A Pledge to Provide Safe, High-Quality, Online Instruction at UIowa in the Fall 2020 Semester

We are providers of classroom instruction at the University of Iowa who are committed to providing the safest and highest-quality educational experience currently possible for our students—which right now means planning to deliver our fall courses online. 

Whereas, the health and safety of students, employees, and residents of Iowa City and surrounding communities must be our first priority, and;

whereas, state and national responses have proven woefully ineffective in checking the spread of COVID-19, our state does not have in place the comprehensive testing and tracing systems necessary for safe reopening of major institutions like universities, and;

whereas, while we collectively battle an unpredictable and deadly virus, remote work and online teaching must be required wherever possible, not granted as options only to those willing to disclose private health information about themselves or the people with whom they reside, and;

whereas, campus health and safety is entwined with community health and safety and the fate of children and families in our local school district which has, in part due to the risk posed by in-person instruction in a community where thousands of college students are about to return, put health and safety first by opting for online instruction until at least October, and;

whereas, it is counter to public health goals and patently unfair to require only some courses to meet in person, especially when the lion’s share of in-person instruction would fall to non-tenured faculty and graduate instructors, putting those whose employment is most precarious in the most danger, and;

whereas, as educators we bear an obligation to model rational, evidence-based decision-making for our students, and to lead with commitments based on the sound guidance of epidemiologists and public health experts, including many of our own respected colleagues, therefore;

We do hereby pledge:

As faculty members, instructors, or teaching assistants who provide classroom instruction at the University of Iowa, we will further the education of our students and protect the health and safety of our campus and community by devoting ourselves to planning for the safest, highest-quality online experience for our students in the Fall 2020 Semester.

*This pledge and the full list of initial signatories will be made public when at least 200 UI faculty members, instructors, and teaching assistants have added their names.*

Question Title

* I hereby sign my name to this Pledge: