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Univ. of Iowa, Iowa State faculty leaders want the ability to require masks

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board of regents

DES MOINES, Iowa (KWWL) -- Faculty members at the University of Iowa and Iowa State University 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.

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.”

The University of Iowa Communication Studies Department released a statement on Twitter Thursday voicing their support for CDC guidance calling for masks to be worn indoors regardless of vaccination status. They also said they support Iowa City Mayor Bruce Teague's mask mandate.

The statement says the UI is a "world-class research institution that teaches critical thinking and promotes the advancement of scientific knowledge. We have an obligation to our students, staff and faculty to follow public health guidelines."

The Associated Press contributed to this report