All 23 California State University campuses and all nine University of California campuses with undergraduate courses have now made plans to move classes online in response to the spread of the coronavirus.
UC Merced on Tuesday informed faculty that classes would be moved online, becoming the last of the University of California campuses to announce it would move classes to remote settings. Cal Maritime was the final holdout in the Cal State system but now says classes will be moved to virtual instruction wherever possible.
The UC system enrolls about 223,000 undergraduates across its campuses. The CSU campuses enroll about 428,000 undergraduates.
Some universities such as CSU East Bay have said classes that cannot easily be converted to online instruction, such as lab courses, may continue to meet in-person while other courses are conducted in remote settings. However, CSU Chancellor Tim White said in a statement Tuesday that all face-to-face classes on all Cal State campuses will be discontinued and converted to virtual modes, including lab courses.
“The health and well-being of our students and employees is always a foremost priority, and we are especially mindful of this during these unprecedented circumstances,” White said. “As we address a new reality where groupings of people can potentially foster the spread of infection, we must collectively work to limit the gathering of students, faculty and staff as much as possible, while fulfilling our academic mission.”
Gregg Camfield, UC Merced’s provost, said in a message to the campus Monday that all classes would be conducted remotely beginning March 30, after students return from spring break. Camfield said remote learning would continue for the rest of the spring semester.
UC Merced had previously encouraged but did not mandate faculty to move classes online.
“The situation has evolved so quickly that we now must move from encouraging you to requiring you to move to distance delivery of curriculum,” Camfield wrote. “We are now going to resume ALL instructional activity after spring break through distance delivery.”
At Cal Maritime, classes are canceled through Wednesday. They will resume on Thursday virtually “where possible.”
Bobby King, a spokesman for Cal Maritime, said about two-thirds of students at the campus are working toward a Coast Guard license, and courses in that program often require face-to-face interaction. Those classes are being rescheduled, King said.
Some other classes, including labs, also can’t be moved online and may ultimately meet in person but are on hiatus for now, King added.
“Anything that is possible to move online is moving online,” he said.