In response to the coronavirus, the University of Santa Barbara (UCSB) is canceling all in-person classes and instead is extending online classes for the duration of spring quarter.
Last Tuesday, Chancellor Henry T. Yang announced remote instruction will take place for the rest of winter quarter and the start of spring quarter through at least the end of April, but has now extended it until June.
In a message to campus community members, Chancellor Yang said, "Our initial announcement to transition to remote instruction through April was made as a proactive step in order to protect our community and to give everyone as much clarity as possible at the time we made the decision. As the situation has continued to evolve, we have made the difficult decision, in consultation with many of our students, faculty, and staff, to extend remote instruction through the entire spring quarter and to end all in-person instruction."
University leaders are asking instructors to extend their online planning through spring quarter and to be as flexible as possible with courses that would be difficult to teach remotely.
Students are also being urged to move out of campus housing in order to lower the density on campus.
An Arroyo Grande mom whose son attends UCSB told KSBY students have already begun packing up their belongings this weekend.
Students should receive instructions regarding housing and dining refunds to help with decisions for the coming spring quarter, according to the press release.
Related housing/dining questions can be directed to email@example.com or 805-893-4371.
University officials said they are re-evaluating campus-based fees and financial aid considerations and will be updating students and parents by the end of next week if a new policy is implemented.
Chancellor Yang additionally said, "While we know how disappointing this situation is, especially for our graduating students, social distancing and lowering the density on campus is the best way to mitigate the spread and impact of COVID-19, according to our health experts."
University officials said the campus remains "open and operational" to help students who need to stay and student employees currently working on campus, however those employees may have work hours shifted.
COVID-19 Response Working Group, a group of university staff and faculty, is meeting and discussing the evolving pandemic situation everyday.
To read the full university press release, click here.