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IAIA’s Spring 2021 Reopening Plan

Jan 18, 2021

The COVID-19 global pandemic has impacted almost every facet of our lives, including colleges and universities. Thus, IAIA’s goal is to reopen our campus for students, faculty, and staff in a safe and effective manner. We will continue to prioritize the health of our community while preparing a dynamic and flexible educational experience that considers the realities of life during this pandemic. Accordingly, we must re-imagine the ways in which we deliver our academic programs, housing and dining services, and extracurricular activities, gatherings and events.

We know the 2021 spring 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.

The 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 Spring Semester 2021 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.

Contact Information

For more information about the reopening plan, please contact IAIA President Dr. Robert Martin at (505) 424-2301 or by email at For information regarding contract tracing, please contact Interim Dean of Students Paul Moore at (505) 424-5704 or by email at

Campus-Wide Guiding Principles for Reducing Potential Exposure to COVID-19

  1. Social distancing protocols will be required to minimize close contact—six feet or more in distance must be maintained when interacting with other people.
    • Occupancy will be maintained at 25% of pre-COVID-19 levels. Sixty-eight percent of classes will be strictly online and in-person class sizes will be reduced to a maximum of six students. The majority of faculty will remain off-campus.
    • Employees who are able to telework will continue to do so.
    • Office spaces, public spaces, and classrooms have been reconfigured to ensure social distancing is maintained. Signage manages flow into areas where necessary to prevent crowding or people gathering.
  2. Face coverings are required in all public areas on campus both inside and outside. No one will be allowed on campus in any capacity without a face covering.
  3. Hand hygiene is required—frequent washing with soap and water or using hand sanitizer.
    • Hand washing and sanitizing stations have been set up strategically throughout the campus.
    • Hand sanitizer dispensers have been set up in hallways and larger areas.
    • Each office and classroom has a supply of hand sanitizer that staff and students can access.
    • Each staff member and student has been issued with a personal size bottle of hand sanitizer. These bottles can be refilled from various stations or at facilities.
  4. Use signage and other communications to remind students, faculty, and staff regarding the utmost importance of social distancing, hand hygiene, and respiratory etiquette.
  5. Protective equipment is provided, face coverings, goggles, and plexiglas.
  6. Environmental cleaning and disinfection will take place several times daily, especially in high traffic areas and high touch.
    • Thorough cleaning and disinfecting by the facilities department twice daily with CDC list approved materials.
    • Continuous cleaning and disinfecting of their areas by employees with CDC approved disinfecting materials supplied by IAIA.
    • 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.
  7. Individual office spaces and desks cannot be shared—maximum capacity will be reduced for conference rooms and common areas to follow social distancing protocols and New Mexico Department of Health and New Mexico Public Health order mandates.
  8. Meetings in which social distancing cannot be maintained will be require the use of virtual ZOOM technology or other web-based video conferencing tools.
  9. Require all employees to self-screen COVID-19 symptoms before coming to work. Temperature checks for classrooms and appropriate offices or areas.
  10. Quarantining of those who are have contracted or who have been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19.
  11. Testing and isolation required for symptomatic students, faculty, and staff and those coming to campus from out of state.
  12. IAIA has formed partnerships for testing of faculty, staff, and students with Presbyterian Health Services, Indian Health Service for follow up testing for both beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries, and New Mexico Department of Health.
  13. Work with the New Mexico Department of Health, New Mexico Environment Department, and the New Mexico Governor’s Office TCU Rapid Response Team to ensure we are able to effectively respond to and control outbreaks.
  14. If weather permits, encourage outdoor activities that are safer than indoor activities.
  15. Permit remote instruction and telework or make other reasonable accommodations for students and employees who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  16. Campus will remain closed. Campus spaces and buildings will be open only for official college or university business and will not be open to the general public. Only visitors absolutely necessary for campus operations or functions will be allowed access.
    • Visitors will be severely restricted and must be pre-approved.
    • All visitors are required to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms.
    • All visitors must wear face coverings, maintain social distancing, and follow all public health orders, campus instructions, and protocols.
  17. Protocols have been developed for communicating with students, faculty, and staff who have come into close and sustained contact with a person with COVID-19 and if cases are diagnosed in the IAIA community. Contact information and protocols have been sent to students and staff, are posted in public areas and constantly running on TV video screens.
  18. Contingency plans have been developed for an on-campus outbreak for students housed on campus (quarantine, meal delivery, contact tracing on campus).
  19. Out-of-state travel for employees is restricted and must be approved by the IAIA president.

