November 20, 2020

Dear Members of Our Campus Community,

As the Thanksgiving holiday is upon us, we are overwhelmed with gratitude for the dedication and support of our staff and faculty colleagues throughout this challenging year. Over the last eight months, you have boldly navigated the unfamiliar landscape of working and teaching remotely, while also managing the uncertainties of the pandemic and greater demands on your work-life balance. Through it all, you continue to inspire us every single day with your creativity, flexibility, and community-spiritedness.

We all wish we had better news of the current public health situation. As you know, COVID-19 cases are on the rise in California, across the country, and around the world. Here in Santa Barbara County, the positivity rate has forced us back into the most-restrictive tier of the State’s COVID-19 reopening plan, resulting in public health guidelines prohibiting indoor lectures at institutes of higher education.

In light of the updated guidance and the current COVID-19 surge, we are asking those members in our campus community who have been working remotely to continue doing so through at least Sunday, March 28, 2021.

To ensure maximum flexibility for our staff colleagues, last week UC President Michael Drake issued an executive order extending to June 30, 2021, the time period in which paid administrative leave may be used for COVID-19-related reasons. The UC Office of the President has also released clarification on COVID-19 Extended Family Medical Leave, one of three COVID-19-related paid leave provisions available to policy-covered and represented staff employees.

We are here to care for and support each other through what has become, for the time being, a new way of life. We deeply appreciate the sacrifices and adaptations you make on a daily basis to uphold the high standards and academic mission of our university. Because of you, UC Santa Barbara continues to flourish. In this season of thankfulness, we are thankful for you!    


Henry T. Yang