Liz Tovar, Interim Associate Vice President, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Lois Geist, Associate Provost for Faculty
Cheryl Reardon, Chief Human Resources Officer and Associate Vice President
DATE: January 22, 2021
This memorandum provides links to the university's religious diversity guidelines for faculty and staff. Please review the information below and bookmark the websites for future reference.
In order to address religious diversity on campus, and to abide by State and Federal law, the University of Iowa makes reasonable accommodations for students, staff, and faculty whose religious holy days coincide with their work schedules, classroom assignments, test schedules, and classroom attendance expectations. For more information related to accommodations in the academic and workplace environment, see: https://opsmanual.uiowa.edu/human-resources/paid-absences/religious-diversity-and-university-calendar. For more information related to student absences for religious holy days, see: https://opsmanual.uiowa.edu/students/absences-class.
SCHEDULING OF EVENTS AND EXAMINATIONS
One strategy for providing accommodations is to avoid scheduling events or examinations on major religious holidays. In order to assist you, we have made available calendar resources listing primary religious holy days at: http://www.iowacitycoralville.org/bmindful. Reviewed and approved by regional interfaith councils, the BMindful calendar lists major religious holy days when religious observers are likely to stay home from work or school.
BMINDFUL - CALENDAR TOOL FOR HOLY DATES
ITS, in partnership with the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, has provided a quick method to add the BMindful Holy Days to an electronic calendar. ITS' web tool, available at https://its.uiowa.edu/support/article/105264, quickly adds the holy dates for the next two years onto your electronic calendar.
GUIDELINES ON RELIGIOUS SYMBOLS
The university is a community whose members hold a variety of religious and philosophical views. As a public institution, the university must respect the need to maintain separation of church and state, and at the same time honor individuals' right to free expression of thought. The Guidelines indicate that the university should not display religious symbols in public areas that would imply university support for a particular religion. However, individuals are allowed to display religious symbols on their personal attire and in private workspaces. To review the complete Guidelines on Religious Symbols, as well as further discussion of how the Guidelines should be applied, see: https://diversity.uiowa.edu/resources/policies/policies-j-r