Academic Division

  • Classrooms, studios, and labs will be rearranged, and class sizes limited to six students to ensure social distancing. Signage and barriers directs traffic flow to prevent bunching and allow for maximum social distancing.
  • The physical layout of classrooms, studios, and labs has been restructured to ensure students maintain at least six feet of distance between one another and the instructor(s).
  • Physical barriers have been installed in labs and studios where necessary to ensure and enhance separation.
  • For settings with higher risk of spread, such as laboratories, computer labs, music and performance classes, and studios, enhanced measures such as greater physical distancing, physical barriers (e.g. clear plastic), and increased fresh air ventilation have been implemented.
  • Masks, goggles, are provided for students and instructors in studios and labs.
  • IAIA has made the following adjustments to the course schedule to ensure the safety and health of faculty members and students for the spring semester:
    1. Sixty-eight percent of courses will be offered exclusively online, beginning January 19, 2021.
    2. Twelve percent of courses will be offered in-person during the second eight weeks in an accelerated schedule, beginning March 22. This will provide students who require access to studios and specialized equipment—eight weeks concentrated to complete their hands-on assignments and work.
    3. Twenty percent of the courses will consist of a hybrid format—the first eight weeks will be taught exclusively in an online format, beginning January 19. The in-person classes will begin March 22 on campus for selected studio arts and film courses with access to the studios and specialized equipment.
    4. All classes have reduced the number of students to six to allow and ensure social distancing is maintained.

Student Life Division

  • Using social media and other communication strategies, Student Life will collaborate with the Associated Student Government (ASG) leadership to work with clubs to implement COVID-safe practices.
  • Continue to research ways to engage students in campus life while maintaining COVID-safe practices.
  • Ongoing outreach to support student well-being through counseling, training, workshops and seminars.
  • Daycare services will remain closed for the semester.

Residence Center Housing

  • In order to implement social distancing, the residence center will operate at 50% maximum capacity.
  • Only one person will be assigned to a double-occupancy room but will be charged at the shared occupancy rate.
  • Priority for space in the residence center will be given to seniors registered for on-campus Studio Arts and Cinematic Arts classes followed by incoming new freshmen registered in on-campus classes.
  • The residence center common areas for both floors will be cleaned and disinfected twice a day and more often if necessary. Students will be provided with cleaning supplies, trained, and encouraged to clean their rooms regularly and often.
  • The residence center common areas for both floors will be updated to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines with kitchens closed.
  • The residence center communal bathrooms will be closed.
  • Implement a policy regarding quarantine procedures applicable to both the residence center and the family housing apartment complex. Since only one person will be assigned to each double-occupancy room, the residence center students will be isolated in their room, each of which has its own bathroom facilities. Food will be delivered to the rooms of each isolated students. In addition, at least two of the casita apartments will remain vacant for isolated students who reside in family housing.
  • Implement as part of the initial application review and approval process, a screening measure that requires all incoming residents to identify alternative housing options in case the campus is required to close early due to an outbreak of COVID-19.
  • Hall meetings, on-campus laundry rooms, and van transportation will have sign-up lists to encourage social distancing. Number of persons using any of these facilities or transportation is limited to allow for social distancing.
  • An increase frequency of van transportation will be implemented to accommodate fewer students in each van.

Family Housing Apartments Complex

  • Families, as defined in the 2019–2020 IAIA Family Housing Handbook, will continue to receive priority assignment status until the end of July (housing application deadline).
  • Vacant family housing units will be used to house two graduating senior students.

Student Success Center and Admissions

  • SSC lobby and kitchen area are closed.
  • Learning Lab sessions are limited to four people (in-person).
  • Summer Bridge Program, new student and transfer orientation are online only.

Bon Appétit Café

  • The café will be closed for inside dining following the New Mexico Governor’s Public Health Order.
  • The café will be cashless, no self-service or buffet—only serving grab and go meals.
  • Outside patio seating is available with furniture separated and structured to ensure social distancing.
  • In cases of quarantined students, Bon Appétit will ensure that meals can be prepared and delivered in disposable, to-go containers.


