Communications

SF State campus leadership provides frequent communications and updates related to current events and information about shifts in our COVID-19 planning and response. The most important guiding principle for our campus leadership remains the safety and health of each member of our campus community. 

ADVANCEMENT

VP Advancement

UNIVERSITY ENTERPRISES

VP University Enterprises

 

Latest Communications Chronological List

Below you will find the latest and all communications from SF State President Mahoney and our campus leaders, including protocols, modifications in operations and academic continuity.

Dear SFSU Campus Community,

 

As part of SF State’s commitment to keeping our campus safe, we continue to prioritize on-campus COVID-19 testing for specific groups, including: residential students; exempted students and employees; represented employees who have opted in for testing; students and employees who receive a close contact or general exposure notification; and students and employees experiencing symptoms who are already on campus during testing hours.

Even after prioritizing the above groups, our current testing system has additional capacity. This means other interested SF State students, faculty, and staff may also schedule COVID-19 tests.

This opportunity for testing may be of interest to fully-vaccinated students and employees who live, learn, or work on campus and also have regular close contact with older (over 65) and younger (under 12) family or friends. It may also be of interest to students and employees working in areas with lots of visitors, or for those students and employees who often take public transportation.

Tests are administered Monday through Thursday (except University holidays) between 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM at the campus testing site on the top level of the parking garage/Lot 20. Please note: appointments are required. To schedule an appointment, visit the campus MyHealth page.

If you are off campus and are experiencing symptoms, please don’t come to campus to test. Please seek out testing at a convenient off-campus location. Links to off-campus testing options are available on the testing page of the Campus Comeback website.

As always, thank you for your continued observance of campus health and safety protocols. Please remember to wear multilayered face coverings indoors and complete the daily health screening in the SF State mobile app or online.

 

Take Good Care,

Roger Razzari Elrod, Director

Student Health Services

Dear campus community,

Welcome to Fall 2021! Whether you are joining us remotely or working and taking classes on one of our campuses, the start of a semester is always exciting and a good moment to reflect. I typically think about the immediate moment—what do I want to accomplish this semester—and, in the much larger picture, how does my work contribute to the larger mission of higher education? Somehow, as we wrestle with the ongoing pandemic and with charting a path for the post-pandemic future of higher education, these questions seem both more difficult and more important.

If I have learned nothing else over the last year and a half, I have learned to acknowledge uncertainty and prepare for…whatever. This has not been easy—for me and likely for many of you. But as hard as it has been, I have increasingly come to believe that this experience affirms the value of higher education to prepare us for…whatever.

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to hear Dean Baquet, executive editor of the New York Times, speak at an education conference. When asked by university professors and administrators what he wanted to see in college graduates, his answer surprised us. He did not simply affirm the commonly professed requests for excellent written and oral communication skills, technical skills, or teamwork; noting, of course, that these are critical.  Instead, he urged us to produce college graduates who are “not so damn certain.” Baquet asked that our graduates—and, by extension, all of us—recognize how little we actually know with any certainty and embrace being intellectually open, actively inquisitive and affirmatively uncertain. 

So, as we launch the semester at a moment of many uncertainties—the pandemic, climate change, the tragedy unfolding in Afghanistan—I encourage us all to embrace uncertainty and use it to grow intellectually and personally. This fall, like many of you, I am charting unfamiliar territories. We will be a truly hybrid University for the first time, with half of our students studying remotely and half on campus for at least one course. Many of our employees are also working hybrid schedules that include working both remotely and on campus. 

Personally, I will be teaching a hybrid course for the first time which will have an asynchronous component and a weekly in-person class meeting. I have worked hard to prepare, but, as it was for most of our faculty in March 2020, this is new to me. I also know that the pandemic or the consequences of climate change could create a need for further adaptation. So, I too am working hard to embrace uncertainty, confident that, however hard, I will learn and grow. Be sure to ask me in December how it has gone!

Whether here physically or remotely this semester, I urge all to join me in embracing this opportunity to re-engage with our academic community. Who knows what we will learn?

I know that many questions remain about the pandemic and campus safety plans. Please be sure to regularly consult the Campus Comeback website and know that we have achieved our goal of being one of the most highly vaccinated campuses in the country (as of late last week almost 99% of our students taking in-person classes had submitted proof of vaccination!).

With wishes for an excellent semester!

Best,

President Lynn Mahoney Signature

Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.
President

Dear campus community,

For the convenience of students, faculty and staff, SF State will again host a COVID-19 vaccination site on campus. This time, the site, operated by Safeway, will also offer flu shots.

Please note that the COVID-19 vaccines are free for all campus community members.

 

Flu shots: Kaiser Permanente members and the uninsured will be charged $35. The flu shot will also be offered free to students by Student Health Services later in the fall.

LOCATION

Jack Adams Hall in the Cesar Chavez Student Center

DATES

First dose of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and flu vaccine

  • Wednesday, Aug. 25: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Thursday, Aug. 26, 10 a.m. t0 2 p.m.

Flu vaccine (Second dose of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine only for those who received the first dose on campus on Monday, Aug. 9)

  • Monday, Aug. 30, 9 a.m. to 12 noon

Second dose of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and flu vaccine

  • Wednesday, Sept. 15, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Please sign up for either the COVID 19 or flu vaccine at the links below. If you wish to have both, please sign up for both.

COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment Signup

Flu Vaccine Appointment Signup

We strongly encourage you to make an appointment. Walk-ins may be accommodated based on supply.

Important reminders when coming to your appointment:

  • Bring your ID and your Health Benefits Card (medical and prescription) to your appointment
  • Complete and bring a printed copy of the consent form
  • Wear a mask and be in good health on the day of vaccination 
  • The vaccine will be offered to participants 12 years and older
  • Bring completed CDC vaccination card to your 2nd dose appointment

 

While SF State is hosting this vaccination site, it does not play any role in the distribution or availability of the vaccine. Any questions regarding vaccine eligibility should be directed to Safeway.

Regards,

 

Ingrid C. Williams, Ed.D. (she/her/hers)

Associate Vice President, Human Resources

Dear campus community,

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of joining colleagues from Housing and Residential Life, and volunteers from many other campus offices, to welcome almost 3,000 residential students to campus, mostly first year students new to SF State and second year students who were on campus, often for the very first time. Despite the face coverings and the requirement to take a COVID test immediately upon arrival, the joy these students and their families expressed at being on campus was incredible and an important reminder of how important it is that we bring our students back and resume in-person classes.

 I am thrilled to report that the students’ joy at returning was matched by their support for our safety measures—99% are vaccinated, all wore face coverings, and we had nary a complaint about the mandatory testing. And our local data to date match what institutions like UCSD and UT Austin are projecting for extremely low positivity rates among highly vaccinated populations. As of today, of the 2800 for whom we have results, only 8 have tested positive—this is a remarkably low positivity rate. Some of these students have returned home for two weeks and the rest are in isolation in a residence area used only for this purpose.

This is good news for our return. Eighteen months ago we hoped to flatten the curve and eradicate COVID-19. We now know that we must learn to live in a world with the virus but in ways that reduce its transmission and minimize the severity of the disease. With high rates of vaccination, mandatory face coverings and other forms of PPE, testing and reduced capacity on campus this fall, we have taken the steps necessary for a safe return

COVID-19 Vaccination Rates

We have been assured that a campus can open safely with a high rate of vaccination. Experts at the University of California believe that rates of 90% or higher will allow campuses to open.  We have spent the two weeks since the CSU announced its COVID-19 Vaccination Interim Policy working intensely to get our students to upload proof of vaccination. As of today, almost 87% of those registered for an in-person class have submitted their proof and less than 2% have requested a medical or religious exception.

With a week to go before the start of classes, we will work to increase this number significantly. Students who have not uploaded their proof of vaccination or requested a medical or religious exemption by 5pm on Tuesday, 8/17, will be dropped from their in-person class(es) on Wednesday, 8/18. It is absolutely critical that these students comply by Tuesday. Those who do not submit proof or request an exemption will need to add online classes.

Our employees, as well, are demonstrating their commitment to a being a highly vaccinated campus. I am deeply grateful to Sandee Noda, CSUEU chapter president, and James Martel, CFA chapter president, for their efforts to encourage their members to upload their proof of vaccination or submit a medical or religious exemption. Last week, I was very touched by the efforts of staff and administrators to assist their colleagues who wanted assistance with uploading their proof of vaccination. To date, more than 2,000 employees have uploaded their proof with very, very few requests for a medical or religious exception. Again, I am deeply grateful for the collaborative work to meet our goal.

For the small percentage of people who have approved exemptions from vaccination, we will have weekly COVID-19 testing by a vendor that can test samples within a 6- to 8-hour period. Testing will also be available to those who come into close contact with someone on campus who tests positive. We have a team of contact tracers who will identify those who have been in close contact with someone infected by COVID-19 and contact them directly with information. We are following the guidelines of the SF Department of Health assiduously. Unvaccinated people who have been in close contact will be required to quarantine for ten days, and we will make accommodations to allow them to continue with their work or studies. Vaccinated people who have been in close contact are not required to quarantine but must wear face coverings indoors—a safety measure we have already have in place for all.

Employees should contact Human Resources if you have questions about what options may be available. Students should contact the Dean on Call.

Safety Measures

Vaccination remains our most powerful tool for managing the disease, but I also offer a quick reminder of the many safety measures we have in place:

  • Required weekly on-campus testing of unvaccinated individuals
  • On-campus testing available for students and employees who came into close contact on campus with someone who tests positive
  • Reduced capacity across campus
  • Required isolation for those who test positive (on campus for residential students)
  • Mandatory face coverings
  • Availability of personal protective equipment

City and County Update

Some have likely heard that Stanislaus State has decided to delay the start of in-person activities. It is important that – as we consider our plans or the plans of others – we consider the local context. How vaccinated is the county? How vaccinated is the campus? How assiduously does the community embrace measures like mandatory face coverings? SF City and County has one of the highest vaccination rates in the state; Stanislaus County one of the lowest. As of this weekend, SF Department of Health is reporting that 78% of San Franciscans 12 and over are fully vaccinated and 85% have at least one dose. This also helps explain that even as cases have increased in the city, hospitalizations have not. And the number of daily new cases has dropped significantly since SF implemented more stringent rules recently.

I do not want to minimize how anxious this moment is. We have stayed safe for the last 18 months by (most of us) staying at home. But with high rates of vaccination in the region and on campus, it is time to carefully return to campus. Science and local, esteemed colleagues at UCSF support this – high vaccination, face coverings and testing are the path to a safe return. We will continue to share data about vaccination rates and campus cases. I will continue to communicate with you. Please check our Campus Comeback website regularly for the latest updates.

I have said this before, and I say it again: I cannot think of a better university to be at during this difficult transitionary moment. This past week I saw hundreds of colleagues move heaven and earth to provide vaccinations to  students and employees, help them upload their proof, develop a testing protocol,  and open a testing site. I have never been prouder to serve a university. And the joy with which our first returning students and families responded made every bit of that hard work worth it. On behalf of our students, thank you all.

Whether joining in person or via the web, I look forward to opening our academic year officially at Open Convocation on August 18 in-person at McKenna Theatre and livestreamed on the Academic Senate site.

Best,

President Lynn Mahoney Signature

Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.
President

Dear faculty colleagues:

As we prepare for a new semester, I want to thank you for everything you’re doing to advance our educational mission during this transitional and unpredictable time. This message is directed primarily at faculty teaching face-to-face classes in the fall but includes information relevant to all faculty, along with chairs, staff, and administrators who support instruction.

Over the summer, a cross-campus team has been working hard to ensure the safety of everyone who returns to San Francisco State’s campus in the fall, by instituting requirements for vaccination and testing, face coverings, and uses of shared space. Following are several important steps for you to keep in mind as the semester approaches. At the bottom of this message, you will find links to comprehensive websites that address these and other topics important to our fall return: the links will be updated regularly, so please bookmark and revisit them throughout the semester.

Class Rosters & Student Vaccination Status

All students who intend to be on campus are required to upload proof of vaccination or request a medical or religious exemption before the first day of instruction. We are very encouraged to see that, with a week to go before classes begin, 88% of students have uploaded vaccination documentation and only 1% have requested an exemption. Those who have not cleared their vaccination status prior to the first day of class will be dropped and will not appear on the roster. For the safety of everyone, only students who appear on the roster may physically remain in the classroom, lab or studio. If a student is not on the class roster, they may not remain in class, nor be added, until they have cleared their status. Should you find a student in your class who is not on the roster, please gently excuse them from the class and direct them to seek assistance, which will be immediately available at tables stationed outside classroom buildings. Once the student’s compliance is confirmed, they will be given documentation that will allow them to add the class: faculty of face-to-face classes, please be prepared to extend permission numbers to students who fall into this category, up to your enrollment cap. Students who are not in compliance will need to switch to an online class: faculty of online classes, please be prepared to extend permission numbers to students switching from face-to-face classes, up to your enrollment cap. Faculty in all modalities should visit the Faculty FAQs before classes begin for up-to-date details.  

Planning for Disruptions

The events of these past 18 months have shown us the importance of planning for the unexpected as a way to support our students and manage teaching assignments in the face of disruption. I encourage you to consult the Instructional Continuity website to help you develop a resilient teaching plan. CEETL is also offering a number of faculty development programs and faculty learning communities to support you in in your teaching: CEETL's Teaching Through Transitions and Teaching New and Newly Returning Students are specially designed to help faculty develop additional teaching and time-saving strategies for periods of disruption, especially as we return to a campus still affected by the pandemic and approach the California wildfire season. At a minimum, I encourage you to set yourself and your students up for success before any disruption occurs by using iLearn and the SF State Syllabus tool to post your contact information, course materials, and an instructional continuity statement that instructs students what to do in the event of a disruption. (Suggested language is on the Faculty FAQs.) Be sure to prioritize asynchronous, low-bandwidth teaching and learning during disruptive moments.

Covid and the Classroom

Because we have a special responsibility to our residential students, we have required Covid testing prior to move-in date and then regularly over the next couple of weeks, at which point we will reassess the need for continued testing. The 1% of students who qualified for vaccine exemptions will be tested weekly. Should a student in a face-to-face class test positive, that student will be required to isolate for 10 days. If that student is a residential student, the campus has isolation accommodations at the ready. Please note that faculty will not be required to transition to remote instruction in the event of a positive case in their class, but contact tracers will inform all persons who have been in close contact with the infected person of their potential exposure. For the vaccinated, close contact does not require quarantine—only mandatory face coverings indoors, which are already required at SF State. These protocols are in strict compliance with San Francisco Department of Health guidelines. Some students, however, may not be comfortable remaining in class because of particular vulnerabilities; faculty should be prepared to accommodate such students, just as they occasionally have to accommodate students who are ill and not attending class. In these situations, faculty are not expected to deliver course material in a multi-modal fashion, and CEETL resources can aid faculty in providing instruction for these students in a manner that poses minimal impact. Like students, some faculty may not feel comfortable continuing face-to-face interaction in the event of a positive case in their class. The academic senate’s online instructional policy gives faculty the latitude to move their class online up to a total of 15% of class time. 

Compliance in the Classroom

To ensure that all members of your class understand university health and safety protocols, please include the senate policy syllabi language (linked in the faculty FAQ), which is currently being approved. If a student is not wearing a mask, please remind them to do so following the steps detailed on the faculty FAQ:

  1. Ask the student to wear a mask, explain why it is important to do so
  2. Offer the student a mask to put on, if available
  3. Ask the student to leave the classroom if they refuse
  4. Consider ending the class session or meeting if the student refuses to leave
  5. Report the student to Student Conduct for further action – conduct.sfsu.edu (please use the “Non-Academic Student Conduct” reporting form)

PLEASE NOTE: UPD should be called only in the event of a safety emergency; not wearing a mask does not constitute an emergency.

As the semester progresses, deans and chairs will be regularly updated on any new developments. In addition to consulting them, please visit these websites for regular updates:   

Campus Comeback Website: This website is the official communications center for the most up-to-date information regarding the campus COVID-19 repopulation plan. The “For Faculty” section includes resources relevant to the faculty experience, including a comprehensive faculty FAQ.

Instructional Continuity Website: This site provides resources to help faculty, students and academic departments keep teaching, learning and supporting instruction during periods of unexpected disruption, such as unhealthy air quality or the COVID-19 pandemic.

Again, thank you for everything that you’re doing to prepare for this semester. I appreciate your partnership as we work together to maintain the health, safety, and well-being of all members of our university community.

Best wishes,

Summit signature small

Jennifer Summit
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
San Francisco State University

Dear SF State community,

As everyone prepares for the return to campus for the fall semester, Parking & Transportation remains dedicated to providing safe, convenient, sustainable and accessible transit, commuter, and parking services to our campus community. We would like to share the following information and resources regarding SF State’s commuter options, parking at University lots and garages, and campus transit services.

 

TRANSIT

Shuttle Bus Service – Daly City BART to 19th Avenue

Beginning Aug. 23, 2021, the shuttle bus service to/from Daly City BART and 19th Avenue will return Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to include the campus loop.

The campus loop shuttle will run Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. For pickup locations and schedule please see the Parking & Transportation website. Shuttle services do not run on weekends, observed holidays and during summer.

When the shuttles are not in service, commuters may use Muni route 28 to/from campus and Daly City BART station.

SFMTA Muni Service

Beginning Aug. 14, 2021, the SFMTA expects to bring back the following bus routes that serve the campus:

  • M Oceanview
  • 57 Park Merced
  • 58 Lake Merced

28R remains suspended until further notice. For updates and more information on Muni service restoration, please visit the SFMTA website.

Students will be able to ride Muni free with the student GatorPass

BART Service

Effective Aug. 2, 2021, BART returns to near-regular service to include increased frequencies and expanded service hours to midnight Mondays through Saturdays.

During the entire month of September 2021, BART will offer a special promotion of 50% off all fares on Clipper. The discount will apply to all fares on Clipper, including already discounted clipper cards such as Youth, Senior, RTC, Clipper Start and the Gator Pass. Students using the Gator Pass will get a 75% discount.

For more information go to the BART website.

 

EMPLOYEE PROGRAMS

SF State offers faculty and staff several programs to assist with the commute to campus. For more information, please follow the links below:

REMEMBER:

Masks or face coverings are required while riding any public transportation. Additional Health and Safety information can be found on the Campus Comeback website.

 

PARKING & PERMITS

SF State uses virtual permits and license plate recognition technology on campus. Your license plate now functions as your campus parking permit.

If driving to campus, a limited number of parking permits are available for students, faculty, and staff to purchase. For information on eligibility requirements, permit costs, permit purchase and parking lot/garage locations, please visit the Parking & Transportation page.

 

BIKING TO CAMPUS

SF State encourages biking as a commute option to campus. Bicycling is a convenient, healthy and sustainable alternative to driving. Bicycling to campus helps meet University goals by improving air quality through reducing energy consumption and single occupant vehicle commute trips.

A new bike cage will be available at Thornton Hall, and bike commuters will have the option to use the bike cage as a more secure place to park. To obtain more information or register for an access code, please visit Parking & Transportation’s biking page.

We wish everyone a great and safe fall semester. If you have any questions, please contact us at (415) 338-1441 or email us at parking@sfsu.edu.

 

Thank you!

 

Reginald Parson, Assistant Vice President & Chief of Police

Joy Manaois, Director of Operations & Finance

Dear colleagues, 

Given the rise in COVID-19 infections from the Delta variant across the country, scientific data shows that getting as many of us vaccinated as possible is the best defense against the virus.

With the CSU’s recent decision to implement a COVID-19 vaccine requirement starting Fall 2021, we are declaring our united support for the policy and SF State’s choice to implement a vaccine verification process.              

The past year and a half presented unprecedented challenges that hopefully none of us – or anyone else – will encounter again. Unfortunately, those challenges have not fully subsided.  

Everyone’s situation is different. There are campus community members who are unable to be vaccinated for medical or religious reasons. SF State has established protocols to qualify for that status. Those who do receive these exemptions will likely have to be tested on a weekly basis. 

These exemptions only deepen the importance that we prepare together. We are protecting not only one another, but also the elderly, immunocompromised and young children that we live with as well as those in our communities. Members of our community who can be vaccinated should do so now and are encouraged to voluntarily submit proof of vaccination. Details about how to upload your proof of vaccination can be found on the Campus Comeback website

The most apparent path for a safe return to in-person instruction and activities involves a high vaccination rate on campus, demonstrating proof of vaccination and ensuring compliance with the requirement for face coverings in indoor public spaces on campus. It will also require following health and safety protocols as they evolve.  

Our campus has been one of the safest in the nation during this crisis. If we prepare together, we believe it will continue to be safe as more students, faculty and staff return to in-person activities. 

Signed, 

Sandee Noda, Chapter President
California State University Employees Union (CSUEU), SF State Chapter

James Martel, Chapter President
California Faculty Association, SF State Chapter

Teddy Albiniak, Chair of the Academic Senate
SF State Academic Senate

Lynn Mahoney, University President
SF State President’s Office

Dear SF State colleagues,

A vaccinated campus is a safe campus. Many in our community received the COVID-19 vaccine on campus last spring, or elsewhere in the Bay Area. For the few who may still be searching, we have arranged a temporary site on campus exclusively for SF State students, faculty and staff.

Operated by Safeway, the site will be open for the following dates and times aligning to the dosing schedule for the two-dose Pfizer vaccine:

  • Monday, Aug. 9: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Mashouf Wellness Center (first dose)
  • Monday, Aug. 30: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Jack Adams Hall in the Cesar Chavez Student Center (second dose)
  • View the campus map for reference

We strongly encourage you to make an appointment by using this scheduling tool, though, walk-ins may be accommodated. Important reminders when coming to your appointment:

  • Bring your ID and your Health Benefit Card (medical and prescription) to your appointment
  • Complete and bring printed copy of consent form, which will be available to you after scheduling your appointment
  • Wear a mask and be in good health on day of vaccination 
  • The vaccine will be offered to participants 12 years and older
  • Bring completed CDC vaccination card to your 2nd dose appointment

While SF State is hosting this vaccination site, it does not play any role in the distribution or availability of the vaccine. Any questions regarding vaccine eligibility should be directed to Safeway.

Stay well,
Thank you.

Ingrid C. Williams
Associate Vice President, Human Resources

Dear campus community,

As I look forward to welcoming more people back on campus for the Fall semester, I want to reaffirm that the University, in consultation with the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH), is making every effort to ensure the health and well-being of the campus community.

I know, though, that questions remain about how we are keeping the campus community safe during this Delta-driven surge in COVID-19. Here is a recap of our actions and what’s to come.

COVID-19 vaccination interim policy

We have been assured that a campus can open safely with a high vaccination rate (along with COVID-19 testing and mandatory face coverings). Vaccinations remain our greatest weapon against COVID-19. No vaccine is 100% effective, but the COVID-19 vaccines continue to show great strength in reducing transmission and minimizing the severity of the disease.

That’s why last week, the University sent notices regarding the COVID-19 Vaccination Interim Policy. This policy went into effect immediately for all students and non-represented employees, including administrators, confidential employees, other non-represented employees and auxiliary employees, to provide proof of vaccination or participate in a campus testing program as a result of a religious or medical exemption. 

SF State is requiring all students resuming in-person classes or campus activities upload proof of vaccination. Students who don’t upload proof and don’t have exemptions will not be allowed to move into residence halls or remain enrolled in an in-person class. They will be dropped from in-person classes the week of August 16 and redirected to online options. Requests for vaccine exemptions are less than 1%. We will easily exceed the 90% vaccination rate for students that health experts suggested.

Represented faculty and staff are encouraged to voluntarily upload their proof of COVID-19 vaccination; however, the California State University (CSU) is in the process of meet and confer with our unions before the interim policy can be implemented. For CSUEU, their employees have agreed to mandatory testing for staff who do not submit proof of vaccination.

Testing and contact tracing

For the small number of people who are unvaccinated and undergo regular testing, we have a third-party COVID-19 testing vendor that can test samples within 24 hours. SF State also has a team of contact tracers who will identify those who have been in close contact with someone infected by COVID-19 (defined by the CDC as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes within a 24-hour period).

Accommodations will be made for those infected with COVID-19 as well as for anyone determined to be in close contact with someone infected with COVID-19 to ensure that they are not present on campus while they are or may be ill. Accommodations may include, but are not limited to, participating in classes remotely, working remotely or taking leave until it is deemed safe for the individual to return.

Employees should contact Human Resources if there are questions about what options may be available. Students should contact Dean on Call.

Reduced capacity and personal protective equipment

As we return to campus this Fall, we are doing so in a way that allows for reduced contact: only half of our students will be returning for in-person classes, many faculty members are teaching remotely and most staff are on campus 2-3 days per week.

The University is also providing personal protective equipment (PPE) items such as multi-layered face coverings, gloves, hand sanitizers, disinfecting wipes, plastic face shields and more.

Mask mandate

At SF State, we never lifted the indoor face covering mandate. Bay Area counties recently announced they will now also require face coverings indoors, which is reassuring.

We are an academic community driven by a passion for knowledge and confidence in science. We are not where we were in 2020. We have vaccines, we can test and contact trace and we know more about how face coverings reduce the transmission of the virus. Last week, I had an opportunity to thank all those who have been working on campus these last 17 months. It was wonderful to see so many people! I look forward to welcoming more staff and faculty back next week and welcoming our residential life students the following week.

I’m also excited to start our academic year officially at Opening Convocation on August 18 that we will livestream on the Academic Senate webpage. The event will be held in McKenna Theatre for those who want to attend in person.

Please check our Campus Comeback website regularly for the latest updates and other ways we are keeping our campus safe. As I look at our return, I can’t think of any other university I would rather be at than ours.

Best,

President Lynn Mahoney Signature

Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.
President

Dear students,

The fall semester is fast approaching and we know we will have a safer campus if we Prepare Together. At San Francisco State University, part of preparing together entails collecting proof of COVID vaccinations which are now required by the CSU. Only students who comply with the policy will be allowed to enroll in in-person classes or participate in campus activities at SF State. Others will be required to continue studying remotely.

Students who are returning to campus this fall for any reason are required to upload proof of COVID vaccination or submit an exemption request (for medical or religious reasons) by August 13, 2021. Students who upload by the deadline are eligible to win one of several great prizes, including tuition reimbursements, gift cards and tablets (see below for more details).

Visit MyHealth to begin the process of uploading your proof of COVID vaccination or request an exemption.

If you have already provided University Housing or Athletics with proof of COVID vaccination, that information will be securely uploaded to MyHealth. However, you can speed up the process and ensure your place in the drawing if you resubmit your records in MyHealth.

Your privacy is important to us. The MyHealth system follows HIPAA standards for protecting personal health information.

Those who have not submitted proof of at least partial COVID vaccination or an exemption request by August 13, 2021 will be dropped from their face to face classes. They will then need to select online course options. Students who submit partial COVID vaccination records by the deadline must upload proof of full COVID vaccination by September 10, 2021 and participate in weekly COVID-19 testing from the week of August 23 through September 24, 2021, or until fully vaccinated (two weeks after second dose of Pfizer or Moderna or after first dose of Johnson and Johnson). Students planning on a spring return, when we expect that the majority of our classes will be in-person, will be required to comply later this semester.

If we Prepare Together, we can continue to keep our campus community safe and healthy this fall.

Stay well,

Roger Razzari Elrod

Director, SF State Student Health Services

P.S. Opportunity drawing prizes include –

  • 2 SF State semester tuition reimbursements (worth $3,700 each)!
  • 8 SF State tuition reimbursements (worth $1,000 each)
  • 64 online gift cards (worth $100 each)
  • 6 smart tablets (10.2 inch, 128 GB with Wi-Fi)

The opportunity drawing will take place on Friday, August 27th.

Dear campus community,

The health and safety of our communities remain the CSU’s and SF State’s highest priorities. Given the significant increase in Delta variant COVID-19 cases across the state and recognizing how vulnerable the unvaccinated are, the CSU announced today that it is moving forward immediately with its requirement that all employees and students who will be returning to campuses for the fall semester be vaccinated (allowing for medical and religious exemptions). Given what I have heard over the last few weeks, I know that this will come as a relief to many.

SF State will start by implementing the requirement for all management personnel (MPP), confidential employees (C99), unrepresented employees, and students.  These groups will be required to upload their proof of vaccination or request a medical or religious exemption by August 13. Those who qualify for exemptions will be required to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing on campus effective August 23. I am grateful to our residential students who have already complied with the vaccine requirement.

Our collective bargaining agreements require that the CSU meet and confer with our unions before implementing a mandatory vaccine requirement for represented staff and faculty. In the meantime, faculty and staff will be asked to voluntarily upload their proof of vaccination or request for an exemption. I am very grateful to the CSUEU and their members who have already agreed to mandatory COVID-19 testing for staff who do not submit proof of vaccination and for those approved for exemptions. Other represented staff and faculty who do not voluntarily submit proof of vaccination by August 13 may be required to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing on campus effective August 23.

Late last week all students were asked to voluntarily upload their proof of vaccination. Within the first few hours, over 1000 students submitted them voluntarily, and we now have received 2300 uploads. And, as I recently shared, the overwhelming majority of our residential students have submitted proof of vaccination with less than 1% requesting exemptions. Employees will receive emails later this week with instructions on uploading proof of vaccination.

If you have questions, please review the Prepare Together website, where you may find information on locating vaccine appointments. Students may submit questions by emailing health@sfsu.edu. Employees with questions should email Human Resources hrwww@sfsu.edu

Your privacy is important to us. The MyHealth vaccine verification system we are using follows HIPAA standards.

