UC Riverside Academic Senate



COVID-19 (coronavirus) guidance for remote teaching

Systemwide Senate Award

January 11, 2021

Nominations are now open for the following Systemwide Senate Awards:

Extended Deadline:

  • February 4, 2021

Voting Flexibility

October 23, 2020

Dear Faculty Colleagues,

Voting is an important civic duty and I urge the faculty to support our campus members exercising this right and responsibility to participate in elections.

To support active participation of our students in voting on election day I encourage faculty to consider flexibility in their instruction on Tuesday November 3 with possibility of asynchronous lectures or delayed delivery of content.

Although voting by mail is the primary means to vote this election day in California due to the pandemic, there are those who are contributing to help support in person voting efforts and may also plan to submit their ballots to the registrar or drop-off areas on election day. To support engagement in the election process I ask instructors to do their best to provide flexibility or treat November 3 a non-instruction day. Please also consider that election day and potential outcomes may impact some students more than others. I encourage you to consider building in flexibility for assignments or assessments during this week.

Jason Stajich, Division Chair

Welcome Back

October 1, 2020

Subject: Welcome Back, from Senate Chair Jason Stajich

Dear Senate Colleagues:

We begin a new academic school year unlike any would have predicted a year ago. This September I began my term as your Academic Senate Chair and my 12th year as a UCR faculty member. I'm both daunted by the challenges we have ahead of us and emboldened by the resilience of our campus community to do our best to achieve our goals. These include continuing the positive advances we have made in the academic and research missions, but also the broader, collective vision to embrace social justice, equality, and equity for all members.

This is not likely to be a "normal" academic year by any stretch. Many familiar aspects of campus, our social connection to each other, staff, students, have been altered by constraints imposed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The adjustments we are all making to maintain our community through the limitations of online media will take additional skills and efforts. Many of us are struggling to work from home while being a caregiver and trying to find those moments to just be able to think clearly to prepare lectures and engage in our scholarship and research. I hope we will all continue to show compassion and patience for those meeting the challenges of parenting to remote-learning children and caregivers of other family members both locally and at a distance. Many are also struggling with the isolation and loss of routine interactions with our colleagues and friends. Nothing is easy about the current state we are in, but I encourage patience, compassion, and flexibility with each other.

I want to highlight and applaud the work that so many of you undertook in the Spring to ensure safety of our campus community while still delivering teaching and protecting what was possible of the research mission. These were not easy changes, but I believe it served our students well and has kept our campus members safe.

Despite adopting remote teaching and research, and a limited on-campus presence, the Senate still will undertake its duties from academic program reviews to fulfilling its role in the merits and promotion process supporting academic personnel. One of the Senate's projects has been an ongoing, multiyear full review of UCR's General Education curriculum. The committee is exploring a curriculum last reviewed 40 years ago and I expect their shared report and dialogue that will ensue will help UCR assess and adapt the curriculum to current needs. Committees are also exploring how teaching evaluations are gathered and used, continuing the work to support new or changes to graduate and undergraduate programs, providing input on campus research and infrastructure, and awarding internal research and travel grant funding to faculty and students.

I want to also take this time to thank all faculty for their service on the standing and ad hoc committees of the Senate. Our participation in shared governance is always critical, but especially now your attention and input are important. The Faculty Senate is providing input on decisions that range from how testing and admissions standards are applied to budget cuts which is seeking to balance the immediate needs with our collective vision for what is UCR excellence. Several executive searches including selection of an Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost and Dean of College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences are taking place this year. Your feedback and input can occur at many levels from direct membership on committees to communication with your college executive committees. I urge you to seek out these campus leaders as well as myself to communicate your input and participate in consultation necessary for robust shared governance.

To better hear from you about issues that impact your programs and department, I will make myself available to all departments if you wish to invite me to one of your regularly scheduled faculty meetings. (I do not bring an agenda for these visits, but wish to re/introduce myself to everyone, to listen and engage in conversation about topics you wish to discuss.) My email address is jason.stajich@ucr.edu. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you want to talk for any reason at all. I look forward to serving you and the campus.

I hope all of you will plan to attend the Fall Divisional Meeting of the Academic Senate on Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at 1:00 pm via Zoom videoconference.

Jason Stajich
Chair of the Riverside Division of the Academic Senate
Professor, Department of Microbiology & Plant Pathology

June 10th Strike

June 10, 2020

Subject: UCR Senate Chair support for June 10 Strike for Black Lives

Dear Senate Colleagues:

As a growing national and global movement builds mass consciousness around the anti-Black violence of policing, the university remains a necessary and crucial site of engagement. I am using my platform as your Divisional Senate Chair to express my solidarity with today’s national university based action, the Strike for Black Lives. This one day strike has circulated under the social media hashtags #Strike4BlackLives, #ShutDownAcademia, and #ShutDownSTEM. A number of prominent national academic organizations have endorsed today’s action, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science (see their statement below).

