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Remembering Chancellor Budig

Posted on Sep 8, 2020 in Campus News

Chancellor Gene Budig

Chancellor Girod sent the following message to faculty, staff and students Sept. 8, 2020.

I am sad to report that former Chancellor Gene Budig has passed away at the age of 81. He leaves behind his wife, Gretchen, their three children and five grandchildren, and countless Jayhawks whose lives he touched.

While we are saddened by Chancellor Budig’s passing, we can be grateful for the opportunity to celebrate his life and contributions to KU. I encourage each of you to set aside some time in the coming days to reflect on his legacy at KU.

Gene Budig was named the university’s 14th chancellor in 1981. On the day he accepted the job, he said he aimed “to help a great public university become greater” — a goal he undoubtedly achieved over the next 13 years as chancellor.

An experienced university administrator as well as a major general in the Air National Guard, Chancellor Budig presided over an impressive amount of physical growth on campus, including the Dole Human Development Center, the Adams Alumni Center, the KU Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Anschutz Science Library, the Lied Center for the Performing Arts, and the opening of the KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park.

Under Chancellor Budig’s leadership, KU enrollment reached an all-time high of 29,161 in 1992, the KU Medical Center returned to sound financial footing, and the number of distinguished professorships at KU nearly tripled.

Additionally, Chancellor Budig helped lead KU through Campaign Kansas, a five-year fund drive that brought in $265 million in gifts and commitments. During his chancellorship, annual giving for KU’s benefit rose from about $12 million to $34.6 million.

In 1991, tragedy struck the campus when lightning caused one of the KU’s oldest and best-loved landmarks, Hoch Auditorium, to burn, leaving only the historic facade. But through Chancellor Budig’s tireless lobbying efforts, KU received an $18 million appropriation from the state to rebuild the structure. In recognition, the new building was christened Budig Hall when it was officially dedicated in 1997.

Chancellor Budig resigned in 1994 to become president of Major League Baseball’s American League – an unsurprising next chapter for a man with an unabashed lifelong passion for baseball.

The family requests memorials to the Gene and Gretchen Budig Teaching Professorships in care of KU Endowment, P.O. Box 928, Lawrence, KS 66044-0928, or give online at kuendowment.org/budig.

Before leaving the university, Chancellor Budig told the Oread magazine, “I will leave the university with a sense of satisfaction and appreciation. Many things have been made better, and it has been the highest honor to be associated with the people of KU. Lawrence will always be special to our family. It is home.”

Well, Gene — we promise to look after your home in your absence.

Please join me in reflecting on Chancellor Budig’s life and contributions to KU.

Respectfully,

Doug

Douglas A. Girod
Chancellor
University of Kansas

Chancellor Gene Budig prepares for the inaugurationceremony in 1981.
Gene Budig prepares for the inauguration ceremony.
August 24, 1981 // Photo: Unive rsity Archives

Recollections from friends and colleagues of Chancellor Budig

Bill Tuttle, Professor Emeritus of American Studies

Always thoughtful and generous, Gene Budig was a marvelous friend. In my mother’s waning years and in her last visit to us in Lawrence, Gene and Gretchen invited her to visit for tea at The Outlook. We had a wonderful time, and afterwards, Gene wrote my mother. “Bill and I talk about our mothers often,” he wrote. “You are very important to him, and have had a great impact on his life. As you know, he is one of the university’s real academic stars.” My mother was thrilled.

Gene’s sense of humor was also legendary. On my 50th birthday, he arrived at my house decked out in his tuxedo. He was there, he announced to my guests, to park cars. Gene and I considered ourselves to be “brothers.” In his 13 years at KU, Gene Budig was one of the university’s great chancellors.

Dale Seuferling, KU Endowment President

Chancellor Budig left an indelible legacy at the University of Kansas. His leadership during Campaign Kansas resulted in numerous benefits which, more than 30 years later, continue to serve our KU students and faculty.

Following his service as chancellor, he would delight in meeting successful KU alumni around the world who had a “Gene Budig” diploma on the wall in their homes or offices.

Gene and Gretchen never forgot KU as evidenced by their personal gifts which endowed six Gene and Gretchen Budig Teaching Professorship and Award Funds. He was a great friend. 

