View news from this page and other flood-related resources at the UI Flood Recovery Web site.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

HR announces deadlines for vacation donation

You will recall that the university has created a vacation donation program for UI employees whose primary residences were damaged by flooding and who need time off to recover.

Please note three timelines related to this program:

REQUEST DONATIONS FOR JUNE -- Due by 7/31 at 5 p.m.

Flood survivors whose primary residences were damaged by flooding, who have exhausted their own vacation accruals, and have used additional time off in the month of June for flood repair and recovery are eligible to apply for vacation donation through the self-service Web site at Requests may not exceed 40 hours per month, up to 120 hours (pro-rated for part-time employees) in total, and must be completed by 5 p.m. Thursday, July 31.

DONATE YOUR VACATION HOURS -- Donations accepted 8/1-8/12

Regular university employees who have more than 80 hours of accrued vacation as of June 1 may donate vacation to support those who have requested time for June. This may be done from Aug. 1-12 through the self-service web site (URL above) under the "Personal" tab, "Time Reporting." Donors may not draw down their own vacation balance below 80 hours as a result of a donation.

REQUEST DONATIONS FOR JULY -- Apply between 8/1-8/12

Flood survivors whose primary residences were damaged by flooding, who have exhausted their own vacation accruals, and have used additional time off in the month of July for flood repair and recovery are eligible to apply for vacation donation through the self-service web site at (URL above). Requests may not exceed 40 hours per month, up to 120 hours (pro-rated for part-time employees) in total, and must be completed by Tuesday, Aug. 12.

Later e-mails will announce subsequent time periods for donation and request.

If you have questions, please contact your HR Unit Rep, identified on the self-service web site (URL above).

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Parking office returning to IMU Ramp

The University of Iowa Parking Services & Transportation and Field Services Offices are relocating back to the IMU Ramp location.

On Thursday, Aug. 7, the main office will be closed as employees move from their temporary office at 868 S. Capitol St. back to the IMU Ramp location. The Hospital Ramp 2 Office will remain open for business as usual. The IMU Ramp Parking Office will reopen on Friday, Aug. 8. The office's phone number and our e-mail address will remain the same.

Beginning Friday Aug. 8th, the IMU Ramp office hours will be 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and the Hospital Ramp 2 Office hours will change to 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For questions, call the IMU Ramp Office at (319) 335-1475 or the Hospital Ramp 2 Office at (319) 335-8924, or e-mail

UI libraries announce due date changes, instructions for returning damaged items

To best support our library users needs and accommodate issues resulting from flooding, the University Libraries has extended due dates and is providing assistance with damaged materials.


Faculty loans that have not been recalled are now due June 1, 2009.

Graduate loans that have not been recalled are now due January 28, 2009.

Short-term loans that were due between June 12 and July 9 are now due August 1, 2008.

Items that were recalled and were due between June 12 and July 9 are now due August 1, 2008.

If you have any questions about due dates, you can "Check My Account" ( from the Libraries' website.


If you have library books that were damaged in the flooding, there are several options for returning them.

Wet, but not muddy books -- wrap in wax paper and put in your freezer.

Muddy books-- rinse as best you can, put in freezer bag and freeze. Wear gloves when handling books to protect yourself.

Books tossed/lost during recovery efforts -- contact Main Library Circulation or 319-335-5912. Staff will retrieve title information and start the replacement process.

For any questions relating to library materials please contact Main Library Circulation staff at or 319-335-5912.

UI engineers use flood of 2008 for research, future preparation

In a case of "making lemonade out of lemons," researchers at the University of Iowa College of Engineering's IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering research unit are using data collected on the flood of 2008 to study floods in general and prepare for any future floods along the Iowa River in particular. Larry Weber, IIHR director and professor of civil and environmental engineering, noted that the experience of preparing the Stanley Hydraulics Laboratory to weather the onslaught of the Iowa River occupied much of the staff's time and energy in the days immediately preceding the flood. But after the floodwaters entered the building's basement -- flooding fire suppression and air conditioning equipment and forcing the staff to evacuate -- his focus shifted. [Full Story]

UI issues flood recovery report to Regents for July 28, 2008

The University of Iowa’s weekly report to the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, on the campus flood recovery status, dated July 28, 2008, is now available online in PDF format. The report provides updated information on recent rainfall and water levels at the Coralville Dam and in the Iowa River, building renovations, utilities projects, academic concerns and insurance coverage and damage updates.

