Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Professional Studies and Fine Arts

PSFA Coronavirus Updates

Faculty Resources during Re-Population

August 21, 2020

John Petreikis

​Attention PSFA Faculty: In addition to the university-wide messaging, please visit for information, links, downloads, and forms for your use in F2F classes and virtual instruction.

A Message for Incoming PSFA Students

May 22, 2020

Dean Peggy Shannon

SDSU Flex, a University-wide Plan in Response to COVID-19

May 12, 2020

SDSU President Adela de la Torre

Dear SDSU Community,

As announced today during the California State University system’s Board of Trustees meeting, all 23 campuses in the system, including San Diego State University, will move forward with planning for virtual instruction, with some exceptions, for Fall 2020.

CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White, in his board address this morning, stated that the system-wide virtual approach will allow for variability across the campuses, but that CSU courses, especially lecture-type courses, would primarily be delivered virtually. Only instruction and activities that cannot be delivered virtually will be conducted in-person, and with strict standards for safety and welfare.

“This virtual planning approach preserves as many options for as many students as possible, and is consistent with our guiding principle meeting students where they are,” White said.

Further, White said: “It would be irresponsible to wait until summer to plan for virtual learning across the curriculum. It is wise to plan now and over the next several months for enriched training and virtual learning environments and to be able to pull back again in the fall as in-person circumstances might be further allowed. It would be irresponsible to approach it the other way around.”

With this message, I am pleased to share an update about our SDSU community’s Fall 2020 plans, which follow this updated guidance and direction from the CSU and respect existing and projected public health orders.

Fall 2020 Plans

After thorough and careful assessment and feedback from faculty and staff who have shared their expertise, and following this directive from the CSU, our campus community will launch SDSU Flex.

With all lecture-based instruction intended to occur online in the fall, our SDSU Flex model will offer maximum opportunities for students to remain fully engaged with their faculty, staff members, peers and SDSU alumni — no matter their physical location. It also provides flexibility to our faculty, reducing the number of courses that may be needed to transition to fully virtual in the event of a second wave of the virus. Our model will also provide extensive time for faculty to prepare and modify their courses for the fall, in ways that differ drastically from the emergency move this spring.

As we continue to develop SDSU Flex, our priority will continue to be to share information in a timely and transparent manner. We know that our current students and their families need to make personal decisions soon, which will require decisions to be made about individual courses by our faculty and colleges. Following the announcement from the CSU today, we will continue, and with greater specificity, to engage in course-level planning. Additional communications will follow throughout this month as this work progresses.

SDSU Flex Model

SDSU Flex calls for high customization and will allow the maximum amount of flexibility to our community as COVID-19 conditions change in the future. Our preliminary model and the plans that will follow are informed by updated guidance from the CSU and expectations that physical distancing and certain other restrictive county, state and federal orders will remain in place through the fall.

Through the SDSU Flex model for Fall 2020, we will:
Next Steps

  • In consultation and agreement with the CSU, offer certain lab, art studio, and performance-based courses in person, including clinical offerings required for licensure, while offering lecture-based instruction via virtual modalities.

  • Expand existing, customized training for faculty members around course design and teaching, which will also address accessibility and inclusivity, to ensure quality education. A training institute was launched for faculty earlier this afternoon. Faculty can learn more or sign up by visiting the Instructional Technology Services Training & Workshops site.

  • Significantly expand online activities and student support service, and also maintain robust financial aid for our students.

  • Carefully open the campus in phases based on the guidelines shared in our campus update email last week, beginning with faculty who need to return to their research or creative work in on-campus facilities.

  • Continue to collaborate with county public health officials and to advocate the return of research and instructional faculty to campus as soon as permitted, and as we can safely increase support staffing to maintain campus safety.

What occurred this spring, with the rise of the first wave of this new pandemic was unprecedented. It required emergency flexibility, extraordinary adaptations to how we teach and learn, and other urgent and highly disruptive transitions, necessitated by a rapidly changing policy environment.

We now have the benefit of improved projections from global, federal, state, and county health agencies, and all warn of a significant fall resurgence. No vaccine is anticipated by August, nor is there certainty around the efficacy of any of the therapeutics currently being explored by researchers — including San Diego State Researchers — and clinicians around the Country.

Ultimately, we cannot gamble that testing and treatment will be so substantially improved by August that we may return to full or majority in-person classes, and therefore position ourselves for another large and emergency move away from campus, if required by the county or state.

However, these challenges will not stop us from investing fully in the classroom, technology, testing, and health and safety infrastructure necessary to ensure we can deliver in-person courses and experiences in fall for those areas that most need it. As noted above, these areas may include our lab courses, nursing and clinical experiences, art studio, life science and engineering projects, and a number of other areas. These decisions will be made in the coming weeks in concert with our faculty, public health experts, facilities experts, and the CSU system. For the rest of fall coursework occurring in the virtual space, we now have the benefit of four months of prep time.

