University of Iowa to Suspend In-Class Sessions amid COVID-19 Precautions
Written by Leah Jones on March 11, 2020
UI moving to virtual instruction beginning March 23
Wednesday, March 11, 2020
The below message was sent to UI faculty, staff, students, and students’ families on Wednesday, March 11, 2020.
Dear members of the UI community,
Following the identification of COVID-19 cases in Johnson County, the University of Iowa is suspending face-to-face instruction for two weeks following spring break. The university will move to virtual instruction beginning March 23, 2020, and continue online courses through at least April 3, 2020.
We are making this decision proactively to maintain the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and patients and in conjunction with the governor and Board of Regents, State of Iowa. We will continue to follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Iowa Department of Public Health.
Following spring break, students may choose to stay home or return to their residence hall, off-campus housing, or another location. Residence halls and dining services will remain open, and we urge all students to make the choice that is best for their own personal health and safety.
Our campus will remain open to serve those who rely on the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, library services, and recreation and athletics facilities.
Specific information about instruction
- Beginning March 23 through at least April 3, 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 by March 20, 2020.
- Following guidance from the Office of the Provost, colleges will share additional information with faculty regarding virtual instruction. Faculty will then communicate with students regarding their specific courses.
Telecommuting for faculty and staff
- The university is preparing plans for telecommuting opportunities, when appropriate, for faculty and staff. Please direct your questions to your supervisor or local human resources representative or find additional information on the staff FAQ on the UI’s COVID-19 website.
- UI Health Care, including Iowa River Landing, Dental Clinics, and Student Health Services, will communicate directly to their employees to ensure necessary staffing to maintain patient care and safety.
- We continue to encourage members of the UI community to strongly consider deferring non-essential personal international travel during spring break and in the months ahead.
- In addition, 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.
We continue to monitor and prepare for additional cases in Johnson County and will adjust the university schedule or classes as needed. Please check our COVID-19 website for updates and other information.
Keeping our campus safe is our top priority. Thank you for your efforts over the past several weeks to protect your health and the health of our campus community.
Bruce Harreld, president
Montse Fuentes, executive vice president and provost
The news comes today after the University Hospital released the news that they were treating the states first “critical” COVID-19 patient.