The latest on COVID-19's campus impacts

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 9, here is what Iowa State faculty and staff should know.

Timeline uncertain

Employees should prepare for reduced operations -- including remote working, for those who can do so -- at least into May and perhaps for longer, President Wendy Wintersteen announced in an April 8 message to faculty and staff. Supervisors and employees should communicate frequently and ensure remote workers have necessary equipment, which may require safely returning to campus to retrieve items for use in home offices. All university events through May 31 are canceled, postponed or moved online, and instruction will be virtual through at least portions of the summer semester. At virtual meetings of the Professional and Scientific Council April 2 and the Faculty Senate April 7, senior leaders answered questions about how the crisis is impacting employees. 

Essential planning

ISU leadership is planning for how the university would continue its core missions even if it needed to reduce operations to the smallest possible on-campus footprint. In an April 3 message to faculty and staff, Winterseen outlined what that would include, such as continued virtual teaching, closing most buildings, limiting CyRide service, and schedule adjustments or leave for employees unable to work remotely.

New details

In an April 2 memo, the provost's office provided additional virtual instruction guidance for faculty, including advice on assessment, communication and engagement. The division of operations and finance published an FAQ providing some direction on accounting for expenses related to COVID-19, and more information on financial tracking will be released soon. 

Status of spread

As of April 8, six of Iowa's 1,145 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, hospitalizations, deaths and recovery in Iowa. 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.

Support for students

Along with classwork, support for students has shifted online. That includes academic advising and units such as the Academic Success Center and the Writing and Media Center.

Support for employees

Numerous professional development and well-being resources are available for faculty and staff. ISU Surplus has arranged non-contact pickup for employees who want to purchase used monitors, mice and keyboards for remote-working needs. Various ISU units have online activities for children, which can help parents working at home while providing child care.