COVID-19 Updates

Dean's Update

March 20, 2020

We are in the midst of the rapidly escalating coronavirus pandemic. Safety is our first priority. The escalation since the disease was first reported in Seattle in January has transformed our society in ways none of us have seen before. The Governor has declared a state of emergency and the University has significantly reduced operations with teaching going online. The ADA recommended dentists discontinue elective procedures. We are seeing only selected emergency patients. Dental offices are closing. The long-term impact is impossible to predict.  The situation is changing by the day and even by the hour. The College of Dentistry and University teams have been outstanding, working long hours to deal with this unprecedented situation.  We are not sure where we will be going forward, but it will be a place we cannot predict now.  With safety first and staying together emotionally (with NO contact!) we will get through this. 

Very best and stay safe,

David Johnsen

April 16, 2020

*“When will we re-open?” is a daily, almost hourly question from students, faculty, staff, patients, leaders, and just about everyone else.
*There is no one answer and safety will be the first priority. The university is working intensely to prioritize options for this fall. The simulation clinic and research labs are likely early candidates to re-open. 
*When operations return, we will have screening and protective gear for everyone. Social distancing will be a critical part of evolving protocols. Ideas about protection have changed forever!
*We are learning a LOT about new ways of teaching and learning!  We are keeping track of the creative ways faculty and students teach and learn and want to keep these great ideas in the new world!
*For patient care, we are taking the Governor’s suspension of elective procedures very seriously.  A big question as time passes is what counts as elective and emergent?  For example, are active orthodontic appliances that have not been adjusted for some time elective or emergent? What about a root canal that will go south if not completed at some point? Then we also have to address aerosols: how should we handle a complete denture? 
*As this unfolds in content and timing, keep communicating!  And most of all THANK YOU for all you do to get through this!!!

University Announcements

March 20, 2020

* On March 17, Governor. Kim Reynolds issued a State of Public Health Disaster Emergency giving state agencies additional flexibility in responding to the unprecedented COVID-19 situation to protect public health
* As a result, the University of Iowa leadership directed all employees outside of UI Health Care to work remotely unless the critical function they provide must be completed on campus. This applies to all College of Dentistry employees.
* University-wide COVID-19 updates are available at the following link:


March 30, 2020

*Starting Monday, March 30, everyone entering the College of Dentistry will need to go through the same screening process that patients do.
*This is in keeping with a mandate from Iowa’s Governor "to engage in enhanced staff health screenings."
*The screening involves answering questions about travel, contact with people suspected of having the novel coronavirus, and health symptoms. In addition, a temperature will be taken.
*Everyone should continue to use the West Entrance.

Patient Care

April 2, 2020

The College of Dentistry is committed to putting in place measures intended to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Reducing the numbers of people in our clinics is a responsible way to protect patients, faculty, staff, and student providers.

*Routine and elective dental appointments have been temporarily suspended. Patients are being notified as their appointments are canceled. If you have an upcoming appointment, the College of Dentistry will contact YOU about rescheduling your appointment if this is necessary.
*Emergency care for pain and swelling is provided by appointment only. For dental emergencies, please call the College of Dentistry at 319-335-7499 and we will ask you a few questions and a triage provider will call you back to assess your dental emergency. Due to health and safety concerns DO NOT arrive at the College of Dentistry without calling. Your dental concern will be evaluated over the phone and the appropriate next steps will be recommended.
*All emergency patients are being screened for travel and flu-like symptoms and will have their temperatures taken. Patients who cannot pass this screening will not be seen and will be counseled on other options for care.
*CPR can be renewed online.
       *Due to COVID-19, the Iowa Dental Board is allowing CPR to be renewed online as long as your CPR expired between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020.
       *Additional information can be found at:
*New Hours for Emergency Patient Care: Starting Thursday, April 2, patient care for emergency/urgent care patients will be limited to 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
*Parking Update: Faculty/Staff/Residents who are providing emergency/urgent care/support for patients can park in LOT 40, but must have a parking placard.


March 24, 2020

*Virtual learning/teaching began Monday, March 23, 2020 for predoctoral and graduate courses. All didactic course content is being delivered synchronously via Zoom.  We continue to work closely with IT to improve delivery and functionality of this new dynamic.
*Simulation clinic, labs, and clinical courses are suspended until further notice; however, didactic content in these courses is being delivered remotely.
*Faculty – student communication regarding course information will be posted on ICON course sites through ICON Announcements and Schedule.  Zoom course meetings will be listed on the master Academic calendar and can be linked to Outlook calendar.


March 24, 2020

*Drive-up wireless service is being offered to allow UI students, faculty, and staff access to high-speed internet without having to enter campus buildings. The service is currently available at
               *Hancher South Lot (Lot 55)
               *Hawkeye Commuter Lot (Lots 85 and 39)
               *Multi-Tenant Facility and Biomedical Research Support Facility parking lots at Oakdale.
               *It will soon be offered at the Myrtle Avenue Lot (Lot 48) and other locations.
Visit the Working Remotely Guide on the ITS website for updates. Users should join the eduroam network and log in with their and HawkID password.

