Dear USC Community,
In two weeks, the Fall semester will come to a close. I know all of you – faculty, staff, and students – have worked to make the best of challenging circumstances. As classes end today, we want to recognize your fortitude and your resilience. We wish faculty and students a strong finish.
We are also looking ahead to Spring. The recent rise in COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles County is a reminder that we continue to live in a pandemic. We regularly meet with county health officials in our efforts to return to some in-person learning. In our most recent discussions, it has become increasingly clear that conditions are now likely to require that we begin the Spring semester with the same online and remote instruction that we’ve had during the Fall, with no additional students in our residence halls.
We remain hopeful, however, that at some point during the semester we will be able to return some students to campus for in-person and hybrid learning. And we hope to offer greater on-campus student activities and access to instructional facilities and research labs. We are looking to health officials to approve activities such as reopening libraries with reduced capacity, setting up tents for small groups of students to study, and reopening our tennis courts and swimming pools. We know these are important to the mental and physical well-being of students, and we will be ready to go as soon as we have permission.
As we have seen with this pandemic over these past several months, conditions can change quickly, and there is always the chance we will have more positive news before the end of the year. We will continue to update you on any new developments.
Finally, we all understand how to limit the spread of the disease – physically distance, wear a face covering, avoid gathering outside your household, and frequently wash your hands. I want to thank you for the perseverance you’ve shown in adhering to safety protocols to keep yourselves and your neighbors safe. Your continued vigilance will be key to our efforts to resume a more active life on campus.
My best to you and your loved ones as we enter the holiday season.
Charles F. Zukoski
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
cc: Office of the President
President’s Senior Leadership Team
Provost’s Leadership Team