Updates will now be archived regularly to the UI's Flood Recovery Web site.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Flooding forced UI writing programs to become improvisational artists

Most writers are fastidious about the details: They choose every word carefully, and their works are developed through a long, laborious process of revision and refinement through multiple drafts. But this summer the University of Iowa International Writing Program (IWP) and the Iowa Summer Writing Festival were transformed into improvisational artists as the Flood of 2008 invaded the campus.

The IWP was primed to host a U.S. State Department "Between the Lines" program, a two-week workshop for a dozen teenage Arab writers, who were already en route to the UI when the flood submerged roads and bridges, making Iowa City virtually inaccessible and forcing the UI to close.

With only one day before the Arab delegation was due to arrive at O'Hare Airport in Chicago, the IWP's staff scrambled to find an impromptu solution. Lisa Yun Lee, director of the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum and co-chair of Young Chicago Authors, rose to the occasion, setting aside space for classes at the museum and securing last-minute housing in a University of Illinois at Chicago residence hall. (Read the UIC account at

"We couldn't have gone mobile without John Knoll at Fleet Services and Jerry Miller at UI Equipment Rental, both of whom pitched in and helped us even as everything was shutting down," explains IWP Associate Director Hugh Ferrer. "And we wouldn't have had any place to go without the generosity of the good people in Chicago, Lisa Lee chief among them. Everyone we phoned that day phoned their friends to try to find us a solution."

IWP Director Chris Merrill adds, "I am grateful to the University of Illinois-Chicago for their hospitality, and to the staff of the IWP, which on 24 hours notice created an entirely new, and very successful, program in Chicago. Who would have thought that this crisis would have created such an opportunity for some very talented and hard-working individuals to shine? But they did."

That was only the beginning of the IWP's challenge. The flood invaded the Iowa House hotel in the Iowa Memorial Union, making it uninhabitable for the 32 writers from all over the world who are scheduled to arrive for a three-month residency this fall -- the heart of the annual IWP activities.

Accommodations have now been secured for all the visiting writers: in guest houses, bed and breakfasts, rooming houses and even a former sorority house. To help foster the sort of community that comes naturally when the writers are housed together, the IWP is making changes at its Shambaugh House headquarters to provide a communal gathering space with wireless Internet.

The Iowa Summer Writing Festival staff spends 10 months each year organizing for its two months of summer workshops - hiring faculty, securing space, setting schedules and attracting writers of all ages, who travel to Iowa City from all parts of the world.

With classrooms flooded, food service closed down and travel disrupted, the festival was forced to cancel all but one of its June sessions, and scramble to locate different spaces for every aspect of the July workshops -- registration, readings, housing, special presentations and closing banquets -- while also organizing two additional "make-up" sessions at the end of July.

"I sent out an SOS to everyone who was scheduled to teach this year, and those who were available stepped up," says Amy Margolis, the UI Writers' Workshop alumna who is the director of the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. "Fortunately, around here you don't have to go far.

"The folks at classroom scheduling kept us quite literally a step ahead of the water. We just kept moving up, up, up. The rescue was coordinated by our colleagues at the Center for Conferences, who, for an event disaster, are akin to the Red Cross.

"We had less than two weeks to lay in the infrastructure that it typically takes 10 months to build. Our incredibly enterprising colleagues across campus paddled out and pulled us in. These are the times when you're damned grateful the people you work with are friends."

When the June sessions were canceled, several international guests had already arrived and were stranded in Iowa City. "We had three women from India who were stranded here with us, a young man from the Philippines, a woman from Poland, and a compulsive talker from Serbia who chased me all over the creation with offers of help," Margolis says.

"We gathered them, and a few others who were stranded here from elsewhere in the United States, up into a cross-genre workshop that was led by Sands Hall, who arrived here to teach for us just before the UI closed. The group was taken in by 126, a local restaurant, who gave them their upstairs space. They gave each other a reading at the end of the week, and it took your breath away, the bounty of these displaced writers who had come together this way. For me, it was the highlight of the disaster."

