International Campuses

A Message from President Gash: Summer and Fall Planning

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As the spring semester comes to a close, I congratulate the Class of 2020 graduates from each of our five schools with my greatest pride and admiration. Once students at the Caruso School of Law finish finals this week, all five schools will have completed the spring semester. To every graduate, you have endured much and you have prevailed. The completion of a rigorous, world-class Pepperdine degree program is a monumental achievement in life. I would also like to offer my thanks to our tireless faculty, staff, and administration for supporting our students in achieving their academic aspirations. 

Now, just like our graduates, we are all looking to the future and wondering what the rest of the calendar year will hold. The general direction that we have received from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is its hope that schools, colleges, and universities can be open in the fall with in-person classes and on-campus housing. We anticipate that safety measures will continue to be in place to safeguard against the spread of the virus and to protect those most vulnerable, and L.A. County Public Health has indicated that these measures will likely include appropriate distancing, face masks, and no large gatherings. While the University still does not have enough information to make final decisions for the fall, we are encouraged at the likelihood that we will be back together on campus in August.

Presently, University leadership is completing a comprehensive COVID-19 strategic recovery plan to bring the Pepperdine community back to our campuses for fall classes. Deans are meeting with the faculty of each school to incorporate faculty feedback into our planning, and we will continue to work closely with L.A. Public Health and keep you updated as we finalize this plan over the next couple of weeks.

Summer 2020 Planning

As I mentioned in my President’s Briefing this week, I want to inform you of our plans for classes, housing, and safety as we turn our attention to the summer and fall terms at Pepperdine. As we have previously announced, the Seaver College May summer session—a newly designated Session A just for this year—will be held online. Additionally, based on the latest information the University has received from L.A. County Public Health, Seaver College announced this week that Session I in June will be held online, and all four graduate schools have also made the decision to hold their summer programs online. We plan to make a decision in early June regarding Seaver College Sessions II and III, which are scheduled for July. 

Fall 2020 Scenario Planning – In Person

As I shared in the President’s Briefing on April 27 and again this week, University leadership is intensely engaged in scenario planning for the fall semester, and the COVID-19 strategic recovery plan to re-open for the fall semester will keep the health and safety of our faculty, staff, and students as our highest priority. To fulfill that objective, our plan must include clear and robust measures for testing, treating, tracing, separating, operating, cleaning, and delivering academic excellence. This plan will also presume an ability to hold classes in-person on all of our campuses worldwide unless or until there are public health restrictions that prohibit us from doing so. We plan to announce our proposed fall schedule within two weeks—once we have completed our scenario planning and vetted our plan with the Steering Team, faculty, staff, and members of the Board of Regents.

Fall 2020 International Programs

A significant factor in determining whether our international campuses will be open this fall will be the orders of the countries where our properties are located. At this time, we are making plans with the intent to have study abroad programs for all schools operating this fall while we await formal guidance from foreign governments or global agencies to inform final decisions. We will, of course, be working diligently to understand what each of these countries plans to allow this fall, and we will continue to provide information to students as it becomes available.

Fall 2020 On-Campus Housing

The scope of social distancing regulations in the fall and how those measures will impact university campuses is still evolving. Pepperdine is in regular communication with L.A. County Public Health and, based upon their guidance, we are planning, once again, to offer on-campus housing to all or nearly all of the incoming, returning, and graduate students who seek to live on campus. We are preparing the proper protocols to make this residential living experience as safe and enjoyable as possible under the current circumstances. If the guidance from L.A. County Public Health changes to require us to restrict or reconfigure our residential housing plans such that we would need to reduce the number of students living on campus, we will immediately notify those planning to live on campus. We continue to evaluate and plan for various scenarios that we may encounter in order to be prepared for whatever public health guidance may be provided to universities.

