quick Monday message

Bill Maurer
Monday May 18 17:02:24 PDT 2020
Dear social sciences community,

I hope everyone had a restful weekend and managed to enjoy this grayish
day, which seems like it'll end up sunny. And thanks to all of you who
sent me pictures of your other non-Mammalian pets. Impressive.

Three important announcements:

Grad students will have now seen the call for DTEI Fellows. Please,
please apply if you are interested in an employment opportunity to
help develop and improve instructional materials for summer and fall
classes. The program will also provide training and a certificate in
remote instruction. Details here. If you are a faculty member or lecturer
and want to work with a particular grad student on your classes, please
ask them to apply, too.

Everyone will have seen the email from President Napolitano regarding
the budget situation and a pay freeze for all non-unionized employees
(most staff, all faculty, and other non-unionized academic employees
like GSRs). Those of you in any of the unions (TAs, lecturers, postdocs)
will continue to have payscales per the last contract negotiation,
subject to any new negotiations. More information here. I know this is
not a great time to receive news like this, but the campus leadership is
working hard to anticipate and mitigate other budget tightening that may
come our way as a result of the unprecedented economic hit we are taking
(the losses from student housing alone are staggering, but revenue from
housing will bounce back whenever students eventually start inhabiting
the dorms again). We will continue to ask everyone be extremely mindful
of expenditures so we can be ready to meet whatever might be coming.

Finally, I know some of you are eager for a return: a return to normal, a
return to campus, a return to labs and offices. I just ask again for your
patience. Becky and I are in near-daily discussions with our counterparts
across the campus about the necessary protocols and staging required to
safely allow the re-occupancy of our buildings. The campus is adhering to
state guidelines and the Governor's "stages" and is developing plans on
everything from how to implement supplemental custodial service, sourcing
sanitation supplies, distributing masks, and assessing airflow systems--to
name just a few things we'll have to attend to. I hate to bring this
up but: bear in mind that Orange County has still not seen a consistent
14-day declining trend of new cases of Covid-19. To the contrary.

So, thank you for your patience, please stay safe, and have a great week.