Fall 2021

 

The University of Iowa is looking forward to returning to an on-campus, face-to-face residential experience in fall 2021 and is working to provide as much information as possible to current and future students, families, faculty, and staff regarding the 2021 fall semester.
The UI will continue to rely on guidance from the Board of Regents, State of Iowa; the Iowa and Johnson County departments of public health (IDPH, JCPH); the Big Ten Conference; and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As such, the information provided in this document may change prior to the fall 2021 semester.
UI Hospitals & Clinics (UIHC) employees should continue to refer to UIHC regarding operations in health care facilities.

Campus Life

The university will return to offering a robust student experience typical of a Big Ten public research university including:

  • Moving in to the residence halls
  • The On Iowa! Week of Welcome, including forming the “Block I” at Kinnick
  • Convocation
  • The President’s Block Party
  • Primarily face-to-face instruction (excluding most classes with enrollments more than 150 students)
  • Recreation facilities open and accessible
  • Fraternity and sorority recruitment
  • Face-to-face student organization and club meetings
  • Intramural athletic and sport club competitions
  • In-person research and internship opportunities
  • Big Ten athletics
  • Football at Kinnick Stadium
  • Tailgating
  • Homecoming
  • Programs and performances, including student performances, at Voxman Music Building and Hancher Auditorium
  • An open and vibrant downtown Iowa City

Health and Safety Measures

Face Coverings, Social Distancing, and Vaccines

Face masks and social distancing are encouraged where possible. The Board of Regents, State of Iowa has determined the public universities will not mandate face coverings and that classrooms and other campus spaces will operate at their normal (pre-pandemic) capacity. The university is obligated to follow the guidance of our governing body. 

The Board of Regents and University of Iowa strongly encourages students, faculty, and staff to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, in consultation with their healthcare provider. State law prohibits Iowa’s public universities from requiring proof of vaccination.

Additional information regarding vaccine availability and distribution is available on the UI’s Novel Coronavirus website.

Cleaning

The UI will continue to follow CDC recommended cleaning procedures.

Employees will be responsible for keeping their own personal work areas clean, and students, faculty, and staff will be responsible for practicing recommended hand hygiene before using items that might be shared by others, as well as cleaning items after use.

Protection for Populations with Vulnerability

Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to speak with their health care provider and self-identify if they have concerns regarding a medical vulnerability. Staff and faculty can contact their local Human Resources representative and students can contact Student Disability Services.

Testing, Contact Tracing, Isolation/Quarantine

The UI will continue to test symptomatic individuals and asymptomatic individuals with a known COVID-19 exposure in coordination with Johnson County Public Health (JCPH). The UI will only administer tests approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The UI will coordinate with JCPH on a unified response for contact tracing and disease investigation for UI community members.

The university will continue to follow CDC and state and county public health guidelines regarding isolation and quarantine. The UI also will continue to provide isolation space for students diagnosed with COVID-19 who live in residence halls, and space to quarantine close contacts as defined by JCPH.

Academics and the Classroom

Starting with the fall 2021 semester, the university will return to face-to-face instruction.

In order to do so, the UI will continue to rely on guidance from the Board of Regents, State of Iowa; the Iowa and Johnson County departments of public health (IDPH, JCPH); the Big Ten Conference; and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As such, the information provided in this document may change prior to the fall 2021 semester.

In the fall semester, the UI will continue to take steps to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for our students, faculty, staff, and community including:

  • University classrooms will continue to utilize additional cameras and audiovisual equipment to enhance the educational experience and support virtual learning, if needed.
  • Physical barriers, such as plexiglass panels between students (and between students and instructors), may be utilized as desired and available.
  • While university meetings may take place face-to-face, the university is prioritizing all spaces for instruction. To accomplish that goal, meeting conveners should continue to avoid conflicts in scheduling.
  • TALA has been phased out.  If there are concerns about a need for reasonable accommodations under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), students should contact Student Disability Services (sds-info@uiowa.edu). Students are also encouraged to contact their advisor or collegiate student services office for additional assistance.  If students have other concerns related to their health and well-being, they may contact Student Care and Assistance (dos-assistance@uiowa.edu). Faculty are not being required to teach their in-person classes virtually. 

  • The UI will end the Temporary Alternative Work Arrangement (TAWA) on Aug. 6. Employees with underlying health conditions that may increase vulnerability to COVID-19 exposure or illness should use the pre-COVID-19 evaluation process and contact their local human resources representative and Faculty and Staff Disability Services (FSDS).

University Libraries

Library staff, including student employees, will comply with university and public health guidance regarding density, social distancing, and protective equipment. Online requests for print books and other physical materials will be provided as an additional option for students, faculty, and staff.