Remember – Immunity is Community…and we know that the vaccination is the best defense against serious COVID-19 illness. As a campus, let’s all continue to take good care of one another and “Prepare Together” by remembering to:

•    Wear face coverings when indoors with others on campus,
•    Wash our hands frequently, 
•    Stay home when not feeling well, and of course,
•    Get vaccinated!

Thank you to all who have written me or contacted others to provide their support for a vaccinated campus. I have every confidence that SF State will quickly become a fully vaccinated campus.

Best,

President Lynn Mahoney Signature

Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.
President

Hello Gators, 

We are looking forward to welcoming many of you back on campus for Fall 2021! Our health as a campus relies on all of us getting vaccinated (allowing for medical or religious exceptions). The recent surge in COVID-19 cases is being driven by unvaccinated people; 97-99% of cases being reported regionally are among the unvaccinated. The vaccination reduces the severity of COVID-19 should you become infected. Most importantly, getting vaccinated protects the health and safety of your entire community of family and friends. Remember – Immunity is Community!

As outlined in President Mahoney’s most recent message to the campus community, students participating in and/or returning to campus for face-to-face instruction/operations will be tested for the virus that causes COVID-19 weekly throughout the semester, unless they submit proof of vaccination.

All students who upload proof of completed COVID-19 vaccination by Friday, August 13, 2021 will automatically be entered for one of several great prizes. We are giving away:

  • 2 SF State semester tuition reimbursements (worth $3,700 each)!

  • 8 SF State tuition reimbursements (worth $1,000 each)

  • 64 online gift cards (worth $100 each)

  • 6 smart tablets (10.2 inch, 128 GB with Wi-Fi)

The opportunity drawing will take place on Friday, August 27th. Again, students who upload proof of completed COVID-19 vaccination by August 13th will be exempt from the weekly testing requirement.

Click MyHealth to review the process for uploading your proof of vaccination or to request an exemption. If you have already provided University Housing or Athletics with proof of vaccination, that information will be securely uploaded to MyHealth. However, you can speed up that process (and be entered into the opportunity drawing described above!) if you go ahead and resubmit your records in MyHealth.

Your privacy is important to us! The MyHealth system follows HIPAA standards. Your COVID-19 vaccination status is confidential and will be used to exempt you from weekly testing; it will not be shared with others.

Meanwhile, let’s all continue to take good care of one another and “Prepare Together” by remembering to:

  • Wear face coverings when indoors with others on campus,

  • Wash our hands frequently,

  • Stay home when not feeling well, and of course,

  • Get vaccinated!

Stay well,

Roger Razzari Elrod
Director, Student Health Services 
San Francisco State University

Dear campus community,

Summers always seem to move more quickly than other seasons, but this summer seems to be moving even faster than usual. I was struck last week by the uptick in activity on campus heralding our return in just a matter of weeks. Like many of you, I am incredibly excited about seeing students on campus. And I have enjoyed seeing colleagues in person since opening the Office of the President in early June. But, also like many of you, the news about stalling vaccination rates and the spread of the Delta variant worries me. I write today to provide an update on the work being done to ensure a safe return to campus.

The Bay Area continues to enjoy among the highest vaccination rates in the U.S. And, while the number of COVID cases has increased since the state reopened, our region remains safe…for those who are vaccinated! I cannot stress enough just how important vaccination is now—for personal and public health. 

Students will receive emails this week, and employees the following week, asking them to voluntarily upload their proof of vaccinations. Our residential students have already been required to upload their documentation, and I am thrilled to report that of 3400 students requested 85% complied by the due date and only 28 have requested medical or religious exemptions as of late last week. I am very confident that we will have full compliance well before the residence halls open in mid-August.  I am deeply proud of these students. Our residence halls will be very safe places thanks to them!  

Last week Pfizer announced that it is unlikely that their vaccine will receive full authorization in time for the fall semester. The CSU will not be able to implement its vaccination policy before then as it requires that a vaccine receive full FDA authorization first. We are developing an interim plan for campus safety while we await the implementation of the CSU policy. These plans will likely include mandatory weekly testing and, given new county recommendations, continued use of face coverings indoors. Those who upload documentation of having been vaccinated would be exempt from weekly testing. Given the response we have seen from our residential students and the vaccination rate for those over 18 in the Bay Area, we should have few who need weekly testing. Our goal remains unchanged—a fully vaccinated campus.

We are taking many measures to ensure the health of the campus community. We have invested in thousands of face coverings, including N95s and KN95s. We are cleaning, testing and ensuring the efficacy of our HVAC system. We have reduced campus capacity for fall by offering many online courses and allowing continued work from home. And we have more hand sanitizer than I could ever have imagined. Sadly, COVID-19 is here to stay, but with vaccines, testing, face coverings and good hygiene, we will manage it. 

Please keep an eye out for email instructions on how to upload your record of vaccination. The sooner we do this, the more securely we can return to campus. While we will be sure to send a campus email once the interim plan is confirmed, I urge all to regularly check the Prepare Together website for updates and information, including information about the availability of vaccines for you and your loved ones. There is nothing more important that we can do for one another than get vaccinated. I am grateful to live in a city and work at a University that values the collective over the individual, that understands that it is our responsibility to keep others, as well as ourselves, healthy.

I keep a basket of face coverings acquired over the last 16 months near my door. I long for the day that I can move that basket to the back of the closet.  But for now, I am proudly vaccinated and remain masked in public indoor spaces.

Please enjoy the rest of your summer.

Best,

 

President Lynn Mahoney Signature

Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.
President

Dear Students,

As we congratulate you on completing the semester, we know that many of you have been profoundly affected by the COVID-19 crisis in South Asia. Please know that you are in the thoughts of the San Francisco State University community. The faculty, staff, administrators and your fellow students at SF State are here to support you. For students in the United States, there are many direct resources we can offer:

If you would like to speak to a counselor, students located in California can access counseling from our counseling center for any reason. Appointments can be made by calling 415-338-2208:

If you are in financial crisis, please check eligibility for limited emergency funds available through the following campus resources:

Free food is available for students each week through a program run by our Associated Students:

The following resources may help if you are looking for rental apartments or housing in the San Francisco Bay Area:

Students currently unhoused or in a dangerous housing situation can find information about temporary housing on the Basic Needs website:

All of the campus services listed above are open to all enrolled SF State students. 

If you are an international student, the Office of International Programs can assist with advice about travel, as well as provide legal advising related to F-1 status.

To better assist you, we kindly ask that you take this brief survey

Every year, there are events all around the world which demonstrate the fragility life on this planet and remind us that we are all interconnected. Know that we are here to support you and help you to succeed in all circumstances. 

Sincerely,

Trey Williams
Interim Associate Vice President for Student Life & Dean of Students

Marilyn Jackson
Interim Associate Vice President for International Education

Dear colleagues,

Governor Newsom’s announcement of the state’s reopening, along with local health guidance and actions by CAL/OSHA, allow SF State to update our own current protocols for employees and students who are coming to campus.

In some cases, we will continue to observe health and safety protocols which exceed state and local requirements this summer as we prepare for our transitionary fall semester. SF State’s cautious approach over the past year has led to one of the nation’s safest campus environments during the global health crisis, and we want to ensure a healthy transition to more typical campus operations.

Updated campus health and safety protocols include:

Face coverings

SF State continues to require face coverings to be worn indoors unless an individual is in an office alone with a door that can be closed. Face coverings are not required outdoors on campus.

Physical distancing

In alignment with state and local health and CAL/OSHA guidance, physical distancing requirements have been lifted. This new guidance also removes capacity limits in campus spaces.

Personal health screening

Continued use of the personal health screenings each day when visiting campus is required. The screening may be completed in the SF State mobile appon the web and with Gator Ambassadors at campus building entrances.

Departments and offices returning to campus before August 9

Campus departments returning to work before August 9 will need appropriate administrators to submit for approval a face to face operations request form.

Health and safety training

All returning employees should complete the required health and safety training before returning to campus.

Visitors entering campus buildings

Visitors entering campus buildings must be hosted by an employee and must comply with SF State health and safety measures. Learn more about visitors and vendors coming to campus on the Buildings and Available Spaces page of the Campus Plan website.

Faculty, staff, and student meetings

For now, virtual meetings are the preferred method for conducting meetings and in-person meetings cannot be mandatory. A virtual alternative must be available for employees or students who are not attending in-person. Employees and students must comply with SF State health requirements regardless of where the meeting is held, and in-person meetings must be approved by the hosting division’s vice president.

Conferences and retreats for external groups

Hosting external groups for conferences and retreats at the main campus remains suspended.

Building access

Most buildings are currently open at least three days per week. The building access plan was designed to allow faculty and staff to come to campus over the summer while ensuring our buildings remain secure. We expect all buildings to reopen fully on August 9.

The health and safety of our campus community continues to be our top priority. Continued vigilance and cooperation along with the CSU requirement for vaccination and SF State’s plan for vaccine confirmation will allow us to continue to be a model for successful response to the pandemic and campus repopulation.

Please continue to check your email and the Campus Plan website for the latest guidance.

Jeff Wilson (he, him, his)
Vice President & CFO
Administration & Finance

Dear colleagues,

The public health landscape continues to change at a remarkably rapid pace, and I recognize the difficulty and uncertainty that this may cause. This week the governor will officially announce a dramatic reopening of the state based on the successful distribution of vaccines and rapidly declining numbers of COVID cases and hospitalizations.  The numbers for our region are particularly promising. As of last week, 79% of San Franciscans 12 and older have received at least one dose and 68% are fully vaccinated. Neighboring counties are showing equally promising numbers. This is cause for optimism and allows for a return to a somewhat more typical existence.

But what does it mean for SF State? Currently, we are waiting for guidelines from SFDPH and Cal/OSHA. As with all our planning the past 15 months, our policies will be science-based and align with SFDPH and Cal/OSHA. The pandemic planning group continues to meet weekly to monitor changes and plan for fall. Shared governance, as well as any bargaining obligations we have with our unions, makes consultation essential. Once we have the requirements and have consulted with employees and unions, we will update campus plans for fall. This may take several weeks. Please be patient and know that many are working hard to create a policy for fall semester that best supports our students and employees and aligns with public health guidelines.

We can face the return to campus with great optimism for many reasons. As the numbers above attest, the vaccination rate in the region is extremely high. The vaccines continue to show excellent results. San Francisco is averaging just one case per 100,000 residents. The CSU requirement for vaccinations and our plan to require students and employees to submit proof of vaccination will further ensure the health of our community. 

In the coming weeks, we will share the CSU and SF State’s vaccination policies and a more detailed campus plan via email and post them on the campus plan page. Until we announce our fall plan, we will continue to follow SF State’s currently established rules for the workplace. If you can, please attend and encourage your colleagues to attend one of the information sessions scheduled over the next two weeks.

I am reminded of the uncertainty we faced back in March 2020 as the public health news also changed dramatically—and always for the worse. Happily, the news now, while coming at a dizzyingly clip, is good. I remain so proud of and grateful for all that we did as a community to keep SF State and support our students’ degree progress. We are almost there!

Again, once we have details from SFDPH and Cal/OSHA and have made the necessary consultations, we will confirm how we will be interacting this fall. I wish you all a healthy and happy summer.

Best,

 

Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.
President

Dear colleagues,

The public health landscape continues to change at a remarkably rapid pace, and I recognize the difficulty and uncertainty that this may cause. This week the governor will officially announce a dramatic reopening of the state based on the successful distribution of vaccines and rapidly declining numbers of COVID cases and hospitalizations.  The numbers for our region are particularly promising. As of last week, 79% of San Franciscans 12 and older have received at least one dose and 68% are fully vaccinated. Neighboring counties are showing equally promising numbers. This is cause for optimism and allows for a return to a somewhat more typical existence.

But what does it mean for SF State? Currently, we are waiting for guidelines from SFDPH and Cal/OSHA. As with all our planning the past 15 months, our policies will be science-based and align with SFDPH and Cal/OSHA. The pandemic planning group continues to meet weekly to monitor changes and plan for fall. Shared governance, as well as any bargaining obligations we have with our unions, makes consultation essential. Once we have the requirements and have consulted with employees and unions, we will update campus plans for fall. This may take several weeks. Please be patient and know that many are working hard to create a policy for fall semester that best supports our students and employees and aligns with public health guidelines.

We can face the return to campus with great optimism for many reasons. As the numbers above attest, the vaccination rate in the region is extremely high. The vaccines continue to show excellent results. San Francisco is averaging just one case per 100,000 residents. The CSU requirement for vaccinations and our plan to require students and employees to submit proof of vaccination will further ensure the health of our community. 

In the coming weeks, we will share the CSU and SF State’s vaccination policies and a more detailed campus plan via email and post them on the campus plan page. Until we announce our fall plan, we will continue to follow SF State’s currently established rules for the workplace. If you can, please attend and encourage your colleagues to attend one of the information sessions scheduled over the next two weeks.

I am reminded of the uncertainty we faced back in March 2020 as the public health news also changed dramatically—and always for the worse. Happily, the news now, while coming at a dizzyingly clip, is good. I remain so proud of and grateful for all that we did as a community to keep SF State and support our students’ degree progress. We are almost there!

Again, once we have details from SFDPH and Cal/OSHA and have made the necessary consultations, we will confirm how we will be interacting this fall. I wish you all a healthy and happy summer.

Best,

 

Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.
President

Hello Staff and Administrators:

Over the last several weeks, we have received information about fall return-to-campus.   I understand that many of you feel that the University has not been communicating enough with staff and administrators about the campus plans.  Given the rapidly changing guidance of federal, state and local agencies involving the pandemic, we have been reluctant to send out information that we know would be changing by the day and/or hour.  With that being said, we want to communicate timely, effectively, and thoroughly, as we prepare for the transition of our students and employees returning to campus life.  In addition, we will re-start the monthly staff forums, much as we did last fall.

