COVID-19 Updates

University of Dubuque continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic in coordination with local, state, and federal health and emergency preparedness organizations as it relates to the safety and well-being of our UD family on campus and at our LIFE sites.

  • For the most up-to-date statistics of confirmed COVID-19 cases, visit Iowa Department of Public Health and Arizona Department of Health Services
  • Spring classes moved to distance delivery on Monday, March 23.
  • Main campus is open with limited and restricted access per guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds. Please call ahead prior to visiting campus offices or buildings to verify hours and availability.
  • Students were asked to check out of their residence halls by 6:00 p.m. Sunday, March 22. Approval from the Office of Residence Life is required to stay on campus.


DATE: May 20, 2020

Dear Members of the University of Dubuque Family,

Welcome to the 12th edition of our COVID-19 written update. I trust and pray that all of you continue to be healthy and well. Unless there is an obvious reason to change direction, these updates will continue regularly, but will now be distributed every other week. I don’t want to waste your time with redundancy, but I do want to keep you informed. Please continue to monitor additional communications via email and at

We received many positive affirmations from students, families, trustees, alumni, and friends across the country about our virtual commencement ceremonies. In fact, we even received a few calls from other colleges and universities soliciting our insight as they work through the logistics of hosting their own ceremonies. Again, I want to compliment our very large team that worked tirelessly over the last month in pulling off this massive undertaking! Really, really well done! Thank you. You can view the commencements at

As we move into the summer term, we will continue to monitor the Technology Helpdesk from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friday. If you need additional assistance, you may contact the Technology Helpdesk at or 563.589.3737.

The Academic Support Center and Charles C. Myers Library have professional staff available to help you virtually and face-to-face. Please, do not hesitate to use these resources whether you need a tutor, assistance in researching a paper topic, or editorial advice on the best way to strengthen your essay. Click “Academics” at to learn how to schedule an appointment. Additionally, there are many options available to students who need to return books to the library. Please click here to find out more information.

CARES Act applications were sent out to all Title IV eligible students about 10 days ago. We will send out one more application notification in the next several days to students from whom we have not yet heard. CARES Act distributions will be made in June 2020.

We are finalizing our Room and Board Refund formula. A description of that formula and our calculation will be included in your refund. If you believe that the University is mistaken in its calculation, or that the calculation formula doesn’t fairly or equitably account for your individual situation, we invite you to contact us for a second evaluation. Our goal is to have these distributions completed by the end of May 2020.

Reopening Campus
We have begun a phased reopening of our Main Campus. The Babka Aviation Learning Center and Marge Kremer Little Spartans Childcare Center opened on Monday, May 18, with carefully planned protocols and limitations. Also this week, our physician assistant students returned to a modified classroom setting. Fitness facilities at the Chlapaty Recreation and Wellness Center and Veterans Memorial Training Center will open Monday, June 1, for faculty, staff, and students with new guidelines based on guidance from Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds. These guidelines will be clearly posted as you enter the buildings. I also anticipate that we will be seeing many more summer visitors, particularly campus visits for fall 2020 and fall 2021 prospective students. In all cases, we will be reciting the following mantra:

Practice Common Sense — good hygiene, social distancing, and wear a face covering — for yourself and for others.

Abundant supplies, campus-wide, of face coverings and hand sanitizers should be arriving soon, and disciplined controls are in place at the Babka Aviation Learning Center and the Marge Kremer Little Spartans Childcare Center.

Summer instruction will remain in a distanced format for the first session, but we anticipate moving to a more traditional format (Practice Common Sense) for the second session. LIFE students in Dubuque as well as Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Tempe, Arizona, should check with their respective LIFE office for the reopening protocols at each site.

Some of you may have seen last week’s press release from the American Rivers Conference (A-R-C). Briefly, it is the intention of each school in the A-R-C to resume a complete schedule of regular competition in the fall. The A-R-C continues to work with the NCAA and the State Department of Health to provide a meaningful and safe competitive experience for all student-athletes.

Finally, I am aware that there is a lot of chatter in the media about whether colleges and universities will be open in the fall. It really is amazing to me how many opinions exist on this topic. As you know, I have previously declared my confidence that the University of Dubuque is “all in” for the fall. For our purposes, the opinions that matter most to us are those coming from our students and prospective students. In both instances, there is a strong desire, even passion, to be back together this fall. That desire is further highlighted in a recent study by the firm, Carnegie Dartlet. They are one of the first entities to provide empirical support to what we have been hearing, anecdotally from many of you; that is, only 2% of students have plans to delay their college admission and 42% will not delay — under any circumstance. And over 95% of students derive confidence if simple social distancing measures are practiced.

We continue to remain focused on maintaining a safe and healthy campus. Our COVID-19 Recovery Task Force is working to move our campus back to a face-to-face environment. 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 anticipation of taking advantage of and learning from the natural seasonal increases in campus activity including students, faculty, personnel, and visitors. On top of these new practices, another task force is putting together 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.

Health Reminders
As you know, the catastrophic effects of COVID-19 are near 0% for the college-age population; a total of 59 deaths, nationally, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to the CDC data, college students have been at greater risk for the more familiar pneumonia, and as you’ve seen in these updates, are far more susceptible to challenges related to extended isolation. Anxiety, depression, and death-by-suicide are the health issues about which I most worry these days, and as we reopen. Know that we will continue to provide support services for depression, anxiety, and other brain health conditions throughout the summer. You are not alone, and it is a person of courage that endeavors to seek support. We are also working to staff our new Smeltzer-Kelly Student Health Center with the resources to assist monitoring students that 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 giving by our alumni and friends as we near the end of our Fiscal Year on May 31, 2020. I believe that this time of isolation has helped to highlight both the need and benefits of our brand of higher education, and it has given individuals time to even more closely scrutinize their investment priorities and choices. Some of you have asked where you can find more information on giving options. Please feel welcome to 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
As I conclude this message, I want to encourage you to continue monitoring the University’s website for regular updates. This fall will surely be different in ways that we can’t completely anticipate, but I am confident that we will, nevertheless, be together. We’re all committing to getting used to our new mantra:  Practice Common Sense — good hygiene, social distancing, and wear a face covering — for yourself and for others.

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

Jeffrey F. Bullock, PhD