January 15, 2018
Dear Members of our Campus Community,
I appreciate the tremendous support our community has shown for our neighbors in Montecito as recovery efforts continue in the wake of last week's devastating storm. We are deeply saddened by the damage inflicted by the mudslides, and most of all by the precious lives lost.
As we prepare for the start of our winter quarter tomorrow, Tuesday, January 16, we recognize that the ongoing closure of the 101 freeway has created challenges for many of our students, staff, and faculty.
For students who are still returning to campus, we encourage you to check the CalTrans website for up-to-date road information, and plan your route accordingly. Amtrak has resumed rail service through Santa Barbara County, and the Condor Express and Island Packers are providing ferry service between Ventura and Santa Barbara. The University will also be running shuttles to and from the Goleta Amtrak station and the harbor ferry. Shuttle times will be posted at www.tps.ucsb.edu.
We are establishing an emergency fund using private gift resources to reimburse commuting costs for staff, faculty, and students from south of Montecito. These funds will be made available to reimburse the cost of daily commutes by train or ferry rides or short-term accommodations until the highway is reopened.
Students who need reimbursement and other assistance should contact Dean of Student Life Katya Armistead (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The emergency administrative leave policy will continue to be in effect throughout the freeway closure for staff who are experiencing hardships as a result of this ongoing situation. Departments and managers are encouraged to continue to exercise maximum flexibility. Staff who need assistance with commuting costs and other accommodations should contact Director of Human Resources Cynthia Señeriz (email@example.com). Staff also are encouraged to keep in close communication with their supervisors and managers.
For faculty who need assistance with course coverage or have questions pertaining to make-up exams, grading, TA support, and other academic issues, please consult with your department chairs and deans. More information will be made available. We are working to provide support where needed. Faculty who need assistance with commuting costs and other accommodations should contact Acting Assistant Chancellor Chuck Haines (firstname.lastname@example.org) in Finance and Resource Management.
This tragedy affects all of us in many ways. If you need help, please reach out so we can support you. The Academic & Staff Assistance Program (ASAP) is available for our faculty and staff for confidential referral services and counseling (https://www.hr.ucsb.edu/asap; (805) 893-3318). Counseling for students is available through Counseling & Psychological Services (http://caps.sa.ucsb.edu; (805) 893-4411).
We recognize the extraordinary efforts and adaptations being made by our staff, faculty, TAs, students, parents, and everyone to help each other and our campus through this difficult time. I thank each of you sincerely for your hard work, for your patience and flexibility, and for your dedication to this very special community.
If you have other questions, concerns, or suggestions, please feel free to contact me.
Henry T. Yang