Connecting, Listening, and Being Inclusive
The back-to-campus video library includes a new video on how leaders and team members can boost engagement by asking each other about work styles, communication methods, and other preferences.
Best Practices for Effective Meetings
Our workplace tips page offers guides for in-person, online, and hybrid meetings, including a new video on best practices for meetings of any kind.
Talking About Masks
The university strongly encourages but does not require protective face masks on campus. Find ideas for talking about mask-wearing in different scenarios.
The university's coronavirus website remains the go-to resource for updates about COVID-related campus operations. See the coronavirus site—as well as weekly "Iowa Now" emails—for the latest information as it develops.
The Mental Health at Iowa site offers a wide range of mental health resources, including advice for coping with COVID-19.
Common Questions About Returning to Campus
Yes, unless you have an approved and documented alternative work arrangement.
The month of July will allow deans and VPs to transition to normal campus operations by Aug. 2, in anticipation of the beginning of fall semester.
Supervisors will have discretion to manage individual situations on a case-by-case basis if something precludes you from returning to work on campus by July 1.
The university is planning to return to in-person classes for fall 2021. Colleges and central administrative units will be returning to fully on-campus operations.
Some administrative units may be returning fully on-campus, while others may develop a business rationale to support remote work, hybrid, or flexible work schedules.
Some units also may identify job functions that might be eligible for more remote or flexible work.
Units are making these decisions in order to effectively meet the business goals of the university and the department.
While we understand you may be disappointed to not continue remote or hybrid work, it is essential that you return to campus so our department can continue to deliver excellent service to students and/or campus partners.
A work arrangement application is available in UI Self Service for use in all work arrangement requests.
Before initiating a work arrangement application, employees should discuss their preferences with their supervisors.
The Future of Work initiative includes a pilot period for remote work arrangements, which will take place from Aug. 2 to Dec. 31.
All remote work arrangements will be evaluated at the end of this period to determine if they should continue, be revised, or be discontinued based on the business needs of the college or unit.
Supervisors also may revise or end a remote work arrangement during the pilot period if the business needs of the college or unit are not being adequately met.
Deans and vice presidents are expected to create and implement a consistent decision-making process for which positions will return to campus and which may adopt a remote, hybrid, or flexible work arrangement.
Decision-making should be based on transparent criteria.
Employees may face different personal circumstances or have specific different needs. Decision-making regarding work arrangements may take those needs into account.
For example, two employees in the same department both may be eligible for remote work, however one employee does not have access to reliable internet, making that person unable to meet the business needs of the department. Therefore, that person would not be granted a remote work arrangement.
Employees should contact Faculty and Staff Disability Services (FSDS) to request an accommodation.
Existing TAWAs (Temporary Alternative Work Arrangements) remain in place and will expire as scheduled, no later than Aug. 6.
Your pay is commensurate with the responsibilities of your job, as outlined in your job description.
Pay/salary is based on job responsibilities and performance, and not where you are physically located.
Yes, it is possible. Decisions about office spaces and shared work spaces for those working remotely or hybrid-mostly remote will be made at the local level.
Colleges and units may decide to implement shared work spaces for those who only come into the office occasionally or part of the time, but primarily work remote.
Overall, implementing shared work spaces for those working remote or mostly remote will, over time, allow the university to reduce its overall space footprint.
Health and Safety Questions
Employees who want to request a workplace accommodation due to their own health condition should contact their local human resources representative to initiate the disability accommodation review process with Faculty and Staff Disability Services.
The disability accommodation process applies only when the employee has a health condition that affects their ability to perform the essential functions of their job. Employees who are concerned about potential risks to a family or household member should contact their local human resources representative to discuss safety measures that are available in the workplace.
If an employee needs to provide care to a family member with a serious health condition, Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave may be applicable. Please contact your local human resources representative to initiate the FMLA review process with Faculty and Staff Disability Services.
Board of Regents paid leave remains available to all employees, including bi-weekly employees, through July 1, 2022. This program provides up to 80 hours of paid leave for full-time employees, pro-rated for part-time employees, to cover absences related to COVID illness of the employee or a family member, or to provide care for a minor dependent if their school or childcare facility is closed due to COVID.
If an employee has already exhausted their Board of Regents leave, then regular paid leave options apply, including sick leave, Family Caregiving Leave (subject to the annual cap after Aug. 31, 2021), vacation, or compensatory time as applicable.
Under certain conditions, Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave may also apply for qualifying employees. More information about paid leave is available from Faculty and Staff Disability Services.
The university will follow CDC as well as local and state health and safety guidance.
The university will monitor building density and will continue to align with campus and CDC guidance.
Facilities Management cleaning and disinfecting processes implemented during COVID-19 will remain in place.
Mask and Vaccination Questions
Masks are no longer required on campus, except in health care settings and where required by state or federal guidelines (e.g., passengers on CAMBUS). (Last update: 5/24/21)
If you are not fully vaccinated, you are strongly encouraged to continue wearing a mask and practicing social distancing on campus.
If you are fully vaccinated, you should feel comfortable continuing to wear a mask if you choose. Please be respectful of one another—do not harass a student, visitor, or fellow employee for choosing to wear, or not wear, a mask.
UI Health Care has separate face covering guidelines due to patient care. For full personal protective equipment requirements for UI Health Care staff, see The Loop.
The Office of the Vice President for Research has posted guidance for the research enterprise on its website.
No, questions and comments about mask wearing are strongly discouraged.
Members of the university community are expected to be respectful of one another’s personal decisions. Whether or not to wear a mask is a personal decision that each person must make for themselves and for their own reasons. Many of these reasons may be unrelated to a person’s vaccination status. Therefore, wearing a mask may not be an indication of a person’s vaccination status.
At the university, we value respect and civility. Disrespectful behavior may be addressed according to the university’s ethics policies for staff and faculty. Behavior that constitutes harassment may be addressed according to the Anti-Harassment Policy. If you have questions, please contact your local human resources representative.
No. However, everyone should feel comfortable continuing to wear a mask if they choose to do so.
The Board of Regents will not require students and employees at Iowa’s three public universities to be vaccinated.
The University of Iowa strongly encourages students, faculty, and staff to receive the vaccine as soon as they are eligible, in consultation with their health care provider, but it is not mandatory.
Supervisors are not allowed to ask employees about their vaccination status.
No. Instructors and staff should not ask students if they are vaccinated or if they plan to be vaccinated.
Asking about their vaccination status may prompt disclosure of disability-related information or information regarding existing health conditions relevant to the vaccination.
Instructors and staff should also avoid discussing vaccination status during class, in emails, or in other communication to the class.
No. The university encourages students to be vaccinated, but vaccinations are voluntary.
Instructors and staff should avoid any communication that may be perceived to pressure, force, or coerce any student to obtain a COVID-19 vaccination.
Conversations among students would be difficult to restrict. Instructors should refrain from participating in conversations about COVID-19 vaccination status. Instructors should also be alert to any coercive or pressuring behavior among students.
If this behavior is observed, instructors are encouraged to remind everyone that the university is committed to a voluntary approach to vaccination, and that no one should feel pressured or coerced by anyone.