Classroom Distancing

Dear Associate Deans, Heads and Directors,

In preparation for the start of the fall semester, there are important changes to classroom seating that need your attention. Please share this information with faculty and staff in your area. 

Room Capacity

Guidance from the CDC and IDPH demonstrates that reducing the number of people who are together at one time helps reduce spreading of COVID-19. To support this we have assigned classes to rooms using no more than 40% of the identified capacity. Classroom capacities have also been capped at 50, allowing no more than 50 students plus the instructor to be present at a single time. The room capacities listed in the schedule have already been adjusted to reflect the changes. Faculty do not need to adjust their daily attendance any further. 

110 Classrooms

These are the general use classrooms that are scheduled by the Office of the Registrar. Facilities Management is currently in the process of marking seats for non-use in these classrooms to ensure as much distance as possible between students. That process will be complete prior to the start of the semester. In most cases, the chairs and tables that will not be used cannot be removed from the rooms, so Facilities Management will mark seats for non-use using a “Do Not Sit” decal. It is important that students and faculty respect these markings and do not remove or alter them in any way.

210 Class Laboratories

These are special purpose teaching spaces such as science labs, performance space, and computer labs. 210 Class Laboratories are managed locally by departments and colleges. The Office of the Registrar does not schedule them and generally does not know how seating configurations are arranged. Therefore, it is the responsibility of colleges to remove any unneeded chairs or to place “Do Not Sit” decals on seats that students should not use. Associate deans will work with heads to complete this step. Decals can be requested by contacting Jeff Van Gelder at with an estimation of the quantity of decals you will need for your 210 rooms, the rooms you are using them in, and your department office location so they can be delivered to your office through campus mail. 

If you are unsure of the different room types assigned to your department, you can find a report on Departmental Space Allocation at the Program Vitality site.

Assigned Seating and Room Plans

Faculty are expected to use assigned seating for the semester in order to help us quickly determine who might need to be contacted should someone become ill with COVID-19. You should assign the seating early in the semester and encourage consistency. To help support this, Facilities Management has produced seating diagrams for each 110 Classroom showing the arrangement of appropriate seating including noting seats that will be marked with “Do Not Sit” decals. They have also produced floor plans for 210 Class Laboratories. Because departments need to place decals in those rooms, only basic floor plans are provided for those spaces but they may still be useful when assigning seats. Downloadable PDF documents of room layouts are posted on the Forward Together website.  

If help is needed to evaluate space you believe might not meet our safety goals, requests for Facilities Management assistance should be submitted by Associate Deans through FAMIS.  As we approach the start of the fall semester, please continue to monitor your email for updates and check the Forward Together website often. Emails such as this one will be archived on the Campus Updates section of the website for future reference.

Patrick Pease, Ph.D.
Associate Provost for Academic Affairs
University of Northern Iowa
20 Seerley Hall - Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0406