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Dean's Updates

July 23, 2020

Fall 2020 Campus Update: Dean Deryck van Rensburg Announces Graziadio Business School Will Adopt Online Courses

In light of the great global challenge around COVID-19 and to ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff, Dean Deryck van Rensburg sent an email to the Pepperdine Graziadio community to announce remote teaching and learning will be forthcoming for the Fall 2020 academic term. 

Below is the full email distributed: 

“In light of the president’s announcement regarding the University’s plans for the Fall 2020 academic term, the Graziadio Business School will adopt a predominantly online course delivery mode. For most of our programs, courses will be taught in the virtual environment, leveraging various instructional technology tools like our online learning management system (LMS), Zoom real-time video-conferencing, and asynchronous (self-paced) learning activities. In a select few programs, specifically those that do not involve weekly class meetings, we will aim to utilize a combination of virtual and in-person meetings. These adaptations are necessitated by the persisting conditions associated with the pandemic and reflect our chief priority on the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff. 

Below is a summary of our Fall ’20 modified plans by program type:

Courses in the full-time MBA and MS programs, and part-time programs, including BSM, FEMBA, and EMBA will be offered fully online for the entirety of the fall term.

  • There will be no changes in the online programs (BSM, MBA, and MS programs).
  • Due to the less frequent nature of class sessions in the PKE, DBA, and MSOD programs, we are exploring the possibility of conducting some in-person meetings during the term. Locations outside L.A. County will be explored when it is safe to do so. The final determinations will, of course, be made with consideration to public health guidelines and local/state level directives. Decisions will be communicated to you by the relevant program office.
  • Please note that our fall academic calendar and term dates remain unchanged. The fall term will begin on August 31 and will end on December 11, with some introductory activities taking place prior to August 31 for new students. In the coming weeks, the modified course delivery modes will be updated in WaveNet, but they will not impact the actual days/times of your class sessions. If you have already been enrolled in Fall ’20 courses, no further action is needed on your part. Should you have further questions about your course schedule, please contact your academic advisor.

The Office of International Student Services (OISS) will be sending detailed communication outlining guidance and next steps for international students. Based on the latest information from the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, international students who are currently in the US may remain and should not be affected by the decision to offer a predominantly online course delivery mode. When synchronous attendance is a course requirement, faculty will provide reasonable considerations for students facing significant time zone constraints. International students can be confident that the University and the Graziadio Business School will actively support their ability to remain in full compliance with all visa requirements. Students are encouraged to remain in close contact with the OISS as the fall term progresses.

While the shift to a mostly online learning experience may not have been what many of you had initially anticipated, we are prepared and committed to providing you with a high-quality and engaging learning experience. Our faculty have had a great deal of experience teaching online since 2013 and have developed superb methodologies for creating a strong community of professional connections and robust learning across our curriculum. Graziadio's premium academic experience arises from its small class sizes, outstanding faculty, and robust support services irrespective of delivery mode. In fact, our commitment to providing each student a premier educational experience during the pandemic has required additional institutional investment far beyond any normal academic year.

The past several months have brought tremendous uncertainty and unpredictability to all facets of our lives. They have also inspired creativity, ingenuity, resilience, and flexibility among our faculty and staff to continue to provide rich and meaningful learning experiences in the context of our new reality. While our learning modality has shifted, we remain steadfast in our mission of developing Best for the World Leaders. We stand ready to welcome you to the new academic term and look forward to a fruitful journey together!”