David Ambler, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Emeritus

We have lost one of the great chancellors of the University of Kansas, and I mourn the passing of a valued and important friend, mentor and colleague.

The career of this shy, adopted son of a used-car dealer in McCook, Nebraska, is a quintessential demonstration of the realization of the American dream. Before the age of 30, Gene had completed three degrees at the University of Nebraska and served as assistant to its president and that state’s governor. From there he went on to serve as the president or chancellor of three major state universities and ultimately realized his dream of being the last president of the American League of Baseball.

But for me, I shall remember him most for his personal integrity, kindness, sense of humor, wisdom, visionary leadership and his steadfast commitment to education as the means of making this a better world for all of us.

Jim Carothers, Emeritus Professor of English

Gene Budig was calm, modest, principled in academic values, and a responsible and enthusiastic KU Chancellor, as well as a great family man.

He also had a subtle and frequent sense of humor, which he was likely to share only when the microphones and cameras were turned off. “Would you take this job for a Buick?” he once asked a reporter who was interviewing him.

He also loved baseball. He once asked a colleague, “What role would you most like to have on a major league baseball team at this stage in your life?” His colleague offered, “I’d most like to be the radio color commentator for the Royals or the Cardinals. What would you be?” Quickly, Budig replied, “the owner.”

He was a steadfast champion of the faculty, of the good will of all of us, and interested in support for individual colleagues who needed help. When a faculty member got into front-page trouble in the local newspaper, the individual’s department chair got an early morning phone call from the Gene, asking, “How can we help him?”

He paid careful attention to student needs and opinions. Remarkable for any chancellor or president, he taught a class every year he was in Lawrence. He often showed up at individual classes “to learn something” or to “ask questions.”

His family life was often mixed up with his university responsibilities. He and Gretchen hosted students and faculty on a great variety of occasions. They watched carefully as their three children developed and grew up, and all five of them played jokes on each other. I especially remember one graduation present that seemed to be the most atrociously available used car they could find, then they pointed out the real gift car, hidden in another place. Gene and Gretchen quietly gave great amounts of money to the university, in support of scholarship students, particular KU schools, and myriad new distinguished professorships.

He saw as many KU basketball games as anyone, was faithful at KU football games, and, of course, baseball games. He was a genuine Jayhawk.

His term as Chancellor was, for many students and faculty, the best period of their academic years. We shall miss him. Rock Chalk, Gene.

James Moeser, Dean, KU School of Fine Arts, 1975-86

KU has lost one of its greatest chancellors. I was a KU dean for 11 years, and Gene Budig was my friend and mentor. I went on to another deanship at Penn State, became provost at the University of South Carolina, and then was Chancellor at two universities– the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At every step along the way, Gene was there. He was a wonderful friend. Susan and I will miss him.

Read more:

Budig makes his move: KU’s 15th chancellor leaves the Hill for his dream job
Kansas Alumni magazine, issue No. 4, 1994

Chancellor Gene Budig at his inauguration ceremony in 1981.
Chancellor Gene Budig at inauguration
August 24, 1981 // Photo: University Archives

An update on attendance at Kansas Athletics competitions

Posted on Aug 31, 2020 in Campus News

Strong Hall Jayhawk | Update to fall sports

Chancellor Doug Girod sent the following message to University of Kansas faculty, staff and students Aug. 31.

Earlier this year, we created the Pandemic Medical Advisory Team to guide our decisions related to campus operations. This team comprises nine of the region’s top public health officials and has been instrumental to our efforts to begin the fall semester in a way that prioritizes health and safety.

Today I am writing to let you know that, at the advice of the Pandemic Medical Advisory Team, we will begin our fall athletics season without fans in attendance. This includes our first home football game Sept. 12 against Coastal Carolina and all Kansas Athletics competitions at Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena, Rock Chalk Park and Rim Rock Farm through September.

In addition, tailgating will not be permitted on campus for the Sept. 12 football game.

We know this is disappointing to those of you who planned to be on campus to root for the Jayhawks. Our football, volleyball, soccer and cross country contests will not be the same without you there. But this is the right decision for our community at this time.