A complete description of the action and its organizers appears here: https://www.shutdownstem.com. Its call to action reads, in part,

In the wake of the most recent murders of Black people in the US, it is clear that white and other non-Black people have to step up and do the work to eradicate anti-Black racism. As members of the global academic and STEM communities, we have an enormous ethical obligation to stop doing “business as usual.” …Our responsibility starts with our role in society. In academia, our thoughts and words turn into new ways of knowing. Our research papers turn into media releases, books and legislation that reinforce anti-Black narratives. In STEM, we create technologies that affect every part of our society and are routinely weaponized against Black people. Black academic and Black STEM professionals are hurting because they exist in and are attacked by institutional and systemic racism. Black people have been tirelessly working for change, alongside their Indigenous and People of Color allies. For Black academics and STEM professionals, #ShutDownAcademia and #ShutDownSTEM is a time to prioritize their needs— whether that is to rest, reflect, or to act— without incurring additional cumulative disadvantage. Those of us who are not Black, particularly those of us who are white, play a key role in perpetuating systemic racism. Direct actions are needed to stop this injustice. Unless you engage directly with eliminating racism, you are perpetuating it. This moment calls for profound and meaningful change. #ShutDownAcademia and #ShutDownSTEM is the time for white and non-Black People of Color (NBPOC) to not only educate themselves, but to define a detailed plan of action to carry forward. Wednesday June 10, 2020 will mark the day that we transition into a lifelong commitment of actions to eradicate anti-Black racism in academia and STEM. We join with members of Particles for Justice in calling for a #Strike4BlackLives.

I personally encourage and support any of you who wish to similarly support the Strike for Black Lives to do so.


June 1, 2020

Subject: For Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Tyisha Miller

Dear Senate Colleagues:

It seems profane to be writing a note that attempts to express a sense of universal outrage over the police killings of Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, George Floyd in Minnesota, and Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia. Frankly, i am unsure in these days that such outrage is even remotely universal, and i am unprepared to offer such a declaration.

Rather than make such a gesture, i wish to humbly but unapologetically state that the context of the nationwide rebellions cannot be reduced to these three incidents, or even a dozen incidents of anti-Black police violence. Such casualties at the hands of state power are a systemic, institutionalized historical fact of American life that are experienced differently-radically so-by people in the extended UCR community, whether students, staff, faculty, or administrators. It is worth recalling that our campus is mere blocks from the scene of Tyisha Miller’s killing at the hands of Riverside Police Department officers in 1998-a trauma that has continued to define many Black students' and coworkers' collective experiences of UCR and Riverside more generally.

I write today to honor those who are continually working to confront and abolish this state violence, many of whom are among UCR faculty, staff, and students. Such historical moments as the one we are living amplify the need for rigorous, critical, community-accountable scholarship, activism, and teaching that radically challenges these dominant and oppressive systems of institutional power.

Peace with justice

COVID-19: Instructional Continuity Guidance

April 2, 2020 - "Zoombombing" and revised Spring virtual office hours

Dear Senate Colleagues:

I write to announce a revision to my virtual office hours for Spring 2020. I will hold open Zoom sessions for anyone who wishes to drop in on Tuesdays from 9-10 am, through the Spring Quarter. Our conversations will be secure, one-on-one meetings. Just use this link

I am also writing to bring our collective attention to the unwelcome surge in the "zoombombing" of virtual classrooms around the world. Zoombombing—the intrusion on videoconference classes by uninvited and unwanted users—takes the form of racist, anti-Black, misogynist, homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic, and xenophobic abusiveness that creates significant distress for students and teachers.

While there are some measures we can take as faculty to prevent or minimize the possibility of such disruptions (see this link), it may be helpful to address this matter in open conversation with our students and each other. I urge you to refuse to “privatize” any such incidents: report them to your department chairs and deans, talk to your colleagues to build awareness about what’s going on, and please feel free to reach out to me as well.

I look forward to seeing everyone soon.


March 17, 2020 - Senate Chair office hours (on Zoom), research curtailment, and more
March 14,2020 - Get your stuff this weekend: Campus ordered closed March 16-April 3
March 13, 2020 - Four Points on Spring 2020 "Remote Learning

Riverside Division Meetings

The following meetings will be held at 1:00pm. Location Zoom:

More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

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Academic Senate Office
900 University Avenue
231 University Office Bldg
Riverside, CA 92521

Tel: (951) 827-5538
Fax: (951) 827-5545