Last week, I shared information about our guiding principles, which are informing all levels of analysis, planning and decision-making. These principles will guide decisions about additional details of SDSU Flex and our plans.

SDSU Flex is being designed with our campus culture in mind, informed by our strengths in offering high-touch and high-interaction experiences among and between faculty and students. Our solution will retain or improve student-to-faculty ratios for in-person, improve high-touch advising, with virtual offerings that are both diverse and inclusive, meeting the specific needs of our students.

Thank You

As always, thank you to all of the faculty, staff and students who have and continue to make contributions to these plans, and those operational plans which will be used to open our campus once more. Our mission is our priority, and we will work to sustain the highest quality teaching and research during this global pandemic, with maximum flexibility for our faculty, staff, and students.

Adela de la Torre
San Diego State University President

Important Update on Credit/No Credit From President de la Torre

April 20, 2020

SDSU President Adela de la Torre

Dear SDSU Community,

Students enrolled in spring 2020 courses at San Diego State University will now have a credit/no credit grading option for all courses. This extends the temporary change in grading policy for select courses that we announced in an April 15 campus message.

The expanded grading option affords our students greater flexibility as they work to meet their academic goals. As a further response to coronavirus (COVID-19) concern, it is among a series of actions San Diego State University has taken to mitigate academic and financial challenges for all students.

Please keep the following in mind: For some students, taking a credit/no credit option has the potential to create direct and adverse impacts in both the short-term and long-term. For example, some professional accreditation organizations may not permit grading alterations.

In pursuing the credit/no credit option, students must carefully consider their financial aid, employability and long-term academic goals, including interest in graduate and professional studies. Given these unintended but serious potential adverse consequences, SDSU is implementing a structured process to assist students in making informed decisions about opting for credit/no credit:
SDSU World Campus will provide further direction to students in the Semester@SDSU and Open University programs. Students in those programs may also visit the FAQ page for additional information.

  • Students shall seek consultation from academic advisers and a financial aid officer to ensure that, based on their academic program, they do not face adverse impacts from a credit/no credit mark appearing on their transcripts. Undergraduates who have academic questions can attend a Virtual Academic Advising Session, or receive phone advising by calling 619-594-6668 (Monday through Thursday between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.). Students who have questions about their majors, or need help choosing upper division courses, should contact their adviser listed in the major adviser directory.

  • Graduate students should consult the Graduate Affairs Coronavirus Policy Updates page, which has information for thesis packets, the dissertation submission process, and support for those with questions about meeting graduation requirements.

  • After this consultation, students must submit a formal request to change their grade basis to credit/no credit by May 1. Students wishing to submit their request immediately may do so by completing the Petition for Special Consideration Late Schedule Adjustment. Additional information is on the SDSU Withdrawal site.

  • Assistant deans will review requests involving majors, minors and graduate programs in their respective colleges and offer consultation to students where needed.

  • Assistant deans will route their decisions regarding credit/no credit petitions to the Office of the Registrar for confirmation. The registrar will send a confirmation to each student at their SDSU email address.

As a reminder, as an alternative to the credit/no credit option, students have a flexible withdrawal option through May 7. This option allows students to withdraw from one or more classes of their choosing, with approval from the dean or their designee in the appropriate college in which the course is offered.

To do so, students will need to complete the Petition for Special Consideration Late Schedule Adjustment form. Once approved, a “W” will appear on the student’s transcript for the course. This will have no effect on financial aid.

We continue to encourage students who have critical needs for housing, food, technology, crisis counseling, health care and other assistance to seek the support of SDSU’s Economic Crisis Response Team. Students can directly request support via the online ECRT form.

Also, Professors of Equity are providing guidance about ways to adjust to graduate school during these uncertain times and “Conversation with Graduate Students: Academic Journey through COVID-19 Outbreak,” as part of a professional development series. If you are interested in participating in signing-up for the live Zoom meeting, please complete this Google form.

We hope that offering the additional grade flexibility will help in this time of upheaval. To all of our students, including those who have had life-changing experiences: We are here to support you, and we ask that you continue to look to your instructors, advisors and counselors for support. No matter your circumstances, know that your success and well-being remain our primary focus.

Adela de la Torre
San Diego State University President

Mark Wheeler
University Senate Chair

Christian Onwuka
Associated Students President

Update on Campus Access from Provost Ochoa

April 03, 2020

Salvador Hector Ochoa, SDSU Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Dear SDSU Community,

First, we want to thank San Diego State University’s faculty, staff, and students for their understanding as we have had to reduce the size of the on-campus population, including the research population, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

With this campus update, we are sharing information about access to buildings and also reinforcing that classes should not be held this week, during spring recess.

Restrictions to Buildings and Facilities

Beginning Wednesday, April 8, at 8 a.m., access to main campus and SDSU Imperial Valley buildings or in SDSU Research Foundation facilities will be further restricted to critical on-site research personnel and critical on-site staff only. Such individuals will retain intermittent on-site access, but access to others will be restricted.