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to and click the link "Join or Leave ACR News," then follow the instructions.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Winston Barclay, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0073 (office) 319-430-1013 (cell),

Thursday, July 24, 2008

WRAC opens for business in regular location

The University of Iowa Women's Resource and Action Center, located at 130 N. Madison Street in Iowa City, re-opened the week of July 21 after having to move its staff and services to various satellite locations in the community June 13 due to the flooding.

Although the WRAC regular location was closed, staff members continued to provide services from these various satellite locations and worked out of their homes for the past month.

Activities such as support and discussion groups, which normally met in the WRAC building, were held in other spaces such as Hillel and the Iowa City Public Library, and staff continued to respond to requests for various types of assistance by members of the public, as well as plan and prepare for the fall semester.

For more information on upcoming events or ongoing services offered by WRAC,
visit or call 319-335-1486.

UI issues flood recovery update to Regents for July 21, 2008

The University of Iowa’s weekly report to the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, on the campus flood recovery status, dated July 21, 2008, is now available online in PDF format. The report provides updated information on recent rainfall and water levels at the Coralville Dam and in the Iowa River, building renovations, utilities projects, academic concerns and insurance coverage and damage updates.

Updates will now be archived regularly to the UI's Flood Recovery Web site.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

United Way seeks volunteers for sandbag removal

This weekend United Way has organized a city-wide sandbag removal event around the Normandy Drive area. Volunteers are needed. Details follow:

When: Friday and Saturday, July 25 and 26, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days.  

How long: Any amount of time is appreciated.

Where: Volunteers are asked to please check in at corner of Normandy and Manor Drive in Iowa City.

Dress: Work clothes, close-toed shoes and gloves.

Contact: For more information, contact the United Way Volunteer Center at 319-337-8657.

Special Notes: Snacks and water will be provided. Minors must be accompanied by an adult.

Monday, July 21, 2008

UI seeks pregnant women and new moms for study on emotional impact of flooding

Even under the best circumstances, women may experience a variety of emotions during and after pregnancy, ranging from happy and elated to moody, irritable and depressed. Now University of Iowa researchers want to study how the floods of 2008 have affected the emotional experiences of pregnant women and new moms.

Researchers will examine the flood's impact on mothers and their babies by comparing the experiences of those who were and were not affected by flooding. The study will investigate the women's emotional and stressful life experiences and how those experiences might influence mother and infant health.

Women who are currently pregnant and women who delivered babies in Johnson, Linn and Black Hawk counties after June 10, 2008, are invited to participate in the study by the Iowa Depression and Clinical Research Center. Participants must be 18 or older and will be compensated.

"We know from many studies that the experience of life stress can affect health, including the health of pregnant women and new mothers," said UI Psychology Professor and Starch Faculty Fellow Michael O'Hara, director of the Iowa Flood Study. "We also know that maternal stress can affect the developing fetus and even newborns, although we don't yet understand why these effects can sometimes be beneficial and sometimes be harmful.

"But only a few earlier studies have prospectively examined the effects of a natural disaster on pregnancy and the health of the mother and baby. By studying women soon after the flooding, we hope to expand our knowledge of the effects of severe stressors on their health so that eventually we will be able to develop interventions to prevent any ill effects that might be observed."

Researchers aim to include 400 women in the study and to assess the development of their infants after birth. Involvement is voluntary, and participants can decide to stop taking part at any point.

Participants will complete questionnaires and phone interviews and provide saliva samples. Women who complete all portions of the study will receive $60 to $85 compensation for their efforts.

The surveys ask about emotional experiences, social relationships, ways of coping with stress, pregnancy concerns, demographic information, and the impact of flooding. Phone interviews will involve questions about mood and feelings, appetite and eating habits, sleep habits, use of alcohol or drugs, physical symptoms, and recent life events that have affected participants' health. Saliva samples will be collected on two consecutive days to measure cortisol, an important stress hormone.

The researchers will request access to the medical records following delivery to evaluate pregnancy, labor and delivery outcomes, as well as the baby's gender, birth weight, gestational age at delivery, and APGAR score. All information collected for the study will be kept confidential using a coding system.

For more information on the study, call 319-335-0307 or 1-866-UIWOMEN (1-866-849-6636) or e-mail and mention the flood study.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Michael O'Hara, UI Department of Psychology, 319-335-2460,; Nicole Riehl, University News Services, 319-384-0070,

Friday, July 18, 2008

Vacation time donation pool available for employees affected by flood

The scope of the current flood disaster in eastern Iowa is so extreme and the damage so significant to victims whose homes have been flooded, that University faculty and staff want to be able to support their co-workers by allowing them to remain in pay status while they put their homes and lives back together.

To that end, the University has created an opportunity for eligible employees to donate vacation hours to UI employees whose primary residences were damaged by flooding and who need time off to recover. By virtue of agreement with AFSCME and SEIU, employees represented by those entities are also eligible for participation.


Who's eligible to donate vacation hours?

Regular University employees who accrue vacation and have more than 80 hours of accrued time. Donors may not draw down their own vacation balance below 80 hours as a result of a donation. The call for donations will begin on August 1, 2008. Donations are not made to a specific individual.

Who's eligible to receive vacation hour donations?

Flood victims whose primary residences were damaged by flooding who have exhausted their own vacation accruals and are planning to use additional time off for flood repair and recovery. Application is available now through the self-service web site at Requests to receive donations of vacation may not exceed 40 hours per month, up to 120 hours (pro-rated for part-time employees) in total.

How will it work?

The call for requests for time for the previous month will be offered to employees during a two-week window during the following month. This will be followed by a call to employees for donations during a window not longer than two weeks. If donations meet the need before the end of the two weeks, the opportunity to donate will end for that month.

Following the close of the application period, donated hours will be distributed to all eligible victims who apply. If requests exceed donations, donations will be made on a prorated basis based on the percentage of need matched by donations. For example, if requests equal 1000 hours and donations equal 800 hours, each applicant will receive 80% of their request for vacation donation.

The vacation time received by the flood victim must be scheduled with the recipient's employer, subject to the scheduling approval of the employing unit. The vacation donation is paid and taxable as regular salary.

This program is available for this purpose only. The donation, application and distribution process will be repeated on a monthly basis to address need for time through December 31, 2008.

If you have questions, please contact your HR Unit Rep, identified on the self-service Web site.

Volunteers Needed to Remove Sandbags From Normandy Drive Area

The City of Iowa City is asking for volunteers to remove sandbags from the Normandy Drive area on Friday, July 18 and Saturday, July 19, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Volunteers should report to the corner of Normandy and Manor Drive to sign in and receive work assignments. There is no need to call ahead. 

Be aware that parking in the area is limited. Wear work clothes and sturdy shoes, and bring gloves to protect yourself. Snacks and water will be provided. For more information, see the City of Iowa City site

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

UI hosts appreciation luncheons for flood relief workers July 17, 18

As a gesture of gratitude for all of the work that has been done to set the University of Iowa campus on the path to recovery after the flooding, UI faculty, staff and students are hosting appreciation luncheons for an estimated 630 flood relief workers at several locations on campus from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday and Friday, July 17 and 18.

The luncheons are sponsored by the UI Office of the Provost with faculty, staff and students from the affected buildings and departments volunteering to serve the barbecue-style meals to the contracted flood relief workers.

Thursday, July 17, meals will be served to BMS Catastrophe flood relief workers in Gibson Square (Eastside) and in the upper Hancher Parking Lot (Westside). Friday, July 18, meals will be served to Cotton Catastrophe flood relief workers in the North Theatre Building Lot (Lot #55, paralleling Riverside Drive).

Tom Rocklin, vice provost and dean of the University College, said the luncheons are an opportunity for the UI to show its profound thanks to workers for all the service they have given the UI.

For more information contact Rocklin at 319-335-3565.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Revised University Libraries material due dates

To best support the needs of users of the University Libraries and to accommodate difficulties they had returning materials while the Main Library was evacuated (the period from Friday, June 13 through Wednesday, July 9), University Libraries staff have adjusted the following due dates.