The Employee Experience

All employee operations at the UI will continue to rely on guidance from the Board of Regents, State of Iowa; the Iowa and Johnson County departments of public health (IDPH, JCPH); the Big Ten Conference; and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As such, the information provided in this document may change prior to the fall 2021 semester.

As the university shifts its planning to the future and a return to in-person classes, the UI will re-establish on-campus presence for most work functions. For most employees, this will mean a return to an on-campus position. Deans and vice presidents will manage work arrangements at the org and unit levels based on campus guidelines.

These guidelines are designed to support leaders in initial planning decisions for work arrangements, including formalizing options for remote work, hybrid work, or flexible work schedules.

Each employee work arrangement for specific remote work, hybrid work, or flexible schedule arrangement—including changes to existing arrangements—will require written documentation. Following a conversation with the employee, the arrangement must be approved by the employee’s supervisor and org leadership.

Requests for remote work locations outside the state of Iowa will require additional review. Approval will be granted when there is a significant business reason for an individual to perform services outside of Iowa.

The UI will end the Temporary Alternative Work Arrangement (TAWA) on Aug. 6. Employees with underlying health conditions that may increase vulnerability to COVID-19 exposure or illness should use the pre-COVID-19 evaluation process and contact their local HR representative and Faculty and Staff Disability Services (FSDS).

Self-Reporting of COVID-19 Illness or Exposure:

Self-reporting expectations will continue in alignment with Johnson County Public Health contact tracing.

Recruiting, Hiring, and Onboarding

  • Interviews for open positions will be conducted either in person or virtually.
  • New employee university orientation and enrollment in UI benefits is now virtual with additional consultation available through the University Benefits office.

Support for Employees and Supervisors

University Human Resources (UHR) will deliver either in-person or virtual employee consultation sessions on a variety of topics including payroll, benefits, immigration, and recruitment, among other topics.

The following programs will be developed to support employees, supervisors, and leaders:

  • Welcome Back to Campus: This program will provide information about fall semester expectations for our community members, strategies to manage the transition, etc.
  • Mental Health Support: Mental health services will be delivered either in person or virtually in order to better serve the employees on campus and off.
  • Family Services: Child care resources, guidance, and programs are available to employees and students.
  • Supervisors and Leaders: UHR will develop training for supervisors addressing engagement strategies, supervision for hybrid teams, performance management, etc.

Faculty/Instructor Guidelines

  • Faculty/instructors will return to in-person classroom teaching.
  • Courses that were taught online prior to COVID-19 will presumably remain online. These courses are designated as an EX* section.
  • Requests can be made for courses with enrollments less than 150 to be taught virtually if the plan is to move the course permanently online and there is a strong pedagogical reason to do so. These courses would be designated as EX* sections.
  • Faculty/instructors will not be required to offer an online option for a course that is scheduled to be taught in person based on a student request.
  • Thesis and dissertation defenses may be held virtually or in person.
  • Office hours may be held virtually or in person.
  • Faculty/instructors are expected to be on campus during the academic year. Faculty members requesting to teach from out of state should consult with their DEO and will need to submit the request through workflow and receive prior approval.
  • Staff meetings are encouraged to be held virtually.
  • Conferences, seminars, etc. may remain virtual or have a virtual option to enhance participation.

Travel

Domestic Travel

Effective June 15, 2020, the university returned to normal approval processes for all domestic travel.

International Travel

The Board of Regents lifted its 30-day ban on university-sponsored international travel for all faculty, staff, and students on March 11. The university will follow these procedures for future international travel:

  • Students: International travel is currently limited due to the coronavirus pandemic. Undergraduate student travel for University of Iowa purposes will not be approved through Aug. 1, 2021. Nonessential international travel for university purposes should be avoided to reduce the risk of contracting or spreading the virus. The university will continue to monitor travel risks and modify guidelines if and when conditions improve. Graduate and professional students may submit a high-risk travel proposal to International Programs for consideration.
  • Faculty and staff: The president may authorize individual faculty and staff international travel for departures if that travel is specifically tied to university responsibilities. Additional information on this process can be found in the travel section of the Coronavirus FAQ page. Faculty and staff inquiries regarding international travel can be directed to safety-abroad@uiowa.edu.

For more details, see the travel page of the UI’s Coronavirus website.

Use and Operations of Campus Facilities, Buildings, and Grounds

The university, no later than Aug. 2, will empower building coordinators to manage space under fall 2019 policies unless modified due to guidance from the Board of Regents, State of Iowa; the Iowa and Johnson County departments of public health (IDPH, JCPH); the Big Ten Conference, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As such, the information provided in this document may change prior to the fall 2021 semester.

