July faculty and staff town hall FAQ
Here are some of the frequently asked questions – and answers – from the final staff and faculty July town hall meeting of the semester with IUPUI Chancellor Nasser H. Paydar and campus leaders.
Q: What protocols do guests to our campus need to follow, especially regarding masking?
A: Due to the recent recommendation made by the CDC and local public health officials, Indiana University is instructing all faculty, staff, students and visitors to wear a mask indoors in public spaces.
Q: How will the mask policy be enforced?
A: The vast majority of our campus community has been incredibly responsive when asked to care for themselves and each other and to work to protect one another by wearing a mask. As Dr. Aaron Carroll indicated, people may forget to put on their masks, so please bring understanding and compassion as we have been to this experience for the past 18 months.
Q: When is Chancellor Paydar retiring, and what are the plans for a replacement?
A: After 36 years with the university, Chancellor Paydar will retire on March 1, 2022. A search for Chancellor Paydar’s replacement will begin soon, and he will be working with members of his Cabinet and others across campus in the coming months to identify opportunities to connect and interact with colleagues and students before his retirement.
Q: What types of COVID-19 testing will be available this fall, and how can faculty, staff and students get a test?
A: Symptomatic testing will be administered by IUPUI Campus Health. Both drive-up and walk-up options are available outside Long Hall. To schedule an appointment, use the COVID-19 Symptom Checker found on One.IU.
COVID Check testing (formerly called mitigation testing) will resume in Tower Garage on Aug. 16. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday and Wednesday, 1 to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday. Voluntary testing will also continue to be available during these hours.
Those who are required to participate in COVID Check testing will receive an email each Friday with information on how to schedule their test for the following week. Those who are interested in scheduling an appointment for voluntary testing can do so via One.IU.
Students with an approved exemption or whose vaccine status is unknown to IUPUI and are living in a residence hall will be tested upon arrival and will also be required to participate in COVID Check testing weekly.
Further information about testing is available on the university’s COVID-19 website.
Q: What should students do if they need to be vaccinated when they get to campus?
A: There will be opportunities for students to receive the vaccine by appointment on campus. More details will be available to students soon as final plans are confirmed.
Q: Can faculty switch course modality, going from in-person to fully online or hybrid?
A: Faculty are not advised to change course modality once the course has been opened for student registration, at least not without having a detailed discussion with the chair of your department or the dean of your school. Courses are coded in such a way that reflects their modality, and it is important to maintain the accuracy and integrity of that code for accreditation purposes.
Q: What brought about the addition of the ethical exemption to the COVID-19 vaccination policy?
A: To be consistent with previous vaccine mandate policies, IU has aligned the COVID-19 vaccination mandate policy with the 2020 influenza mandate policy, which included both religious and ethical exemption options.
Q: How long does it take to review an exemption request?
A: All exemption requests receive a response within five business days.
Q: Will COVID-19 booster shots be needed in the future?
A: Many organizations, including the FDA, the CDC and the World Health Organization, are closely monitoring whether immunity to COVID-19 wanes after vaccination. Current scientific studies indicate that immunity is robust. Given that the vast majority of our constituents were vaccinated in 2021, and immunity lasts for about one year, members of the IUPUI community would not need a booster until 2022. If boosters are needed, the university will work to accommodate that recommendation.
Q: How will inbound and outbound traffic to campus be impacted by the construction project at the I-65/I-70 north split?
A: The North Split Reconstruction Project will upgrade the interchange where I‑65 and I‑70 meet in downtown Indianapolis just north of the intersection at 11th and West streets. The North Split is the second most-heavily traveled interchange in Indiana, used by about 214,000 motorists every day, including members of the IUPUI community.
As an alternative to the North Split, I-65 traffic is currently using West Street as a through-way to avoid using I-465 and/or I-70. This change in traffic patterns is likely to increase traffic on New York and Michigan streets during rush hours.
Students, faculty and staff who typically use the North Split are encouraged to identify alternate travel routes – including using public transportation where available – or should plan to avoid traveling to or from campus during rush hours.