Faculty loans that have not been recalled are now due June 1, 2009.
Graduate loans that have not been recalled are now due January 28, 2009.
Short term loans that were due between June 12 and July 9 are now due August 1, 2008.
Items that were recalled and were due between June 12 and July 9 are now due August 1, 2008.
This week University Libraries staff will begin processing recalls and sending notices that were received while the Main Library was closed.

If you have any questions about due dates, you can “Check My Account” from the University Libraries’ Web site at . You may also contact Main Library Circulation staff at or 319-335-5912.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Volunteers Needed to Provide Short-Term Home Stays for International Students

Increasing international student enrollment at the University of Iowa—combined with less housing due to the flooding—has created a need for community volunteers who can provide short-term home stays for these newly arriving students as well as volunteer at a Welcome Center in early August.

The UI Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) is partnering with the Council for International Visitors to Iowa Cities (CIVIC) and Friends of International Students (FIS) to offer short-term home stays for incoming international students, and they are asking for members of the general public to open up their hearts and homes on a short-term basis to help as well.

The program, which begins Friday, Aug. 8, will provide a place for new students to stay until they can move into permanent housing. On-campus residences will be available on Aug. 18. Home stays are also being offered for new students who are searching for off-campus housing.

For more information, see news release.

Islamic Center of Cedar Rapids to host flood relief forum for immigrants, minorities July 18

The Islamic Center of Center Rapids will host a Flood Relief Forum from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, July 18, at the center, located at 2999 First Avenue SW in Cedar Rapids. The focus of the forum is to help educate people about financial assistance for immigrant and minority victims of recent natural disasters and flooding.

For the many immigrants whose faith demands they shun the receiving or paying of interest, the traditional avenues of low-interest government loans to help rebuild what they lost in a natural disaster is not an option. While for many minorities, fear of the government or the process of filing for relief has kept many minorities from coming forward to claim their right to recovery funds.

Since the water receded leaving destruction in its path, many agencies have recognized the overwhelming need for recovery funding that falls outside the standard venues. A number of organizations have stepped forward to provide alternative sources in the form of no-interest loans and grants to help those who would not normally be eligible for assistance, or for those who have limits on what aid they can accept.

During the forum, the Islamic Center of Cedar Rapids will help educate such minorities and others about what recovery help is available to them. Representatives of FEMA, the Small Business Administration (SBA), and local government and aid agencies have been invited to provide information and services to those who suffered loss of property, jobs and business resulting from the recent flooding. Additionally, volunteers will help victims fill out and submit any forms required to receive aid. Spanish and Arabic speakers will be available for those who require language interpretation.

Refreshments will be served, and the forum is free and open to the public, regardless of faith. For more information, contact Miriam Amer at 319-573-6617, or by e-mail at

Friday, July 11, 2008

UI awards first bid to renovate flood-affected buildings

The construction firm that built the Adler Journalism and Mass Communication Building, which was completed and opened for classes in January 2005, has been awarded the contract to restore that structure and an adjacent classroom building through a competitive bid process.

Flooding this summer caused extensive electrical and mechanical damage to both buildings. With four companies submitting bids, Miron Construction of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has emerged as the low bidder with a $2.8 million bid. The firm will restore the buildings to pre-flood condition. Work on the two buildings will begin Monday.

According to Sadie Greiner, associate director of construction management in UI Facilities Management, Miron Construction will use many of the same personnel on this project who were involved in the original building of Adler. Completion of both facilities is likely by mid-September, she said, with Becker slated to open by the start of classes on Aug. 25.

"We were very pleased with this bid and that the low bid was submitted by the firm that actually built one of these buildings," Greiner said. " We are well on our way to rebuilding the University of Iowa after the flood so we can make it functional again for our students by fall."

The Philip D. Adler building houses the School of Journalism and Mass Communication in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, along with the Daily Iowan and the Department of Cinema and Comparative Literature. The Becker Communication Studies Building, located adjacent to Adler, is the home of the Communication Studies Department in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

STORY SOURCE: University Relations, 101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1000

MEDIA CONTACT: Linda Kettner, university spokesperson, 319-384-0030,

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Main Library modifies call for volunteers

Work on moving Special Collections materials to the lower-level storage area of the UI Main Library has progressed very quickly. Library officials expect to have the third floor hallway cleared today and don't plan to use volunteers over the weekend. However a few volunteers are still needed until 5 p.m. this afternoon (Thursday) and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday.