Additionally, UI Facilities Management has implemented and will continue the following practices for the fall 2021 semester:

  • FM@Your Service will continue to serve as the primary intake process to address questions and concerns raised by employees. The questions and requests for information will be directed to building coordinators for review based on guidelines.
  • Water usage will continue to be monitored and action taken as necessary to ensure appropriate water services are in place.
  • The Building Attendant Program will remain in place for fall 2021.
  • Safety stations including hand sanitizer will remain in place for fall 2021
  • CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting will continue to be followed.

HVAC risk mitigation activities will continue for fall 2021, where capable

Entire building measures:

  • Air handling units upgraded to MERV 13 filters, where capable.
  • Daily air purge by activating HVAC systems at least two hours prior to occupancy, where capable.

Classroom measures:

  • Operations have been adjusted to maximize airflow during occupancy, increasing filtration and fresh air, where capable.
  • Fall 2021 classes are being held in all classrooms.

Parking and Transportation

All parking and transportation operations at the UI will continue to rely on guidance from the Board of Regents, State of Iowa; the Iowa and Johnson County departments of public health (IDPH, JCPH); the Big Ten Conference; and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As such, the information provided in this document may change prior to the fall 2021 semester.

Parking and CAMBUS operations have changed in order to support the students, faculty, and staff. For the latest parking updates, please see the service alerts page on the Parking and Transportation website.

Employee Parking

  • Employees returning to work on campus will park in their assigned permit locations.
  • Employees continuing to work remotely have the option of cancelling their permits by contacting parking-office@uiowa.edu. Permits issued to employees when they return to campus are subject to availability, as permits will continue to be assigned and issued for all lots.
  • Employees who have alternative work arranged (work remotely or in hybrid status) and need to attend a business function on campus should use the cashiered facilities available for short-term parking. Employees returning in hybrid status will have the option of purchasing an annual permit or using the cashiered facilities.
  • Additional hybrid permit options are being investigated and may be available for the fall 2022 semester.

CAMBUS

CAMBUS service will return to usual fall semester routes. For the latest service updates, see the service alerts page on the CAMBUS website. Riders are strongly encouraged to use the mobile app, Transit, for live tracking and departure predictions.

  • CAMBUS drivers and riders will follow federal regulations regarding face masks (cloth mask, disposable mask, or face shield with mask) while riding CAMBUS.
  • Buses are cleaned each night. This process includes spraying all interior surfaces with a disinfectant that is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as effective to reduce the prevalence of the COVID-19 virus. In addition, bus interior surfaces will receive regular UV light treatments that kill viruses and bacteria.

The Research and Scholarship Enterprise

All research and scholarship operations at the UI will rely on guidance from the Board of Regents, State of Iowa; the Iowa and Johnson County departments of public health (IDPH, JCPH); the Big Ten Conference; and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As such, the information provided in this document may change prior to the fall 2021 semester.

Specific information for faculty, staff, and students is available on the Office for the Vice President for Research COVID-19 web page.

The Student Experience

The university is committed to offering a robust student experience typical of a Big Ten public research university for the fall 2021 semester.

All elements of the student experience at UI will rely on guidance from the Board of Regents, State of Iowa; the Iowa and Johnson County departments of public health (IDPH, JCPH); the Big Ten Conference; and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As such, the information provided in this document may change prior to the fall 2021 semester.

Self-Reporting

Self-reporting of COVID-19 diagnosis expectations will continue in alignment with Johnson County Public Health contact tracing.

Student Organizations, Clubs, and Intramurals

Student clubs, activities, and intramural sports will operate under fall 2019 policies unless modified due to guidance by the previously mentioned groups (including Dance Marathon, Fraternity and Sorority Life, religious student orgs, sports clubs, academic organizations, etc.)

Residence Halls

  • On-campus housing options will be provided for students in accordance with public health and university guidelines.
  • Housing professional staff, resident assistants (RAs), and on-campus students will create a living learning environment.
  • RAs will be present and available to support students.
  • Visitor policies will operate under fall 2019 guidelines unless modified due to guidance by the previously mentioned groups.
  • Common spaces, such as lounges, will be set up following state and federal guidance regarding gatherings.
  • Rooms will be set aside for emergency use, such as for illness, student interaction concerns, or other matters, per protocol.
  • Custodial procedures will continue to follow CDC guidance.

Dining

  • In-person dining will be available, as will dining express service.
  • Touchless payment with IowaOne and credit cards will be maintained.
  • The Street Hawk food truck will resume operations.
  • Custodial procedures will continue to follow CDC guidance.

