Dear Infrastructure and Sustainability team,
I hope this month’s newsletter finds you well. I know many of our I&S staff, including our Facilities Operations and Services frontline staff in particular, have returned to work on campus. Many of you, meanwhile, continue to do a great job carrying out work duties from home while juggling childcare and other commitments. I commend all of you for the continued perseverance and positivity this has required.
As announced by Chancellor DiStefano last week, the campus has a defined approach to fall 2020. I hope that, if you haven’t already, you will take some time to familiarize yourself with the Road Map to Fall 2020 plan. We are working with the implementation teams on the tactics for executing on this plan.
For I&S, we began to assess many of these needs weeks ago. We have a team including members from Environmental Health and Safety, Fac Ops and Services and Planning, Design and Construction that has been discussing ventilation issues and understanding the challenges presented in minimizing COVID-19 transmission. Our PD&C group has been putting together classroom diagrams and building traffic flow patterns that account for social distancing. Our Distribution Center has played a role in creating and distributing cleaning kits for researchers returning to campus. Our planners are evaluating outdoor spaces as potential teaching venues.
There is much more to do. Recently we stood up a Facilities Task Force in support of the implementation teams that includes several members from I&S, as well as our campus partners from the provost’s office, Housing, Student Affairs, the Student Recreation Center and Athletics. The task force also includes faculty from Chemistry, Engineering and Integrative Physiology to help guide the planning efforts related to our campus infrastructure and the return to campus for classes in the fall.
The mission and the future of the university is dependent upon our collective success. We all must remain flexible and adaptable and remember that we share the same goal: to create the best academic experience in the healthiest and safest way possible. As I wrote to you last week, I know our organization is up to this challenge.
Finally, I want to address the recent events surrounding the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. I want to be clear that racism and discrimination have no place in our organization and that I share in the personal pain and distress that many of you, your families or friends may feel or may have experienced themselves. We have worked hard to foster a diverse and inclusive environment, and I promise to continue to work with you, our I&S Inclusive Excellence Committee (ISIEC) and our I&S leadership team to ensure that our department continues to be a welcoming and inclusive place for all our employees. Please continue to support each other and I encourage you all to access the campus support resources if you need help during these turbulent times.
With gratitude for all you do,
David Kang, vice chancellor for infrastructure and sustainability