Harreld says all UI employees will continue to be paid, some summer courses moving online

According to a message from UI President Bruce Harreld Friday, all UI employees will receive payment from campus work for the rest of the spring semester. Additionally, the UI will be moving the first few sessions of summer classes to virtual instruction.


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The University of Iowa Campus looking west from Old Capitol and the Pentacrest.

Kayli Reese, Cops & Courts Editor

An email to the University of Iowa community on Friday included a message from UI President Bruce Harreld assuring campus employees — especially students — worried about income that they will continue to receive payment throughout the rest of the spring 2020 semester.

This message comes after the UI decided last week to have all campus employees — excluding UI Health Care employees — work remotely “unless the critical function you provide must be completed on campus.”

“I often draw inspiration from President Emeritus Sandy Boyd’s statement that when he closes his eyes and pictures the UI, he sees the people of our university community, not the buildings,” he said. “It is our people who define our university, and supporting the aspirations of our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends is our most fundamental value.”

In his message, Harreld said all UI employees will be in “paid status” until the end of the spring semester in accordance with state and federal law and state Board of Regents directions. UI employees will receive their payment “regardless of funding source,” the email said.

RELATED: UI employees directed to work remotely

Under pay status, Harreld’s message said, members of regular faculty and staff and employees with fixed-term employment, such as resident assistants, will be paid as normal through the rest of the semester.

Hourly employees paid bi-weekly who are currently unable to work because of COVID-19 — including many student employees — will be paid for up to 80 hours of time based on the hours an employee expected to work, Harreld said in the message. Federal work study will also continue to be paid during this time.

Additionally, Harreld’s message said, any member of the UI community who is unable to work because they are sick, caring for a loved one, or affected by any other COVID-19 complications will receive additional paid leave and will have their job protected until they are able to return to work. The Federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act provides 80 hours of new paid sick leave for anything COVID-19 related, the email said.

The regents also allowed the UI to provide additional sick leave for COVID-19 needs and waived the cap on family-caregiving leave, the email said. The Federal Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act also allows up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave for employees who need to take care of children while schools are closed.

UI Health care will offer more specific guidelines for its employees in accordance with these new rules, the email said.

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“For many of us, these past several weeks have revolved around isolation, uncertainty, and fear,” Harreld said in his message. “But know that you are not alone. Though this is a distressing time in our nation’s history, together, as a community, we will persist.”

The email also included information for students planning on taking summer classes — some of which will now be offered online only.

Currently, only summer sessions one through three, which begin May 19, will be virtual, according to the email. Further discussion will decide whether or not to have face-to-face classes for summer sessions four and five, which begin June 15 and June 29, respectively.

However, the email said UI colleges may choose to offer online only classes for all summer sessions if they wish. Additionally, how clinical and experiential activities will be conducted will be decided on a program-by-program basis.