We will continue to evaluate safety conditions with the hope that we can welcome fans to athletics events after September. We will report back to you as we approach our second home football game, which is slated for Oct. 3 against Oklahoma State.

For those of you with tickets to upcoming Jayhawks sporting events, Kansas Athletics will contact you in the days ahead.

One final thought: It will undoubtedly be disappointing for our student-athletes to not have you cheering from the stands. So if you have the opportunity to interact with these remarkable young men and women when they aren’t competing, please tell them how much you appreciate their resilience amid all this uncertainty, and remind them how important they are to our university.

Thank you for all you are doing to help us continue our mission of education, service and research while prioritizing health and safety.

Respectfully,

Doug

Douglas A. Girod
Chancellor
University of Kansas

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Cross-country trek leads hiker to the Hill

Posted on Aug 27, 2020 in Campus News

Yellow tape blocking off every other booth wasn’t the only surprise awaiting a few longtime regulars who gathered for The Wagon Wheel’s first chicken-fried steak special of the fall semester (allowable under county health guidelines, with masks mandatory until patrons are seated and strict social distancing): A young, fit guy shouldering an enormous backpack made his way into the 14th Street tavern for lunch and an ice-cold beer. Ice cold, as in, a single can of light beer poured into a plastic cup packed with ice.

Hey, it’s hot out there for a hiker ambling coast to coast.

“I wanted to do something challenging,” says Keith Doubman, a Pennsylvanian who started his cross-country trek May 17 in Delaware, “and I’m just so grateful for my health. I also wanted to do something to better humanity, so I’m raising money for cancer research.”

Doubman, who previously hiked the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage across northern Spain,  is following a route called the American Discovery Trail, which—who knew?—passes through Lawrence. He’ll next walk south to Ottawa before turning west into the Flint Hills. The rest of his Kansas journey will take him to McPherson, Great Bend, Kinsley, Dodge City, Garden City and Coolidge; Doubman says he’s been grateful to find respite in homes of people following his trek online, so Jayhawks who would like to share their Kansas hospitality while making an interesting new friend can follow Doubman’s trek on Instagram and TikTok, @KCDAdventure.

Welcome to Mount Oread, Keith, and safe travels!

—Chris Lazzarino

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Latest results of COVID-19 entry testing

Posted on Aug 25, 2020 in Campus News

Strong Hall Jayhawk

Chancellor Girod shared the following message on August 25, 2020.

Students, faculty, and staff,

We have posted the latest results from our community COVID-19 saliva testing.

As of Monday evening, 222 people have tested positive out of 19,452 entry test results received, for a positivity rate of 1.14%.

The overall positivity rate is in line with what we expected and are prepared to manage, and it represents a slight decrease from the initial round of results we shared last Thursday. We always expected to see some positive tests from this effort. Notably, our positivity rate is lower than rates of the general population from Douglas County. We know our situation is fluid and can change rapidly, but overall, these results suggest we are starting the semester in a good place.

As a reminder, we’ve conducted this testing upon return to campus before the beginning of on-campus activities and classes for two key reasons:

First, we want to identify positive cases early and ensure that they are isolating appropriately to prevent community spread. Those who test positive receive instructions to self-isolate, in accordance with guidelines from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, along with additional instructions from Watkins Health Services. All members of our community must follow these directions closely.

Second, we want to establish baseline levels of positivity rates among our campus populations to determine appropriate safety, infection prevention, education, and testing efforts moving forward. This baseline testing will inform more targeted testing efforts in the future.

Our Pandemic Medical Advisory Team, which features nine of the region’s top medical and public health professionals, guides our overall approach in these areas with an eye toward data and scientific evidence.

As we use these overall results to form a baseline, we will be able to move forward with more targeted testing efforts with specific populations.

Faculty, staff, and students who didn’t get tested during our initial rounds of testing can make an appointment online to receive a test near the mobile testing unit at Watkins Health Services at protect.ku.edu/covid-19-testing-information. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, you should call Watkins Health Services directly at 785-864-9507 to arrange an appointment, or contact your primary care physician.

Some results from last weekend’s tests are not included in today’s update, and we plan to publish an additional round of results from our entry testing on Friday.

