IAIA Fall 2021 Semester—Reopening Plan

Aug 13, 2021

The COVID-19 global pandemic continues to impact every facet of life at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA). Thus, IAIA’s priority is the safety, health, and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff. We will continue to prepare a dynamic and flexible educational experience that considers the realities of life during this pandemic. Accordingly, we will reimagine the ways in which we deliver our academic programs, housing and dining services, and extracurricular activities, gatherings, and events.

We know the 2021 Fall Semester will be unlike any in our history, requiring flexibility, compassion, patience, and persistence. Each of us will be required to act conscientiously in ways that benefit our community because the pandemic has taught us that we are all in this together.

IAIA administration will evaluate and discuss the college’s on-going response to the COVID-19 health crisis, and update our plans as required. Our Fall 2021 Semester Reopening Plan is based on the latest medical and scientific guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the New Mexico Department of Health.

For more information about the reopening plan, contact IAIA President Dr. Martin (Cherokee) at (505) 424-2301 or by email at rmartin@iaia.edu. For contact tracing, please contact IAIA Dean of Student Nena Martinez Anaya at (505) 424-2331 or by email at nanaya@iaia.edu.

Campus-Wide Guiding Principles

  • Regular Town Hall meetings continue to be scheduled for faculty, staff, and students to provide general information and updates regarding the pandemic and its impact on programming at IAIA.
  • The state of New Mexico lifted capacity restrictions in early July as the state made progress with vaccination rates and experienced reductions in COVID–19 case numbers, hospitalizations, and deaths. As a result, and after 16 months of closure, the IAIA campus reopened to the public.
  • Recently, the COVID-19 Delta variant has proved to be more highly contagious and transmissible than the earlier virus. Effective immediately, the following COVID-19 protocols are in place for the IAIA community and campus visitors:
  • Face coverings are required indoors by both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. Appropriate signage will be posted.
  • Social distancing should be maintained where possible.
  • The COVID–19 issue will be evaluated monthly to determine if the face coverings mandate should continue.
  • We will continue to follow CDC Guidelines, the New Mexico Public Health and Governor’s heath orders, and COVID–19 safe practices.
  • We have signed the White House’s COVID–19 Vaccine Challenge pledging to encourage our campus community to get vaccinated. All students enrolled for in-person classes will be required to be vaccinated. Given the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant, we must continue to be diligent in our efforts to increase vaccination rates among students, faculty, and staff. We will host vaccination and testing clinics on campus.
  • Fall Semester classes will be approximately 50% in-person and 50% online, including hyflex courses that can be taken either online or in-person (the new normal).
  • Below are examples of the campus safety improvements completed or in process using COVID-19 relief funds:
    • Water bottle stations and fountains
    • Campus gallery expansion
    • Student Union HVAC replacement
    • Academic building HVAC replacement
    • Ceramic studio and kiln ventilation
    • Auditorium A/V overhaul to maximize use this larger space for maintaining social distancing in large classes
    • Added outdoor classrooms
    • Added awnings and natural gas heaters to outdoor café patio
    • Sculpture Foundry awning for courtyard
    • Lighted pathway, increase security and use of the cultural Hogan
    • Security camera upgrades
    • Internet bandwidth upgrades
    • Electronic entrance sign
    • Additional student passenger and ADA compliant vans will be purchased
  • Hand hygiene is required (frequent washing with soap and water or using hand sanitizer).
  • Signage and other communications remain in place to remind students, faculty, and staff regarding the utmost importance of social distancing, hand hygiene, and respiratory etiquette.
  • Protective equipment is provided, face coverings, goggles, and plexiglas barriers.
  • Environmental cleaning and disinfection will take place daily and multiple times in high traffic areas and high touch surfaces with CDC list approved materials.
  • Use of disinfectant fogging machine with CDC approved COVID-19 disinfectant of areas visited or suspected of being visited by students or staff confirmed or suspected of having COVID-19.
  • Employees are required to self-screen COVID-19 symptoms before coming to work. Temperature checks for classrooms and appropriate offices or areas.
  • Quarantining of those who are have contracted or who have been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19.
  • Testing and/or isolation required for symptomatic students, faculty, and staff.
  • Work with the New Mexico Department of Health, New Mexico Environment Department, and the New Mexico Governor’s Office, and TCU Rapid Response Team, to ensure we can effectively respond to and control outbreaks.
  • If weather permits, encourage outdoor activities that are safer than indoor activities.
  • Contingency plans will be implemented for an on-campus outbreak for students housed on campus (quarantine meal delivery, contact tracing on campus).
  • Using social media and other communication strategies, the Student Life Division will collaborate with the Associated Student Government leadership to work with clubs to implement COVID-19 safe practices.
  • Continue to research ways to engage students in campus life while maintaining COVID-safe practices.
  • Ongoing outreach to support student wellbeing through counseling, training, workshops, and seminars.
  • Daycare services will remain closed for the fall semester.
  • An Increase frequency of van transportation will be implemented to accommodate fewer students in each van.

Bon Appetit Café

  • Outside patio seating is available with furniture separated and structured to ensure social distancing.
  • In cases of quarantined students, Bon Appetit Café will ensure that meals can be prepared and delivered in disposable, to-go containers.


  • The IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) will follow all New Mexico Public Health Order’s COVID-safe practices.
  • Signage placed throughout museum to remind visitors of protocols and control flow of traffic.
  • Face coverings are required for staff and visitors within indoor spaces.

Museum Store

  • Face coverings are required for staff and visitors within indoor spaces.
  • Disposable face coverings will be available upon request and free of charge.
  • Signage outside of building that lists protocols for the museum and store.
Closed July 4 in Observance of Independence Day