Campus update: Virtual campus update reminder, update on pilot program for return to campus

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Reminder: Virtual campus update on academics and the classroom today

The University of Iowa will host a virtual campus update focused on academics and the classroom from 10 to 11 a.m. today (July 1) and 1 to 2 p.m. tomorrow (July 2).

The update will be presented by Montse Fuentes, executive vice president and provost, and Tanya Uden-Holman, associate provost for undergraduate education and dean of the University College.

The presentation is one of a series of virtual campus updates focused on different elements of the plan for the fall 2020 semester, which was released on June 17.

The updates will be streamed live on the UI’s YouTube channel:

The updates also will be recorded and published to the UI’s coronavirus website,

Members of the campus community who have questions after reviewing the fall 2020 plan should email their question 24 hours in advance to Viewers will not be able to submit questions live during the updates.

You can find the dates and times of upcoming virtual campus update here.


Campus Events

All events scheduled to take place on the UI campus during the summer will be canceled, postponed, or conducted virtually through July 31, 2020.

Beginning Aug. 1, all essential in-person events will be limited to 50 in-person attendees and must follow public health and university guidance regarding protective equipment and social distancing, or be offered in a virtual format.


Update on UI Pilot Program for Phased Return to Campus

To facilitate a phased return to campus, the University of Iowa instituted a pilot program involving research and the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics to test health and safety protocols. Over the past 30 days, the pilots involving the two departments have successfully tested elements of the UI’s return to campus plan.

Several lessons and best practices have emerged from these pilots, including:

  • Having researchers prepare individual campus-return plans to help faculty and support offices (e.g. Facilities Management and Department of Public Safety) adequately anticipate and manage challenges related to resuming on-campus work while minimizing the risk of exposure to COVID-19
  • Exercising patience and collegiality, as ramping up research takes significantly more time than ramping it down
  • Being adaptable as some researchers returned to campus while others, including support staff, continued to work remotely
  • Providing local oversight by collegiate leadership (deans/associate deans/DEOs)
  • Maintaining open and transparent communication between collegiate leadership, unit leadership, and building managers
  • Creating consistent messaging (campus emails, collegiate emails, departmental emails/Zoom meetings, and consistent signage)
  • Maintaining a single entrance during the first week, with an attendant present
  • Making hand sanitizer available throughout building
  • Making face coverings, including face shields and cloth masks, available for distribution
  • Requiring universal compliance (faculty, staff, students, vendors, contractors, etc.) with health and safety measures, including face coverings


Phase one of the research pilot began within the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine (CCOM), which returned to modified daily operations on May 26 and established health and safety guidelines for the ramp-up.

Phase two involved the gradual and limited reopening of more than a dozen research buildings, laboratories, and support facilities. Phase two of the ramp-up alsoincluded the resumption of in-person research study visits outside of clinical care settings.

Phase three of the ramp-up will begin July 1 and will include access to:

  • Pappajohn Business Building
  • Boyd Law Building
  • Lindquist Center
  • Blank Honors Center
  • Kuhl House (Iowa Press)

Scholars requiring access to other facilities on campus with assets necessary for research and creative activities are encouraged to work with their departments and colleges over the summer.


The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics began returning select coaches, staff, and student-athletes on June 1 to begin voluntary workouts.

As part of the return to campus protocol, athletics conducts weekly COVID-19 testing of student-athletes, coaches, and staff. Since May 29, the department has conducted 408 tests resulting in 17 positive tests. After a positive test result, the department follows protocol established by UI Athletics and medical staff, including contact tracing procedures, to ensure the safety of all student-athletes and staff. This mandatory protocol also includes isolation for the individuals who test positive and quarantine for individuals who might have been exposed to someone with the virus.

Working remotely reminder

At this time, there is still no campus-wide date for employees who are currently working remotely to return to campus. Employees working remotely should continue to do so until further notice and should not return to campus until they are asked to do so by their dean, vice president, or unit manager.