We also have updated numbers for our Greek community, which has an overall positivity rate of 5.47%. We applaud that community for participating in our testing efforts so far and for proactively working with us to take measures to improve health and safety. We commend the members of this community who are taking positive steps to this end, and encourage that work to continue.

No single group will be ultimately responsible for our overall success or failure in combating this disease. That responsibility rests with all of us.

The ways to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 remain clear: Wear a mask, stay six feet apart from others, and wash your hands. Again, all of us need to do our part.

In looking around campus this week, we saw a lot of positive signs: a lower-density overall environment, students wearing masks inside and outside, and social distancing in classrooms. Keeping that up will be key this semester.

While we may have fewer people than usual on Mount Oread this fall, it’s still good to see classes starting up again. To all of you who have worked so hard to enable us to reopen campus while continuing to prioritize health and safety – thank you.

Welcome back, Jayhawks.

Respectfully,

Doug

Douglas A. Girod
Chancellor

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Updating our community on COVID-19 testing results

Posted on Aug 20, 2020 in Campus News

Strong Hall

Chancellor Girod shared the following message on August 20, 2020.

Students, faculty, and staff,

I want to share some information and updates with you now that we’ve reviewed some initial results from our testing efforts as our community returns to campus.

We have posted initial results from our community COVID-19 saliva testing for the Lawrence and Edwards campuses. The results show the total tests administered and positive results for both students and faculty/staff, along with positivity rates for each group.

As of 3 p.m. Wednesday, 89 people have tested positive out of 7,088 entry test results received, for a positivity rate of 1.25%. Of the 89 positive cases, 87 are students and two are faculty and staff. We plan to post additional updates on the website on Tuesday of next week.

When we decided to move forward with broad entry testing of our community, we knew that inevitably we would receive some positive results. This positivity rate is in line with what we’ve expected and prepared for as we began this process in consultation with our Pandemic Medical Advisory Team.

We’ve conducted this testing upon return to campus before the beginning of on-campus activities and classes for two key reasons:

First, we want to identify positive cases early and ensure that they are isolating appropriately away from campus. Those who test positive receive instructions to self-isolate, in accordance with guidelines from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, along with additional instructions from Watkins Health Services. All members of our community must follow these directions closely.

Second, we want to establish baseline levels of positivity rates among our campus populations to determine appropriate safety, infection prevention, education, and testing efforts moving forward. We plan to continue more targeted testing effort and random sampling of our population after this initial round of testing.

In addition to the numbers from the early rounds of testing, we have also identified a few trends.

A large majority of the 87 overall student positives have come from our fraternity and sorority community. Last night, I met with leaders in these communities along with other campus officials to stress the importance of adhering to the health and safety guidelines and rules we’ve laid out while laying out some additional policy recommendations. And we’ll follow up with these groups with targeted additional testing efforts as needed.

Also of note, our staged move-in process at KU Student Housing helped to identify positive cases in the on-campus housing community earlier so these individuals can isolate at their permanent addresses before coming to campus. Thanks to that preparation, so far we do not have any cases isolating in student housing. We expect that will likely change as new students continue to move in, and we are prepared to offer spaces for those students who need to self-isolate.

We know what works to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Wear a mask. Stay six feet apart from others. Wash your hands frequently. Use our CVKey app to check your symptoms for COVID-19 each day. Refrain from hosting social gatherings and events. And remember to think not just about yourself, but about the good of the community, in every decision you make.

We know that challenges with following these requirements are not limited to any one group in particular. If we are to open successfully and avoid moving more fully online as other universities across the country have done in recent days, all of us – students, faculty, and staff alike – will have to be the very best versions of ourselves.

As a final reminder: our initial round of testing is mandatory for students, faculty, and staff who plan to be on campus in Lawrence or Overland Park before Sept. 7. If you have not yet set an appointment to receive a test through a drive-up site, please visit https://protect.ku.edu/covid-19-testing-information and sign up soon. Students living in KU Student Housing will receive testing through the move-in process and do not need to sign up for an appointment. Those on the KU Edwards Campus should refer to specific testing instructions for that campus.