Reducing the number of facilities and custodial staff, in addition to efforts to secure additional cleaning supplies while supporting county efforts, is a significant limiting factor for SDSU’s ability to retain full building access. This decision to further restrict building access through April 30 follows directly from this concern and our priority to maintain the health, well-being, and safety of our community. This allows custodial efforts to focus on residential housing and those spaces with ongoing critical research following the criteria noted below.

All SDSU employees, including researchers, are asked to spend the coming days retrieving any important materials before April 8 at 8 a.m. Teleworking and virtual adoption are continuing.

Faculty researchers will be notified by their deans if they have been granted continuing access beyond April 8. These faculty, students, and staff approved as critical on-site research personnel will continue to have access to their buildings or facilities using current card key or key access.

We ask that if you are granted continuing building access that you assist in keeping buildings secure. Please do not leave doors unsecured or grant entry to other personnel. Custodial services scheduling will also be modified. If there are immediate building needs, faculty and staff may submit a request to Facilities Services.

Criteria used to determine critical on-site research personnel are as follows:
Those who have not been approved in the categories above, and who are not critical on-site staff maintaining the health and safety of our physical infrastructure, will no longer have building access. This includes a temporary restriction of their RedID card swipe access.

  • Responsible for maintaining the viability of research subjects, including the well-being of animals in vivarium and non-vivarium facilities.

  • Research personnel needed to preserve highly perishable and difficult to replace research materials (e.g. primary cell lines that cannot be stored), such that considerable time and costs would be associated with their loss.

  • Individuals responsible for regular maintenance of equipment that, if not done, could result in damage to the equipment and/or extraordinary cost.

  • Researchers working on experiments that have a small window for completion — for example, data collection might be required in the immediate time-frame as a long-term experiment comes to fruition or for research that relies on the ability to make specific measurements only at certain times a year.

  • Research critical to helping address the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Research where a pause will negatively impact the care of participants on a clinical trial.

Those without access may re-enter buildings with the approval of the dean, associate dean and/or vice president overseeing their college or unit.

SDSU Research Foundation Grant Support Offered

While the further reduction of on campus faculty, staff and students may result in the pause or delay of many important research areas on campus, it is a necessary step to protect the health and safety of faculty, staff, and students as well as the broader San Diego community.

SDSU Research Foundation grant specialists are available to work with grant-funded researchers who may need to contact funding agencies to modify grant funded activities. For support, contact your grants specialist directly. If you need help identifying your grants specialist, contact Renée Lechner, director of Sponsored Research Administration, by emailing

Spring Recess Continues this Week

As a reminder, no course activities should occur during spring recess, which is this week. Classes resume on Monday, April 6.

Instructors who have implemented class requirements during spring recess, to include class meetings or exams, are asked to halt such activities this week, and until classes resume on April 6.

As always, we thank you for your flexibility and resilience as we work through the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 Assessment and Response is Ongoing

SDSU will continue to review access protocols in response to the dynamic environment brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Further adjustments may occur in the future, and will be communicated accordingly.

Continue to visit SDSU’s public-facing COVID-19 site for information and updates and remain persistent in following U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for helping to protect yourself and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Salvador Hector Ochoa
SDSU Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Stephen C. Welter
Vice President of Research and Graduate Dean

Michele Goetz
Associate Vice President and Executive Director of the SDSU Research Foundation

Virtual Support Workshops and Virtual Assessments

March 25, 2020

Dean Peggy Shannon

PSFA Virtual Support Workshop’s are Posted!

The VIP workshop recordings are posted here:

Virtual Assessment Workshop

Wednesday, March 25, 11:00 – 12:00 pm
Jon Rizzo, Instructional Designer, ITS
Click Here to View the Workshop Recording

In this Zoom session, Jon Rizzo discussed and demonstrated methods for assessing your students virtually via Blackboard. The session focused on Assignments, Tests/Pools, and other formative and summative assessment tools in Blackboard. Attending faculty members also receive recommendations on best practices and pedagogical considerations when assessing students virtually.

PSFA Virtual Support Workshop

March 24, 2020

Dr. Kurt Lindemann

Dear Colleagues,

SDSU ITS and the PSFA Virtual Teaching Support Team is offering a virtual workshop on constructing and using exams, quizzes, and other assessments in BlackBoard Wednesday, March 25, 11 am. For the calendar Zoom link, please see below:

VIP: Virtual Assessments: Wednesday, March 25, 11:00 – 12:00 pm

For a schedule of additional virtual workshops, emails and office hours for the PSFA Virtual Teaching Support Team, and links to archived recordings, please see this Google doc:

If you have any questions or concerns about the transition to virtual teaching, virtual teaching mechanics and pedagogy, please contact any member of the PSFA Virtual Support Team:

Bernie Dodge, LDT,
Tiffany Dykstra-Devette, COMM,
Maya Ginsberg, SM&D,
Rebecca Coates Nee, JMS,
Nathian Shae Rodriguez, JMS,
Amy Schmitz Weiss, JMS,
Katie Turner, TTF,
Stuart Voytilla, TTF/ITS Faculty Fellow,


Thank you!