While we prepare for our students, faculty and staff to return to campus, we are doing so two-fold:  a) with health and safety as a continued priority  to keep our students and employees safe and b) with an understanding that COVID-19 has impacted the lives of our community in many different ways and this transition semester is necessary.  Thus, we want to provide you with the latest information on the following:

  • Phased Return to Campus Work:  Under a phased approach, administrators are preparing for a campus return for their staff and for themselves.  In doing so, they will be required to undergo a 3-Step process which includes a) completing required trainings, b) preparing the workspace by assessing the work area, and c) communicating with their employees in a timely manner.  All steps are required for preparation for summer and fall return to campus.  Employees may be contacted by their appropriate administrators as they work through their departmental plans.
  • Training:  For all employees returning to campus, they are required to complete the Mandatory COVID-19 Training: “SF State: Working Safely During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Administrators will also be required to complete an additional training: “Managing through COVID-19.   The required trainings will be accessible through CSU Learn. Appropriate administrators will be able to review the completed trainings for their staff via CSU  Learn.  Contact sfehs@sfsu.edu for questions or technical support.
  • On-Site and Hybrid Work:  As President Mahoney mentioned in her letter dated April 5thFrom the President: Preparing for a Safe Return to Campusstaff and administrators are expected to be on-site 2-3 days/per week based on organizational need and to support our students and employees who will be working on-site.  In some cases, staff and administrators may need to be on-site daily, depending on departmental and campus needs. Please understand that this is not a “one size fits all” but a transition approach in the best interests of SF State. If there are reasons that employees are unable to return to work on the days expected due to medical reasons and may need accommodations, please contact Disability Programs & Resource Center(DPRC) for further information.
  • Telecommuting:  The University is currently working on an updated Telecommuting Policy and Agreement that will eventually go through the meet and confer process with our labor unions. However, as we did last March 2020, many staff and administrators completed temporary telecommuting agreements. Appropriate administrators must ensure that work arrangements are documented with a new temporary telecommuting agreement and work schedule.   The Work Plan document is also attached for reference.
  • Vaccination Requirement:  As Chancellor Castro announced, the CSU system will require students, faculty and staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19 before the start of the fall semester.  The CSU will be meeting with the labor unions over a Vaccination Policy. We will provide updated information on timing of vaccination requirements; how students, faculty, and staff will verify that they have been vaccinated; and the exemptions process once it becomes available.  While we wait to provide more information, we strongly encourage everyone who is able to get vaccinated to do so as soon as possible.  For employees who may be unable to get vaccinated for religious or medical reasons, SF State is reviewing information for mandatory testing requirements or protocols available on campus in the interests of keeping all employees safe.
  • Mental Health Support:  This past year has been hard on students, employees and their families, and lingering concerns continue to affect many people and contribute to feelings of uncertainty. Everyone should pay attention to how they are impacted and work to actively care for their mental health in addition to physical health.  Employees have a number of resources available through the Employee Assistance Program, including emotional support and counseling. The MyLifeMatters service also has a special hub of COVID-19 resource topics including supporting at-home children, financial stress and stability, caring for older adults, working remotely, and more.
  • Transportation to Campus:  The University is working with SFMTA to provide Muni services to the Campus in the fall term. We are currently discussing alternative shuttle services in the event the M line is not operational for fall. More updates will be available later in the summer. BART continues to offer service throughout the entire BART system.
  • Parking: Parking remains available on campus in all lots, pursuant to established parking fees or semester passes.
  • Campus Services:  Beginning in fall, University services, including most dining venues, the printshop, etc.  will be open and available to students and employees.

Additional information will be posted on the main Campus Plan: A Phased Return website.

Thank you for your continued patience and understanding. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Regards,

Ingrid

Dear campus community,

In just the few weeks since I last communicated with you, the health news in the Bay Area and across the state has much improved. I write today with the good news that, as a result, we can expect a more robust fall. The ready availability of vaccines for those 12 and older and the CSU commitment to requiring vaccination for Fall 2021 campus access means we will be able to offer more in-person courses and more campus activities, including access to the Mashouf Wellness Center, the Cesar Chavez Student Center and the J. Paul Leonard Library. 

We will welcome back more than 3000 residential students, while continuing to serve those students who want to study remotely in fall. Where possible, we are developing hybrid approaches to campus staffing which will provide better services in the post-pandemic world. All students and employees who do not qualify for an exemption will be required to get vaccinated. Given our heightened commitment to health and safety, we are planning to require verification of vaccination.

I am deeply grateful to department chairs, deans’ offices and Academic Affairs for the work done to create a schedule of courses for the fall which will provide students with options to study remotely or enjoy a combination of in-person and remote courses. Our surveys of students, as well as a recent piece in the Golden Gate Express, demonstrate that many want a fall semester that includes a mix of in-person and remote classes. Our new schedule allows for that, particularly for our newest Gators who expressed the greatest interest in being on campus. Please remember that fall is a transitionary semester and our goal will be to offer an in-person spring semester more typical of pre-pandemic semesters.

Associated Students (AS) and Student Affairs and Enrollment Management (SAEM) teams are hard at work to ensure that those studying on campus or returning to live in San Francisco enjoy as rich a campus life as public health guidelines allow. Current plans include opening the Cesar Chavez Student Center and the Mashouf Wellness Center (MWC) on August 23. Use of MWC will be driven by San Francisco Department of Public Health requirements at that time. Associated Students also plan to host modified hours for their centers: Women’s Center, Legal Resource Center, Environmental Resource Center, Richard Oakes Multicultural Center, Project Connect, Project Rebound, Queer Trans Resource Center and EROS. Many of our eateries and other retail services around the campus, including the bookstore and snack shops, will open to serve the campus community.

We can also look forward to welcoming one another back in person! GatorFest! will kick off in August, and it will be bigger than ever with eight weeks of activities for new and returning students. There will be more events and programming this year – offered in person, virtually, and through hybrid modalities to support students regardless of where they will be studying this fall. GatorFest! will include opportunities for students to engage with the faculty, staff, each other and the AS family. We will also make use of our beautiful campus to allow students to gather outside safely for activities on the Quad, on West Campus Green, and on other large outdoor spaces. 

Academic spaces such as the J. Paul Leonard Library, academic buildings and classroom spaces will all be open. We will continue to work hard to ensure that these spaces are healthy and safe. Hand sanitizing stations will be readily available, and hybrid work and continued remote instruction will ensure a less dense campus. We will continue to work with SFDPH on the most current safety requirements. We will update you via email and the website as the situation evolves and new guidelines are confirmed.

Just as our rapid turn to remote learning and working was challenging, so will be our gradual return to campus. All have suffered some form of trauma this year whether affected personally by COVID-19 or its economic consequences or by the effects of prolonged isolation. Many in our communities have also suffered from the pandemic of white supremacy that we continue to wrestle with as a country and a region. Coming back together will have its challenges but is also necessary—our students’ success requires it and our robustness as a university campus requires it. I ask that you be patient with me, with the University and with one another as we focus on rebuilding and coming back better.

I conclude by urging all who do not qualify for medical or religious exceptions to get vaccinated as quickly as possible. Across the state, supplies have opened up and in many places, appointments are no longer needed. Please review California’s COVID-19 site for information.

I look forward to seeing you all!

Best,

 

Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.
President

Dear campus community,

As you may have heard, the California State University, in tandem with the University of California, announced today that COVID-19 vaccines will be required for students and employees returning to CSU  campuses. This requirement will be conditioned upon full approval of one or more vaccines by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as adequate availability of the fully approved vaccines. This requirement will become effective at the beginning of the fall 2021 term, or upon full FDA approval of the vaccine, whichever occurs later.  

The CSU  will be engaging in discussions with the California State Student Association, the CSU Academic Senate and labor unions before implementing changes to existing immunization requirements, and the requirement will allow students and employees to apply for exemptions for medical or religious reasons. 

The CDC has determined that all approved U.S. vaccines are safe and effective at preventing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting from severe illness. Millions of people in the U.S. have received COVID-19 vaccines under the most intense safety monitoring in the history of the nation. A vaccinated population provides the surest route to vibrant campuses, thriving communities and a robust economy. Evidence continues to accumulate that this lengthy pandemic and resulting social isolation are taking a toll on many, especially our students. Across the country, higher ed has seen reductions in new student enrollment and in retention—and sadly, as with the pandemic itself, this decline is disproportionately impacting BIPOC students. It is imperative that we avail ourselves of every health measure we have at our disposal to bring students back to campus.

The decision by the CSU  echoes much of what we are hearing at SF State. Over the past few weeks, we have surveyed our faculty, staff, students and administrators—the overwhelming majority expressed ongoing concerns for health and a commitment to get vaccinated. In the many conversations that we have had with students and colleagues, many expressed support for a mandatory vaccine requirement.  In fact, our students and the California State Student Association have been very vocal in their support for this requirement.

For our students who are unable to or concerned about a return to campus in the fall, we continue to plan for flexibility in our schedule, offering in-person and virtual learning options where possible during this transitionary semester. We will also continue to allow flexibility for employees as University operations allow.

While we await details about implementation from the CSU , we will continue to provide information about access to vaccinations. We also hope to continue providing access to vaccinations on campus. I know that this new CSU  policy will generate many questions. I ask for your patience. While this is complicated and implementation will require a good deal of work, I am deeply proud that the CSU  continues to play a leadership role in making bold public health decisions in support of students.  

I am hopeful that this news along with a continued commitment to health and safety protocols will increase comfort levels as we think about and continue planning for our return to campus. Our students need us, and we need one another.

Best,

 

Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.
President

Dear colleagues,

Recent weeks have brought good news as the vaccine rollout continues to gain momentum and Bay Area counties have seen significant declines in new COVID-19 infections. Health officials urge continued caution and safety measures, though, as we navigate the last months of the pandemic.

We recently surveyed all staff to assess their satisfaction with and the effectiveness of remote work to guide our planning for fall when we expect an increased number of in-person courses and experiences. The results provide many insights, including that the majority of staff members want to return to campus at least some of the time in the fall with appropriate public health measures in place. 

The fall will be a transitional semester with significantly more in-person classes in addition to many remote options for our students. Given the need to support a greater number of in-person classes and operations, we anticipate that most staff will return to work in a hybrid model, with a balance of in-person and remote work to be determined by supervisors. As always, the university remains committed to providing a safe work environment, following the highest levels of public health directives.

Discussions have already begun to identify which services and staff will be needed to support the increased number of students and employees who will be returning to campus. We expect that most staff will need to be on campus 2-3 days per week. To reduce the number of people on campus at any given time and allow for physical distancing, we are building flexibility into our planning while prioritizing safety and the need to serve our students at the level they need and deserve. Vice presidents will work with supervisors in the coming weeks and months to plan for in-person staffing levels and how to accomplish them safely in our various workspaces.

Throughout the pandemic, we have placed the safety of our campus community at the forefront of our decision making, and I am proud of our successes. San Francisco State University will continue to be a safe place as we transition to greater in-person learning, work and other experiences. We will continue to diligently follow San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) guidance, including observing the public health mitigations that have kept those working and living on campus this past year safe:

  • Physical distancing 
  • Observing maximum occupancy guidelines
  • Face coverings
  • Enhanced cleaning
  • Availability of personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Broad availability of hand sanitizer and other supplies
  • Health screenings for individuals who are interacting with others
  • Voluntary testing as necessary

Most importantly, we will encourage the entire SF State community to get vaccinated, and we will continue efforts to provide access to the vaccine. I am happy to report that effective April 15th, all of our students will be eligible for the vaccine. SFDPH has agreed to increase the number of SF State community members who get priority access at Mashouf Wellness Center. We will also provide students with information on how to access the vaccine in the California counties many live in.

I know that all are anxious to know what the fall will look like for them. Colleges and departments are working now to confirm plans for faculty, who also were surveyed recently as were students. For staff and administrators, our goal for fall is to confirm preliminary plans by June 1 and begin notifying employees of the framework for in-person staffing so they will have time to plan appropriately. Please note, though, that staffing needs will be reassessed on an ongoing basis as the health situation develops, increasing numbers of students arrive on campus and as SFDPH rules allow. 

Many of our staff colleagues have continued to work on campus over the past several months. I remain grateful for their work—we will return to a healthy and beautiful campus thanks to their efforts. I remain inspired by the work of all staff, faculty and administrators this past year.  As I reviewed the results of the staff survey, I was struck, yet again, by our staff’s commitment to the University and its students. Despite the uncertainties at the time the survey was distributed, more than half indicated their desire to return to campus--even before vaccinations were widely available.

I know how hard our transition to remote teaching and working was and how difficult even a gradual return to campus will be. I thanked you for your patience last spring. I thank you in advance for your patience again as we work through this transitionary period. With the growing availability of vaccines for all adults and our long-term commitment to educational equity and our students, I have every confidence that we will have as robust a campus experience as we safely can in the fall. And even better days await us.

Best,

 

Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.
President

Dear campus community,

I write as we mark the one-year anniversary of teaching, learning and working mostly remotely. There is no way that I could have ever imagined this milestone when we announced on March 9th a suspension of in-person classes and – shortly after that – a call for shelter-in-place that would leave most of us working from home. In some ways, I still cannot believe what we have accomplished — and lost — over the last twelve months.

By any standard, the last year has been hard. I think particularly of those in the SF State family who have been sick or lost loved ones to COVID-19 and those for whom the economic toll of the pandemic has been painful. But I also think about all of us who have not been able to spend time with family and friends, who are living in isolation, who must balance work and caregiving roles, who have missed weddings and graduations and who miss the daily markers of a socially engaged life. But as I write this, I am optimistic. All SF State employees, including student assistants, are now eligible for the vaccine, and here in the Bay Area and across the state, the vaccine is increasingly available. President Biden has announced a goal of producing enough vaccines for all adults in the U.S. by the end of May. And, locally, experts from the University of California believe all University employees and students will have an opportunity to be vaccinated by June. This heralds well for the fall.

The growing availability of vaccines, the anticipated restoration of this year’s state budget cuts and the considerable investment of federal one-time funds for higher ed fills me with optimism. While much still remains unknown about fall 2021, I want to share our current planning assumptions. In the midst of a raging pandemic, our plans last spring and fall were driven solely by public health. As we pull ourselves out of this crisis and plan for the future, we need to balance multiple priorities:

  • The continued health of our community
  • Our educational mission—the impact of many months of remote learning on students
  • Our role as an engine of educational equity as students decline to attend or stop out
  • The mental health of our students
  • Our institutional health as students decline to attend and enrollments decline
  • And, the social fabric of our community as we continue to work in isolation

Just months ago, the state and CSU  budget looked dire, and we were in the midst of what I described at a recent open forum as budget armageddon. Last month’s surprise news about restoring the 2020-21 state budget allows us now to entirely rethink our planning. We are joyful that there will be no furloughs, no layoffs, and no additional draconian budget cuts. But our enrollments remain volatile, and we may see smaller pandemic-driven enrollments in fall. The picture will be clearer by summer. But with the help of one-time federal funds, used in compliance with federal regulations, we can bridge a more modest University deficit and help Academic Affairs develop a multi-year strategy to bridge their budget gap. We are not talking about austerity but about making incremental changes in how we use our resources, how we schedule our classes and how we align our instructional budget with our enrollments.

We all share the same priority--supporting our students by providing them with the classes and services they need to succeed and graduate by rebuilding our staff and by hiring faculty that meet our institutional commitments to equity and inclusion. By working hard, together, to retain continuing students and implement a strategic enrollment management plan to attract new students, we can build to a stronger future. I promise.

Our immediate focus is on fall semester. We have surveyed faculty. We have surveyed students. We have held Listening Sessions primarily composed of staff. And we have surveyed staff about fall 2021 planning.  Fall will certainly be a transitionary semester. Our goal remains unchanged—bring back as many students, and the faculty and staff needed to serve them, as we safely can. The data collected to date suggests that the majority of the University community, including continuing students, would prefer to remain remote or work partially on campus and partially remote. We will continue to listen to all of you and work with the San Francisco Department of Public Health to develop concrete plans for fall. Please bear with us—and continue to share your concerns and suggestions—as we work through the many complexities involved. We will soon update our Campus Plan information. A schedule of in-person classes for fall will be finalized in early May. Please keep an eye on the website for additional details as they become available.

