June update from the dean

CATEGORIES: Announcements

Dear LAS faculty, staff and graduate students,

As we continue to prepare for a return to traditional operations in the fall, we’ve received multiple updates on how this will impact students, faculty and staff. I’d like to give you a summary and share some college news.

First, the college news. In April I shared news about a new advising model we are implementing in the college, to support students even better. Since then, Associate Dean Amy Slagell and Jennifer Owens, associate director of student services for the college have been working hard to create a structure to accommodate an equitable centralized advising team. I’m pleased to report they’ve made considerable progress. For example, the team leaders have been selected from among our current advising staff, and they will help with continued implementation work. We will share a news story with more details about the model soon. I look forward to the enhanced student outcomes this change will bring.

Now, the summary of upcoming changes to campus operations. In a message from Iowa’s Board of Regents President Mike Richards we learned that our return-to-campus date for all staff who work on campus during the summer and faculty with 12-month appointments was adjusted to July 1, 2021. Faculty with 9-month appointments should be back on campus no later than August 19. Alternate work arrangement plans established in connection with COVID-19 expire on June 30.

We understand the expedited timeline may be difficult for some of you, but hopefully the next couple of weeks will allow some time for transition. Please work with your supervisor on the best plan for you. University HR staff is also available to answer questions via email: hr_delivery@iastate.edu.

Multiple changes to COVID-19 related operations

The return-to-work message was part of the Board of Regents’ decision to lift the state of emergency and clarify the immediate expiration of mask requirements on campus. Faculty, staff, students and visitors to campus are not required to wear a mask or other face covering, with the exception of campus transportation (CyRide), veterinary medicine facilities, research laboratories, or any other healthcare operation, setting, or service. Mask requirements cannot be made for individual offices, and decisions about mask requirements in a research laboratory must be made by the individual responsible for lab operations.

Unvaccinated individuals are strongly encouraged to continue to wear a face covering while on campus.

While vaccinations are encouraged, Iowa State cannot impose any requirement that students, faculty, or staff receive, or provide evidence of having received a vaccination for COVID-19. The university will continue to ensure vaccine availability to faculty, staff, and students either through vaccination opportunities on campus or in partnership with external providers.

Iowa State Printing is offering revised Cyclones Care signage based on the updated guidelines. You can find downloadable signage and other items available to order here. Please help us make sure all signage and digital representations of previous Cyclone Cares signage are removed.

Classes and learning spaces

Classrooms and other campus spaces will now operate at pre-pandemic capacity, and physical distancing is not required, except for veterinary medicine facilities, research laboratories, or any other healthcare operation, setting, or service.

In accordance with the Board of Regents’ message, all classes will return to pre-pandemic formats in the fall, as communicated in a May 13 message to all students. In addition, the Provost’s May 13 message to all faculty announced a return to the university’s traditional class attendance policy.

For more details and future updates, remember to check the university’s moving forward page.

As the summer continues, I hope you can find some time to relax a little. We all need some downtime after this challenging year. That said, as we return to campus, I am looking forward to seeing familiar faces, being able to chat informally with people, and getting back into a familiar routine.

My cats, on the other hand, will probably find life more boring. Or maybe they can finally snooze in peace during the day.

Cat Sleeping

With my best wishes,