September 14, 2020
Dear USC Community,
Over 40,000 students began the fall semester remotely last month – marking the start of an academic year unlike any other in USC’s 140-year history. Guidelines from both the State and County significantly restricted our in-person activities. Public health authorities are still seeing widespread community disease transmission and continue to restrict activities accordingly. As a result, we have concluded that we will proceed with online only instruction through the end of the fall semester.
We are regularly consulting with health authorities and have requested a small number of narrow exceptions for limited on-campus activity – and even then, only when a virtual arrangement is not possible. Unfortunately, at this point we are not optimistic that those requests will be approved. As a result, access to most indoor spaces on campus continues to be restricted, all on and off-campus events – both indoor and outdoor – remain prohibited, and on-campus housing can only be provided for students who do not have viable alternative options.
While disappointing, we are fully committed to protecting the health and safety of our community and will follow the public health guidelines as a matter of obligation and with appreciation for the underlying science driving these decisions.
We are grateful for the efforts of faculty and staff whose formidable efforts have demonstrated enormous flexibility to pivot towards online classes as necessitated by public health guidelines. Our students are showing creativity and resilience as they adapt to virtual classes and experiences. We seek and encourage your continued perseverance, collaboration, and support as we continue to offer a robust virtual experience for all of our students.
We will continue to work closely with state and county health officials and will provide regular updates as we head toward the start of the spring semester.
Charles F. Zukoski
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Senior Vice President, Administration
cc: Office of the President
President’s Senior Leadership Team
Provost’s Leadership Team