On March 6, 2020, I attended our last large University event. Over 300 students, faculty, staff and administrators joined me in the Annex to have a conversation about our role as the City’s University and to chart a path toward strengthening that role. Yes, the pandemic threw us all an unexpected challenge. But our role and our future remain unchanged. We are The City’s University. We are key to the recovery of the city and the region. And we are well poised to meet that promise. So, as with the last year, buckle your belts. The path will be bumpy. But with our eyes on the horizon, we will get there.

Best,

 

Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.
President

Dear campus community member,

The San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) – in partnership with Safeway – continues to operate a COVID-19 vaccine clinic two days per week at the Mashouf Wellness Center. The site is by appointment only, and to make an appointment, you must meet current SFDPH guidelines.

Given the current operational protocols Safeway is following, they do not expect to have additional vaccines available each day. There is no need to come and wait in line for any remaining vaccines at this time. In the unlikely event there are additional vaccines at the end of the day, they will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, as outlined by county guidelines.

As vaccine distribution efforts are ever-evolving, San Francisco State will no longer send regular email updates. Additional information will be posted as it becomes available to the Campus Plan vaccine website. The City of San Francisco offers you the option to sign up for notification when you become eligible for the vaccine.

When you become eligible to receive your vaccination, you must verify your identity, age, residence and or place of work. When coming for your scheduled appointment, please bring your driver’s license, Medicare Part B or other prescription and medical insurance cards if you have them. Please be aware that the protocols around vaccination distribution continue to evolve, as does the availability of vaccine supply. While the University is hosting this vaccination site, it does not play any role in the distribution or availability of the vaccine. Any questions regarding vaccine eligibility should be directed to SFDPH.

SFDPH offers information about the COVID-19 vaccine. Current information about vaccine availability in the City is also available on San Francisco’s government website.

Stay well,

Ingrid C. Williams/Associate Vice President of Human Resources

Dear Campus Community,

I’m pleased to announce that the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) – in partnership with Safeway – is offering the COVID-19 vaccine to eligible populations on campus at San Francisco State University.  Currently, SFDPH is prioritizing vaccinations for individuals in specific age groups who also live and/or work in San Francisco.  SF State students and employees who meet the criteria are being notified by individual emails of the availability of the vaccine on campus.

Please note that while SF State is hosting the vaccination site, it is not responsible for determining eligibility.  Any questions regarding vaccine eligibility should be directed to SFDPH.  As SFDPH schedules additional vaccination dates, eligible SF State employees and students that meet criteria that SFDPH has identified will be notified by email.

Appointments are required, and daily registrations are limited.  When you become eligible to receive your vaccination, you must verify your identity, age, residence and/or affiliation with SF State.  Please bring your driver’s license, Medicare Part B or other prescription and medical insurance card if you have them, and your SF State ID with you to your appointment.  Please be aware that the protocols around vaccination distribution continue to evolve, as does the availability of vaccine supply.  While the University is hosting this vaccination site, it does not play any role in the distribution or availability of the vaccine.

SFDPH offers information about the COVID-19 vaccine. Current information about vaccine availability in the City is also available on San Francisco’s government website.

Take good care and stay well,

Roger Razzari Elrod

Director, SF State Student Health Services

Dear Campus Community,

Throughout this year of pandemic, SF State students, faculty, staff, and administrators have demonstrated remarkable commitment to the common good. In the vision of the common good, there is a collective space where intentionally working together will foster the best possible results for us individually and collectively. The impact of our cumulative efforts to date in limiting transmission of COVID-19 has been amazing. Thank you for your commitment and your cooperation.

While a rest may well be deserved, we are not done. The course of this challenge still stretches some distance in front of us. Rates of COVID-19 in our surrounding community remain extremely high, particularly in communities of color, and new variants may foster increased transmission. Vaccines are coming, but if we don’t persist in doing what we have done so well to date, then we will see increased illness and even deaths before vaccines can make a positive impact. So, please continue:

  • Wearing face coverings
  • Maintaining physical distancing
  • Limiting non-essential travel
  • Staying home when sick

Let’s honor the heroic efforts of those on the front line of this pandemic by continuing to do all we can to prevent transmission. Hopefully by summer we will have gained significant ground, and there will be an opportunity for some rest. But until county, state, and federal health authorities indicate the corner has been turned, let’s resolve to stay the course in our prevention efforts. Let’s persist, for the Common Good.

Individual and community health are SF State’s top priorities. Take good care of yourself and one another.

Stay well,

Roger Razzari Elrod

Director, SF State Student Health Services

 

More COVID-19 Resources:

COVID-19 Testing Options in San Francisco

Get Notified When You’re Eligible for the COVID-19 Vaccine

Add Your Phone to California’s Exposure Notification System

Dear campus community,

Yesterday, the California State University announced the anticipated return to primarily in-person instruction in fall of 2021. This announcement was made to provide current and future students and their families with assurances that the CSU  is and will continue to work diligently on the health protocols needed for a safe return to campuses in fall and to allow all more time to plan. 

Despite increased restrictions due to the current surge in cases, recent news about COVID-19 vaccine development allows us to begin to plan for this step. In addition, the CSU  recently extended the fall application deadline for first-time freshman and transfer student admission to December 15 to allow students additional time to submit application materials.

As always, the health and safety of our campus community will be our top priority. Throughout the pandemic, we have lived in a rapidly-changing environment, and we don’t have enough information yet to make an informed decision about Summer 2021 instruction. Obviously, our ultimate goal is a safe return to fully-normal operations, but our campus planning work will continue to be driven by science and the guidance of public health experts.

I am grateful to our faculty, staff and administrators who are working diligently to make the college experience the best it can be as our students continue their progress to degree.

The prospect of a partial return to normalcy is tremendous news and cause for great optimism. Brighter days lie ahead of us, but we must continue to be vigilant and careful to ensure that we all reach those days safely. Recent changes to local and state health guidance had minimal impact on our already-cautious approach to in-person, on-campus experiences, but we can give one another the gift of good health by continuing to follow the guidance of health experts and also by enrolling in California’s recently-launched statewide exposure notification system.  

More updates will be provided as the situation becomes clearer in the coming weeks and months. In the meantime, stay safe and look forward to the days when we may safely return to campus together.

Best,

 

Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.
President

Dear campus community,

In less than two weeks, San Francisco has moved from the yellow tier (lowest) of COVID-19 risk levels to the purple tier (highest) of risk levels, and Bay Area counties are voluntarily implementing the State’s Regional Stay at Home order to significantly reduce gatherings and additional activities in an effort to stabilize COVID-19. To date, SF State’s cautious approach to the pandemic has resulted in no widespread campus infections, and our limited on-campus operations will continue as planned. However, in the last week we have seen an increase in the number of reported cases on campus. As a community, we must remain vigilant in our efforts to mitigate the risks of infections.

Most members of the SF State community who have come to campus have complied with the health and safety measures required by the campus and local health department. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated!

However, due to the alarming increase in cases locally and nationally as well as some reports of a lack of regard for the health and safety measures required by the campus and local health department, the campus must immediately implement a framework to promote full compliance with the campus’ required health and safety measures.

The most important thing to do is to know and practice the requirements whenever you are on campus for face-to-face instruction and operations:

  • COVID-19 online training
  • Daily screening
  • Face coverings
  • Social distancing
  • Cleaning
  • Testing
  • Reporting and contact tracing
  • Self-isolation and quarantine

 

Contact Tracing

If a member of the campus community is contacted by the campus’ COVID-19 Response Team or by the San Francisco Department of Public Health’s Contact Tracing team, every effort should be made to collaborate immediately and thoroughly. It is our responsibility as community members to mitigate further spread for campus-related cases. Your cooperation is a legal requirement per state and county health orders.

 

Compliance Framework

SF State takes seriously all reports of possible violations of the campus’ health and safety requirements and all students, faculty, and staff are subject to appropriate reminders, warnings, and discipline for failure to comply with these requirements.

 

The preferred method to correct non-compliance with health and safety measures is a respectful reminder between campus community members. It is possible that someone forgot to put on their face covering. In this case, direct but respectful reminders are the best remedy. If reminders do not work, community members should contact their supervisors, in the case of employees, or the Dean of Students for students. Supervisors and the Dean of Students may be able to address incidents of non-compliance before they are reported.

 

Obvious and continual disregard for the campus’ COVID-19 health and safety requirements may be reported using an online survey. This survey will allow community members to report incidents of non-compliance that they feel threaten the health and safety of the campus community.

 

Principles:

  • SF State is committed to working toward racial equality and to preventing profiling of underrepresented populations. As such, we will not investigate reports that identify individuals solely or primarily by race, ethnicity, religion, or (presumed) language. Moreover, complaints lacking sufficient information may not be investigated.
  • Reported incidents for students will be directed to the Dean of Students.
  • Reported incidents for faculty will be directed to the Associate Vice President for Faculty Affairs and Professional Development who may direct reports to the faculty member’s Dean.
  • Reported incidents for staff and administrators will be directed to the Associate Vice President for Human Resources who may direct reports to the employee’s supervisor.
  • Matters of student or employee discipline are confidential.
  • Children and other guests are not allowed to be on-site with employees while at work. 
  • Submissions are not monitored in real time.
  • If you are reporting an on-campus emergency or a situation that needs immediate attention, please contact the University Police Department at (415) 338-2222.

Report non-compliance with campus COVID-19 health and safety requirements.

Thank you again for all you are doing to keep our community safe.

Sincerely,

Jeff Wilson

Interim Vice President and CFO

Administration and Finance

Dear campus community,

The California State University once again leads the country in making the right decision about Spring semester and making it early. But for many of us that now means we have to prepare for even more months of the “New Now.” Late last week, I sent a video message to our students. I know that the news of a remote Spring deeply affected them. In the days after that announcement was made, I received numerous emails and read dozens of social media posts. People expressed their anxieties, their frustrations, their anger and their relief — frustration with remote teaching and learning, anxiety about the ongoing economic impact of the pandemic, relief that the decision about spring was made early and prioritized public health — and many expressed what I would describe as an angry fatigue at the unfairness of the whole situation.

We have entered our seventh month of remote instruction. It has now been six months or longer since we saw many of our friends and families in person. We have adjusted to wearing face coverings, and we seemingly bathe in hand sanitizer. Many of our families have experienced pandemic-related tragedies of illness, death and economic devastation. The same week that the CSU  announced continued remote instruction, over 100 SF State employees were laid off, a decision I was forced to make with the heaviest of hearts. And then, with much of the state in flames, the sky turned orange and we experienced firsthand what an environmental apocalypse might look like. It was a hard, hard week.

This week, I listened to dozens of our students, staff and faculty speak at the Board of Trustees meeting asking that the CSU  protect staff from layoffs. I have never been sadder nor more proud. Sad that our budget challenges require that we make permanent budget cuts that will hurt our staff, many of whom are alumni. But I was proud to hear person after person stand up for SF State, its mission and its students. While we cannot avoid these layoffs, we can advocate together to get funding restored to the CSU  and to ward off future cuts. Additional permanent funding and enrollment growth would also allow us to hire back staff. 

In my recent video message, I told our students that I believe that this is the hardest moment in recent U.S. history as multiple troubles collide. Last Friday, for many, the moment took a darker turn with the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, a feminist icon and a leader in the fight for women’s rights. I turn to her example now as we navigate ongoing public health and environmental crises, growing economic hardship, and increasing social and political unrest and conflict. 

Many will find something in Bader Ginsburg’s writings, actions and life to help plot a course through the next few months. Her career as a litigator demonstrates how individual, incremental gains can add up to incredible change. Her work as a justice on a conservative court demonstrates the impact of dissent. Even when you don’t win, your dissent has value and power. Her judicial activism demonstrates that advocacy works. This extraordinary woman overcame great professional obstacles and leaves a nation transformed by her quiet but powerful intellect and drive. 

Like another great leader who transitioned earlier this summer, civil rights icon John Lewis, Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life reminds us that we are not powerless even in the face of great challenges. We can and will move forward, however hard the moment may feel. We can advocate together to protect the state’s greatest educational resource – the California State University. 

I conclude with observations made by RBG’s former law clerks, Abbe Gluck and Gillian Metzger, published in the New York Times on Saturday.

“Her commitments were always the same and grew ever louder. Even at the very end, she reminded us how much more work there is left to do.” 

Let our commitments to our students and to our communities remain steadfast over the next months as there is much left to do.

As always, I thank everyone for all they are doing and wish you all good health.

Best,

 

Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.
President

Dear campus community,

Chancellor Tim White today announced the California State University’s decision to continue its current learning model, relying primarily on virtual instruction, through the remainder of the 2020-21 academic year.

While this decision is no doubt disappointing to many, it has been made with the goal of keeping our campus communities healthy and safe. 

As with the fall semester, limited exceptions will be made for in-person activities that are required for students to continue their progress to degree. Academic Affairs will begin working with faculty, departments and colleges to identify these courses.

We will continue to share information and planning details as soon as they become available.

Please remain safe and healthy.

Best,

Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.
President

Dear campus community,

Welcome to Fall 2020! As I said at our Opening Convocation, this year and this semester will be unlike any others. We managed our swift transition to remote education. We planned early for a remote Fall. We will work transparently to create a financially-sustainable budget. And, with the early, brutal arrival of wildfires, we will again plan for sustaining operations as declining air quality and power outages wrack California. I know I speak for many in the Gator family in wishing the best for those impacted by recent fires. 

I have every confidence that SF State will, as it always has, meet the challenges we face this semester directly and collaboratively. Thanks to many, many weeks of planning by faculty, staff and administrators, we are as ready as we can be to ensure that our students have a good fall semester. 

This summer more than 1,200 faculty took advantage of workshops offered by the Center for Equity and Excellence in Teaching and Learning to strengthen remote teaching and learning. Staff from all units spent the summer welcoming new students, advising and registering students, preparing to support remote instruction and work, and engaging in extensive planning to keep the small number of people on campus healthy and safe. I am deeply, deeply grateful to all.

I imagine we have all wrestled with how to describe what we are going through. Period of pandemic-driven temporary restrictions? The new normal? None seem appropriate. This has gone on for far too long to be described as merely temporary. It is certainly not a new normal. While some things may never return (handshaking?!?), we will again host thousands of in-person classes, events and celebrations. So, no please, today’s circumstances can never be “normal.” They are, however, constantly shifting. Rules change from day-to-day, and businesses (and other universities) open and close and then open and close again. How do we describe this? How do we manage it?

Several weeks ago, Wendy Tobias, director of the Disability Programs and Resource Center, hit upon just the right description — the New Now. It is always new and ever-changing. It encourages us to take this moment by moment. And, most importantly, it reminds us that this is just now, not forever. We will embrace the “now” and do the best we can for our students and for one another.

