilitate key activities including contact tracing and exposure investigation.

In addition, epidemiological models to assess various risk scenarios are continuously updated to inform surveillance efforts. Data transparency is provided through the Cal Poly COVID-19 Dashboard, which provides daily updates on infections, testing, and quarantine and isolation cases.

Wastewater Analysis

Cal Poly experts from CAB, Engineering and Facilities are assessing the feasibility of wastewater analysis for early detection of COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 RNA fragments are detectable in fecal matter early in the infectious process, earlier than could be detected through surveillance or diagnostic testing, in the pre-symptomatic or even incubation period. This strategy, coupled with the widespread asymptomatic testing, would have a significant impact in stemming the spread of the virus in the campus community.

Cal Poly has about 10 clusters of residence halls whose wastewater can be tested. If testing indicates that virus is present at the complex level, analysis could be moved upstream to the building level, which could then be followed up with mass saliva-based surveillance or diagnostic testing as relevant. The high number of residence halls on campus, more than 50, and several difficult access points complicate matters such as logistics of sampling and frequency of testing. Pilot sampling and validation testing is currently underway and anticipated launch of this effort is Winter 2021.

9/18/2020 - Fall welcome message from President Armstrong

Dear Campus Community,

Welcome to the 2020-2021 academic year! This is going to be a great year, although there are certainly challenges for us all.

This academic year has been and will continue to be shaped by three unprecedented social challenges. The first is COVID-19. The second challenge this year is the necessity that the United States, California, our region and Cal Poly recognize violence against people of color, respond to continued racial injustice, and transform ourselves into the kind of equal, fair and just society that we aspire to be and must become. The third challenge is something that we have experienced before: an economic recession, which has already resulted in less state support for Cal Poly. We have plans in place and already in use for addressing all three challenges.

We have sent a lot of communications about the university's COVID-19 plan, and I won't repeat all the details here - you can always find the latest information on the coronavirus and our roadmap for fall quarter websites. I will say this: Cal Poly isn't like other schools. Our hands-on, Learn by Doing curriculum really requires that some classes be taught face-to-face. The pandemic seems likely to be with us for the entire 2020-2021 academic year, and the CSU Chancellor's Office has already decided that the winter 2021 terms will use the same model as the fall quarter - only essential classes can be offered face-to-face, everything else is virtual, and we will have a limited number of students on campus. Our ability to operate at least partially face-to-face is essential to you making progress toward your degree. If we are forced to change plans because of uncontrolled spread of coronavirus among students, it will delay the graduations of hundreds or thousands of your fellow students, not to mention endanger their health and safety. You as an individual, play a central role in deciding whether that happens, or whether our efforts to prevent and contain illness succeed. I know that sometimes it can seem like what one person does is insignificant in the grand scheme of things. I believe each person's actions always matter, but they especially matter during this pandemic, when a single super-spreader can be responsible for thousands of infections and even deaths. What you do matters! Please do the right things: wear a mask, physically distance, wash your hands, get tested if you feel ill, and NO PARTIES. Attending a single party during the pandemic could endanger your life and ruin everyone's year - it's just not worth it!

The second challenge of this year - of rising to the call for racial justice - is one that I urge everyone to embrace. Structural racism and racial inequality are real problems in the United States, in California, in San Luis Obispo, and, yes, at Cal Poly. Sometimes racism takes the form of overt bigotry, but often it takes the form of microaggressions and institutional bias. As a university, Cal Poly is firmly opposed to racism in all these forms, but we also know that sometimes we as individuals have biases that we aren't even aware of, but that hurt others who are excluded, or overlooked, or slighted. I ask everyone to treat overcoming racism as our personal responsibility. Society only changes when individuals change, and individuals only change when they are open to other perspectives, are willing to recognize injustices, and are committed to being a part of the solution. I ask every member of our community to visit the website of the Office of University Diversity and Inclusion, and to take to heart the commitment of treating everyone at Cal Poly (and everywhere else) with love, empathy and respect. Some institutional initiatives under way include implementing the new, statewide Ethnic Studies requirement; increasing diversity, equity and inclusion training for faculty, staff and students; implementing the action plans that came out of the CPX: Cal Poly Experience process; and the development of Latinx and Indigenous centers for our students.

Finally, a few words about the recession. Recessions are usually caused by the business cycle, and take months or even years to resolve. We don't know how the current recession will be resolved, because it was caused by a pandemic and deliberate policy choices. Those policy choices were wise and certainly saved tens if not hundreds of thousands of lives, but it has also caused mass unemployment and a large drop in tax revenues, which is where Cal Poly derives about 40% of our operating budget. We have some reserve funds, which we will use to defend the university against the worst effects of reductions in state funding as well as projected losses in self-support operations, but those funds are limited, and the reduced funding is likely to continue for several years at a minimum. Know that we are doing everything we can - not filling vacant positions, streamlining administration, cutting costs, and seeking additional money from other sources. We will get through this.

One last thought: recessions end; pandemics end; the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. Cal Poly has always been about much more than responding to the challenges of today, and our plans for the future still guide us. We are becoming a university that reflects the diversity of our great state. We are becoming a university where everyone can live with, work with, and learn from anyone and everyone. We are becoming a university that can do more with less, especially less support from state taxpayers. We will address these challenges, and we will emerge a better, stronger and more just community. We are Cal Poly!

I wish everyone a happy, healthy and productive year.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey D. Armstrong
President

9/18/2020 - Administration and Finance shares health and safety steps taken to prepare for fall quarter

This week, we welcomed students back to campus for a hybrid educational experience supported by innovative protocols that were put in place to ensure the health and well-being of the Cal Poly community. The buildup to this moment was months in the making and included every campus division. 

We want to share some of the work that our colleagues have done to prepare Cal Poly for fall. Since spring quarter, we have purchased more than 50,000 face coverings (to be given to all campus community members), over 100 digital thermometers and 35,280 bottles of hand sanitizer. 

Facilities Management and Development has performed reviews of campus HVAC systems to increase air flow and installed higher-rated air filters as well as removed dozens of sinks, urinals, and other fixtures from service to provide physical distancing while still maintaining minimum requirements.

Environmental Health and Safety worked in collaboration with the CSU to launch a COVID-19 Safety Awareness Online Course, which was required for all students and encouraged for faculty and staff. We thank the nearly 70 percent of faculty and staff members who already completed this important training and encourage the remainder to take the course before coming back to campus.

To see a short video featuring even more work that the campus has done to prepare, please visit https://vimeo.com/458255090

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Facilities Management and Development at facilities-cbs@calpoly.edu or the Customer Business Services at 805-756-5555.   


Juanita Holler
Associate Vice President for Facilities Management and Development

Cynthia Vizcaíno Villa
Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance

 

9/13/2020 - New COVID-19 self-screening tool: information and resources

Dear Faculty and Staff, 

My apologies for the late evening message. My team has been working hard through the weekend testing and preparing for the initial system launch. 

Beginning tomorrow morning, students will receive a prompt via email and/or text to complete a daily COVID-19 self-screening. This tool is a way for students to check their personal health, assess symptoms related to coronavirus, and receive immediate guidance. The screenings should be completed every morning by noon or before leaving their residence as part of a student's daily routine.  

How to receive a campus pass 

A student must successfully complete two requirements to obtain a daily pass to campus: 

  • Requirement Part 1- One-time COVID-19 Test Verification: a student must show proof of a negative test result to verify this process prior to the start of classes on Monday, Sept. 14, or at the time of their on-campus move-in. There are a few other accepted scenarios allowed, such as proof of a positive test result to show that the student had COVID-19 up to 90 days ago and has since been cleared by public health. Visit the website for the full list of requirements and details
  • Requirement Part 2 - Daily COVID-19 Self-Screening: every morning at 4 a.m., students will receive a text and/or email asking them to complete a symptom checker by noon or when they leave their residence, whichever comes first.  
  • Campus Pass: If a student completes both requirements successfully, they will receive an email from “Cal Poly COVID-19 Screening” (covid-19-screening@reply.calpoly.edu) with a pass to access campus that day. A pass is valid through 3:59 a.m. the next morning.  

The following may be some reasons why a student does not receive a certified pass to campus: 

  • If a student has not successfully completed the test verification process. 
  • If a student fails the daily self-screening. 
  • If a student is on temporary hold due to COVID-19-related conduct violations that could contribute to viral spread. 
  • If a student is currently in quarantine or isolation. 

Campus pass examples 

Students should be ready to show a certified pass upon entering a campus facility, such as a classroom, building or office. This is an example of what a digital campus pass looks like: 

Cal Poly Certified Pass to Campus

If a student is not certified to use campus facilities and attend face-to-face classes, this is an example of what a digital pass looks like:

Not Certified Cal Poly Campus Pass Example

Either pass should contain the following information: 

  • Status: Certified or Not Certified 
  • Name 
  • Cal Poly Email 
  • Valid: Today's Date 
  • Graphic: Green Circle Happy Face (Certified) or Red Circle with "X" (Not Certified)  
  • QR Code 

Quick verification using QR codes 

For an added level of precaution, you can verify the authenticity of a pass by scanning the QR code on the student’s pass. Most cell phones have the QR code functionality built into the camera. If your phone doesn't have this, you can download a QR code application. 

A valid link will look like this and have the following information: 

  • Graphic: Green Circle Happy Face (Certified) / Red Circle with "X" (Not Certified)  
  • Status: Certified / Not Certified 
  • Name 
  • Cal Poly Email 
  • Valid: Today’s Date 

More information and support 

For support, please contact Campus Health and Wellbeing at 805-756-1211 or email health@calpoly.edu. Please visit COVID-19 Self-Screening webpage and COVID-19 Testing webpage for more information. 

How can we improve? 

We are committed to constant improvement and want to hear from you! Please share your feedback about the self-screening tool by emailing vpsa@calpoly.edu.    

In community, 

Keith B. Humphrey 
Vice President for Student Affairs 
Pronouns: he, him, his 

9/10/2020 - Updated student guidelines and resources for the first day of classes

Dear Students,

It’s Thursday before the new academic year and you’re probably feeling a range of emotions: anxious, excited, maybe a bit nervous. I get it. I feel that way too. I also suspect that you may also feel overwhelmed by the volume of new public health information coming out daily. Change is to be expected in this environment, and I appreciate your flexibility.

I’m here to say that we are going to be here for you every step of the way. Today’s message is about establishing some healthy habits, and keeping you updated on some new ways we are going to manage our community this fall.

Key Topics

  • COVID-19 Test Verification
  • COVID-19 Self-Screening Pass
  • Monitor your Health and Practice Healthy Behaviors
  • Cal Poly COVID-19 Tracking Dashboard
  • Ongoing Student Testing

Complete your COVID-19 test verification

(Already completed by students living on campus as part of the check-in process).

Before participating in any on-campus activities, including in-person classes, you need to complete this action. Upon completion, you will receive an email confirmation that will clear you to come to campus. If you have completed this verification process during on-campus housing move-in or prior to this message, please disregard this reminder.

Look for an email sent earlier today from Cal Poly COVID-19 Screening (subject line: Action Needed: Complete the COVID-19 Test Verification Process) with instructions on how to complete this requirement. Please check your spam and junk folders if you don't see the message in your inbox. 

COVID-19 Self-Screening

This self-screening tool is a way for you to monitor your personal health, assess symptoms related to coronavirus, and receive immediate guidance.  The outcome of the daily self-assessment will determine if students are permitted to enter campus that day or denied permission and prompted to obtain further evaluation, which could include testing.

All students using campus facilities and enrolled in face-to-face classes must complete a daily self-screening every morning as part of their daily routine. This includes university employees who are enrolled academically for fall 2020. Students who don’t plan to come to campus for any reason this fall are strongly encouraged to participate as a way to reinforce healthy habits and self-awareness. Please visit the coronavirus website for more information at https://coronavirus.calpoly.edu/covid-19-self-screening.

You will receive an email by Monday morning from COVID-19 Screening (covid-19-screening@reply.calpoly.edu) to begin taking the self-screening. Self-screening must be completed daily by noon (12 p.m.) or before traveling to campus, whichever comes first.

Please be ready to show this pass upon entering a campus facility such as a classroom, building or office. Each pass will contain a date stamp good for that day only.

Monitor your health and practice healthy behaviors

What if I’m experiencing symptoms of COVID-19?

Please immediately contact your medical provider for further evaluation or schedule an appointment at Campus Health and Wellbeing by calling 805-756-1211.

What happens if I get COVID-19?

In partnership with San Luis Obispo County Public Health, Cal Poly will continue to closely track students who have been exposed to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and support them in their medical care. 

The university has set aside 180 rooms for on-campus students who need to isolate or quarantine outside of their assigned residential community. Meals, academic support, regular physical and mental health checks and more will be provided during on-campus isolation or quarantine. Students living off campus should isolate or quarantine at the direction of SLO County Public Health.

Complete details about isolation and quarantine can be found on the COVID-19 website.

What if I see people not complying with public health orders?

The health and wellbeing of our community matters – and that includes you. Your actions and choices impact all of us, so please use the information above to practice healthy daily habits.

If you see someone who may not be complying with public health orders, you can report the incident here.

Above all else, it is our expectation that members of our community comply with all COVID-19 related protocols. This includes physical distancing, proper wearing of face coverings, and following local ordinances related to gatherings. Failure to follow protocols will result in student conduct action, which could include suspension or expulsion. The Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities will oversee the enforcement of COVID-19 related expectations. 

Enforcement will be based on reports to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities and citations issued off campus by the San Luis Obispo Police Department. Contact tracing or test result status will not be used for enforcement of the Student Code of Conduct.

Where can I pick up free face coverings?

Don’t forget to stock up on face coverings – you’ll need them! For information on picking up your Cal Poly-issued personal protective equipment (PPE) package, visit https://afd.calpoly.edu/emergency/resources/coronavirus/ppe. This page includes instructions on the proper use of your face covering and other PPE, and how to clean them too.

You are also encouraged to bring additional face coverings from home. When in doubt, wear your face covering – even outside in groups and with anyone who is outside of your household!

Cal Poly COVID-19 Tracking Dashboard

Since spring, we’ve been sharing updated Cal Poly-specific case counts on the coronavirus website. In an effort to provide you with more information about how our campus community is doing, we have created a COVID-19 tracking dashboard with more comprehensive data such as the number of positive tests for on- and off-campus students who are tested at Campus Health and Wellbeing, total number of recoveries, and much more. Please visit the coronavirus webpage for daily updates. The county will also track case counts for residential students only. 

Ongoing Student Testing

As you know, the university recently asked all students who plan to participate in campus activities (classes, work, services, etc.) to get tested for COVID-19. This surveillance process establishes a baseline that helps our health and epidemiological experts determine the most effective method to monitor and support our community’s health moving forward.

Depending on your residential or in-person class status, Campus Health and Wellbeing will contact you to get tested again during fall quarter. Additional details about ongoing student testing can be found here.

That was a lot, I know. For ongoing updates and new information, please continue to visit these Cal Poly websites and social media sites below:

Take care and be well, Mustangs. 

In community,

 

Keith B. Humphrey
Vice President for Student Affairs
Pronouns: he, his, him

#SLOthespread

9/9/2020 - Administration and Finance shares fall roadmap and work plan

Hello friends and colleagues,  

The academic year is nearly upon us and the diligent work that has been ongoing since spring has helped to create a safer campus for everyone in the Cal Poly community. Now, it is up to all of us to do what is needed for a healthy and successful fall quarter. By this we mean continuing to effectively telework or, if you are returning to campus, following the new protocols and social responsibilities. 

These new campuswide practices have been put in place to keep the university community safe so we can continue to deliver the first-class educational experience for which Cal Poly is known. The new etiquettes not only include required face coverings in public spaces but also appropriate hand hygiene and proper cough/sneeze decorum. These go alongside the physical distancing and health monitoring that we have all grown accustomed to. 

It is small, yet significant steps like these that will make a huge difference. Thank you in advance for continuing to take measures to ensure the health and well-being of yourself and your fellow campus community members.

University Communications and Marketing, Graphic Communications Department, and University Graphic Systems developed a range of signs to support and promote appropriate physical distancing and other behaviors that are a part of the new normal. Our Facilities team has placed more than 4,000 signs in public areas such as entrances, hallways, restrooms, planned in-person labs/classes, and elevators. If your department is in need of additional signage, visit UGS at ugs.myprintdesk.net to download or order signs.

The Fall Work Plan - Return to Work Protocols for COVID-19 is part of this overall direction, offering guidance, assistance and support that can help keep the community safe. It is highly suggested that all Cal Poly community members familiarize themselves with this plan. 

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact HR at humanresources@calpoly.edu or the Employee Support Services group at 805-756-2236.   

 

Beth Gallagher
Associate Vice President for Human Resources

Cynthia Vizcaíno Villa
Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance

9/7/2020 - Vice President for Student Affairs message on ways to safely explore San Luis Obispo

Dear students,

I’d like to start by welcoming our newest Mustangs, many of whom began moving into our residence halls and apartments last week. And to our continuing students who are arriving back to the SLO community, welcome home! A special welcome to all who have chosen to remain outside of SLO in your permanent residences.  We miss you, and are excited for you to join our community when it is safe for all of us to be together.

Last week, I shared important health and safety information to help you and your fellow Mustangs in your transition back to campus life. I want to reiterate my gratitude for diligently and thoroughly following our guidelines and expectations for a safe community as we set our sights on the start of fall quarter next week. Stay tuned later this week for more about our public health measures this fall.

This week, I would like to share some opportunities to safely explore the San Luis Obispo community as I'm sure many of you are looking for things to do now that you are back in town. We started a list of more than 50 ways to safely enjoy Cal Poly and SLO while avoiding groups, wearing face coverings, and remaining physically distant. There are many ways to have fun and safely enjoy SLOme! Make sure to download Cal Poly Now and check out the What's Up Now guide for lots of virtual events that you can participate in wherever you are.

Hiking in SLO is one of the best ways to enjoy some of the nicest weather on the planet. Did you know that there is a string of volcanic peaks called the Nine Sisters that span between SLO and Morro Bay? Bishop Peak is the highest in this lineup of peaks and is one of the most popular to hike among Cal Poly students – there are more than 40 miles of hiking and biking trails around SLO, including the hike to the "P" or the Serenity Swing, right in our own backyard.

Speaking of things to do on campus, this is a great time to finally explore spots you may have never seen. Explore the Design Village, visit the Poly Plant Shop, or picnic in the Leaning Pine Arboretum. Take a nap outside on Dexter Lawn or O'Neill Green, read a book or study at the Rose Garden, and visit the horses (sometimes they even have a newborn foal) at the Oppenheimer Family Equine Center. There are several new outdoor hangout spaces around campus for your to safely hang with friends and meet new people.

If you don’t have a car, utilize public transportation to get around town and remember that local business are open and safe, certified by following health and safety protocols for staff and shoppers. Visit Mission Plaza and enjoy the many parklets and outdoor dining options downtown. Wherever you go, we expect you will slow the spread of COVID-19 by complying with local public health recommendations in all circumstances. Stay home if you are sick and remember — the city of SLO's safety enhancement zone is being enforced.

I realize that the hardest ask will be to remain physically distant and not gather in groups with people outside of your household. This also holds true for our student clubs' and organizations' activities this fall. I call upon each of you to be strong and courageous, and always think of others as you make decisions. Our actions are linked, interconnected, and one bad decision can lead to a ripple effect of great significances. Instead, let us all do many good deeds and cause waves of kindness, compassion and community care. I believe you will do the right thing, and inspire others to do so as well.  

Cal Poly provides transformative education and even in these unique circumstances, I trust that you will have an outstanding experience that achieves your Cal Poly career goals. Remember, the health and safety of our Mustang community is our first priority — with your help, we can stay safe and continue to deliver high-quality education and a vibrant Cal Poly and San Luis Obispo experience.

In community,

Keith B. Humphrey
​Vice President for Student Affairs
Pronouns: he, him, his

#SLOthespread

9/2/2020 - Final housing move-in requirement – COVID-19 test verification

Dear Residential Students,

We are looking forward to seeing you at move-in! To complete your final housing requirement, please complete the COVID-19 test verification process before your move-in date. By submitting this documentation, you will receive a COVID-19 Screening Pass by way of email that will allow you to check-in.

You will receive an email from Cal Poly COVID-19 Screening (noreply@qemailserver.com) shortly after this message with instructions on how to complete this final housing requirement. Please check your spam and junk folders if you don't see the message in your inbox.

Test Verification Info
  • The test verification system enables you to upload your COVID-19 test results quickly, securely and easily. Preferred file types are .pdf, .tiff, .png or .jpg.
  • Once your results are uploaded, Cal Poly will verify your results. This will be the fastest way for your test results to get verified.
  • If you are waiting on test results at the time of move-in, please complete the COVID-19 test verification process to receive your COVID-19 Screening Pass to move-in (check the box saying, "I have taken a test but do not yet have the results.") You can upload proof of test results into the system at a later time.
If You Have Not Taken a Test – IMPORTANT UPDATE

If you have not taken a COVID-19 test prior to your move-in date, please report to the Cal Poly Health Services (Bldg. 27) at least one hour prior to your scheduled move-in time to get tested. You will not be able to check in to your residence hall without verification that you have taken a test. Please follow these instructions:

  • Park in the bottom level of the Grand Avenue parking structure.
  • Walk to Health Services (Bldg. 27) to get tested. No appointments are necessary.
  • After you get tested, please move your car to your designated parking lot to proceed with check-in.
Housing Move-In

Please visit University Housing's website for the most updated information about 2020 Fall Move-In, including campus maps, move-in tips and important reminders. Don't forget to check out these helpful packing lists for living in the residence halls and apartments!

Students Living Off-Campus

Students living off-campus in the community will receive a communication with unique instructions on how to complete the COVID-19 test verification process. Please stay tuned for more information.

COVID-19 Testing Requirement

Based on guidance from San Luis Obispo County health officials, Cal Poly is requiring all students who live and participate in on-campus activities to provide a negative test result for COVID-19. This includes students living on campus and students living off-campus who visit the university campus for any reason, such as labs, classes, and services.

Students must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours (three days) before arriving on campus. Although this is the university's preferred timeframe for testing, students may submit test results if they have taken a test within one week (seven days) before arrival on campus.

To regularly assess the health status of our community, students may be tested again by university medical officials during fall quarter. Additional on-site testing may be required based on data from the initial results. These strategies are supported by our infectious disease experts.

In all circumstances, students and their supporters must comply with local public health guidelines (e.g., wear face covering, practice physical distancing). We all have to work together—given the many challenges related to the pandemic, it is the only way to help ensure a successful fall quarter and academic year.

Visit the Cal Poly Coronavirus website for more information about the testing requirement. Anyone with questions can contact Campus Health and Wellbeing at health@calpoly.edu.

Thank you for doing your part to slow the spread of COVID-19.

 

Sincerely,

Keith B. Humphrey
​Vice President for Student Affairs
Pronouns: he, him, his

8/31/2020 - Important student health and safety information

Dear Mustangs,

As part of my series of messages to help prepare you for the fall quarter, I want to focus on a critical topic this week – your health, well-being and safety.

There have been a number of new requirements added to campus procedures, so please make sure you read this full message. These protocols are in place for one reason above all else: because we care about you and those around you. You have a responsibility to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. I know you’ll do the right thing.

THINGS YOU NEED TO DO TO SLOW THE SPREAD

Get a COVID-19 Test

If you are living and participating in activities on campus, you are required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test that is completed within the last three days before your arrival on campus. If you have not received your test results yet, please bring verification of a completed test, if possible. If you absolutely cannot obtain a test prior to arriving, Cal Poly will have testing capabilities on site. To regularly assess the health status of our community, students may be tested again by university medical officials during fall quarter.

Please visit the COVID-19 testing webpage for additional guidelines, including the types of tests to take, local testing resources and helpful FAQs. The university will send more information about how to submit proof of test results in the next few days. Please retain a digital copy for your records.

Take the COVID-19 Training

Please take 30 minutes to complete the COVID-19 online training course. Every student is required to complete this before their arrival on campus or before the start of classes on Sept. 14, whichever comes first.

To begin the training, please click here.    

Pick Up Your Free Face Coverings …

If you are living on campus, Cal Poly will provide you with a three-ply face covering, a gaiter-style face covering and a face shield during move-in. Off-campus students who have on-campus classes will also receive a gaiter-style face covering and a face shield. University Ticketing will email each off-campus student a ticket to be exchanged for the Personal Protective Equipment packet. Pick-up locations and dates are listed on the website. Please bring additional personal protective equipment, if you have it.

And Don't Forget to Wear It

Always wear a face covering over your nose and mouth when you are out in public. That includes classrooms, labs, residence halls (outside of immediate rooms), and outside when physical distancing isn’t possible.

Students and their supporters must comply with local public health recommendations in all circumstances to slow the spread of COVID-19. In addition to the above, please:

  • Stay 6 feet apart from others.
  • Stay home when you’re sick.
  • Avoid in-person gatherings with people who don’t live with you.
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

If You Test Positive for COVID or Need to Quarantine

If you receive a positive COVID-19 result, you will be required to self-isolate for at least 10 days by county health order. This means you will have to stay home in a specific room away from other people and pets. Self-isolation helps slow the spread of COVID-19 by keeping your family, friends, neighbors, and others you may come in contact with healthy.

The university will provide you with a place to stay and daily support (e.g., food delivery, cleaning services), care and coordination if you live on campus. Cal Poly also will work to support off-campus students who are unable to isolate at their current residence.

Someone from the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department will call you for contact tracing — to check on your health, discuss who you have been around, and ask where you have been during times of potential exposure. During your time in isolation, you will receive periodic calls to check on your physical, mental and other well-being needs. 

Isolation ends when you are cleared to return by the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department. Please do not travel before consulting with your physician. For additional information, please visit the Student Quarantine and Isolation page.

