Please note this Memorandum was sent by the President’s Office on September 11th. Events hosted by the Associated Students, Inc. that are cancelled due to this news will be listed here and on our social media.
To: Campus Community
From: President Parham
Dear campus community,
Yesterday, Chancellor Timothy White announced [PDF] that the California State University system will continue to operate in a primarily virtual environment through the spring 2021 semester. It was a difficult decision, but very appropriate, and one that I wholeheartedly support. I am writing today to confirm that CSUDH will follow suit and remain primarily virtual this spring.
The CSU system was among the first in the nation to announce that the fall 2020 semester would be primarily virtual. Once again, a far-sighted approach is being taken, with the principal goal of protecting the health and safety of every member of our campus community, while we continue our best efforts to ensure student success. Making this decision early on also will allow everyone at CSUDH – faculty, staff, students, and senior executives – to adequately prepare for this eventuality, and align our efforts with those outcomes.
This is not a decision that has been taken lightly. Every member of Toro Nation is eager to get back on campus, as am I, but this is not a situation in which we can just “flip a switch” and make everything return to normal. With the COVID-19 pandemic still raging throughout the nation, the local incidence and prevalence data of those infected with the virus being unacceptably high, and our demographic population that statistics show are more vulnerable to the disease and its consequential effects, there is simply no way to ensure that a spring return to campus would be feasible.
We have seen examples of universities across the U.S. that have returned to campus too early, with tragic and predictable results. Even those whose principally virtual return has allowed higher numbers of in-person courses and returnees are themselves being challenged with the consequences of a less than predictable situation. Chancellor White’s leadership during the crisis has kept the CSU community safe and healthy, and yesterday’s announcement is another example of his wise and necessarily cautious approach. I commend him and my CSU President colleagues on their willingness to “lean in” and make the tough decisions that are needed during such a momentous time.
Rest assured, your administration and executive leadership will work with every stakeholder to create a workable plan for moving forward this spring. In the end, all decisions will be driven by the bottom line of protecting the health and safety of Toro Nation, while doing our best to support faculty and staff, and facilitate the success of our students.
This has been a trying time for all of us, and yesterday’s news was further confirmation that we have challenging days ahead. Still, I remain confident that our students, faculty, staff, and senior executives will continue to rise to the challenge, striving for excellence even in the face of daunting adversity.
More information about the spring semester will be released in the weeks ahead. For the most recent news and updates about the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit csudh.edu/together.
Thank you for your patience and understanding. Stay strong, Toros, and please comply with all health and safety protocols. We will get through this, because that is what we do in the Toro Nation!
Thomas A. Parham, Ph.D.
For more information on the COVID-19 virus and how the CSU system is taking measures to protect its students, please refer to the CSU Website.