Welcome to the Virtual Mesa!

March 20, 2020

Student Life and Leadership

Attention PSFA students! Campus life does not stop even though we cannot meet in a physical space. Our staff is here and available to meet with you virtually as we journey through this unprecedented time together. We are working diligently to provide you with up-to-date resources and involvement opportunities.

For a guide to resources, support, and events from SDSU virtual campus, visit:

March 19 Update from President de la Torre

March 20, 2020

President Adela de la Torre

Dear SDSU Community,

These past months have been a compelling reminder of how swiftly the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation is changing and the importance of our interconnectedness. We have heard from many of you and appreciate that the majority of our campus community continues to be understanding of the time-sensitive changes we must make for the good of all.

We also learned tonight of a statewide order that impacts the majority of California residents.

With this message, we are sharing new information and additional guidance. As with the communications and decisions shared over the last weeks, this message expands on previous updates with state and federal government directives received today. As with earlier messages, please read all information below carefully.

Statewide “Stay at Home” Order

Gov. Gavin Newsom, in an announcement this evening, issued a statewide “stay at home” order, effective at midnight, to protect the public health of all people living in California. Newsom explained in his public address exceptions for essential needs, including grocery and health care-related trips, and some outdoor activities in alignment with social distancing guidelines. However, he encouraged each of us to avoid being in public as much as possible.

The executive order also calls out exceptions for those whose work is needed to maintain continuity of operation for critical infrastructure sectors. One of these sectors, for government facilities, includes colleges and universities.

What this means for SDSU:
Gov. Newsom also discussed recent conversations his team has had with California State University (CSU) and University of California leadership in the event that campuses may be needed for emergency efforts related to COVID-19. We will communicate should a decision related to any SDSU facility occur.

  • The campus remains open, as core functions are continuing. This order has no further impact on the continuity of instruction, advising, and comprehensive student support services in virtual settings.

  • All students who were approved for long-term housing will remain on campus.

  • Those who are responsible for the maintenance, care and security of critical assets and facilities, which includes facilities services staff, can continue to do their work on campus, abiding by social distancing guidelines.

  • Certain researchers are also permitted to be on campus if their research cannot be done remotely or deferred. SDSU researchers should continue to refer to the Graduate and Research Affairs (GRA) Coronavirus webpage for guidance and questions.

  • All other employees should continue to telework.

SDSU continues to urge all members of the campus community to be attentive to the level 4 global health advisory and travel restriction. In that announcement, all U.S. citizens currently abroad were asked to arrange for immediate return to the United States. Further, the U.S. Department of State advised that all U.S. citizens avoid international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.

The CSU followed the updated advisory this evening, calling for all international travel, world-wide, to be discontinued. Exceptions can now only be approved by the campus President. Students currently abroad are asked to consider the safest option for them given their current geographical location.

Over the last few weeks, students who have expressed a desire to return home have already done so or are in the process of returning. The vast majority of our students are now safely home at their permanent residences. However, we also recognize that several of our students have expressed that they feel safer in their study abroad locations, continuing their program and avoiding any risk of exposure while traveling.

Students who choose to come home will be able to do so at no cost to them. Study Abroad questions should continue to be directed to to discuss travel and academic support. Further, those returning are strongly urged and reminded to abide by the CDC’s 14-day period guidance for remaining home and monitoring one’s health.

COVID-19 Case

We learned this afternoon from Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency that a study abroad student has tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The student was studying in Spain and is self-isolating at home outside of San Diego County. The student returned directly home, and has had no direct in-person contact with anyone in the San Diego region or on the campus.

While the student did not come to campus, we are sharing this message to provide transparent awareness that SDSU is aware of the case and working directly with public health authorities and also offering support to the student.

This is the second confirmed COVID-19 case connected to the SDSU community, with the first having studied in Italy. The two students did not study together; these are independent cases and both are recovering.


The issues associated with the COVID-19 pandemic are in many ways unparalleled. The health and safety of each member of our campus community is our top priority, and we know that both the situation and the decisions that have followed have been disruptive. We thank each of you for every creative, innovative and compassionate effort made as we work together to continue addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please continue to check your university email and visit:

Adela de la Torre
San Diego State University President

Salvador Hector Ochoa
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Virtual Support Update from Instructional Technology Services

March 18, 2020

James Frazee

Dear College Virtual Support Teams and Supporters,

Let me begin by sharing my gratitude for your immediate response to the call initially, and throughout the week. I am attaching a screenshot of the link location of the College Virtual Support Resource page on the site. Please note that this is the second link on the right hand navigation bar. Here is the direct link to the page:

@ Associate Deans and College IT personnel, would you please post this page in a prominent location on your Colleges’ website(s) so your faculty may reach out for support?

We also encourage all College Support Team members to offer this resource and the ITS COVID-19 page during interactions with faculty in search of support. Please note that ITS is offering the Virtual Faculty Instructional Technology (FIT) Center, with staff available for help via Zoom from 8am-6:30 Monday-Thursday, and 8-4:40 on Friday.

