Checking In With Chancellor May: Reasons to Cheer

In this week’s edition of Thursday Thoughts, above, Chancellor May and LeShelle celebrate Thank Goodness for Staff week by playing a game in which they guess the staff’s favorite campus locations, animals and eggheads. Watch to see who gets the most points!

To the UC Davis Community:

Let the celebrations begin: The School of Law started off the commencement season last weekend, the School of Veterinary Medicine will hold a limited-scale, in-person ceremony this evening, and the School of Medicine will hold a virtual ceremony tomorrow.

But there’s even more reason to celebrate. It’s never been easier for the UC Davis community to get vaccinated, no matter what side of the causeway you’re on.

In Sacramento, the vaccine supply is plentiful at UC Davis Health. Look for appointment information here (including the ZIP code you should enter in the state’s My Turn system to ensure your options include UC Davis Health). You can also call My Turn at 833-422-4255.

The Davis campus vaccine clinic, as I’ve noted previously, has set up a text alert system, to tell you when appointments are available and when doses are available at day’s end (for people who can get to the Activities and Recreation Center within 20 minutes). Sign up for the alerts by texting DavisVax to 888777.

For extra incentive, consider this: We expect fully vaccinated people will be exempted from the weekly asymptomatic testing requirement (except for occasional surveillance screening).

If you have already been vaccinated, please provide your vaccination data and upload a copy of your vaccination card to the “Medical Clearances” section of the Health-e-Messaging portal. So far, more than 11,400 members of our Aggie community have voluntarily submitted their vaccination information.

Those of you who have not been vaccinated should also keep this in mind: The UC system is considering a policy to mandate COVID-19 vaccination for the fall, so why not get it done now? Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and others, and a critical way for us to get back to normal.

And remember: We have vaccines. Come get them … and encourage others in your life to do so, too!

Fall planning: Registering for classes

As you know, UC Davis intends a return to in-person instruction provided that public health conditions allow. Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Mary Croughan and the Fall Planning Work Group have been diligent in developing recommendations for the upcoming academic year.

Among them, it’s recommended that all undergraduate students register for classes as soon as they are able. Note that modifications can be made during open registration.

This recommendation also holds true for international undergraduate students. International graduate students should actively discuss plans and possibilities with their program or Graduate Studies regarding fall quarter enrollment.

If in-person attendance proves impossible, international students should consult the Global Affairs website in August for additional information.

Fall planning: International students

The recent determination by the U.S. Department of State that allows students with valid visas to enter the United States without contacting an embassy or consulate prior to traveling is an encouraging step forward.

We are, nevertheless, aware that some international students may not be able to obtain a visa by the time that fall instruction begins. We are working hard to develop alternative instruction options for international students who are unable to obtain a visa.

Fall planning: Travel

We continue to recommend against all nonessential travel, both domestic and international. For now, we don’t have a timeline for when this guidance will become less restrictive. As soon as those decisions are made, we’ll let you know.

If you have questions about what qualifies as essential travel or the process for submitting travel requests, please visit Global Affairs’ COVID-19 Travel Announcement webpage.

Provost letter coming soon

As you can see, the ramp-up to fall instruction is moving quickly. A letter from the provost is coming soon that addresses the latest thinking on such topics as masking requirements, the Daily Symptom Survey and testing requirements for the UC Davis community. Please stay tuned.

Overall, I thank everyone for your tenacity and abundance of caution over this past year. I couldn’t be prouder of our response and care for one another during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Workplace Reimagined

Speaking of fall planning, one of the key areas of interest is how the UC Davis workplace will adapt.

Our Workplace Reimagined Working Group is developing guidelines and resources specifically for Davis campus staff and supervisors to help reimagine our workplace with innovation, sustainability, employee experience and the university’s mission in mind.

Yesterday, the working group hosted a successful webinar that was attended by over 1,600 employees. They previewed new Workplace Reimagined tools and guides on flexible work arrangements, employee health and safety, and working on- and off-site.

Over the coming months, the Workplace Reimagined Working Group will continue its outreach and introduce training, such as managing remote and hybrid-remote teams.

Each department has unique business and space needs, and now is the time to start planning for the fall. Your feedback on fall 2021 planning is always welcome.

The greater good

Safe to say, it’s been a year like no other. But I continue to be uplifted by the UC Davis community and its dedication to serving the greater good. We have much to celebrate now and over the next months, but now’s not the time to declare victory. Please get vaccinated, continue to get tested regularly and look out for one another. There’s light at the end of the tunnel, and the future of UC Davis couldn’t be brighter because of your efforts.


Gary S. May

Campus Ready graphic, cow on bicycle

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