The largest public university system in the country will continue teaching primarily online for the remainder of the academic year amid the state's ongoing coronavirus crisis, California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White said in a letter to students, faculties Thursday and employees with.
White said he had consulted extensively with campus presidents and pondered the state of the California pandemic and the university's operations.
"The disease continues to spread," he said. "Although current mitigation factors make a difference, in the absence of a vaccine and adequate, inexpensive, timely testing and tracing infrastructure, we cannot revert to a normal, mostly personal schedule in January 2021."
There are some limited exceptions for classes that cannot be delivered remotely. Accommodation on campus will also be reduced.
White said the decision would allow faculties, students, and families to plan for the next semester, as they did for the fall. The CSU was one of the first institutions to decide in May to remotely resume the autumn semester.
The Chancellor also referred to administrative pressure. Students will be enrolling for spring courses within a few weeks, and campus will need to seek approval from its accreditation body shortly to offer online courses.
In the entire CSU, less than 7% of the courses are offered personally this semester, although the variability is considerable depending on the campus. White said he expects similar deviations in the spring and that in some cases it might be possible to increase the amount of personal tuition, while in other cases it might be necessary to withdraw.
“This decision is the only responsible one that is currently available to us. And it's the only one that helps our two north stars protect the health, safety and wellbeing of our faculties, staff, students and communities and make graduation for most students possible, ”he said.
The campuses will develop and communicate their launch plans for the next semester, the university said.