December 14, 2017
Dear Members of our Campus Community,
I am writing to again share with you my deep gratitude for the hard work and sacrifice our staff members have shown during this very challenging time. The Thomas Fire presents extraordinary circumstances that impact all of us in so many ways.
I have been meeting with staff and faculty members and I continue to be awed by the dedication and compassion of our UC Santa Barbara community. Despite this natural disaster, our community has come together to ensure that the important work of the University continues. This is a testament to the strength and resilience of our staff. I am humbled by your perseverance.
As I noted in my memo to the campus yesterday, to assist the members of our community who are struggling to manage their individual and family needs, we have activated the Emergency Leave policy. We met this morning with deans, senior administrators, and department heads and strongly reaffirmed that managers at all levels should exercise maximum flexibility for staff who have endured hardships as a result of the Thomas Fire.
The health and well-being of our community is our highest priority. Though we recognize the fire will continue to impact our area, we have begun preliminary clean-up efforts in order to control the spread of ash. These will continue in the coming days and weeks, taking into account the safety of our employees as well as environmental and weather conditions. We will also be working diligently to replace building air filters.
Many of you have expressed how thankful we all are to the firefighters and first responders working around the clock to protect our community. I join you in extending our profound gratitude for their brave and heroic efforts.
Again, I want to express my sincerest appreciation for your dedicated service to UC Santa Barbara and for the care and concern you have shown for one another. Together we will continue to meet these challenges and work to address the needs of our community.
Henry T. Yang