No In-Person Gathering and Events

This one is very important and applies everywhere in San Luis Obispo County: You must avoid gathering with people who don’t live with you. SLO County is seeing more recent cases tied to young adults age 18-29 and gatherings. This must stop. The fact remains that you are not immune and we are counting on you to keep SLO County safe, open, and strong. If you get sick with COVID-19, that effects not only you but also the SLO County community you love.

State public health orders prohibit gatherings of any size, and all university events and gatherings — whether on or off campus —should be virtual. This includes clubs, organizations, Greek chapters and club sports teams.

Indoor spaces will be limited to comply with the governor’s guidance so we have expanded outdoor seating options in various locations throughout campus, including the UU Plaza, Mustang Way, Campus Market, PAC Plaza and Dexter Lawn Area.

University Sanctions, Fines and Violations

Individuals or organizations engaging in behavior that compromises the health and safety of the Cal Poly community will be sanctioned, including suspension or expulsion from the university. Each of you who choose to come to San Luis Obispo this fall are committing yourselves to upholding these guidelines, without exception. This includes local, county and state guidelines, such as the current safety enhancement zone established by the city of San Luis Obispo.

Cal Poly receives daily reports from the San Luis Obispo Police Department and will be enforcing violations of these orders via the student conduct process

Please do the right thing. We don’t want anything to get in your way of your health and your progress toward a degree. Your actions save lives.

Mental Health and Well-being

Of course, you can’t be your best without being physically and mentally well. That’s why Campus Health and Wellbeing (CHW) has a team of 20 mental health providers ready to serve you throughout fall quarter. From virtual one-on-one and group counseling, to onsite support for students in crisis, our team is ready to help you be your best this fall.

In addition, CHW has a wide range of free and low-cost health serviceshealth education and peer wellness services, a food pantry, and much more to help you thrive and be well.

Being well also means connecting socially with others. Don’t forget to download the What’s Up Now guide in the Cal Poly Now app to join in on weekly virtual fall events from your favorite center, club or peer group.

Be Kind to Yourself and Others

I’m thinking a lot about you all. This is a very different and difficult time to start an academic year. With these last few days before fall begins, please take some time each day – a few minutes if that’s all you have – to center yourself. Take care, be kind to each other, and let us know how we can support you.

Be well, Mustangs!

In community,

 

Keith B. Humphrey
​Vice President for Student Affairs
Pronouns: he, him, his

8/28/2020 - Academic Affairs update on the fall quarter

Dear Colleagues,

I hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy. Thank you all for your work to prepare for the fall quarter and to welcome our incoming and returning students to a new academic year. I would also like to thank you for the warm welcome that has been extended to me. I am writing today to provide you with information on how our division will approach the fall quarter. These decisions were made in consultation with Cal Poly’s Emergency Operations Center and in accordance with guidance from the state, the Chancellor’s Office, President Armstrong and executive leadership, the division of Research, Economic Development and Graduate Education, and county health officials. Links to key sources are noted below:

 • California Department of Public Health Guidance on Higher Education

 • CSU Guidance on Fall 2020 University Operational Plans

 • Cal Poly's Approved Fall Plan, as shared by President Armstrong

 • Guidance on Research from the Division of Research, Economic Development and Graduate Education

Fall Instruction and Research

We currently are planning to offer approximately 12% of our courses in person this fall, and only laboratory and activity courses that have already been approved by the CSU Chancellor’s Office and are on the Registrar’s schedule as in-person courses will be offered in person. Students who are required to take an in-person class, but cannot or choose not to take the class in person, will be accommodated. These accommodations may differ between colleges, but all students will be provided with reasonable on-time pathways to graduation. Please check with your college if you receive these types of requests for accommodations from a student and you are unsure what to do.

Please keep in mind that there is a possibility that, based on public health conditions in our county, we may need to pivot from in-person instruction to virtual at any time. Should this occur, facilities currently used for in-person instruction would remain available to faculty for remote teaching presentations or demonstrations.

Meetings with your students outside of approved in-person course times, including office hours, should be done virtually. All student clubs and organizations will not be permitted to conduct in-person activities in the fall quarter and will not have access to any indoor spaces or facilities, and all events during the fall must be virtual. Research will remain primarily remote as well, with some exemptions as outlined by guidance from the Division of Research, Economic Development and Graduate Education.

Campus Facilities

Please remember that many indoor spaces on campus are closed while our county remains on the state’s watchlist. These include the Kennedy Library, the University Union, and computer labs. The library is offering its services virtually, as well as contactless book pickup, and ITS has services available for students, faculty, and staff both for those on campus and for those who are working, teaching, or learning remotely. Additionally, ITS has created a map identifying areas on campus where outdoor WiFi is available.

I would like to reiterate that all employees in the Academic Affairs division should continue to telework if it is feasible to do so. For staff members, please do not return to campus unless you have received the proper approvals from your supervisor or department chair and you have made yourself familiar with the safety procedures as outlined by your college or unit. For faculty members, you do not need to receive approval to return to campus, but it is advised that you let your department chair know about your anticipated use of office space. Faculty and staff members with private offices will continue to have access to these spaces if they need to come to campus. If you plan on using a shared office space or area on campus, please be sure to check with the manager of that space for their specific policies for keeping the area clean and safe to use. More information regarding procedures for returning to work may be found at https://afd.calpoly.edu/hr/fall-work-plan.

Health and Safety Precautions

All Cal Poly faculty and staff members will receive a personal protective equipment (PPE) packet that includes a face covering and face shield. Designees from all colleges and units have been contacted and will be responsible for distributing the PPE out to their areas. Please check with your college or unit if you’re unsure who will be coordinating distribution for your area. More information may be found at https://afd.calpoly.edu/emergency/resources/coronavirus/ppe.

To help inform your students of the university’s COVID-19 safety and prevention guidelines, please consider adding a statement to your syllabi explaining these guidelines and the possible consequences for not following them. Recommended syllabus statements are available through the Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology.

More information about student conduct expectations and how to address students not adhering to university protocols will be shared next week. Additionally, all students are being required to take an online training on COVID-19 safety and prevention, and have been asked to complete this training before coming to campus or before classes start on Monday, September 14, whichever is sooner. 

The university is requiring all students living on campus or participating in on-campus activities, including classes, to present a negative test result for COVID-19 taken within the 72 hours prior to arriving on campus. More information about testing requirements and resources can be found at https://coronavirus.calpoly.edu/covid-19-testing.

For more information about our planning for the fall quarter, please visit https://www.calpoly.edu/roadmap. For updated local confirmed case numbers and additional health information, visit https://coronavirus.calpoly.edu/.

Thank you all for your work and please stay safe and be well.

Sincerely,  

Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, Ph.D.  
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs  

8/28/2020 - Notification of required COVID-19 training for students

Dear Students, 

Cal Poly is committed to creating a safe and healthy learning environment for all students, staff, and faculty. As part of this commitment, the university is requiring all students, faculty, and staff to complete an online training course to ensure our community is well aware of our university’s health practices and protocols.  

  • This training is required of all students, whether or not they are planning to be on campus this fall. The training should take no longer than 30 minutes to complete. 
  • Students are required to complete this training before coming to campus or before classes start on Monday, September 14, whichever is sooner. 
  • Following completion of the training, students must save a copy of their learning transcript page, which can be accessed on this webpage by pulling down the My Profile menu and clicking on Learning History.
  • Students who are participating in credit-bearing, on-site internships or other forms of experiential learning (student teaching, clinicals, service learning, etc.) must present their learning transcript as a part of their required paperwork; this must be submitted seven days before they begin the experience.
  • Students should be prepared to present the learning transcript on or before beginning an in-person class or doing in-person research at Cal Poly. 
  • Please note that this training must be completed in an internet browser on a computer or tablet, it cannot be completed on a phone. You will need to log in to your Cal Poly account to access the training.

 Please click here to start the training.   

It is critical for the health and safety of our campus community that everyone, including students, faculty, and staff, follows all COVID-19 related protocols, including physical distancing, proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE), and following local ordinances related to the size of gatherings.  All students are expected to comply with these protocols. Failure to do so will result in student conduct action, which could include revocation of a housing contract, a registration hold, or other disciplinary action by the Office of Students Rights & Responsibilities. 

Thank you in advance for your participation in this important training. To ensure all members of our campus community are in coordination, all Cal Poly employees have been asked to complete a similar training. Your knowledge of and adherence to these best practices and protocols are in place to help keep you and your fellow community members healthy and safe. Visit the Cal Poly Roadmap to learn more about how we are planning to help you thrive in the upcoming academic year. 

Sincerely,  

 

Keith B. Humphrey, Ph.D.  
Vice President for Student Affairs 

Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, Ph.D.  
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs  

8/27/2020 - Fall Plans Virtual Town Hall

Visit the Fall Plans web page to view the Virtual Town Hall that took place on August 27, 2020.

Key members of our campus community, public health experts and epidemiologists gathered to discuss and answer questions about Cal Poly's fall plans and answer some of the community's most frequently asked questions.

8/27/2020 - Administration and Finance shares Fall Work Plan and additional return to work protocols

Hello friends and colleagues,

Last week Human Resources published the Fall Work Plan - Return to Work Protocols for COVID-19 which lays out guidance for fall quarter and offers direction for staffing options, trainings, forms, checklists and more. This information was put together to help campus departments and units prepare for a hybrid start to the academic year. 

As preparations continue for the return of a limited number of students to campus, please know that all employees who can effectively work remotely should continue to do so. The university is striving to de-densify to meet physical distancing requirements, and working remotely will help achieve this goal. 

If an employee needs to return to campus, their manager must first complete the Workplace Readiness Assessment Form. After this initial form is submitted, the manager will receive an email from HR with an additional form/checklist to complete. This process must be completed to have employees approved to return to campus. Completed forms will be routed through the Emergency Operations Center to help mitigate risks and ensure the safety of the Cal Poly community. Once on-campus staffing has been approved, the department should follow the safety protocols in the returning to work guide

Before returning to campus all faculty and staff are being asked to complete COVID-19-awareness online trainings. Please check your Cal Poly email for a link or log into the Learning Hub through your portal and select Assigned Learning. 

Please note that face coverings must be worn in public buildings on campus. Cal Poly will provide every community member with a face covering and face shield, along with instructions for use and care of the materials. Please check with your supervisor for more information and visit afd.calpoly.edu/emergency/resources/coronavirus/ppe.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact HR at humanresources@calpoly.edu


Beth Gallagher
Associate Vice President for Human Resources

Cynthia Vizcaíno Villa
Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance

8/27/2020 - Revised COVID-19 testing information for students

Dear students, faculty, and staff,

Based on new information and additional guidance, the university has revised its COVID-19 testing requirements for students. Below is an updated version of the message you received yesterday. Please reference this message for information moving forward.

Sincerely,

Keith B. Humphrey


Dear Mustangs,

As a follow-up to President Armstrong’s message, I am writing to share information on how to complete the COVID-19 testing requirement. Based on the recommendations of our county health officials, the university is requiring all students who live and participate in on-campus activities provide a negative test result for COVID-19. This includes students living on campus and students living off-campus who visit the university campus for any reason, such as labs, classes, and services.

Students must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours (three days) before arriving on campus. Although this is the university’s preferred timeframe for testing, students may submit test results if they have taken a test within one week (seven days) before arrival on campus. See below for information on where to get tested. Additional on-site testing may be required based on data from the initial results. It’s important to note that these strategies are supported by our infectious disease experts.

Viral or diagnostic testing results are acceptable. These types include molecular, PCR, and antigen (also known as a rapid diagnostic test.) Antibody tests are not accepted to fulfill this requirement.

We understand that logistics and other circumstances may make it difficult for a student to obtain a test within this time frame. For students not able to obtain a test, we will coordinate testing with Campus Health and Wellbeing. Students can still proceed with their scheduled move-in.

During the school year,  students and their supporters must comply with local public health recommendations in all circumstances to slow the spread of COVID-19. This includes on-campus and off-campus activities. Local public health recommendations include:

  1. Wear a face covering over your nose and mouth when in public
  2. Stay six feet apart from others
  3. Stay home when you’re sick
  4. Avoid in-person gatherings with people who don’t live with you
  5. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water

If You have Pending Test Results 

In the event that you are awaiting test results, students can still arrive for their scheduled move-in.

Where to Get Tested

Please be sure to verify the average turnaround time for receiving test results, as laboratory processing and reporting times vary greatly.

  • Outside of San Luis Obispo County: If you live outside of the area, please contact your family healthcare provider to determine the testing options available to you. In addition, you may also have access to testing through a local urgent care facility, pharmacy, or community testing sites in your area.
  • San Luis Obispo County: If you can’t get tested prior to arriving in San Luis Obispo, please visit one of the several testing locations available. The SLO Vets Hall is the closest location to campus. Additional testing sites are also available in Grover Beach and Nipomo. Please note - appointment registration is required.   
  • Self-testing Kits: Several private companies have been approved to provide ‘self-testing kits’ under Emergency Use Authorizations from the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), including Pixel by LabCorpVitagenePicture by Fulgent Genetics; and LetsGetChecked. Insurance can be billed for these tests during the online ordering process. Please note that a minimum of 5-6 days should be allowed to cover the time needed to receive the kit in the mail and then to receive results.

Who Needs to Get Tested?

  • Students living on campus are required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result prior to arrival on campus. This applies to students who choose to live on campus at any point during the academic year.
  • Students living off campus who plan to be on campus for any reason (e.g., class, lab, services) must present a negative test result for COVID-19 before participating in any on-campus activities. 
  • Students living off campus in the San Luis Obispo community and not visiting campus for any reasons are strongly encouraged to test for COVID-19 before returning to the area. 

Parents and supporters who are helping their students move in do not need to complete a test, but are asked to wear a face covering in public, practice good hand hygiene, and stay six feet apart from those who don’t live with you.

If You Test Positive

Should you receive a positive COVID-19 result, you will be required to isolate by county health order. Please do not travel. Contact your local public health office and protect those around you by wearing a face covering, adhering to physical distancing, and practicing strict hygiene.

Above all else, I want to make sure that you are prioritizing your wellbeing. If you are positive, be sure to monitor your health and check for signs of worsening conditions.

Submitting Proof of Negative Test

Cal Poly just added this requirement based on local circumstances and the recommendation of SLO County Public Health and will share additional information on this process soon. Please hang on to your test results.

More Testing Info and FAQs

For additional information on COVID-19 testing procedures, including FAQs, please visit Cal Poly’s coronavirus site. Thank you in advance for your help with this critical and necessary step to begin your Cal Poly journey.

In community,

 

Keith B. Humphrey
​Vice President for Student Affairs
Pronouns: he, him, his

8/26/2020 - Additional testing information for students

Dear Mustangs,

As a follow-up to President Armstrong’s message yesterday, I am writing to share information on how to complete the COVID-19 testing requirement. As a reminder and based on the recommendations of our county health officials, the university is requiring all students living on campus to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within the last 72 hours (3 days) prior to arrival on campus.

I understand that this may be a challenging task for some of you, as turnaround times for testing may vary in the areas you live. With this in mind, I'm sharing some helpful information and resources to guide you through this process.

Where to Get Tested

Please be sure to verify the average turnaround time for receiving test results, as laboratory processing and reporting times vary greatly.

  • Outside of San Luis Obispo County: If you live outside of the area, please contact your family healthcare provider to determine the testing options available to you. In addition, you may also have access to testing through a local urgent care facility, pharmacy, or community testing sites in your area.
  • San Luis Obispo County: If you can’t get tested prior to arriving in San Luis Obispo, please visit one of the several testing locations available. The SLO Vets Hall is the closest location to campus. Please note - appointment registration is required. 
  • Self-testing Kits: Several private companies have been approved to provide ‘self-testing kits’ under Emergency Use Authorizations from the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), including Pixel by LabCorpVitagenePicture by Fulgent Genetics; and LetsGetChecked. Insurance can be billed for these tests during the online ordering process. Please note that a minimum of 5-6 days should be allowed to cover the time needed to receive the kit in the mail and then to receive results.

Who Needs to Get Tested?

  • Students living on campus are required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within the last 72 hours (3 days) prior to arrival on campus. This applies to students who choose to live on campus at any point during the academic year.
  • Students living off campus in the San Luis Obispo community are strongly encouraged to test for COVID-19 before returning to the area.
  • Parents and supporters who are helping their students move in do not need to complete a test, but are asked to follow local public health advisements and personal protection requirements (e.g., wearing face coverings, physical distancing).

Submitting Proof of Negative Test

Cal Poly just learned about this requirement and will share additional information on this process soon. Please hang on to your test results.

If You have Pending Test Results

In the event that you cannot obtain a test, students can still check in. We will work with students in these circumstances to obtain a test over a short interval.

If You Test Positive

Should you receive a positive COVID-19 result, you will be required to isolate by county health order. Please do not travel. Contact your local public health office and protect those around you by wearing a face covering, adhering to physical distancing, and practicing strict hygiene.

Above all else, I want to make sure that you are prioritizing your wellbeing. If you are positive, be sure to monitor your health and check for signs of worsening conditions.

More Testing Info and FAQs

For additional information on COVID-19 testing procedures, including FAQs, please visit Cal Poly’s coronavirus site. Thank you in advance for your help with this critical and necessary step to begin your Cal Poly journey.

In community,

 

Keith B. Humphrey
​Vice President for Student Affairs
Pronouns: he, him, his

8/25/2020 - President Armstrong shares updates on COVID-19 testing, housing and in-person classes 

Dear Campus Community,

I hope that all of you reading this are well and healthy and that you and your loved ones remain so. Please know that we care about each and every one of you, and we keep you and your interests in mind as we try to balance the various concerns around the start of Cal Poly's fall quarter on September 14.

At this time, a number of you have voiced questions or concerns around the university's plan to hold a small percentage of fall classes in person, and allow students to live on campus. There have also been concerns about students returning to off-campus communities.

First, thank you for raising these important questions - they touch on the health and safety of all of us and on Cal Poly's responsibility as a good neighbor and partner in the community. I especially want to thank the faculty, staff and students who have expressed the issues clearly and fairly and helped me understand that we need to explain our plans in more detail. I hear your concern and share your care for every member of our community.

While the note below is lengthy, it contains important information as there are a number of related issues to discuss, and they are complicated.

Ideals, Principles and Guidelines

Our planning has been guided by the advice of both on- and off-campus public health experts in our community, including our own faculty, and is grounded in their expertise as an overriding principle. Many experts believe we will be dealing with the virus for some time, despite the prospect of a vaccine. There remain questions about the availability and willingness of enough citizens to accept the vaccine and thus drive herd immunity to an appropriate level. Consequently, we have to make the best decisions we can, balancing the many competing and sometimes conflicting interests.

Because the coronavirus has become endemic in our communities, our approach has to be one of containment and risk minimization rather than attempting to prevent any transmission at all, which is no longer realistic. We know that every course of action has risk and that we will always be balancing interests and risks. We take very seriously the fact that any decision will have impacts on many, especially our students, faculty, and staff, and our neighbors in San Luis Obispo.

To help inform our decisions, we have carefully reviewed and evaluated numerous plans that have gone through several layers of analysis including: The CSU Chancellor's Office; the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department; Cal Poly's Department of Emergency Management; our experts at Campus Health and Wellbeing; and other infectious disease experts and epidemiologists on the faculty and off campus. Our plans are also in compliance with, and in most cases exceed, the governor's guidance for higher education. We are proceeding cautiously and deliberately, with due deference to the experts and the evidence.

On-Campus Housing

On-campus housing and in-person classes are part of our DNA as a comprehensive, polytechnic university and are inextricably linked due to the nature of our Learn by Doing pedagogy and the fact that first-year students start in labs and work on projects in week one. We also know that our on-campus residential experience is particularly important for high-achieving students from low income groups - especially students in majors in the colleges of Science & Mathematics and Engineering.

Because of the hands-on nature of our Learn by Doing education, we, more than most universities, have to be disciplined and learn how to deal with the virus. We must balance the continued success of our students with mitigating risk associated with the pandemic.

We know the vast majority (thousands) of students are coming back to San Luis Obispo regardless of whether our classes are 100% virtual and/or whether our campus severely limits student housing. More than 90% of our students have permanent homes more than 100 miles from campus. The majority signed 12-month leases months ago (many pre-COVID). We know this from our student surveys conducted in June and again in August; from what we witnessed last spring as we transitioned to 100% virtual learning; and from the numbers of students who have already moved back to San Luis Obispo over the summer.

Out of an abundance of caution, and in consultation with health experts and Dr. Penny Borenstein, SLO County Public Health Director, we have decided to limit on campus housing to singles. As of today, we plan to host no more than 5,150 students (mostly students new to Cal Poly) in on-campus housing in accordance with the guidance issued by the state.

As first-year students learn their block schedules tomorrow, we are again asking students to defer housing if they do not have in-person classes and feel comfortable taking virtual classes at their permanent residence. We encourage students especially first-year, with in-person classes, visa, health, safety, economic or other reasons to maintain campus housing for the fall quarter. We will not honor deferment of freshman housing if the intent is to move into the neighborhoods in San Luis Obispo.

Also, based on an abundance of caution, and based on the strong recommendation of Dr. Penny Borenstein and our experts, we will require that all students living on campus present a negative test result for COVID-19 taken within the 72 hours prior to arriving on campus. We understand that logistics and other circumstances may make it difficult for a student to obtain a test within this time frame. In the event that you cannot obtain a test, students can still check in - we will work with students in these circumstances to obtain a test over a short interval. In addition, we strongly encourage all students not living on campus to test for COVID-19 before returning to the area. Additional details will be communicated by Student Affairs no later than tomorrow.

Campus Health & Wellbeing has developed the capacity to conduct more than 600 tests per day in our on-campus student health center, provided no delays in the reagent supply chain. That kind of large-scale (relative to our population), quick-turnaround testing, coupled with robust contact tracing and the ability to isolate students found to be contagious, are essential to preventing inevitable transmissions from becoming a local outbreak. We are confident that the university has the staff, the expertise and the equipment necessary to do that; every layer of oversight, including the county public health officer, agrees.

We have thought seriously about whether students returning to on-campus housing endangers them or others. It is true that congregate living facilities like residence halls pose a higher risk of transmission. It is also true that we can mitigate that increased risk so that it remains low. Our new testing requirement will only add to the mitigation of risk. We do so by having all students living in single rooms; through requiring use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in public areas; and by prohibiting use of indoor group spaces. And the most important way that we can mitigate risk is by the constant education and modeling of appropriate use of PPE, hand washing, physical distancing, and so on.

Our consulting health experts do not believe having students living on campus endangers faculty or staff if appropriate protective measures are followed. The vast majority of faculty and staff are teaching and supporting students virtually and are at no additional risk. Those who have volunteered to teach in-person will be at minimal risk from having students living on campus due to the protective measures implemented in campus housing and face-to-face classes. Staff who interact directly with students or with high-student-use facilities like bathrooms, may face some additional risk, but the health experts advising us believe that risk can be mitigated through appropriate use of PPE and sanitation. Please note that our experts are clear: Wearing a mask is essential to lowering risk. Contracting the virus through surfaces has been demonstrated to be a low-likelihood mode of transmission of the virus.

In-Person Classes

Our plan is to offer roughly 12% of our 4,300 fall classes in-person - about 511 sections in all. Enrollment data suggest that fewer than 6,000 students will be taking at least one in-person class this fall. The classes being offered in person were identified by the faculty as being difficult or impossible to offer virtually - from labs to performance classes, milking cows to testing rocket designs. The faculty teaching these courses have volunteered to do so, presumably because they are confident they can teach these classes in a way that is safe for themselves, their students and any other campus community members who might be involved (lab technicians, for example). These are classes students need to make progress toward their degrees (of course we are accommodating students who aren't comfortable taking in-person classes, though that may take the form of taking classes out of sequence, substitutions and other work-arounds). We will not be offering virtual sections of in-person labs, projects or activities; however, we will accommodate students who need in-person classes but who opt not to take any course that is offered in-person.

Off-Campus Housing

For our friends and neighbors in San Luis Obispo, the biggest concern is likely having more students living in the community, especially those who may be returning to SLO from areas with higher rates of illness, and those who choose to participate in risky behaviors or group behaviors (i.e. parties). Our experts indicate that proper use of masks, distancing, hand washing, etc., will clearly mitigate the risk of having additional people in our community. The key is compliance with these precautions.

Every person has a responsibility to prevent the spread of coronavirus. That means wearing a face covering, practicing physical distancing and following all of the local, county and state guidelines, including the safety enhancement zone established by the city of San Luis Obispo. Cal Poly receives daily reports from the San Luis Obispo Police Department and will enforce violations of these orders via the student conduct process.

Let me be clear: Individuals or organizations that engage in behavior that compromises the health and safety of the Cal Poly community will be sanctioned, including possible suspension or expulsion from the university. Each student that chooses to come to San Luis Obispo this fall is committing to upholding these guidelines, without exception.

Live Town Hall

To help share more information and the rationale behind our plans for fall, we will host a live town-hall discussion at 4:30 pm, Thursday, August 27. The online event will feature a panel of epidemiologists and public health officers who have been advising Cal Poly and will provide an opportunity for the campus and broader community to ask questions related to fall. We invite students, faculty, staff, parents and the public to attend and to submit their questions in advance. We have created a website where questions can be submitted now and where the event can be viewed on Thursday: https://www.calpoly.edu/fallplans.

Resources

We want you to know that Cal Poly is here to support you. Counseling services are available for Cal Poly students 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by calling 805-756-2511. Please do not hesitate to contact them.

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides confidential counseling services to all Cal Poly employees and their families. To speak with a counselor at any other time, please call their 24-hour support hotline at 800-367-7474. More information about EAP's confidential services is available at this website.

For additional support, please contact the Dean of Students office at 805-756-0327 or deanofstudents@calpoly.edu.