It will likely be another long few weeks. As always, take care of yourself and find pleasure and joy wherever and whenever you can. Remember, good enough is in fact good enough for the New Now.

Wishing all a healthy and good fall 2020!

Best,

 

Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.
President

Dear campus community,

It seems almost impossible, but the start of the fall semester is quickly nearing. I know that for many this summer has been unimaginably busy. I want to thank all of you. Thank you to the staff, faculty and administrators who kept our campus functioning all spring and summer. Thank you to the faculty and staff who spent their summers improving remote teaching and working to best serve our students. Thank you to the many involved with planning for Fall 2020, particularly the Budget and Logistics review team who guided our decision-making process and ensured that our plans prioritized health and safety. 

We have focused our planning efforts on remote teaching and services with very few courses being offered in-person, with most services being conducted and provided remotely and with few students in residence. For the few (less than 600 students and even fewer faculty and staff) who will be on campus, we will implement a health and safety plan that includes a daily health screening, the use of face coverings, physical distancing and hand sanitizers and hand washing. 

As with all things related to the global pandemic, our plans will change and perhaps change rapidly, if protecting public health demands it. Please regularly review our Campus Plan website for details about Fall 2020. We continue working to improve our communications knowing that we can always do better. Please send your questions and suggestions to president@sfsu.edu.

Protecting our University community’s health, whether in our homes and neighborhoods or on campus, requires that we all comply with local health requirements, particularly using face coverings and practicing physical distancing. We have all seen photos where people failed to do that … and then read later about the consequences. At San Francisco State University, we pride ourselves on rising above individual needs to embrace the needs of the many and the collective good. I expect no less of us now. So, wherever you are, wear your face covering and give people distance. Demonstrate that we put the welfare of our communities at the center of all we do.

Again, I express my deepest gratitude to all who are making remote learning, teaching and working effective — particularly our students and faculty who are ensuring that we meet our core educational mission during the most challenging of times. 

I guarantee that Fall 2020 will be one for the record books and that San Francisco State will emerge as a model for protecting public health and ensuring that students continue to make progress toward the academic goals that will serve their families, communities and the city and Bay Area well.

With wishes for good health.

Best,

 

Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.
President

Dear campus community,

Over the last two weeks, I have spoken with and heard from hundreds of students, and faculty and staff. No question has weighed on me more than the one almost all ask: What is our plan for fall? In the midst of unimaginable uncertainty, we want answers, we want stability and we desperately want a return to “normal.”

I know that many universities are waiting until mid-June to make announcements about fall. But I have heard from too many people anxious to plan for fall to delay making a decision. With the health of our students and employees uppermost in my mind, I have made the very hard decision to continue with predominantly remote instruction through the fall semester.  We hope to be able to grant exceptions for a very small number of courses that require specialized in-person learning experiences and are necessary for student degree progress. We will work to accommodate students unable to participate in face-to-face instruction.

Please know that this decision is consistent with guidance issued by the California State University as a whole, as the Chancellor shared at this week’s CSU  Board of Trustees meeting. Like all CSU  campuses, we are planning for a semester that will be primarily virtual. Most academic disciplines will be exclusively virtual. We will also be prepared to go fully virtual if public health demands it.

I understand the news I share with you today will unleash a torrent of questions. Colleges, department chairs and faculty are working quickly to identify the small number of courses that may qualify for an exception. Students registered in these courses will receive detailed communications and guidance from their department chairs as soon as plans have been finalized. I will provide another update by the end of this month with additional details. I know that staff also have questions. Our goal for fall, with health and safety in mind, is to limit the number of people on campus to allow those who must be here to be here safely and allow others to continue working from home to limit their contact with others. 

While San Francisco’s mitigation efforts have been successful to date, COVID-19 will be with us for many months. Public health officials have urged us all to continue to be vigilant. We remain vulnerable until better treatments are developed, a vaccine is created and the majority of people have acquired immunity. Experts from departments of public health, medical centers and research universities anticipate that we will have a second wave of illness in the mid- to late-fall. And if history is any indicator, it could be far worse than the wave we just experienced. We must remain cautious and assiduously follow health guidelines.

At this time, the ability to increase face-to-face contact requires not just face coverings and physical distancing. Opening businesses and schools will also necessitate acquiring quantities of personal protective and sanitizing equipment. It will require frequent testing, tracing and quarantining. It will require monitoring waste systems to see if there is live virus present. And, as we saw recently with cases at the White House, even the stringent use of all these measures is no guarantee.

What makes universities unique and wonderful places also makes them uniquely vulnerable to the spread of disease — ask any faculty member who has faced a class full of coughing students in January or any student who has lived in a densely populated residence hall. We thrive on social interaction, on working huddled closely around a table, in a studio or over a microscope. Mitigating a highly contagious disease under these circumstances is near impossible and would be prohibitively expensive — at a moment in which the governor of California has announced that the state faces a $54 billion deficit and all anticipate dramatic cuts in funding to the California State University system.

Please know that I make this decision with a heavy heart. I want nothing more than for us all to stay well and be together. The COVID-19 pandemic sadly, however, does not allow us to have both … for now. I promise you that this will end and that we will all return to campus. For now, though, we will focus our attention on perfecting remote learning, teaching and working. It will not be the same, but it will be good. And we will focus on our students and their degree progress. They must earn their degrees, and we must help them.

I remain so very grateful to be here and to serve as president of this incredible university. We have served as a model for higher education before, as home to the first College of Ethnic Studies, as a leader in the upward mobility of our graduates and as one of the most diverse universities in the U.S. 

We can lead again now. We can be a model of a university that puts the public good first by protecting public health, by creating an excellent remote learning experience and by continuing to foster upward mobility for our students, their families and communities.

As always, I thank you for your patience and wish you good health.

Best,

 

Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.

President

San Francisco State University

Dear campus community,

As always, I hope this finds you well and managing the myriad challenges posed by sheltering in place and learning and working remotely. In alignment with the City’s extension of the stay at home order to May 31, SF State will continue with our current plan which includes most University work being handled remotely.

One thing that I find most difficult in the current situation is living with so much uncertainty. I imagine that this is true for many of us. In particular, I know that all are wondering what fall holds for us. While the future, unfortunately, remains very uncertain, one thing I can assure you: We will have a fall semester. Any decision about fall will align with public health requirements. Your health and that of our communities remains paramount. We are hopeful that current mitigation efforts will allow the return to at least some face-to-face instruction. There are indications we will be asked to continue with mitigation efforts such as physical distancing, which may require continuing much of our instruction remotely. We recognize that some learning is best done in person, and we are working hard to make it possible for experiential learning to take place in the fall. 

So, while I can’t guess what the fall will look like, I can tell you that we are planning actively for multiple scenarios including one that features a combination of remote learning and in-person instruction. Yes, this spring has been challenging and the fall may bring challenges of its own. Our students’ academic progress remains a top priority. We will have a fall semester, and, regardless of how it is structured, we are working hard to make sure it’s a good one! 

If we have learned anything in the last few weeks, it is that persistent socioeconomic inequalities in the U.S. have resulted in poorer people suffering the health and economic consequences of COVID-19 faster and harder than other groups. A college degree has been proven repeatedly to foster upward mobility and provide graduates with greater job security and access to health care, among other gains. San Francisco State is proud of its long history as an engine of educational equity and economic development. 

Later this week, we’ll be distributing information about the CSU  Cares Program which offers emergency grants for CSU  students experiencing financial hardships due to the current health crisis. The planning around distribution of these funds has been aligned with our University’s core value of social justice to address the economic challenges facing our lowest income students and provide resources for some students experiencing COVID-related financial difficulties. Details will be forthcoming later this week.

Providing access to a quality affordable education is key to who we are. While public health requires that we do this differently, the needs of our students and region require that we do it as well as we can. We are and we will.

With continued wishes for good health!

Best,

 

Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.
President

Dear campus community,

In light of health updates issued recently by the city of San Francisco, members of the San Francisco State University community are now required to wear something that covers their nose and mouth when on campus.

For community members’ safety, face coverings must be worn when:

  • Waiting in line at a service desk, counter or dining center
  • On the campus BART shuttle (or waiting for it)
  • Seeking in-person care at Student Health or at Counseling and Psychological Services
  • Going into any open campus facilities
  • Working an essential job that interacts with the public

COVID-19 can be spread by people who are not showing symptoms. Cloth face coverings, combined with physical distancing and hand washing, may prevent the spread of the virus to others when you have to leave home. Covering your face protects you and others by limiting the spread of the virus. Anyone not wearing a face covering in locations where they are required will be asked to comply or leave the facility.

Certain groups are not required to wear face coverings:

  • Anyone who has trouble breathing or is not able to take off a face covering without help
  • Those with documented chronic health conditions
  • Those who are deaf and use facial and mouth movements as part of communication may remove their face covering while signing

Campus community members are encouraged to procure or make their own face coverings. The CDC has simple instructions on how to make your own face covering. It is important to follow best practices for wearing and cleaning face coverings; find guidelines at the CDC website

The University will provide employees who are required to work on campus with face coverings through their department or unit managers. Face coverings may be picked up from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday in Administration 259. To request face coverings for employees outside of these hours or by other means, managers should contact sfehs@sfsu.edu.

SF State continues offering instruction and most services remotely to limit transmission of the virus. Only those employees directed by their managers should report to campus for work.

If you have questions, please contact the Office of Emergency Services at oes@sfsu.edu or visit the University’s COVID-19 website.

Thank you and continue taking care of yourselves.

Dear campus community,

Like all of you, I’ve been looking for ways to stay connected as our shelter-in-place reality continues. That’s why I gave something new a try: a video message to the University community shot in my own living room. What it might lack in production values and polish I hope it makes up for in sincerity. Because its message — about how proud I am of what our students, faculty, staff and alumni are accomplishing in the face of enormous obstacles — comes from the heart. I hope you’ll watch and find yourself reassured, as I’ve been, that we have the ingenuity, compassion and resolve to overcome this and any other challenge.

Best wishes for a safe and healthy spring,

Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.
President

Dear campus community,

Many of us had high hopes and grand visions for 2020. I do not imagine that for many of us these included obsessive hand washing and weeks at home. Accommodating current public health needs has been hard in so many ways, and we are grieving the loss of the plans and hopes we had for 2020. And some of us are worried about gravely ill friends and family or tragically mourning the loss of a loved one. I reach out to you today not to talk about remote instruction or shelter-in-place nor to remind you to wash your hands and not touch your face. I write instead to ask about you.

How are you doing? How are you managing all the change and anxieties that COVID-19 has wrought in your lives and in the lives of your family and friends? How are you taking care of yourself? What ways have you discovered to manage anxiety and the stress of balancing the new demands of daily life? How are you staying connected to others? 

For me, it means walks outside and evenings in the kitchen. I start almost every morning with an hour-long walk with my husband. I am blessed to live in a beautiful city with hills and hidden staircases — most of which are pretty quiet first thing in the morning and allow for physical distancing. I am heartened by the stuffed bears that have popped up in windows and by sidewalk chalk art that reminds me “It’s Gonna Be Alright” and we are “Stronger Together.” And, after years of busy careers interfering with dinners at home, we now have family meals every night. I worry, though, about friends and family who are far away or alone. For that, I gratefully turn to Zoom to connect and check in.

I hope that you, too, have found ways to assuage anxieties exacerbated by unimaginable uncertainty and to make connections in a physically distanced world. As always, our own faculty offer guidance. Professor Melissa Hagan offers advice on managing coronavirus anxiety. Professor Erik Peper offers advice on reducing “TechStress” and the health benefits of an open window. Some may need more support during this time, particularly those who are experiencing the consequences of this deadly virus more directly. The Employee Assistance Program offers University employees access to a variety of helpful services. Students can contact a dean on call or schedule a tele-health visit with one of our counselors. And our Basic Needs team, as always, stands ready to help.

Even those of us who haven’t been directly impacted by the pandemic need relief from stress and anxiety to stay healthy. Some may find exercise to be the perfect distraction. The Mashouf Wellness Center is here to help with group exercise instruction via Zoom. Check out the Campus Recreation website for the latest information on class formats, days and times as well as Zoom links and passwords. Or perhaps take advantage of the many museums and educational institutions who have opened their programs remotely. Check out, for example, the California Academy of Sciences’ Academy @ Home, which offers an array of science-centric games, videos and DIY projects. This is a great site to share with children and family members.

We will one day return to campus together, I promise. But shelter-in-place will persist for at least several more weeks and physical distancing likely even longer. So pace yourself, be kind to yourself and reward yourself. Now is the time to remind yourself that good enough is in fact good enough. I promise, it is. 

Above all — in every way possible — stay well!

Best, 

 

Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.
President

Dear campus community,

As part of this week’s updated shelter-in-place order, the city and county of San Francisco also ordered new social distancing measures for protecting employee health that go into effect Friday, April 3.

The measures outline a range of practices and actions to be followed wherever applicable in the workplace to promote health and safety including the following:

  • Employees are expected to work remotely, unless explicitly requested by their supervising administrator to perform work on campus.
  • Please do not come to work if sick.
  • Before coming to work, please perform a symptom check.
  • If you are asked to come onto campus to work, please work with your manager to ensure your desk or workstation is separated by at least six feet from other occupied desks or workstations.

If you have questions about this message or the new social distancing measures, contact oes@sfsu.edu.

Thank you,

Office of Emergency Services

Dear campus community,
 
The City and County of San Francisco announced today an updated shelter-in-place order, extending the directive through May 3 with new restrictions effective at midnight, March 31.

This extension does not change the current status of operations and services at San Francisco State University. Faculty and staff working remotely should continue to do so. A very small number of staff and offices remain on campus to maintain core business and infrastructure operations. These escalated mitigation efforts remain in effect through May 3. We will keep faculty and staff apprised if there is a need to extend this date and will continue to align our dates with the City and County.

With this updated order, people may no longer use public recreational facilities. While the University has allowed people to use a limited number of recreational facilities on campus — the soccer field, for example — with appropriate social distancing, we are now closing these facilities.

I also want to remind students and faculty that remote instruction will continue for the remainder of the spring semester, as previously announced. Given the extension of the shelter-in-place, we are also preparing to offer Summer Session remotely, as well. All California State University campuses are planning similarly for summer.

I am aware that working, teaching and learning through remote modalities is an adjustment for many of you. I want to personally thank everyone, again, for their perseverance, flexibility and tenacity during this unprecedented time. Our COVID-19 website provides and refers to many resources that can help during this period. Below are a few resources I also wanted to specifically call out:

Sadly, the economic consequences of COVID-19 have been quickly felt. For students experiencing financial difficulty due to the virus and mitigation efforts, assistance is available through the University’s Help, Opportunity & Pathway to Empowerment Crisis (HOPE) Fund. Find application details on the HOPE Crisis Fund web page.

