Iowa State to keep classes online for remainder of semester

AMES, Iowa – Iowa State University will continue with virtual instruction for the remainder of the spring semester to protect the health and safety of students, faculty and staff.

The university remains open, but there are changes in the delivery and availability of campus services and programs. Iowa State’s department of residence will close the residence halls, but allow students who cannot return home to request an exception to stay on campus. University apartments will remain open. Parks Library, University Museums, Recreation Services and the Memorial Union are closed until further notice.

Iowa State will also cancel spring commencement ceremonies for undergraduates, graduate students and veterinary medicine students. Campus leaders are working on plans for a live-streamed graduation address in May. Graduates will also have the opportunity to participate in a future commencement ceremony in December.

These steps are necessary to limit the risk of infection from COVID-19 and are consistent with Gov. Kim Reynolds' declaration of a public health disaster emergency. In a message to the campus community, Iowa State President Wendy Wintersteen acknowledged the concerns and frustration that will result from this decision.

“We know these new developments raise questions and concerns, as well as many emotions, including frustration and disappointment. As you know, these are unprecedented circumstances. We ask for your patience and understanding as we work through this rapidly changing situation and prioritize the health and safety of our community,” the president wrote.

Information and resources

Students, faculty and staff should regularly check the campus safety page for updates and information. The page includes a link with the latest changes and closures on campus.

For the remainder of the semester, academic support services, including academic advising and career services, will be provided online or by phone. Laboratories, studios, performance instruction, computer labs and other experiential learning sections will not be held in person. Substitute assignments or makeup activities will be at the discretion of the academic program.

The department of residence will contact students directly with plans to start moving out of the residence halls. ISU Dining is following the public health directive of no dine-in, only carry-out permitted and has a modified schedule for each location online.

Thielen Student Health Center, Student Counseling and International Students and Scholars will continue to provide essential services. Students needing to schedule a visit should call ahead. Thielen and Student Counseling will soon have telehealth options available to serve students.

President Wintersteen has also directed the campus community to practice social distancing and offer flexible work arrangements to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 cases.