Conclusion

I know that I have not addressed every issue of concern, but I fear I have already taxed your patience with this lengthy note. I'll close with this thought: Part of the lifeblood of an institution of higher education is informed disagreement and debate. I acknowledge that people of good will may disagree about how to balance the relevant factors, and whether our balance is the right one. I am genuinely grateful to those who have expressed their concerns. Hopefully these explanations of our thinking and planning have addressed some concerns, though inevitably, I'm sure they have not resolved them all. I understand and appreciate that, and I look forward to continuing these important conversations. Similarly, we continue to monitor the situation, and to respond to changes and new information.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey D. Armstrong
President

8/24/2020 - Student Affairs shares important housing update and back-to-school resources

Dear Mustangs,

I have some important University Housing updates to share as you prepare for your first day of fall classes on Sept. 14. After consulting with county public health, Cal Poly has made the decision to house students in single rooms this fall. Here’s what the university needs from you:

  • Have a conversation with your family and supporters about your housing decision, as deadlines to defer are shortly after you receive your fall schedule.
  • First-year students who want to defer housing until the start of winter quarter must do so by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 26. Reminder – first-year students who defer housing for fall must live in their permanent residence.
  • New transfer students who want to defer housing until the start of winter quarter must do so by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 28.
  • Students can defer housing in the Housing Portal under Cancellations/Deferrals.

University Housing will begin providing assignments to first-year and transfer students once information on deferrals has been received. You should receive a message from the university in the near future with additional housing information, including move-in.

In addition, I want to make sure that you are prepared to be successful in your classes – whether they are in-person or virtual. As promised last week, this is the first message in a series of updates that I will be providing you to help you navigate the unique nature of Cal Poly.

Your Actions Save Lives

Every person has a responsibility to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. That means wearing a face covering, practice physical distancing and following all of the local, county and state guidelines, including the safety enhancement zone established by the city of San Luis Obispo. Cal Poly receives daily reports from the San Luis Obispo Police Department and will be enforcing violations of these orders via the student conduct process. 

Let me be clear – individuals or organizations that engage in behavior that compromises the health and safety of the Cal Poly community will be sanctioned, including suspension or expulsion from the university. Each of you that chooses to come to San Luis Obispo this fall is committing to upholding these guidelines, without exception.

Academic Technology

To get you ready for classes, let’s make sure you have all the supplies you need. Technology has been important, but now more than ever. If you need a laptop or tablet please complete the online Tech Rental Form. Students in need of financial assistance to purchase technology, please email the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office – we want to review your personal situation and maximize your financial support.

Campus Operations and Personal Protection

You will find many facilities closed, or with limited in-person operations. All services will be available to students virtually. For facilities that are open, the university is taking additional cleaning and sanitation steps to minimize spread of the coronavirus. Students living on campus will be provided with face coverings and face shields at check-in, and students who live off-campus will have access to pick up face coverings and face shields on campus. You should also make sure that you have an ample supply of personal face coverings to add to the ones that Cal Poly is providing. You must wear a face covering outside of the home. Please read the campus guidelines before returning to campus.

This week you will also receive a communication from Provost Jackson-Elmoore and myself that provides a link to a short tutorial around coronavirus safety education. Your faculty and staff are also taking this training. It will take you about 30 minutes to complete.

Back-to-School Resources

Whether you’re planning to live and attend classes in-person at Cal Poly, or taking classes virtually, please familiarize yourself with this important information as you make plans for fall quarter. Here’s a helpful back-to-school student checklist. For additional information and resources, please visit the Cal Poly Roadmap.

Next week’s update will feature important health and safety information to help you be ready for fall. This includes testing availability, procedures for quarantine and isolation, personal protective equipment requirements, and more.

Finally, please know that we are here to support you if you have been impacted by the fires throughout California. If you need support, please contact the Dean of Students Office. Take care and be well, Mustangs!

In community,

 

Keith B. Humphrey
Vice President for Student Affairs
Pronouns: he, him, his

8/17/2020 - Gearing up for fall: upcoming messages from the Vice President for Student Affairs

Dear students,

The fall quarter is around the corner, and I find myself missing all of you.

As I write this note, I can think of no aspect of my life that is the same as it was in early March. Like you, I want to know what the future holds, including when my kids can go back to school. It’s been far too long since we’ve been together on campus, and yet, it is more important than ever that we maintain vigilance in the face of this virus. The “coronavirus crystal ball” that is supposed to provide us all the answers, offer guarantees on the future, and bring us inner peace, remains elusive. 

Classes start in about one month, and we are busy preparing for a fall unlike any we have seen before. Leading up to the first day of school, you can expect to receive updates from my office covering a wide range of information to prepare you for the new academic year, such as:

  • How to get ready for virtual and/or in-person classes; and available campus facilities and services
  • Health and well-being management information, including campus personal protective equipment requirements, testing availability, and procedures for quarantine and isolation
  • Important San Luis Obispo public health and safety measures that you and your supporters should know
  • Student engagement opportunities, including how to get connected to hundreds of student clubs and organizations

No matter what modality and location you live and learn in this fall, we are here to support your Learn by Doing journey. Rest assured, Cal Poly is working alongside local and state public health authorities and is following the guidance issued earlier this month by the California Department of Public Health for institutions of higher education. If you have not read that document, you can view it online here. I know no one wants a reading assignment before classes begin, but this one is worth it and will help you understand how Cal Poly is operating. I also encourage you to visit Cal Poly’s Roadmap to Fall website to learn more about our fall planning.

Above all else, know that the Cal Poly community – faculty, staff, and surrounding San Luis Obispo residents – cares about your well-being.  To that end, please be sure to add an electronic thermometer (oral or tympanic, i.e. ear) to your back-to-school shopping list. As part of our campus health protocols, ​at a minimum, students living on campus or attending in-person classes will be required to self-monitor their personal health daily, including their temperature, and respond to a series of health-related questions via a ​daily survey. More details on this procedure and more will be shared with you soon.

I will be back in touch next week. Be well, Mustangs.

In community,

Keith B. Humphrey
Vice President for Student Affairs
Pronouns: he, him, his

8/12/2020 - President Armstrong shares information on approved fall plan

Dear Campus Community,

As the start of our fall quarter nears, I want to thank you for your ongoing patience and understanding while we have developed our plans for the upcoming academic year. I know that it has been frustrating for everyone not to have more definite information.

We have some important updates to share: As you may know, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and state public health officials recently announced guidelines for higher education. With that guidance in hand, the CSU Chancellor’s Office has approved the remaining portions of our plans for fall quarter.  We anticipate the winter quarter will also follow a similar plan.

Fall Classes

The fall quarter will begin Sept. 14, with about 13% of our approximately 4,300 sections held in-person. These sections are labs and activities that have been determined as critical to student success and to keeping students on track to degree completion.

As we have stated previously, we will provide a fully virtual option for students who either cannot or choose not to take in-person classes for any reason. We are asking first-year students who do not wish to take in-person courses, but who may be having difficulty getting a seat in required courses this fall, to reach out to our Mustang Success Center. Continuing students who have registered for in-person courses but would like to be fully virtual for fall should contact the academic department or college advising center for assistance.

Most in-person classes conclude Nov. 20 and all classes will be held virtually Nov. 23-24, with virtual final exams from Nov. 30 through Dec. 4. Any classes that start the quarter in a virtual format will remain virtual for the entire quarter and will not transition to an in-person format under any circumstances.

A very limited number of in-person classes, senior projects, undergraduate research, enterprise projects and activities will be granted in-person status for the period from Nov. 20 through the end of the calendar year, on a case-by-case basis.

Housing

In a survey of Cal Poly students conducted in early summer, the vast majority reported that they intended to come back to the San Luis Obispo community this fall, even in the event that classes were held 100 percent virtually.  In light of this fact and after careful analysis and consideration—including consultation with public health—we will be allowing a limited number of students to return to housing on campus this fall.  Our intent is to strike a balance that accommodates the needs and desires of students, while also seeking to minimize risk to them and the broader San Luis Obispo community. 

In a typical academic year, Cal Poly houses close to 8,500 students on campus.  In an effort to de-densify university residences this fall, we will be housing no more than 5,980 students on campus, with a priority on first-year students. Housing will reach out with more information to first-year and continuing students who have completed the housing application/agreement process.

Our move-in period will be extended to 10 days so that we can de-densify the process. Move-in will start Sept. 3 and continue through Sept. 13. Incoming and continuing students will receive more information from University Housing on this process in the coming days. New student Academic Day will be held on Sept. 9.  Week of Welcome will be held from Sept. 10-13, in a hybrid format, with small-group, in-person activities happening outside with physical distancing and larger-group activities being offered virtually.

Working on Campus

We are continuing to encourage all faculty and staff who can do so to work remotely during fall quarter, to help de-densify campus. We are assessing some expanded on-campus staffing in cases that involve mission-critical operations, the ability to control and manage specific work environments through physical distancing and personal safety equipment, and the need to access on-campus resources. 

Departments with employees returning to work on campus will take numerous precautions to de-densify their buildings and work spaces: bringing staff back on campus on alternating days, staggering starting and departure times to reduce traffic in common areas, and taking measures to create physical distance in offices and meeting rooms.

In accordance with state and local mandates, employees and students must wear face coverings in any public areas, shared work areas, and common areas such as hallways, break rooms and conference rooms. Even if they are on campus, to the extent possible, employees will be encouraged to hold meetings virtually and conduct their work via e-mail, telephone, instant message and other technology rather than face-to-face.

Managers of employees who self-identify as being vulnerable to COVID-19 in accordance with CDC guidelines should make arrangements for those individuals to continue teleworking. If such work is unavailable, employees should reach out to Human Resources or Academic Personnel to explore appropriate accommodations.

Safety Measures

For those returning to campus, we want to inform you about the safety measures we are taking. Every student living or attending class on campus will be issued a face covering and face shield, along with instructions for use and care of the equipment. Students living on campus will receive the equipment when they move in, while students living off campus with on-campus classes will receive information about where to pick them up. Faculty and staff members working on campus will be issued a face covering and face shield at the division level.

Faculty and staff have been asked to take an online COVID-19 awareness training, “COVID-19 Information for the Workplace,” with important health, safety and prevention information, which our colleagues at Cal Poly Corporation and Associated Students Inc. are also completing. Please note that this is not an indication or expectation that you return to work on campus. Students will receive the information during SLO Days and Week of Welcome (WOW).

In line with state public health rules, face coverings are required indoors in public spaces and outside when a physical distance of at least 6 feet cannot be maintained (this includes while operating or riding in vehicles with others who are not in your household).

In our housing communities, custodial services will increase sanitation of common areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, and other high-touch surfaces. Similar cleaning and sanitation measures are taking place in our academic buildings and other high-traffic areas of campus. Sanitizing sprays and wipes will be provided, in addition to increased access to hand sanitizer stations in strategically placed locations throughout campus. We will continue to encourage healthy behaviors across our campus community, including washing hands frequently with soap and water.

Additional strategies in academic buildings include increasing ventilation in rooms where possible, reducing course enrollment capacities/finding strategies to reduce room occupancy, providing appropriate safety equipment, creating room conditions where physical distancing can be implemented, and scheduling classes further apart so that exiting and entering students do not cross paths. There will be additional personal protective equipment requirements in classrooms spaces, such as wearing face shields in addition to face coverings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

Our Campus Dining venues will be open with de-densified outdoor dining and take-out services only. Campus Dining is asking that all orders be placed through Grubhub to limit contact.

Campus Health and Wellbeing

Current and enrolled students will be able to access COVID-19 diagnostic testing at Campus Health and Wellbeing (CHW) free of charge, which will perform in-house viral testing ​of symptomatic students and close contacts if indicated.

Cal Poly has developed a comprehensive exposure investigation process that will assist San Luis Obispo County Public Health’s efforts in determining close contacts of COVID-19 positive cases among campus community members.

Current and enrolled students who are symptomatic will be directed to self-quarantine in their rooms while an appointment is scheduled for viral testing with CHW.

Students living on campus who have undergone viral testing and are confirmed to be COVID-19 positive will be moved temporarily to designated isolation rooms. Students who live off campus will be directed to self-isolate. These locations will be kept confidential to ensure the privacy of our community members.

Along with San Luis Obispo County Public Health support, CHW is developing an Isolation and Quarantine Support Team that will closely communicate with affected students to ensure they are being supported during their quarantine/isolation period. This team will also ensure a student’s overall well-being is supported by connecting them to additional campus resources as appropriate (e.g. food delivery from Campus Dining, Counseling Services, Academic Support Services, Disability Resource Center and Dean of Students).

New Roadmap Webpage

You can find more details about these plans on a new webpage at https://calpoly.edu/roadmap. We will continue to update this webpage with information about our plans for fall quarter and beyond. We will also continue to update daily the campus COVID-19 website at https://coronavirus.calpoly.edu/ with confirmed case numbers and other important health advisories and information.

Whether you are returning to campus this fall or planning to study or work from home, please continue to practice healthy behaviors: Wear your face covering when outside of your home, practice physical distancing, wash your hands often and get plenty of self-care, ample rest, nutritious food and regular exercise. We care about you; please reach out if you need resources or support.

I know the uncertainty of this evolving situation can cause stress and anxiety, and I thank you for the patience you’ve shown during this time. We will come through this stronger, together. In the meantime, please take care of yourself.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey D. Armstrong
President

 

8/7/2020 - President Armstrong message regarding state guidance for higher education

Dear Campus Community, 

Thank you for your patience as we continue to plan for and respond to the ever-changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am writing to share some new information and let you know the next steps in our planning for fall quarter.  

As you may know, we have been waiting for California Governor Gavin Newsom and state public health officials to release guidance for higher education. Those guidelines were released this afternoon, and you can find more details at https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/OPA/Pages/NR20-187.aspx

While we are cautiously optimistic that the governor’s guidelines will permit Cal Poly to continue with our plans to allow the return of some students and personnel to campus, we are waiting for final approval of our fall plans from the California State University Chancellor’s Office. This includes the number of students who can live on campus. As soon as we have that CSU direction, we will share more information with you. University Housing plans to reach out to residential students next week -provided CSU guidance has been received - with more information about specific housing assignments and move-in times.

As our plans are finalized, we will post more information on a new website that we have created to serve as a resource for the fall quarter planning - including more information about housing. Please visit calpoly.edu/roadmap.

Please also continue to check the campus Coronavirus website at https://coronavirus.calpoly.edu, which we update daily with confirmed case numbers and other important health advisories and information related to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

We are also asking all faculty and staff members to complete a COVID-19 awareness online training program, “COVID-19 Information for the Workplace,” on important safety and prevention information. Faculty and staff, please check your Cal Poly email for a link to the learning activity. Please note: This is not an indication or expectation that you return to work on campus. Cal Poly Corporation has also assigned the training to employees actively working remotely and on campus, and Associated Students Inc. is requiring it for all active full-time, intermittent, or student staff who are working on campus or remotely. 

Students will receive similar information during the SLO Days and Week of Welcome (WOW) orientation programs. 

Please know that we are updating our plans and responding as quickly as we can, as we receive additional guidance and direction from our local and state public health partners and the CSU. Thank you again for your flexibility and understanding, and we will be in touch again just as soon as we have more information to share.

Sincerely, 

Jeffrey D. Armstrong
President

7/31/2020 - Update from President Armstrong on the status of fall quarter plans  

Dear Campus Community,

Thank you for your patience as we continue to plan and respond to the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the summer, we have continued to work on plans and readying campus in anticipation of welcoming some students, faculty and staff back for select in-person learning and experiences this fall.

Key components of our plans are contingent upon the release of higher education guidance by California Governor Gavin Newsom and state public health officials. Our hope was that the governor would release those guidelines today and we would be able to provide a comprehensive update on our plans for fall. Unfortunately, the guidelines have not yet been released and we continue to wait for further direction.

We are cautiously optimistic that, once released, the governor's guidelines will allow Cal Poly to continue with plans to allow the return of some students and personnel to campus. As soon as we have more direction from the governor and approval of our plans from the CSU, we will share that information with you.

In the meantime, we have created a website to serve as a resource for the fall quarter. The website will be updated with detailed information as soon as our plans are approved. We also encourage you to visit the campus coronavirus website, which we update daily with confirmed case numbers and other important health advisories and information.

Please know that we continue to plan for a variety of contingencies and will communicate as quickly as possible when we receive additional guidance and direction from our local and state public health partners and the CSU. I thank you for your flexibility and patience.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey D. Armstrong
President

7/29/2020 - Non-essential domestic and international travel eliminated through June 30, 2021 

This email is to inform all Cal Poly employees of the CSU announcement that all non-essential domestic and international travel has been eliminated through June 30, 2021. This will help decrease unnecessary health risk to faculty and staff and lessen fiscal impacts to the campus. 

Travel exceptions may be granted on a very limited basis by President Armstrong when compelling reasons are given that support the academic and co-curricular mission of the campus. 

For more information on the travel suspension and the essential travel request process, please visit afd.calpoly.edu/travel/covid-19-travel-info.

In addition, Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced that Idaho would be added to the list of banned travel states effective July 1, 2020.  For more information, reference the Idaho Press Release.

In 2016, California legislature passed, and the Governor signed, AB 1887 prohibiting state-funded or state-sponsored travel to certain states with laws permitting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity (California Gov’t Code Section 11139.8.)  This travel restriction includes employees, officers or members, including students, of the California State University System, subject to limited exceptions.  

As of July 1, 2020, the list of banned travel states includes the following: 

  1. Alabama
  2. Kansas
  3. Kentucky
  4. Mississippi
  5. North Carolina
  6. South Dakota
  7. Tennessee
  8. Texas
  9. Oklahoma
  10. South Carolina
  11. Iowa
  12. Idaho

For additional information regarding banned state travel, please contact Strategic Business Services at polytravel@calpoly.edu or visit: https://afd.calpoly.edu/travel/policy/

7/29/2020 - Athletics announces delay of Big West Conference fall sports 

To our donors and fans:

Thank you for your support of Cal Poly athletics and for your patience during this time of unprecedented challenge and immeasurable disappointment and devastation for so many of our student-athletes. Over the nearly five months since college athletics suddenly halted, our athletic department has been singularly focused on the student-athletes whom we are unequivocally committed to serving.

I want to take this opportunity to provide some updates regarding our athletic department's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

After considering many options, the Big West Conference on Wednesday announced its decision to delay all fall sports until January 2021 due to ongoing health and safety concerns. This decision does not cover football as Cal Poly is a member of the Big Sky Conference in football. Nor does it cover wrestling (Pac-12 Conference) and men's and women's swimming and diving (Mountain Pacific Sports Federation). Big West winter sports of men's and women's basketball are not impacted by this decision. Both are currently scheduled to begin their competitive seasons on November 10.

The Big West Conference has worked hard these last few months to prepare for the return of sports to its campuses. The safe conduct of sports under the guidelines of social distancing, however, is untenable for the 11 members of the Big West. We cannot place our student-athletes at greater risk than the general student body.

The coronavirus has affected Cal Poly athletics in many ways, starting March 12 with the postponement, then cancellation, of all spring sports, our men's and women's basketball teams not being able to compete for conference championships and our wrestlers and swimmers unable to compete in the NCAA Championships.

As a guiding light for navigating these unusual times of COVID-19, we at Cal Poly have established two guiding principles:

  • The health, safety, and well-being of our students, faculty, staff, and the community we serve, and;
  • The ability for students to continue their educational pursuits.

Our priorities of the health, safety and well-being of all of our student-athletes is unwavering. I am proud of our student-athletes, coaches and staff who have shown great character and understanding about the importance of supporting the efforts to limit the effects of the coronavirus in this country. The top priority remains to stop the spread of this virus and defeat it.

We will make it through all of this and come out on the other side better and stronger.

We are looking forward to seeing you back on campus as soon as possible as we continue to pursue Athletic and Academic Excellence in our athletic department. Please continue to practice physical distancing, wear a mask, wash your hands frequently and follow all state and county guidelines to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Above all, be well!

7/24/2020 - Message regarding available health and human resources

Dear Campus Community,

As human resources and health care professionals, we are writing today to acknowledge the anxiety, concern and stress that many of you are feeling. Never before can we recall a time where our society has been challenged by multiple health crises of this proportion. Students, faculty and staff are confronting COVID-19 and a confluence of other public health and societal issues.

During this time, preparing to support the health and well-being of our campus community this fall is something we can all take part in. As part of the university’s Emergency Operations Center, we are working to ensure that we have sufficient access to face coverings, face shields, gloves and hand sanitizer for our campus. We also have resources, outlined below, to support mental health and well-being.

Our campus continues to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are updating the campus site, coronavirus.calpoly.edu, when the San Luis Obispo County Department of Public Health confirms new cases. This site will continue to provide critical updates and advisories.

Our partners at county public health are working closely with campus departments as employees voluntarily share their health status with their supervisor to ensure close contacts are aware and connected to instructions.

We have heard from some of you this past week on various topics related to health and human resources, and we want to share resources that may help during this time.

K-12

Those with school-age children are well aware that the California Department of Public Health last week issued a framework for when and how K-12 schools should reopen for in-person instruction. As San Luis Obispo County is one of the counties on the state’s monitoring list, public schools in our county are preparing for distance learning.

For employees impacted by this situation, we want to reiterate: If an employee does not have childcare due to a school or daycare COVID-19-related closure, the employee shall work with their appropriate administrator to develop, as appropriate, an alternate work schedule, and/or reduced work schedule, and/or remote work as appropriate for the position, and/or request part-time or full-time CSU temporary paid administrative leave (CPAL) or Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) paid administrative leave.

If remote work is appropriate, a Telecommute Agreement shall be created and approved by the appropriate administrator to outline essential job functions that can be performed remotely and other parameters of remote work. Approval of alternate or reduced work schedules and remote work will be re-evaluated as needed.

Resources

We hope you’re continuing to take care of yourself during this time. Try to prioritize sleep, exercise and proper nutrition. Take breaks from work and develop separation or boundaries from your workspace. Anyone with questions or concerns should talk with their manager or appropriate administrator, or contact Human Resources.

We have compiled lists of resources for our campus community to take care of their mental health and well-being:

For many, the pandemic has occupied their focus, energy and personal health. Personally, we have been engaged in planning and responding to COVID-19 for nearly six months. As campus leaders who respectively support student health and well-being and our employee workforce, we are engaged and committed to ensuring our entire campus community has the necessary resources to succeed.

 

Tina Hadaway-Mellis, RN, MBA
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Health and Wellbeing
Cal Poly

 

Mary Beth Gallagher
Associate Vice President, Human Resources
Cal Poly

7/20/2020 - President Armstrong provides Cal Poly budget update

To Campus Employees:

As we continue to face unprecedented uncertainties caused by COVID-19, I wanted to share an update with you regarding the financial impacts to our campus. Please review this note in conjunction with the communication from Chancellor Tim White (see 7/20 message below).

We have recently received more information from the Chancellor's Office regarding our financial situation, and as we discussed in early May, we are facing a significant budget deficit. While our enrollment numbers for the upcoming academic year continue to look strong - which is very good news and essential for our long-term financial health - approximately 40% of our budget comes from the state. Our total operating budget (including state funds, tuition and fees) is being permanently reduced by about $21 million (5.7%). In addition, the university will be assessed an additional $4.5 million of unfunded, recurring increases related to health insurance, retirement and insurance. These recurring and permanent reductions are in addition to one-time cuts and expenditures related to COVID-19 (housing, parking, dining and other COVID-19 related expenses.) The combined impact of the state funding reduction, increase in mandatory costs, and the current structural deficit result in a projected budget deficit of $35M. Any enrollment decline would increase this deficit.

These new financial realities will force us to make very difficult budget cuts to some areas of the university. As we consider these decisions, we will continue to prioritize (as guided by our strategic plan):

  • The wellbeing of students, staff and faculty
  • Preserving class offerings essential to progress toward degree
  • Increasing graduation rates and eliminating opportunity gaps in graduation rates
  • Supporting students
  • Maintaining our focus on diversity, equity and inclusion

We have already been planning for the reduction by limiting travel, hiring and not filling certain vacancies. We also detailed several actions in our early May communication to campus, particularly modernization, optimization, and strategic centralization of shared operations and functions. Also as noted in the early May communication, we will work to reduce administration and increase efficiency across campus.

In addition, we will maximize our limited financial reserves by being as strategic as possible, and thus minimize layoffs. As you will see in Chancellor White's communication, furloughs are not an option at this time. The university will rely on its reserves to partially offset the state funding reductions. Please note that reserves provide a bridge by cannot compensate for recurring reductions in revenue. It is anticipated that we will need to draw upon reserves for the next 2-3 years as it is projected that the economic downturn will continue.

We will continue to develop our plan by engaging the campus community in shared governance as part of that process. It is essential that we have the campus' ideas, input and creativity - looking at all potential options and solutions - as we conduct this work and try to reduce the impact on the university. Meetings will be scheduled in the coming weeks with the President's Cabinet, deans, President's Leadership Council, department chairs, Campus Advisory Council, ASI and Academic Senate, among others.

I know these are uncertain and anxiety-inducing times. I wish I could change that, but my promise to the campus is that we will do all that we can to minimize the impact on our people, and we will be transparent in the process. We will provide updates as the process progresses and we have additional information to share.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey D. Armstrong
President

7/20/2020 - CSU Chancellor White provides systemwide budget update 

To the Faculty and Staff of The California State University:

I write today to emphasize the seriousness of the California State University's budget situation and, in broad strokes, outline a multiyear plan that will allow us to strategically navigate these uncertain and challenging times.

Our university's core mission is supported financially by two main revenue streams in the operating budget: the base budget provided by the annual state appropriation, and student tuition and fees. The state appropriation is a recurring or ongoing commitment, which allows us to plan coherently to effectively execute our mission in service to our students, the state of California and our nation. Student tuition and fees are also collected every year, but vary depending on enrollment numbers, inclusive of international and non-resident students.

