Update on DEI Advisory Council
This month I appointed 11 UC ANR employees to an initial two-year term as founding members of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Advisory Council for UC Agriculture and Natural Resources. The group began meeting to consider the Council's role and structure in November; this appointment is effective retroactively from November 1, 2020, through October 31, 2022.
I am convening this advisory council to support DEI efforts that UC ANR staff and academics have undertaken to improve working environments within UC ANR, as well as to improve quality of life for marginalized populations living in the state of California. Diversity is one of our core values and developing an equitable and inclusive society is one of our Public Values. This Council is a commitment by UC ANR leadership to take division-wide action on the existence and impact of longstanding discrimination within our Division, as well as in our efforts throughout the state.
I am asking the founding members to recommend a formal Charter to document the objectives, organization and functions of the Council. While the initial appointment for founding members is two years, the intent is for members to have staggered appointments to allow for turnover and continuity. I ask that the Council work to develop the Charter and an agenda for an initial meeting with me, AVP Powers and AVP Tran by June 30, 2021.
End of regional stay-at-home orders
On Monday, the state ended the regional stay-at-home order, which means that each county will now revert back to following the four risk tiers for re-opening based on COVID-19 testing and case rates. Currently, all but four counties are in the most restrictive tier (Widespread / Purple), but over the next few weeks we may see some counties begin to open up more as the number of cases declines.
For UC ANR activities, this means that if local County Health Orders allow, standard COVID-19 safety protocols are in place, and you are ready, many of you may begin to gradually increase some in-person activities, including allowing some small (10 or fewer) outdoor meetings, programs or workshops. Indoor meetings, programs or workshops are not allowed until your county reaches the Substantial/Red risk tier.
Please refer to our safety protocols and guidance on the webpage for resuming in-person activities for more details. Safety Coordinators and Directors should also take this time to review and update their site-specific Location Safety Plan to reflect the current operations at their UC ANR location, volunteer programs, and field sites and share those plans and any changes with the staff who are working onsite.