The University of Iowa is taking proactive measures to protect our faculty and staff and will follow the university’s Critical Incident Management Plan. Throughout this process, the university will maintain its commitment to excellence in higher education and ensuring a transformational learning experience for our students.

Resources

Steps for Self-Reporting COVID-19 Diagnosis to the University (Employees and Supervisors)
Word document    PDF

Communications Template: Employee Self-Reports Positive Test
Word document    PDF

Keep Teaching at Iowa
https://teach.uiowa.edu/keep-teaching-iowa

Frequently Asked Questions

Health, Safety, and Well-Being

With community and statewide spread of the COVID-19 virus we are working under the expectation that all university employees are at risk of exposure. We are encouraging all employees to practice social distancing and follow hand hygiene recommendations. Employees may work unless they develop symptoms consistent with an influenza like illness or the COVID-19 infection.  In that case, see the next question.

Employees who develop symptoms should contact their healthcare provider and self-isolate for a minimum of 7 days and at least 72 hours of being free of fever without the aid of any medication for it, provided that other symptoms have also improved.

If you are still reporting to work on campus and are experiencing symptoms consistent with or are diagnosed with COVID-19, please stay home and report your illness to your supervisor and/or local HR leader. Your supervisor or senior HR leader will follow the COVID-19 self-reporting protocol to request a cleaning and ensure appropriate notification to fellow employees.  

Steps for Self-Reporting COVID-19 Diagnosis to the University (Employees and Supervisors): Word document | PDF

Yes, the protocol still applies if the employee has been working remotely for fewer than 14 days. The communication to co-workers should include a statement stating the person has been working remotely for less than 14 days to help others understand the potential exposure.

The University of Iowa has developed guidelines for supervisors in the event an employee becomes symptomatic or tests positive for COVID-19.

These guidelines follow Iowa Department of Public Health recommendations and include requiring the employee to remain home for at least seven days after symptoms appear, communicating to other employees within the unit or department, and closing off and cleaning the employee’s workspace.

It is important to NOT share the names of or personal information about individuals who have self-identified as having contracted the virus. Supervisors can find resources, including a communication template, by speaking with your human resources representative or through the links below:

COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies and Protocols Word document    PDF

Communications Template: Employee Self-Reports Positive Test Word document    PDF

Anyone who is worried about potential exposure should first call health care professionals so they can assess symptoms and risk factors and help you make a plan. Do not walk in to QuickCare, Student Health, any UI Health Care clinic, the State Hygienic Lab, or any emergency room. Points of contact are listed below.

Students

Call or email the Student Health Nurseline (319-335-9704student-health@uiowa.edu) or your local health care provider and inform them of your travel history and symptoms. After hours and on weekends, call the UI Hospitals & Clinics at 319-384-8442 or toll free 800-777-8442 or your local health care provider.

Faculty/Staff

Call your health care provider or the UI Hospitals & Clinics (319-384-8442 or toll free at 800-777-8442) and inform them of your travel history and symptoms.

We know that dealing with this evolving situation can cause stress and anxiety. Please remember that there are campus and community resources available to support you:

If a student is in need of additional support, please connect them with one of these campus or community resources: 

The UI strives to be a welcoming and inclusive campus, and it is important to avoid assumptions about who may or may not have come into contact with someone carrying the virus based on their identity. We must recognize the harm we do to our community if we allow ourselves to make such assumptions.

The CDC has compiled resources that can be used to help counter stigma related to COVID-19. The Iowa Department of Public Health also has created a graphic for combating stigmatization and bias.

If you feel you’ve been a victim of or have witnessed bias, Equal Opportunity and Diversity (EOD) can provide you with complaint options (both informal and formal) and resources. Contact EOD at 319-335-0705 or diversity@uiowa.edu (link sends e-mail) or report a concern here: https://diversity.uiowa.edu/report-concern.

You may also access confidential resources including:

Academics and Business Continuity

In order to give everyone additional time to transition to online teaching, the university is delayed the start of virtual instruction by one week. Courses resumed on Monday, March 30, and will be conducted virtually through the rest of the spring semester.

