November 19, 2020
To: Faculty, staff, administrators, and College of Arts and Sciences students
From: Kendrick Brown, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS); Steve Wuhs, Incoming Interim Dean of CAS; and Donna Eddleman, University Dean of Student Affairs
Subject: How California state guidance affects the CAS spring semester
How will the state’s guidance and four-tier system impact the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) spring semester? In response to questions on this topic, we are writing to help clarify the connections between current regulations and our academic classes; labs and studios; and residence life.
As many of you know, State representatives assign every county in California to a tier, based on data about local test positivity and adjusted case rate. The data are reviewed at least weekly (recent changes allow frequent reviews) and inform any update to each county’s designation. Counties must remain in a tier for at least three weeks and must meet the next tier’s criteria for two consecutive weeks before moving to a less restrictive level.
The County of San Bernardino, where the main Redlands campus is located, is currently designated as Tier 1/purple.
The State’s guidance for institutions of higher education asserts that in:
The State’s definition of “lecture” is a potential point of confusion, especially as many classes at the University of Redlands consist of small-group discussions; however, in this case “lecture” refers to any in-person academic classwork. In other words, in San Bernardino County’s current designation, academic classes are not allowed on the main Redlands campus.
In contrast, experiential learning activities, such as labs and studio arts, are permitted in all tiers, with safety precautions such as face coverings and six feet of distance between individuals.
Likewise, current guidance from the State indicates that on-campus housing is permitted regardless of tier, provided there are safety precautions such as physical distancing, mask-wearing, restriction of building access to limit guests, and prioritization of single room occupancy.
Our key takeaways from the current State guidance for the College of Arts and Sciences spring semester are:
We understand that the uncertainty of this situation can be frustrating, as we all want to plan ahead. In the meantime, we are monitoring the County’s status as well as staying alert for any potential changes in State guidance. In addition, we are in discussions with the County to have an on-site testing facility during the spring semester that will provide greater testing access to our community. We will keep you up-to-date on details and new information as it becomes available, and we expect to provide another update on the status of classes in the College by January 5, 2021.