COVID-19 Updates

University of Dubuque is closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 Recovery Task Force has met since late February to prepare protocols with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), and various other national, state, and local agencies. The safety and well-being of our UD family on campus and at LIFE sites continues to remain a top priority.

  • For statewide and county COVID-19 statistics, visit the IDPH and Arizona Department of Health Services.
  • Significant developments will be shared that are important to the safety and well-being of our campus community.
  • Summer School Session II classes will be held face-to-face in spaces that allow for appropriate social distancing with new practices in place designed to maximize everyone’s safety during this time. Face coverings will be required in some areas such as classrooms and lab spaces.
  • UD intends to hold face-to-face classes in the fall. More details will be shared this summer.
  • Although UD has begun a phased reopening of main campus, some offices and buildings still have limited access. Please call ahead prior to visiting to verify availability.


DATE: July 1, 2020

Dear Members of the University of Dubuque Family,

I trust that this update finds all of you doing well.  Our students, faculty, and staff are being diligent about practicing our screening disciplines, and these practices are working. Thank you. Our COVID-19 Recovery Task Force members continue to work with nationally recognized experts as it relates to our on-boarding procedures. I invite you to please continue to monitor additional communications via email and at

Summer school has been very active. In fact, we have the largest enrollments in our history! We are all looking forward to being together in the fall. One point I want to emphasize is that we are requiring that face coverings be used in all classrooms — by students and instructors. This requirement is out of respect to the more vulnerable members of the class that are dealing with health-related challenges. 

Several years ago, in response to a suggestion by one of our planning teams, the University organized a new Spring Convocation during Black History Month. Planners recommended that this be more than a “one and done” moment in our University life together.  With that recommendation in mind, during the 2019 and 2020 spring semesters, between 90 to 100 courses and seven to nine cultural experiences were scheduled to continue the conversation. These continuing the conversation experiences include, but are not limited to, classroom learning, lectures, campus visitors, social gatherings, listening sessions, and service opportunities — many of which are open to the public at no charge.  I encourage all of us to engage these amazing opportunities.

Additionally, over 40 members of our faculty and staff who identify as being from new, emerging, or underrepresented populations are meeting with me, via Zoom, in open and honest discussions about how the University can continue to grow into that “…diverse and equitable community where Christian love is practiced.” These conversations have been wonderful and are bearing fruit. Members of this ongoing conversation are working together to improve and mature our University culture and policies, in addition to identifying future opportunities for programming, training, and learning. This effort continues our commitment to be a faith-based University of teaching and learning — which applies to ALL of us.

Reopening Campus
On Monday, July 6, 2020, we continue our phased reopening of campus for faculty and staff. We are practicing social distancing, wearing face coverings, and learning how to be together — and safe.

The Charles C. Myers library is now open 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. UD students, faculty, and staff are asked to scan their UD ID outside the exterior door before entering the library. If your UD ID is over 10 years old, please contact the Office of Safety and Security at 563.589.3333 to verify whether you need your card replaced. Community members are asked to call the library at 563.589.3100 to be allowed into the building.

Safety protocols must be observed by all users of the library and other campus facilities. What are those protocols? UD’s mantra to help mitigate the spread of the virus is: Practice common sense — good hygiene, social distancing, and wear a face covering for yourself and for others. 

Please remember that checking your temperature daily before arriving to campus along with the availability of supplies, campus-wide, of face coverings and hand sanitizers will be essential to maintaining a healthy campus.

Unlike some other universities across the country, we are not considering a deviation from our published academic calendar. We believe we have the right protocols and safety procedures in place to facilitate a safe campus assuming, of course, we all practice the above mantra.

Faculty and Staff
As stated previously, we will continue a phased return of staff beginning Monday, July 6, 2020, in a coordinated process. We have become more familiar with the initial awkwardness of wearing face coverings, and it is now time for the remainder of our team to get comfortable with these protocols as we prepare to welcome students back to campus. 

As you all know, we are implementing a number of community disciplines to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. For example, I expect that every student and professor in every classroom, out of respect and care for the most vulnerable among us, will wear face coverings as a health precaution. When you return to campus, make it a habit to check your temperature before you leave your home. If your temperature is 100.4 or higher, please do not come to campus, call your health care provider, and notify your supervisor and human resources.

Finally, some of you have mentioned how much you’ve enjoyed our Friday UD Talks series on Facebook and YouTube. You might also be interested to know that we’ve implemented another feature to this series called UD Listens. We have currently published three UD Listens for the month of June and we look forward to restarting a new version of UD Listens this fall. 

We continue to remain focused on maintaining a safe and healthy campus by utilizing local, state, and federal resources and guidance. Our COVID-19 Recovery Task Force revisits and revises our plans, daily. In addition to equipping our campus with face coverings, hand sanitizer, thermometers, tissues, and newer safety and health protocols, we are collaborating with extremely gifted researchers and medical providers in service to the safety and comfort of our students, faculty, staff, and visitors. On top of these new practices, another task force is finalizing plans to resource our new student health center. The Smeltzer-Kelly Student Health Center will serve students with counseling, physical health, dietary, wellness, and other health-related needs. This new facility will complement our existing relationship with UnityPoint Health-Finley Hospital, which is just a short two-block walk from campus.  We will utilize every available resource to keep our University community safe during this very fluid environment.

Health Reminders
As you know, I have long been concerned about health conditions such as anxiety and depression that arise from prolonged periods of isolation combined with the bombardment effect of incendiary and often insensitive social media postings. Know that we will continue to provide support services for depression, anxiety, and other brain health conditions throughout the summer and, of course, throughout the academic year. You are not alone. It takes courage to seek support, and we are here to assist you in your journey to health maintenance. We are also working to staff our new Smeltzer-Kelly Student Health Center with the resources to assist monitoring students who require medications. Please — if you can benefit from professional guidance, call our University Counseling and Life Services at 563.589.3911 or visit Counseling & Life Services online.

Giving Opportunities
We continue to experience an increase in financial support by our alumni and friends. Thank you. I am really concerned about the financial foundation for many of our students, particularly this year. If you do invest in our student scholarship fund, I want to invite you to continue to do so, and maybe even consider increasing your investment. If you have yet to invest in University of Dubuque and its Mission, now is an important time to consider making that investment. Our students need your support — it’s as simple as that. Some of you have asked where you can find more information on giving options. Please reach out to a member of our Advancement Team at 563.589.3158 or visit to learn more about giving options and opportunities.

Final Thoughts
I am ready to get this new school year started. In every other year, July 4th has always tended to be the emotional end of my summer and the beginning of a new academic year. COVID-19 has changed all of that for me as I’m sure it has changed your routines. One of the silver linings of this experience for me, however, is how important it is to cultivate meaningful relationships with other human beings. In a culture that is inclined to objectify each of us in so many different ways, purposeful one-on-one conversations build a kind of community that better represents the ideals of our Mission. University of Dubuque is not a perfect organization, but it is intentional in its efforts to be and do better and to always be looking for ways to improve. That intentionality requires organizational humility. And, of course, living and learning with other humans takes humility as well. 

I’m looking forward to learning — with each of you.

Mancherlei Gaben Und Ein Geist (Various Gifts and One Spirit),

Jeffrey F. Bullock, PhD