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Zoom meeting and Q&A with students and families July 20, 2020

Jul 20, 2020

President Christopher Callahan, along with Vice President for Student Life Carrie Lovelace Petr, held a Zoom meeting with Pacific students and families on July 20, 2020.

President Christopher Callahan: Thank you all for joining us today. We certainly hope you are well and safe during these challenging times. For those of you who I haven't had the pleasure of meeting, I'm Chris Callahan. I am the new president of University of the Pacific and with me today is Dr. Carrie Lovelace Petr, who is our vice president for Student Life at Pacific.

We wanted to talk to you a little bit about the game plan going forward, which you have heard about. We wrote to you last week and I think I'm speaking for Dr. Petr when I say we are both as disappointed as you are that we're not going to be able to have the semester that we all had hoped for in the fall. We had a great plan in place up until about four or five weeks ago, that plan was looking fantastic, that we were going to be able to fully reopen all three of our campuses, safely and smartly.

But as you all know, COVID-19 took a nontrivial turn for the worst about a month ago and just so you can sort of contextualize that a little bit, I'm going to ask Ashley to show, this is the San Joaquin County Health Department COVID-19 Dashboard, which sort of indicates the growth of COVID-19. I will tell you, the trend lines largely mirror what we're seeing in Sacramento County and San Francisco County, where our other campuses are, but we're going to go ahead and share this.

So, if you take a look, when COVID-19 started back in really late winter, you will see in San Joaquin County and again, this pretty much mirrors what we're seeing in Sacramento and San Francisco. It was actually a fairly low grade if you will. Still existed. Still a serious public health concern, but overall it was pretty flat through those first three months or so and then about four or five weeks ago, you will see a dramatic spike upward and that trajectory, all of a sudden, just really took off.

We have monitored this literally on a day-to-day basis and came to the conclusion, although I will say the decision was difficult on one hand and actually easy on another, but we came to the conclusion that we were going to be mostly remote for the fall semester.

Again, even though that disappoints Dr. Petr and myself, and I know all of you, as well as our faculty and staff, we have to above all else, focused on the health and safety of our students, as well as the rest of our community. There is nothing more important than that and unfortunately, because of what happened with the spread of COVID-19, we felt that we could not in four short weeks open and open safely.

So again, on one dimension, a very difficult decision. On another, actually not at all. The good news is we have put together—your faculty and staff, Dr. Petr, Dr. Petr's team and our deans—have put together a really spectacular experience for you in the fall semester and we really want to take advantage of what is in our DNA and that is this notion of innovation.

We were literally the first university in California ever created 169 years ago. We were the first university ever to welcome women to its campus. We were the first university to have a medical school. We were the first university west of the Mississippi to have a conservatory of music. So, this notion of innovating and higher education is really in our DNA. And again, the faculty and staff, deans and Dr. Petr's team have done an absolutely spectacular job in starting to put together a whole bunch of exciting, engaging opportunities for you.

If you could let me start off with the classes. So, the classroom experience, the things that matter are all still there. You're going to have exactly the same professors, with exactly the same classmates, with the same course material and curriculum. The same learning outcomes for you. The classes are meeting the same days and the same times. You're going to be able to do group settings in the way you would and you're going to have the same, if not more opportunities, to meet one-on-one with your faculty members. All of that, which are the elements of what makes a great education at Pacific, are all there. None of that's changed.

Literally the only thing that's changing is the venue. Other academic support, all of our library services, are going to be open completely and remote. Our tutoring services, which are extensive, are all going to be available. We're going to be creating study cohorts. So, everything on the academic side, which is the core reason why you are all at Pacific, will remain the same, literally other than location.

But we know there's a lot more to the college experience than the learning inside the classroom. So, we have and are developing this whole package of new and innovative co-curricular activities and I won't bore you with all of them because it's going to be multiple, multiple activities each day but they fall into some categories.

There's Career Services and internship programs, which will be very robust throughout the semester. Each college is going to be doing each week its own programming outside of the classroom for students on their specializations.

We're going to have a whole series of special speakers each week, sort of national figures, many of them were Pacific grads, not all, but many of whom will be speaking and engaging with our students.

All of the Student Life activities that we would do typically, Dr. Petr is going to be leading. Our student clubs and organizations, we're adding book clubs and then some things just for some fun. Our e-sports, which are already very popular on the Stockton Campus. We're going to expand that. We'll have virtual trivia games and scavenger hunts. Again, all in the effort to create the community of University of the Pacific.