CARES Act Funding

As we announced last week, we are grateful that the University expects to receive $3.6 million of CARES Act funding. All of this funding will be directed toward supporting our students, with $1.8 million allocated for payments to be made directly to students through an application process. The University began accepting student applications for CARES Act funding on May 1 and will continue the application process through May 31. We received nearly 500 applications on the first day alone totaling more than $2.2 million in requests, and we are mindful that this crisis has impacted many of our students in a variety of different ways. CARES Act funding is designed to address those hit hardest by COVID-related losses or hardships, and as we evaluate applications, we intend to help as many students as possible with the funding we have received.

Celebrating the Academic Year

In the midst of trying times, pausing to celebrate victories along the way has never been more important. As a community, we should be proud of our response to this urgent crisis and commend the impact our servant-leadership has had around the world. So many people worked tirelessly to bring this spring semester home. Faculty have spent countless hours transferring their courses online. Staff have spent sleepless nights reinventing schedules, scenarios, and student support. Students have moved home, set up shop, and figured out how to learn remotely. Each of these efforts is truly amazing, and you all are worth celebrating. I am so thankful for the heart, perseverance, grit, and service of our Waves family. Our Pepperdine community is truly special.

COVID-19 Community Update – April 17

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The Emergency Operations Committee (EOC) and University leadership remain grateful for the support and cooperation of the Pepperdine community as the University responds to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. The EOC will continue to monitor the pandemic and its potential impact on University operations and the health and safety of the community. As new developments arise, the EOC will provide guidance and recommended actions that are responsive to rapidly changing circumstances due to COVID-19.

Safer at Home Order Compliance

Community members are encouraged to continue complying with the Los Angeles County Public Health Safer at Home Order, which is in effect through May 15. In compliance with the order, the University has implemented a Social Distancing Protocol (which largely formalizes the measures the University has already implemented) and a Face Covering Protocol requiring University critical support personnel interacting with others to wear face coverings. Additionally, campus homeowners and critical support personnel are advised to wear their face covering prior to checking in at campus entrance booths as outlined in the  county order.

All faculty and staff should continue to work remotely when possible. Faculty and staff may access campuses to facilitate remote distance learning or perform essential functions if that work cannot be accomplished remotely. Supervisors should ensure the minimum number of Critical Support Personnel are reporting to work to maintain essential University operations.

Seaver College International Programs Update

Seaver College announced the suspension of the international programs planned for summer, including those in London and Fiji. This suspends all Seaver College summer international programs for 2020. This decision was made based on all information available to the University, including the spread of COVID-19, travel warnings from national and international organizations, commercial flight availability, academic programming needs, feedback from program directors and other personnel responsible for leading these programs, and our care for the student experience

President’s Briefings

President Gash is holding weekly online President’s Briefings for faculty, staff, and students each Monday at 9 AM while the University maintains modified operations due to COVID-19. Live and archived viewing for each briefing are available on the President’s Briefing website.

The University will continue to keep the community informed on COVID-19 developments as new information becomes available. The latest updates can be found on the University’s COVID-19 website and Emergency Information Page.

COVID-19 Community Update – April 10

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As this week comes to a close, the EOC and University leadership remain humbled by the responsiveness and steadfast support this community has demonstrated in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The EOC continues to monitor the impact of COVID-19 developments and will provide guidance and recommended actions that are responsive to rapidly changing circumstances due to the pandemic.

Safer At Home Order Extended

Los Angeles County Public Health extended its Safer at Home Order through May 15 and requires essential businesses to develop and implement social distancing plans and provide face coverings for critical employees by April 15. Due to the order’s extension, the University has taken the following actions:

  • All of the University’s COVID-19 response measures including interim protocols for telecommuting, travel, and campus visitors are extended through May 15.
  • All in-person University events have been suspended through May 15.
  • All faculty and staff should continue to work remotely when possible. Faculty and staff may access campuses to facilitate remote distance learning or perform essential functions if that work cannot be accomplished remotely. Supervisors should ensure the minimum number of Critical Support Personnel are reporting to work to maintain essential University operations.

