CSU anticipates at least 50% of classes will be in-person for fall 2021

Fall 2021 will be different for all 23 CSU campuses, chancellor says


California State University Chancellor Joseph Castro addresses student reporters in a virtual press conference Monday, Feb. 8, 2021. He said the CSU anticipates at least 50% of classes will be in-person in fall 2021.

Chrissy Martinez

California State University Chancellor Joseph Castro said the CSU anticipates that at least 50% of classes will be in-person and discussed his priorities during a student press conference on Monday. 

Campuses may have different in-person classes depending on local conditions, Castro said.

CSU campus Chico State will have more hybrid courses with approximately 20-30% of classes in-person for fall 2021. Many of Chico State’s classrooms are too small to allow proper social distancing as directed by public health guidelines according to a campus update by Chico State’s President Gayle Hutchinson and EOC director Mike Guzzi.

In December the CSU Chancellor’s office announced that the majority of on-campus operations were expected to return next fall and Castro reaffirmed that goal two weeks ago during the CSU Board of Trustees meeting.  

Castro said fall 2021 will be different for all 23 CSU campuses. Castro said he recognizes there will be variations at the local level, depending on the availability of vaccines in those communities. 

“I’ve been spending a good amount of time with the presidents talking about their individual campus planning efforts and encouraging the continued consultation with the county health department,” Castro said. 

The decision for how fall 2021 will be conducted is up to the president of each campus and the campus itself, Castro said. The decisions made regarding spring 2020 and fall 2020 have been made previously by individual campuses thus far, Castro said. 

“Sac State is currently working through a planning process for Fall 2021 that will provide increased face-to-face instruction in as safe an environment as possible,” Sac State’s Vice President of Academic Affairs Steve Perez said.

Perez said information will be shared with the Sac State campus community as the plan develops.

Castro on the COVID-19 vaccination

Francis Yuen, faculty in social work, gets injected with his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by Austin Friedheim in the in the Brown Bag room in the Union on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021. Sac State is not requiring students to receive the vaccine in order to return in the fall. (Madelaine Church)

Castro did not say whether students will be required to be vaccinated to attend in-person instruction in fall 2021. When asked, he said he hopes to inspire students, faculty and staff to take the opportunity to get vaccinated. 

RELATED: FAQ: What you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine at Sac State

“[COVID-19 vaccinations] will maximize our chances of being able to offer as many in-person courses as possible in the fall,” Castro said.

Sac State is not requiring students to receive the vaccine in order to return in the fall. Vice President of Student Affairs Ed Mills told The State Hornet it is recommended students make an informed decision about vaccination. 

Castro said he wants to encourage students and faculty to participate in the vaccination process but respects those who do not wish to be vaccinated.

To protect students and faculty, Castro said campuses will have personal protective equipment and implement social distancing and other future recommendations made by their respective county health departments. 

Castro said he will continue to advocate for additional relief funds at the federal level for emergency grants for students and funding that will help CSU provide technology and safety equipment in classrooms.  

Castro said the first priority is to ensure the health and safety of students, faculty and staff. To protect students and faculty, Castro said 13 CSU campuses, including Sacramento State, have become sites for vaccinations and CSU will be providing personal protective equipment.  

RELATED: Sac State administers its first vaccine doses at University Union clinic

Funding Graduation Initiative 2025

Castro said over the last several weeks he has been aggressive in his advocacy efforts to obtain more funding for CSU from elected officials. Castro said he hopes to restore the $299 million that was cut last year. 

To help fully fund Graduation Initiative 2025, Castro said he asked for $365 million in additional resources and $565 million to upgrade classrooms and laboratories. 

Graduation Initiative 2025 is a plan to increase graduation rates, eliminate equity gaps in degree completion and meet California’s workforce needs, according to the CSU website.

Castro said he established a new steering committee for the Graduation Initiative 2025 that will meet to discuss what has been successful thus far and identify new strategies to meet the graduation rate goals and close the equity gaps. He said he has a strong focus on closing the equity gaps for Pell-eligible students and underrepresented students. 

“It’s a bold request and I am cautiously optimistic that we are going to be able to inspire our legislative leaders and the governor to fund it,” Castro said.