Coronavirus/COVID-19 Information

An Early Look at Plans for Fall 2020

President Hutchinson shares preliminary plans for fall 2020 regarding academic programs, campus operations, residence halls, available services, and more.


Announced: June 2, 2020, 10:30 a.m.

To: Campus Community
From: President Gayle Hutchinson 

As you know, the California State University system announced last month that all of its 23 campuses would offer primarily virtual and limited in-person classes for the fall 2020 semester. Each campus was provided the flexibility to present a plan that would give students the best possible educational experience while also ensuring the safety and welfare of students, faculty, staff, and local communities. 

Planning teams comprised of Chico State faculty, staff, Associated Students presidents, and campus administrators implemented broad consultation measures to develop a plan and ensure that students, staff, faculty, department chairs, deans, and directors were able to provide input.

Today I share with you highlights from the plan the University will submit today to the CSU Chancellor’s Office. The proposed plan is subject to modification by the Chancellor’s Office, and as facts change relative to the COVID-19 pandemic and its mitigations. As part of the planning effort, the University has built in flexibility and possible pivots, should they become necessary. 

Decisions regarding the winter and spring terms in 2021 will be made and communicated at a later date. Our planning and execution strategies endeavor to pass the test of reasonableness. The unpredictability of the pandemic necessitates substantial fluidity in planning, and we will stay nimble and adjust over the summer, throughout the 2020-21 academic year, and thereafter, as necessary

Plans for Fall 2020

Academic Programs

Chico State is planning for the majority of courses to be virtual, however, 209 fall-semester courses (457 sections), or approximately 10.5% of the total number of sections offered in fall 2019, are expected to include some form of in-person instruction. A consultative and iterative process involving instructional faculty, department chairs, deans, students and members of the California Faculty Association was utilized to establish this list, which will be shared once final approval has been received from the Chancellor’s Office.

With careful planning for facilities modifications and cleaning protocols, paired with clear communication and expectations for students and faculty, the University believes these courses will provide critical hands-on experiences for multiple degree programs while maintaining the safety of the campus community.

Details about fall 2020 courses will be communicated in early June, and continuing students will be able to modify their courses selections for the fall semester July 1-5.

Additionally, faculty and staff will be prepared to deliver an even more comprehensive and robust virtual education experience for students. A total of 350 faculty have signed up to participate or mentor colleagues in two Go Virtual Institutes that will take place this summer. We expect bold, emerging innovations to leverage the power of the entire CSU system. By working together in new, imaginative and creative ways, we will further enrich the experiences of our new and returning students in the coming academic year.

Tuition and fees

Chico State tuition and fees for the fall 2020 semester will remain unchanged.

Ongoing Campus Operations

In-person University operations and services will continue to be limited. Essential services such as building operations, grounds, maintenance, security, and animal and lab maintenance will be ongoing, but the majority of faculty and staff will work remotely. With the exception of housing and dining services, business operations and student support services will be provided mainly through phone, video conference, or email.

Phased-in, return-to-campus scenarios for faculty and staff will be considered during June as health conditions warrant and the campus demonstrates the capacity to protect its community.

Residence Halls and Dining

Pending Chancellor’s Office approval, University Housing plans to provide single-room accommodations for 1,036 students, which is 48% of typical occupancy. All student residents and University Housing staff will receive COVID-19 training and be familiar with safety guidelines, including regular self-monitoring and cleaning protocols. Residents will pay double occupancy rates, not single occupancy, for their rooms.

University Housing has set aside multiple studio units for the isolation of students, in the event the rooms are needed. Case management will be provided to residents in isolation by WellCat Health Services in conjunction with the Butte County Public Health Department, as necessary.

Dining services will conform with social distancing protocols while continuing to provide limited services to the campus community. Online ordering and payment systems, to-go menus, and contactless pick-up and delivery systems will replace most face-to-face transactions.

Academic Support

The Student Learning Center will provide all learning support services online for fall 2020. Students will be able to use their website to set up an appointment. Subject tutoring, Supplemental Instruction, writing tutoring, and Math Learning Lab drop-ins will all continue in virtual format with Zoom as the primary platform for learning support delivery.

Other student services will continue to be available virtually with some limited in-person support available. For a complete list of services, visit our COVID-19 News & Information site, and check out individual program websites for more details about particular services.

 Some key services: 

  • Accessibility Resource Center
    During the summer, Accessibility Resource Centerservices will be provided remotely via email, phone, or Zoom appointments. Limited in-person services are being considered for the fall.
  • Advising
    Academic Advisingwill provide remote-advising sessions via Zoom, which students can schedule through their website. International Student Services is also offering daily advising via email, phone, and Zoom appointments.
  • Associated Students
    Associated Students (AS) will remain virtual during the summer and has created a Virtual Engagement Center with everything from stress relief tools to at-home workouts from the WREC to weekly social media challenges. AS is considering full, in-person services for the fall.
  • Career Center
    The Career Center will remain virtual only in the fall, but will continue providing a wide variety of career development programs for students of all majors and class levels, and for all alumni. It also offers services to help students with the transition from student to working professional.
  • Financial Aid
    Financial Aid & Scholarship Office is providing financial aid assistance virtually. Contact or call 530-898-6451 and to set up an appointment by phone or Zoom.
  • Student Life & Leadership
    Student Life & Leadership helps students succeed through programming that promotes learning, personal growth, self-governance, social responsibility, and understanding. Services are currently available online only, but limited in-person services are being considered for the fall.
  • Title IX
    The Title IX office will provide virtual assistance relating to Title IX related concerns, complaints, and requests for interim accommodations as needed. Contact the office by email at or by calling 530-898-4949.

Meriam Library

Meriam Library will continue providing online research resources and virtual research support, including 24/7 chat support and the ability to schedule Zoom appointments with librarians. In addition to the e-books and articles available through OneSearch at Meriam Library, the newly created National Emergency Library has thousands of ebook resources to support student research.

Bell Memorial Union

The BMU and Wildcat Store may be physically open for the fall. A final decision is forthcoming. This would include Common Grounds, Urban Roots, Creekside Coffee, Butte Station and a mobile cart. The hours of operations for the Wildcat Store would match those of the BMU with physical distancing and sanitizing guidelines in place. The Wildcat Store would continue its online services, and curbside delivery is being evaluated.

On-Campus Events

All campus events for the fall have been canceled, postponed, or moved to online delivery. This includes Admissions visitor programs, such as orientation and campus tours, and all performing arts events hosted by Chico Performances, North State Symphony, School of the Arts, and Book in Common. University museums and galleries are open virtually only.

Chico State’s policy on gatherings for the fall may be amended if the state moves into stage three of the California Resilience Roadmap. The decision to hold any campus events would be done in strict accordance with safety protocols to ensure the health and wellbeing of all participants.


Athletic competitions are suspended for fall. The vast majority of University athletics, recreational sports, intramural and sport club programs will remain virtual. Planning is underway for a phased-in, Return to Activity model that will allow limited, in-person activity to support, engage, and retain student-athletes as they pursue academic degrees and prepare for the eventual return to athletics activity.


Associated Students is considering re-opening of the Wildcat Recreation Center with limited, time-restricted visits. More details will be forthcoming.


All University-related travel (domestic and international) is suspended for faculty, staff, and students until further notice.

Staying Healthy

Chico State urges everyone to comply with the evolving statewide Stay At Home Order and follow best practices for reducing the spread of COVID-19, including washing hands, physical distancing, staying home when sick, and wearing non-medical face coverings like a scarf or bandana when you leave home. Face coverings will be provided to employees and students, as needed. For those who will be interacting on campus, COVID-19 training will be required.

Students experiencing symptoms should call the WellCat Health Center at 530-898-5241 for instructions. Outside of WellCat Health Center hours, students should contact the Butte County Public Health Department at 530-552-4000 for guidance.

Anyone experiencing any coronavirus symptoms, even mild symptoms, should self-isolate until their symptoms go away and/or call their health care providers to get guidance. It is important to call before seeking treatment to make sure you can get the care you need without putting others at risk.

Students also should contact their instructors via email or phone to work out a plan for meeting ongoing academic success.

Mental Health Care

This time is troubling for all of us. The uncertainty of the situation, the changing home life for many, the concern for those in the community who are facing the risks of the virus all contribute to these feelings. Individuals should monitor how they are impacted and work to actively care for their mental health in addition to physical health.

For students, the WellCat Counseling Center offers a comprehensive list of resources on their website, which includes a 24/7 phone number to speak to a counselor immediately (Call 530-898-6345 and press 2).

Hungry Wildcat Food Pantry

Hungry Wildcat Food Pantry is open Mon.–Thu., 11 a.m.–2 p.m. (or by appointment)

The pantry will continue to serve students with fresh produce, dried goods, and hygiene products. Students who visit the pantry will stand at the entrance and be assisted across a table on an individual basis. Students will be allowed to take more than one bag as long as food inventory allows. Students with specific dietary needs should email prior to visiting. 

CalFresh Outreach continues virtually. Contact Calfresh Outreach representative Yee Yang at

Technology Support

IT Support Services will provide comprehensive technology support, including laptop loans and virtual technology assistance. Requests for loaner computers can be submitted here. Requests for loaner wireless hotspot devices can be submitted through Communication Account Services by e-mailing Students can make a request with authorization from a faculty member.

I am deeply appreciative of your flexibility and perseverance as we navigate these challenging times together. You are to be commended for remaining focused on your education. The University is changing and adapting in an unpredictable world, and each of us is faced with decisions that impact ourselves and those around us. Additional information will be forthcoming throughout the summer.

Thank you and be well.