During the summer, so many of our faculty and staff have spent countless hours to prepare for the coming days. It is up to each of us to determine our success moving forward.

Respectfully,

Doug

Douglas A. Girod
Chancellor

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COVID-19 tests required for students, faculty, staff in Lawrence

Posted on Aug 5, 2020 in Campus News

Strong Hall

Chancellor Girod shared the following message on August 5, 2020.

Students and colleagues,

An important part of a successful fall semester is helping to keep our KU and Lawrence community safe by minimizing exposures to the COVID-19 virus.  One way to do this is to identify those among us who have the infection, even without symptoms, as we all return to campus. We will accomplish this by using a simple, non-invasive, saliva-based test for students, faculty and staff on re-entry to campus.

This message includes important instructions for how faculty, staff, and students on our Lawrence and Edwards campuses can obtain a COVID-19 test before our fall semester begins later this month.

This testing will be mandatory for all students, faculty, and staff on our Lawrence and Edwards campuses.

Saliva-based tests will be provided at no charge for faculty, staff, and students in partnership with Clinical Reference Laboratory in Lenexa, Kansas. We will begin providing tests for students in KU Student Housing as part of the move-in process that is beginning later this week.

Other students, faculty, and staff in Lawrence should visit protect.ku.edu/covid-19-testing-information to sign up for an appointment at one of two drive-up testing sites. Students and employees at the Edwards Campus will receive separate instructions directing them on how to complete a test before the semester begins, but are also able to use Lawrence testing if it is more convenient for them.

It is my hope that you will view this testing event not only as an opportunity for you as an individual but also about a chance to demonstrate your responsibility to the health of our entire community. If we are to be successful in welcoming more of our population back to campus this fall, all of us will have to do our part. This testing is an important step in the process, and I encourage each of you to take advantage of it.

Positive faculty and staff results will be shared with KU Human Resources, and students’ positive results will be shared with KU Student Affairs and KU Student Housing, if applicable, along with the individual’s local health department in order to inform protective actions for our community. Watkins Health Services will also receive notification of positive results, and those who test positive will be contacted by a health official.

A testing opportunity like this is one way we can demonstrate personal responsibility to prioritize the health of our community. Again, visit protect.ku.edu/covid-19-testing-information to learn more about how you can obtain a COVID-19 test before returning to campus.

I know these are trying times, and I appreciate all of the hard work and dedication our faculty and staff have shown in preparing for the semester ahead. As we all respond to evolving circumstances, I know members of our Jayhawk community will work together and support each other in the days and weeks to come.

Respectfully,

Doug

Douglas A. Girod
Chancellor

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2020 Commencement rescheduled for spring 2021

Posted on Jul 29, 2020 in Campus News

Strong Hall

Chancellor Girod shared the following message on July 29, 2020.

Jayhawks,

Earlier this year, we postponed our 2020 Commencement due to the COVID-19 pandemic and, in the meantime, hosted an online recognition event commemorating the Class of 2020. During that online event, we promised the graduates they would get to walk down the Hill during an in-person event as soon as it’s possible to do so — and that’s a promise we look forward to fulfilling.

I am writing to let you know we have ruled out the possibility of hosting a Commencement ceremony during the fall semester. Instead, we will target spring 2021 to celebrate the 2020 graduates with a Commencement ceremony on Mount Oread.

At this time, we are hoping to host two separate Commencement events — one for the Class of 2021 on Sunday, May 16, and the other for the Class of 2020 on a yet-to-be determined weekend in May. Of course, our planning is subject to change based on evolving circumstances and the latest medical guidance.

Additionally, given that Commencement typically brings about 25,000 guests to Lawrence from across the nation and the world, we will be sure to coordinate with community partners as we determine the best way to celebrate our graduates.

We will continue to monitor circumstances and provide you more information later this fall.

Respectfully,

Doug

Douglas A. Girod
Chancellor

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Chancellor’s Message: Opposition to new federal guidance on international students

Posted on Jul 8, 2020 in Campus News

Strong Hall

Chancellor Girod shared the following message on Wednesday, July 8.