The University of Iowa will offer online-only instruction for Summer Sessions 1–3, which begin May 19, 2020. A decision on whether to offer face-to-face instruction for Summer Sessions 4–5, which begin June 15 and June 29, respectively, will be made later this semester. In order to provide flexibility, colleges may choose to offer only online courses during all of the 2020 summer sessions. Additionally, clinical and experiential activities will be addressed on a program-by-program basis.

The date of the academic year remains unchanged. The last day of classes will be May 8, and finals week will be May 11–15. Faculty should communicate their final exam or alternate assessment plans (such as take-home exams, papers, etc.) directly to their students.

Beginning March 30, lectures, discussion sections, seminars, and other similar classroom settings will move to virtual instruction to the greatest extent possible. The university will continue to monitor the situation and communicate any changes to instruction moving forward.

We are evaluating how to provide classroom experiences such as laboratory and performance classes virtually, and the academic units will provide specific guidance before the semester resumes. For additional support during this transition, see the Keep Teaching at Iowa website.  

Faculty, staff, and teaching assistants who wish to use a classroom for lecture recording or synchronous distance learning must contact their academic departmental administrator to reserve a classroom to ensure its availability and to make arrangements for cleaning the equipment before beginning and when finished. For more information, email registrar-room-res@uiowa.edu.

  • Teaching observations: Due to the challenges faculty are facing to rapidly move all courses to virtual teaching for the rest of the spring 2020 semester, no teaching observations will be conducted during the spring semester. If teaching observations were performed prior to the move to virtual teaching, these will be included in the annual review.
  • Student evaluations: Students will have the opportunity to provide feedback to instructors on their virtual learning experience. However, these evaluations are for formative purposes and will not be used for faculty evaluation.
  • Faculty reviews: Annual and reappointment reviews for both probationary and non-tenure track faculty should still be completed for this academic year (virtually), using current practices. The deadline for completion and submission to the Office of the Provost has been moved back to June 1, 2020. Departments and colleges should try to complete annual post-tenure reviews (virtually) whenever possible. If not possible, post-tenure annual reviews may be postponed to the fall 2020 semester. Post-tenure peer reviews may also be postponed until the fall semester.

Buildings are closed to the public; however, those with card access will be able to enter the building. To keep the building clean and safe for all staff, including custodial staff, public spaces within the buildings will be closed. Those entering buildings should do so only to complete a specific activity or task, such as record a lecture or pick up a book, and then leave.

Drive-up wireless service is being offered to allow students, faculty, and staff who need high-speed internet to access it without having to enter buildings.

The service is currently available at the Hancher South Lot (Lot 55). It will soon be available in the Hawkeye Commuter Lot (Lots 85 and 39), the Myrtle Avenue Lot (Lot 48), and other locations. Please visit the working remotely guide on the Information Technology Services website for updates.

Users should join the eduroam network and log in with their HawkID plus the @uiowa.edu extension (HawkID@uiowa.edu) and their HawkID password.

If none of these solutions work for your situation, please request help through the Keep Learning at Iowa page.

Information Technology Services encourages you to test out the technologies you might need to work from off campus. Here is a list of common IT services used for remote work and how to access them.

Information Technology Services (ITS) is ready to help with employee computer-related support. Please use one of the following options:

This Working Remotely Guide can be used as a resource.

A team has been formed to help faculty transition their courses using resources from the Office of Teaching, Learning, and Technology; Distance and Online Education; UI Libraries; ITS Enterprise Services; and local collegiate ITS staff.

The team has created a process to assess faculty needs and bring together resources to successfully transition courses to a virtual environment. Faculty can contact the team by calling the ITS Help Desk (319-384-HELP), contacting their local collegiate ITS leader, or by visiting the Keep Teaching at Iowa website and clicking on the “Request Help” button.

