Forward Together Update

Dear Panther Community,

Everyone at the University of Northern Iowa is excited to welcome our students, faculty and staff back on campus this fall and to greet our newest Panthers. Before our classes begin on August 23 we strongly encourage all students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19. This will maximize our entire community's protection from the Delta variant that is quickly spreading across the United States, including Iowa. Look for future communications regarding vaccine clinics that will be scheduled at UNI or visit your local healthcare provider soon. UNI is also developing additional vaccination-awareness messaging and initiatives for campus.

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control updated their recommendations on face coverings, recommending that fully vaccinated individuals wear a mask indoors in public if they are in an area of substantial or high transmission. Since Black Hawk County is currently noted in the high zone (red), it is important for all students, faculty and staff to be prepared to follow the CDC guidance as we begin classes and meetings in-person if the transmission rates remain in the high or substantial zones.

As we continue to navigate our campus' response to COVID-19, please note that face coverings are encouraged, but not required.

The CDC's guidance for unvaccinated individuals has not changed and they continue to recommend that unvaccinated individuals wear a mask in indoor public places and get vaccinated.

The Board of Regents, State of Iowa guidelines prohibit all public universities from requiring masks or vaccinations on campus. It is important not to ask individuals regarding their vaccination status due to privacy issues. Students, faculty, staff, and visitors to campus are not required to wear a mask or other face covering in our campus spaces, with the exception of particular health care settings or research labs.

We strongly encourage everyone on campus to be vaccinated. It's your strongest line of protection and also protects those around you. Please remember that COVID-19 vaccines are free, effective, and readily available in the community.

We must all work together to keep our campus safe for the successful educational experiences and campus activities we all enjoy.

If you have a question, please visit or email it to Thanks for all that you do to keep yourself, your family and the Panther community safe.

Stay Well, 

John Vallentine,
Associate Provost for Faculty

Joseph Rayzor,
Director of Risk Management, Environmental Health and Safety