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Office of the President

May 12, 2020 – Majority of Fall 2020 Classes Will Be Virtual

To: Campus Community
From: President Gayle Hutchinson

Today at a meeting of the California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees, Chancellor Timothy P. White announced that all CSU campuses will deliver the vast majority of instruction virtually for the fall 2020 semester. He left open the possibility for a small number of courses to be offered in-person with rigorous standards for health and safety.

Following the Chancellor’s directive, Chico State is planning for the majority of its fall course offerings and most student support services to be online or offered through alternative modalities. Students should plan for the majority of their fall 2020 courses to be virtual. The University is considering possible course exceptions for a limited number of classes that would blend in-person and virtual instruction. These would primarily be courses with an experiential focus, such as field and clinical labs, performance and studio-arts classes, and capstone courses in engineering and agriculture. Any exception to offer in-person activities must go through a two-step approval process, beginning with the campus president and concluding with final approval from the Chancellor’s Office.

University leadership is working closely with deans and department chairs to identify a limited list of prioritized in-person and blended fall 2020 courses that can be accommodated safely utilizing social distancing guidelines. Once this work has been completed, we will update the fall 2020 class schedule so that students will know which classes we anticipate being offered in-person, online, or blended. 

Additional details about the fall 2020 semester will be provided before the end of May, including plans for on-campus housing and dining, athletic programs, and student services. May announcements also will include information for faculty about fall instruction and summer opportunities for enhancing virtual and alternative-format education, as well as for staff regarding current and future telework.

Finally, I express my deepest appreciation for the monumental efforts by students, faculty, and staff in transitioning to learning and working virtually for the spring semester. These are especially challenging and fast-changing times. Planning decisions are grounded in our dedication to providing students with the best possible educational experience while protecting the safety and welfare or students, faculty, staff, and local communities as we respond to this unprecedented public health emergency. In fact, Chico State’s mission and commitment to student success have never been more vital. During these difficult times, I encourage students to persist in their pursuit of a degree and resist the temptation to pause or stop out. 

Faculty and staff, we will build on our spring successes and create an even more robust, rich, and effective learning environment in the virtual space. Together, we will get through this pandemic and be stronger and more resilient for it.

Be well and stay safe.