University of Kansas

The University of Kansas has reversed course and decided to leave it up to department chairs and directors whether to hold in-person classes this fall.

Faculty members had revolted last week after they were told to return to campus beginning Aug. 24, unless they could invoke an exemption under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Fifty-two University of Kansas department chairs have signed a letter challenging the school’s requirement that most classes this fall be offered in person. The faculty members insist they should have the option of teaching online.

The letter, addressed to Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer, was sent after Chancellor Douglas Girod announced last week that KU would hold in-person classes starting on Aug. 24 as part of a shortened semester ending before Thanksgiving. Students will be encouraged to leave the campus after the holiday to minimize the risk of spreading the novel coronavirus.

Nomin Ujiyediin / Kansas News Service file photo

WICHITA, Kansas — Gone are the days of sneaking late into a crowded lecture hall. Reading college students' disapproving faces won't be easy. And Thanksgiving is the new Christmas.

There’ll be a lot of adjustments this fall for students and professors at Kansas’ universities, institutions that have been finalizing plans for how they’ll keep everyone safe from the coronavirus when in-person instruction returns.

Colleges and universities in Kansas and Missouri are rolling out plans for the fall semester, which will look very different because of COVID-19.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City plans to hold the majority of classes in-person but to limit class size to 25% of room capacity, a move that will require a longer school day.

“We expect most students to have a schedule that combines in-person classes with some blended or online courses, unless they specifically request all online,” Provost Jenny Lundgren wrote in an email to students, faculty and staff on Monday.

Nomin Ujiyediin / Kansas News Service

The testimonials from black people about their experience on Kansas college campuses ring both familiar and fresh as protests against racism continue across the world.

Some talk about death threats riddled with racial slurs tucked in their mailboxes, about baseless confrontations with campus police, or about being told in ways both subtle and explicit that they don’t belong.

James Ehlers

WICHITA, Kansas — Educators say there was a silver lining when Kansas schools and campuses had to shut down because of the coronavirus: It was a chance to learn how to do remote learning right.

Now with college finals submitted and most K-12 schools in summer vacation mode, educators are reflecting on those two months of online teaching, especially knowing that some universities will have to do it again come fall (Wichita State plans online-only instruction after Thanksgiving).

Here are six things that Kansas professors and teachers say they’ve learned outside of the physical classroom.

Recognizing that medical problems are often intertwined with legal ones, Kansas' two law schools are providing health care workers with free legal services amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

University of Kansas law students are working with licensed attorneys to help the workers draft wills, living wills, health care directives and powers of attorney. The services will be provided remotely. The Washburn Law Clinic at Washburn University School of Law in Topeka is providing similar services for Topeka hospital employees who can't afford legal help.

Legal bills continue to pile up as KU Athletics defends itself against a federal lawsuit filed by former head football coach David Beaty.

So far, KU has paid a big downtown Kansas City law firm $352,553, according to legal bills obtained through the Kansas Open Records Act.

The trial isn't scheduled until February 2021 so there is the possibility for hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional legal bills.

Chris Neal / For the Kansas News Service

WICHITA, Kansas — Kansas colleges will soon get millions in federal money to help with the ripple effects from the coronavirus, but educators and experts say it’s not nearly enough.

At least six female athletes at the University of Kansas reported they experienced unwanted touching from a massage therapist who was recently charged with a child sex crime, the school said Tuesday. 

Investigators also discovered that an athletic trainer knew of “unwarranted and unwanted touching” by Shawn O’Brien, but the school said in an email to staff and students that the trainer did not “appropriately report the conduct, as it is required by the university.”

Pages