Will it be the same as being here? No. Will what you're getting out of it be the same. We actually think so, just in different ways. I will also tell you that this is especially hard, our heart really breaks for every incoming freshman.

Most of you came off of losing the end of your senior year, which you've been looking forward to for a long time. Many of you were not able to go to a traditional graduation ceremony, or prom or what have you. So, it's already been very, very difficult for you, but keep in mind the remote experiences, sort of how you learned in high school at the end, at the last minute, where your teachers were trying to pivot to an online environment versus what you're going to be getting at Pacific is quite frankly it's night and day.

Our faculty also had to pivot very quickly. They did a very good job of that in the spring. We’ve now been working on nothing but how to increase and make more powerful the remote learning experience.

So again, what you're going to be getting out of the classroom experiences is going to be exactly parallel to what you would be getting here on campus and many of the co-curricular activities we hope will expand on that.

On the financial side, and we understand and are very sympathetic to the many students and their families who have been hit hard by COVID-19, some sadly in health ways, others in financial ways. That's why Pacific—and I'm just so proud of this—long before I got here but last spring, created what I believe to be the most robust COVID-19 related scholarship program in the entire country. There were fellowships and grants for our graduate students, but for our undergraduates, there is an almost $1,450 scholarship each year. So that means for our incoming students, that is for each of your four successfully completed years at Pacific. That's to help alleviate the burden that has been caused by COVID-19.

In addition, there are fees and every university has its own set of fees. You think about what are you paying for? What is it going toward? Well, your tuition is for your learning experiences. It's for the classroom experiences and all the things that happen around the classroom experience.

Your residence hall fees are to be able to live on campus. Your dining services fees are so you could eat on campus. Your parking services fee, so you could park on campus. So, they're all very related directly to things that you weren't getting. So, we look at that.

A lot of our courses have very specific course fees. Those are typically for labs, laboratory experiences. Well, if we're not in most, not all, but most of our lab classes are going to be in a remote environment, that's why we are waiving all of those course fees for you for the fall semester.

Similarly, we have on the Stockton Campus, a rec fee for access to our fantastic gyms and the like. Well, there's actually going to still be a lot of recreational activities available to you remotely, but obviously the on-campus ones won't be. So, we're going to go ahead and waive those fees completely for the fall semester also for our students.

The last fee is our health services and mental counseling fee and that one we are indeed keeping in place. It is absolutely critical. Mental health counseling and services are actually the one area this year that we're increasing our investment in because during COVID-19, particularly, we're seeing the needs of our students actually going up, not down. That's an absolutely essential resource that we are going to keep.

Some of our students may have difficulty because the courses are remote, may not have access or regular access to a computer, or may have difficulty getting the right kind of internet connection.

We will have some financial subsidies to help those students if they need it and then of course, any students whose family situation has changed dramatically, financially because of COVID-19, we encourage you to go to our financial aid office to see if your government grant packages can be adjusted accordingly.

So, that gives you a little bit of sort of an overview of, first of all, the decision that we made, why we made it and what we're going to be doing in the fall semester so everybody and all of our students have an outstanding, outstanding experience.

Carrie Lovelace Petr: I also wanted to just echo President Callahan's regrets. I think I too have spent a number of the last few days with the staff, in particular, in my area and in some of our partner areas that work so closely with students. I know there are some families on the call, on a day-to-day basis and the lamentation that staff feels around not having folks come back to our campus is real.

We miss you frankly. We like our houses and we like being with our pets, that's fine. But we really, really miss you and we are very sad to not have sort of our whole family back on all of our campuses.

Petr: Well, we have 101 questions in the chat right now, and approximately half of them are asking some related question to labs, and the idea of mostly remote, and you are really the best-positioned person on the call to give a little bit better flavor of that, coming from a discipline that has some sense about what hands-on experiential learning means. Do you want to talk about that just broadly? So we can get into that?

Callahan: I will, and it will be broadly, but some of our programs will have their lab experiences open, which tends to be in health sciences. But again, that's something that you're going to get definitive answers from your deans.

Petr: I can also see that in the chat, there are a lot of questions about on-campus living, so why don't I go ahead and give some broad perspective before we sort of wade through some of the questions? I know that in the president's letter that it made reference to the restricted nature of our being able to offer on-campus living. We may have students or families on the call who are affiliated with our San Francisco Campus. The San Francisco Campus's housing, which is modest, that is unaffected by this decision. Our relationship with that particular entity allows us to keep it open. The folks on the Sacramento Campus, also your housing remains unaffected; that has to do with the way that things are working in our relationship with the public health department and with those particular facilities.

