Dear UWest Community:

It’s another beautiful day in the neighborhood; another fabulous view from the top of this little hill above Walnut Grove Avenue.  Happy Friday!  For some, the week seemed to be dragging on.  Here at UWest, it’s moving at a rapid speed.  In a way, it feels good to learn that we might be out of this quagmire sooner.  We continue to be grateful for our health and our ability to work.

Our UWest faculty and staff continue to work very diligently to deliver services to students and all others.  We have had many discussions around opening the University in the summer and the fall of 2020.  It is ample clear that we will offer only online courses during the summer – these courses do not have a required meeting date and time.  The professors will work with the respective students in the class to schedule necessary meetings in several ways: individually online, email submissions and communications, small group or large group work online, or via online chats. We are offering Nonprofit Accounting, Social Media Marketing, College Writing, Financial Institutions and Markets, Internship, Women in Buddhism, and a Seminar in Regional Buddhist Traditions.  I will be auditing Women in Buddhism.  How about you?

The e-team, in collaboration with the Department Chairs, has determined that even if we mirror LAUSD and other neighboring school districts to open our campus on August 18, 2020, many of our students may not be able to travel back.  It does not seem realistic and the airlines will be able to move that fast and transport that many students at the same time all over the country and around the world.  I am sure you can imagine the rush for students to return to the respective college campuses around the country.  As such, the UWest administration has made the commitment to once again offer remote instruction in the fall, much of it will be similar to what we are currently offering.  However, we will be delivering several strictly online courses (those without set class meeting schedules and indicated on Schedule of Class as “ONLINE”).  Many professors will be developing or migrating current courses in the summer months, thanks to the Chao Foundation grant.  We will definitely be ready to begin our new academic year on Sunday, August 17, 2020.

We know that the faculty and students are winding down this spring semester’s coursework.  We thank all of them very much for the swift move to remote teaching and your participation in the myriad of training to implement the change.  We are grateful to your commitment to our UWest community!

This year’s Common Ground celebration, Together A-Part, under the leadership of Eddie Escalante and Student Government Activities Officer, Katrina Kaevalin, took off nicely.  Even though traditionally this is a one-week event, we are continuing with all the activities online.  They have created a website announcing all the upcoming events and recordings for recent ones: www.togethera-part.com.  If you wish to propose or set up for your event, please do so.  We will stay connected in light of the current situation of being physically apart.  Thank you Eddie and Katrina as well as all others for your contributions!

If you happened to be on campus on Cinco de Mayo, fittingly, Taco Tuesday, we hope you had the chance to stop by the Dining Hall to pick up the delicious taco lunch.  Thanks to Eddie Bernal, our Residence Hall Coordinator for his introduction to a wonderful taco location, and Mr. Li for his generosity!  Also, it was great seeing the Student Government Officers and members with Eddie Bernal pitched in to serve us.  Thank you for such a great collaborative effort!

As always, I try to share something each week with you.  So, recently, I came upon this list of “unsolicited advice” written by Kevin Kelly, the founding executive editor of WIRED magazine.  He wrote them to offer as his 68th birthday present to all of us. https://kk.org/thetechnium/68-bits-of-unsolicited-advice/

Finally, this coming Sunday is Mother’s Day.  It is a very important commemorative day.  I wish all the mothers – in whichever way or form that you are – a very Happy Mother’s Day!  For those of us who have lost our mothers, we know they are always in our hearts and minds…  Stay safe and stay positive!

Sincerely,

Dr. Chou

Chiung-Sally Chou, Ph.D.
Interim President
University of the West