June 2020
I’ve been thinking about language today and how important our communications have become in COVID times. We use thousands of words for work every day. A large number of those words are purely transactional--they help us communicate our needs and negotiate with others to accomplish something. However, since we began work-from-home and distanced-based learning, I feel like my words have proliferated! Minor transactions that, before COVID, could be conducted in a 30-second conversation in a hallway have required entire strings of email. And I’ve also found myself using more comprehension checks than ever before: “Did that make sense?” “Could you hear me?” “What I meant was…” “Would it help if I shared my screen?” 

It’s not only the words that have become more challenging. Clarifications we were able to make just using facial expressions now seem to require a little more effort. I was smiling at people I passed in the grocery store last weekend, wondering why I was getting no reaction. Then I realized, duh, I’m wearing a mask! I now find myself stretching my eyebrows and forehead into my best approximation of a “smile face.” It’s exhausting. I find myself fervently hoping that I’m communicating what I think I’m communicating! 

I've also been thinking a lot about what we're communicating to students. Student Affairs is working hard to ensure your student has a wonderful, safe experience this fall. We’re working on “Roaring Back” plans--ways we can come back together in our physical spaces while still protecting your student’s health. Yes, there will be plexiglass dividers where there were none before. There will be masks, distance between desks and chairs, and markers on carpet to keep us all as safe as possible during COVID, but we’re determined to communicate something other than “distance” in these measures we are taking. We are making all of these changes so that we can welcome your student on campus. They are our way of protecting everyone’s well being, which means that they are our new expression of community. Our message is, “We want you here!” I know that, as parents and family, you are concerned about your student’s college experience, and I want you to know that we’re working to make it great! The measures we’re taking to ensure safety do not have to make us feel apart from one another. They can, instead, make us feel a part of each other. 

We can hardly wait until your student is a part of our ISU roar! 


Lyn Redington
Vice President of Student Affairs

Important announcement about the Fall 2020 Schedule
Based on the unanimous endorsement of the ISU Health Team, Academic Affairs and Student Affairs have recommended that ISU adjust the fall academic calendar to ensure that all face-to-face instruction is completed by Tuesday, November 24th, two days before Thanksgiving. This new academic calendar will provide 16 weeks of instruction, which aligns with SBOE Policy III.D. It includes instruction on Monday and Tuesday of Thanksgiving week (November 23rd and November 24th) and an online final exam week following Thanksgiving (November 30th – December 4th). Grading and graduation deadlines will remain unchanged, allowing for an extended grading period for faculty. The start date for the fall term will remain unchanged (August 17th). As with the Spring 2020 term, limited exceptions will be necessary for some clinical and technical face-to-face programs. Grades will still roll on December 15th as previously planned. 

The primary factors driving this recommendation are: 

1. The return to campus of thousands of students and employees from Thanksgiving travel (especially out-of-state travel) may pose significant health and safety challenges to our campus communities. 
2. A calendar adjustment allows ISU to complete face-to-face instruction before late fall, when projections in our neighboring states suggest greater prevalence of general illness and perhaps an increased threat from COVID-19. 
3. The calendar adjustment supports students’ academic progress as well as ensuring the critical support services are available and in compliance with federal regulations including financial aid, scholarships, orientation, and housing.

If you have any questions about the fall semester, please reach out to Student Affairs at
(208) 282-2794 or  http://www.isu.edu/studenta/
For more information about what our campus community is doing to ensure student access, safety, and success during COVID, check out the following links.
Assistance with Funding

At the ISU Scholarship Office, we know how unusual things have been this spring. We know that some students and their families have been delaying decisions about college in the fall, so we have extended the scholarship acceptance deadline to July 1, 2020, for all new, incoming first year students... Read More
Class Registration

Does your student still need help registering for fall classes? We have advisors and peer advisors on board and ready to help! These advisors can talk to your student about class requirements, credit hours, majors, and more. Read More
TRIO Access & Opportunity

ISU TRIO professionals have been advocating for educational access at all levels, resulting in a Senate bill to support internet connectivity and technology for limited-income families. The bill, suggested by the national TRIO organization, was recently featured in this Politico article . Sari Byerly, Director of ISU TRIO Access & Opportunity programs, is the current Board Chair-Elect for this organization. 
New Student Orientation

We will welcome all first year and transfer students back to campus with New Student Orientation in August, and our celebration of Bengal Community will continue through Bengal Welcome Week for all returning Bengals. Read More
Living on Campus

Living on campus is a wonderful experience. Students are close to classes and campus resources. They are living with peers who are focused on similar goals, having the experience of community while going to college. Dining, study areas, recreation, arts and sporting events--all are close by. Read More
Bengal Parent and Family Network isu.edu/parents