Guidance for Face Coverings

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health issued guidance for wearing cloth face coverings when in public spaces to obtain essential goods or services as an additional tool to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Face coverings are not intended to be a replacement of other evidence-based measures for preventing illness, including frequent hand washing; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; and practicing physical distancing, especially by staying at home. Community members should also follow any orders issued by local authorities.

To comply with the updated Los Angeles County Public Health Safer at Home Order, Pepperdine University is developing an Interim Face Coverings Protocol and is now requiring University Critical Support Personnel interacting with others to wear face coverings. 

Graduate Campus Access and Mail Delivery Services

As the University adjusts operations to match the rhythm of the current working environment, graduate campus staffing, access, and mail delivery are temporarily changing. Beginning Monday, April 13, the Calabasas, Encino, Irvine, and West L.A. campuses will be closed with no graduate campus staffing. Critical support faculty and staff may continue to access these campuses to do essential work that must be completed on-site and can refer to the access instructions document for additional details. In addition, Mail Services will deliver mail to the graduate campuses on Mondays and Thursdays, instead of every weekday, starting next week.

Pepperdine Community Case Update

This week the University learned of an employee who received a positive COVID-19 test result and is currently hospitalized undergoing treatment. The University has notified all individuals known to the University to have been in contact with the individual. The University community is encouraged to keep this individual in its prayers.

As the University continues with remote operations for faculty, staff, and students, the EOC will be providing general updates when it learns of newly reported COVID-19 cases within the community. The University will continue to provide potential exposure notifications to impacted community members as appropriate.

President’s Briefing

President Gash is holding a special online President’s Briefing for faculty, staff, and students each Monday at 9 AM while the University maintains modified operations due to COVID-19. Live and archived viewing for each briefing are available on the President’s Briefing website.

The University will continue to keep the community informed on COVID-19 developments as new information becomes available. The latest updates can be found on the University’s COVID-19 website and Emergency Information Page.

COVID-19 Community Update – March 30

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Leadership from around the University continues to evaluate the ongoing impact of COVID-19 and has begun making important decisions to most effectively serve the University’s students, faculty, and staff. Key announcements, including those shared today for Seaver College summer programs and faculty/staff wage and benefit commitments, will continue to be shared in these community updates. The University appreciates the patience of the community as it deliberates the best ways to move the University forward during this unprecedented time.

Seaver College Summer Programs

In an email to students this morning, Seaver College announced the cancelation of most international programs for summer 2020, as well as plans for academic offerings for summer sessions in Malibu. Notable changes include a new Session A during the month of May, which will be held through remote instruction, with Session I beginning in June. Sessions II and III will be combined into one session in the month of July. Seaver is currently planning to hold Sessions I, II, and III in-person in Malibu but has developed contingency plans to hold these sessions via remote instruction, if necessary. Information regarding summer programs will be regularly updated in the School-Specific FAQs for Seaver College.

Faculty/Staff Wage and Benefit Commitments

Acknowledging the essential work of our faculty and staff, President Gash announced this morning that the University will honor all currently anticipated wage and benefit commitments through the end of the University’s fiscal year on July 31, 2020. President Gash also acknowledged a renewed commitment to operational efficiency and encouraged employees to adopt practices to capture efficiencies and seek out opportunities to recognize other savings during this time. The latest information for employees, including updated guidance for how to complete time cards, has been added to the Faculty/Staff FAQs.

Pepperdine Community Case Updates

Over the weekend the University learned of three additional community members who reported positive test results for COVID-19. This number includes two new cases from the Seaver London cohort as well as one of a Seaver student from the Malibu campus who is now symptom free and in isolation at home. 

President’s Briefing Archived Viewing

Archived viewing for this morning’s President’s Briefing is now available on the President’s Briefing website. The Zoom link is accessible using your Pepperdine NetworkID  and password. 

The University will continue to keep the community informed on COVID-19 developments as new information becomes available. The latest updates can be found on the University’s COVID-19 website and Emergency Information Page.