Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Dear Members of the Hawkeye Family,

As we begin the semester, high on everyone’s mind is the continuing COVID-19 pandemic and the current Omicron variant. I again thank you for your stellar efforts last semester in keeping our Hawkeye community as healthy as possible, and I ask you to redouble those efforts now.

We know that masks and vaccinations are our most important defense against the virus, and I will be regularly wearing a mask. I am asking that you do the same, especially while in the classroom.

Each of us wants to retain our on-campus experiences, and wearing masks as we regather is crucial. I have come to know our university as highly cooperative and collaborative, and your continued help in managing the virus is needed.

Additionally, the university is providing KN95 and medical masks, testing, and vaccines, so please take advantage of them. Also please keep up to date with the COVID situation at our website coronavirus.uiowa.edu, and we will continue to communicate with you regularly with updates.

Even though we are facing another round of challenges with this virus, I am eager to begin my second semester as president. My first months here have been filled with wonderful experiences, including teaching in University of Iowa leadership courses, hosting my first Presidential Lecture, graduating thousands of new alumni at my first Iowa commencement ceremonies, and attending my first Hawkeye bowl game.

Most significant, though, was getting to know you, our remarkably talented faculty, staff, and students, and becoming part of this extraordinary, caring university community. In the coming weeks, I very much look forward to sharing what I have learned about our Iowa story with friends, alumni, members of the public, and leaders across the state and nation.

This semester we have an opportunity to celebrate a significant milestone in the history of our university—the 175th anniversary of our campus. Watch for upcoming announcements about our special weekend of celebration starting on the university’s birthday, February 25. I join you in being proud of our tradition of excellence, and I am excited about furthering our distinction with you this semester. Again, welcome back!

Barbara J. Wilson