Colleagues,

Yesterday, Provost Bichelmeyer shared with you a new federal policy regarding fall enrollment for F-1 students in the Student and Visitor Exchange Program. As a result of this new policy, it appears the decisions we make regarding assignments of instructional modes to courses can ultimately determine whether international students are able to stay at KU, in the United States, or whether they must leave the country.

I write today to assure you that the University of Kansas joins peer institutions nationwide in strongly condemning this new federal policy. Moreover, I want you to know we are coordinating with our peers in both the Association of American Universities and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities to encourage federal lawmakers to reconsider this truly mean-spirited and unworkable policy.

As AAU President Mary Sue Coleman articulated yesterday, this federal policy is misguided and deeply cruel to the tens of thousands of international students who come to the United States every year, whose lives would be thrown into chaos as a result of this policy. This new policy is also likely to further damage our nation’s universities, which are already struggling with unprecedented uncertainty and financial losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To put it plainly, blocking and possibly expelling international students in the middle of their studies is inhumane, serves no one’s interests, and would set back the United States’ ability to attract the brightest minds to study here.

Our university’s Office of Federal Relations continues to work this issue and is in touch with Kansas’ federal delegation in Washington. We are also monitoring this morning’s newest development, which is that Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have filed a federal lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement regarding the new policy. We will keep you posted as new information becomes available. In the meantime, it’s imperative that we all continue our work toward developing hybrid and hyflex courses for the fall semester that can reach our students wherever they may be.

As you know, we continue our planning to reopen campus to the greatest extent possible while maintaining health and safety as our top priority. We will stand firm against federal pressure that in any way compromises that priority.

Respectfully,

Doug

Douglas A. Girod
Chancellor

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KU announces plans to return to campus this fall

Posted on Jun 15, 2020 in Campus News

Strong Hall

On June 15, the University of Kansas shared the following announcement with students, faculty and staff:

Colleagues,

Last month, we shared with you a document titled Guidance on Reopening Campus, which detailed our guiding principles for reopening campus in a measured, stepwise fashion. Today we write to share the newest components of our plans for the fall semester on the Lawrence and Edwards campuses.

Our goal is to welcome back as many students as we can while continuing to prioritize the health of our community. To do this, we must continue preparing a dynamic and flexible educational experience that accounts for the realities of life during and after a pandemic. This means rethinking everything from how we design classes, to how we deliver housing and dining services, to how we accommodate extracurricular activities and events.

Undoubtedly, the fall semester will be unlike any in history. It will require flexibility, compassion and resilience. And it will require each of us to behave responsibly and in a way that benefits the entire community. If this pandemic has taught us one thing, it’s that we are all in this together.

Academic calendar

The academic calendar will change to minimize potential health hazards. Fall classes will begin as planned on August 24, and classes will conclude before Thanksgiving, at which point students are encouraged to leave campus for the semester. After Thanksgiving, there will be a study week, followed by a week of final exams conducted remotely. There will not be a Labor Day holiday or Fall Break.

Pending approval by the Kansas Board of Regents, the first day of the spring semester will change from January 19 to February 1. Stop Day and Finals Week remain unchanged. Spring Break will not occur midway through the semester as it typically does; rather, it will be added to the Winter Recess, resulting in the later-than-normal February 1 start.

Course scheduling and classroom configuration

Our goal is to maximize the in-person classroom experience to the greatest extent possible. KU is committed to ensuring the majority of students, if they choose, have the majority of their courses with in-person instruction in whole or in part. In-person scheduling will prioritize typical freshman courses, labs or courses that are most effective in-person, courses involved in the KU Core, and courses that are required to complete a degree.

To ensure flexibility and meet the specific needs of students and instructors, we will provide support this summer for faculty to design and develop fall courses so the same section can be offered in multiple formats— i.e. in-person, online and/or a hybrid approach — while ensuring that each format is a highly engaging experience for our students no matter where they may be.

To help limit the density of students in classrooms and allow for frequent cleaning, we will schedule classes from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday, though most courses will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday will be utilized as a last resort.

Additionally, we will modify time between MWF classes to 15 minutes to avoid congestion in buildings, walkways, buses and other areas. We are piloting a health monitoring app that allows each Jayhawk to check symptoms and access secured buildings based on health status on a daily basis, and we are marking each building to change traffic patterns to help de-densify campus.