We’re also looking into the possibility of providing after hours and weekend support. Please stay tuned.



Virtual Support location screenshot

Update from President de la Torre - March 17

March 18, 2020

SDSU President Adela de la Torre

Dear SDSU Community,

As we have shared over recent weeks, the situation with the coronavirus (COVID-19) is very dynamic. We receive new data, notices about travel restrictions, updated guidance and other information multiple times each day. With important guidance frequently delivered by local and national authorities, we must be swift to respond.

To bring you up to date:

Six Bay Area counties just announced shelter-at-home orders for all residents beginning March 17, and lasting until at least April 7. Additional counties and cities have indicated their desire to follow. Further, today, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer issued an order that all non-essential city employees will work from home, and that additional city-wide decisions would be announced in the coming days.

As a campus, we will continue to receive more information from authorities, and will need to be responsive. We will continue our practice of sharing updates broadly and as soon as they are available.

The new directions below represent a summary of additional actions taken today.

On-Campus Student Housing, Exams

Given the number of cities adopting shelter-in-place orders, SDSU moved this morning to accelerate its timeline for move-out so that students may return home safely and quickly. It is requested that the majority of move-out occur by tomorrow, Wednesday, March 18, at 7 p.m. Exceptions exist for students in need, detailed below.

As a result, all SDSU faculty are encouraged to make special accommodations regarding all course activities this week, and to suspend all exams this week. Many classes have already paused until March 23; this decision applies to those courses that opted out of the pause. Students in SDSU on-campus housing may contact New Student and Parent Programs at 619-594-1509 for assistance, and are encouraged to fill out the Campus Departure Survey.

The university will continue to offer housing to students who cannot return home due to travel bans and restrictions, closures or shelter-in-place orders in other cities; who are ill; and who do not have a permanent home.

The Office of Housing Administration & Residential Education has already directly communicated with students living in on-campus housing and, along with the Division of Student Affairs, is assisting our students to help provide as much ease in the process as possible. We recognize the difficulty of this time, and have extraordinary gratitude for those who have come together to return our students safely home.

Student Employees

We have a number of students who are part of our workforce, and we thank them for the ongoing support they are offering during this time. Students who are currently employed and have seen disruption due to COVID-19 actions will continue to be paid across the CSU through April 6.

Campus Facilities and Parking

Access to campus recreation and library facilities will now be restricted for use, and university buildings are no longer open to the public to ensure that social distancing guidelines can be followed. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention directs that people should avoid gatherings with more than 10 people.

Also, effective 6 p.m. tomorrow evening, March 18, SDSU will lock all buildings. Those faculty and staff with key and card access will continue to have access. Those who do not have keys must contact their deans or director to request access 24-hours in advance. As many faculty and staff are in the process of obtaining needed office supplies and equipment to work from home. SDSU Parking & Transportation Services is authorizing faculty and staff to temporarily park in special permit (SP) spaces to help ease this process.

Mail Services

Delivery services will halt until further notice, and offices are asked not to submit new delivery orders at this time. If you have a delivery forthcoming, please visit the LS Mailroom Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m., for mail pickup until further notice.

In Closing

Some of our community may not be fully aware of the immense scale and quality of efforts led by our students, faculty and staff in response to COVID-19. Some of the work you, yourself, are doing to support the success of our students may not be well known. We thank each one of you for your support during this time.

Our SDSU community is full of solutions-minded individuals who have stepped up and stood out to take the greatest care of our community, and communities beyond our campus, moving instruction, tutoring, counseling services, team meetings, training sessions and other important offerings into virtual spaces.

More information regarding other SDSU-specific COVID-19 decisions and updates are available on the university’s public-facing site.

Adela de la Torre
San Diego State University President

Salvador Hector Ochoa
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Christy Samarkos
Interim Vice President for Student Affairs

Important Update from Facilities Services

March 17, 2020

Kim Carnot, Director Facilities Services

Please be advised that effective 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18, San Diego State University will be revising building security practices. All building doors will be locked.

Contact your dean or director (for non-academic areas) should you need to request room access. Each dean or director will have access to the Space Utilization Request Form to request access. The form submissions will be reviewed by the University Police Department (UPD) and Facilities Services. For non-emergency access requests, please provide a 24-hour advance.

Should emergency access be needed, deans or directors can call the UPD non-emergency line (619-594-1991, option 1) anytime to request access. Please be prepared to provide the following information: name, department or division, phone number and Red ID.

Also, please note that due to significantly reduced building occupancy, most campus restrooms will remain locked.

Please make use of restrooms on other floors.

These proactive measures are intended to further improve our ability to address security and health concerns in the current environment. Further updates will be forthcoming regarding necessary access for researchers or essential personnel.

In the event of any emergency, please dial 911 and immediately give the dispatcher your location.

More information regarding other SDSU-specific COVID-19 decisions and updates are available on the university’s public-facing site.