At this time, it’s important that we all protect the health of our communities. Please stay well and continue to follow COVID-19 mitigation guidelines on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website

With deep gratitude,

 

Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.
President

Dear SF State students,

The University this week is introducing additional physical distancing measures and urging University community members to avoid unnecessarily coming to campus. In recognition of the threat the COVID-19 virus still poses to our community and in keeping with guidance from the California State University, we will transition this week to closing the Library Research Commons and first floor lobby. Effective Tuesday, March 31, the facility will be closed until further notice.

The Library Research Commons will open for one final day Monday, March 30, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., for students with an SF State I.D.

We understand that these learning spaces, including the Library Research Commons computer lab, have been in use by students who may not have access to a personal computer or internet connection. That is why students may request a loaner laptop from the Library by contacting service@sfsu.edu or (415) 338-1420. When emailing, include "Library Loaner Laptop" in the subject line; and when calling, ask for a Library Loaner Laptop.

Library staff will respond to arrange the loan and have the laptop shipped. Both PCs and Macs are available. The Library provides a base install of software MS Office, web browsers, graphic software, and the laptop will work with Zoom video conferencing software. Some specialized software may not be available. The library staff can answer any questions about the laptop and software. Find more details online in the Instructional Continuity — Student Quickquide.

The Library continues offering a range of services through remote modalities, from instructional support to research help. The Library website also includes a directory of internet service providers pledging to Keep America Connected by waiving late fees, opening Wi-Fi hot spots and not dropping service when users miss payments. In addition, the city of San Francisco offers free Wi-Fi service in city parks and other selected areas. View an online listing of free Wi-Fi available in area parks, plazas and open spaces.

The Disability Programs and Resource Center is available to assist students and employees with disabilities who are seeking accessibility services at this time. Find contact, hours and other details at the DPRC website.

For students experiencing financial difficulty due to circumstances beyond their control, assistance is available through the University’s Help, Opportunity & Pathway to Empowerment Crisis Fund. Find application details at HOPE Crisis Fund web page.

Thank you to all for your support of SF State’s efforts in helping mitigate the spread and effects of COVID-19 across the University and our communities.

Office of Emergency Services

Dear San Francisco State Family,

The last three weeks have been extraordinary. At no time in my career did I anticipate that I would be writing to you in a world in which students and faculty are all learning and teaching remotely, in which entire cities and nations are sheltered in place and in which we ask for heroic efforts from the people we depend upon for our well-being — from health care providers to those who staff our grocery stores and pharmacies. As we get ready to resume remote instruction next week, I would like to thank each of you and assure you that San Francisco State University will not only survive but thrive.

Students, particularly members of the Class of 2020: This is certainly not how you expected to spend spring 2020. And, despite the fact that many of you have always lived in a world with the internet and cell phones, losing face-to-face contact with your faculty, peers and others who support you on campus can be difficult. I know, though, that you will work through this and continue to make progress toward your academic goals. You will develop skills and strengths that students before you did not even know were needed. And we are here to help. Most University services are available remotely. Additionally, the campus remains open for very limited services. Please consult the website for details, and avail yourselves of virtual resources at the ready to help you succeed.

Universities are sometimes criticized for being slow to adapt and quick to resist. Faculty and staff at San  Francisco State repeatedly have proven otherwise. Over the last few weeks, thousands of faculty have moved even more thousands of courses to remote instruction, not always without pain. I am appreciative of how hard this has been, especially for particular types of instruction. I am grateful for the effort and for the support of the faculty and staff who are helping others make the transition. Thank you.

Staff across all offices and divisions have similarly moved to working remotely as the need to physically distance ourselves from one another became obvious. Not a single University function has been left untouched. Like faculty, our staff are reinventing their work processes and modalities and ensuring that we all get needed services. And many faculty, staff and students are doing this with children and other family members to care for at home. Thank you.

I want to particularly thank employees whose work requires that they come to campus. This includes those who are facilitating remote learning, those who are ensuring the health and safety of the campus, those who are supporting our remaining residential students and those who are guaranteeing that our key business and enrollment functions continue. Thank you.

I have been deeply touched, as well, by the generous offers of support from alumni and friends of the University. The economic ramifications of this are just being understood, but we do know that numbers of our students will need greater financial support as they and their families wrestle with lost jobs. The quick generosity of local businesspeople and alumni will help us support these students. Thank you.

The individual and collective actions of the SF State family ensure that our students will continue to move forward even when it feels like much of the world has ground to a halt. They also ensure that we will emerge from this ready to resume our work. We will enroll new students, welcome returning students, return to face-to-face instruction and work together with fresh enthusiasm and renewed appreciation at being together on campus. I look forward to that day.

For now, I continue to urge you to take care of yourselves and one another by staying indoors except for essential trips. And, while I urge everyone to practice physical distancing, I also encourage you to find new ways to form social connections. Schedule virtual family (and Gator!) gatherings, take part in virtual coffee and happy hours with friends and classmates, wave at people from your front window or porch. We will emerge from this, yes, different but also stronger if we stay true to our values of inclusion and compassion.

We are all here for one another. I am here for you. Stay in touch.

All my best,

Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.
President

Dear campus community,

Many of you will be aware by now of the stay-at-home order issued by Governor Gavin Newsom this evening, March 19. I am writing to reassure members of our University community that the Governor’s executive order does not alter the current status of operations and services at San Francisco State University, as we moved swiftly earlier this week to implement similar directives for San Francisco and surrounding counties.

Most San Francisco State offices have made their services available remotely. Some offices that provide critical services will remain opened on campus. As with the recent San Francisco shelter-in-place order, the Governor’s executive order makes exceptions for institutions of higher education, and the University will remain open with the support of the minimal number of staff and administrators needed to maintain critical operations.

Protecting the health and safety of our community is our greatest priority. Residential students who can return home are urged to do so now. For those who must come to campus, we will continue maintaining social distancing practices, ensuring continuous cleaning and access to hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. For the latest health information and most current SF State updates and information, please refer to our COVID-19 website.

I remain deeply appreciative of the many ways that our University community has come together to support our students and one another, from the incredible efforts of faculty to ensure instructional continuity to our facilities teams to the teams in residential life and housing — all of whom are working hard to support SF State. Thank you! And, please, stay well!

With deep gratitude,

 

Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.
President

Dear campus community,

Yesterday, I shared a message with you all regarding escalated COVID-19 mitigation efforts at San Francisco State University effective today (March 17). Those efforts include significantly reducing the population on our campuses by limiting on-campus operations to necessary offices and moving the majority of staff and faculty to working using remote modalities. I am sending a follow-up message today with more details.

Services Open on Campus

On-campus services will be sharply curtailed, but some offices will physically remain open along with a few of our food service providers who are offering grab-and-go fare. For the most up-to-date information on operating hours, visit the webpages for each respective office or find links at the University’s COVID-19 website, under the Offices Open on Campus section. When in doubt, call the office to confirm operating hours.

Library is Closed for Normal Services

While the Library will be closed to normal services, students and faculty will retain access to the building’s Research Commons to use computers. We have to keep the Research Commons open to meet what is now one more basic need for some of our students: access to computers and internet connectivity. See details below:

  • Hours of operation — 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday
  • Laptops for loan — The University is making available to students laptops that may be checked out for a 30-day loan period. Visit the Library Research Commons service point Wednesday, March 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to check out a laptop.
  • Safety and sanitizing — The layout of the Research Commons allows for proper social distancing. Facilities team members will continually sanitize the area. Hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes will also be readily available
  • Holiday closures — The Library will be closed March 21 – 29 for Spring Recess and on March 31 for Cesar Chavez Day.

Special Instructions for Faculty

Faculty have been instructed to begin closing their research facilities and collecting necessary items from their offices. To support this transition, all academic buildings will be open until 5 p.m. today and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday (March 18 and 19). Effective Friday, March 20, all academic buildings will be closed through April 7, at a minimum.

Residential Students

Residential students who are able have been asked to return to their homes, but the University is aware there are some who cannot. We will maintain altered services for these students to ensure their basic needs are met and they have appropriate resources for remote instruction. This includes providing access to food, bathroom facilities and internet connectivity. For ongoing updates, continue referring to the list of services across campus that remain open.

By accelerating the University's measures for social distancing, we are significantly reducing the number of people on campus and the risk of spreading the virus. We continue to urge all to accelerate your own measures for social distancing and good hygiene.

There will be times when you need more assistance. We have created an online contact form for you to ask questions and get help.

Given the rate of change, it is not surprising that rumors may arise. Please refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for latest health information and to our own COVID-19 website for the most current SF State updates and information.

I thank you for your vigilance and patience. Stay well!

 

Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.
President

Dear campus community,

Efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 are escalating here in the Bay Area and across communities statewide. San Francisco and surrounding counties have issued shelter-in-place orders that allow some exceptions for educational institutions for the purpose of facilitating distance learning.

Effective Tuesday, March 17, the University is significantly reducing the population on campus by limiting on-campus operations to necessary offices and moving the vast majority of staff and faculty to working using remote modalities.

We are moving Downtown Campus operations to the main campus. Students, faculty and staff will not have access to Downtown Campus from March 17 to April 7. During this timeframe, the Estuary & Ocean Science Center at Romberg Tiburon Campus will have minimal operations.

San Francisco State University’s main campus remains open to staff and administrators needed to maintain critical operations and for students or faculty who need access to laptops, computers and Internet connectivity. Critical on-campus operations include our residential halls and offices serving staff and students who need to be on campus.

Services across the University will be sharply curtailed. Many University buildings will be closed. Details about services will be forthcoming as they are determined. Please continue to monitor email and the COVID-19 website for updates and information.

Instruction

Remote instruction will continue through the end of the spring semester. In addition:

  • Students and faculty should continue preparing as they have been. Instructors are encouraged to use flexible formats and schedules in order to meet essential student learning outcomes through alternative means.
  • Many classes have launched or will launch successfully this week, while some faculty may need additional time to prepare for a remote semester. Faculty requiring additional time should contact their dean.
  • All faculty should consult the Instructional Continuity site for guidance and support.
  • Faculty are expected to contact their students immediately with details specific to their classes.
  • Faculty should begin closing their research facilities and collecting necessary items from their offices within the next week. Instructions will be forthcoming.

Employees

Offices are reviewing plans now for minimal staffing levels. Supervisors will share altered work plans and schedules with staff by this evening.

  • Altered services and work schedules are expected to be effective Tuesday, March 17, and will be revisited April 7.
  • Staff members should remain in regular contact with their supervisors.
  • Student employees who can work remotely should.

Residential Students

Our residence halls must remain open to house students who have no alternatives, but services will be sharply curtailed.

  • Students who remain can expect that they will be moved to another building as we continue to respond to this evolving situation.
  • Students who have alternative housing should make plans to leave as soon as possible. While there is no need to take all your belongings, students should take essential items with them. We will arrange later this semester to ensure that you get your belongings when circumstances allow.

Events

All events are canceled through May 31. Commencement is postponed. Details will be forthcoming.

We are working steadily to meet the acute emergency in a rapidly changing crisis. We will share details as soon as they become available.

With deep gratitude for all that everyone is doing,

 

Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.
President

Dear campus community,

As we continue acting to keep the SF State community healthy and mitigate the spread of COVID-19, I am writing to share with you significant status updates.

The San Francisco Department of Health (SFDPH) has confirmed that an employee has been diagnosed with COVID-19. Additionally, Governor Gavin Newsom today (March 15) issued a directive for “deep social distancing,” calling for home isolation for anyone age 65 and older and those with chronic disease. I will address both sets of circumstances below.

Our campus remains open for necessary University operations, including our residence halls, the University Library, and other offices critical to supporting our students, faculty and staff. To further limit the spread of COVID-19 within our local community and in light of the governor’s call, however, effective immediately, all SF State employees meeting the Governor’s above criteria must stay off campus. This may affect hours of operation for some campus offices. Please check before coming to campus the availability of staff in offices whose services you seek.

We anticipate that for many such individuals, a telecommute working arrangement can be established allowing you to remain productive and continue advancing the operations and mission of the University. Those who are not able to telecommute are to be put on administrative leave with pay at their current rate and for their normal scheduled work hours.

Regarding the employee taken ill with COVID-19, I want to reassure you that SFDPH and SF State have responded quickly to protect the safety and health of our community. Those who may have come into close contact with the individual are being contacted directly with additional information. Respecting employee and health privacy laws, here are details about the case and measures taken:

  • The employee lives off campus.
  • The employee was last on campus on March 6.
  • Out of an abundance of caution, additional sanitizing of areas the employee was known to have visited will be conducted.
  • On a continual basis, the University has been sanitizing all public spaces including classrooms, restrooms, entryways and dining commons.
  • With SFDPH’s guidance, SF State is reaching out to individuals who may have had contact with the diagnosed employee and making appropriate recommendations.

The individual diagnosed with COVID-19 is currently being cared for by a local medical center. While privacy concerns mean we cannot release further details about the individual, I know you join me in sending our fellow community member and their family our support and wishes for a complete recovery.

As the situation rapidly evolves, so does guidance from health officials. We will continue to keep you informed as further updates become available. Please check our COVID-19 website for the latest information.

I know that this development will be a source of anxiety and concern. I want to personally thank everyone for their commitment in keeping our campus community safe and healthy, from our custodians who are enhancing cleaning to the members of our emergency planning team, many of whom are working daily responding to evolving contingencies, to the faculty and staff who are working diligently to support the University mission and to our students who continue to pursue their academic goals. Thank you, all, for your continual care for one another.

 

Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.
President

Dear campus community,

As the University quickly plans in a rapidly changing environment, there are bound to be unanswered questions, anxiety and confusion. I’m hopeful that this update, as well as some changes to the COVID-19 website, will help assuage some anxieties and further clarify some of your most pressing questions.

At this time, no SF State employees or students have been reported to have COVID-19 and our campuses remain open. We are committed to continuing student learning and progress-to-degree while mitigating the spread of the virus. However, social distancing has required us to suspend face-to-face classes to allow all faculty to prepare for remote instruction beginning March 16. Mitigation efforts, including enhanced cleaning and social distancing, are effective in reducing the transmission of viruses.

Students can expect to hear from their faculty members, who will provide information on how individual classes will operate remotely. We have also canceled events and nonessential meetings and have severely restricted University-sanctioned travel.

Students and employees who are ill should stay home. Students and employees who are at higher risk if they contract COVID-19 should consult their health care provider for recommendations. For questions related to work options, employees should consult with their direct supervisor and Human Resources (HR).

We are now looking at the number of staff and managers to remain on campus to maintain necessary University operations. We must continue to provide the services that will allow the University to support students and faculty who are engaged in remote learning and teaching, as well as support the students, faculty and staff who remain on campus. Some employees will be allowed to work remotely based on an approved Temporary Telecommuting Agreement. On Monday, March 16, managers and staff will confirm business continuity and telecommuting plans. Altered services and work schedules will be effective Tuesday, March 17.

