By President Emerita Judie Wexler March 19, 2020

Dear CIIS Community,

In the midst of our first week of shelter in place, I am happy to report that CIIS has been able to continue with all of our academic classes and our essential services via the Internet. It is a tribute to the hard work and resiliency of our faculty and staff that we have been able to do this. I am so proud of this community.

The Business Continuity Team continues to meet daily via Zoom to assess how things are going, to address new questions, and to keep up to date on the changing environment. I think we are all looking forward to the day that our meeting takes less than an hour. The planning done within this group and the constant email exchanges have been key to our ability to make such sweeping changes so quickly. My special thanks to everyone in this group.

Changes for Your Safety

For the safety of our students and staff, we have moved our psychological services clinics to tele-health delivery.Because acupuncture clearly cannot be accomplished over the Internet or by telephone, we have had to close the ACTCM at CIIS clinics. ACTCM is working to ensure that students who expect to graduate at the end of Spring semester will be able to accrue their essential clinical hours via a Grand Rounds process that can be completed virtually.

We have also canceled or postponed Public Programs events into April while considering what new material we can make available online and encouraging our patrons to revisit our podcasts. Certificate programs will continue as planned although via webinar.

Everyone employed within the City of San Francisco earns sick leave on a regular basis. I have heard questions of concern and want to assure you that all CIIS employees have paid time off to draw upon as needed. Our security guards and custodians similarly have paid time off. HR is also monitoring the changes being proposed and adopted by the federal, state, and city governments to support wage workers in these perilous times. We are also monitoring proposals to help businesses support their employees.

Sharing and Support

Students have already begun to reach out to one another to create support groups. Information and ideas about how to deal with the demands of shelter in place can be found on the MyCIIS Wellness Center page, on our CIIS COVID-19 microsite, and on the CIIS Facebook page. I encourage everyone to share your own hints and useful things you have found elsewhere. Members of this community have always been knowledgeable about psychological and physical wellness, spiritual practice, and community building. Shelter in place is about maintaining physical distance; we need to combine that with community closeness, so please share your ideas. 

Undergraduate and ACTCM students began to register for Summer semester this week. A full Summer semester is being offered. Student advising is available as always. All offices can be reached via email and telephone, even if the staff is not currently working within the building. 

As always, I urge you to take good care of yourself. Remember that COVID-19 strikes young adults as well as those over 60. Even if you have always been healthy, follow the guidelines on maintaining physical distance and proper hand hygiene.

Remember to smile, reach out, go for a walk, and take a deep breath.  

Judie

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