The CSU is also comprised of many support functions occurring in our self-funded and auxiliary enterprises, and these functions are not financed by the state appropriation or tuition. Rather, they are supported by revenues, such as residence hall fees, meal plans, parking and retail sales, grants and contracts and the like. These operations have been severely impacted by the pandemic, and regrettably, these negative impacts will continue in the years ahead. Consequently, self-funded and auxiliary enterprises have been forced to lay off many employees, and campuses must find other resources to pay debt service and other obligatory costs.

Our annual fiscal year (FY) extends from July 1 through the following June. Today, we face a base budget from the state for FY 202-21 that has been permanently decreased by $299 million - compared to the last fiscal year - because of COVID-19 - imposed impacts to the state's economy. I would like to emphasize here that while we didn't escape a budget reduction, it is clear we have successfully and consistently demonstrated our value to the state. I thank you for your considerable efforts over the years to contribute to that value, and I am grateful to our legislative leaders and the Governor for continuing to prioritize the California State University as best they can under these trying circumstances.

The state appropriation might be temporarily increased com October 15 if the federal government provides additional COVID-19 relief funding to California. At this point, the possibility of this additional funding is nothing more than speculation, although we have our team in Washington, D.C. advocating strongly to make it happen. And it is very important to recognize that these potential resources would be a one-time allocation, not permanent recurring funds, year-in and year-out. This one-time allocation, if it materializes, must therefore be viewed as a tool to help us carefully and deliberately manage the transition to a permanent budget reduction over the course of this year and next.

And, additionally, at this point in the summer, we do not know the final details about student enrollment in the fall. Today's indicators are looking strong, with some variability across the 23 campuses. But it is the actual enrollment numbers in the fall and beyond that will also impact available resources.

As you would expect of campus and system leadership, we have planned for this moment. We came out early and boldly with the property decision to conduct most of our instructional activities virtually, with on-campus instruction only when virtual modalities are infeasible and, then, only with all proper health and safety precautions in place. Announcing this decision in May has allowed our faculty and staff to pursue professional development over the summer months to facilitate a robust, engaging and effective - albeit different - fall term. It also has given our students and their families the time and clarity to plan appropriately.

Furthermore, during the recent FY (2019-20), the CSU earned an increased state appropriation, had strong enrollment and graduation rates, built up reserves, and received significant resources from the CARES Act in March 2020. For these reasons, this month we were able to begin FY 2020-21 reasonably prepared. However, all credible financial forecasts indicate that this pandemic will create, at a minimum, a three-year financial and operational challenge to the state and to the CSU.

And let me be clear: If our finances deteriorate in the coming months and years beyond is known and forecast today, we will need to quickly re-evaluate this plan and revisit every option available to us to live within our means.

That said, here is how we plan to go forward:

We have already taken significant measures to reduce expenses. We have stopped most hiring, except for essential positions approved by relevant campus president or vice chancellor. We have essentially stopped travel on state funds.

As for basic campus operational costs, the pandemic's impacts have been mixed. Clearly, expenses such as energy use are down, but other costs have increased significantly, such as those associated with personal protective equipment, sanitation and facility modifications for physical distancing, and IT equipment, software and related services.

Our twin north stars continue to be the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff and communities where our campuses are imbedded, and sustaining Graduation Initiative 2025 by doing everything within our power to enable students to make timely progress to a high-quality degree in a robust, engaging and effective learning and discovery environment.

I have led deep consultation among campus presidents, system leaders and other stakeholders. After considering a variety of approaches, we have decided to proceed cautiously and strategically, while remaining focused on our core mission. While, regrettably, there have been and may continue to be some layoffs of valued employees across the system, we believe it is possible to minimize the number of layoffs without seeking to negotiate a furlough program with our labor unions this fiscal year. Thus, with our current understanding of our budget from the state, we do not plan to negotiate a furlough program for this fiscal year, but it is most likely necessary in FY 2021-22. We will work with union leaders this fall and winter to discuss this matter.

To navigate this year prudently will require us to spend a portion of our discretionary reserves - with some variability across campuses and the Chancellor's Office. Our strategic reserve management plan will be similar to the model used by the state of California with its reserves, whereby a portion of the reserve is used in the current FY 2020-21, allowing the use of additional portions in the two ensuing fiscal years (FY 2021-22 and 2022-23), knowing that we are facing at least a three-year fiscal challenge. We will not "zero out" our reserves - nor will we plan to redirect encumbered reserves that are intended for a specified campus need or priority.

In closing, I am saddened that our future includes layoffs necessitated by the economic challenges mentioned above and despite the actions we have implemented to mitigate these circumstances. However, I am proud and grateful that this approach is best for our students, our raison d'etre. This path forward reflects our deep commitment to their success and to Graduation Initiative 2025. And whether you are working on campus or remotely, our students will need all the support we can provide as they navigate the academic year in an extraordinarily challenging moment academically, personally and financially. I thank you in advance for sustaining that commitment.

More than ever, please take care, be safe and stay healthy.

Sincerely,

Timothy P. White
Chancellor

7/9/2020 - Message regarding positive COVID-19 test result for student living off campus

Dear campus community —

I am writing with an important update on the campus COVID-19 situation. A member of our student community has been identified as positive for COVID-19.

The health and safety of our campus community members is always our highest priority. Upon receiving these test results, we immediately reached out to our partners at San Luis Obispo County Public Health. The university, through Campus Health and Wellbeing, is working with Public Health to ensure that the student receives all available support.

Public Health has instructed the student, who lives off campus in the local community, to isolate and will follow up as necessary. We are hopeful for our student's full recovery. As per protocol, Public Health officials connected directly with those they identified who may have been in close contact with this student recently and have provided appropriate instructions.To learn more about the contact tracing process, click here.

As additional COVID-19 cases occur within our campus community, we urge community members to turn to the university’s coronavirus website for the latest information. We will regularly provide the latest information regarding the numbers of cases in our campus community, San Luis Obispo County, California, and the U.S. To see the latest information, please visit: coronavirus.calpoly.edu.

This positive diagnosis is a reminder that following health and safety and prevention guidelines remains crucial as the number of cases rises locally and nationwide.  

Public Health continues to emphasize the need for our campus community members to keep practicing safety precautions as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. We encourage all Cal Poly community members to adhere to COVID-19 prevention measures. 

Please continue to follow all COVID-19 prevention and safety measures. Visit San Luis Obispo County’s website, ReadySLO.org, for local information on the orders as well as further details about face coverings and other preventative measures, local COVID-19 testing, and more.

And again, please visit: coronavirus.calpoly.edu for the latest information regarding the university’s planning and response around the outbreak.

During these challenging times, we encourage you to focus on ways you can promote and protect your personal health and well-being and the health and well-being of our community.

Tina Hadaway-Mellis, RN, MBA
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Health and Wellbeing
Cal Poly

Aaron Baker, MD
Medical Director, Campus Health and Wellbeing
Cal Poly

7/5/2020 - On-campus employee tests positive for COVID-19

Dear campus community —

We are writing with an important update on the campus COVID-19 situation. A member of our community, an employee working on campus, has informed the university that they have tested positive for COVID-19. 

The health and safety of our campus community members is always our highest priority. Upon receiving this report, we immediately reached out to our partners at San Luis Obispo County Public Health. 

The university, through Campus Health and Wellbeing, is working with Public Health to ensure that the employee receives all available support. Public Health has instructed the employee to isolate and will follow up as necessary. We are hopeful for our employee’s full recovery.

Privacy laws prevent us from being any more specific about the employee’s identity, department where they worked, and/or areas of campus where they may have frequented. We understand that this may be concerning to some members of our community who are currently living or working on campus.

We can tell you that Public Health officials have begun to perform contact tracing per protocol and will reach out to anyone who may have been in close contact with this employee recently. Public Health officials will connect directly with everyone they identify about possibly having been exposed to COVID-19 and will give those people direction on their next steps.

As well, the university is thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting campus facilities and equipment, including those which this employee might have used while infected.

This news underscores the need for our campus community members to keep practicing safety precautions as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Our employees continue to follow state mandated face covering orders and we encourage all Cal Poly community members to adhere to Covid-19 prevention measures.  For more information please visit: https://coronavirus.calpoly.edu/prevention-0.

Please also continue to follow the state’s shelter-at-home orders; visit San Luis Obispo County’s ReadySLO.org website for local information on the orders as well as further details about face coverings and other preventative measures, local COVID-19 testing, and more. And for up-to-date information about Cal Poly’s planning and response to the outbreak, please visit coronavirus.calpoly.edu.

During these challenging times, we encourage you to focus on ways you can promote and protect your health and wellbeing and the health and wellbeing of our community.

Tina Hadaway-Mellis, RN, MBA
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Health and Wellbeing
Cal Poly

Penny Borenstein, MD, MPH
Health Officer
County of San Luis Obispo

6/30/2020 - Message announcing expiration of CSU Non-Telecommuting Workers Leave program

This serves as a reminder that the CSU Non-Telecommuting Workers Leave (NTWL) program for Cal Poly state employees expires today, June 30. Employees on the NTWL paid leave program who are unable to telework or return to work on campus, and have exhausted Campus Paid Administrative Leave (CPAL), need to consult with their manager/appropriate administrator regarding their options moving forward. Managers/appropriate administrators, please contact Human Resources for guidance.

The NTWL program granted additional paid leave for non-teleworking, benefits-eligible employees who exhausted the CSU COVID-19 Paid Administrative Leave (CPAL) program. NTWL was available from May 1, 2020 through June 30, 2020. This leave was subject to management approval and expires today, June 30, 2020.

Please be sure to check that the use of CPAL and NTWL is recorded and reported in AMSS. Reporting instructions can be found on the Cal Poly Payroll Services COVID-19 Resources webpage.

More information on CSU temporary leave and pay programs in response to COVID-19 is available on the Cal Poly Human Resources website. Please contact Human Resources at (805) 756-2236 or humanresources@calpoly.edu for additional information or assistance.

6/29/2020 - Message announcing changes to summer and fall 2020 calendars

Hello,

Please make note of the following changes to the summer 2020 and fall 2020 academic calendars:

Summer 2020 Calendar

  • August 24 – 28: Final examination period for 10-week summer 2020 session.
  • August 28: Last day for students in the second 5-week summer session and the 10-week summer session to change their grading basis (e.g. CR/NC).
  • August 30: Summer 2020 grade rosters will be made available to faculty.
  • September 1: Summer 2020 grades due by 4:00 p.m.

Fall 2020 Calendar

  • June 25: The fall 2020 class schedule will be made available via Schedule Builder and Class Search.
  • June 29 – July 13: The first round of fall 2020 registration appointments for continuing students.
  • July 17: Fall 2020 registration will close for continuing students until the second round of registration in September.
  • August 25: Incoming fall 2020 first time first-year students will have access to their fall block schedules via Schedule Builder.
  • August 28: Incoming fall 2020 new transfer registration.
  • August 31 – September 2: Incoming fall 2020 first time first-year student registration.
  • September 4 – 11: The second round of fall 2020 registration for all students (continuing students, new first-year students, and new transfer students).
  • September 4, 8 – 11: Fall Conference.
  • September 12 – 13: Open enrollment. Reserve capacities will be removed for all fall 2020 classes.
  • September 14: Fall 2020 classes begin.
  • November 20: Last day for in-person classes.
  • November 23 – 24: Virtual classes only.
  • November 25 – 27: Thanksgiving break.
  • November 30 – December 4: Virtual fall 2020 final examination period.

Additionally, beginning with the fall 2020 term, students will have the ability to enroll in up to 18 units during the first round of registration. The increase to a maximum of 18 units of enrollment during first round registration will be a permanent change moving forward.
 

Thank you,

The Office of the Registrar

6/24/2020 - Message announcing launch of student virtual transition survey

Dear Cal Poly Students:

We need to hear about your spring quarter experience to help us make important improvements to your educational experiences in the summer, fall, and beyond.

Check your Cal Poly email for the survey link.

I know the past few months have been different and challenging in ways none of us could have imagined when our academic year began. Every member of our community had to change the way they live, learn, teach, and work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please complete the COVID-19 Virtual Transition Survey by Thursday, July 2. This anonymous survey takes approximately 15 minutes to complete. To ensure your responses are captured, the survey needs to be completed in one session. Users cannot begin and then complete the survey at a later time.

Your ability to adapt and succeed under these unprecedented circumstances over the past few months is the very definition of Learn by Doing. Thank you for all that you’ve done and for sharing your experiences via this important survey.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey D. Armstrong
President

6/24/2020 - Message from President Armstrong on fall in-person classes, changes to fall schedule, updates on SLO Days, WOW and winter commencement

To the Campus Community,

As we continue to plan for the next academic year and the beginning of the fall quarter, we are encouraging all students to register for their fall classes as early as possible after registration opens on June 29 (you can view the schedule starting June 25). New freshmen will receive their schedules no later than August 26 and new transfer students will register as part of their SLO Days experience in early August.  For students who cannot, or choose not to, take in-person classes for any reason, we will provide a fully virtual option for you. We continue to work on our plans for on-campus housing for fall and will share those as soon as possible.

Until we have a vaccine or the viral load drops considerably, we have to be prepared for an unexpected resurgence of COVID-19 and move to 100% virtual learning should a stay-at-home order be put in place this fall. As noted earlier, we continue to plan and are hopeful that we can move forward with some in-person classes. We are also confident that we can meet or exceed the safety guidelines issued by county and state public health authorities and we remain hopeful that we can welcome students back to campus housing.

We have provided our schedule below for the fall quarter. If our public health status changes to the extent that it requires modifications to scheduled classes, we will notify you no later than mid-August. This is consistent with the guidelines set by the Chancellor’s Office.

Fall classes will be divided into three categories:

  • In-Person: these include the 15% of our 4,312-plus classes that cannot be taught virtually
  • Synchronous Virtual: these classes would be eligible for a return to in-person classes if health conditions improve to the point that in-person classes can be safely resumed and students and faculty agree
  • Asynchronous Virtual: these classes will remain virtual for the entire fall quarter 

Almost all in-person courses are labs and activities with the following very limited exceptions:

  • courses where lectures are immediately followed by the lab
  • lectures involving significant hands-on activities
  • agricultural enterprise courses that are categorized under lectures, but involve working with animals or crops in the units for specific operations 

A critical point regarding registration for courses is that no student will be penalized if they need an in-person course for degree progress, but are not comfortable taking it in-person during fall quarter. All programs and departments have been asked to be flexible during this period. Students who find themselves in this situation are strongly encouraged to contact the Mustang Success Center (https://success.calpoly.edu/) before registering for classes.

A second point critical for planning is that if public health conditions and the CSU permit, we will move some Synchronous Virtual courses back to in-person. In these cases, a virtual delivery will be maintained for any student who cannot, or chooses not to, return to an in-person modality. For any course that starts virtually, we will not resume in-person without a specific plan for hybrid delivery. In other words, we do not foresee any situation in which a student or faculty member who has started a course virtually in the fall would be requested to move to in-person if they choose not to.

An important goal is protecting those who are medically vulnerable or who may have chosen not to return to campus, and we are committed to making it possible for everyone to engage in teaching and learning in a manner that is safe and comfortable for them, whatever happens during fall quarter. That means:

  • Allowing students to take virtual courses throughout the quarter.
  • Even if public health conditions allow additional in-person courses, we will maintain students’ ability to engage in a virtual program for the fall. This statement is also true for faculty and students.
  • Faculty and staff will be given the option to work remotely as needed in accordance with CSU and public health guidelines.

As noted earlier, we are also encouraging all faculty and staff who can do so to work remotely during fall quarter, to help de-densify campus.

Change in Fall Schedule

As the coronavirus situation has evolved, and as conditions in SLO County have changed, we have come to believe that concluding the majority of in-person activities on campus before the week of Thanksgiving (after November 20) is the best way to minimize risk. Thus, we are adjusting the summer and fall quarter as follows:

August 28 – Final exam day for second 5-week and 10-week summer sessions
— September 1 – Summer grades due (for faculty only)
September 7 – Labor Day Holiday                
— September 4, 8-11 – Fall Conference (for faculty only)
— September 14 – Classes start
— November 20 – Last day for in-person classes
— November 23-24 – Virtual classes only                                
— November 25-27 – Thanksgiving break                                                        
— November 30 to December 4 – Virtual final exams

A limited number of in-person classes, senior projects, undergraduate research, enterprise projects and activities will be granted in-person status through an exception process November 20 through the end of the calendar year.

These changes allow the university to remain in compliance with our campus administrative policies and also allows faculty five working days to prepare for fall before the first day of class begins.  

These changes were made to avoid having large numbers of people on campus as the annual flu season begins and the potential of a second wave of coronavirus infections increases. As a result of these changes, there will not be a winter commencement ceremony. It is our earnest hope to celebrate in person in June of 2021 for all graduates — June 2021, December 2020 and June 2020. 

SLO Days and WOW

Our signature new-student orientation programs — SLO Days and WOW — will be happening this summer, though with some changes to promote public health. SLO Days will be virtual and will take place in three phases:

  • Advance preparation that students complete prior to their session
  • A community-building day in small virtual groups with orientation leaders
  • Specialized virtual sessions that help students connect with specific aspects of our community. WOW will be offered in a hybrid format, with small-group activities happening in person and larger group activities being offered virtually. We are still finalizing dates for these events, due to the calendar change mentioned above.

Students, before I close, please remember that all support services are available to you virtually this summer throughout Academic Advising and Student Affairs.  We are here to help you with your needs. Please remember: Mustangs United — Love, Empathy and Respect. To all members of the Cal Poly Community, we need to provide an extra dose of grace to those around us in these stressful and difficult times.

Thank you all for your patience and flexibility during this extraordinary period.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey D. Armstrong
President

6/12/2020 - Fall schedule of classes, registration delayed until June 29

Dear Campus Community,

In order to respond to changes in our fall schedule of classes requested by the CSU Chancellor’s Office, we must delay the release of the fall schedule and the start of fall registration.

Fall registration will now begin on Monday, June 29. We hope to have our finalized fall schedule of classes approved by the Chancellor’s Office and then released next week. By moving the registration date to June 29, students will have an opportunity to create their class schedules before registration begins. In addition, moving the registration date to June 29 will provide the opportunity to confirm class modalities with the CSU and protect against any further delays in having our fall schedule approved.

Next week, the Office of the Registrar will be offering virtual drop-in sessions to assist all students—both undergraduates and graduate students—as they become more familiar with Schedule Builder, Cal Poly's new class scheduling tool.

Students are welcome to drop in at any time during each session to ask the experts Schedule Builder-related questions. Registration is not required.

Please note: These drop-in sessions are not designed to provide registration or advising assistance.

The sessions will take place on the following dates:

Tuesday, June 16
12 p.m. – 1 p.m.
Join Zoom Meeting: https://calpoly.zoom.us/j/3842828338

Wednesday, June 17
1 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Join Zoom Meeting: https://calpoly.zoom.us/j/3842828338

Thursday, June 18
11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Join Zoom Meeting: https://calpoly.zoom.us/j/3842828338

Thank you for your understanding and continued patience during this challenging time.

Sincerely,

Mary E. Pedersen, Ph.D.
Interim Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

6/8/2020 - Message announcing launch of faculty and staff virtual transition survey

Dear Cal Poly Community:

I know the past few months have been different and challenging in ways none of us could have imagined when our academic year began. Our faculty and staff had to change the way they live, teach and work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With this in mind, we invite all Cal Poly faculty and staff members to complete the COVID-19 Virtual Transition Survey by Tuesday, June 23. This is a critical time for us to learn from your experiences in order to make important improvements for the summer, fall quarter and beyond.

I ask you to please complete this anonymous 15-minute survey today. To ensure your responses are captured, the survey needs to be completed in one session - users cannot begin and then complete the survey at a later time.

Click here to take the survey.

Your ability to adapt and succeed under these unprecedented circumstances over the past few months is the very definition of Learn by Doing. Thank you for all that you have done and for sharing your experiences via this important survey.

For additional information, please visit Cal Poly's coronavirus website.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey D. Armstrong
President

6/4/2020 - President Armstrong shares message of support regarding local protests

Dear Cal Poly Community:

We are experiencing challenges at this moment in our history that are truly unprecedented. The deep and unattended wounds of long-held racism and inequality in this country have been laid bare before us as a society. While these are tumultuous and unsettling times, we should not lose sight of hope for change. We cannot create meaningful change as a society without first taking a long and painful look at where we have been and the countless black lives taken by racism and violence. That moment is now and it is important for us as individuals and as a society to fully feel the pain of this time and to recognize the many people among us who are and have been hurting, so we don't ever forget. In doing so, we start the process of committing ourselves to a day when lasting change and true healing are more than words.

As human beings, we must be better, we must improve, we must evolve. More than anything else, we are all human and each of us deserves equality as a basic and fundamental right. A healthy society cannot, does not and will not exist with systemic inequality. If we seize this moment as we should and use it as a catalyst for change, we can ensure our next generations no longer suffer the pain and indignities of our past. This is my hope for our future.

I also want to take a moment to acknowledge and express my full support for our many students, faculty and staff who have chosen to participate in peaceful protest. In parts of our country, we have seen some individuals attempt to cheapen and undermine the powerful message of peaceful protestors through violence, discord and destruction. These are the enemies of progress and change, and this moment in our history is too important for voices demanding equality and justice to be minimized or discredited. The purpose of those who protest is greater than those who use violence to distract from the systemic change that is long overdue in our society. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and many other civil rights leaders have taught us, there is extraordinary strength in nonviolence - the kind of strength that can change and shape a nation.

As I close this note, I want to recognize the overwhelming stress and anxiety all of our students, faculty and staff are feeling. These are extraordinarily challenging times, but none of us is alone and we will get through it together. A lot of difficult work remains. It won't happen overnight, but I believe a new day is ahead - one that is equitable, inclusive and just for everyone.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey D. Armstrong
President

6/4/2020 - Academic Affairs shares update on fall schedule of classes

Dear Students,

We have delayed the publishing of the fall schedule of classes until next week. Today the university will be submitting our plans for offerings of in-person courses to the Chancellor’s Office for review.

We do not anticipate any problems in the review, but we need to obtain this final approval before we can be certain on which courses will be in person and which will be virtual. We anticipate a quick review and response early next week. As soon as our proposed plan is approved, the fall schedule will go live. Fall registration will not be affected by this delay and will still begin on June 15.

Thank you all for your patience and understanding.

Sincerely,

Mary E. Pedersen, Ph.D.
Interim Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

Cem Sunata
University Registrar

6/3/2020 - Message of support and guidance on finals from Provost and college deans

Dear Students,

Our community is hurting right now. Once again, our Black students, faculty, and staff, along with Black individuals in our community and around the country, are faced with the trauma of violence being perpetrated against them. Additionally, while all in our community have faced extreme hardship, stress, and loss related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Black Americans are being disproportionately affected by the pandemic and the related economic loss. Together, these tragedies are putting significant levels of stress upon all of our students, staff, faculty and their families.

Our foremost duty as educators and members of the Cal Poly community is to work toward your success, both in and out of the classroom and both on and off campus. We recognize that these trying events that are occurring both nationally and locally are affecting how you live and learn, for some of you much more than others.

This week, we have strongly encouraged faculty to take concrete action to help you succeed and cope during these final weeks of the quarter. Your professors are committed to ensuring the quality of your education and experience and have been asked to take action within the courses they are responsible for. Most notably, we have asked them to be flexible, compassionate, and accommodating with you on deadlines, coursework, and exams and to encourage dialogue centered around decreasing anti-Blackness in our country and the importance of education on topics of race and ethnicity. We have asked our faculty members to communicate any changes, plans, or alternatives to their students by this Friday, June 5. If you do not hear from your faculty member by Friday and wish to discuss arrangements or plans, please reach out to the faculty member and/or your department chair/head.

We also want to remind you that you have until the end of the day this Friday, June 5, to change the grading basis of your class in your Student Center, if changing the grading basis of your class may be at all helpful to you. We also would like to remind you that our campus services, including Counseling Servicesthe Cross Cultural Centers, and the Office of the Dean of Students, are available and here to support you.

We are all here to support you and are committed to continuing to improve the ways in which we do so.

In community,

Mary E. Pedersen, Ph.D.
Interim Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

Amy S. Fleischer, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Engineering

Albert A. Liddicoat, Ph.D.
Interim Dean, Orfalea College of Business

Elizabeth A. Lowham, Ph.D.
Interim Dean of Graduate Education

Adriana Popescu
Dean of Library Services, Robert E. Kennedy Library

Christine Theodoropoulos, AIA, PE
Dean, College of Architecture and Environmental Design

Andrew J. Thulin, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences

Dean E. Wendt, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Science and Mathematics

Philip J. Williams, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Liberal Arts

5/30/2020 - President Armstrong and university leaders share message regarding George Floyd's death and nationwide protests

Dear Cal Poly Community:

Right now, many of us are struggling to make meaning of the things happening in our world.

First, it was the devastation of COVID-19 and the impact the virus has had on our lives and in our communities. With time, we've been able to process, better understand and come to grips with the disease and how it has changed our day-to-day existence.

We also struggle with something else - the cumulative unnecessary deaths of so many Black individuals, most recently Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia and George Floyd in Minnesota. We are filled with sadness and anger.

We urge our campus community to take time to fully consider and understand the anger, fear and judgement that individuals from underrepresented backgrounds feel every time something like this happens. These are our community members - our neighbors, friends, colleagues and more. Regardless of our racial identity, we may never fully understand what it's like to be in someone else's shoes, but acts of human kindness can help.

We have regularly heard stories from our Black students, faculty and staff about experiences they have had throughout the country and in San Luis Obispo. Many have been followed and harassed in their own communities; others denied opportunities for personal and professional advancement; and still more live with real fears about losing a loved one simply because of one's identity, as well as the future one's children will inherit. This should offend and disgust all of us, because it is so wrong and unfair and unacceptable. In a word, it is inhumane.