Many factors need to be included in a decision about the right approach to moving courses to a virtual-instruction model. Because we have a reduced timeframe, and because we need to consider the student experience, the best solution at this time might be the simplest one. A team of support staff from several campus offices is ready to help. Faculty members can request assistance by visiting the Keep Teaching at Iowa website and clicking on the “Request Help” button.

The IT Accessibility group is available to assist with any accessibility questions you may encounter during this time of transition. Challenges related to digital accessibility issues place people with disabilities at risk of being underserved or left behind. Accessible technology can mitigate these risks, and enable full participation in academics, employment, and other campus activities. Accessible technologies can benefit a wide range of other users as well. Request an accessibility consultation through the group’s online form, email the UI’s IT Accessibility Coordinator Todd Weissenberger, or visit ITAccessibility.uiowa.edu for more information.

We believe that we have enough bandwidth, both externally and on campus, to meet the increased needs of the COVID-19 event.

All live/synchronous lectures should be held during the regular course meeting date/time as listed in MyUI. It is important that all synchronous/live lectures be held at their regular course meeting date/time so that students do not encounter any conflicts with other courses or personal commitments.  Faculty should keep their classes at the same time as they were held in person. Changing the time will create confusion for students and could create conflicts with other classes.

Continuity planning should be occurring in order to mitigate disruption to the academic and business functions of the university. If that would require actions to take place sooner in the academic calendar, faculty, department executive officers, department chairs, and deans should be working with the Office of the Provost to coordinate and approve the actions.

Coordination of the activities with the Office of the Provost is a critical step in order to avoid any confusion with similar programs or activities.

There is no mandate to use the Kuali Ready system; however, units are strongly encouraged to have continuity plans in place.

Kuali Ready is a continuity-planning tool originally developed by the University of California at Berkeley specifically for use at institutions of higher learning. Kuali Ready allows units to easily create departmental continuity of operations plans that empower departments to continue mission-critical functions when faced with adverse events. The application incorporates planning and emergency preparedness best practices while focusing on the unique business operations of higher education. This UI Continuity Planning Tool can be accessed through the following link: https://uiowa.kuali.co/ready.

Best practice is at a department level, but certainly there are cases where the organizational level makes sense. For example, ITS has an overarching org. level; however, Business Services has individual plans because their operational needs are different. 

Please contact:

Steve Pradarelli, Strategic Communication Director, Office of the Vice President for Research, 319-384-1282, stephen-pradarelli@uiowa.edu.

For more information on mitigating COVID-19 impact on research activities, see: https://research.uiowa.edu/impact/news/mitigating-covid-19-impact-research-activities.

Students in courses with a clinical component or fieldwork will receive further information from the academic leaders in their programs about how these will be addressed. Students can find more information about online learning from their instructors, through the Keep Learning at Iowa website, and the coronavirus.uiowa.edu website.

No. Undergraduate students (even if employed with the university) and all external visitors (including minors and volunteers) are not allowed in research spaces, including those within UI Health Care.

Students should contact their supervisors to discuss this possibility. 

All probationary tenure track faculty members will be given an automatic one-year extension of the tenure clock. The extension will apply to the current probationary period. Therefore, the extension may lengthen the time to the first probationary review (year three or four, depending on college) or the time to tenure review. Faculty members may still choose to be considered for promotion and tenure before the exhaustion of their tenure clock, per current policy (Operations Manual, III-10.1.a.(4)(e)(i)). This automatic extension does not impact the two automatic extension maximum. Expectations for promotion remain the same regardless of the use of an extension. Faculty who are impacted by this extension will be contacted individually with more specific information as will their college’s associate dean for faculty.

For more information, go to the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost website.

Temporary grading options will be added for the Spring 2020 semester:

  • Undergraduate programs: A temporary Pass/Nonpass (P/N) grading option has been adopted for all undergraduate courses taught during Spring 2020 semester. Students will choose to receive either the letter grade recorded by the instructor, or a P/N designation for each of their courses by Friday, May 8. More information.
  • Graduate programs: A temporary Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) grading option has been adopted for graduate courses taught during Spring 2020 semester. Students will choose to receive either the letter grade recorded by the instructor, or a S/U designation for each of their courses by Friday, May 8. More information.
  • Professional programs: Colleges will communicate with their professional program students regarding grading option policies.