Kimberly H. Carnot
SDSU Facilities Services Director

Message from President Adela de la Torre

March 17, 2020

SDSU President Adela de la Torre

Dear SDSU Community,

Beginning Tuesday, March 17, all non-essential personnel, and essential personnel whose work can be accomplished remotely, are asked not to come to the San Diego State University campus. Such employees are asked to telework. We recognize that, for many of us, this means we will not be heading to campus starting tomorrow.

This decision, along with others outlined below, follows today’s updated guidance and direction from state and federal public health officials and continued conversations with the California State University (CSU) Chancellor’s Office. All decisions are meant to significantly reduce the number of people able to gather on campus. This directly helps to protect those who are at greatest risk of illness, and prevents the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Please read this email in total, and as soon as possible. Also, share this message with others, as certain decisions become effective as early as Tuesday, March 17. We will communicate primarily via email any further changes or additional guidance, which is expected in the days ahead.

Telework, Essential Staff Decisions

SDSU must quickly transition all staff, management, and student employees, including those working in auxiliary units, to telework arrangements. Employees are asked to make arrangements no later than Tuesday, March 17, and Wednesday, March 18. This will allow employees to gather any essential work materials and equipment from their offices to successfully telework from home.

To support those who will telework, SDSU’s Information Technology Services has introduced SDSU@Home: Remote Work Resources. This new site provides tools and resources for remote work, including request forms for equipment and other materials that may be provided without having to come to campus. Additional resources and direction to facilitate telework will be provided as soon as possible.

As directed by updated county and state guidance, those deemed responsible for both essential services and whose work requires on-campus performance will be permitted to continue working on campus. Examples of essential work that must be performed on campus include law enforcement and work necessary for the maintenance, care, and security of critical assets and facilities. At this time, this also includes our residence halls and the support of our students who remain in residence.

Further, guidelines from the Center for Human Resources (HR) will be communicated to administrators tomorrow, March 17, regarding the process by which employees may be given authorization to work on campus due to the essential nature of their work. Supervisors and administrators who need support should contact HR by emailing for guidance in implementing this urgent direction. Employees of auxiliary units will follow these same directions and should contact their Human Resources Department for specific questions.

It is necessary and expected that the vast majority of staff, management, and student employees will begin teleworking as soon as possible.

Campus Facilities

All campus recreation and library facilities will be closed, and access will be fully restricted beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17.

Essential Personnel: Sustaining Critical Research

Critical on-campus, in-person research that cannot be done virtually and cannot be deferred can continue on campus as long as the recommendations around social distancing are followed. All faculty and staff engaged in ongoing critical research are encouraged to maximize social distancing by staggering work schedules, promoting remote activities and intentionally creating maximum physical spacing.

Research personnel who are able to work remotely are encouraged to do so on projects such as data analyses, manuscript development, generation of new grant proposals, or on-line training required for their scholarship.

More specific guidelines on human subjects research, grant management, working with funding agencies, and identification of critical services for planning efforts will be forthcoming.

Additional Virtual Adoption

Tutoring and other co-curricular services will increasingly be moved into virtual modalities.

We encourage all employees to maximize the use of virtual platforms in order to address their programmatic responsibilities.

Due to the fluid nature of this global public health crisis, decisions are subject to change pending new direction and guidance. Please continue to check your university email and SDSU’s public-facing COVID-19 web page regularly.

Now, more than ever, it is important that we continue to work together in dynamic, and sometimes unfamiliar ways to support our community’s health and well-being. This remains our priority above all.

Adela de la Torre
San Diego State University President

Salvador Hector Ochoa
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

PSFA Virtual Support Plan

March 15, 2020

Dean Peggy Shannon

PSFA Faculty, Lectures, and Staff:

Your PSFA Virtual Support Team, made up of PSFA faculty and staff, is here to help provide resources, guidance, workshops and one-on-one consultation to serve you as you make a swift transition to virtual resources.

Your first steps to virtual instruction…

Start Here

1. Take the Virtual Instruction Readiness Quiz:

This Virtual Instruction Readiness Quiz will help you identify specific issues and solutions relevant to your particular courses:

2. Sign up for a Virtual Instruction Program (VIP) Workshop:

These one-hour workshops provide an overview of efficient transition to virtual instruction:

VIP Workshop Schedule:
Monday, March 16th, 2–3pm
Tuesday, March 17th, 10–11am
Tuesday, March 17th, 1–2pm
Wednesday, March 18th, 9–10am
Thursday, March 19th, 5:30–6:30pm
Friday, March 20th, 10–11am

3. Complete a short inventory of topic interest.

4. Attend a PSFA Workshop provided by your PSFA Virtual Support Team:

PSFA Virtual Support Workshops:

Monday, March 16th: Available via Zoom
9-10am - Zoom
10-11am - Online Pedagogy and Projects
11-12pm - Blackboard Tools, Assessments

