TO: All University of Iowa faculty and staff

FROM: Melissa Shivers, Vice President for Student Life and Interim Chief Diversity Officer; Kevin Kregel, Associate Provost for FacultyCheryl Reardon, Chief Human Resources Officer and Associate Vice President

DATE:   September 5, 2018

RE:       Annual Policy Notification on Religious Guidelines


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.

Religious Accommodations:

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 and classroom assignments. For more information related to accommodations in the academic and workplace environment, see: 


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: Reviewed and approved by regional interfaith councils, the BMindful calendar lists the major religious holy days for 2018-2019 when religious observers are likely to stay home from work or school.


Bmindful- Calendar Tool for Holy Dates:

ITS, in partnership with EOD, has provided a quick method to add the Bmindful Holy Days to an electronic calendar. ITS' web tool, available at, 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: