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Weekly Briefing from the Chancellor

April 17, 2020
To: Faculty, staff, students and parents
April 17, 2020
Dear Campus Community,
UC Merced continues to assess the impacts of COVID-19 and plan for several potential futures, depending on the course of this pandemic and the implications of the response at a global, national, state and campus level. While a few members of our campus community have tested positive, so far they are well on their way to recovery. We still have not had any positive cases reported on campus among our designated staff nor the approximately 200 students still in residence whom they continue to serve.
Merced County has now recorded 82 COVID-19 cases. What has been driven home this week is the tremendous need in our community caused by the outbreak. A number of us from UC Merced joined Assembly Member Adam Gray and many colleagues on Wednesday in donating blood to the American Red Cross, and on Tuesday some of us joined members of the 1040th Quartermaster Company, California National Guard, and the California Conservation Corps at the Merced County Food Bank in packing food for those struggling to keep their families fed in our area. Both of these great community-based organizations say needs will rise as economic conditions remain unsettled for the foreseeable future. I hope, if you are well and able, you can continue to find ways to support your neighbors while we all work through these times together.
This week, we have communicated to our community about grading changes and resources for employees , particularly around personal safety while working remotely and leave options . Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer and Chief of Staff Luanna Putney shared an inspirational message with campus, and more messages from campus leaders will arrive over coming days and weeks.
Perhaps most importantly, student leaders joined me in announcing plans for a virtual commencement ceremony on May 16, with an in-person ceremony in the future; please encourage all graduating students to submit photos, videos and messages to share at the ceremony.
Our faculty continue to share their research, insights and knowledge with the public, including:
Finally, take a moment to read this great story about Dr. Van Do-Reynoso , one of our Ph.D. graduates in public health services and systems research, who is earning kudos as director of public health for Santa Barbara County. Her life has been an amazing journey, her work is critical to the health of hundreds of thousands of Californians, and her story illustrates so well why we do what we do at UC Merced.
Please remember to take care of yourselves and your loved ones, and that even apart, we are better together.
Nathan Brostrom
Interim Chancellor
This is an important message from UC Merced. Please share with colleagues who may not have ready access to email. If you require a Spanish translation, please email .