Workshop is available via Zoom, and for a limited number of on campus attendees in PSFX 102A, the Bungalows between Music and Viejas Arena. On campus space is limited to 20, we only have a limited amount of disinfectant, please bring your own disinfectant wipes. 😊

Drop in as you wish via the Zoom link:

Tuesday, March 17th: Available via Zoom
9-10am - Zoom
10-11am - Online Pedagogy and Projects
11-12pm - Blackboard Tools, Assessments

Workshop is available via Zoom, and for a limited number of on campus attendees in PSFX 102A, the Bungalows between Music and Viejas Arena. On campus space is limited to 20, we only have a limited amount of disinfectant, please bring your own disinfectant wipes. 😊

Drop in as you wish via the Zoom link:

Wednesday, March 18th: Available via Zoom
11-12pm Canvas Support
2-3pm PSFA Virtual Support

Thursday, March 19th: Available via Zoom

10-11am - PSFA Virtual Support
11-12pm - PSFA Virtual Support

Friday, March 20th: Available via Zoom
9-10am - PSFA Virtual Support
12-1pm - PSFA Virtual Support

Yours in service and support,

Your PSFA Virtual Support Team:

Bernie Dodge, JMS,
Tiffany Dykstra-Devette, COMM,
Maya Ginsberg, SM&D,
Rebecca Coates Nee, JMS,
Nathian Shae Rodriguez, JMS,
Amy Schmitz Weiss, JMS,
Katie Turner, TTF,
Stuart Voytilla, TTF/ITS Faculty Fellow,

Important Message for Students

March 13, 2020

Dean Peggy Shannon

An important message for students from Dean Peggy Shannon, regarding the move to virtual learning.

Click here for a full transcript of the message

Faculty Requirements for Instructional Software

March 12, 2020

Associate Dean Donna Conaty

Faculty Instructional Software Assistance

PSFA Faculty, please follow the link below and submit your request for software and related equipment. This will help facilitate your transition to a virtual classroom.

A Message for Students - March 12, 2020

March 12, 2020

Dean Peggy Shannon

Click here for a full transcript of the message

A Message for Faculty and Staff - March 11, 2020

March 11, 2020

Dean Peggy Shannon

Click here for a full transcript of the message


March 12, 2020

Dean Peggy Shannon


  1. Effective the close of business (4:30pm) on March 13, all events, concerts, and instructionally related activities are cancelled.
  2. All face to face instruction is paused between March 16 and March 19 to provide time for instructors to shift to virtual instruction. All classes that have already shifted to virtual instruction shall continue to meet.
  3. All lab courses in the College will similarly pause between March 16 and March for faculty to prepare to move to virtual instruction. To be clear, no College of PSFA lab courses will meet face to face after Friday, March 13.
  4. Faculty and staff should continue to work from campus. SDSU is open and the campus has not been closed.

As of Monday, March 16, there will be 10 instructional days before spring break and 24 instructional days after spring break before the start of final exams (May 8-14).


  • All students will receive a grade for their Spring semester classes. No incompletes should be given as a result of the changes due to the move to virtual instruction.
  • All student learning outcomes must be met, although faculty may need to alter the ways in which SLO’s are assessed.
  • All syllabi, including amended and adjusted syllabi, must be uploaded to BlackBoard (or Canvas if being used). Syllabi must also be provided to your school director so that the appropriate staff can upload to the university syllabus repository.
  • All students must have fair and equitable access to course materials.
    1. This may include putting lecture notes and Power Point slides online
    2. This may also include allowing students to audio and/or video record themselves using a variety of technology to which they have access
    3. ALL adjustments to the syllabus must be posted on BlackBoard and/or in an amended syllabus

Effective March 16, Instructional Principles and Expectations for PSFA

  • All instructional activities are to take place using virtual engagement by March 19.
  • No instructionally related in-person contact with students.
  • No students are to use PSFA labs, studios, practice spaces or classrooms.
  • Students are to meet one another virtually if group collaboration is essential to course assignments and pedagogy. No assignment shall be made that requires in person meetings by students.
  • Students will not be given mandatory assignments that require them to attend events, concerts, visit public galleries or other public venues.
  • No events, instructionally related meetings/gatherings, or performances will take place on or off campus.


Q: I am an academic advisor. Can I still meet in person with students?
Effective Monday, March 16, all engagement with students is to be handled virtually or by phone. Face to face meetings are being actively discouraged effective immediately.

Q: My course is about learning to use a specialized tool, a heavy press that can’t be moved.
Please work with your school director to determine next steps.

Q: We are in the middle of a faculty search process. Can we bring candidates to campus for their interview?
No. All interviews must take place virtually.

Q: Are faculty still expected to do committee meetings and service?
The College is encouraging all meetings to take place using Zoom. Only essential committees should continue to operate (e.g. search and RTP). Directors will continue to request faculty meetings for the purpose of disseminating information and decision-making regarding academic issues caused by necessary responses to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Q: Can we post pre-recorded course content (videos, lectures etc.) if we are able?
Yes. However, keep in mind that all instructional faculty are expected to meet their courses at the usual time.

