A message on the new school year

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Sept. 21, 2020

Dear GPS Community:

While we continue to face challenges posed by the global COVID-19 pandemic, we look forward to welcoming our students back for fall quarter. I have no doubt that this year will be a dynamic year at the School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS).

We are pleased to welcome several new faculty members this fall, including David Fortunato, Morgan Levy, Brian Libgober and in January 2021, Kyle Handley. These bright minds are working on important research topics with significant impact – from public policy and social justice issues, to the effects of land use and climate change on human health and the environment.

news_return-to-learn-cowhey-message.jpgAs the school year begins, GPS is planning to offer a small percentage of fall 2020 courses using an in-person or hybrid modality, with the rest taught remotely. At this time, students may choose to take all courses remotely or as a mix of in-person, hybrid and remote courses. International students should check with the UC San Diego International Students and Programs Office to ensure their choice of classes complies with their respective visa requirements.

UC San Diego has established the Return to Learn program, with large-scale COVID-19 testing of students, faculty and staff to reduce the risks of outbreaks. Students coming to campus for classes or to live will be required to follow face covering, screening, testing and isolation guidelines to protect their health and the health of our community. I encourage you to visit the Return to Learn website regularly for the latest updates for the campus community.

GPS staff is available and ready to help all our students with any questions or needs. We are here to support you and your success, despite the current circumstances.

In the end, this pandemic should remind us that the fabric of globalization is real. Our students, faculty and staff come from families located around the world. The GPS community must show compassion for the world as a whole because, to quote a popular song at a past moment of strife, “We are the world.”

Even as we confront the pandemic, America is also facing up to the continuing evils created by racism. GPS has already begun the work of confronting the challenge of changes to be anti-racist. We are especially focusing on the Black community. However, we do this work while also explicitly recognizing that issues of racism, discrimination and inequality have many other dimensions in the U.S. and around the globe.

We wish the entire GPS community and all of your families good health as we begin the new school year.

Peter F. Cowhey

Dean and Qualcomm Endowed Chair in Communications and Technology Policy

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