So, when we talk about housing, we are really talking about our Stockton Campus, where we see some facilities that are sort of the more traditional style. This is where I always remind Chris that traditional style means, residence halls with one room and a common bathroom, like when we went to college, as opposed to our apartment-style residence halls that are available with really nearly half of our beds. So we are in a position where from a public health perspective, we have not yet been able to settle with the San Joaquin Public Health Department to what degree we will be able to offer housing on our campus. And so anybody who has an existing housing contract will receive an email this week from the Department of Residential Life and Housing, asking if you still want to look at living on campus, that you please fill out a request form to let us know that you still want to live on campus if we are able to provide housing so we can get a sense of how many folks are interested. But also so that we can also help those folks who we know will not be able to stay on campus, and will instead, be fully remote for this semester.

So again, if you have a housing contract, your housing contract will be canceled and a refund will be administered as a credit to your student account. You can work with Student Accounts about the way that your refund will be handled; if you'd like it to be refunded or credited to next semester. Whatever is your family preference. But all of that will happen over the course, I would say of this week and into next, I'm going to give those folks a little bit of time to do some of the administrative paperwork. Our system is not actually set up so that we can cancel 1,800 contracts at one time, so we're going through and making sure that those are taking care of appropriate, same for dining.

But we are asking folks who are interested in housing, we know that's a lot of you, if you will be on the lookout for that request form and just send it in. You go onto the whole thing and tell us that you're interested in being here on campus for housing and why. I know that for some of you, this question about labs or not labs may have bearing on whether or not you want to request housing, totally get that. And so that is information that once you receive that from your academic home, then you may be able to make a good decision about what your request would look like. I think that that gives some broad sense about housing. Chris, is there anything about housing, you've heard me talk about this all week, so is there anything that I have missed?

Callahan: You got it.

Petr: I can also see that there are some questions with some of our students and families who have leases in the community, at some privately held apartment complexes. I would like to offer, just as a reminder, that we do not have a relationship formally with any of those landlords. Some of those landlords, I would feel certain will be a little bit lenient and some may choose not to be. And our advice to you is to work directly with those landlords. Some of you are in the Brubeck apartments, the ones that are right across the street that feel like you're right on campus because they're right across the street. And occasionally when students are working with the Brubeck apartments, they have worked also with our Dean of Students Rhonda Bryant. I will never claim that Rhonda can get anything done by waving a wand, but Rhonda has worked with the Brubeck apartments in a number of ways, and she may be able to provide some advice and counsel to folks about that.

I recognize as a parent myself, that there are some folks for whom that's going to be a source of irritation and frustration, and I could not be more compassionate with you about that. And my advice to you is that, in communicating with those landlords, that you implore them that you are expecting to be here in the spring and to see what you are able to do from there. If you would like to talk with someone else at the university, just as someone who can counsel you, Dean of Students Rhonda Bryant ( is a really good resource for that, as she has experienced working with some of those entities. Again, though, they are privately held entities, and so from the people who rent out the houses around the neighborhood to the big apartment complexes, we do not have relationships formally with any of them, and so I wanted to make sure that folks know that. Okay, those are sort of the big, broad theme questions I can see in the chat. I'm happy to scroll through this while you take some questions live, if you'd like to?

Callahan: Great. I see people are asking about athletics, so while you're looking for another question, I'll go ahead and field that if I could. So [there are a] couple of different dimensions to this. The first is our conference, the West Coast Conference, the presidents voted unanimously last week to basically suspend any competitions, any games, until at least September 24. We're still hopeful that we will have a fall season. Can't promise that, we're still hopeful. But we all are, and in fact, while we were talking our wonderful athletic director texted me, and wants to call me, she and I have been talking about how we can get our coaches to start at least some informal workouts for our student-athletes. It's a little more complicated than you might think, because we have to work with the county health officials, but we are working hard on doing that. And hopefully the next couple of days, you'll be hearing directly from your coaches on, on what that might look like.

Petr: Other questions that I can see here, there are some folks who are asking a little bit about our intention long term. And the questions are anything from, "So when the pandemic comes down later this semester, can we come back this fall?" To, "What are your plans for the spring?" You love talking about the crystal ball, so go Chris, and I will keep reading.

Callahan: We wish we knew exactly what was going to happen with COVID-19. I can tell you with what we're doing and what the state of California is doing, which is really clamping down on public gatherings, on insisting on the use of facial coverings, et cetera. Certainly, our hope, and there's a logic to this, is that in California at least, the virus will flatten out dramatically over the course of the fall semester. So, by the time we're ready to come back in January, we're going to be able to come back full-bore in a healthy, safe way. And right now, that's certainly our plan. Coming back beforehand, I'll be honest with you, we don't see a scenario where that would be safe other than then, okay, how about this? If somebody develops a vaccine tomorrow and gets it to all of us within days, that might be a different scenario. Unfortunately, there is no indication that we're going to have a vaccine even in months’ time, at this point. So, we really think that this is, again for the health and safety of our students, we think this is the best course of action.

Petr: Yep. There are a couple of folks who want some clarification around the differences between course fees being waived and tuition adjustments. Do you want to address the differences in those two things?

Callahan: Sure. So, for tuition, again, we're handling that through the COVID-19 scholarships for our undergraduates—$1,450 per year. For the fees, those are waiving the fees that are directly tied to what the fees are for. So obviously parking, as well as the course fees, many of our courses, particularly in the sciences, but not exclusively, have extra fees attached to them, typically again, for lab experiences. So, no matter what the course fees are for, we're going to waive all of those fees for the fall semester. And then the recreational fee, which is for our students on the Stockton Campus. We're also waving that for the fall semester.

Petr: There are a couple of questions in the chat. First of all, I want to thank everybody; your questions are really, they're extremely helpful. Some of them are similar questions, so I'm trying to sort of go back and make sure that we are touching on some of the questions that we've answered a couple of times. I've had a couple of questions here asking a little bit about services for our students who have disabilities. I know that some of our students had already registered for the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities. And then there were some students who discovered that when they were in a remote environment; some of their disabilities were impacted differently, and so they needed to go through the accommodations process. I think all of us who have worked with the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities are familiar with the director, Daniel Nuss, and I would recommend that our students reach out to Danny directly, and provide themselves an opportunity to work through accommodations.

I know that Danny is in the process of reaching out to any of our students who've had accommodations, or who worked with the office, but certainly, if you are new to the office, or if you believe that an online environment will provide some different sort of opportunities for you and working with your disability, I would encourage you to just reach out to Danny, and that he and his staff will work with you particularly. I know there were some folks who found that a non-campus environment really eased some of their disability needs, and others said it exacerbated them. And so, I did encourage folks to go ahead and get in touch with Danny sooner rather than later.

Petr: There are some questions, a little bit around dining on campus. So, our expectation at this point is that our dining on campus will be offered, only sort of in parallel with our housing on campus. So, if we are able to have a relatively robust population of folks living on campus, then we would be able to provide some dining services. If, however, our ability to house folks on campus is limited, then our dining services will also be limited. That's a terrific question. And the question was actually framed for those folks who are living off campus, and who rely on dining as one of their options when they choose to come to campus for work or the like. And so, I really appreciate somebody asking that question. Those of us who've been on campus for the spring, recognized that we had really, really limited services for dining on campus, and we would expect them to be as limited if not more so.

Petr: I'm seeing some questions specific to financial aid. And so the answer for everybody who has a question about anything regarding financial aid, and Chris and I, we have been trained to say this, is that if you have the question about financial aid, no matter how broad you believe it to be, what you should do is reach out to the financial aid office, because your particular package is unique to you, and you will want to work through any of your questions with a dedicated, trained professional financial aid officer. That said, our financial aid personnel is absolutely on the job on this. They know that this is something that lots of families are going to have questions about, and that is going to be impacted around this, and you should reach out to those folks as soon as you can, and begin to address some of your questions. That includes some of your questions about work study. So, some folks have scholarship questions, some have financial aid questions, and some have work study; all of those fall into the area of financial aid.

Petr: Chris, I think the question I can see in here for you that really is, folks who are asking a lot of questions about things like study abroad or programs that require an abroad opportunity, like our international relations. So, if you want to address the ways in which some of the academic side or talking about that, I don't think they've realized the true decision yet, but do you want to talk about that?

Callahan: Yeah. Now, do we mean for the fall semester or the spring semester?

Petr: It looks like a little bit of both. I think some of it is for those students who have a foreign language or international studies, international relations majors, they are particularly concerned. But then I know that we have students who were looking forward to a study abroad experience. And so, they're wondering whether or not that's something we are hoping for in the spring. I think most of us recognize the fall is going to be a challenge.

Callahan: I think that's right, Dr. Petr. Certainly for spring and summer, if conditions allow, which we believe they will, we will have our full and robust study abroad opportunities for fall. I would assume there is nobody who is currently planning on a study abroad for fall. But if there is, please contact us. I can't imagine that's in place. But yeah, we're certainly planning for spring and summer, particularly because a lot of our students didn't have the opportunity, obviously, this summer to do a study abroad experience. So, we'll make sure that we have a robust slate of those coming into summer.

Petr: Sure. I can see that there are a number of folks, they may have joined the call a little bit late, that would like you to revisit the conversation about tuition.

Callahan: Sure.

Petr: And I think they have a number of follow-up questions here. I don't want to pepper you with them, but I can see that there's a little pocket of folks who would like to hear you talk about that again.

Callahan: Sure. And let me take it holistically, then we can drill down on anything that you would like. So, there's a lot, as you know, there's a lot of line items, if you will, on your bill. There's tuition, there are various fees, there's room and there's board, et cetera. So, for tuition, University of the Pacific, again to the best of my knowledge, has the most robust scholarship program for undergraduates that I know of, anywhere in the country. That's not to say that that is absolutely the most, but it's certainly, from what I've seen, the most robust that we actually have put into place, that every student on top of their financial aid package. And we are giving out about $90 million in Pacific funds this year for Pacific scholarships. In addition to that, we have these special COVID-19 scholarships. And what's really special about them is it's not only for this year but for students who are continuing, for undergraduate students who are continuing. So, for instance, if you're an incoming freshman in good standing, that will be for all four years.

We're not reducing tuition, quite frankly because tuition, again, when we talk about sort of those parallels, tuition is for the course and the educational experience. That is not lessened. It is different, but it is absolutely not lessened. Again, the same professors, your same classmates, the same curriculum, same assignments, the same time, the same days, the same evaluations systems, all of that remains the same. Literally, the only thing that is different is the venue. It is remote instead of in the classroom. All the library services and tutoring services, all those things that support you in your academic endeavor, are all in place. So that's the reason why, quite frankly, we wouldn't reduce tuition. If we could, we would add more to the scholarships. Honestly, we wish we could, but we can't. It's worth noting that if we made a financial decision on whether to open or close, we would open. We would open. That's not even close because the extra expenses to be in a remote environment and the loss of revenue is dramatic. So please know this, if we were making this based on university finances, we would have all three campuses fully open. But we're making it based on the health and safety of our students.

So that's the tuition part of that. For the fees, fees are directly related to the services you receive. So, if you get a parking pass, you're paying a parking fee for your parking. In this case, for those, obviously, who aren't going to be having a room or board or parking, not going to pay those. But also, there are other fees. Many of our courses have individual course fees attached to the courses, very often in the lab sciences. We're going to waive all of those for all students for the entire fall semester.

Additionally, there's a recreational fee to access our exercise facilities, gyms and the like, as well as a whole slate of recreational programs, some of which we will still have remotely, but because you're not going to be able to be on campus to take advantage of the equipment, we're going to waive those fees.

We are not going to waive the health and mental counseling services fees for a very simple reason. Those are actually needed more in this environment than a traditional, normal environment. In fact, the one area that Pacific has invested in, going into the new year, is increasing, particularly, our mental health services. Because COVID-19 has caused such a cascading effect for a lot of our students, we wanted to make sure that there were more opportunities for our students, in terms of counseling services.

Some students and some families may not have access to a computer or may have trouble getting the right kind of internet connection. We will have technology subsidies that we can help subsidize some of your costs for that. And then, of course, anybody whose financial situation and families whose financial situation has changed dramatically because of COVID-19, as Dr. Petr says, please go to the financial aid office.

So hopefully, that helps a little bit, in terms of sort of the overall, but I'm happy to drill down on any of that.

Petr: President Callahan, as I'm sort of scrolling through the chat, I think that I can see there's sort of one more big kind of broad question, and then perhaps what we might want to do is ask Ashley if she wanted to read some of the questions aloud.

Callahan: Although, Carrie, we might just want to keep on doing this. You're doing a great job going through it.

Petr: OK. I just want to make sure.

Callahan: We'll just keep on. Let's keep on going.

Petr: Sure. OK. One of the questions that folks have is around timing with regard to refunds. So, to provide some context, when the bills went out just before this decision was made, I know that there were some folks who went ahead and posted their payment, particularly for housing or for the fees that President Callahan has made mention about. And it is our understanding that our friends in Student Accounts are working through the process of crediting those back to students' accounts. And then if there may be some students who want to let those credits sit on your account for spring, there may be others who would prefer to handle that as a refund. We would direct you to Student Accounts so that you can make those appropriate arrangements.

Petr: There was somebody who asked about the credit that was provided to folks in the spring when they decided to let their stuff roll. And now they're interested in whether or not they could have a refund. I do not know if the answer to that is yes, but I would imagine that it is yes. So, if I'm going to say that I think that it should be because I know that Student Accounts is capable of doing so if you prefer that. Because now I would bet there are some students who are looking at graduating in December, and so they'd be interested in getting a refund instead.

So those are some of the answers that I can see to some of these questions. And then I think that there are some folks, again, Chris, who would like for you to talk a little bit about what mostly remote means and perhaps give them some perspective. Labs seem to be coming up a number of times in the chat. And so, I know as a not biochemist, that is not your area of expertise, but our pharmacy friends in particular and our pre-health students are interested in what their labs might look like.

Callahan: And really, we want you to go to the experts on that, which is why we've asked all the deans to have this sort of a session with their individual schools for their students tomorrow (July 21). I just don't want to give you the wrong information. When I say mostly, it is overwhelmingly, so I don't want to leave a lot of hope that this lab will be open or that lab will be open. Some will be. The deans will be able to directly answer those questions. And then for the labs that are virtual, which we've done before, they'll also explain a little bit more how the teaching of that is.

They're good questions. We just don't want to give you bad information.

Petr: Well, I also would say I also want you to be able to ask more specific questions around particular academic classes, when all labs are not the same. And so that would be my concern.

I also see that there are some folks who are interested in sort of what the campus is going to be like for fall semester, in terms of some of the public facilities being open. And go ahead, you get to decide. You're the president.

Callahan: I can tell you precisely what the campus is like because my wife and I moved to campus three weeks ago and it's pretty much just us. That's not entirely true. We have a lot of our facilities and physical plant folks here, but in terms of what facilities are open, right now, none. So, the question will be mostly around our athletic programs, to see if we can get those student-athletes in, to start doing some workouts and see what, as this goes on, what we can safely open for those students. But by and large, no, there won't be any of the facilities open and certainly no public events.

But I could also say, for those of you who are going to be in the area, whether on-campus or off-campus, it's remarkable. The beauty of our campus shines through. And how many people that Jean and I see when we go for a walk at night, just enjoying the campus and walking around. And certainly, if you're going to be here, in some ways, the campus is yours because people are just spreading out and enjoying the natural beauty of [Pacific].

Petr: Some of the questions specifically around facilities, like the recreation center or the library or the DUC. And typically, we have tried to follow the guidelines in the county with regard to those. So not having the gym open when other gyms are not able to be open and the like, and then practicing social distancing within some of the physical facilities through the course of the summer and the spring. But Chris, do you want to talk a little bit about some of the plans for the library? I know you've talked about the library being available, but some folks just like to come to the library because it's beautiful.

Callahan: Absolutely. So, the library will be fully available. Digital form. There'll be librarians that you can call, you can email, whatever your favorite mode of communication is, where they can help you out in the same way as they would if you were here. You'll have access to all of our hundreds of thousands of databases. The only sort of difference would be on texts—books and periodicals. And if there is something that is not in electronic form that you want in paper form, we will simply mail that to your home. The full services of the library, including all the tutoring services and the like, will all be 100% available.

Petr: Chris, to be candid, there are a whole lot of questions in this chat, in varying degrees of shorthand and long, asking for you to talk a little bit about your statement with regard to the quality of online classes. And there have been some specific questions around training provided to our faculty member, and specifically the synchronous versus asynchronous learning. But in particular, folks want to hear you talk about online learning as an example of an excellent education.

Callahan: I will start off by saying there's online learning and remote learning. There is what we did at Pacific on a day's notice, where we had to take our traditional undergrad classes and pivot them into remote experiences. And our faculty, I thought, given the time they had, did a really terrific job. But now, they have been focused all summer on how can they make that an better experience, more interactive experience for all of our students.

We have something called the Center for Teaching and Learning, which is devoted to exactly that. It's devoted to, how can we teach our teachers? How can we teach the professors to be even better and more effective faculty members in interacting with you. And so, they are designing all sorts of new ways where we can learn on Zoom, including taking advantage of a lot of the technology that's already built-in. I'll use one example is the small chat rooms where you can actually, if you have a slightly larger class, you could break it up for smaller group work, and people could go into different rooms, and then the professor could come in and join you in the different rooms.

So, there's a lot of opportunity because they've been spending their time designing that. Now, if I could talk a little bit—and you'll notice, I never say online learning, I always say remote learning. So, let me explain that a little bit. What we do at Pacific is remote learning. Real-time, same students, same class, highly interactive. Online learning, what we call traditional online learning, is what we call asynchronous learning. That is a lot of content that's available that you can sort of go anytime you want and look at it and the like. It's really good for non-traditional students, for students who are working or older adults who are working and need more flexibility in their schedule. I could tell you; I have a lot of experience with asynchronous online learning from Arizona State University, which is where I spent the last 15 years of my career before I joined Pacific 20 days ago.