Iowa Memorial Union (IMU)

  • The IMU will operate under fall 2019 policies for scheduling rooms in conjunction with the UI’s classroom scheduling office unless modified due to guidance by the previously mentioned groups.
  • The IMU will continue to partner with Academic Support and Retention in order to ensure supplemental instruction can be provided in the Academic Resource Center, in addition to providing online opportunities for select courses.
  • Online ordering and socially distanced pick-up options for textbooks and bookstore materials will continue to be provided, including drive-up and in-person options.
  • The Iowa House Hotel will continue regular operations and set aside some rooms for emergency room stays, as appropriate and needed.
  • The Clothing Closet will continue using a reservation process for clients.
  • Custodial procedures will follow CDC guidance.

Recreational Services

Recreation facilities will are currently operating under fall 2019 policies unless modified due to guidance by the previously mentioned groups.

Student Health Services

COVID-19 testing will continue to be available for all students via UI Student Health.

Study Abroad and Student Travel

Due to the prevalence of COVID-19 in the United States and abroad, the University of Iowa has determined there will be no study abroad or university-sponsored student travel outside the U.S. through Aug. 1.

Campus Events

  • Beginning Aug. 2, events may proceed in alignment with fall 2019 policies unless modified due to guidance by the previously mentioned groups.
  • Existing capacity numbers using appropriate social distance will guide events and spaces until Aug. 2.

Student Support Services

Multicultural and International Student Support and Engagement: Cultural Centers

The centers will operate under fall 2019 policies unless modified due to guidance by the previously mentioned groups.

University Counseling Service

University Counseling Service (UCS) will continue to provide services to students online and in person.

  • UCS is providing online services to UI students in states outside of Iowa and can consult on state eligibility.
  • UCS will continue group counseling. Group members will meet online, via Zoom, with UCS group facilitators guiding the conversation.
  • UCS offers many online resources, which can be found on its website.

Student Care and Assistance

Student Care and Assistance will continue to provide support, assistance, and emergency funds to students who encounter a crisis or emergency situation.

The Rape Victim Advocacy Program (RVAP)

RVAP will continue to provide services, programs, and support for students online and as appropriate in 1:1 and in-person settings.

Student Disability Services (SDS)

SDS will continue to provide services and support for students online and as appropriate in 1:1 and in-person settings.

The Women’s Resource and Action Center (WRAC)

WRAC will continue to provide services, programs, and support for students online and as appropriate and in 1:1 and in-person settings.

Student Behavior and Compliance

The Code of Student Life and Student Accountability Procedure include rules and procedures regarding student behavior, expectations, and accountability that help maintain a healthy campus environment.

Student Supports

All other student support operations, such as Student Health, Leadership & Engagement, Student Legal Services, and others, will continue to provide services, programs, and support for students online and, as appropriate, in 1:1 and in-person settings.

Glossary

Asymptomatic: Showing no symptoms of disease. A person infected with the virus can be asymptomatic because they are in an early stage of infection and symptoms have not yet developed (“pre-symptomatic”), or they may not develop any symptoms at all during their infection.

Community transmission/spread: Infections identified in a given geographic area without a history of travel elsewhere and no connection to a known case.

Contact tracing: The process of identifying, assessing, and managing people who have been exposed to a contagious disease to prevent onward transmission. (Source: World Health Organization)

Droplet transmission/spread: A mode of transmission for a contagious disease that involves relatively large, short-range (less than 6 feet) respiratory droplets produced by sneezing, coughing, or talking. (Source: CDC)

Face covering: A cloth material that covers the nose and mouth. It can be secured to the head with ties or straps or simply wrapped around the lower face. It may be factory-made, sewn, or made from an old T-shirt, bandana, hand towel, or scarf and rubber bands.

Face shield: Protective equipment that covers the wearer's entire face from potentially infectious materials.

Quarantine: Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have beenexposedto COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if a person is infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from their state or local health department. (Source: CDC )

Self-isolation: Isolation is used to separate people infected with the virus (those who aresickwith COVID-19 and those with no symptoms) from people who are not infected. People who are in isolation should stay home until  it’s safe for them to be around others. In the home, anyone sick or infected should separate themselves from others by staying in a specific “sick room,” or area and using a separate bathroom (if available). (Source: CDC)

Symptomatic: Showing symptoms of disease. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 include: cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell.


*The UI will continue to rely on guidance from the Board of Regents, State of Iowa; the Iowa and Johnson County departments of public health (IDPH, JCPH); the Big Ten Conference; and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As such, the information provided in this document may change prior to the fall 2021 semester.