Q: Can we still allow a student club to do a small event this Saturday, March 14?
No, with new information as of March 12,this event needs to be canceled.

Q: What about the few part time employees that will be out of a job after spring break?
Student employees should not be penalized due to the crisis. Directors and supervisors should continue to assign work to our GA’s, ISA’s, GTA’s and federal work study students, keeping in mind that as employees, these students will continue to work on campus. The nature of responsibilities may need to be changed and alternative work assignments made. For specific information related to other professionals who work with our students/faculty (e.g. accompanists), please work with your school director.

Q: Are we meant to update our syllabi to reflect the move to virtual instruction?
Faculty are encouraged to update/modify syllabi with information that will be important to students. Communicating with students regarding how assignments, grading criteria, and course expectations might change is expected. Please see information under “Top Level Principles” above.

Q: We have software that is only available in labs. Can licenses be allowed for students on an interim basis?
Please share with your school director the software needs you have for your classes. The College will soon post a weblink where you may also enter this information. We are working with campus IT to find a solution to this issue.

Q: Are we permitted to have performances and events with no audience? Or is it no performance at all?
No events or performances may take place after 4:30pm on Friday, March 13.

Q: Just to clarify, if I’m teaching a class on recording, I would also teach the class remotely after spring break? I would presumably need to modify the curriculum given the (seemingly) impossible nature of leading recording instruction in a virtual environment.
Yes, all classes are to meet virtually after spring break. You may need to make appropriate changes to assignments and class content given our new reality.

Q: Does Zoom have the capacity to handle this surge in use?
According to ITS, the Zoom servers are held by Amazon and widely distributed. The company has indicated the platform has the capacity to handle the unprecedented increase in use.

Q: What should we tell students who may not have internet access off campus?
As of this date, the library will remain open. In addition, the College will be surveying students to learn what technology access they will have from their residence and any technology needs.

Q: I have music students who do not have a viable place to practice or to take lessons virtually due to the sound, what do I say to them?
Work with your colleagues in music and your school director to identify alternative assignments.

Q. What messaging should we share with students about getting together with other students to study, work on group projects/assignments etc.?
Students may not meet in person to work on group assignments or projects, only virtually. Since studying with another student is not to be required or expected by the instructor, those decisions are made by the individual students.

Q: I have a scheduled presentation at a professional conference. Will I be allowed to attend?
All travel requiring T-2’s is now suspended for the remainder of the semester. Future travel, including summer and fall 2020, will be determined as the Covid-19 situation evolves.

Q: If I am unable to undertake professional growth travel this semester due to the restrictions, will this impact my progress toward promotion/tenure?
The college is working closely with Faculty Advancement regarding this issue and will communicate more specific information when it becomes available.

Q: We have students placed in various community organizations for academically related internships. How does this impact them?
If the internship is unpaid, we ask that internship coordinators explore the feasibility of virtual assignments at the internship site, consider the work done to date and combine with alternative assignments that can fulfill the requirement, or waive the requirement. Any decision regarding paid fellowships and paid academic internships will be based on consideration of county health recommendations. We anticipate a determination in the near future.

Q: My teaching involves small group or one-to-one instruction with specialized equipment (e.g. art studio, musical instruments, post-editing labs etc.). How do we deliver quality instruction if students cannot access this equipment or software?
To the extent possible, each faculty member will need to modify course delivery and syllabi to engage the students in different, but SLO-related assignments. It will be helpful for the College to know what software/equipment is needed in case we can identify ways to minimize impact on students.

Q: We have already engaged a visiting artist/speaker for a fee. Their event was to take place after spring break. They are requesting payment due to having already purchased airfare, spent time preparing for their SDSU event etc., what should we do?
Work to identify alternative means of engaging the person using virtual technology at the time already scheduled. (Most airlines are waiving cancellation and change fees due to Covid-19.) Directors should use their best judgment regarding rescheduling in the next academic year.

Q: Our students have SSF events planned that will likely have to be cancelled. Will the funds carry over?
Students have been notified by Academic Affairs that SSF projects will be cancelled. Unfortunately, the funds will revert to next year’s pool and students will need to reapply in the normal process.

Q: Our school uses IRA funds for a number of academic programs. Will these funds carry over if we cannot use them as planned?
We are working with Academic Affairs on this question and will provide an answer when we have more information.

Q: Will student employees get paid if events and functions their employment supports are cancelled?
Student employees will continue to report to work. Directors have been informed that student employees’ job functions may need to be redeployed to other assignments.

Q: Will I continue to be able to use my office, lab or classroom after Spring Break?
Faculty and staff will continue to have access to their offices, lab spaces etc. Faculty are expected to report to work and use SDSU facilities in providing virtual instruction. Some classrooms are better suited for virtual instruction than others, please work with ITS to determine if a specific smart classroom has the tools you will need to deliver such instruction effectively.



CSU Coronavirus Updates

San Diego County
Coronavirus Disease 2019

California Department of Public Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

National Institutes of Health