Human Resources

April 16, 2020

*We are proud to say that College of Dentistry employees in the reassignment process have received numerous compliments regarding their work ethic and professionalism. Talinda Pettigrew from UI Human Resources said, "Please thank them again for the flexibility and willingness to support the University."


March 26, 2020

Several resources for helping University of Iowa research leaders and staff protect and preserve their work and continue moving forward during the COVID-19 outbreak.

  1. VPR will host a virtual town hall meeting via Zoom from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Friday, April 3, to provide updates on facilities, funding, safety and compliance, human and animal subjects, and related issues, as well as to field questions.
  1. VPR asking you to subscribe to Covid-19 Update for Researchers, an email we’ll send out whenever there’s important, new information.
  • To subscribe, click here (subscribers to OVPR’s monthly newsletter have been automatically added to the bulletin’s mailing list).
  • Bookmark OVPR’s COVID-19 resource page, which includes the latest announcements and frequently updated FAQs with important information for the research community.

Alumni/Continuing Education

April 9, 2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have decided to move our Iowa Dental Reviews (Last Chance) CE course up in order to help dental professionals who may not be working during the current situation. We are also moving it to an online format. The previously scheduled in-person Iowa Dental Reviews (Last Chance) CE course scheduled for Friday, June 12 has been moved up to Friday, April 24. This 7-hour CE course will now be held online, via Zoom. We will keep the same schedule, starting at 8:30 a.m. and concluding at 4:30 p.m., with a one-hour break over the noon hour. We have also adjusted the fees down from $185/dentist and $115/hygienist or dental assistant to $5 for EVERYONE.

Counseling and Wellness Services

March 20, 2020

* Counseling and Wellness Services at the College of Dentistry are continuing even as University Counseling Services and the College of Dentistry and Dental Clinics practice social distancing and remote work/learning.
* Additional information is available on the Intradent


March 26, 2020


*Teaching observations: Due to the challenges faculty are facing to rapidly move all courses to virtual teaching for the rest of the spring 2020 semester, no teaching observations will be conducted during the spring semester. If teaching observations were performed prior to the move to virtual teaching, these will be included in the annual review.
*Student evaluations: Students will have the opportunity to provide feedback to instructors on their virtual learning experience. However, these evaluations are for formative purposes and will not be used for faculty evaluation.
*Faculty reviews: Annual and reappointment reviews for both probationary and non-tenure track faculty should still be completed for this academic year (virtually), using current practices. The deadline for completion and submission to the Office of the Provost has been moved back to June 1, 2020. Departments and colleges should try to complete annual post-tenure reviews (virtually) whenever possible. If not possible, post-tenure annual reviews may be postponed to the fall 2020 semester. Post-tenure peer reviews may also be postponed until the fall semester.
*Probationary and tenure clock extensions: Effective immediately, the university is providing all tenure-track probationary faculty a one-year automatic extension of their tenure clock. The extension will apply to the current probationary period and may lengthen the time to the first probationary review (year 3 or 4 depending on college) or the time to tenure review. The Office of the Provost will enter the extension into Workflow effective May 1, 2020. You may decline the automatic extension, but after declining you will not be able to reinstate the extension.  Remember that the tenure expectations remain the same whether an extension has been applied or not.  Faculty who are affected by this extension will be contacted individually with more specific information.

For details on these changes, please see

April 2, 2020

As the University continues to manage the COVID-19 crisis, we are cognizant of the concerns from probationary tenure-track faculty related to promotion and tenure review amidst this crisis. Effective immediately, the University is providing all tenure-track probationary faculty a one-year automatic extension to their tenure clock because of the impact of COVID-19. The extension will apply to the current probationary period. Therefore the extension may lengthen the time to the first probationary review (year 3 or 4 depending on college) or the time to tenure review.

The Provost’s Office will enter the extension into Workflow effective May 1, 2020. The Provost’s Office will send you written notice, copying the respective Associate Dean for Faculty (ADF). The notice will acknowledge the extension and designate the new tenure review year. Any faculty member receiving the automatic extension may submit materials for a non-mandatory promotion review at any time prior to the (extended) mandatory promotion review year, consistent with current policy.  As a reminder, the tenure expectations remain the same whether an extension has been applied or not.

You may decline this extension. To decline this automatic extension (i.e., have clock reset to the previous tenure review date), you must submit written notification to your DEO (when applicable) or dean. Notification must be received prior to May 1, 2020. Once declined, you are not able to reinstate this specific automatic extension. Other extension rationale remain viable.

Reference: Operations Manual, III-10.1.a.(4)(e)(i)