University of Iowa Updates Spring Semester Closings
The University of Iowa has just come out with a COVID-19 spring semeseter update. It has updates on online classes, closings of resident halls, and more. In the release they had this to say:
"In order to give everyone additional time to transition to online teaching, the university is delaying the start of virtual instruction by one week. Courses will now resume Monday, March 30, and will be conducted virtually through the rest of the spring semester.
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.
Faculty can continue to find resources on the Keep Teaching at Iowa website. University classrooms will be open and available for instructors to record their lectures during the virtual instruction period. To streamline classroom scheduling and other service areas, departmental administrators should provide the Office of the Registrar with a document that includes all course numbers and instructors who want to use their regular classroom days and times.
To reduce the number of students spending time in close quarters, the UI will close its market places and most of its residence halls and on-campus housing starting Thursday, March 19.
Procedures for an orderly move-out and transition policies, including retrieving essential items, will be provided to housing residents via email by Thursday, March 19, and published on the University Housing & Dining website.
We ask that students do not return to the residence halls until their designated time to move out. If a student is currently on campus for spring break, they should begin preparations to move out. We realize that not all students have alternative housing and dining options, and we will continue to accommodate students who cannot immediately return to their permanent residence. Requests to remain in the residence halls will be submitted online.
Information about refunds to those with housing and dining contracts will be coming soon.
We are extremely disappointed to announce that we must cancel spring commencement ceremonies. We know how much these ceremonies mean to our students and their families, but we feel it is the right decision to protect those most vulnerable to the threat of infection. We are in the process of planning an alternative celebration for graduating Hawkeyes and will share additional details soon.
All other UI events will likewise be canceled, postponed, or conducted virtually for the remainder of the spring semester. We have asked all employees outside of UI Health Care to work remotely unless the critical function they provide must be completed on campus. Working from home will accommodate social distancing and reduce the threat of spread for everyone, including colleagues who are remaining on campus to perform essential services. Colleges and vice-presidential units are working with their respective senior human resources leaders to identify staff and student employees who are performing non-critical work and who could potentially be reassigned.
Employees who have communicated with their supervisor about volunteering for reassignment can now do so by following this link to UI Self ServiceWe know many of you have questions and concerns about compensation during this period of disruption. We are reviewing state guidelines to ensure compliance, and we will make every effort to support our employees, including our student employees. We will share additional information soon.
Because so many employees will be working remotely, the UI Department of Public Safety has recommended and the Critical Incident Management Team has approved limiting building access, when possible, to authorized personnel only. In order to limit community spread of COVID-19 and protect university property, building entrances will be locked but will remain accessible by those who have access cards or keys. This excludes UI Health Care and Student Health, which have implemented their own building security measures."
No word yet on what other colleges are planning on doing, but updates are expected to be coming in soon. Stay safe and up to date.