The University of Kansas’ five-phase plan to reopen campus for the fall includes plans to reopen event spaces and provide on-campus housing for students, the institution’s leadership said in a statement Wednesday.
The University will implement the plan at all of its campuses while remaining flexible to any changes the coronavirus pandemic may cause and maintaining proper safety measures, according to a statement from Chancellor Douglas Girod and Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer.
“The steps for reopening our campus will need to be consistent with, but not faster than, the phases outlined by the State, each campus’ respective county officials, and each campuses’ emergency planning authority,” the statement said. “Thus we can expect these steps to evolve over the course of the summer and fall, and we will need to adjust as the circumstances warrant.”
The first step of the University’s plan is to reopen research operations. The vice chancellor of research will provide detailed health and safety guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The University of Kansas announced that it will follow a five-phase plan in reopening in-person activities and on-campus operations. The plan has no set timeline but will take into account proper social distancing and safety guidelines.
Step two includes reintroducing administration to their offices and reopening housing for students. The University will house as many students “as is manageable,” according to the message, and will create plans for self-quarantine should a resident contract the virus.
“Students and their families should be fully aware of our measures to minimize risk in student housing and the expectations and the responsibility of the students themselves to help maintain a healthy environment,” the statement said.
The University will work with partners in Greek life to develop similar approaches for those living in Greek houses, according to the statement.
After reintroducing students to on-campus housing, the University plans to re-populate students in modified learning environments. Students and faculty will be required to follow all social-distancing guidelines provided by the state including wearing masks, and some courses may change meeting times or location to prevent the spread of the virus, according to the statement.
In the third step, group sizes would still be limited to 10 people, according to a previously released framework of the University’s reopening plan.
For the fourth step, the University plans to resume extracurricular activities such as semester internships or nursing clinicals after students are reintroduced to campus. Campus leaders will also be required to develop safety requirements for all students involved. Group sizes would be limited to 50 people, according to the framework.
The University of Kansas dropped to negative outlook in the most recent S&P Global Ratings report due to the projected economic impact of the new coronavirus.
The final step of the University’s reopening plan is a full repopulation of campus. People working remotely would return to their normal operations. This would also include reopening event spaces with plans in place to mitigate the spread of the virus.
“Campus events bring great richness and energy to the life of the university,” the statement said. “We seek to have events on campus to the greatest extent possible while providing for the health and safety of participants and complying with all state and local public health regulations.”
There is no set timeline for the five-phase plan, according to the statement.