Friday, August 7, 2020

What to expect when you return to the classroom

As we prepare to welcome you back to campus this fall, the University of Iowa is taking deliberate steps to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for our students, faculty, and staff, as well as our surrounding community.

Rod Lehnertz, senior vice president for finance and operations, recently walked through the UI’s Pappajohn Business Building to show and explain to you what to expect as you return to campus buildings. To watch the video, click here (or watch above).

The UI is fortunate to have a classroom scheduling team with experience working under extraordinary circumstances, including the flood of 2008. To find out more about how classrooms will be set up for the fall semester, visit the COVID-19 Classroom Experience website.

Academic updates for faculty and instructors

Resources for instruction 

As the University of Iowa continues to prepare for the resumption of fall semester classes, we would like to remind instructors and teaching assistants about the resources the university has available.

Remote instruction team

The remote instruction team, which includes staff from the Department of Distance and Online Education in University College and ITS’s Office of Teaching Learning and Technology, has developed the From Pandemic to Planned webpage. A range of assistance is offered, including:

  • Individual consulting
  • Virtual workshops
  • Course templates for ICON (UI’s learning management system)
  • Media kits available for check out by instructors that include portable green screens, high-quality microphones, small lighting kits, and web cameras for creating media content
  • Expanded studio space in Distance and Online Education (DOE), where instructors can record lectures with support from DOE media staff (appropriate physical distancing will be required and regular cleaning will take place).

COVID-19 student training video

If you are interested in seeing the training that students are completing before they return to campus, it can be accessed through My Trainings in Employee Self-Service. The name of the course is Student COVID-19 Training.

Please watch for next week’s campus message to instructors and TAs, which will include additional updates on the return to campus. Thank you to everyone for all their hard work and preparation.

Fall 2020 move-in begins Aug. 14

University Housing and Dining is committed to providing an organized move-in experience for students and families that limit the potential for exposure to the COVID-19 virus.

To aid in social distancing, buildings will have only eight to 20 students move-in per hour based on pre-selected time slots. The move-in schedule — which begins Aug. 14 with a drop-and-go move-in option — is intended to allow for appropriate social distancing, which is critical to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Housing and Dining and will implement various health measures to limit exposure to the COVID-19 virus during the move-in process, based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), and campus experts. These measures include:

  • Requiring students to select a date and time, in advance, to move in
  • Limiting students to two guests to help with moving.
  • Requiring face coverings to be worn by everyone who enters the residence halls.
  • In order to maintain social distancing, no volunteers will be allowed to assist students in unloading their vehicle during move-in.
  • Carts will be provided for students and their families, and will be disinfected between each use. 
  • Students and their move-in helpers will have one hour to unload their vehicle and will need to relocate the vehicle to a designated parking lot. After moving the vehicle, guests can return to the student’s room to assist with unpacking. Roommates are encouraged to coordinate and ensure that everyone is comfortable with multiple people in a room at the same time.
  • Restrooms will be serviced regularly to include cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfection.
  • High touch surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected multiple times daily, including elevator buttons, handrails, public area door handles, mailbox doors, tabletops, etc.

Residence hall students: If you decide that living in a residence hall is not a safe option for you, or if you decide not to come to campus for other reasons, please contact University Housing and Dining Contracts and Assignments at 319-335-3000, or fill out this form before the start of move in on Aug. 15.

Important dates for fall 2020 move-in are available here: For more information on health and safety information during the move-in process, see

Campus Libraries to begin phased reopening on Aug. 17

On Aug. 17, all seven campus libraries will reopen in phases. To begin the semester, the Hardin Library for the Health Sciences, the Main Library, and the Sciences Library will allow building access only to UI members with a valid Iowa One Card or UI Health Care badge. Also, all campus libraries will have shorter hours, closed book stacks, and some study areas will be unavailable. These measures allow for appropriate quarantine of returned materials, reduce concerns about cleaning, and support social distancing due to COVID-19. Though in-person access to the Libraries will be restricted, campus and community members can request books from the stacks for pick-up or delivery. While book stacks are closed, the Libraries will continue to offer HathiTrust Emergency Access to e-versions of nearly 50% of the print collection, as well as access to robust collections, databases, and services online. Visit the fall 2020 FAQ for complete information about changes in library services.