Supporting Students and Campus

The University of Iowa has established a fund to support students who may be adversely affected by unforeseen emergencies, such as the housing and food insecurity, travel expenses, medical costs, income disruptions, and other financial challenges students are facing because of COVID-19.

Donate at https://www.foriowa.org/iowa-stories/iowa-story.php?namer=true&isid=88.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, UI Hospitals & Clinics is in critical need of the following items.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) including:

  • N95 Masks
  • Isolation/surgeon masks
  • Face masks with attached eye shield
  • Full face shields
  • Isolation gowns

If you are able to donate any of these items, please complete a donation form and bring a copy with your donation.

Donations will be accepted at the main entrance near Concierge Services from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Please call Concierge Services at 319-356-1900 or 319-678-5500 before you plan to deliver a donation.

Monetary donations

The biggest impact can be made through monetary donations to the UI Center for Advancement, which provides support for the hospitals’ most urgent needs.

NOTE: At this time, UIHC and the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital have temporarily suspended all other in-kind donations.

Human Resources

We understand that many Hawkeyes are worried about their income during what is already a stressful time. With this in mind, and in accordance with state and federal law (including recent federal acts) and the direction of the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, the University of Iowa will keep all employees in paid status through the end of the spring 2020 semester, regardless of funding source.

DETAILS

  • If you are a member of the regular faculty or staff, you will continue to be paid as normal.
  • If you are an employee with a fixed term of employment, such as a resident assistant, you will continue to be paid as normal through the end of the term of your employment.
  • If you are an hourly employee paid bi-weekly, including student employees, and are unable to work because of this public health emergency, you will be paid for up to 80 hours of time based on the hours you would have expected to work this semester. Federal work-study will continue to be paid, in keeping with the Federal Work Study Electronic Guidance.

If you would like to know more, you can find a list of FAQs here. If you have additional questions about pay and paid leave, please reach out to your designated HR representative.

They will consult with Faculty and Staff Disability Services if you are part of the main campus, or with Leave and Disability Administration if you are a member of the UI Health Care team.

UI Health Care will issue more specific guidelines for its employees on the application of these new rules.

We understand some members of our community may be unable to work because they are sick, caring for a loved one, or because of other complications due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you find yourself in any of these circumstances, you will receive additional paid leave, and your job will be protected until you return. 

DETAILS

  • The Federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act provides 80 hours of new paid sick leave (prorated for part-time employees) for COVID-related needs. 
  • The Board of Regents also has authorized the university to provide additional sick leave for COVID-19-related needs and has waived the cap on family-caregiving leave.
  • Additionally, the Federal Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act provides up to 12 weeks of job-protected FMLA leave for employees who need to care for children during school closures.

If you would like to know more, you can find a list of FAQs here. If you have additional questions about pay and paid leave, please reach out to your designated HR representative.

They will consult with Faculty and Staff Disability Services if you are part of the main campus, or with Leave and Disability Administration if you are a member of the UI Health Care team.

UI Health Care will issue more specific guidelines for its employees on the application of these new rules.

All University of Iowa employees outside of UI Health Care are to work remotely unless the critical function they provide must be competed on campus. If directed by a health care provider to self-isolate, an employee should work remotely if meaningful work is available, and they will remain in pay status during the Spring 2020 semester as long as they are working or available to work.  If the individual becomes ill, paid sick leave is available as described above.

Your April 1 incentive payment was reflective of your February facility visits and a completed Personal Health Assessment in 2020, so there were no changes. You needed to have had four or more facility visits in February 2020 to earn your incentive. Moving forward, your May 1, June 1, and July 1 incentives will be 50% of your corresponding monthly membership due which are being either pro-rated based upon number of facility open days or waived by UI Recreational Services. UI Recreational Services is providing special guidance at https://recserv.uiowa.edu/covid-19-special-announcement regarding closures and membership fees. Your completed Personal Health Assessment in 2020 is still required to be eligible for any membership incentives. Details about the Recreation Membership Incentive Program: hr.uiowa.edu/well-being/livewell/recreation-membership-incentive-program.

