In the news
It is with a heavy heart that I write you regarding Reggie Robinson, one of our most accomplished and beloved Jayhawks, who passed away this weekend at the age of 63.
Last Friday, we launched a new COVID-19 dashboard to share metrics such as positive cases, positivity rates, and Student Housing quarantine and isolation data. Today I am writing to present another new tool: a short-term forecast that projects total positive cases and new positive cases within the KU community two weeks into the future.
Last Wednesday, I wrote you regarding our latest COVID-19 testing results and explained how we are pivoting from mass entry testing to a new testing strategy for the rest of the semester. In that message, I also explained that we would launch a new approach to share testing results and related data. I am pleased to share that approach with you today.
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.
Last spring, we announced that Diane Goddard, our chief financial officer and vice provost for finance, will be retiring at the end of this semester after 36 years with KU. I am writing today to let you know we have established the search committee that will lead the process of finding our next CFO.
Today, we have more results from our COVID-19 testing, which includes results from entry testing and follow-up testing with targeted populations. Overall, our entry testing identified 546 positive cases out of 22,563 total test results, for a 2.42% overall positivity rate.
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.
We’ve updated our latest data from our COVID-19 entry testing results for faculty, staff, and students returning to campus.
Last night, I wrote to inform you that Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health had issued 14-day quarantine orders for residents of nine of our sorority and fraternity houses, and was in the process of issuing an order for a tenth house. Today I am writing to let you know that the health department has removed two chapter houses from last night’s list and added a new one.
Today I am writing to inform you that Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health has issued 14-day quarantine orders for residents of nine of our sorority and fraternity houses, and is in the process of issuing an order for a tenth house.
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%.
As we embark on a fall semester unlike any in history, I write to reiterate a straightforward reality: We cannot do this without you.
Earlier this summer, we created the Pandemic Medical Advisory Team – comprising nine of the region’s top medical doctors and public health officials – to help inform our decisions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the primary tasks of this team is to develop a data-driven decision-making framework to shape decisions regarding campus operations in a way that prioritizes health and safety. I write you today to share this decision-making framework.
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. The results show the total tests administered and positive results for both students and faculty/staff, along with positivity rates for each group.
We are creating the Task Force on Community-Responsive Public Safety. This new task force will be charged with reviewing KU Public Safety policies, practices and procedures; examining best practices and proposals for change; and making recommendations regarding potential improvements to ensure respectful, transparent and community-responsive public safety services.
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.
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.
Yesterday, Provost Bichelmeyer shared with you a new federal policy regarding fall enrollment for F-1 students in the Student and Visitor Exchange Program. 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.
Today I write to share two new components of our reopening plan. First, we have published the first iteration of what we are calling the Protect KU plan, which will serve as our roadmap for a thoughtful, science-based return to campus. Additionally, we are creating two new planning teams – which will include faculty, staff and students – to help inform decision-making in the weeks ahead.
Today we are announcing our latest steps to address this unprecedented budget challenge. Our decisions continue to prioritize equity and reflect our commitment to protecting KU’s most vulnerable populations. As a result, we believe these are the appropriate next steps to ensure KU’s health, limit drastic impacts to employees, and allow KU to continue its mission well into the future.