Planning for Fall

Monday, April 27, 2020

Dear Campus Community,

As always, I hope this finds you well and managing the myriad challenges posed by sheltering in place and learning and working remotely. In alignment with the City’s extension of the stay at home order to May 31, SF State will continue with our current plan which includes most University work being handled remotely.

One thing that I find most difficult in the current situation is living with so much uncertainty. I imagine that this is true for many of us. In particular, I know that all are wondering what fall holds for us. While the future, unfortunately, remains very uncertain, one thing I can assure you: We will have a fall semester. Any decision about fall will align with public health requirements. Your health and that of our communities remains paramount. We are hopeful that current mitigation efforts will allow the return to at least some face-to-face instruction. There are indications we will be asked to continue with mitigation efforts such as physical distancing, which may require continuing much of our instruction remotely. We recognize that some learning is best done in person, and we are working hard to make it possible for experiential learning to take place in the fall. 

So, while I can’t guess what the fall will look like, I can tell you that we are planning actively for multiple scenarios including one that features a combination of remote learning and in-person instruction. Yes, this spring has been challenging and the fall may bring challenges of its own. Our students’ academic progress remains a top priority. We will have a fall semester, and, regardless of how it is structured, we are working hard to make sure it’s a good one! 

If we have learned anything in the last few weeks, it is that persistent socioeconomic inequalities in the U.S. have resulted in poorer people suffering the health and economic consequences of COVID-19 faster and harder than other groups. A college degree has been proven repeatedly to foster upward mobility and provide graduates with greater job security and access to health care, among other gains. San Francisco State is proud of its long history as an engine of educational equity and economic development. 

Later this week, we’ll be distributing information about the CSU Cares Program which offers emergency grants for CSU students experiencing financial hardships due to the current health crisis. The planning around distribution of these funds has been aligned with our University’s core value of social justice to address the economic challenges facing our lowest income students and provide resources for some students experiencing COVID-related financial difficulties. Details will be forthcoming later this week.

Providing access to a quality affordable education is key to who we are. While public health requires that we do this differently, the needs of our students and region require that we do it as well as we can. We are and we will.

With continued wishes for good health!


Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.