As stated in the March 18 campus message, pre-scheduled non-essential meetings and events are to be canceled, rescheduled, or held virtually for the rest of the semester. These measures are expected to result in cancelations of most campus visits by non-UI guests, including interview candidates and invited presenters, or those meetings may be held virtually. No new non-essential meetings should be scheduled until further notice.

Any visitors to campus arriving from a country with a CDC Level 3 travel warning due to COVID-19 will be required to self-isolate for 14 days in alignment with guidance from the CDC and the Iowa Department of Public Health. This means staying primarily indoors, avoiding direct contact with others, and not resuming social activities until the social isolation period ends. For more information on self-isolation, see this guidance from the CDC.

Travel

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has canceled all non-essential business travel for state agencies, which includes Iowa’s public universities, and has not specified an end date. Accordingly, all university-related, non-essential domestic and international travel is prohibited until further notice, effective immediately. This includes travel to conferences, for training or meetings, or athletic travel.  Essential travel is defined as travel that is essential to the operation of the university; that no alternative method of convening is possible; and that the health and safety of state of Iowa employees will be appropriately managed. 

Previous: 

The Board of Regents suspended university-sponsored international travel for 30 days effective March 5, 2020, and will extend the suspension on a weekly basis as needed. 

Essential travel is defined as travel that is essential to the operation of the university, that no alternative method of convening is possible, and that the health and safety of state of Iowa employees will be appropriately managed. It must:

  • Support the health care clinical enterprise
  • Preserve the safety of a research subject
  • Preserve the results of a research activity
  • Earn academic credit that is necessary to meet a graduation requirement
  • Maintain critical business continuity for university

Domestic and international trips currently routing for approval or already approved in ProTrav, will be marked “Canceled per Iowa Governor directive” and both the traveler and approver will be notified of this change. If a trip was previously approved and is deemed essential, per the guidelines above, you will need to resubmit your request through ProTrav. You can find more information about the approval process and how to submit a request on the travel page.

If a trip was previously approved and is deemed essential, per the guidelines above, you will need to resubmit your request through ProTrav. You can find more information about the approval process and how to submit a request on the travel page.

With community and statewide spread of the COVID-19 virus we are working under the expectation that all university employees are at risk of exposure. We are encouraging all employees to practice social distancing and follow hand hygiene recommendations. Employees may work unless they develop symptoms consistent with an influenza like illness or the COVID-19 infection. In that case, see the next question.

ProTrav has been updated to display a message when trying to create a trip to a banned destination. 

“University-sponsored” does not mean personal travel but includes any of the following:

  • University staff, faculty, or students who are traveling due to their position with the university.
  • Funding is being provided by the university.
  • Funding is provided by a grant or contract that is managed by the university.
  • Funding is provided by a third party, but the purpose of the travel is due to the staff or faculty’s position within the university.

Given the uncertainty facing travel, the university will allow travel insurance to be purchased. Please check your funding source to ensure costs are allowable (i.e., NIH grants).

The traveler or department should make a reasonable effort to get expenses (conference registration, hotel deposits, etc.) refunded. Nonrefundable expenses will be covered by the original funding source for the trip if allowed. Departments should confirm allowability from the external sponsor funding sources to ensure costs are allowable. If not allowable, then non-refundable travel costs should be funded by the department.

For those students, faculty, and staff who are already out of the country, we will recall students, faculty, and staff from any country that the CDC designates a Level 3 travel warning. The expenses incurred to return after a business travel event is canceled and/or the travel designation increases to a Level 3 can be submitted as business expenses and paid for by university funds.

Yes, the university will allow change fees to be paid for by university funds.

