By President Emerita Judie Wexler March 1, 2021

Dear Community,

I am feeling cautiously optimistic about the future of the pandemic as I see declines in the number of cases and growth in the number of people getting vaccinated. While 2020 has taught us to expect the unexpected, recent news has leaned positive with expectations that the Bay Area could have herd immunity by this summer.

The plan for CIIS is to continue with virtual operations through the end of Summer semester. We anticipate being able to hold some in-person classes during Fall semester with masks and social distancing. Social distancing and thorough cleaning between classes will place meaningful limits on the number and size of classes that can be in-person.  We also anticipate having offices open for in-person operations during Fall with most staff working in the building on some days and from home on others. Work that can only be done within the building will continue on an in-person basis.

This  monthly bulletin will provide information on operations and other plans for the University during the pandemic and will be distributed and posted to our website. Thank you to the Communications staff and Administrative department contributors for making this possible, and to all the faculty and staff for your creativity and work in responding to the demands of this time. As always, our commitment is to keep our community safe and to support our students in achieving their education goals.


Virtual Commencement 2021: Updates

With the safety and well-being of our community in mind, this year’s Spring Commencement will take place virtually in partnership with our production studio, Shared Studios.

SATURDAY, MAY 15, 12pm–2pm PDT 

Commencement will include many components of our in-person ceremony including messages from President Emerita Wexler, faculty members, a student speaker, other academic traditions. In addition, there will be performances by a graduate student, professional musicians from the Bay Area, and our CIIS in-house community. 

A few updates about our upcoming Commencement:  


Our countdown and graduate registration site is now live. Please visit this site to submit your photo and personalized message of gratitude to be shown during our Virtual Commencement.  We encourage graduates to submit this information even if you do not plan on watching Commencement live. You will also have the option of noting your interest in being considered as a Student Speaker and/or a Musical Performer at Commencement. Please fill out the registration form by March 5. 

We have created a centralized site containing all Commencement-related information, and all eligible graduates will receive more information as details are finalized.  

Graduate Regalia (Cap and Gown) is optional. The website will be available in the next two weeks. In the meantime, you can reach out to our Representative from Herff Jones, Valerie Miller, at or office number at 707.869.5722.

A digital copy of the Commencement Program will be posted on the day of Virtual Commencement, May 15.  

As always, please be in touch with us with any questions or thoughts.

Student Affairs Team: 

Building Operations

HVAC work on 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors is almost complete at Mission campus. These improvements will greatly improve ventilation and circulation, as well as cooling during the hotter months. 

Our Mission St. campus continues to be open Monday to Friday, from 8am to 6pm, for the entire Spring 2021 Semester. Please request one-time appointments by emailing

  Online Learning

Thank you for contacting Online Learning through our virtual course support chat. This is the fastest way to obtain urgent support for virtual courses (average response and resolution time is just over one minute).

Support chat is available Monday through Friday, from 8:15am to 8:15pm, and on weekends when virtual course meetings are scheduled.

ACTCM Clinic

ACTCM's Acupuncture and Herbal Clinic at 455 Arkansas St. in San Francisco welcomes all CIIS students, faculty, and staff members to come and receive acupuncture and herbal treatments, along with scheduling telehealth appointments! 

Please feel free to call us at 415.282.9603 to book an appointment today! 

Our clinic opened during last semester, and we continue to honor specialty pricing for all CIIS community members.

Request an appointment here.

CIIS Clinics

CIIS counseling clinics are all accepting new telehealth clients. Please contact the individual clinic for a potential client interview.

Learn more about CIIS Clinics.

Latest Info About Vaccines

Per San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH), as of February 24, the following people will be eligible for vaccination if they live or work San Francisco:

**Persons at risk of occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2 through their work in any role in the following Education and Child Care settings: 

  • All formal and informal child care workers, including day care providers 
  • All staff in colleges, universities, junior colleges, community colleges, and other postsecondary education facilities 
  • All staff in educational support services and administration 
  • All staff in pre-kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high schools 
  • All staff in technical and trade schools 
  • Any other workers involved in child and/or student care, including school bus drivers and monitors, crosswalk guards, etc.

 SFDPH expects vaccine supply to increase exponentially in March. Check your eligibility status here: My Turn - California COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling & Notifications

Getting the vaccine does not mean you should stop following safety protocols such as masking or social distancing. 

Information about double-masking:
Improve How Your Mask Protects You | CDC
Maximizing Fit for Cloth and Medical Procedure Masks to Improve Performance and Reduce SARS-CoV-2 Transmission and Exposure, 2021 | MMWR (
Double-Masking Offers More Protection Against The Coronavirus, CDC Says : Coronavirus Updates : NPR

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