We as a society must do better - and not just through our words, but with meaningful action and unbreakable conviction. If you are not familiar with the scholarship in these areas, here are a few book recommendations:

  • White Fragility by Robin D'Angelo
  • Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria by Beverly Tatum
  • White Rage by Carol Anderson
  • The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
     

We don't have all the answers, but we pledge to continue to work to promote racial justice in all forms. We understand many of you are distressed, so please know that we are available to talk with anyone about their feelings at this moment. We would also like to remind our students of key resources like the Counseling Center, Cross Cultural Centers, and the Dean of Students Office. Our faculty and staff can find support from our faculty-staff associations and the Employee Assistance Program through Human Resources.

In two weeks, we will be sending more than 4,000 of you, our students, into the world with degrees - each with the intent of making society a better place. No matter where you go, we hope you will be courageous advocates for justice and a world that values everyone with equal respect, love and compassion.

In (hopes of a better) community,

President's Cabinet

Jeffrey D. Armstrong, President
Mary Pedersen, Interim Provost and Executive Vice President
Cindy Villa, Senior Vice President Administration and Finance
Bill Britton, Vice President Information Technology and CIO
Jessica Darin, Chief of Staff
Jozi DeLeon, Vice President University Diversity and Inclusion
Keith Humphrey, Vice President Student Affairs
Lorlie Leetham, CEO Cal Poly Corporation
Jim Maraviglia, Vice President Enrollment and University Strategy
Chris Murphy, Vice President University Communications and Marketing
Renee Reijo Pera, Vice President Research and Economic Development
Robin Webb, University Counsel

5/29/2020 - Cal Poly to offer virtual SLO Days summer orientation programming

With our top priority being your health and well-being, the university has made the decision to make SLO Days virtual. SLO Days is a long-standing Cal Poly tradition coordinated by both staff and student leaders and we remain committed to creating the best possible experience for the class of 2024. With this in mind, our student leaders have created a robust two-day virtual orientation experience to help you seamlessly transition to your new life as a Mustang. 

This year’s Virtual SLO Days programming will include separate tracks specifically created for students and their parents/supporters:

·  Pre-Event: Get Ready to be a Mustang
Join us for a brief introductory session prior to your registered start date.  

·  Day 1: Engage and Connect
Our student orientation leaders will guide you through a day of engaging virtual activities, workshops and discussions. This day is about building community and gaining the knowledge and resources needed to succeed as a Mustang!   

·  Day 2: Create Your Own Adventure
Explore your own interests through a variety of self-selected workshops, info sessions, and small group panel discussions.  

In addition, we are planning to host Week of Welcome (WOW) as a hybrid engagement experience with some in-person and some virtual components. Those who wish to participate in a solely virtual manner will have the option to do so.  

The university will continue to monitor public health conditions and consult with public health officials to determine how WOW will proceed, and we will continue to provide updates. In the meantime, we encourage you to register for WOW and SLO Days today by accessing the "Orientation Events" tab in your MyCalPoly Portal

Also, as a result of SLO Days programming changes, we will be issuing refunds for portions of our traditional program to those who have already paid in full. The refund will include items such as on-campus housing for students, meals and parking. To learn more please review our FAQ

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to plan a memorable and engaging orientation experience. We are committed to supporting you with the academic and community resources you need to be successful throughout your Cal Poly journey. If you have any questions, please reach out to the New Student and Transition Programs at orientation@calpoly.edu.

Best,

Cal Poly New Student & Transition Programs 

5/27/2020 - Human Resources updates on the state budget, emergency pay  and teleworking

Dear Campus Community,

I hope this email finds you safe and well. I am writing to share some updated information from our Human Resources office regarding emergency pay, teleworking and the state budget.

As many of you know, Governor Newsom recently indicated that the state budget has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the corresponding economic crisis. It has already begun to affect our campus community, as Cal Poly Corporation announced furloughs last week.   

In response to the anticipated budget shortfall, the governor has discussed the possibility of a 10% pay cut for all state civil service employees. It is important to note that at this time the CSU and UC systems will not be impacted by this action. However, Chancellor White has stated that the CSU will be facing budget shortfalls as well, and strategies for addressing these are yet to come.

We will share more as the CSU informs us about the resulting plans and strategies. 

In addition, effective May 31, the emergency pay provision in the California State University Employees Union (CSUEU) and Teamsters Local 2010 contracts will be ending. This action solely relates to the rate of pay for employees in those bargaining units while on campus. It does not imply a repopulation of employees on campus.  Each unit should continue to allow employees to telework to the extent possible as social distancing is the most effective strategy for mitigating the transmission of COVID-19.

Cal Poly’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has established several task forces that are working to explore, examine and create methods for the repopulation of campus. Those task forces are working diligently to provide recommendations to the EOC and President Armstrong. Information will be shared with the campus community in the next few weeks about how and when to return to work on campus. The expectation is that most employees will continue to telework, when practical, for the foreseeable future.

For our colleagues at the Corporation, the decision to furlough was made with great difficulty and recognition that it will impact people's lives. The goal is to balance staffing levels with business need and workload, reduce salary expenditures, minimize the losses currently being experienced and ensure the long-term financial health and viability of the organization.

These are uncertain times that are constantly in flux, but we will get through this. Normal, or close-to-normal, operations will resume. In the meantime, we will continue to share information as it becomes available.

Cynthia Vizcaíno Villa, 
Senior Vice President for Administration & Finance, CFO 

5/18/2020 - President Armstrong addresses fall term planning at San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department press briefing

View the press briefing here. Transcripts available in English and Spanish.

5/13/2020 - Message from President Armstrong regarding fall term updates

Subject: Urgent Campus Update on Fall 2020

To the Campus Community:

I am writing today to update you with the most recent information about Cal Poly’s fall quarter. Although we don’t know all the answers yet, we do know more than we did last week. The goal of this message is to share with you what we know, what we do not know and how and when we will make decisions going forward.

What we know

  • Yesterday Chancellor White announced that due to the uncertainty of the virus, CSU campuses must be prepared to deliver courses this fall primarily through virtual modality. This does not mean Cal Poly cannot plan to offer in-person courses for fall, but we must be prepared to resume virtual learning should shelter-at-home orders be required in the future by the governor or public health officials.
  • Our goal is always to achieve student success while working to minimize risk for everyone – students, staff, faculty, as well as our neighbors and families.
  • Our fall quarter is scheduled to start September 17, with registration for classes opening on June 15. We do not know what the public health status of our community or state will be in September.  However, we are optimistic that we will be in Stage 3 of Governor Gavin Newsom’s plan and that we can have students return and offer some in-person courses.
  • We appreciate that students and faculty must make plans for the fall and need information frequently and in a very transparent manner. We continue to plan based on the latest information and we will provide regular updates as we have substantive items to share.
  • Cal Poly’s mission as a comprehensive polytechnic university is accomplished, in part, by hands-on, experiential learning experiences that we refer to as Learn by Doing. Therefore, it is important that we provide options for in-person learning opportunities when possible. 
  • Given the evolving nature of the pandemic, Cal Poly will continue to evaluate the situation and provide definitive information on the fall quarter (see scenarios below) by August 26, which is at least two weeks before the earliest date for students to return to campus.

Minimizing risk

  • We are cautiously optimistic that our region will be in Governor Newsom’s Stage 3 by September 17, thus allowing the return of some personnel and students to campus.
  • Cal Poly is developing a detailed plan consistent with the governor’s plan, CSU guidelines and the advice of our County Public Health Department (SLO PHD).  
  • To help mitigate risk, we will institute:
    • Testing, tracing, isolation and support.
      • Through our campus health care team and SLO PHD we are confident that we will have enough capacity to meet these needs.
    • Physical distancing, PPE as appropriate, sanitation and other practices including a campus-wide, integrated social media campaign, signs and other measures.
  • We will help protect vulnerable individuals and offer alternatives for students, faculty and staff by:
    • Allowing students to take virtual courses throughout the quarter;
    • Even if public health conditions allow additional in-person courses, we will maintain your ability to engage in a virtual program for the fall – this statement is true for faculty and students.
    • Faculty and staff will be given the option to work remotely as needed in accordance with CSU and public health guidelines. 

Planning scenarios

While we all would like to have certainty, I believe the best option for student success is to provide scenarios using a science- and data-based approach to making decisions at the right time.

Scenario A: Partial and modified repopulating of campus

We have identified 15% of the more than 7,000 classes offered for the fall that will be offered in-person if public health conditions allow. This is critical and indispensable for multiple majors from engineering to music, agriculture to theater, and architecture to chemistry, to name a few. For example, labs are fundamental in training engineers and other disciplines to work with specific instruments critical to their careers. Engineering projects include a significant design, build, test component that can’t be completed entirely online. Chancellor White described many additional examples for exceptions, citing situations that occur across all colleges at Cal Poly.

Fall classes will be divided into three categories for the purpose of students selecting courses for registration and planning for the fall, and for faculty course planning:

  • In-Person, for the 15% of our 7,000-plus classes that cannot be taught virtually;
  • Synchronous Virtual, which would be eligible for a return to in-person classes if the conditions allow and the participants agree; and
  • Asynchronous Virtual, which will remain virtual for the entire fall quarter. 

If public health conditions allow, courses in the Synchronous Virtual category may seek and receive approval to move to in-person instruction while maintaining virtual access to students opting to stay virtual (hybrid). This assumes that by August, Governor Newsom will have declared San Luis Obispo County to be in Stage 3 of the California Resiliency Roadmap (https://covid19.ca.gov/roadmap/). It is also dependent upon Cal Poly having the ability to test, trace, isolate and support.

Other related assumptions are that we will de-densify the first-year residence halls by having no more than two students per room (doubles), which would enable us to house 7,000 students on campus while minimizing risk.   If public health conditions require, we will limit housing to one student per room for a total on-campus population of 5,200. 

No student will be penalized if they need an in-person course for degree progress but do not feel comfortable taking it during fall quarter. All programs and departments have been asked to be maximally flexible during this period. Students who find themselves in this situation are strongly encouraged to contact the Mustang Success Center (https://success.calpoly.edu/) before registering for classes. As noted earlier, we are also encouraging all faculty and staff who can do so to work remotely during fall quarter, to help de-densify campus.

Scenario B: Virtual quarter

As noted earlier, we need to remain prepared to switch to virtual learning if public authorities decide that it is necessary or prudent to do so. We may face public health situations that do not allow us to re-populate our on-campus housing in mid-September but we will not know this until August. Students who are living on campus in the fall quarter will be allowed, and indeed encouraged, to remain on campus even if we must change to virtual instruction. Given SLO County’s very low current rates of infection and transmission, and Cal Poly’s projected ability to test, trace and isolate, we are hopeful that campus will remain a relatively low-risk location.

Scenario C: Delayed start

Our community may only be in Stage 2 during August, so it may be better to delay the start of the quarter if it preserves the option of offering some in-person courses. One option to address this status is to postpone the start of the quarter by two to four weeks. This could result in classes during Thanksgiving break and the quarter either being shortened or extended a few extra days.

Summary

I sincerely wish that I could give you a more definitive plan for the fall, but the truth is no one can predict the conditions we will face four months from today. The best we can do is hope and plan for the best, while also preparing for contingencies should circumstances change. I hope that knowing how and when we will make these decisions makes it a little easier for you to plan your fall quarter.

These are my recommendations for students:

  1. If your health and personal situation permits and you are able to be flexible, please plan to return to San Luis Obispo in the last week of August if you live off campus or the first week of September if you live on campus. (First-year students should follow their Orientation schedule. Other students living on campus will have a specific move-in schedule.)
  2. If your health and personal situation do not allow you to return to campus, please select virtual courses. We will accommodate your needs for all of your courses.
  3. Regardless of your location, please follow all state and local guidelines to protect yourself and those who are vulnerable. While the risk of COVID-19 for students without underlying conditions appears to be low, please know that your actions and behaviors can affect your health, as well as the health and lives of others.

Students, before I close, your elected student government leaders have asked me to remind you that they are here to advocate for your needs and they eagerly await your feedback. Please remember: Mustangs United – Love, Empathy and Respect. We all need to provide an extra dose of grace to those around us.

We will get through this. We are Learn by Doing. 

Thank you all for your patience and flexibility during this extraordinary period.


Sincerely

Jeffrey D. Armstrong
President

5/13/2020 - Options to retrieve belongings in on-campus housing

Students, 

Good news: We have reached an agreement with local health officials to allow you to retrieve items from your campus residence. There will be scheduled move-out arrival and departure times over a period of weeks, with strict social distancing guidelines in place.  

Please do not return to campus immediately, or without an appointment at any time, as there will be limited staff due to rotating schedules. They will not be able to let you into your room, and the locks have been changed.  

Retrieving Your Items 

If you are interested in returning to Cal Poly to retrieve your items:  

  • Go to your Housing Portal and click Mustang Move-out to sign up for a time. Please plan your travel; we cannot accommodate residents who arrive outside of their scheduled arrival time. 
  • Campus staff will be on hand to open rooms for you. We will not be re-issuing keys, and the keys you may still have will not open your space.  
  • Please bring no more than two additional people with you from your permanent residence. 
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be required, so please bring a cloth face covering and plan to wear it while in all buildings. Campus will also be taking strong social distancing measures to ensure the continued health and safety of our community.  

Pack and Ship + Pack and Store 

Cal Poly has secured some options to pack and ship or pack and store your belongings. If you are interested in having your items shipped to you or stored, at your cost, you may contact one of the following three moving companies.  These companies will only be retrieving items from residents’ rooms June 15-19. 

Donate

If you would like to donate any of your items to local thrift stores, there will be donation stations in the lobbies of your building. Please do not leave any trash or belongings behind, otherwise you may incur a cleaning fee.  

Any items left in rooms after Friday, June 19, will be donated or disposed of.  

Thank you for your patience as we worked through the arrangements to reconnect you with your belongings. We miss you all and hope you’re staying safe and well.  


University Housing  

Cal Poly 

5/12/2020 - Updates regarding COVID-19 Temporary Paid Administrative Leave programs

The purpose of this email is to update and inform employees of the CSU temporary paid leave programs authorized by Chancellor White due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Below is a brief description of the programs available. Additional information is available through the Cal Poly Human Resources website including COVID-19 updates, resources and FAQs which will continue to be updated.

Non-Telecommuting Workers Leave (NTWL) – effective May 1 through June 30, 2020

CSU Chancellor White has granted non-telecommuting workers additional paid leave (NTWL) up to 304 hours for benefits-eligible employees who have exhausted the COVID-19 Paid Administrative Leave (CPAL). This additional paid leave is only available to employees who cannot work remotely based on their duties and who have exhausted all available CPAL. This leave is subject to management approval and expires on June 30, 2020, or sooner if the employee is scheduled to return to work on site.  Employees should work with their manager/appropriate administrator to request and report NTWL. Managers/appropriate administrators can contact Human Resources with questions.

COVID-19 Paid Administrative Leave (CPAL) – effective March 23 through December 31, 2020

CSU Chancellor White has granted up to 256 hours of paid administrative leave (CPAL) to eligible employees for whom telecommuting is not operationally feasible and are unable to work for qualifying COVID-19 related reasons. Employees should work with their manager/appropriate administrator to request CPAL. Managers/appropriate administrators can contact Human Resources with questions.

Temporary Leave Program (TLP) – effective March 16, 2020 until further notice

Per Governor Newsom’s Executive Order and Chancellor White’s Directive, CSU employees who are 65 years and older, and/or medically vulnerable due to a chronic medical condition, shall not come to campus and should telecommute. Employees for whom telecommuting is not operationally feasible will continue to receive pay through the Temporary Leave Program (TLP). Employees shall provide documentation to Human Resources upon request. This temporary paid leave is separate from CPAL, NTWL and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) – effective April 1 through December 31, 2020

In addition to the CSU temporary paid leave programs above, the Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provides eligible employees up to 80 hours of paid sick leave when an employee is unable to work (or telework) due to qualifying COVID-19 related health reasons. These hours may also be used to care for a child whose school or childcare provider is closed or unavailable for COVID-19 related reasons.

The FFCRA also provides up to 12 weeks of expanded Family and Medical Leave (FML), of which 10 weeks are paid when an employee is unable to work (or telework) due to caring for a child whose school or childcare provider is closed or unavailable for COVID-19 related reasons. The FFCRA provides up to 2/3 pay for these 10 weeks; however, Chancellor White has granted full-pay for FFCRA FML. CPAL will normally be exhausted prior to requesting FFCRA. Employees can contact Human Resources regarding FFCRA requests.

5/8/2020 - Spring commencement ceremonies updates

Dear Class of 2020 graduates,

I am writing today to inform you of our ongoing planning around upcoming commencement celebrations. We are keenly aware of the disappointment many of you are feeling with the postponement of our formal ceremonies previously scheduled for June 2020. We share your disappointment.

You have accomplished so much, and we are committed to properly celebrating your achievements. As we look ahead at our plans, we want to assure you that we will invite all eligible Class of 2020 graduates to the next available in-person commencement ceremony. Our future commencement plans will be held when public health conditions allow us to gather as a community and with your loved ones in attendance.

As you all know, our decisions about campus operations have been made in consultation with CSU leadership and state and local government and public health agencies. Similarly, our decisions about future gatherings, especially those of such scope and size as commencement, will be decided in partnership with these fellow leaders.

Because of the rapidly evolving nature of the coronavirus pandemic, we cannot say with certainty that we will host a fall 2020 commencement in December. If we are able to do so, we plan to hold college-based ceremonies at the following dates and times:

Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020

  • 9 a.m. – College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences

  • 1 p.m. – College of Architecture and Environmental Design

  • 5 p.m. – College of Engineering

Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020

  • 9 a.m. – Orfalea College of Business

  • 1 p.m. – College of Science and Mathematics

  • 5 p.m. – College of Liberal Arts

It is more likely that our celebration will be extended to spring 2021, hosting several commencement ceremonies for all eligible 2020 graduates and eligible spring 2021 graduates. Under this scenario, we would plan to hold college-based ceremonies on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, June 12-14, 2021. However, if we are able to honor our 2020 graduates in December, our June 2021 ceremonies will be held only on Saturday and Sunday, June 12-13, 2021, as is our tradition.

We anticipate that we will be able to share our detailed plans for commencement in early fall quarter.

We are committed to providing you with a formal and memorable experience filled with all the pomp, circumstance, and recognition that each of you deserve. In the meantime, stay tuned for special recognition this quarter of your achievements, including several culminating celebratory videos and gifts. You have persevered and succeeded at Cal Poly and will leave us ready to lead and better our entire world. I am so proud of each of you.

Sincerely,
 

Keith B. Humphrey
Vice President for Student Affairs

5/7/2020 - Coronavirus travel restriction update

The CSU Chancellor's Office has provided updated travel guidance as follows:

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the travel restriction has been extended for state and auxiliary organizations for all international and non-essential domestic travel to July 31, 2020.

Decisions on how best to protect Cal Poly faculty, staff and students are informed by evolving guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. State Department as well as state and local public health agencies. The U.S. State Department continues to maintain a Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory applicable to international travel, which is the highest warning level and reflects a greater likelihood of life-threatening risks.

Any travel exception must be routed to the appropriate vice president with final approval by the university president and will only be made in extenuating and compelling circumstances with consideration of the following factors:

  • Necessity of the proposed travel, including consequences of postponing travel
  • Needs and preferences of the individual
  • Availability of safe and secure shelter at the destination
  • Availability of appropriate medical care at the destination
  • Availability of transportation, services, and other necessities at the destination
  • Assessment of risks associated with traveling versus risks of remaining in place

The CSU Chancellor’s Office will re-evaluate this travel restriction by mid-June.

5/6/2020 - Summer term and leadership updates

To the Campus Community:

I’m writing today with several important updates. However, I first ask you to join me in sending warm thoughts to members of the campus community whose loved ones have been affected by COVID-19. This is a difficult time for all; please know that I am thinking of each of you as you face the challenges of each day.

I want everyone – students, faculty and staff – to know how very proud I am of you for coming together to meet these unexpected challenges. From our faculty delivering classes to our staff providing support and operational needs for the entire campus, to our students embracing a virtual spring quarter, the entire Cal Poly community has worked tirelessly to ensure we deliver on our promise. I specifically want to acknowledge the staff, faculty and students who continue to work daily on campus to maintain essential activities.

We are sensitive to the impact COVID-19 has had on our campus community.  For those who may need support or assistance during this difficult time, I want to remind you of the resources available. I encourage you to visit https://coronavirus.calpoly.edu/ to find links to the many support services Cal Poly offers, including counseling services, the Cal Poly Cares program and further information about the federal CARES Act.

I know you all have questions about the impact of this pandemic on Cal Poly and what the future will look like. I want to reiterate that our decision-making process is deliberate and thoughtful, with student success, delivering on our academic mission and ensuring that all students have access to degree completion as our primary goals, tempered only by the need to ensure the health and safety of our community.  Information – science and data – is changing daily, and decisions made now will have long-term impacts on the university. It’s important, then, that we take the time to make the best decisions we can with the information available now, even if that means decisions are made less quickly than we would like.

These principles have guided our plans for summer. The summer quarter will be all-virtual, with many more classes being offered than usual—and at a lower price, with significant financial aid available to those who need it. I want to publicly thank Joe Cotchett, a generous friend of the university, and an anonymous donor who have together given $350,000 to provide additional financial support to students enrolling in summer courses. I strongly encourage all continuing students to take advantage of this opportunity to take classes and get ahead a bit, which will make next year easier for you. All the details are at https://summer.calpoly.edu/.

What fall quarter will look like is still uncertain, but we are optimistic and are planning for students returning to campus and a return to some in-person, face-to-face instruction. However, we have to plan for contingencies and remain flexible due to the dynamic nature of the coronavirus pandemic. In-person learning would only occur in combination with some virtual learning and the necessary physical distancing to minimize the potential of infection and help protect vulnerable faculty, staff and students.

At the same time, we have to be prepared for a scenario in which all fall classes are held virtually should there be an unfortunate and significant spike in COVID-19 cases. We must have these plans in place and be nimble in the event of health threats that result in additional shelter at home orders and (or) a situation that overwhelms our health care system. Clearly we cannot predict the future, but we will have plans for a variety of scenarios and will be prepared to adjust however the pandemic unfolds.

We are also taking the plans of local K-12 schools into account, both because they face similar concerns to ours and because students, faculty and staff who have young children will face ongoing challenges with studying or working full time if their children are not back in school.

We will continue to work with the CSU, county health officials, and local, state and federal government officials to ensure that, regardless of the modality of our courses, we incorporate appropriate safety measures that best manage risk for the campus and broader community, including those who are most vulnerable.

I also want to take a moment to talk about some of the other impacts the crisis is having on the university.  While it has created many unknowns, there are some things we do know. It is clear that Cal Poly’s budget will be significantly impacted over the next two to three years. Consequently, we must accelerate our efforts to modernize, optimize and centralize administrative functions to more effectively eliminate redundancies and inefficiencies and create cost savings. As a first step, we have paused most hiring efforts and are not filling some positions that become vacant due to retirement or turnover. The CSU is also continuing a domestic and international travel ban until July 31, and future travel considerations will likely be implemented to ensure effective budget management even after restrictions due to the pandemic are relaxed. 

The depth of the economic crisis is not yet known. However, we are certain that we should prepare now for decreased funding from the state and other sources. That’s why it is critically important that we begin campus-wide discussions now about how to achieve our priorities (as laid out in the Strategic Plan) with fewer resources. Some actions need to be taken quickly while others require discussion and input through shared governance structures and unions. In these unprecedented times, I will quote Governor Gavin Newsom: “Things that used to take years now take months; months now take weeks; weeks now take days; and finally, days now take hours.”

Challenging times create new ways of doing things and new opportunities. Now is the time for new and bold thinking about how to be more efficient, as well as discovering additional sources of revenue. We will use our virtual capabilities to gather input on these opportunities from the campus community in a manner never before seen at Cal Poly.  We will also include an option for input to be provided confidentially. I offer the following thoughts in the spirit of starting this broad and open conversation.  First, we want to know about your experiences during this time. What lessons have we learned? Would working remotely on a more permanent basis be effective and feasible for you? What have we learned during this time? You have experienced university processes and procedures from a new viewpoint – what can be changed, enhanced and streamlined? What are the obstacles?

Regarding our curricula, the most basic question is: now that we have substantial experience with virtual course delivery, how can that be used to enhance student success going forward? Could we move to year-round operations and offer a substantial off-session (i.e., summer) quarter if most of those courses were offered virtually? Could we use virtual instruction to help all of our students participate in high-impact educational opportunities like collaborating with faculty on research, studying abroad, service-learning or internships? Could we reduce the time it takes to complete a Cal Poly degree to three or even two years? Could we use our online abilities to help mid-career graduates re-skill or up-skill as the economy and the demand for particular talents changes over time? 

To be clear: Vision 2022, a more residential and diverse campus, remains just that – our vision. Cal Poly is fundamentally and will always remain primarily a residential, comprehensive polytechnic university where talented young people come to learn face-to-face from world-class faculty. Independent of current budget concerns, Learn by Doing requires more investment than the state can provide in the best of times.  We have to be creative and innovative. My questions are not aimed at replacing that core function of Learn by Doing, but at complementing and enhancing it.

As we consider our future, we also have to think about where we were before this crisis started. We have always been committed to making the institution as efficient and cost-effective as possible, but sometimes long-standing practices and habits, or just the daunting amount of effort and time involved in creating change, has discouraged us from making necessary moves toward modernization and optimization. The pandemic has shown that we are more flexible than we thought, and the current and looming budget crisis demands that we not wait any longer.

As we think about our future and the changes it demands, I know the word “centralize” will create some angst, but centralizing operations and functions that are not unique eliminates redundancy and streamlines work. It is really about optimization. It is our hope to achieve greater efficiencies while maintaining personnel through attrition or re-assignment.