Please call the Main Library Information Desk at 319-335-5299 to sign-up for a shift on Thursday or Friday.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Volunteers needed at Main Library

While the UI Main Library resumed business Wednesday, library staff members are also trying to return evacuated materials to their appropriate places in the lower-level storage space. Returning the materials will be a much slower process than taking them out to make sure that items are retreivable. So the library is seeking a few volunteers to help with this effort over the next week. Only 30-40 people are needed at a time.

Materials will be moved only during the Main Library’s modified summer schedule:

Wednesday, July 9 (today) until 9 p.m.
Thursday, July 10 - 8 a.m. until 9 p.m.
Friday, July 11 - 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Saturday, July 12 - 12 until 6 p.m.
Sunday, July 13 - 12 until 6 p.m.

Volunteers should call the Infomation Desk at 319-335-5299 to sign-up for a shift.

See the original posting of this item, and other library news, on the UI Libraries blog here.

Tansey offers advice on coping with emotional trauma of flooding

KXIC radio has conducted recent interviews, available in audio, with University of Iowa staff about initiatives related to the recent flooding. To hear the most recent interview in Windows Media Player, Quicktime Player or Real Player, or to read a transcript of the interview, follow the link below:

After the Flood-Watch for Warning Signs: It is hard to believe it has almost been a month since the flooding. The damage is breathtaking and estimates so far total in the tens of billions of dollars. If you are one of many people affected by flooding, you know it is more than the issue of cleaning up. There is real emotional loss that people are also dealing with. Those who have never experienced a traumatic situation or who have never dealt with depression and anxiety may underestimate the seriousness of mental illnesses. Dr. Janeta Tansey, an associate professor and psychiatrist at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, offers information about the signs we should look for in ourselves and our neighbors dealing with loss.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Weiner discusses High Ground for Cancer Patients initiative

KXIC radio has conducted recent interviews, available in audio, with University of Iowa staff about initiatives related to the recent flooding. To hear the most recent interview in Windows Media Player, Quicktime Player or Real Player, or to read a transcript of the interview, follow the link below:

High Ground for Cancer Patients: Anyone listening to or reading the news knows Iowa has had more that its share of unusual and devastating natural disasters this year. If you live in an Iowa county that has been declared a federal disaster area and you or a loved are dealing with cancer, there is help available. George Weiner, MD, medical oncologist, hematologist, and director of Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, talks about High Ground for Cancer Patients.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Updated: Facilities Management to begin rationing chilled water

[NOTE: This posted was updated at 5:23 p.m. Thursday, July 11, 2008]

Facilities Management will begin "light" rationing of chilled water on East Campus Thursday, July 10. On Friday, July 11 chilled water will continue to be rationed on East Campus and may need to be rationed to West Campus. The rationing will mainly affect administration and general classroom buildings. The most common use of chilled water is air conditioning. A chilled water building priority list was established in order to maintain cooling in buildings with the greatest need. Highest priority is given to facilities containing wet labs and/or computing equipment.

The recent flood damaged part of the University's utility system, limiting the ability to produce steam and chilled water necessary to generate air conditioning in some University buildings. Facilities Management is working to resolve this issue. In the meantime, the potential for warm, uncomfortable offices exists. Environmental Health & Safety, in collaboration with Human Resources, has put together more information at

For more information on chilled water rationing, please contact Ann Rosenthal at 335-5823 or the Work Control Center at 335-5071.

Main Library to reopen Wednesday

The University of Iowa Main Library is expected to reopen to the public and return to regular summer hours (7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.) on Wednesday, July 9. The building will remain closed on Monday, July 7 and Tuesday, July 8. [more]

Student government leaders issue message

The following message is being sent to students by Maison Bleam, president of the University of Iowa Student Government, and Steven Wieland, president of the Executive Council of Graduate and Professional Students:
As you all know, the recent flooding has left our community, this university, and us—the UI student body—with many challenges to overcome. This will be a rebuilding period at the University of Iowa. You have an opportunity to be part of these remarkable times.