And ASU does a fine job of offering what I would call traditional online teaching and learning. It is night and day from what we do. It is done on scale, which means you have hundreds and hundreds of students. It is not real-time. It is all sort of you come in and you watch a tape and the like. The differentiation between that experience and what we're doing is literally night and day. I hope that helps a little bit in framing those sorts of differences.

Petr: Absolutely. There is one particular student who has asked this question, I think three or four times. So, I apologize. Maybe I have missed this as I've been trying to read through this. I'm going to read it in its entirety. "Since some students might be allowed back on campus pending the county's decision, why not just do hybrid learning for the whole fall semester?"

Callahan: Yeah. And when you say hybrid, I assume you mean some people in class, some people out of class?

Petr: The hybrid, high flex model. Yes.

Callahan: Yeah. I mean, the difference is very simple. If we're given permission to put some of our students in residence, is literally that. They're living here and doing nothing else, and that might be counted in the hundreds. Versus opening up the campus, having class, having classes in classrooms and having on the Stockton Campus about 6,000 people. In terms of the spread of diseases and the like, that is dramatically different. So, even if we were allowed to, and right now, and important to keep in mind, right now, we're not even allowed to do that if we wanted to. We do not have permission from the county or the state. The counties around the state of California are waiting for the governor to give out regulations and guidelines around higher education. The governor's office has not done that. So even if we wanted to do that right now, we couldn't.

And quite frankly, if we were allowed do that tomorrow, again, I'm just being honest with you, we wouldn't do it, because having that many people again now in smaller, closed-in environments would pose a health and safety risk to our students that I'm not willing to take [that risk] despite the financial problems that it will cause the university. And I fully understand that not everybody is going to agree with this decision. I understand that. I appreciate it. I feel it. Because I feel the same way as Dr. Petr. We're dying to get you guys back on campus, but we have to think first and foremost about your health and safety.

Petr: There are a handful of things in here that I think I can touch on. I also would like to offer to the group that there are 547 questions in the chat. Many of them are some of the same questions that we've answered a couple of times and some of them, I think, are a little bit more broad questions. And there was a suggestion made that perhaps we could try to use the chat here as a really good basis to update the FAQ that is on the website. I think that would be helpful.

There are a couple of pieces that I just wanted to sort of touch on because I can see that they have some urgency, and then I have a couple of things to pitch back. One is that somebody asked specifically about textbooks. And so, textbooks can still be shipped from Follett, certainly using the online ordering system. And then obviously if you would prefer to use e-books, you can use e-books as well, if you feel like you have an urgency to get the book immediately. Those are the two options that we would suggest for delivery.

There've been some folks who have asked questions about some of our students who are either international students or people who are international students and currently out of the country. As we are taking a look at who we can house on campus, I want you to know that certainly my office, as well as, President Callahan, we actually literally just talked about this earlier today, talked a little bit about what we can do to help ensure that our international students have a place to live and that we can provide that information as quickly as possible. We are absolutely aware that we have international students who are out of the country, who are trying to figure out what to do about their plane reservations or even honestly trying to figure out what to do about travel arrangements as they have chosen to do. I want you to know that is on our radar to be resolved quickly, which is not to say that everyone else's housing isn't important, but we are mindful that our international folks have some particular circumstances that cause them some time-sensitive urgency.

And then someone asked whether or not the housing deposit would be refunded. Yes, it will. Both the housing charges and the housing deposit will be refunded for folks who are interested. And then somebody in the chat, really it's more just a question to me and my team, asked specifically for us to start thinking about the process for housing in the spring, because all of the contracts have been and how we'd make sure that those folks who want to live on campus in the spring you're able to do so. And so, I just wanted to be sure if that's something that students are wondering about or concerned about. I've seen some notes about that with my team already. And so, I wrote it down as something that we can be sure to look at. I don't know that we know that answer quite this hot minute, but we certainly would.

Chris, I think there are some people who'd really like for you to talk a little bit about a couple of things. One, that we have a lot of friends who are in engineering that want to hear about co-op and Chris is going to tell you to go to Dean Howell's presentation because nobody likes talking about co-op like Steve Howell. But do you want to talk about co-op too?

Callahan: Yes, because I actually preempted that question because I reached out to Dean Howell earlier today in anticipation of this and to talk about sort of internships and experiential learning experiences in general. Now in general, keep in mind that a lot of them are going to be remote also as they have been in the summer and at the end of spring semester. But if there is one or a number that you're interested or that you're doing already and that the employer agrees to have you onsite and if you agree to be onsite and if you believe that the employer believes that it's a safe environment, then you can absolutely do that. But it really is dependent upon the employer, whether or not we're talking about a co-op in engineering or an internship in one of our other disciplines.

Petr: There are a couple of students who are asking questions around issues about deferment, particularly for scholarship and enrollment. So when someone uses the word deferment, some people are interested in asking about deferring your scholarship, in which case I'm referring you directly to the financial aid office to talk a little bit about the impact of a semester gap and what that would do for your overall package and not just your University of the Pacific scholarships.

Then I think there's at least a couple of students here who are asking about deferring their admission for the fall. I'm going to refer those to the admission office or to the dean’s office specifically. We'll want to make sure that if you make a decision about where you're going to be for the spring or for the fall, that that doesn't impact anything else about your spring. I don't want to screw somebody's admissions up. So, I hate dodging that question, but I'm a little concerned about whether or not that impacts other pieces of the pie. And I know that the admission office would be happy to help you or would connect you with the people that are in that particular academic area. Unless you have another answer, President Callahan, that you would suggest.

There are a lot of questions in here... Somebody just put, "Carrie, please put the tuition questions on your radar too." Absolutely. Thank you. They're on my radar. There are a lot of questions here. I think just about some pieces around tuition that we should address in the FAQ a little bit more robustly for students who are not available for this call. And so, thank you very much, somebody, for noting that we'll want to make sure that that's there. I just feel like these questions are terrific for the FAQ, many of them.

The last question I will bring to you here, Chris, is a tuition one. “The Pacific administration always brings up how they're aware about how this pandemic has impacted many financially, but there was always a plan to raise tuition even during the pandemic. And is this not contradictory?” Chris, do you want to address that?

Callahan: And I appreciate that. Again, I'll come back to our COVID-19 scholarships that we're covering so much for so long. Do I wish we can do more? Absolutely. Absolutely. But we are limited in what we can do. Again, if this was a question of finances, please know, if this is a question of finances for the university, we'd have everybody back. I mean, the difference in finances for the university is dramatic. But again, we felt like we had to do the best for the health and the safety of our students. We certainly wish we could do more. We cannot. I will say it's worth noting that when you look at our peers in California, the other sort of peer private universities, which I can go through, we actually have the lowest tuition and fees than any of those other eight schools. And we've also had the lowest increases in tuition among those other eight schools. Does that mean, therefore, that it doesn't present burdens for our students and faculty? Absolutely not. Absolutely not. But we just wanted to sort of put this in some sort of a context for you.

Petr: I think I also got a text to make sure that I touch on again issues around housing as we're wrapping up before. I know you have some last words to offer. For folks who came onto the call at any point and are curious about what goes on with housing, this week, anyone with a current existing housing contract will receive an email to your address from Residential Life and Housing. And what they are asking for you to do is to indicate whether or not you want to be on campus in the fall, if we are allowed and able to do so. So, keep on the lookout for that. Go ahead and fill in that form if you are interested in being housed on campus, if we're able to do that, and we'll follow up.

Everybody else, what's going to happen is that if you've made a payment for your housing, it will be refunded or credited to your account through Student Accounts. That includes a deposit that you might have made, as well as, the $500 credit that some of you had from last semester. Other questions around housing, you are absolutely welcome to email them at I know some of you have questions that feel a little bit more immediate and you want to make sure to get them right now. And so, I wanted to offer those two things. So, I think that brings to a close the sort of big, broad questions. There are other questions in here that we will certainly sort through and get answers to as well. Chris, did you have other things you wanted to wrap us up with?

Callahan: No. I wanted to thank everybody for joining us. We understand that COVID-19 has turned everybody's world upside down and particularly our students and their families. We want to be here for you, and again, try to answer any questions that you might have. I do think if I could follow up to underscore what Dr. Petr said, your individual meetings with your deans, I think, will be critical as you can really drill down in how is this manifesting itself in your particular major. And they are really the folks who are best suited to answer that. And thank you for all your great questions. As Dr. Petr said, this is going to help us inform our FAQ that we already have up on the website. We'll add to that, make it more robust. But thank you all for your time, your patience, and we hope that you will remain safe and well. And I'm really looking forward to a great fall semester, despite the challenges that are in front of us.