In the news
With the academic semester now underway, I would like to preview a few highlights for the spring and update you on key initiatives across the university.
Earlier this week, the Kansas Legislature convened its 2022 session. As lawmakers conclude their first full week of work, I’d like to provide you a brief update on the latest happenings in the Statehouse and share our legislative priorities for the session.
Earlier this week, Douglas County implemented an emergency mask mandate for all indoor public spaces in the county. I am writing today to explain the implications of this mandate, specifically for basketball games in Allen Fieldhouse.
As final exams come to a close and we pause for the holidays, I hope you will join me in reflecting on our achievements from the past semester. As always, there is much to celebrate, thanks to our talented faculty, staff and students.
The University of Kansas will pause its employee vaccine mandate process, effective immediately. Employees do not need to take any further action related to this mandate at this time.
Yesterday we learned of the passing of Senator Robert J. Dole, a towering figure in American politics who leaves behind a legacy of leadership and public service. On behalf of the entire university, I offer my condolences to Senator Dole’s family, friends and colleagues.
Last month, President Joe Biden issued an executive order requiring employees of institutions that contract with the federal government to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by Dec. 8. Per this order, the University of Kansas will now require all KU employees to submit proof they are fully vaccinated by Dec. 8.
We want to provide an update on our compliance and risk management functions that will help us identify and respond to risks that can affect our ability to achieve our university’s objectives.
I am excited to announce that Audrey Coleman, a nine-year veteran of the Dole Institute leadership team who has led some of the institute’s most important initiatives, will become the institute’s new director. Audrey will begin her new role November 29.
This weekend we were saddened to learn of the passing of Burdett Loomis, a beloved professor emeritus of political science, a devoted mentor and a pillar in our community for more than 40 years.
Last night, many of you gathered in response to a reported instance of sexual assault within our community.
This weekend marks the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks on our country, and I would like to take a moment to reflect on this occasion with you.
I am writing you regarding a recent Twitter post by our student body president that many Jayhawks – myself included – found to be disappointing and concerning. I would like to share a few thoughts on this.
The start of the academic year always provides unmatched energy and a sense of renewal for our community. This is especially true this year as we see our campuses coming back to life in a way they haven’t since the pandemic began.
Students at the University of Kansas Lawrence and Edwards campuses will be eligible to receive a range of prizes after uploading their COVID-19 vaccine records to the Watkins Health Services student portal.
The University of Kansas will reinstate a mandate that everyone on the Lawrence and Edwards campuses – regardless of vaccination status – wear masks indoors. Additionally, masks are strongly recommended in outdoor crowded spaces on those campuses.
Given new guidance and keeping with our practice of aligning with Lawrence Douglas-County Public Health recommendations, our university is recommending all people — including those who are fully vaccinated — wear masks in indoor public spaces on our Lawrence and Edwards campuses where more than one person is gathering, effective immediately.
The University of Kansas is rescinding its mask policy and will now make masks optional – not required – for all individuals on the Lawrence and Edwards campuses, effective immediately. Exceptions include public transportation and campus healthcare facilities, which will still require masks.
With yesterday’s Commencement capping off our semester, it’s worth looking back on an academic year that’s been like no other in history and celebrating your contributions to our success.
Today I am writing to voice my support for each of the Task Force on Community-Responsive Public Safety recommendations and to let you know that the university will be implementing all of them.