This fall, important university events will be happening as planned. These include Welcome Week, Homecoming, Family Weekend, and, of course, Big Ten sports. All of our 400-plus student organizations will remain active, so students will still have an opportunity to get involved. The extraordinary student culture of this great university will continue to thrive in spite of the challenges that we face.

On behalf of your Partnership of Student Governments at Iowa, we want to sincerely thank all those involved with the rebuilding process. No matter what adjustments need to be made, we are certain the UI student body will shine during these remarkable times. GO HAWKS!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Mayflower will open on time

The University is delighted to announce that Mayflower Residence Hall will be open and ready for move-in by August 23, 2008, as originally planned. The building has passed all structural inspections and flood recovery employees, contractors, and University Housing staff have been working in the building since June 28 to determine necessary repairs. We’ll be working 24/7 to ensure that the building is ready to go this fall.

Although not all first-floor areas will be available when the building opens, they will become available throughout the fall semester. These areas include a 24-hour desk and mail center, computer lab, fitness center, vending area, convenience store, game room, and study/meeting spaces.

The ability to open Mayflower will have a remarkably positive impact on the residence hall community at Iowa. It means that students who have already been assigned to Mayflower will be able to occupy their originally-assigned rooms (unless they were assigned to first-floor rooms, in which case we will relocate them to another room in Mayflower). In addition, students assigned to other residence halls who received letters turning their single rooms into doubles and their double rooms into triples will have their singles and doubles back!

If you’ve applied for housing and haven’t received your assignment yet, please be patient. Our assignments have been delayed because of the flood. Our next group of assignments will be sent in mid-July. If you haven’t applied for campus housing, we still have space and will accept applications through the month of July. You can apply online through your Admissions Profile on ISIS.

If you have questions, call the University Housing Contracts and Assignments Office at 319-335-3009, weekdays from 8-5.

We look forward to your arrival in August!

Von Stange, Ed.D.
Director of University Housing
The University of Iowa
8 Burge Hall
Iowa City, IA 52242

UI health officials offer video, tip sheet on dealing with mold

Mold is an environmental hazard found at extreme levels in flooded homes and office buildings, but workers involved in cleanup operations can protect themselves by planning appropriately. 

Peter Thorne, Ph.D., UI professor of occupational and environmental health, discusses the hazards of mold and safety tips for cleanup in a video -- the latest installment for Flood Recovery: A Special Public Health Series on the UI Flood Recovery Web site. Included with the video is a PDF offering tips for removing mold.

University Surplus offers furniture to campus flood victims

University of Iowa Surplus is offering a limited number of office furniture items to students, staff, and faculty to replace furniture lost in the flood.

The offer is good through July 18, or until supplies are gone. For voucher customers only, University Surplus is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday at 1225 S Gilbert St.

A voucher verifying eligibility for this program is available to faculty and staff from unit Human Resources representatives. Students may apply to the Student Financial Aid Office.

Faculty members may also contact Susan Johnson, associate provost for faculty.

For more information, call University Surplus at 319-335-5001 or write to

Summer Writing Festival adds sessions July 26-Aug. 1

The Iowa Summer Writing Festival, which was forced by the floods to cancel several sessions in June, has added an additional weekend (July 26-27) and weeklong (July 27-Aug 1) session to the end of its 2008 schedule.

The festival, which is presented by the University of Iowa Division of Continuing Education, scheduled the additional sessions to provide opportunities for registrants whose sessions were canceled, as well as those who had not yet registered.

The added sessions will include a series of free public events at 11 a.m. Monday through Friday, July 28 through Aug. 1, in Room 101 of the UI Biology Building East. Known as "Elevenses," these hourlong presentations feature issues of special interest to writers with a different speaker each day.

For information about the added sessions and registration materials, visit the festival's Web site.

Student Instructional Technology Assistants provide brochure, Web site for faculty

The University of Iowa Student Instructional Technology Assistants (SITA) in ITS have put together a brochure and Web site with information to assist faculty who have been displaced by the flood or whose classes have been disrupted.

Visit for more information.