Students, as we finalize the class schedule this summer, those of you who have already enrolled can expect there may be some adjustments to your fall schedules. We will reach out to you in July with more information about how your schedule may change.

Testing and contact tracing

Testing and contact tracing will be key to a thoughtful and science-based return to campus. Through our on-campus Watkins Health Services, we will be partnering with The University of Kansas Health System and LMH Health to coordinate our testing and contact tracing efforts, in conjunction with Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. This partnership will enable KU to access our partners’ medical expertise, technology and data in ways that will benefit both our campus and the broader Lawrence community. We will provide further details later this summer with guidance for how our students, staff and faculty will participate in testing activities.

On-campus housing and dining

On-campus residential facilities and dining centers will be open for the fall, and modifications will be made to promote physical distancing and other health and safety measures in each building. Most facilities will operate near capacity, with additional shared community expectations in place to prioritize the health and wellness of students who live – and staff who work – in these facilities. The move-in process will be spread over a longer period of time to reduce congestion and allow for physical distancing. More information from KU Student Housing will be shared soon with students.

Faculty and staff who are at-risk and unable to return to campus

We know some of you have underlying health conditions – such as asthma, hypertension, diabetes, chronic lung disease, or weakened immunity – that may put you at higher risk if exposed to the virus. We are ready to work with you to make reasonable accommodations. We will use the same process for COVID-19 as we use for other ADA accommodation requests. Details are available at https://humanresources.ku.edu/employee-accommodations. Please fill out your forms as soon as possible so we can ensure your work is covered appropriately. Per federal guidelines, please be prepared to provide documentation from your physician when you apply. Contact our ADA Resource Center for Equity and Accessibility at accessibility@ku.edu or 785-864-7416, and they will help you make plans. If it is the case that you are not eligible for an accommodation, we will work with you to determine what options may be available to meet your needs.

Safety is each of our responsibility

While no one can ever promise complete safety to another – this was true prior to COVID-19 and will be true after – we are so appreciative of all the people who are giving tireless effort in campus workgroups to explore options that support greater safety for our campus. In sum, it is because you – students, staff and faculty – are KU’s greatest assets that we are taking a comprehensive and coordinated approach to provide for your health and wellness when you are on campus this fall.

While we are providing for your safety, we need to also ask that each of you provide for the safety of your fellow Jayhawks, as well as for your own, when you return this fall. You can expect to be asked to: sign a social responsibility pledge and commit to the actions it describes; wear a mask when you are in a space with others who may be closer than six feet apart; and adhere to social distance guidelines according to public health guidelines. You’ll learn more about our asks of you as we get closer to the fall semester.

More information to come

Of course, all of this is subject to change based on the latest medical guidance and evolving circumstances. Again, we will continue to partner with – and rely on – each of you to help us continue to develop our plans in the weeks ahead.

Thank you for all you do on behalf of KU.

Respectfully,

Doug and Barb

Douglas A. Girod
Chancellor

Barbara A. Bichelmeyer
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor

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University Issues Statement on Notice of Allegations

Posted on May 7, 2020 in Campus News

Strong Hall Jayhawk

On May 7, The University of Kansas Office of Public Affairs issued the following statement regarding the NCAA reply to the Notice of Allegations. More at: publicaffairs.ku.edu/noa

“The NCAA enforcement staff’s reply does not in any way change the University of Kansas’ position that the allegations brought against our men’s basketball program are simply baseless and littered with false representations. As the federal trial proved, adidas employees intentionally concealed impermissible payments from the University and its coaching staff. The University has never denied these impermissible payments were made. For the NCAA enforcement staff to allege that the University should be held responsible for these payments is a distortion of the facts and a gross misapplication of NCAA Bylaws and case precedent. In addition, the enforcement staff’s assertion that KU refuses to accept responsibility is wrong. The University absolutely would accept responsibility if it believed that violations had occurred, as we have demonstrated with other self-reported infractions. Chancellor Girod, Jeff Long and KU stand firmly behind Coach Self, his staff and our men’s basketball program, as well as our robust compliance program.”

Read more on the University’s response at publicaffairs.ku.edu/noa

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