Along these lines, we are in the process of making a number of changes in university administration –  some permanent and some temporary.  These are aimed at ultimately reducing administration and improving efficiencies across the university.

We have decided to pause the search for a new VP of Development. I have asked Jessica Darin to continue leading this division while continuing as Chief of Staff. I am very appreciative of Jessica, the University Development and Alumni Engagement leadership team, and our Foundation Board of Directors for their efforts in continuing our fundraising work.

I am also announcing that we will bring our successful fundraising campaign – “The Power of Doing” – to a close later this calendar year. When we started the campaign, we set a goal of $500 million. Later, we raised the target to $700 million. I am pleased today to report that we will complete the campaign at more than $800 million in funds raised. Let me pause and congratulate the team for their work – the University Development and Alumni Engagement division, deans, VPs, AD, faculty, staff, alumni, donors and especially our Cal Poly Foundation Board of Directors.

As previously announced, Vice President for Diversity & Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Jozi DeLeon will retire this summer. We greatly appreciate all that Jozi has done to move diversity, inclusion and equity forward at Cal Poly. I am currently gathering information and speaking with campus stakeholders to determine an interim leader. We’ll begin evaluating the timing of a search for a permanent replacement in the near future.

I also want to share with you that Vice Provost for Enrollment Development & Chief Marketing Officer Jim Maraviglia has agreed to take on the position of Interim VP of Enrollment Management and University Strategy. Jim plans to retire later this year and has agreed to serve in this role until we conduct an internal search for this position starting no later than January 1, 2021. It is not an exaggeration to say that Cal Poly is the university it is today due in large part to Jim’s leadership in both enrollment and marketing. He has led the way in enlarging our applicant pool, increasing campus diversity, and ensuring Cal Poly puts its best foot forward to the outside world.

Also related to this move, I have asked Chris Murphy to expand his role as AVP and Chief Communications Officer to become VP for Communications and Marketing. Chris and his team have excelled in this arena for the university. Combining University Communications and Marketing simplifies the management structure and facilitates greater collaboration between two outstanding teams. This move also allows us to begin creating a much more centralized function that delivers greater efficiencies and better coordination across the campus, including auxiliaries.

We will also be continuing with our efforts to optimize, modernize and centralize our campus IT functions, including auxiliaries. I want to pause and thank our IT professionals for their work pre-COVID-19 that positioned us for the abrupt transition to virtual learning. IT professionals, faculty technology fellows, staff, CTLT and many others have worked diligently to help deliver more than 98 percent of our originally scheduled in person schedule through a new virtual modality.

Finally, I would like to share some very positive news with you about our search for a Provost.  I am pleased to announce that Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore has accepted our offer to become our Provost and Executive Vice President effective August 3, 2020. I know you join me in welcoming her to the Cal Poly family. She is excited to join us as she shares our belief that we can and will be even better once we are on the other side of this current pandemic. I want to extend my thanks to our search committee chaired by College of Engineering Dean Amy Fleischer and Academic Senate Chair Dustin Stegner.

I want to thank Dr. Mary Pedersen for her outstanding work as Interim Provost and Executive Vice President. Her steady hand and unwavering commitment to Cal Poly and student success have helped to maintain academic excellence and access to education for all students in the midst of this crisis. I know I echo the sentiments of the entire leadership team when I say thank you for all you have done, Mary.

In closing, despite the many changes and challenges we are facing, our university is fortunate. We have an amazing community, all united in achieving student success. Let me end where I started, by thanking you for your optimism, grace and thoughtfulness. We will get through this, and we will be better on the other side. I wish you well! Go Mustangs. 

Sincerely,

Jeffrey D. Armstrong
President

4/29/2020 - Message from CSU Chancellor White regarding scenario planning

Dear Campus Community:

I am sharing an important message from Chancellor White, as he provides more detail about the road ahead for the CSU. I appreciate Chancellor White's leadership during this time and am certain you will find his letter informative.

I also want you to be aware that I am planning a video message to campus for early next week. It will provide updates on a number of important topics, including our latest status as it relates to planning for the fall quarter and beyond.

I look forward to sharing more with you next week.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey D. Armstrong
President

4/22/2020 - Fall 2020 registration changes

Hello,

Fall 2020 registration has been postponed to allow Cal Poly administration time to determine the format of the fall term and for faculty to finalize their fall 2020 schedules.

The new fall 2020 registration dates are as follows:

  • May 20, 2020: Fall 2020 planning calendars are due to the Scheduling Unit of the Office of the Registrar.
  • June 4, 2020: The fall 2020 class schedule will be made available via Schedule Builder and Class Search.
  • June 15, 2020 – July 3, 2020: The first round of fall 2020 registration for continuing students.
  • July 3, 2020 (end of first round) – August 16, 2020: The fall 2020 class schedule will be made unavailable in Schedule Builder and Class Search during this window.
  • August 17, 2020: The fall 2020 class schedule will once again be available in Schedule Builder and Class Search.
  • August 21, 2020: Block schedules for new first-year students will be delivered to advisors. New first-year students will have access to their fall schedules on August 25, 2020, their registration rotation will begin on August 31, 2020, and their registration rotation will end on September 2, 2020.
  • August 28, 2020: New transfer students’ registration rotation will begin.  
  • September 4, 2020 – September 11, 2020: The second round of fall 2020 registration for continuing students.
  • September 12, 2020: Open enrollment will begin, and reserve capacities will be removed for all fall classes. Open enrollment will end on September 16, 2020.
  • September 17, 2020: Fall 2020 classes begin.

Additionally, beginning with the fall 2020 term, students will have the ability to enroll in up to 18 units during the first round of registration. The increase to a maximum of 18 units of enrollment during first round registration will be a permanent change moving forward.
 

Thank you,

The Office of the Registrar

4/14/2020 - Cal Poly virtual events available via What's Up Now guide

Dear students:

Like many of you, I am working remotely from a makeshift desk I created at home. It’s not what I'm used to, but this moment requires each of us to bring our most flexible selves to every situation.  While I understand why isolation from others is important right now, it is in conflict with my natural desire to be with others. I can imagine that many of you feel the same way.

Now more than ever, it’s important that we find safe ways to engage with each other and sustain the strength of our Cal Poly community. Since you can't come to us right now, we are bringing Cal Poly to you – with things like the Virtual Spring Career Fair, pre-recorded fitness classes and online personal training sessions, tele counseling, leadership certificate series, and setting up virtual employer interviews for jobs and internships.

To help you find these opportunities, we created a one-stop guide for finding virtual events and resources that you love from Student Affairs. Please download the “What's Up Now” guide in the Cal Poly Now app and begin exploring today! 

You can do this, Mustangs – and know that we are here to support you every step of the way!

In community,

Keith B. Humphrey
Vice President for Student Affairs
Pronouns: he, him, his

4/10/2020 - Crisis advice and support resources for students 

Dear faculty:

Thank you for your continued efforts to support students as our campus community adjusts to our new virtual learning environment.  As a parent who is adjusting to virtual learning for my sixth- and eighth-grade students, I am impressed with the work of their teachers and can only imagine the innovation each of you are putting into your courses.

Like many of us, students suddenly find themselves adjusting to a different way of doing things, away from the classrooms and living environments that provide them with shelter, community, comfort and stability. For some, this is a particularly stressful and uncertain time – and these feelings may present themselves in a variety of ways.

As their primary mentors and educators, I know that students often come to you first in times of personal crisis, especially in our new virtual reality. With this in mind, allow me to share some important tips and resources to help you identify the signs of a student who may be in need of additional support.

Early signs of crisis may include:

  • Concerning comments on discussion boards, assignments, etc.
  • Angry and/or irate when communicating with others
  • Lack of participation or concentration
  • Interrupting instructor and peers who are trying to help them
  • Failure to turn in assignments
  • Multiple requests for extensions
  • Frequently contacting instructors about assignments, often without actually doing the work
  • Repeatedly canceling appointments or office hours at the last minute
  • Requests for help without specifying needs or availability

Tips to help you support a student who may be in crisis:

  • Don’t ignore the signs. If comfortable, let the student know that you are there for them.
  • Reach out to all students early, and often.
  • Temper your expectations. Remote learning can be a challenge for everyone. If possible, be flexible with deadlines, offer alternatives if someone can’t complete a particular assignment, and don’t assign high-stakes tests on a new platform.
  • Keep in mind that students have left behind more than just their classes and academics. Consider creating a community discussion board for them to share what is happening in their lives, especially given the current situation.
  • Create opportunities for students to process the moment.
  • Stay authentic in your interactions. Students have encountered a lot of change over these past few weeks. Being your authentic self in all interactions brings comfort and familiarity.
  • Share support resources on your syllabus, Canvas tab, or as a separate handout.

Most importantly, please know that all of our staff in Student Affairs – from the Dean of Students Office to Counseling Services are here to support you should you encounter a student who may be in crisis.

Finally, here are two useful articles from the Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed to help you support your students in the virtual learning environment.

  1. Hope Matters – 10 different strategies to support and teach students virtually. 
  2. How to Help Struggling Students Succeed Online – best practices and advice to help struggling students succeed in a virtual environment.

For more of these resources and tips, please visit the Office of the Dean of Students website. Thank you again for all you do to support our students.

In community,

Keith B. Humphrey
Vice President for Student Affairs
He, him, his

4/10/2020 - Standing firm against xenophobia, bias and hate 

Dear campus community,

In these uncertain times, as the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak forces us apart physically, it becomes even more important for us to embrace one another as unique, valued and important members of the Cal Poly community.

The COVID-19 outbreak has disrupted and ended the lives of people worldwide, not discriminating by race or national origin. The pandemic has given rise to fear and uncertainty and some have responded to it with hate, bias, and xenophobia directed toward Asian people and people of Asian descent.

It is important now more than ever that we come together in support of one another and stand firm against racism, intolerance and discrimination and in support of our values of Love, Empathy, Respect. We are all one Mustang community and we express our unwavering support for our Asian and Pacific Islander communities and all international faculty, staff and students. 

A progressive university not only speaks about diversity, equity and inclusion, but demonstrates its support of these ideals through actions.  We want you to know that we are developing resources and implementing strategies that will further educate our students about xenophobia and the impact it has on others.  The Center for Teaching, Learning & Technology will also be working with faculty to provide a workshop focused on strategies for responding to incidents of hate, bias or xenophobia in their online classes.  In addition, the College of Liberal Arts and the Ethnic Studies Department will be engaging faculty in a Teach-On about COVID-19 and issues of racism and xenophobia.  The Cross-Cultural Centers will be creating opportunities to reinforce community and to engage in healing circles.  Please check out the OUDI and COVID-19 websites periodically for additional resources, activities and learning events that are taking place in response to this challenging and difficult time. 

In addition to those mentioned, other offices are here to support you regardless of where you are located during this virtual spring quarter. To learn more about the campus’ response and the resources available to help foster an inclusive and equitable university, please visit https://coronavirus.calpoly.edu/inclusion-resources

Students requiring basic needs resources, health and well-being services, or other general assistance, please visit https://coronavirus.calpoly.edu/student-care-resources.

In closing, I want to express sincere appreciation for everything that each of you is doing to uphold the safety, health and well-being of our Cal Poly community, in fostering student success, and in addressing bias when it arises. We remain strong in our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and we are Cal Poly Proud.

Sincerely,

 

Jozi De Leon, Ph.D
Vice President, Office of University Diversity and Inclusion

Emergency Operations Center
Anti-hate Messaging Task Force
Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo

4/3/2020 - Preparing for Virtual Learning: How to be successful in Spring 2020

Dear Students,

I have been thinking a lot about you over these past couple of weeks, and I hope you're doing well and taking care of yourself during this incredibly challenging time. These past few weeks have been difficult for all members of our campus community, but I am continually impressed by the resilience, care and compassion that you and our faculty and staff members have demonstrated. As we approach the beginning of a quarter that is unprecedented in the history of our campus, please know faculty and staff members have been working at an incredible pace to ensure that your learning experience this quarter will be a positive one and still reflect our guiding principle of Learn by Doing.

Instruction Guidelines

If you haven't already, you should be receiving information from your instructors on how your courses will be taught virtually over the quarter. If you haven't heard anything from them by the beginning of next week, please contact them directly. I hope you keep in mind that this is a challenging time for your professors as well, and many of them will be teaching their courses in entirely new formats that they have had to develop over only a few short weeks. All this work has been done to give you the best educational experience possible during this difficult time. When communicating and working with your professors, please do your best to be understanding and patient.

Virtual Learning Resources

Today I would like to share with you some vital resources that are available to you virtually. During times of crisis and disruptions to our normal lifestyles, studies show that the more structure you can build into your day and connections (virtual!) you create with family, friends and academic colleagues, the more you will be able to handle stressful times of change. I assure you that we are working to provide this connection and structure for you in the virtual environment.

Registration/Adding Courses/Waitlists:

The Office of the Registrar has put together information on waitlists, adding classes and credit/no credit policies at https://coronavirus.calpoly.edu/academic-programs-and-support.

Advising: 

The Mustang Success Center and all the college advising centers are in full operation virtually, offering both drop-in advising and appointments via Zoom. Visit the Academic Advising website to find which advising center will best fit your needs.

Library:

The library has placed its resources and services online for students to access and utilize, including its databases, ebooks and research tools. These can all be found at the library's online resource guide. Please note that the library, including its 24-hour room, is closed until further notice.

Academic Support:

Cal Poly's Writing and Learning Center is offering virtual tutoring sessions in over 250 courses and subjects, for which students can sign up here. The center also offers drop-in Zoom hours to support students with their math, statistics and mechanical engineering courses, accessible here

For requests for individualized academic support in courses or subjects not already offered, contact writingandlearning@calpoly.edu. Writing and Learning Center services are free for all Cal Poly students.

Spring quarter supplemental workshops concurrent with science and math courses, and study sessions associated with specific science, math and engineering courses, will be held virtually via Zoom. For more information on how to register for supplemental workshops and study sessions, click here.

The above is just a sample of the resources that will be available to you over the spring quarter; you can find more resources at https://coronavirus.calpoly.edu/classes-and-programs.

This page will be updated often, so please consider bookmarking it and checking in regularly. I hope you find these services helpful. If you have any questions or concerns, please know that we are all here to listen to and support you.

I would also like to reiterate the message from earlier this week. If you left the San Luis Obispo area during spring break, we urge you to remain at your current residence for the spring quarter. COVID-19 is highly transmittable. The best action you can take for your health and the health of others is to stay home.

You can find more information and updates about COVID-19 at https://coronavirus.calpoly.edu.

I wish you all a productive, safe and healthy spring quarter.

Sincerely,

Mary E. Pedersen, Ph.D.
Interim Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

4/3/2020 - Message from President Armstrong regarding spring and summer terms

Dear Mustangs,

Spring quarter is just about to begin, and it will be different than anyone could have predicted just a few weeks ago. The disruption we have experienced due to the coronavirus crisis has been, for many of us, unsettling, disappointing, inconvenient and even scary. In these unprecedented times, such feelings are normal and valid — and we feel them together.

As we reflect upon the world around us today, it's also important that we not lose sight of the things that make us who and what we are — the values that define us individually and collectively and which make Cal Poly special. We will soon start the spring quarter in a manner that has never occurred in the history of our university. While this will be new for us all, the vision and values that define Cal Poly remain unchanged: putting safety first; prioritizing student success; making decisions guided by facts and evidence; and becoming an even more diverse and vibrant residential campus. Let's re-commit ourselves to these values; they are what determine our response to the changes in our environment, and they define us as a community no matter where we are.

You have heard me say many times that our top priority is the safety, health and well-being of our Cal Poly community. It bears repeating now more than ever. I hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and well and that you are following the guidance of local and state authorities to do your part to "flatten the curve." Some in our community have lost loved ones to the virus. To you, we extend our deepest sympathy and condolences. Just as Mustangs take care of each other, so too must we be good neighbors and look out for all of those around us by doing our part when called upon.

Another of our priorities as a university is delivering on our core mission to provide a quality education that ensures student success for all. Faculty and staff have been working incredibly hard to provide the spring quarter experience virtually. At last count, nearly all of our 4,212 courses slated for spring will be offered this quarter. Faculty have transitioned face-to-face courses into virtual courses in just a couple of weeks, and staff have created an impressive number of virtual means of supporting, encouraging and inspiring students. There will inevitably be many questions and uncertainties, this is truly Learn by Doing in action. As we navigate this new territory, please treat each other with grace and patience. We are all adapting to an unfamiliar way of doing things. Good humor, kindness and flexibility will go a long way toward solving problems and making spring quarter a new and enjoyable experience.

Cal Poly will always be a residential campus where talented young people come to get a face-to-face education from outstanding faculty, supported by outstanding staff. However, I am confident that faculty and students will be pleasantly surprised by many of the advantages of virtual course delivery — and that some virtual courses may even become permanent parts of our repertoire. I am excited about the innovation and creativity that will follow.

I also want to share with you that we have determined Cal Poly will also be delivering courses virtually in the summer. Given the many factors that go into planning for summer courses and programming, we needed to make this decision now based upon the facts and evidence available to us at this time. I know this will raise many questions about other events during the summer. It is too soon to make decisions regarding summer events and programming, including orientation, camps and conferences. Similarly, it is too soon to say if employees might return to working on campus at some point this summer. I can say that any changes to our current working status would only be made in accordance with county public health, state and CSU guidelines and recommendations.

We remain optimistic that we will be back for in-person, face-to-face delivery in the fall of 2020, but that is a decision we will make at a later date and will ultimately be determined by the evolving nature of the coronavirus situation.

Finally, please take care of yourselves and each other. Please continue to monitor your email for updates and new communications. For the most up-to-date facts and answers to many of your questions, please visit our dedicated coronavirus web page.

Wherever you are spending Spring quarter, remember to be Cal Poly Proud because you are Mustangs!

Sincerely,

Jeffrey D. Armstrong
President

4/1/2020 - Tuition and Fees Guidance

Hello Mustangs,

Below is important information regarding student tuition and fees, and helpful guidance on how to cancel housing, dining and parking fees. 

Cal Poly is offering nearly every one of our classes that were originally scheduled for spring in a virtual format, in addition to academic advising, tutoring and confidential counseling. Faculty and staff are working on a number of things beyond classes that can be done virtually to keep you excited and engaged from wherever you may be.   

Above all: Any Cal Poly student who is currently at home outside of the San Luis Obispo should stay in their current residence for spring quarter. This is very important to minimize the impact of the virus in our community. These are unprecedented times, and we must all do our part to protect the health of ourselves and our neighbors.   

Spring Quarter Tuition and Registration Fees and Payment Plan: 

Tuition and registration fees are defined by the California State University System as mandatory. These fees – such as ASI, University Union and Health Services – will continue to be assessed at the established quarterly rate based on enrollment. Mandatory fees are required of all students in part to help pay for long-term debt obligations. For example, the University Union fee pays for the Recreation Center loan that allowed the facility to be upgraded and expanded. For a complete list of registration fees, refer to https://afd.calpoly.edu/fees/estimated-fees

Students who no longer wish to be enrolled for spring quarter courses must drop all enrolled classes by Sunday, April 5, to receive a refund for tuition and registration fees. 

Cal Poly will waive late registration and late add appeal fees resulting from circumstances associated with COVID-19. 

A payment plan option is available to pay your spring quarter tuition and registration fees. This term payment plan allows for a more flexible payment option. To learn more about this option, please contact Student Accounts at studentaccounts@calpoly.edu.

Due to COVID-19, students will be allowed to register for summer and fall courses later in the spring quarter regardless of the status of their spring quarter fees.

For more information about tuition and registration fees please visit the Student Accounts website.

Housing and Dining Fees: 

Students who no longer need campus housing because they have moved or will be moving to their permanent residence for spring quarter in response to COVID-19 need to cancel their housing in the Housing Portal by April 6 to avoid spring housing charges. Housing fees will be adjusted in the Student Account to reflect the cancellation. Students who cancel after April 6 will receive a prorated adjustment for spring fees from the date of check-out. A 30-day notice is not required.

Once the housing cancellation has been processed, it will be submitted to Campus Dining and the dining plan will also be canceled. Students who have not removed their belongings will not be charged as long as they submit the cancellation notice. We will notify students when it is appropriate to return for their belongings. 

For more information, please see https://coronavirus.calpoly.edu/housing-and-dining. Anyone with questions about University Housing can email housing@calpoly.edu. If you have questions about Campus Dining email campusdining@calpoly.edu.

Parking Fees: 

Refunds are available for annual or spring quarter permits for residents and commuters. To request a refund for annual permits (spring quarter only), please email Transportation and Parking Services at parking@calpoly.edu. All spring quarter permit refunds will be automatically processed.  

For more information, please visit the Transportation & Parking Services website.

Expedite Refunds with Direct Deposit:

To expedite the processing of any refund please sign up for Direct Deposit in the “Money Matters” tab in the Cal Poly Portal. Please make sure the mailing address and current physical residence is up to date in the “Personal Info” tab.

With hopes that you, your family and friends are safe and well and are taking the necessary precautions to remain healthy. 

3/31/2020 - Message from Student Affairs urging students to remain at current residences for spring quarter

Dear Students,

I can’t wait for you to return to San Luis Obispo when the coronavirus situation is over, but now is not that time.

If you left the SLO area during spring break, I urge you in the strongest possible way to remain at your current residence for the spring quarter. COVID-19 is a highly transmittable disease. We want to minimize the risk of individuals who have traveled outside of the area from returning to SLO and unknowingly spreading infection to others. I remind you of Governor Newsom’s order to stay at home. Failure to do so may come at the detriment of your health and those nearest to you. Here’s where you can learn more about the county’s emergency order to shelter at home.

I know you may miss your life in San Luis Obispo, but things have changed on campus. Critical services like medical and police remain, but the university has closed or suspended the Recreation Center, UU Hour events, athletics, intramurals and evening escort vans. Food options are also limited for the students who remain on campus. In town, restaurants and bars are closed, except for limited take-out and delivery services, while many non-essential stores like salons, yoga studios and other personal care services are closed. In addition, many parks, trails, and even beach parking lots are closed to discourage crowds, as we try to flatten the curve of COVID-19.

As you know, spring quarter will be offered virtually, and Student Affairs will be delivering virtual activities to keep you engaged outside of the classroom. I understand that it’s not the same as being here, but please know that we are doing all we can to support you during this difficult time.

I know you’ll make the decision that is focused on our community’s greater needs and not of your personal desires. The longer you stay in place, the sooner we can be together again. 

We’re in this together, Mustangs. Please take care and be well.

In community (now more than ever),

Keith B. Humphrey, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs
Pronouns: he, him, his

3/26/2020 - President Armstrong speaks at San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department press briefing

View press briefing here. Transcript in English also available. 

3/25/2020 - Spring quarter update from President Armstrong

Dear Campus Community:

Thank you all for the remarkable flexibility, patience and creativity you have shown as Cal Poly has adjusted to the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 situation. First and foremost, your health and safety has been and continues to be our top priority. Please take care of yourself and follow all public health guidelines from San Luis Obispo County or your local authorities. We will get through this.

As promised, we have made decisions about the spring quarter by today, March 25. Some of this has already been communicated, so I wanted to take this opportunity to make sure that the key points are clear, and to let you know about some new opportunities.

Key Points About Spring Quarter

Spring quarter will be taught entirely virtually for the whole quarter. Our amazing faculty have shown how creative and clever they can be, and have found ways to offer almost every course (more than 98 percent) that was originally scheduled for spring. More information will be sent to you as the start of the quarter — delayed until April 6 — approaches. We plan to send another update as early as later this week. Please do not make major changes to your course schedule until you receive our next update.

If you have returned to your permanent residence, you should stay there and NOT return to campus or the San Luis Obispo (SLO) area during spring quarter, other than to collect your belongings, in coordination with Housing. Public health authorities continue to stress the urgency of limiting social contacts and non-essential travel, and we ask that everyone continue doing your part.

If you are living on campus and want to stay on campus, we will continue to support you as usual through spring quarter. Housing, Dining, Campus Health and Wellbeing, technology and printing, and other vital services will remain available.

If you are currently in the SLO area in off-campus housing, please follow the shelter-in-home directives from state and local authorities and do not come to campus during spring quarter, other than to receive care, basic needs assistance, Dining, technology and printing, and other vital services.

If you are concerned about meeting your basic needs, please contact the Office of the Dean of Students at student-success@calpoly.edu for support. You can learn about our basic needs services at CP Basic Needs Initiative.

If you are living on campus and wish to return to your permanent residence, or have already done so, we will adjust your spring quarter housing fees. Details are available here.

The university has a comprehensive coronavirus (COVID-19) website at a new address: https://coronavirus.calpoly.edu/. The site has many resources and will continue to be updated frequently, so students, staff and faculty are encouraged to check back often for the latest and most reliable information.

I understand that studying from home, far from friends, classmates and extracurriculars, is not as exciting as living and studying on campus. Below are a few initiatives to keep you engaged and Learning by Doing during the spring. I hope to be able to announce even more new opportunities in the next few days to fill up empty hours and make the virtual spring quarter as exciting as the in-person version would have been.

Some New Initiatives for Spring Quarter

  • Career Services plans to host its first-ever virtual Spring Career Fair with virtual interviews with employers. In addition, they will have virtual career counseling office hours and drop-in advising.
  • The Recreation Center will have pre-recorded video fitness classes and virtual personal training available.
  • Disability Resource CenterEOP and Cal Poly Scholars will have virtual advising and workshops available in spring for their students.
  • Counseling and SAFER advocates are available through confidential telephone and Zoom consultations.
  •  Social Change Leadership Series courses will continue to be offered online.

Thank you again for the grace and skill you have shown during this difficult time. It bears repeating: We will get through this. Please continue to take care of yourself and others.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey D. Armstrong
President 

3/25/2020 - Campus housing lease and support resources

Residents,

Thank you for your patience, your flexibility, and your trust during the COVID-19 situation. All of us at Cal Poly are working hard to ensure your safety, to continue offering the high-quality education you expect, and to do right by students, whether you choose to return to your permanent residence or stay with us on campus for spring quarter.

I am reaching out today to update you on the status of students eligible to end their housing lease:

If you currently have an on-campus housing lease for spring quarter, and you wish to end it for the purpose of returning to your permanent residence, you can do that. Learn more here. Spring charges will be adjusted, based on when you end the lease. The timing of any refunds is being worked out; we appreciate your patience.

If you wish to end your on-campus housing license agreement for any other reason—in particular, to move to off-campus housing—your spring housing charges will not be adjusted. Moving off-campus is listed in your housing contract as an ineligible reason to break your agreement. The university is only offering the opportunity to end leases to students moving back to their permanent residence in the interest of public health.

Student Affairs has many ways to serve you. If you are concerned about meeting your basic needs, please contact the Office of the Dean of Students Student Support, Success, and Retention at student-support@calpoly.edu for support. You can learn about basic needs services at CP Basic Needs Initiative.

If you suspect you may be exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, call the Health Center or your local physician first, before going to the emergency room. If you need to talk through a personal situation or concern, please contact Cal Poly’s Counseling Services. They offer 24/7 support at 805-756-2511.

Thank you again for persevering during this unusually difficult period. We are working hard to keep you safe. We trust that you are taking all of the necessary precautions to do the same. Stay well!

Sincerely,

Jo Campbell, Ph.D.

Executive Director of University Housing, 
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs

3/24/2020 - Cal Poly student tests positive for COVID-19

Dear Campus Community:

We are writing today to share an important and unfortunate update regarding the growing spread of COVID-19.

Today, Cal Poly was notified that an out-of-area student tested positive for COVID-19. The student – who lived off campus and was not a resident of student housing – left San Luis Obispo for their permanent home residence on March 17. After arriving at their permanent home, which is outside of the San Luis Obispo area, they were subsequently tested and notified earlier today of their positive result.

San Luis Obispo County Public Health has been informed and is currently conducting a contact investigation and is working to inform and provide guidance to all close contacts of the individual.

We are hopeful for the student’s quick recovery.

Today’s news underscores the importance of us all continuing to closely follow state and county shelter-in-home orders. While outside activities with appropriate social distancing – such as walking, hiking and biking – are acceptable, you are asked to stay home and not travel through the community unless it is absolutely essential. This is critical to help minimize the spread of this virus. Please also remember that many in our community may be more susceptible to contracting and suffering more severe cases of COVID-19. These vulnerable populations rely on all of us to be responsible and do our part to minimize this disease.

While the Cal Poly campus remains open – including essential functions and services to support students, such as student housing and dining –  we ask that students return to their permanent home residences if possible.  We also ask that those who have left the San Luis Obispo area not return at this time. As a reminder, all classes for the spring quarter of 2020 will be held virtually. 

Finally, we ask you to continue to strictly follow shelter-in-home orders, ensure proper social distancing and practice thorough hand-washing with soap and water. These are among the very best ways to protect against viral infections.

We understand that these are very challenging and unsettling times, but we will get through this. Know that we care about each and every member of our campus community and are doing all that we can to safeguard your health and wellbeing. Please continue to look out for your fellow community members and take care of yourself.

As always, for the latest updates and information regarding coronavirus and our campus preparedness, please visit  https://chw.calpoly.edu/coronavirus.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey D. Armstrong
President 

3/24/2020 - Administration and Finance business operation changes

Dear Colleagues, 

The last week has brought so many developments and created a new normal for many of us, and I know it will take time to adjust. I hope that you, your family and friends are safe and well and are taking the necessary precautions to remain healthy. Please remember there are services available to support your health and well-being that you can turn to throughout this time, and I ask that you not hesitate to use them. 

We are working quickly to respond to this ever-evolving situation. I want to share with you the latest information on a range of important changes to campus operations. For Cal Poly Corporation hours of operations (including deposits, paycheck pickup and employee telecommute and leave policies), please contact the Cal Poly Corporation Business Office.

A&F Operations

Service Hours

Most departments within Administration & Finance are operating virtually. Staff continue to work remotely and are available via email, telephone and Zoom, as appropriate. Due to the reduced on-campus population and, out of an abundance of caution, departments have limited in-person service hours to the minimum required to maintain campus operations. These are listed below:   

Student Accounts: Campus deposits can be dropped off at the Cashier’s Office Drop Box or Student Accounts window Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. 

Cal Poly Police Department: Safety and security services to the campus will maintain 24/7 with support from dispatch communications. The lobby remains open 24/7 for police assistance by utilizing the lobby phone for direct contact with a police dispatcher.  

Facilities Management and Development Customer Business Services: Limited staff will be available Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. to assist with phone calls, walk-ins and work orders.

Distribution Services: Delivery of mail and package services will continue daily starting at 9:30 a.m. unless a hold request has been granted. A staff member will be present from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the warehouse to receive deliveries and answer phones. 

Environmental Health and Safety: Operating under reduced staffing but is open and available to assist in safety and health issues campus wide as well as Workers’ Comp claims.  Contact Katheryn Villarreal at extension 6-5427 for workers’ compensation questions, or EHS Director David Korpan at extension 6-6662 for any related EHS questions; or the FMD Help Center at extension 6-5555 to be connected to the appropriate EHS staff for assistance. 

Hours are subject to change, please check the A&F COVID-19 for details. 

Human Resources

Hiring and Recruitment

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on campus operations, and per California State University System direction, all hiring and recruitment will be suspended until further notice. This does not apply to positions that have been offered and accepted or those awaiting candidate acceptance letters. Staff and MPP positions currently posted will be inactivated. Exceptions will be considered for mission critical positions that are considered essential for ongoing campus operations or are necessary for campus safety. Department heads will need to carefully evaluate ongoing departmental needs. Any hiring actions submitted for consideration must be approved by the appropriate Division Vice President/Provost with final approval by President Armstrong. 

Information related to faculty hiring will be issued by the Provost’s Office.

Student Assistants

Following guidance from the California State University System Office, any student assistant who was scheduled to work the weeks of March 16, 23 and/or 30, and are unable to perform essentials job duties remotely, will be paid for their scheduled hours through April 5. 

Temporary Paid Administrative Leave 

The CSU is providing guidance regarding Temporary Paid Administrative Leave with guidelines forthcoming from university Human Resources.

Telework

In order to conform to the shelter-at-home orders from San Luis Obispo County and the Governor, telecommuting and working from home remain strongly encouraged when practical until further notice. However, the university remains open and essential employees are required to be on campus to ensure continuity of campus operations. Employees with a telework arrangement must be engaged in tasks related to their daily Cal Poly responsibilities. Department heads and managers should be in regular contact with these employees, providing appropriate guidance and engagement. Those unable to telecommute have been placed on administrative leave with pay.

For more information on telework please see the COVID-19 website. 

If you are a manager, please review the telecommuting guidelines and COVID-19 telecommuting agreement.

COVID-19 Related Expenses

The CSU Chancellor’s Office has issued guidelines for expenses incurred specifically related to the COVID-19 response. All expenses should have the class code COV19 added to the normal chartfield (Fund/Account/Dept) for that cost. If you have specific examples to discuss, please contact Dave Marshall, director, University Accounting and Reporting.

Paycheck Distribution

University Cashiers will release paychecks on Monday, March 30, between the hours of 3-4:30 p.m. The following changes will be made to the normal payroll release procedures:

  • Only paychecks that must be taken to the bank for deposit will be released.
  • Paychecks must be picked up directly by the payee and will not be released to payroll warrant custodians who normally pickup paychecks for each respective unit. As a reminder when picking up a paycheck, please make sure to bring a valid photo ID (e.g. Driver’s License).
  • Employees on direct deposit should not come to University Cashiers to pick up direct deposit paystubs.

If you are unable to pick up your paycheck as specified above, please email universitycashier@calpoly.edu from your Cal Poly email address to request that your paycheck be mailed to the address listed on the Cal Poly Portal. Please be advised, it could take up to 10 business days from the date of your email request to receive your paycheck by mail. 

Essential Expenditures

In an effort to preserve financial resources for strategic needs, leadership has directed managers to limit expenditures to those deemed essential and mission critical. Essential expenditures include those necessary to facilitate virtual learning, health, safety, continuing operations, or active construction projects. 

ProCard

As of today, most ProCards have been suspended until further notice. A small number of cards remain open for use by designated staff for essential expenditures valued less than $2,500 (monthly limits are also set at $2,500 by default, but higher limits will be considered upon written request). ProCards cannot be used for technology acquisitions. Please direct your staff to their dedicated Procurement Specialist for software and hardware requirements. You are encouraged to establish internal controls and approvals to ensure ProCard spend is carefully managed. Please note that ProCard purchases cannot be shipped to an employee’s home address.

Procurement 

Essential requirements over $2,500 should be submitted via requisition (PeopleSoft). Use of “Direct Buy” to reimburse expenses incurred via personal credit card or cash is suspended until further notice. PeopleSoft requisition and ProCards are the only approved means for campus acquisitions at this time.

Travel

All international travel has been suspended. Domestic travel is strongly discouraged. However, if travel is essential, defined as mission critical, it requires approval from the appropriate Vice President or Provost. More information on this subject can be found at: https://afd.calpoly.edu/travel/

Payments

To ensure our suppliers, faculty, and staff are paid in a timely manner, SBS offers the following recommendations: 

  1. Go paperless: Submit all forms and supporting materials electronically as a single pdf file. As typical, be sure to include the chartfield string and authorized signature.
  2. Invoice review: Given short staffing in most departments, please revisit your procedures for receipts and review of invoices. Delay in approving invoices will result in delayed reimbursement and vendor payment. 
  3. Direct deposit: Encourage all employees to sign up for direct deposit reimbursement (for more information click here). 

Facilities Management and Development

Facilities Operations including trades, landscape, custodial/moving and warehouse are in operation with limited staffing and will focus on the below operational priorities:

  • Campus Health and Safety support
  • Student Housing support
  • Critical Administrative Building and Facility support
  • Maintaining critical campus utilities (power, water, sewer, gas)
  • Support continuing capital (major and minor) projects

Campus Events

In response to Governor Newsom’s directive, San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department, Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and CSU recommendations, all events with attendance or participation of 11 or more are canceled or postponed until May 10, 2020. All club sports and intramural sports have been canceled to ensure student-athlete safety. For more information please visit the Campus Events FAQ.

Cal Poly Police Department (CPPD)

Due to the significantly reduced campus population, CPPD request vigilance in ensuring buildings are secured and building entrance doors are not propped open. Incidences of thefts and vandalism increase when the campus is sparsely populated.

3/19/2020 - Student Affairs support resources for students

I know the past few days have been hectic and I want to thank you for your ability to adjust during these trying times, especially in the midst of finals. Your faculty are busy finishing finals and transitioning spring classes to a virtual learning environment, and all out-of-class support service departments are also focused on developing new ways to stay connected with you during this time. 

We know that community is not defined by a campus, city or single physical space, but rather the connections we have with each other. The Cal Poly community has always been strong, and it is moments like these that this strength is most vibrant.

By now many of you have read yesterday’s message from President Armstrong, announcing the county’s shelter-at-home order effective today at 5 p.m. The University Union will suspend services today at 5 p.m., in accordance with the county’s shelter-at-home order, and will remain suspended until further notice. Campus services remain open, with many operating in a virtual environment to promote safety for our staff. Housing, health, counseling and dining services remain open physically. We urge you to stay in your residences at all times except for food, medical help, or to enjoy some time outside. Social distancing of six feet should be observed at all times. 

Whether you choose to move to your permanent homes or stay locally in San Luis Obispo, we will continue to provide support for our entire community. To help you gain greater access to the services and resources you use on campus, we are working hard to bring these things to you virtually. I encourage you to visit the student care resources section on the COVID-19 website, which contains information about critical resources and updates to help you be well and stay on the path to success as you transition to virtual learning this spring. These resources include:

  • Cal Poly Cares
  • Food Pantry
  • CalFresh
  • Counseling Services
  • Safer Crisis Advocacy

Please come back often, as we will update it daily with new information.

Please know that we are here to support you during this difficult time so that you be well and thrive, even if we’re not on campus together. I look forward to when our community is back together, stronger than we were before. Please take care and be well, Mustangs.

In community,

 

Keith B. Humphrey, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs
Pronouns: he, him, his

3/19/2020 - Guidelines for faculty, staff and student research during COVID-19

Subject: Message from Vice President Renee Reijo Pera 

Dear Colleagues:

Research is an integral part of the activities of Cal Poly. Yet, in line with guidance from the CSU Chancellor's Office, the Office of the President at Cal Poly and national and international experts in the healthcare sector, we must enact social distancing and other preventative measures in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Our goal is to ensure the continuity of research while also protecting the health and wellbeing of faculty, staff and student researchers and our greater community. We strongly recommend the following guidelines for research: 

1) All Cal Poly faculty, staff and student research should be conducted via telecommuting or other online methods, whenever possible. If virtual research is not possible, the work must be discontinued or pursued via methods that are consistent with current social distancing and shelter-in-place guidelines. 

2) Essential research functions such as animal care, equipment maintenance and safety of research participants or staff must be maintained at this time. This should be accomplished while also observing preferred practices of social distancing.

3) Most federal agencies have indicated that delays will be accommodated under current policies (many agencies allow for one-year extensions for extenuating circumstances), ORED will assist faculty with navigating extensions for non-federal research sponsors.

4) Where needed, we will seek alternatives to avoid considerable delays in thesis research completion, qualifying exams, graduate degree completion, senior projects and research that must be completed in a timely manner. College graduate coordinators should work with Dr. Elizabeth Lowham, interim dean of Graduate Education, and the Office of Research and Economic Development to develop a Plan B. 

5) Any exceptions to the above guidelines must be approved by the dean(s) of the college(s) hosting the research activity. 

In summary, some research activities must be carried out at this time; to do otherwise would jeopardize participants, animal health, university resources and/or have long-term adverse effects. Please contact the dean of your college to discuss concerns regarding research that may arise at this time. Your dean will work with you, the Office of Research and Economic Development and other entities as needed to assist with concerns. 

Please note that the Grants Development Office, Office of Sponsored Programs, Office of Corporate Engagement and Innovation, Office of Student Research and Office of Graduate Education are all working remotely, but are available to assist with submission and processing of grants, engaging with corporate partners, supporting student research applications and graduate degree completion. Feel free to contact separate offices directly or through research@calpoly.edu.

Sincerely,

Renee A. Reijo Pera, Ph.D.
Vice President for Research and Economic Development

3/18/2020 - SLO County shelter-in-home order announcement

Dear Campus Community,

The San Luis Obispo County Department of Public Health announced a shelter-in-home (place) order effective 5 p.m. tomorrow, March 19.  The county took this action, which remains in effect until further notice, to help slow the spread of COVID-19 by mandating that people stay indoors and isolate themselves, with the exception of essential activities.

This order does not change the status of our employees, given we previously asked all non-essential employees to remain off campus and telecommute, if possible.  Those unable to telecommute have been placed on administrative leave with pay.  All employees, whether performing an essential function, telecommuting or on administrative leave, will receive their standard rate of pay. As a reminder, we have provided a list of essential functions at the end of this message.

As we communicated earlier this week, we are strongly encouraging students, whether they live on or off campus, to return to their permanent home residences, where they can attend the spring quarter virtually.  However, those who feel safer at the university, those who have no other housing options and/or those who may have limited access to technology and the internet, can remain on campus. Residence halls and campus dining will remain operational with social distancing.  Any students living off campus with concerns about housing or safety, please reach out to the Dean of Students at deanofstudents@calpoly.edu/.

This order does not prevent students from leaving campus to travel to their permanent home residences.  However, it does ask students who choose to stay in the area to remain in their residences, whether on or off campus, at all times unless it is absolutely essential that they leave.  Students who choose to stay on campus or in the area, we ask that you stay here until further notice to help minimize potential spread of the virus.

Students who are leaving the area, we ask that you not come back until further notice to help minimize potential spread of the virus.  Those leaving should take their belongings if possible.  If students cannot remove all belongings or have already departed, they will be allowed to return after mid-May to pick up their possessions.

Finally, students, we need your help so that we know how many of you plan on remaining in San Luis Obispo – either in on-campus housing or off-campus housing.  If you plan to stay locally for the foreseeable future, please complete this short survey so that we can be prepared to support you: https://baseline.campuslabs.com/cpsuslo/returningstudentpoll

We share this news and make these requests with the welfare of the campus and San Luis Obispo community in mind.                  

These are difficult times, but please keep in mind that we will get through this. Please also continue to practice social distancing, prevention and, most importantly, take care of yourselves.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey D. Armstrong
President

Essential functions include:

  • Academic Recruitment and Admissions (virtual)
  • Agricultural Care & Facilities
  • Classes (Academic colleges) (virtual)
  • Emergency Services
  • Facilities and Infrastructure
  • Fiscal Services
  • Food Services
  • Grants & Donations (virtual)
  • Healthcare and Counseling
  • Housing
  • IT Services and Communications
  • Leadership (virtual)
  • Payroll
  • Procurement and Contracts
  • Marketing and Reputation Management (virtual)
  • Research

Note: Items marked virtual may require a certain amount of in-person work (to include proper social distancing and not to include groups of more than 10 people).

3/16/2020 - Update regarding telecommuting, service disruptions and virtual spring quarter 

Dear Campus Community,

The rapidly changing circumstances around the COVID-19 outbreak require us to continuously reassess our efforts aimed at slowing the spread of the virus in our community.

In light of updated guidance by the Chancellor’s Office and recent announcements by California Governor Gavin Newsom, the Centers for Disease Control and other counties in California calling for greater social distancing and other preventative measures, we are taking the following actions effective immediately to minimize the population on our campus over the spring quarter:

Until further notice, we are asking that all non-essential employees telecommute and not come to campus. Cal Poly’s Emergency Operations Center has identified essential functions (listed below this note) and will be notifying those areas of their status.  Likewise, supervisors in those operational areas will be notifying their employees who are considered essential. Other employees who are unable to telecommute will be placed on administrative leave with pay. All employees, whether performing an essential function, telecommuting or on administrative leave, will receive their standard rate of pay.

Services have been suspended at the campus Recreation Center and the Kennedy Library. The library’s 24/7 room will remain open (with proper social distancing) to maintain essential access to technology. We will maintain facilities necessary for dining with proper social distancing and/or take-out meals.

All spring quarter classes will be held virtually for the entirety of the quarter.  Faculty will communicate the logistics for these courses prior to the start of the term. In addition, in-person commencement has been postponed and we will look to an alternate form of recognizing our graduates.

To help minimize the population on campus, we are now strongly encouraging students to plan on attending the spring quarter virtually from their permanent home residences. However, those who feel safer at the university, those who have no other housing options and/or those who may have limited access to technology and the internet, are welcome to remain on campus. Residence halls and campus dining will remain operational with social distancing. 

Students who do not intend to return to campus for the quarter should take their belongings if possible. If students cannot remove all belongings or have already departed, they will be allowed to return after mid-May to pick up their possessions. University Housing will be following up with additional details to residents tonight.

We understand this latest guidance may be alarming and may inconvenience many, but these are rapidly evolving times and we must respond by making unprecedented decisions to do all we can to protect our entire campus community.  Your welfare is our first and primary priority.

These are difficult times, but we will get through this.  Please continue to practice social distancing, prevention and, most importantly, take care of yourselves.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey D. Armstrong
President

Essential functions include:
Agricultural Care & Facilities
Emergency Services
Facilities and Infrastructure
Fiscal Services
Food Services
Healthcare and Counseling
Housing
IT Services and Communications
Payroll, Procurement and Contracts
Essential Research

3/15/2020 - Notification for personnel over 65 and personnel vulnerable to COVID-19

Dear Campus Community:

Earlier this afternoon, California Governor Gavin Newsom directed that those who are age 65 or older, and those vulnerable to COVID-19, must practice at-home isolation.  As a result, CSU Chancellor Timothy White has mandated, effective immediately, that all CSU employees who are 65 and older, and those vulnerable to COVID-19, must refrain from being on CSU campuses until further notice. 

We understand this impacts many Cal Poly employees.  If you meet the criteria above, please do not report to work tomorrow.  We ask that you contact your supervisor as soon as possible to discuss potential arrangements, such as telecommuting.  Those whose work responsibilities cannot be accomplished via virtual or other means will be placed on administrative leave with pay for their normally scheduled hours.

Human Resources will be issuing more detailed guidelines tomorrow to assist with workforce planning as a result of this guidance.

3/14/2020 - winter quarter finals and work guidelines update

Dear Campus Community:

Earlier this evening, it was announced that an individual in North San Luis Obispo County tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, we are mandating, effective immediately, that there will be no in-person final evaluations. While there are no known cases of COVID-19 in our Cal Poly campus community, we are taking this measure out of an abundance of caution.

Students

Please be prepared to take your finals online at the scheduled date and time.

Faculty

Final evaluations can take place online, can be assigned in the form of a take-home or — in special extenuating circumstances — an incomplete may be an option, pending additional evaluation. We’re encouraging faculty to be flexible in assigning their final grades in light of this extraordinary situation.

Faculty must notify their department heads or chairs as soon as possible, and no later than Monday at 5 p.m., of their chosen method of final evaluation.

Faculty are asked to honor and maintain the scheduled date and time of their final evaluations, which will now be virtual.

Staff

I want to reiterate that our campus remains open, and the safety of our campus community remains a priority. Every reasonable effort will be made to be flexible to the many demands our employees face while keeping the campus operating. Appropriate administrators are encouraged to maintain university operations while supporting alternate work arrangements and de-densifying the work place.

We are aware that school district closures are occurring, and we understand that such closures may introduce new childcare challenges for some employees. As our campus remains open and critical services will remain in place to support our students, we are also working to accommodate the health, safety and childcare needs of our employees.

Departments are encouraged to identify where remote work opportunities or flexible work arrangements for staff are possible while ensuring that the essential functions of the department are met. We have developed temporary telework guidelines that will be distributed to managers for implementation shortly. The availability of telework and other flexible work assignments is largely dependent on the individual positions and these options are not available to all positions. Your manager will determine whether or not your position is eligible for telework.

Given the planned K-12 school closures, faculty and staff who are impacted may utilize accrued leaves while assessments are made regarding the feasibility of telework or flexible work assignments. Children may not be brought to campus at this time, per guidance from the CSU Chancellor’s Office.

Employees should continue to report to work unless they have made arrangement with their department to take leave, or they have an approved telework or flexible work assignment. These assignments will remain in effect through April 10. Auxiliary employees will be provided information by their respective units.   

We understand that there are many questions relating to telework and flexible work assignments and we will be working with department managers to assist them. We will update the FAQs as new information develops, so please check https://chw.calpoly.edu/coronavirus/human-resources. In addition, visit https://tech.calpoly.edu/teach-and-work-remotely for more information on the steps ITS is taking to enable campus to work remotely.

Our staff play a critical role in the success of Cal Poly, and your health, safety and well-being are paramount as we navigate this evolving and dynamic global issue.

Finally, to our faculty, staff and students, know that we care about you and we are here for you. Your welfare is our most important priority.

Below are some FAQ highlights for your information.

Am I required to come into work during the COVID-19 outbreak?

Yes. At this time, there are no known reported cases of COVID-19 at Cal Poly. It is expected that all employees will come to work; however, employees are encouraged to stay home if not feeling well. Please see more information below. Those over 60 or with health conditions that might be at increased risk to contract COVID-19 are encouraged to contact your health care providers for recommendations. Further, if you have a medical restriction that affects your ability to come to work, you should contact Human Resources to discuss reasonable accommodations. If a case of COVID-19 directly related to a campus community member is confirmed, in cooperation with the San Luis Obispo County Department of Public Health, Cal Poly will immediately determine how best to address any increased risk to public health. Review protocols may include additional sanitizing of certain campus areas, temporary closing of some rooms or facilities, moving classes and nonessential functions virtual and perhaps even a temporary closure of the campus. 

Do employees get paid if the campus is closed?

Yes, in the event of an emergency campus closure, paid leave shall be granted to all employees who are both scheduled to work and denied access to the campus during period(s) of closure. The campus president can designate when the campus is closed. This emergency campus closure leave is valid only for the days for which the president designates for campus closure and cannot be banked or saved to be used for a future date.

During periods of full or partial campus closure, employees who have already scheduled sick leave or vacation time will still be charged for that time. Employees who would have been absent on any day of closure because they were in non-pay status should not be granted emergency campus closure leave. Examples would be an employee under a disciplinary suspension or an employee in non-pay status because they were absent without leave.

What are my options if my child’s school is closed and I have no childcare?

If a child’s school is closed and an employee does not have childcare, the employees shall work with their appropriate administrator to develop, as appropriate, an alternate work schedule; and/or reduced work schedule with use of approved vacation, CTO or dock time; and/or remote work as appropriate for the position. If remote work is appropriate, a Telecommute Agreement shall be created and approved by appropriate administrator to outline essential job functions that can be performed remotely and other parameters of remote work. Approval of alternate or reduced work schedules and remote work will be re-evaluated every two weeks or as needed.

The telecommuting guidelines and agreement can be found on the Cal Poly Administration and Finance Division website. Only employee and appropriate administrator signatures are required on this form at this time. The form should then be routed to Human Resources.

Can employees work from home if they are required to self-quarantine due to exposure to COVID-19?

