Interim Update on Plans for Research Continuity

May 29, 2020

Dear Colleagues:

We write to provide an update on our planning for a carefully considered, sequenced resumption of research activities. The Research Recovery Committee, comprised of faculty and research administrators from across the campus, is making good progress on evaluating the conditions necessary for a resumption that aligns with the campus’ commitment to protect the health of our community. We are asking for your partnership now as the Committee finalizes guidelines that will help create and protect those conditions.

What will the next phase look like and how will it be managed

All work that can be done remotely, will continue to be done remotely. We plan a phased, building by building approach to resumption, keeping building density low, and considering the full range of research spaces on campus: laboratories, offices, studios, performance spaces, etc. as well as particular requirements for field research and animal and human subjects research.

The Committee is working with deans, lead staff, Facilities Services, and building managers to formulate plans for each building; researchers will then be invited to submit proposals for resumption according to the guidelines set forth by the Committee. Additional information on this process will follow next week. (Note: The Library is designing its research and instruction plans to continue supporting remote users while introducing limited on-campus services. The Library's plans will be communicated broadly after they are vetted with the EVCP and Academic Senate Committee on the Library. To keep up with the Librar y's research options, visit their COVID-19 Portal.)

What you can do to prepare

  • Consider (with your research group, where relevant) which research demands campus access and what can be continued remotely 
  • Imagine how to ensure social distancing in shared research spaces
  • Plot the maximum amount of time you (and group members) will need to be on campus
  • Plan how you will design research to be able to withdraw from campus in case of a resurgence

Now as we plan for research resumption, the Vice Chancellor for Research Office will only review emergency requests for access to on-campus spaces – for example, to prevent damage to critical equipment. Hold all other requests until the new review process described above is in place.

Thank you for your continued partnership and patience as we lay these plans. These are unprecedented times. We are aware there is a diversity of opinion and perspective regarding the appropriate pace and extent of a resumption of research activity on campus. So, as we re-open, we will move forward on a step-by-step basis given our understanding that there will be unanticipated developments and unintended consequences. Plans and processes will surely need to be modified as we proceed. And, of course, the status of the COVID-19 pandemic could change at any time. We will analyze and learn as we go. We will remain rea dy to adjust based on what we learn, and the feedback we receive. Throughout we will maintain our commitment to transparency, collaboration, and meaningful consultation as we evolve, adapt, and refine our response.

With best wishes,

Randy Howard Katz
Vice Chancellor for Research

Linda Haverty Rugg
Associate Vice Chancellor for Research

This message is being sent to Faculty, Graduate Students, Postdocs, and Staff. Please distribute to others as appropriate. 

Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research