2020 New Senate Hires

Dear New Faculty Members,

We hope you and your families are staying safe and healthy.

We want to congratulate you again on your appointment to the faculty at the University of California, Irvine. We look forward to welcoming you to UCI in the coming months, either in person or remotely.

This is a challenging time for our country and our global community. Yet, we are convinced that key to our ability to respond to the COVID-19 crisis and to continue the fulfillment of our important mission as a public university is the recruitment and retention of top-notch faculty, who anchor our research and teaching enterprise. Soon that will include you, and here we want to assure you that your appointment is secure and that we await your arrival with enthusiasm.

In the face of enormous personal and social challenges the University of California is resilient and enduring. Here at UCI, we are managing these uncertain times by drawing on our considerable strengths in making constant adjustments to do all we can to ensure the wellness and safety of our community, while pursuing our mission as a public university. We have been deeply impressed as faculty, staff and students have all stepped up to meet the challenges to ensure that research, teaching, and service-related activities continue via remote operations.

With the COVID-19 crisis still rapidly evolving we do not have all the answers regarding many of our normal activities for new faculty including onboarding processes and faculty orientation activities. We will provide regular updates here.

Please feel free to contact me at dkodowd@uci.edu if you have specific questions.


Diane O’Dowd
Vice Provost, Academic Personnel

Hal Stern
Interim Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

James Steintrager
Chair, Academic Senate, Irvine Division

Jeffrey Barrett
Chair Elect, Academic Senate, Irvine Division

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FAQs for New 2020 Senate Faculty

1. Is my academic appointment at UCI secure?
Yes. UCI stands by offers made to recruit faculty to our campus.
2. Where can I find information about what is going on at UCI in light of the pandemic?
For general information, go to: https://uci.edu/coronavirus/ and for information related specifically to Academic Personnel issue, go to: https://ap.uci.edu/covid19/
3. If there are still restrictions on access to campus in fall quarter will I still be expected to teach?
Teaching obligations are set at the department/school level at UCI. Faculty are still expected to meet their teaching and mentoring obligations, even if that means doing so remotely. Fortunately, there are lots of resources available to help faculty, including newly recruited faculty, to teach remotely if need be. There are campus wide resources (see, for example: https://sites.uci.edu/teachanywhere/) as well as resources developed and supported by Schools and, in some cases, by departments. That said, a decision about whether we will be teaching remotely in the Fall has not yet been made.
4. If there is an economic downturn, will UC cut my pay?
There are systemwide discussions about the steps that will be taken to address the decrease in revenue and increased costs due to COVID-19. Reductions in faculty and staff pay is one of the items that will be considered. We don’t at this time have any specific information but we will provide links to policy as it is developed.
5. Given the uncertainties related to the pandemic, am I expected to be physically present on campus in the Fall?
Faculty are expected to fulfill their research, teaching, and service obligations and that typically requires being on campus. However, in these historic times, it might require just the opposite. At this point, it is not clear how meetings and classes will be held—via zoom or in person—therefore a definitive answer is difficult to provide. We will, however, provide updates as soon as possible. Right now, the campus is open only to essential individuals as per the governor’s “stay at home” executive order.
6. Should I be worried about my future at UCI.
No. We are in historic times and making all sorts of much needed adjustments to do our part to combat the COVID-19 virus. As we do so, we are reminded that we are resilient and enduring. We’re not going away and we’re going to continue to do what we do best: enact our research and educational mission in ways that serve the public interest. Those who have been with the UC system longest will attest to the fact that this is where our size, strength, and position within the State of California, the country, and the globe serves us well.

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