February 7, 2020
Dear Members of Our Campus Community,
To date, there have not been any cases of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Santa Barbara County or on our campus. We place the highest priority on the safety and well-being of our campus community, and we are continuing to work closely with our colleagues at the UC Office of the President and other campuses to monitor the global situation and to coordinate with state and local officials to ensure that we are following the guidelines recommended by public health officials.
In accordance with guidance from the U.S. Department of State, UC President Janet Napolitano has also requested that all UC campuses temporarily “avoid all non-essential travel” to China. The UC Office of the President also asked all UC campuses to develop a review and approval processes to determine whether travel to China is essential or can be postponed. University of California restrictions do not apply to travel that is solely personal, but all travelers should be aware of travel risks and of federal government warnings on any type of travel to/from China.
In light of UC’s directive, members of our campus community wishing to engage in essential business travel to China will need to obtain prior approval. Please see the appendix below regarding the campus approval process. In addition, any such travelers are urged to register their university business travel with UC Away, which provides benefits and protections in case an incident arises that requires medical care, evacuation, or other essential services.
We would like to take this opportunity to reaffirm our shared commitment to treating all members of our community with respect, and to upholding our Principles of Community. It is unacceptable to discriminate against or profile any members of our community.
To help provide our community with answers to questions that arise, our Student Health website is being updated regularly with the latest information available to the University, including links to the Centers for Disease Control and the California Department of Public Health. A Q&A with Student Health Service medical experts is also published on The Current.
We recognize the stress and anxiety that this situation may cause, and we have resources available to help, including Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and Mental Health Peers for students and the Academic & Staff Assistance Program (ASAP) for faculty and staff. More information and assistance are available at our Office of International Students and Scholars and our Student Health Service (SHS) as well.
We will continue to update our campus community as new information becomes available. Our thoughts are with all those affected by this challenging public health situation.
Henry T. Yang, Chancellor
Henning Bohn, Chair, Academic Senate
David Marshall, Executive Vice Chancellor
Joe Incandela, Vice Chancellor for Research
Margaret Klawunn, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Garry Mac Pherson, Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services
Appendix - Approval Process for Essential Travel Requests
For faculty: Essential travel is defined as that which is required to:
• preserve the safety of a research subject and which is not possible to be postponed; or
• preserve the results of a research activity and which is not possible to be postponed.
Please be aware that educational conferences are not considered essential travel, even if you are a presenter. This is just one example of non-essential travel and does not include all other activities that would also be considered non-essential travel.
To request approval to engage in essential travel, faculty should contact their relevant Dean or ORU Director.
For staff: All staff must request an exemption as university-related staff travel to China is presumed postponable and therefore non-essential. To request an exception, staff should contact their relevant Dean, ORU Director, or Vice Chancellor.
For student researchers: To request approval to engage in essential travel, students should contact the Dean of their respective school and the Graduate Division. Such essential travel must be approved by the Dean of the relevant school and the Graduate Division.
Deans, Department Chairs, and Institute/Organized Research Unit Directors are responsible for ensuring that everyone in their unit is aware of and adheres to the above requirements.