Sacramento State President Robert Nelsen sent out a SacSend email Tuesday saying professors and instructors can elect to shift part or all of their remaining courses to an online format in light of concerns about the new coronavirus.
“After consulting with the Chancellor’s office and our Faculty Senate Chair, effective immediately and until local circumstances change, instructors can shift part or all of their remaining course content to a non-face-to-face setting and teach their classes virtually, using technology, as long as virtual class meetings occur during the normal scheduled class time (synchronously),” Nelsen said in the email.
A petition on change.org to move Sac State classes online had garnered over 3,500 signatures at the time of publication.
According to a Sacramento County press release Monday, there are 10 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Sacramento County, with one person recovered.
Six universities in California have moved to online instruction only for different lengths of time including Stanford, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, San Jose State University, San Francisco State and Santa Clara University.
“We understand that other universities have cancelled in-person classes and a local school district has closed,” Nelsen said in an email. “Given the uncertainty of the situation, if new information or guidance becomes available, then we may have to adjust our plans on short notice.”
Sac State students have been vocal on social media about their concerns over the university not officially transitioning to online classes yet.
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Sac state really not gonna cancel classes until we all get the damn corona
— Natt⚾️ (@naatcaat_) March 10, 2020
Sac State just needs to move classes online instead of sending a thousand emails a day slowly cancelling events.
— Madison Watega (@mwatega04) March 10, 2020
sac state cancels all meetings and events on campus but is still considering cancelling classes ugh
— Jos (@Jaayfaav) March 10, 2020
Sac State updated its homepage with a section to give students current information and answer FAQs, which were last updated Sunday at 3 p.m.
According to the website, there are still no plans to cancel classes or close the campus but in the event that does happen, students will be notified using the Emergency Notification System (ENS) which will send texts and emails to students and faculty who are signed up for the service.
In a memo sent out Tuesday morning the CSU chancellor outlined how schools should move forward in the event of a “widespread transmission of infectious disease.”
“In this event, to minimize disruption and progress to degree for students, campus leadership should consider shifting the delivery of as much of the curriculum as possible to non face-to-face modalities,” the email said.
“In-person instruction should cease for two to four days while faculty and administration focus on the final details of converting to non-in-person instructional modalities,” the email said. “Courses already being delivered in an online format or other non-in-person manner should continue without disruption.”
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The memo also said that events planned on campuses in the next one to two weeks should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis as to whether they should be canceled or postponed.
A separate SacSend email sent Tuesday said before proceeding with any future on-campus meetings and planned events, there will be an evaluation based on a guideline and rubric sent to all CSU campuses by Relyea.
“Subsequently, we will examine the next two months of planned events. We also will use the rubric to determine what new events may be added to the schedule,” Nelsen said in the email.
Determination for student employees to continue to work on campus is still under question.
At Sac State, an appearance by civil rights activist Dolores Huerta scheduled for Friday has been postponed and has not yet been rescheduled. Hypnotist Tom Deluca’s event scheduled for Tuesday has been canceled.