Yes, there are options. Requests to work from home will be reviewed by Human Resources or Academic Personnel in concert with the individual’s manager on a case-by-case basis. Not every position is suited for working from home due to specific job duties that cannot be performed at home or operating requirements of the unit. Staff employees who have been ordered to self-quarantine due to possible exposure to COVID-19 must contact Human Resources or Academic Personnel and their supervisor to discuss whether work from home options are available. Faculty employees who are required to self-quarantine may use virtual methods of instruction and office hours during their quarantine. They should work with their department chair and dean to determine how they could complete other job responsibilities. Those over 60 or with health conditions that might increase the risk to contract COVID-19 are encouraged to contact your health care providers for recommendations. If there are medical restrictions that affect your ability to come to work, you should contact Human Resources to discuss reasonable accommodations.

Can managers require an employee who is out sick (not due to COVID- 19) to provide a health care provider’s note?

Not normally. Managers should actively encourage sick employees to stay home. If an employee is out sick for three or more days, the manager should contact Human Resources to determine if a health care provider’s note is necessary.

Can managers prohibit employees from coming to work if the employee is known to have contracted COVID-19 themselves or to have had close contact with someone who has?

If you believe that an employee has COVID-19 or has had very close contact with a person who has COVID-19 (such as living in the same household), please contact Human Resources.

If I need to stay away from campus and work remotely, what equipment, materials and resources do I need to continue working? 

If required to work virtually (i.e., work from home), please consult with your manager regarding the support needed to complete essential job functions.

If the university does need to close in the future, how will employees receive checks?

Those employees with direct deposit will be paid as normal. If you are not currently enrolled for direct deposit, we encourage you to enroll. Cal Poly stateside employees can find more information on Payroll's Direct Deposit webpage. Corporation employees can find more information by calling Corporation Human Resources at 805-756-1121. ASI employees can find more information by calling ASI Human Resources at 805-756-0299.  

The campus will provide information via campus email and alternate communication strategies regarding an alternate distribution process for employees who receive a paper pay check. 

3/14/2020 - Denouncing acts of racism, xenophobia and hate during COVID-19

Dear Campus Community,

As more reporting on the novel coronavirus has ensued, it has created a variety of reactions. Our campus is no different from the rest of the country, as individuals have responded with fear, anxiety and other reactions. Unfortunately, the reports of the coronavirus have also resulted in some responses of racism and xenophobia.

Cal Poly denounces all racism, xenophobia, white supremacy and other oppressive systems present on campus and encourages affected students, staff, and faculty to report bias incidents. This is especially important at a time when fears about coronavirus can easily foster suspicion without regard for facts. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus being associated with a specific world region/country, we are receiving an increase of anti-Chinese racism reports. This goes directly against Cal Poly values. Be good upstanders and intervene if you hear a bias remark. Reporting, understanding, and preventing unacceptable behaviors are essential.

Cal Poly remains committed to creating a safe and inclusive campus. We encourage the Cal Poly community to report bias if they are negatively targeted, or witness other students, staff, and/or faculty being negatively targeted, due to an association between someone’s race, ethnicity, or national origin and the coronavirus.

If you have any questions, please contact the Office of University Diversity and Inclusion at diversity@calpoly.edu or the Dean of Students Office at deanofstudents@calpoly.edu

Please watch this video message from Jozi De Leon, vice president for diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer: https://diversity.calpoly.edu/. We also suggest this resource on active steps people can take to mitigate harmful stigmatization of people of Asian descent in their communities.

Sincerely,

Jozi De Leon, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer
Kathleen N. McMahon, Dean of Students and Senior Associate Vice President for Student Affairs
Co-chairs, Cal Poly Bias Incident Response Team
 

3/13/2020 - Message regarding virtual final evaluations for winter quarter

Dear Campus Community,

Given the recent changes in our local environment, and in light of the significant impact these changes will have on our campus community, we have determined that it is in the best interest of our students, faculty and staff to encourage virtual final evaluations.

In addition, we will offer virtual classes for the first two weeks of the spring quarter at a minimum (April 6 - 19). We will continue to assess this evolving situation and provide updates in the future. As a reminder, for students who need or prefer to stay on campus, it is our intent that Cal Poly will remain open during spring break and the quarter.

Faculty who choose to offer their exam in a virtual manner should inform students prior to the exam and no later than 5:00 pm on Monday (March 16).

Please continue to remain sensitive to individual needs and concerns during this challenging time. Thank you for your continued cooperation and patience as we get through this evolving global situation together.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey D. Armstrong
President

3/13/2020 - Updates on finals, spring quarter and resource survey for students

Dear students,

Thank you for your continued flexibility as we respond to the changing nature of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. We recognize this is an already stressful time of the quarter, and want to continue to communicate with you so that you can plan and reduce the stress that this pandemic may cause. The main purpose of this communication is to provide a few updates for finals week and reminders for next quarter. 

Finals Updates:

  • We are exercising flexibility for faculty to offer final exams in the format of their choosing, given the current Centers for Disease Control and San Luis Obispo County Public Health recommendations and directives from the State of California Governor’s Office.  
  • Please look for information from your professors to confirm the format for your final exams.
  • Remember, if you are actively sick, please stay home and do notattend any in-person final. Students in this situation should work directly with their professors to discuss alternative options. 

General Updates:

  • Spring quarter will start on April 6. It will be a nine-week quarter plus finals week. Spring quarter final exams will end Friday, June 12, 2020.
  • The spring 2020 student planning calendar located on the Office of the Registrar website has been updated to align with the nine-week quarter.
  • By Wednesday, March 25, the President will update the campus community about course delivery for spring quarter and whether students who have left the San Luis Obispo area should return to campus.
  • At this time, we do not foresee any scenario in which Cal Poly would close, even if we transition to virtual courses.  Residence halls will be open and all services will be available.

What we need from you:

  • You will need a computer, laptop, or tablet AND reliable internet connectivity to access courses if we move to a virtual classroom environment. As a reminder, the residence halls will be open and campus internet will remain available.
  • We want to support all students in accessing resources for their courses. If you have educational technology needs please complete the short survey on computer and internet access at https://baseline.campuslabs.com/cpsuslo/techaccessibility.

Health Resources:

Moments like these bring up a range of emotions for all of us, myself included. Please take the time to take care of yourself and allow those emotions to be present. It is always wise to take care of yourself during final exams, but this recommendation takes on extra importance this quarter. Our spring break will be longer than normal, for good reason, and I will miss having our community together. While we are apart, know that your university will remain open to support you.

I look forward to having our Cal Poly community together again soon.   Best of luck on your final exams! You can do this!

In community,

Keith B. Humphrey, Ph. D. (he, him, his)
Vice President for Student Affairs

3/12/2020 News Release - Cal Poly Athletics Events Suspended Indefinitely 

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — The Big West Conference announced on Thursday that all athletic events involving its nine member schools have been suspended indefinitely, effective immediately.

The suspension, which includes conference and non-conference events, begins with Thursday night’s baseball game against Oklahoma inside Baggett Stadium as well as the softball contest versus Notre Dame at Bob Janssen Field.

“The main priority of the Big West Conference continues to be the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, fans and media as we continue to monitor all developing and relevant information on the COVID-19 virus,” said conference commissioner Dennis Farrell.

All individual game tickets will be refunded over the coming week(s). 

Season ticket holders should hold onto their ticket in the event that the season resumes. Refunds will be provided to season ticket holders on a pro-rated basis once a final determination has been made on the rest of the season. 

The Cal Poly Ticket Office can be reached by calling (805) 756-4849 Monday through Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. “Phone wait times will be longer than usual and we appreciate your patience and understanding,” said Director of Patron Services and Campus Ticketing Ryan Gruss. “We promise we will do everything we can to take care of everyone as quickly as possible.”

Additional updates regarding Cal Poly Athletic events will be published on GoPoly.com as they become available.

3/12/2020 - COVID-19 update from President Armstrong

Dear Campus Community:

The news about the novel coronavirus outbreak, also known as COVID-19, changes rapidly. I know that some of you have concerns or questions about Cal Poly's response. The attached video addresses many of the questions and concerns that have been communicated to my office, and explains in more detail how Cal Poly is responding, and why. Please take a few minutes to watch it here.

The most up to date and reliable source of information about COVID-19 and Cal Poly is our dedicated webpage: https://chw.calpoly.edu/coronavirus. This page is updated continuously with information from campus as well as from local and national public health agencies.

Members of the Cal Poly community who develop symptoms similar to those of COVID-19, which include fever, cough and shortness of breath, should seek medical care as they would for any other illness. If you are feeling sick, please do not come to class or work, but please do let us know as you normally would: by contacting your supervisor or professors.

In addition, Governor Gavin Newsom announced last night that California public health officials have issued an updated policy on gatherings to protect public health and slow the spread of COVID-19. The state's public health experts have determined that gatherings should be postponed or canceled across the state until at least the end of March. Non-essential gatherings must be limited to no more than 250 people, while smaller events can proceed only if the organizers can implement social distancing of 6 feet per person. Gatherings of individuals who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should be limited to no more than 10 people, while also following social distancing guidelines.

We realize that this situation may be upsetting. Students can contact Cal Poly's Counseling Services and 24/7 hotline at (805) 756-2511. Faculty and staff can contact the Employee Assistance Program for confidential counseling services (available to employees and their families) at (800) 367-7474, or visit https://afd.calpoly.edu/hr/employee-resources/work-life.

We will get through this challenging situation, together.

 

Sincerely,

Jeffrey D. Armstrong, Ph.D.
President 

Watch President Armstrong's March 12 video message to campus here: Cal Poly Update from Cal Poly on VimeoFull video script here.

3/10/2020 - COVID-19 travel advisory for students

Dear Students,

I know you are looking forward to a well-deserved break after finals. Given the situation worldwide surrounding coronavirus (COVID-19), I am writing today to give you an update and make an important request for you, your families and supporters to consider.

At this time, there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in San Luis Obispo County or at Cal Poly. The university is in constant communication with San Luis Obispo County Department of Public Health to monitor the situation, and we are closely following their recommendations.

Given the heightened situation worldwide and with the safety of our community in mind, we are asking that students consider canceling domestic travel to areas with a significant number of coronovirus cases (at present these include: Seattle, New York, Los Angeles and the Bay Area) and stay in San Luis Obispo County. If you plan to stay on campus during spring break, University Housing, Campus Dining and other campus services will remain open during this time.

This is, of course, your personal decision, though I hope you will consider taking this precaution.

If you do plan to travel internationally for non-university matters, we ask that you please notify the campus where and when you plan to go by completing this online form  

This is critical information that the university needs to ensure the health of our community. It will not be shared with any entities outside of the university. Additionally, please consult the local health departments of your travel area for guidance and precautions. Please take caution if you are traveling to locations within the United States with several confirmed cases of coronavirus or are high risk, such as Seattle, New York, Los Angeles or the Bay Area.

If you travel to level 2 or 3 countries, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends self-quarantine for 14 days from the time you left the area. Please do not return to campus during this time. If you are a residential student, please self-identify to Campus Health and Wellbeing and they will assist you with self-quarantine procedures.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly advise that you take the following precautions if you travel to any level 3 country:

  • Practice social distancing - this includes not taking public transportation, taxis or ride-shares.
  • Take your temperature with a thermometer two times per day and monitor for fever.
  • Watch for cough or difficulty breathing.
  • Stay home and avoid contact with others.
  • Avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit your activities in public.
  • Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).

Following guidance received from the CSU yesterday, all planned university-related travel for conferences and other events, including travel for all student clubs and club sports, has been suspended through May 31.

Students who were scheduled to travel for spring, and spring break study abroad programs, have received communication that their programs are canceled. Resources and support are extended to these students including information on program fees.

There are no immediate plans to close campus. However, we are continuing to monitor and prepare through our Emergency Operations Center, and are following guidance provided by public health officials and the CSU. As always, the health and wellbeing of our community is our primary concern.

Please remember that although you may feel healthy, our community includes individuals with compromised immunities who are counting on the diligence of others to help prevent the spread of illness. Thank you for taking care to keep all of our community members safe.

For the latest updates and information regarding coronavirus and our campus preparedness, please visit https://chw.calpoly.edu/coronavirus

Sincerely,

Jeffrey D. Armstrong, Ph.D.
President 

3/10/2020 - COVID-19 travel advisory for Cal Poly employees

Dear Colleagues,

As we monitor the worldwide situation surrounding coronavirus (COVID-19), I am writing today to give you an update regarding travel.

Yesterday, the CSU suspended all international and non-essential domestic travel through May 31. This includes all auxiliary organizations. Any outstanding university-related travel expenses already incurred will be honored, including non-refundable travel expenses. The President or designees (in this case our vice presidents) will make final determinations for their divisional areas about what constitutes essential domestic travel and travel to countries that are not currently at the CDC Level 3 Travel Health Notice. Future travel, including summer and fall 2020, will be determined as the COVID-19 situation evolves.

Faculty and staff who were to travel abroad on university business not deemed essential, must cancel plans for international travel immediately. International insurance coverage and fees will be reversed. Those who are currently abroad should assess whether staying abroad or returning is the safer course of action, given current information.

At this time, there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in San Luis Obispo County or at Cal Poly. The university remains in constant communication with San Luis Obispo County Department of Public Health to monitor the situation, and we are closely following their recommendations.

Given the heightened situation worldwide and with the safety of our community in mind, we encourage faculty and staff to forgo travel to domestic areas with a significant number of coronavirus cases (at present these include: Seattle, New York, Los Angeles and the Bay Area). If you plan to work on campus during Spring break, Campus Dining and other campus services will remain open during this time.

This is, of course, your personal decision, though I hope you will consider taking this precaution.

If you do plan to travel internationally for non-university matters, we ask that you please notify the campus where and when you plan to go by completing this online form.

This is critical information that the university needs to ensure the health of our community. It will not be shared with any entities outside of the university.

Additionally, please consult the local health departments of your travel area for guidance and precautions. Please take caution if you are traveling to locations within the United States with several confirmed cases of coronavirus or are high risk, such as Seattle, New York, Los Angeles or the Bay Area.

If you plan to travel to level 2 or 3 countries, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends self-quarantine for 14 days from the time you left the area. Please do not return to campus during this time and discuss your work situation with your supervisor before returning.

The CDC also strongly advises that you take the following precautions if you travel to any level 3 country:

  • Practice social distancing - this includes not taking public transportation, taxis or ride-shares.
  • Take your temperature with a thermometer two times per day and monitor for fever.
  • Watch for cough or difficulty breathing.
  • Stay home and avoid contact with others.
  • Avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit your activities in public.
  • Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).

There are no immediate plans to close campus. However, we are continuing to monitor and prepare through our Emergency Operations Center, and are following guidance provided by public health officials and the CSU. Please be aware that it may become necessary to consider temporary reduction or alteration of campus operations in the future. This may include shifting to non-in-person instructional modalities.

Please remember that although you may feel healthy, our community includes individuals with compromised immunities who are counting on the diligence of others to help prevent the spread of illness. Thank you for taking care to keep all of our community members safe.

We will be sharing more information soon regarding large events and gatherings on campus. For the latest updates and information regarding coronavirus and our campus preparedness, please visit  https://chw.calpoly.edu/coronavirus.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey D. Armstrong, Ph.D.
President 

3/08/2020 - Emergency Operations Center activated and other updates 

Subject: Update from President Armstrong and Interim Provost Pedersen

Dear Colleagues,

We are continuing to closely monitor the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) around the world. At this time, there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in San Luis Obispo County or at Cal Poly. Cal Poly’s Campus Health and Wellbeing, Department of Emergency Management, International Center, Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Administration and Finance, and other campus offices are working closely together to plan for and monitor the situation. We are in constant communication with San Luis Obispo County Department of Public Health to monitor the situation in our community.

As always, Cal Poly’s first and most important priorities are the wellbeing and safety of our community members. We want to share facts to help decrease any feelings of anxiety or panic that our community may be experiencing. The campus has created a continually updated webpage that contains the latest updates and information regarding the developing situation. The site can be found at https://chw.calpoly.edu/coronavirus. Additionally, we are working with our shared governance leaders including our Academic Senate Chair and ASI President to navigate details that impact our faculty and student communities.

We are committed to providing the best possible educational experiences for our students in the event of an emergency or campus closure, or other potential scenarios in which students or members of campus need to stay home. In addition to assuring the physical safety of our campus community, we also want to make certain that no one is stigmatized because of their ethnicity or where they have traveled.

Current Situation

The campus Emergency Operations Center has been activated to provide a centralized location for planning, allowing face-to-face coordination and collaboration among personnel from throughout campus to plan for and support our campus during an emergency.

Since prevention and handwashing is key to prevent the spread of viruses including COVID-19, signage about proper hand-washing techniques will be posted in every restroom on campus by Monday, March 9, including in housing. Custodians are modifying their work practices so the first thing they do when servicing a space or a restroom is to sanitize common-touch surfaces: doorknobs, paper towel dispensers, toilet paper dispensers and faucets. The restrooms are serviced daily. Other campus entities with their own custodians are working to follow that same protocol.

In addition, as an extra precaution, we ask members of the Cal Poly community to refrain from handshaking and other forms of personal contact at all times on campus.

Absences

  • Sick students, faculty and staff members should stay home to minimize transmission of their illness. In the current situation, faculty should be as clear and compassionate as possible in responding to student absences. The Campus Health and Wellbeing Center has asked for faculty to take into consideration the high volume of visits during this time when asking students to get a doctor’s note for an absence.
  • Faculty and staff members with high-risk medical concerns (including, but not limited to, asthma, emphysema, diabetes, heart disease, or autoimmune disorders) or with extenuating circumstances (such as pregnancy) should consult with their direct supervisors about requests for making alternative work arrangements (i.e. working remotely). Supervisors should consult with Academic Personnel or Human Resources as needed to assist with approved alternate work arrangements and the appropriate way to record that leave time.
  • At this time, employees without high-risk medical concerns should continue to fulfill their responsibilities on campus, unless they have permission from their supervisors to work in an alternate mode.

Travel

  • The County of San Luis Obispo has advised that travelers refrain from returning to Cal Poly's campus for 14 days after leaving the following affected countries: China, South Korea, Japan, Italy and Iran.
  • In addition, the university strongly advises against travel to China, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Iran, and other level-three designated areas, to minimize the risk of exposure.

How Faculty Should Best Prepare Should There Be Future Changes in Instruction

  • At this time, campus operations have not been changed and faculty office hours should be maintained. Although no decisions have been made, contingency planning has begun. Faculty are encouraged to begin considering the use of virtual means of communication with students such as Zoom, LMS chat, or email, if necessary.
  • Please ensure your course gradebooks are up to date and in a form that can be easily shared with another instructor or department chair/head in case it becomes necessary for that person to assign the final grades. Online gradebooks in PolyLearn or Canvas are the preferred alternative, but a spreadsheet that could be shared by email would also be possible.
  • For proactive planning purposes, faculty are encouraged to begin considering alternative methods they might use to deliver final evaluations and how to issue final grades, should an in-person final evaluation not be possible.

Faculty are encouraged to reach out to the Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology with questions on virtual delivery of courses or office hours 805-756-7002 or at ctlt@calpoly.edu.

Thank you for your work and understanding. We are here to support you in any way we can.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey D. Armstrong, Ph.D.
President

Mary E. Pedersen, Ph.D.
Interim Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs 

3/05/2020 - Department of Emergency Management message regarding COVID-19 

Dear Campus Community: 

Cal Poly and the County of San Luis Obispo Public Health Department continue to closely monitor the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19). 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the virus has now been detected in almost 70 locations internationally, including in the United States. Recently, in the U.S., there have been incidents of some people being infected and it is not known how or where they became exposed. 

Given these factors, Cal Poly is following recommended guidance from County of San Luis Obispo Public Health Department to minimize our community’s exposure risk. The county has advised that travelers refrain from returning to Cal Poly's campus for 14 days after leaving the following affected countries: China, South Korea, Japan, Italy, and Iran.

We are asking our campus community members to delay their return to campus for 14 days if they have traveled to these countries. In addition, we strongly advise against travel to these areas during the upcoming spring academic break, to minimize the risk of exposure and/or disruption of course work. 

According to the CDC, symptoms of reported COVID-19 cases are similar to flu, including fever, coughing and shortness of breath. The vast majority of cases — 85 percent, according to state health officials — have presented as mild illness. Symptoms may appear as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure.  

The health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff is our first and highest priority. Please take care of yourself and others. Whether it’s coronavirus, flu or a cold, hand-washing with soap and water continues to be the best way to protect against the virus.  

Please also find below the latest update regarding the coronavirus from County of San Luis Obispo Public Health Department. For additional updates and more information, visit https://chw.calpoly.edu/coronavirus  

Thanks,

Anthony J Knight, MEP
Director of Emergency Management
Department of Emergency Management

Tina Hadaway-Mellis, RN, MBA
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Health and Wellbeing
Cal Poly

2/28/2020 - COVID-19 update and health tips from Student Affairs

Subject: Novel Coronavirus Update – No cases at Cal Poly and SLO County 

Dear Campus Community,

As health professionals, our first and most important priorities are the well-being and safety of our community members. We know that some of the recent news regarding novel coronavirus (COVID-19) can be distressing and confusing to some, so we are writing to share a local status update.

At this time, there are no cases in San Luis Obispo County and Cal Poly; the risk to residents in San Luis Obispo County, including Cal Poly, remains low. We will provide prompt updates should the situation change.

Cal Poly's Campus Health and Wellbeing, Department of Emergency Management, International Center and other campus offices have been working closely together since January 22 to plan for and monitor the situation. We are also working closely with the County of San Luis Obispo Public Health Department, state and federal health authorities on this matter.

For updates and additional information about COVID-19, please visit the “Health Advisories” section on the Campus Health and Wellbeing website.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms of reported COVID-19 cases are similar to flu, including fever, coughing and shortness of breath. The vast majority of cases — 85 percent, according to state health officials — have presented as mild illness. Symptoms may appear as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. At the same time, flu continues to circulate in our community.

Prevention is key. Please take good care of yourself and others. Whether it's coronavirus, flu, or a cold, hand-washing with soap and water continues to be the best way to protect against the virus.

Here are more ways you can protect yourself:

1. Treat yourself well.

  • Eat healthy.
  • Maintain good sleep habits.
  • Manage stress.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.

2. Make it hard for viruses to spread.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash; or cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Influenza is still present in our community. Please check with your healthcare provider whether obtaining the influenza vaccine is advisable for you. 

3. Think of yourself and others.

  • Students, if you feel ill, please contact Campus Health and Wellbeing to schedule an appointment by going online via the portal, https://myportal.calpoly.edu, or calling 805-756-1211
  • For faculty and staff, please contact your personal medical provider. 
  • Stay home from school, office hours and work, and reduce contact with others until your symptoms subside.

Helpful Resources

For more information on coronavirus, please visit the following websites:

Please be aware that other information sources may not reflect the most current and accurate information.

Please take care of yourself and each other.

Sincerely,

Tina Hadaway-Mellis, RN, MBA
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Health and Wellbeing
Cal Poly

Penny Borenstein, MD, MPH
Health Officer
County of San Luis Obispo

1/27/2020 - Coronavirus Health Advisory 

The following message was sent on behalf of Campus Health and Wellbeing.

Dear campus community,

The safety, health and wellbeing of all campus community members and visitors is a primary commitment for Cal Poly.

While there are two confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in California, there are no confirmed cases in San Luis Obispo County. Despite no confirmed cases in the region, we encourage all members to actively engage in healthy habits to help prevent contracting and spreading illnesses.

Cal Poly's Campus Health and Wellbeing (CH&W) team is actively monitoring the outbreak and known cases in the United States in collaboration with SLO County Public Health Department and California Department of Public Health (CDPH). CH&W is following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and our local health officials. 

What is the coronavirus? 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring developments around an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by what is considered a new coronavirus. Coronavirus is a type of virus that causes diseases ranging from the common cold to more serious respiratory disease. The novel, or new, coronavirus was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, and has since resulted in hundreds of confirmed cases in China. 

The CDC reports that patients with novel coronavirus have mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Severe illness is more common in people with underlying health conditions or weakened immune systems and older adults, the CDC reports. 

What should I do? 

With increased flu activity this time of year, and the outbreak of novel coronavirus in China, Cal Poly encourages campus members to take certain active measures to protect against influenza-like illness and respiratory infections. 

Students on campus are able to seek medical attention from Campus Health and Wellbeing. If you are feeling unwell and have traveled to Wuhan, China, during the month of January, please use a face mask and notify a member of the CH&W team by calling 805-756-1211 before visiting the health center.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to contact their primary care providers for support. 

If you have symptoms of influenza-like illness or other respiratory infections, please stay home and do not come to campus for school or work. Also, contact your healthcare provider to seek medical attention as soon as you are able. 

Additional information about the seasonal flu, including details about symptoms, the flu vaccine and healthy and cleaning habits, is available via CH&W website.

More Information 

Accurate and up to date information about the coronavirus is available on the CDC website

We will continue to update our community if the situation on campus or in San Luis Obispo County changes. Please refer to links above for updated information. 

Aaron Baker, M.D.,
Medical Director, 
Cal Poly Campus Health and Wellbeing 

Tina Hadaway-Mellis, RN, MBA,
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Health and Wellbeing

An Important Message from President Armstrong

Posted: March 12, 2020

Cal Poly Update from Cal Poly on Vimeo.

Full video script here.

State of California Updates

6/18/20: California Department of Public Health issues statewide mandate requiring all Californians to wear face coverings in public to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

3/11/20: CA Public Health Experts: Mass Gatherings Should be Postponed or Canceled Statewide to Slow the Spread of COVID-19

CSU Updates

CSU Website: https://www2.calstate.edu/coronavirus/

5/12/20: CSU announces fall courses will be primarily virtual

3/17/20: California State University Campuses to Accelerate Transition to Virtual Instruction

3/10/20: California State University Update on Coronavirus-Related Actions

3/10/20: CSU Guidance on Meetings and Events

2/27/20: COVID-19 and CSU Students Abroad in Korea and Italy

Public Health Updates

Please visit the following websites for the most recent updates and advisories:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

County of San Luis Obispo Department of Public Health 

California Department of Public Health (CDPH)

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