  • Follow all New Mexico Public Health Orders and COVID-safe practices, masks must be worn at all times, social distancing ensured and maintained.
  • In order to reduce staff and guest exposure, hours open to the public will be limited.
  • Delay scheduling of social gatherings, receptions, and openings until phase three.
  • Expand digital footprint by creating online only versions of previous exhibits, if possible.
  • All touch screen devices have been disabled and covered with plexiglass.
  • Hands-on exhibits are roped off and inaccessible.
  • Limited seating and showings in Helen Hardin Gallery to ensure social distancing.
  • Signage placed throughout museum to remind visitors of protocols and control flow of traffic.

Museum Store

  • Museum and Museum Store hours and capacity are limited.
  • Pre-purchasing admission tickets to the museum is encouraged for all visitors.
  • If ticket purchasers are ill with a fever or have other symptoms, the ticket price will be either refunded or honored at a future date.
  • Face coverings required for staff and visitors within indoor spaces.
  • Disposable face coverings will be available upon request and free of charge.
  • Limited capacity in the museum to follow guidelines established by the New Mexico Department of Health.
  • Signage requests visitors refrain from touching gift shop items or the visitor information brochures unless they are acquiring the item.
  • Signage outside of building that lists protocols for the museum and store.

MoCNA’s Protocols to Ensure a Safe Visitor Experience

  • Please self-assess your health before visiting the museum. Are you exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, difficulty breathing, headache, body aches, sore throat, loss of taste and smell, fever, and chills)? Have you been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19? If you are exhibiting any of these symptoms or have been exposed, please do not visit the museum and reschedule for a later date. If you purchased a ticket online, we will work with you on transferring that ticket to another date or providing you with a refund.
  • Respect social distancing and ensure everyone’s safety by following all signage and directional arrows within each of our gallery spaces. Please respect our max occupancy signs for each gallery space and maintain 6 foot distance or more from other museum guests and staff.
  • Following New Mexico’s public health order and IAIA’s guiding principles, all visitors will be required to wear a face covering that covers the nose and mouth while in the museum.
  • Hand sanitizing stations have been placed throughout the museum for your convenience.
  • At the moment, no docent-led group tours or school tours will be provided.
  • Please be respectful of our staff and each other. We are here to ensure a safe space for everyone.

For more information or questions, please contact MoCNA Senior Manager of Museum Education Winoka Yepa (Diné) at (505) 428-5907 or


Mon, Wed–Sat
10 am–5 pm
4:15 pm (last admittance)
*Fri (free admission)

11 am–4 pm
3:15 pm (last admittance)

Current and Upcoming MoCNA Exhibitions

A listing of current and upcoming exhibitions at the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA).

List of Events

The Stories We Carry

Fri, September 30, 2022Mon, September 29, 2025

The Stories We Carry features contemporary jewelry created by more than 100 Indigenous artists across decades stewarded by the MoCNA permanent collection.

Our Stories

Mon, January 1, 2024Mon, September 29, 2025

Our Stories is a companion to The Stories We Carry exhibition, located adjacent to the Kieve Family Gallery.

Inuk Silis Høegh: Arctic Vertigo

Fri, February 2Sun, July 14

Inuk Silis Høegh: Arctic Vertigo analyzes the Inuit artist’s experimental and interdisciplinary art practices, while challenging stereotypes and addressing environmental issues.

Womb of the Earth: Cosmovision of the Rainforest

Fri, February 2Sun, July 21

Womb of the Earth: Cosmovision of the Rainforest gives Brazilian Indigenous female artists an opportunity to share their art with a wider audience and to voice their concern about challenges their communities face.

Arctic Highways: Unbounded Indigenous People

Fri, August 16, 2024Sun, March 2, 2025

The traveling exhibition Arctic Highways features 12 Indigenous artists from Sápmi (cultural region traditionally inhabited by the Sámi people) and North America, sharing stories of Indigenous people who live on different continents yet regard themselves as kindred spirits.

Common Thread: Female Perspectives from the Arctic

Fri, August 16, 2024Sun, January 5, 2025

For millennia Indigenous peoples of the North have lived in harmony with the land and sea. The twelve artists and activists in the exhibition Common Thread: Female Perspectives from the Arctic continue this relationship.