late summer updates!

Bill Maurer
Wednesday August 26 16:23:12 PDT 2020

    Dear social sciences staff, faculty, lecturers, grad students and researchers,

    I hope everyone is making the most of the summer, and that those with
    school-age children are navigating the weirdest "back to school" we will
    hopefully ever have to deal with ever again.

    I'm trying to keep out of everyone's Inbox as much as possible, at least
    until Fall quarter begins, but there have been some important campus
    updates in the past several days.

    1) Daily Symptom Checking is now a thing - for real this time: Some
    of you may have experimented with the symptom-check app earlier this
    summer (I could never get it to open after I'd downloaded it), and
    others have already been submitting digital symptom checks as they've
    returned to campus for Phase 2-approved research or teaching prep. But
    it's now mandatory for everyone. You've probably received an email in
    the early hours of the morning (mine arrives at 1:56am). It looks sort
    of like spam, and is sent from We've also received
    several zotmails about this. There are additional instructions here,
    including some information on data storage and confidentiality. If you
    do not intend to come to campus--and remember, our default is still to
    telecommute and work remotely to the extent possible--simply click "Not
    Scheduled to Work On-Site." Otherwise, follow the prompts. It's a pain,
    but we're in a pandemic.

    2) Revised UC Travel Policy: The new UC travel policy lives here and the
    take-home message is to continue to postpone all non-essential travel
    domestically and internationally. For essential travel activities, there
    are restrictions and an approval process based on the CDC risk level of
    the region. Currently, just about everywhere is still at the CDC's Level
    2 or above (the Level 1 places sound nice: New Zealand, Saint Barts,
    and Fiji, among other island nations). Essential travel to areas of risk
    requires preapproval and 14-day quarantine. Please refer to the summary
    (Section F of the document).

    3) Lots and lots of phishing and spam: With back-to-school around the
    country and virtually everyone continuing to operate remotely, there has
    been an uptick in phishing attacks and other cybersecurity issues. When
    in doubt, delete! Don't click that link!

    4) Preparing for Fall and Winter teaching: As you know, Fall will be
    conducted remotely. We are planning for a remote Winter as well. As I've
    said in the past, if we're lucky enough to be able to hold some in-person
    classes in Winter it will be a very, very happy time. For now, preparation
    is key. The campus and the school have devoted additional resources to
    help us get our classes ready for online teaching and learning. In the
    school, we have dedicated faculty coaches and an instructional design
    specialist ready to help you. The campus continues to post material,
    including self-paced tutorials, at . And we
    still have the talents of our grad student DTEI Fellows and Soc Sci
    Instructional Fellows to help; faculty and lecturers should contact
    their department manager if they require additional support from a grad
    student fellow (and a huge thank you to all the grad students who have
    been working this summer!). Please don't be shy to ask for help! Ask
    your department manager, your chair, or email me, and I'll forward your
    query to the correct person. Janet DiVincenzo , our
    instructional designer, can also help you find the resources you need.

    5) Budget constraints: Barring a Congressional breakthrough and additional
    relief funds this Fall, we are expecting budget constriction. Academic
    units have been asked to absorb a 2% cut. We are limiting all honoraria to
    $250 maximum (amounts over this require exceptional approval) and working
    with departments to trim where we can from operating budgets. Becky and
    Shelly will be meeting with department managers in the next week or two
    to finalize department budgets (so that savings from the lack of travel
    and entertainment will be well-utilized).

    6) Coping with All This: I know it is an incredibly stressful time,
    especially as kids are back "in" school. Everyone is juggling a
    lot. No one is working under optimal conditions. The campus will be
    rolling out a number of webinars and workshops on coping with stress,
    handling uncertainty, balancing work and life in the pandemic, and
    other topics. Existing resources are here, as well as on-demand webinars
    here. Please also familiarize yourself with the resources from Wellness,
    Health and Counseling Services, which is a one-stop shop for wellness
    needs for faculty, staff, students and research employees. Again: please
    don't be shy to ask for help!

    7) Thank you, and best wishes to Belinda Robnett, Vice Chancellor for
    Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, UC Santa Barbara! We held a lovely
    virtual farewell reception today, as our Associate Dean ascends to our
    sister campus further north and to a position in which we all know she
    will continue to break barriers and push the UC to refine and commit to
    its values. Thank you Belinda!

    Before I sign off, I want to encourage those in a position to do so to
    take some time off before the Fall quarter begins in earnest. "Time off"
    in this instance probably means simply disconnecting for a few days. I
    intend to do so next week. Feel free to join me--by ignoring email and
    staying away from Zoom!

    All best wishes,