In the news
I am excited to announce that Travis Goff is joining the University of Kansas as our new director of athletics.
Earlier today, Director of Athletics Jeff Long announced he is stepping down from his position. Jeff and I spoke at length last night, and while I know he would have loved to stay here many more years, I respect his selfless decision to step down so that we can move Kansas Athletics in a different direction.
We have good news to share related to COVID-19 vaccines and how higher education is prioritized in the state’s vaccine plans. Local public health authorities may now determine that it is appropriate to include university faculty and staff in the current phase of vaccine distribution if those workers are providing critical services in close contact with a large number of individuals and are not able to work remotely.
I am writing to announce the newest member of our senior leadership team. Jeff DeWitt, a seasoned financial administrator with more than 30 years of experience in complex public sector roles, will join KU as our new chief financial officer & executive vice chancellor for finance.
This week, on Thursday, February 18, we’re again bringing together supporters of our university for our fourth annual 24-hour giving campaign, One Day. One KU.
While there are still many unknowns about how the pandemic will play out in the months ahead, we are tentatively planning to host in-person Commencement events in May, both for this year’s graduates and the Class of 2020.
I hope you had a happy and healthy winter break and that you’re ready for another productive year as a member of our community. With classes beginning today, I would like to remind you of a few key points for the spring semester.
Earlier this week, the Kansas Board of Regents approved a temporary policy that gives universities flexibility in suspending, dismissing or terminating employees in light of the historic financial challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. The policy requires that any university intending to enact suspensions, dismissals or terminations must first present to the Board for approval a decision-making framework. That framework must be submitted to the Board within the next 45 days.
Last Wednesday, Governor Kelly released her budget recommendations for the upcoming fiscal year. The Governor recommends a $13.6 million cut to KU’s base appropriation, which comprises a $7.6 million cut for Lawrence and a $6 million cut for KU Medical Center.
After months of hard work, we are pleased to share that The University of Kansas Health System and LMH Health will assume responsibility for medical management and oversight of Watkins Health Services beginning this month.
Given how entry testing helped us identify people who may have been unaware of their COVID-19 status and take action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, we will again be mandating COVID-19 tests for students, faculty, and staff who plan to be on campus any time before Feb. 12.
Jim Modig, our university architect, will be leaving KU after a remarkable 41-year career with the university. This is his final week with the university.
This morning we join our colleagues across higher education in condemning the shocking violence that unfolded yesterday at the United States Capitol. We should all be horrified and humiliated by what happened in the very seat of our American democracy.
Kansas Athletics will begin hosting fans Monday, December 7 through Monday, December 14. This time period comprises three men’s basketball games, two women’s basketball games and our final home football game.
As the semester winds down and we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, I want to take a moment to say how thankful I am for your efforts. This has been a semester of great challenges — but also great successes, thanks to you.
I write today to inform you that we will continue to not host fans during the first week of December, which includes all events through and including Saturday, Dec. 5. For contests after that week, we will make decisions about attendance on a week-by-week basis so we can be responsive to the most current circumstances and medical guidance.
In light of the ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across the region, we have determined we will not host fans at any Kansas Athletics home competitions for the rest of November. This includes volleyball matches this Thursday and Friday, our football game this Saturday, women’s basketball games Nov. 25 and Nov. 29, and our football game Nov. 28.
We write you today with an update on our salary reduction plan and news regarding paid leave during winter break for Lawrence and Edwards campus employees.
As we approach the end of the fall semester, we want to update you on our COVID-19 testing plans through the end of this year and into next semester.
Earlier this year, we announced the Lawrence and Edwards campuses face an estimated revenue shortfall of $120 million for the current fiscal year. Today we are able to report an updated shortfall of $47.6 million.