UCI Forward

UCI Forward is our commitment to the well-being of our community as we ramp up campus operations. Working together, each of us doing our part, we can move UCI Forward.

Jan. 28 - In-person instruction criteria, resources and advice

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Little pink Plumwood House for you and me: Morning light hits the chemical research facility. Photo by Matthew Feng

Little pink Plumwood House for you and me: Morning light hits the chemical research facility. Photo by Matthew Feng

Ask the Expert graphic

In this continuing series, UCI experts answer questions about COVID-19, vaccinations, variants or the future of work. Submit questions via email.

How did UCI decide to resume in-person instruction on Monday?

Members of the Anteater community have asked about the metrics being used to inform campus decisions during the pandemic, most recently about the Jan. 31 return to in-person instruction. According to a detailed UCI Forward memo, vaccination rates, masking policies, symptom checking, testing protocols, contact tracing, new case numbers and current/predicted positivity rates all combined to support the decision.


Dr. Albert Chang, medical director, Student Health Center, answers this question: Why is it important to get a booster?

Updated distribution centers for face coverings

UCI is pleased to provide quality face coverings for students, staff and faculty as the campus resumes in-person instruction on Monday. Distribution centers have been established for KN95s and surgical masks that comply with the updated executive directive on face coverings.

Campus resources for return to in-person instruction

Because every course is different, the first thing students should do before returning for in-person instruction on Monday is check with their instructors to determine specific course policies and what kind of flexibility is offered. Next, students should examine the list of campus resources and advice shared by Willie Banks, vice chancellor, student affairs.

UCI-led study links school suspensions and expulsions with inequality in early adulthood

How do high school students who are suspended and expelled fare later in life when compared with other classmates? A new UCI-led study highlights an important link between exclusionary school discipline and inequality in a wide range of young adult outcomes. Published in Educational Researcher, the findings provide the most comprehensive link between school discipline and young adult outcomes.


Friday fun fact

Access to technology: During the past academic year, 96% of graduate students had consistent access to laptops/computers and 80% had access to high-speed internet.

Cardona calls for 'reset' in US education system

Education stakeholders should take the opportunity now to "reset" practices and policies so school systems don't backtrack to pre-pandemic inequity, U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said during a speech Thursday. He specifically encouraged unraveling barriers to high-quality education for several underserved student populations, including Black students, students from low-income backgrounds, students with disabilities and English learners.

A second version of omicron is spreading. Here's why scientists are on alert

As the omicron surge starts to recede in parts of the U.S., scientists are closely watching another coronavirus variant spreading rapidly in parts of Asia and Europe. It's officially called "omicron BA.2," and this week scientists detected cases of it in several U.S. states, including California, Texas and Washington. February could be the breakout month.

What our poop tells us about the omicron surge

Besides data obtained through testing and positive case reports, public health officials monitor virus levels by examining the contents of waste in community sewage systems. “It seems like, in most locations, concentrations are stabilizing, which is very reassuring,” says Kara Nelson, a UC Berkeley environmental engineering professor, who is in charge of the COVID-WEB monitoring program.


Quick Bites - Nutrition Confusion & Social Media
Monday, 12:30 p.m. (sponsored by Center For Student Wellness & Health Promotion)

Mind on the Job: Managing Mental Health During Job/Internship Search
Monday, 4 p.m. (sponsored by Social Sciences Academic Resource Center)

International Conference on Environmental Peacebuilding
Tuesday, 3:30 a.m. through Friday, 1:30 p.m. (sponsored by Environmental Peacebuilding Association, whose members include UCI School of Social Ecology)

Rule of the Robots: How Artificial Intelligence will Change Everything
Tuesday, 5:30 p.m. (sponsored by School of Business)

Visit today.uci.edu to see and submit event listings. Events of general interest will be shared in UCI Digest two days before they occur.


13 Legal Experts on How Breyer’s Replacement Will Change the Court

Politico, Jan. 27
Cited: Howard Gillman, chancellor

What Makes Omicron Spread More Rapidly Compared to Other COVID-19 Variants?

Health, Jan. 27
Cited: Vladimir Minin, professor of statistics and associate director of Infectious Disease Science Initiative, and Philip Felgner, professor in residence of physiology & biophysics and director of Vaccine Research and Development Center

AI Chatbots Pose Ethical Risks. Here’s How One University Is Handling Those.

The Chronicle of Higher Education, Jan. 27
Cited: Tom Andriola, vice chancellor, information, technology and data; Patricia Morales, associate vice chancellor, enrollment management; and Bryan Jue, senior director, outreach and communications for undergraduate admissions


Dear Alltruism-Anteater, I think I’ve only recently discovered

Dear Anteater, I think I’ve only recently discovered how easy it is to doubt yourself & give up. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always known how dangerous doubt can truly be, but college really reminds you about it. I’ve wanted to give up on school & other stuff so many times lately, & maybe you can relate. I hope you can find some comfort in this note & be assured that you’re not alone. Don’t ever let the doubt win. Fight against it. I can assure you something good will come out of it, even if it’s really hard to see right now. Much love, an Anteater

Alltruism (“all true”) is a project supported by the Barnes & Noble Scholarship that aims to create connections through community, compassion and the creative arts. The initiative was part of The Alltruism Project, and more letters can be found on Instagram.

#UCIconnected spotlights student, alumni, faculty and staff photos, essays, shoutouts, hobbies, artwork, unusual office decorations, activities and more. Send submissions via email or post on social media with the #UCIconnected hashtag.


41 new campus cases

Seven employees and 34 students tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. For more information, visit the UCI COVID-19 dashboard.

Upload your vaccine and booster records

Student Record Upload

Employee Record Upload

Potential workplace exposure

UCI provides this notification of a potential workplace COVID-19 exposure. Employees and subcontractors who were in these locations on the dates listed may have been exposed to the coronavirus. You may be entitled to various benefits under applicable federal and state laws and University-specific policies and agreements. The full notification is available on the UCI Forward site. If you have been identified as a close contact to a COVID-19 case, the UCI Contact Tracing Program will contact you and provide additional direction.

For COVID-19 questions

UCI Forward - information on campus status and operational updates

UCI Health COVID-19 Updates - important information related to UCI Health

UCI Health COVID-19 FAQs

UCI Coronavirus Response Center - available at covid19@uci.edu or via phone at (949) 824-9918

Contact Tracing and Vaccine Navigation Services - assistance with vaccines and vaccine uploads; available at contacttracing@uci.edu or via phone at (949) 824-2300

Program in Public Health chatline - answers to questions about COVID-19

For questions specific to your personal health situation, please contact your doctor or healthcare provider.