No spring break at UI, classes to remain in hybrid format for spring semester

The University of Iowa announced Monday the university will delay the start of the spring semester by one week, and nix spring break. The spring semester is expected to look similar to the fall.


Jenna Galligan

The Old Capitol is seen on Thursday, March 12, 2020.

Rylee Wilson, News Editor

The University of Iowa announced Monday that there will be no spring break in the spring 2021 semester, and classes in 2021 will operate in a similar format to the fall 2020 semester. 

In a campus-wide email sent Monday, the UI wrote the spring semester will begin on Jan. 25, a week later than originally scheduled, and will end on May 14. 

The University of Northern Iowa also announced on Monday it will have no spring break. 

The winter instruction session at the UI will still take place, and will be extended by one week, and the majority of classes will take place online. 

“This change was made in consideration of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the ability to maintain the same number of instruction days while starting one week later,” the email stated. 

For the fall semester, nearly 80 percent of undergraduate hours were conducted online.

There have been 1,804 cases of COVID-19 among UI students since the beginning of the semester, with 72 new student cases since Sept. 11. In Johnson County, home to the UI, 15.84 percent of COVID-19 tests in the last 24 hours were positive, according to numbers kept by The Daily Iowan.  That’s down from the first few weeks of classes, when positivity rates climbed as high as 50 percent.

“The university will closely monitor cases of COVID-19 throughout the winter and spring semesters and will take action deemed necessary to help mitigate the transmission of the virus,” the email said. 

There have been 27 cases among employees since the beginning of the semester. Currently, two students are in quarantine in the residence halls and 30 are in isolation. 

Several other universities nationwide have announced plans for the spring semester, with most planning to continue operating in a similar format to the fall semester.

The UI has made temporary work arrangements available for university employees who don’t want to work in-person. According to the campus-wide email, the UI Human Resources has received 482 requests — 253 from faculty, 105 from staff, 114 from graduate assistants, and 10 from fellows and student employees. 

Of those, 469 were approved, 12 are pending approval from the college, and one was withdrawn. 

The UI also has received and approved 352 requests for a temporary learning arrangement for students who are at risk according to CDC guidelines or are living with someone who is at risk.