From: Dean Erwin Chemerinsky
Date: Dec 30, 2021
Dear Law School Community,
We continue to closely monitor the public health situation and the availability of COVID testing with the goal of doing all we can to keep everyone in our community as safe as possible. After consulting with Guy Nicolette, the Director of University Health Services, and Cathy Koshland, the Interim Provost, we have decided that the first week of the Law School’s new semester will be entirely online. All classes during the week of January 10 will be taught remotely. More details will be provided before the new semester, but I wanted to let everyone know as soon as possible. Molly Van Houweling will communicate separately with instructors about a Zoom refresher session she will host next week.
For staff, all work during the weeks of January 3 and 10 also will be remote, except for those positions that require a presence in the building.
No decisions yet have been made for when we will return to in-person instruction. I will continue to confer with campus officials and let you know of decisions as soon as possible.
I know this is a disappointment after a semester of in-person instruction, but this seems the wisest course. My fervent hope is that we will be able to resume in person instruction after this hiatus, but obviously that will depend on it being safe to do so and testing being available.
The campus is requiring that everyone be tested for COVID at least 48 hours in advance of coming to campus and not more than 72 hours in advance. This can be an at-home test, a test on campus, or a test elsewhere. Campus plans to have testing available beginning on January 3. Individuals will be required to attest that they have a negative test. If a person tests positively, they will need to quarantine in accord with Berkeley City requirements.
Also, last week, University of California President Michael Drake announced that all students, faculty, and staff must receive a COVID-19 booster shot in order to be deemed fully vaccinated. This is a requirement for presence on campus unless a waiver has been obtained. The campus has announced that it expects all faculty, staff and students who are eligible to get their booster no later than the start of in-person instruction.
Campus and the Law School will continue to require wearing of masks while in the building, the same as during the Fall semester. Campus health officials are urging people to replace cloth masks with N95 or KN95 masks. The Law School will purchase a limited supply of these for students, staff, and faculty, but as in the Fall semester, it is each person’s responsibility to have a suitable mask
I wish each of you all the best for a happy, healthy (!) new year. I know we all very much look forward to resuming in-person classes and even more, to an end of the pandemic and a return to normal.
Dean and Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law
University of California, Berkeley School of Law
- View COVID-19 policies and resources for the UC Berkeley campus community.
- View Berkeley Law COVID-19 Protocols for the law school community.