Skip to main content

Return to Campus Plan

UC San Diego is working thoughtfully and strategically to consider our return to campus, with safety as the top priority. Our strategy is guided by evidence, science and expertise from faculty in our School of Medicine and Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science and from healthcare experts at UC San Diego Health.

All of our decisions are guided by a commitment to equity, safety and with the intent to nurture a caring environment in which our entire campus community can thrive. We recognize that shifts between remote work and on-site work have a significant impact on those with caregiving responsibilities, including childcare and eldercare. We are in the process of analyzing the collected feedback from the Ideawave campaign and recent survey to improve and reimagine our unique and innovative workplace, including exploring remote and hybrid work modalities that promote greater work-life balance.

Visit the Flexible Work Arrangements page for more information and resources.

Phase I: Faculty and Researchers

Certain low-density research and other endeavors may resume on campus

This phase is focused on increasing the number of faculty and principal investigators (PIs) permitted to use their individual labs, offices and studios for academic, research and creative work.

On-site research activities will no longer be limited by density restrictions (e.g. the current restriction to 50% of total lab personnel allowed on-site at one time). All researchers should follow employee safety guidelines as described on the Campus Safety webpage. Faculty and PIs can learn more details about returning to campus on the Research Ramp-Up website.

Important reminders:

Steps to return

  • Faculty and researchers who wish to update their Research Ramp-up Plan or submit one for the first time, visit the Research Ramp-up website for details.
  • Faculty and researchers who wish only to return to their private offices for individual work should complete the Employee Work Health Management form.

Student researchers

Students may be included in a Research Ramp-Up plan if they are willing to participate. This includes students doing a substantial rotation in the PI’s lab or research program. Students may not be required or pressured to participate in person. For specific details, please see the Research Ramp-Up Guidelines.

Phase II: Staff

Plans are underway for a safe and gradual return to full campus operations this fall. This phased return provides us with an opportunity to reimagine how we could work going forward. In the spirit of continuous improvement, vice chancellors are thoughtfully considering how to best support the university’s mission, building upon what was learned over the past year and with valuable input from staff, faculty and students.

Between June 1 and September 1, our Return to Campus will be implemented based on three guiding principles:

  1. Timing will be driven by operational needs and the recognition that operational needs differ across units and some employees may return to campus sooner than September 1.
  2. Our operating models for the fall will reflect the lessons learned during the pandemic, in particular about new ways to best deliver services while offering opportunities for greater flexibility for our staff, including those who have been in-person, who have worked in hybrid arrangements and those who have been fully remote.
  3. Within these parameters, managers will do their best to provide thirty (30) days’ advance notice of changes to current work arrangements, and afford flexibility for staff.
As we reimagine the workplace to support staff engagement, we will continue to explore innovative and flexible work approaches through the lenses of equity, quality of life and sustainability. All of our decisions will be guided by the intent to nurture a caring environment in which our entire campus community can thrive. More information will be provided in the coming weeks.

Safety Considerations

Certain low-density research and other endeavors may resume on campus

Anyone working in-person on campus (including campus staff, Health staff, faculty, researchers and student employees) must continue to abide by campus safety policies, including:

  • Daily symptom and exposure screening.
  • Weekly testing for those who are not fully vaccinated (two weeks after final dose).
  • Wear a mask at all times while inside of campus buildings with the exception of when an individual is alone in a private office, or when eating or drinking in a break space with proper physical distancing.
  • Maintain physical distance of six feet or more.

Those newly returning to work on campus: you will need to first complete the COVID-19 Prevention Training offered in the UC Learning Center. This 15-minute training fulfills our California OSHA requirements.