Chancellor Yang's Thomas Fire Update (2)

December 8, 2017

Dear Members of our Campus Community,

The Thomas Fire is continuing to cause significant disruptions to the area south of Santa Barbara. Although it is not a danger to our physical campus, it is impacting many among our campus community and affecting some campus operations.

The health and safety of our students and our community is our top priority. Following consultation with faculty, administrative colleagues, students, and staff, we are announcing the cancellation of classes for Friday, December 8. The campus, however, will remain open but with limited operations. Staff members should consult with their department managers about their individual circumstances and needs. 

The situation remains quite fluid and we are continuing to carefully and thoughtfully evaluate our options regarding the most appropriate way to administer final exams. We seek to accommodate those students who feel strongly about taking their exams as scheduled, as well as those who have been impacted by the fire and require accommodations.

To that end, we have asked faculty to consider options for final exams scheduled forSaturday. If instructors wish to hold exams as scheduled for those students who are able to attend, they may do so, recognizing that alternative arrangements will have to be made for individual students, and perhaps for a large number of students. We are also offering faculty the option of rescheduling Saturday exams for later in the week. Instructors have been asked to contact their students to let them know their plans as soon as possible. We have reminded faculty that they should accommodate students if they are not able to take the regularly-scheduled Saturday final. Instructors of all courses may choose to make alternative arrangements to satisfy the requirement to have a final exam, such as offering a take-home final or devising alternative assignments.

We anticipate making similar arrangements for next week’s finals if fire conditions do not improve. Determinations regarding next week’s finals schedule will be made this weekend and communicated to the community. 

Student Health has been posting health tips on their website at

We continue to monitor the situation and we will provide regular updates. 


Henry T. Yang