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Weekly Briefing from the Chancellor

May 8, 2020
Re: Weekly Briefing from the Chancellor
To: Faculty, staff, students and parents
May 8, 2020
Dear Campus Community,
California acted early and swiftly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in part due to that decision, it now appears the state can begin easing some restrictions based on local conditions. While that bodes well for retailers, restaurants, manufacturers and other businesses — and those who rely on them for employment — UC Merced is still considering when and how to safely return to in-person instruction and student residency on campus as we prepare for the 2020-21 academic year.
Please be assured that faculty and staff are actively planning for multiple scenarios — from modified in-person instruction to hybrid course delivery to a continuation of remote learning — with, of course, the goal being a return to in-person coursework as soon as it is safe to do so. We are rigorously examining what the “new normal” should be for classrooms, labs and residence halls, based on projections from state, federal and UC scientists. While our mission remains teaching, research and public service, our priority will always be the safety of our campus community.
Over the past week, we have communicated to campus about federal CARES Act student aid distribution and guidance for sum mer session grading . We also recently added an “EN ESPAÑOL” link on the COVID-19 Parents page , where campus communications are available in Spanish.
UC Merced faculty continue to share their research and expertise through the media:
  • A study by a team including Suzanne Sindi of applied mathematics about fatal diseases caused by prions .
Don’t forget to join us online May 16 for a truly amazing virtual commencement ceremony — the first in the history of the University of California — to celebrate the success of our graduates. And on May 15, our signature Innovate to Grow event will happen online as well. Our normal lives may be on temporary pause, but the great work of UC Merced continues.
Please keep yourselves and your loved ones safe.
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 .