Week 2 Social Sciences updates

Bill Maurer
Monday October 12 15:49:13 PDT 2020

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

Welcome to Week 2 of the Fall quarter! I am hopeful that those who
are currently teaching are beginning to find the pace and flow to
maintain as best a learning environment as we can provide given our
collective circumstances. I also hope that those engaging in research
and service activities are finding their activities rewarding. To
the staff: I can't thank you enough for your dedication to the
university's mission and hard work during these challenging times.
This is staff appreciation week, but please know you are appreciated
every week of the year. Our undergraduate students are grateful for
everyone's efforts, too--they reach out to tell me so!

We welcomed 1,534 new social sciences first year and transfer
students this year. 60% of them are the first in their family to
attend college--making our "remote" environment all the more
challenging. On-campus dorms and residences are at around 40% of
normal occupancy, and as the grad students know, weekly coronavirus
testing is ongoing for all students living on campus.

A few updates for those who are new to our community, and some

1) Everything having to do with our remote operations, including
teaching resources and guidance, information on instructional
support, faculty coaches to help enhance your classes, and more,
lives at https://remote.socsci.uci.edu/. If you haven't been there for a
while, or need some help, please check it out.

2) All campus resources and information related to UC Irvine's
response to Covid-19 is at https://uci.edu/coronavirus/. Any questions
about anything Covid-related can be directed to covid19@uci.edu or

3) We are resuming our normal Weekly Memos, a Monday morning email
that lists events taking place through the School of Social Sciences,
all in one place. If you have an event to add, please share it with
Allison Marks (marksa@uci.edu) by 4pm the preceding Friday. As
always, our Google calendar lives at socsci.uci.edu (get there with
one click here).

4) Associate Dean Castellanos is sending weekly messages to all the
folks currently teaching, to keep you informed on any important
campus updates or resources related to instruction.

5) For faculty, grad students and researchers, Associate Dean McBride
continues to review applications to resume "Phase 2" research
activity on campus. If you'd like to begin to use your office or
lab for research purposes again, there is a process you must comply
with in order for us to maintain the level of social distancing and
the approved occupancy limits for our facilities. Please visit this
Google form for more details.

6) If you have not yet taken the online Returning to Campus training,
please do so.

7) Please also reply to the Working Well/Living Well emails you are
receiving daily, and/or use the app, to indicate that you do not
plan to be on campus, or to conduct your daily symptom check if you
do plan to be on campus. Social Sciences' participation rate is
among the lowest on campus.... Since we're large, that's a problem
as far as protecting public health is concerned. As I've said before:
yes, it's a pain; but it only takes a minute, and we're in a pandemic!

8) Please get your flu shot! You should have received an email
reminding you to do so. More information is available here.

9) And congrats to sociology professor Kristin Turney for being
elected Chair of the Executive Committee of the School of Social
Sciences! The Executive Committee fulfills vital faculty governance
functions for our school--which I believe is more important than
ever given our remote operations and difficult Covid-related budget
constraints. It is also our liaison with the campus and UC system
Academic Senate. Thank you for your service, Kristin, and thanks
to all those Senate faculty members who voted.

And please remember: though these are trying times, you're never
alone. If you encounter any difficulties related to teaching,
research, telecommuting, living, working... please do not suffer
in silence! Feel free to reach out directly to me, Assistant Dean
Ávila, your department manager, or any of the Associate Deans for
support. We're here for you!

Best wishes for the start of Fall quarter, and once again, thank
you for all that you are doing.

Bill Maurer