We have added new resources to the University’s COVID-19 website. You will find in the left-hand column links to individual pages with information for students and families, faculty, and staff and managers. I have met — and continue to meet — with Cabinet and other University leadership daily to ensure we provide accurate and timely information. If you identify additional areas of information you’d like to see addressed, do not hesitate to email me at president@sfsu.edu.

  • Student and families: Find updated information about classes, how to succeed in remote learning modalities, information for student employees as well as news of continued efforts to meet students’ health and basic needs.
  • Faculty members: The updated For Faculty section will provide faculty members information about assistance in moving classes to virtual or remote modalities. You will also find guidance on research and sponsored programs at our link to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs site. Faculty with questions and concerns should contact the Provost’s Office.
  • Staff and managers: Updated information for staff and managers can be found on the HR website. If you have more questions, contact your supervisor or HR.
  • Current travel restrictions on University-related travel are also detailed.

With any evolving situation, there is a lot to learn and more to come. However, there is one thing we know for sure: We have a shared responsibility to limit the spread of COVID-19. Here are steps you can take. We take these steps not only to protect ourselves, but to protect others.

I appreciate everything that our students, faculty, staff and administrators are doing to contribute to the mitigation of COVID-19 in the city and the Bay Area. I thank you as well for your patience as we continue to shape plans in a rapidly evolving environment.

Stay well!

 

Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.
President

Dear campus community,

The University has been closely monitoring local circumstances surrounding COVID-19. In addition to the increasing number of confirmed cases in San Francisco, we have also seen a growing number of educational institutions move to remote instruction. In the interest of safeguarding the health of our students, faculty and staff, San Francisco State University is taking similar steps to further limit the potential for COVID-19 to spread within our community.

The following are effective Tuesday, March 10, through Sunday, March 15:

  • All face-to-face courses are suspended. Courses currently offered online will continue as usual.
  • University faculty and staff will use these days to prepare for the transition to remote instruction and services and to ensure business continuity.
  • Faculty and staff are expected to be on campus during this preparatory week. Facilities and services remain open and all non-instructional operations will continue as usual.

The following are effective Monday, March 16, through Sunday, April 5:

  • All instruction will be conducted remotely.
  • University faculty and staff will use these days to prepare for the transition to remote instruction and services and to ensure business continuity.
  • The campus is not closing. Some buildings will remain open. Expect reduced operations during this period as some staff will work remotely as determined by operational need and their supervisor and Human Resources. Details will be forthcoming.

The University will reevaluate remote instruction and services in the context of local public health recommendations and local circumstances on a weekly basis. An announcement will be made by March 30 about the following two-week period, April 6 – 19. Weekly updates will be issued for subsequent two-week periods.

During this time of remote instruction and services, all faculty, staff and student employees will continue to be paid.

As a reminder, the previously announced restrictions about events and non-essential meetings remain in place.

As this situation rapidly evolves, so does guidance from health officials. We will continue to keep you informed as more updates become available. Please check our COVID-19 website for the latest information.

For students who would like additional support at this time, contact Counseling & Psychological Services (415-338-2208) to schedule an appointment. Faculty and Staff should contact Life Matters (1-800-367-7474), the University’s employee assistance program for support.

Take good care of yourself and one another.

 

Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.
President

Dear campus community:

Yesterday, the California Department of Public Health released new COVID-19 guidance for universities. While no San Francisco State University employees or students are reported to have the virus at this time, it is important that all members of the campus community follow current guidance to limit the virus from spreading.

  • If over the last 2 weeks you have traveled to an area identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as “Level 3 Travel Health Notice“, you should stay home and self-quarantine for 14 days following your return to the U.S.
  • If you have been in close contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19, you should stay home and self-quarantine for 14 days following your most recent exposure. Examples of individuals with close contact include family members, roommates and caregivers.
  • For individuals self-quarantining, email or call your healthcare provider if you develop flu-like symptoms.
  • All students, faculty and staff should be self-monitoring for signs of respiratory illness — like coughing and fever — and return to their home (or residence hall room) if symptoms emerge. Community members who are ill should stay home and limit contact with others until symptoms are better or based on advice from your healthcare provider.
  • Any students, faculty or staff who come to class or work with symptoms of respiratory infection should be asked to return home (or to their residence hall room). Individuals who are ill should stay at home until symptoms resolve or for at least 24-hours after fever ends. Anyone recovering at home should email or call their healthcare provider if symptoms do not improve or become more severe.
  • In all of the above situations, be sure to contact your faculty, direct supervisor, dean/department chair and/or Human Resources to discuss appropriate next steps should you need to be away from campus.

As a reminder, everyone can practice ways to prevent spreading all respiratory viruses. During this time of the year, it is not uncommon to feel ill. If ill, please stay home.

Individual and community health are top SF State priorities. Take good care of yourself and one another.

Take Good Care,

Roger Razzari Elrod

Director, SF State Student Health Services

Dear campus community,

The health and safety of our campus community are SF State’s highest priorities. At this time, no SF State employees or students have been reported to have COVID-19. The San Francisco Department of Health (SFDPH) on Friday issued enhanced recommendations in response to COVID-19. Consistent with those guidelines, the University is implementing the following steps.

After careful consideration and in accordance with SFDPH guidelines, all classes will stay in session. However, we are canceling all events on all SF State campuses and all University-sponsored events in March — which includes Gator Days and Investiture — to limit the potential exposure of COVID-19. This update is effective Monday, March 9. All divisions, departments and academic programs should take appropriate actions based on this change. For now, this remains in effect until March 31. We will update you with any future changes.

Please know that this decision aligns with SFDPH’s goals for social distancing: to limit people being exposed to the virus by reducing the number of occasions when people come together. Canceling events allows us to limit contact while also meeting our instructional responsibility by maintaining classes and aligns with SFDPH’s recommendation to keep schools open.

We also encourage all employees to reconsider upcoming non-essential travel. Costs for any university-approved travel will be reimbursed. For any questions about what is considered essential and non-essential travel, please speak with your supervisor or department chair and/or dean.

Whenever possible, in-person meetings should be conducted online or via phone. The University offers Zoom technology to support virtual meetings. If you must have a meeting in person, please continue to practice appropriate social distancing and facilitate behaviors that reduce infection — like washing your hands and using hand sanitizer.

Some of you may have also seen other universities taking different measures in response to COVID-19. There is a reason for that: each university — including ours — acts based on recommendations from local health officials. With every new update comes the possibility of having to change course.

During this time of the year, it’s not uncommon to feel ill. If ill, please stay home. Your health is a­ top priority. I also want to remind everyone ways to prevent spreading all respiratory viruses.

The City recommends that vulnerable populations should limit outings. Employees in this situation should discuss alternative work options with their direct supervisor in consultation with HR. Students in this situation should contact their professors to discuss alternative learning modalities.

Employees can also find information about work expectations on our Employee Questions webpage.

I understand there is concern, anxiety and worry. Please continue to show each other support and empathy as we work together to ensure the safety and health of our community.

I want to remind you all that our COVID-19 FAQ is a great resource for the latest information. As this is a rapidly evolving situation, we will continue to keep you all informed of any University changes as SFDPH provides more guidance in the future. In the meantime, please stay well.

 

Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.
President

Dear campus community,

The City of San Francisco confirmed today its first two cases of the new coronavirus (COVID-19). The two individuals are not employees or students of San Francisco State University. On behalf of the entire University, I am wishing the patients speedy recoveries as they are being cared for in separate hospitals.

I understand that these recent developments can be concerning for many, especially as Lowell High School — in proximity to our main campus — decided to close the school and all events and gatherings for the time being out of an abundance of caution. I want to remind everyone that as San Francisco ramps up its testing measures for COVID-19, it may lead to an increase in the number of confirmed cases reported in the area. However, that does not necessarily signal that the rate of infection is increasing, but that the City’s ability to test more people more rapidly is leading to better detection. 

I also want to reassure you that our University, in consultation with City and State agencies, is working diligently to ensure the safety and health of our students and employees. The San Francisco State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has been activated for weeks responding to and preparing for evolving contingencies. 

Many of you are asking about the status of classes and campus operations. Currently, we are not planning to cancel classes or modify operations. We are in direct contact with the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) and other agencies, as well as the Office of the CSU  Chancellor.

Our goal is that teaching and learning will continue at SF State. Earlier this week, Provost Jennifer Summit and Academic Senate Chair Nancy Gerber sent a message to the faculty requesting that they plan for a possible interruption in face-to-face delivery of instruction. To assist in these efforts, the Center for Equity and Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CEETL) and Academic Technology have created and compiled a variety of resources, which can be found on the Instructional Continuity at SF State website

If any recommendations from the SFDPH require changes in regular campus programs, the University will inform the campus community, and support will be provided.

The safety and wellbeing of our students, faculty and staff continue to be our highest priorities. Please stay well and take the same preventative measures outlined in the SF State COVID-19 FAQ

 

Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.
President

Dear campus community,

Late last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported a second possible instance of community spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 in California. To date, there are zero confirmed cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) originating in the city and county of San Francisco or on the campuses of San Francisco State University. Bay Area residents continue to be at low risk of becoming infected with this virus unless they have recently traveled to an impacted community or have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19.

However, it is clear this outbreak is on the rise, and the campus must take steps for preparation. Toward that end, San Francisco State is managing the University’s response via the campus Emergency Operations Center (EOC), which includes staff and administrators from all cabinet areas. The EOC is meeting regularly and making recommendations to the President and her Cabinet.

This group has also created a new website for the community to stay updated on our response and current information. Please visit news.sfsu.edu/coronavirus for updates and frequently asked questions related to campus planning and response.

In the event of a campus closure, we expect classes to continue in online or different modalities: students should communicate with their faculty about alternative arrangements if in-person meetings are not possible.

Remember, there are definite steps each of us can take to avoid getting a cold, the flu, and even Coronavirus. Please review the tips for protecting you and others on the Coronavirus FAQ page. For the next few weeks, we recommend not shaking hands when greeting others, keeping at least 3 feet when talking with others, and at least 6 feet from anyone sneezing or coughing.

If any recommendations from the San Francisco Department of Public Health require changes in regular campus programs, the EOC will inform the campus community, and support will be provided to lessen any negative impact on our educational mission. .

Take Good Care,

Roger Razzari Elrod

Director, SF State Student Health Services

Dear campus community,

As widely reported in the media, Mayor London Breed has declared a local emergency to “Proactively prepare for possible COVID-19” in San Francisco. To date, there are zero confirmed cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the city, county or on the campuses of San Francisco State University. Bay Area residents continue to be at low risk of becoming infected with this virus, unless they have recently traveled to an impacted community or have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19.

Please remember that risk for this virus is in no way based on one’s race, ethnicity or culture. As President Mahoney recently wrote in a message to the University community: “… rather than acting out of fear and ignorance, we at San Francisco State will respond with compassion, knowledge and justice.”

San Francisco State continues to monitor guidance provided by the San Francisco Department of Public Health. Emergency management and business continuity staff are actively planning for the University’s emergency response and continued operations should the current coronavirus outbreak affect regular campus activities. Additionally, the University is tracking travel advisories with regard to students, faculty and staff studying and working internationally in affected areas and supporting anyone affected by these advisories.

There are steps each of us can take to reduce our chances of becoming ill — whether from the coronavirus, the flu or a plain, old-fashioned cold. Please review these basic health tips and take good care of yourself and one another.

Best,

Roger Razzari Elrod

Director, SF State Student Health Services

Dear campus community,

As I have mentioned in earlier messages, San Francisco State University is in so many ways a model of a diverse and inclusive university. There are moments, however, when even we are tested. We must remain resolute in our values of inclusion and meet the challenges with education and resolve.

The emergence and spread of the coronavirus is such a moment. Across the country and beyond, we have seen an increase in stigmatizing rhetoric and behaviors toward Chinese and Asian American communities (an increase that Professor Russell Jeung, chair of the Asian American Studies Department, has commented on in nationally broadcast interviews). At this time, rather than acting out of fear and ignorance, we at San Francisco State will respond with compassion, knowledge and justice. As with all viruses, there are things we can do to protect ourselves and one another. Please take time to review these basic health tips and respect one another as we protect our collective health and stand in solidarity with those who are ailing and those on the frontlines fighting this illness.

But this is not the only test of SF State values. In the past week, I was deeply saddened by a small but concerning number of bias incidents on campus, including the use of racial and anti-Semitic language. Over the last decades, the notion that “words can never hurt you” has been soundly discredited by academics, health care professionals, civil right activists and spiritual leaders, among others. At SF State, we embrace and protect free speech, but this does not absolve us of our responsibility to create a welcoming environment for each other. We meet these incidents not with censorship but with education. Words hurt; let’s teach one another why and be open to learning. Faculty, staff and students across campus have initiated many excellent programs promoting diversity, equity and inclusion. Have a suggestion for additional programming? Please share it with Frederick Smith, AVP, Equity & Community Inclusion at FrederickSmith@sfsu.edu.

San Francisco State University is rightfully proud of its reputation for diversity, equity and inclusion. I ask that we work collectively to ensure it.

Best,

 

Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.
President

Dear campus community,

We are providing this update to our previous communication regarding the coronavirus and steps you can take to safeguard your health and the health of those around you. As of Feb. 4, no positive cases of coronavirus have been identified in San Francisco or on the campuses of San Francisco State University. We do expect the reported number of Bay Area cases to increase. We continue to follow guidance provided by the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH). SFDPH, in turn, is actively partnering with state and federal health authorities to identify ill individuals and protect public health.

While travel and health advisories are subject to change, we continue to recommend the same precautions outlined below. The SFDPH website is a great resource if you are unsure about whether you should seek medical care. Student Health Services is another resource on campus. As warranted, we will provide updates and guidance for any changes in campus protocols.

We urge every member of the University community to follow the commonsense practices below to reduce the chance of the spread of flu or coronavirus, while also staying connected to our values of social justice, community and inclusion.

Take good care,

Roger Razzari Elrod

Director, SF State Student Health Services

Dear campus community:

As widely reported in the media, an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus has been identified starting in the city of Wuhan, China. San Francisco State University is closely monitoring guidance provided by the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH). SFDPH in turn is working actively with state and federal health authorities to identify ill individuals and protect public health. In the meantime, San Francisco State remains open, and Spring Semester classes will begin on Monday, Jan. 27, as scheduled.

What can you do? There are steps each of us can take to reduce our chances of getting ill — whether from the coronavirus, the flu or a plain, old-fashioned cold.

1. Treat Yourself Well 

  • Eat healthy. 
  • Maintain good sleep habits. 
  • Manage stress. 

2. Make It Hard for Viruses to Spread 

  • Cough or sneeze into an arm or a tissue.
  • Wash or otherwise sanitize your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • In public spaces, keep at least an arm's length of separation between yourself and others whenever possible.

3. Think of Others 

  • If feeling ill, call or email a health provider for advice.
  • Stay home or reduce contact with others until your symptoms subside. 

For more information on the new coronavirus, visit the San Francisco Department of Public Health's website.

Take good care,

Roger Razzari Elrod

Director, SF State Student Health Services

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