From the Provost: Classroom Changes

Dear UNI Students,

As you know, over the last week, we have made considerable changes to our classroom arrangements. We have moved classes to larger spaces and rearranged the seating in some classrooms. In all, we have moved about 150 classes, and most other classes have or will be getting new seating arrangements. 

The purpose of these moves is to increase the spacing between students so that we do not need to send students into quarantine if someone sitting nearby tests positive for COVID-19. These changes, however, mean that we have taken over all of the available large spaces on our campus: the Maucker Ballroom, the Commons Ballroom, the Georgian Lounge, the University Room, the Great Reading Room and others. The events that had been scheduled in these rooms have been canceled because we felt these classroom changes were a higher priority. (This was why we did not schedule classes in these spaces to begin with). 

We have also been working quickly to make improvements to these spaces so that they are more conducive to teaching and learning - adding drapery to deaden echoes in the Commons Ballroom and Georgian Lounge, increasing the size of screens and updating projectors, and other changes. We have also taken seats out of some classrooms and put new stickers on chairs indicating which seats can be used. We greatly appreciate your flexibility as we have quickly updated our classrooms. 

I understand that a rumor is circulating that the university will be moving fully online after the withdrawal deadline passes. Please be assured that we would not have done all this work, and invested so heavily in your learning experience, if we intended to shift online. Our goal is to finish the semester with as many face-to-face classes as possible while elevating our efforts to maintain the health and safety of our faculty, staff, and students. 

What I have heard from faculty is that they are greatly enjoying having all of you back on campus - and they appreciate the fact that you are wearing your masks and maintaining safe distances. Please remember to complete the Panther Health Survey to self-report your status every day. The workflow behind the survey notifies critical areas, allowing us to maintain a safe campus environment and will provide you with critical information. And if you are not feeling well, please stay in your residence and contact the Student Health Clinic at 319-273-2100. 

Thank you, and be well,
Jim