Hotel, plane ticket, or other costs the university pre-paid in support of the business trip need to be reimbursed by the employee prior to travel. The request for travel in ProTrav needs to be updated to state the trip was canceled and the university is not responsible for any costs.

Prior to travel, the employee would:

  • Cancel or change all reservations (that can be changed) from the university’s name to their personal name (credit card reservations, etc.).
  • Reimburse the university for any funds already expended.
  • Follow normal departmental procedures for approval of personal time and use of leave accruals.
  • Sign a waiver/release for themselves and any family members accompanying them stating: 1) all travel is personal and not business, 2) no business activity will be conducted, 3) no university travel insurance will apply, and 4) release and indemnify the university from any and all claims.

Visitors to campus (including visiting scholars, interview candidate, presenters, etc.) arriving from a country with CDC Level 3 travel warning due to COVID-19 will be required to self-isolate for 14 days in alignment with guidance from the CDC and the Iowa Department of Public Health. This means staying primarily indoors, avoiding direct contact with others, and not resuming social activities until the self-isolation period ends. For more information on self-isolation, see this guidance from the CDC. There are currently no restrictions on visitors from areas that are not designated as a CDC Level 3.

Yes, this qualifies as sponsored international travel.

If a university employee is outside the U.S. and traveling on university business:

  • The traveler should immediately notify Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) and their department (HR or administrative contact) of their situation.
  • Given the specific circumstances, the additional expenses will either be covered by CISI and/or the university as a business expense.

If you are traveling in the capacity of your position at the university, regardless of funding, the Board of Regents travel restriction applies.

Your health and safety are important to us. If you are required to travel for work and you feel uncomfortable traveling to an area that does not have travel restrictions, then you should contact your supervisor/administrator or Human Resources representative immediately to discuss the impact to your work assignment, alternative dates/times to conduct the work assignment, or ways to accomplish your work assignment without traveling to the location such as video conferencing, et cetera.

The university recommends purchasing flight insurance for domestic travel. Departments can fund the cost of insurance.

Yes, regardless of personal travel destination, UI health insurance would continue to cover the employee. Further details are below.

  • UIChoice: There would be coverage for both covered emergency (under Level 1) and non-emergency (under Level 3) medical services. For outpatient services, the member would need to pay for the services and obtain an itemized receipt, and the UI recommends obtaining a copy of the medical note in case follow-up medical care is needed when the member returns. An International Claim Form would need to be submitted to BCBS Global Core when the member returns to the U.S. to be reimbursed. If they are admitted as an inpatient, the BCBS Global Care Service Center can assist in arranging direct billing when a member is hospitalized at a BCBS facility, and the member would only be responsible to pay any deductible and coinsurance up to the out-of-pocket maximum. The hospital should submit the claim on behalf of the member. The member should also call Wellmark BCBS for precertification or preauthorization. If inpatient care is not arranged through the Service Center, the member would need to pay the entire bill up front and then submit an international claim to BCBS Global Core when the member returns to the U.S. to be reimbursed.
  • UISelect: There would be coverage for only covered emergency medical services under Level 2. The same BCBS Global Core procedures for outpatient and inpatient would apply. For outpatient procedures, the member would need to pay for services and be reimbursed by filing an international claim to BCBS Global Core. With regard to inpatient care at a BCBS facility, where the BCBS Global Core Service Center has been contacted about and direct billing has been arranged, the member should not need to pay up front except for any deductible or coinsurance one would normally pay, up to the out-of-pocket maximum. The hospital should submit the claim on the member’s behalf.

Yes, but through your own personal vendor.

The Principal (through our life insurance policy) offers some services. Employees may learn more here: advisors.principal.com/publicvsupply/GetFile?fm=GP60039&ty=VOP&EXT=.VOP.

And for those with ZURICH AD&D coverage, they may learn more about their ancillary travel insurance coverages here: hr.uiowa.edu/sites/hr.uiowa.edu/files/2019-12/University%20of%20Iowa%20GTU%202855720%20%20Travel%20Assist%20Card.pdf and www.zurichtravelassist.com/.