Student Housing and Dining Services Strategic Plan2021

Initiative: Mitigate COVID-19, Recover and Build Forward

This initiative encompasses the following strategies:

  • COVID-19
  • COVID-19 Recovery
  • COVID-19 Mitigation


The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is well known. Shelter in Place orders that took effect at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, and public health guidance throughout the pandemic resulted in a significant reduction in the number of students who chose to live on campus in spring quarter 2020. All UC Housing and Dining programs were greatly impacted by this situation, and the UC Office of the President worked with each campus to support recovery efforts.

During spring quarter 2020, students were given the opportunity to cancel their housing contracts and return home and receive a full refund of their remaining spring room and board charges. Over 90% of students took this option, resulting in a loss of $35M in income and net impact of reduction of reserves to $5M (after $16M in Federal stimulus CARES funds allocated to the department). Students and their families were provided the same opportunity to cancel their housing contracts and remain at home for fall quarter 2020, as the vast majority of fall quarter classes were taught remotely. In October 2020, a $90M net loss in planned income was projected for the 20/21 fiscal year, assuming fall 2020 occupancy through the balance of this academic year. The operating budget was reduced significantly, mostly through unfilled vacant positions, reassignment of staff to other departments, and reduction of controllable and other costs. There are currently discussions for a loan from UCOP bond funds to cover the projected shortfall for this year. For detailed financial information re: the impact of COVID-19 to the SHDS budget, please see Appendix E.

COVID-19 Mitigation

The following actions and objectives support COVID-19 mitigation:

  • Assisted the campus, City of Davis and Yolo County by creating and overseeing a 400 bed on-campus isolation & quarantine housing program. Program provided 24-hours a day/7 days a week housing, food and personal care services to on & off campus students and community members that were referred by the Student Health and Counseling Services department or the Yolo County Public Health.
  • Provide monthly reports to campus and department leadership regarding financial impact of COVID-19 on income, expenses, labor resources and long term plans. Reports are broken down by area
  • Student occupancy reduction and room reassignments (single occupancy bedrooms in the residence halls, reduced density in apartments, one apartment complex taken offline for dedicated isolation space) and limited or no access to common spaces within buildings
  • Additional cleaning protocols in all areas where students live and dine, and staff work
  • Highly modified dining operations, pivoting from to-go options only to partial indoor dining, as local guidelines allow.
  • Vacancy Management Program (not a hiring freeze, but when resignations occur, SHDS must demonstrate the critical need to replace positions).
  • Federal Corona Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) funds made available from allotment to UC Davis - $16M identified from 2019/20 fiscal year
  • UCOP emergency paid administrative leave of 128 hours, plus FFCRA paid time off, has provided relief to employees directly or indirectly impacted by COVID-19, with an associated cost to the department
  • Mandatory testing for all staff on campus starting December 1, 2020
  • Assessed the impacts COVID had on staff by providing a survey regarding staff concerns around job security, safety in the workplace, personal protection equipment and protocols, teleworking and adapting to new ways of managing productivity and team development

COVID-19 Recovery

The following actions and objectives will support Student Housing and Dining Services COVID-19 recovery:

  • Potential loan from UC bond issue
  • Retirement and resignations, requiring temporary restructuring but resulting in a reduction in Student Housing and Dining Services labor costs
  • Temporary reassignment of Student Housing and Dining Services staff to other campus departments and the UC Davis Medical Center, maintaining staff employment while temporarily reducing Student Housing and Dining Services labor costs
  • Temporary and permanent closing of retail units
  • Temporary suspension or elimination of travel and entertainment expenditures
  • Return students to campus as soon as county and State health officials provide support and guidance, and student demand returns

This strategic initiative is aligned with the following goal(s) in UC Davis’ strategic plan, “To Boldly Go”:

  • Goal 1: Provide an educational experience that prepares all of our students to address the needs and challenges of a diverse and changing world.