This group has been actively seeking out faculty across campus to offer creative solutions for completing summer classes as effectively as possible. The SITA group, and the entire staff in ITS-Instructional Services, is also available to provide support and solutions for the fall semester. For more information, see

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Library servers back online

After moving library servers back to the Main Library, they are now up and functioning. Online services should be back to normal operating levels. The library itself remains closed.

Visit the UI Libraries' flood blog for other updates at

Information offered to help better understand FEMA Disaster Assistance Grants

Disasters often leave survivors dazed, confused, hardly knowing which way to turn or what to do. Financial help for a variety of needs may be available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division (HSEMD).

“FEMA is here in Iowa to be sure that eligible Iowans receive help with their home repair expenses, rent payments and some of the other unexpected financial burdens brought into their lives by the severe weather that has been ongoing here since May 25,” said FEMA’s Federal Coordinating Officer Bill Vogel. “FEMA wants you to know about the types of grants available to help you cope with disaster-related losses.”

As of July 1, FEMA has approved more than $73 million in grants to help more than 13,000 Iowa households with uninsured housing costs. These grants are available for:

• Eligible homeowners or renters whose house or apartment is made uninhabitable by the disaster to cover rent for temporary replacement housing, most often a rental apartment or house.
• Eligible homeowners to cover costs for repairing uninsured damage to their primary residence with the goal of making the damaged home livable.

Although FEMA does not reimburse insured costs or insurance deductibles, some people who have insurance may still qualify for a grant to cover costs that are not insured. For example, the homeowners policy may not cover rental expenses for temporary housing. A FEMA grant might fill the gap.

Disasters can cause serious financial burdens other than for housing needs. For eligible applicants, FEMA and state grants may help pay for such non-housing costs as:
• Disaster-related funeral and medical or dental costs
• Replacement of clothing, furniture and appliances
• Necessary educational materials (computers, school books, supplies)
• Repair or replacement of a disaster-damaged vehicle
• Moving and storage expenses related to the disaster
• Other necessary expenses or serious needs.

As of July 1, FEMA had approved almost $7 million in other needs assistance grants for Iowans.

“These grants are available to anyone who meets FEMA’s eligibility criteria,” said Iowa State Coordinating Officer Pat Hall. “Even if you have insurance, you could still qualify for a grant. I urge all Iowans with losses from our recent series of extreme weather who live in federally declared counties to register for assistance.”

Individuals may register by calling toll-free 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585 for those with hearing or speech impairments or online anytime at Hours for telephone registration are 24 hours a day, seven days a week until 11 p.m. Thursday, July 3, when they will change to 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week, until further notice. Applicants may also call those numbers to check on their status, update their applications or report any additional damage.

Library servers down this morning

At approximately 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 2, all library servers will be shut down in order to move them back into Main Library. The move will take approximately two hours. Once the move is complete, all library IT infrastructure should be restored to pre-flood levels.

This includes:
illiad and all cd’s hosted on library servers

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

UI journalism senior, Newsweek intern pens article on flood recovery

Susan Elgin, a senior journalism major at the University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, is interning at Newsweek magazine this summer. In a Newsweek Web exclusive, Elgin interviews Dennis McKinley, a project manager with BMS Catastrophe, a Fort Worth, Texas-based company that is cleaning up the buildings on campus affected by the flood.

Elgin, a Des Moines native who is also obtaining a certificate in entrepreneurship through the Tippie College of Business, is currently based in New York City while she interns with Newsweek. She plans to study abroad in London this fall.

Read Elgin's article, "When Disaster Strikes," here.

Mason announces new resources for UI community members impacted by flood

University of Iowa President Sally Mason announced today that an emergency relief fund has been established to assist faculty, staff and students displaced from their homes by the flood of 2008. Additionally, Mason said that a UI Flood Exchange Web site has been created where members of the UI community can post messages seeking or offering assistance to one another. [more]

Culver proclamation intended to speed flood recovery at UI

Iowa Governor Chet Culver today signed a "Proclamation of Disaster Emergency" that temporarily suspends state regulations requiring competitive bidding on construction and repair projects at the University of Iowa. The proclamation is intended to help the University of Iowa speed its recovery from the worst flooding in its history. [more]