×

Iowa State faculty leaders want the ability to require masks

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa State University faculty senate leaders want to be able to require masks in their classrooms.

But the Iowa Board of Regents showed no indication during meetings this week that it may change its policy on university face mask mandates. The Des Moines Register reports that regents met in Ames for various committee hearings Wednesday and then for a full board meeting on Thursday.

During public comments Wednesday, Iowa State’s faculty senate president, Andrea Wheeler, said instructors should be allowed to require masks in their classrooms “for pedagogical and health reasons.”

A federal court ruling this week temporarily blocks Iowa’s law that prohibits school districts and other local government entities from requiring masks be worn. But the ruling does not affect the state’s public universities.

Iowa State, the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa have all complied with a regents’ policy issued in May that masks should not be required on campus.

Legally, the regents could choose to make masks required.

“I need to control my classroom, as a teacher,” Wheeler said, adding that she spoke for the concern of colleagues, senators and the faculty they represent — “that they are losing authority in their environments, because of this decision.”