Fall 2022 Public Health Guidance and Syllabus Statement


Date:          August 11, 2022

To:              Iowa State University Faculty

From:         Jonathan Wickert                                        
                   Senior Vice President and Provost

Subject:     Fall 2022 Public Health Guidance and Syllabus Statement

I am writing to share guidance regarding COVID-19 and public health measures for the fall semester.

Required Syllabus Statement

The statement below is required to be included in all syllabi for the Fall 2022 semester:

Public Health

If you are not feeling well, you should stay home and focus on your health. Should you miss class due to illness, it is your responsibility to work with your instructor to arrange for accommodations and to make up coursework, as consistent with the instructor’s attendance policy.

You may choose to wear a face mask and/or receive the COVID-19 vaccine and boosters, as well as other vaccines such as influenza, but those options are not required. Thielen Student Health Center will continue to provide COVID-19 vaccinations free-of-charge to students. The university will continue to offer free masks and COVID-19 test kits during the fall 2022 semester. Other wellbeing resources for students are available at:  https://www.cyclonehealth.iastate.edu/wellbeing-resources/

Public health information for the campus community continues to be available on Iowa State’s public health website. All public health questions should be directed to publichealthteam@iastate.edu.

This statement is included in the Canvas course syllabus template, and it is also available on the website of the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching.

Encouraging healthy behaviors

Instructors may wear face masks themselves, and may encourage masks and vaccinations, while noting those are options and not requirements.  Masks are helpful not only for reducing the spread of COVID-19, but also reducing transmission of colds and flu, and thereby ensuring students can attend class and complete coursework as scheduled.

Please note the Thielen Student Health Center, per the Class Excuse Policy, does not provide class excuses for health issues.

Incentives and disincentives prohibited

As communicated previously, instructors may not require students to wear masks or to disclose vaccination status. In addition, instructors may not:

  • Penalize or criticize students for wearing or not wearing masks
  • Provide tangible incentives, such as extra credit or a higher grade, to students who wear masks
  • Direct students to sit in different areas of the classroom based on whether they are wearing face masks
  • Engage in actions that could reasonably be interpreted as requiring disclosure of vaccination status

I ask that department chairs share this communication with academic advisors, staff engaged in instruction, graduate student instructors, and teaching assistants.