The unprecedented response to the COVID-19 pandemic evolves rapidly. Campuswide communication and regularly updated FAQs -- including one specifically for employees -- are available on the campus safety page. Each week as needed, Inside Iowa State will recap how coronavirus is affecting the university and share relevant resources for employees. On April 2, here is what Iowa State faculty and staff should know:
In a campus message March 31, President Wendy Wintersteen announced an expansion of the leave and time off available to employees impacted by the coronavirus, including a separate 80-hour bank of sick time to use this year and an option to take partially paid family leave to provide child care for children whose school or child care provider closed. A university human resources (UHR) flowchart can help faculty and staff figure out how these changes may impact their personal situation.
Resources and support
UHR established a website for sharing information connected to COVID-19, including job aids on how to account for the additional time off and leave options in Workday. Information technology services revamped its remote working website, adding direct links to short instructional articles on tools for working, learning and teaching remotely. Check out Inside's story this week for additional tips and tricks for working from home. ISU WellBeing's updated website includes links to its weekly sessions on mindfulness and well-being as well as the campuswide Keep Community, Stay Informed, Be Well wellness campaign.
The Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, a vital part of the innovative effort to quickly shift thousands of courses online, has an FAQ for quick answers to faculty's most common questions about the transition. Guidance released March 30 by the provost's office provides graduate and veterinary medicine students the same option as undergraduates to take impacted courses on a pass/not pass basis for full credit. A provost's office FAQ gives more detail on a one-year tenure-clock extension offered to faculty affected by the pandemic.
A March 30 senior leader online town hall for employees was recorded and posted online after the initial attempt at holding it live encountered technical difficulties. Wintersteen thanked faculty and staff navigating the challenges of working from home and those who continue to perform essential services on campus. "For all of us, this crisis has impacted our lives in a unique set of ways. We all need to recognize that and support each other as we adapt to this changing environment that we find ourselves in. So thank you for everything that you're doing. Thank you for your ability to adapt and be resilient. I recognize how difficult this is," Wintersteen said. Questions employees hoped to pose during the town hall can be submitted by email. Send HR questions to HR_delivery@iastate.edu and all other questions to COVIDemail@example.com.
New student orientation, usually held throughout June, has joined the list of events and activities shifting online. Incoming students will get a longer chance to connect with ISU the week before classes start in August. Dining and residence staff continue to adjust how they serve students who remain in campus housing. Students who aren't returning to campus this spring will receive refunds for a portion of their room and board fees, Wintersteen announced in a March 30 campus message. Students and employees who lack internet access can connect to university Wi-Fi from their vehicle on the east side of Jack Trice Stadium.
Status of spread
As of April 1, four of Iowa's 549 test-detected COVID-19 cases were in Story County, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH). See the state's coronavirus website for updated information on confirmed cases and hospitalizations in Iowa. Two of the Story County cases were announced April 1. The two Story County patients diagnosed previously are doing well, with one already recovering and out of quarantine, assistant vice president for student health and wellness Erin Baldwin said during the March 30 town hall. ISU officials are in daily contact with IDPH and Mary Greeley Medical Center and will keep the campus community informed to the extent possible about any cases connected to Iowa State.
Here to help
Iowa State faculty and staff are offering up personal protective equipment for local health care workers to use in the face of shortages. An ISU lab staffed largely by student employees is making 3D-printed face shields for health care workers across the state. The Center for Industrial Research and Service is coordinating requests for Iowa State assistance with manufacturing needs related to the pandemic. Faculty and staff who receive such a request should send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. ISU employees who want to help and have relevant research capabilities -- such as medical device manufacturing, rapid factory changeover or 3D printing -- should contact Jake Behrens at email@example.com.