barbara bichelmeyer class announcement

University of Kansas Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer said in a video announcement and email Wednesday that classes are being adapted for the fall semester to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

The University of Kansas estimates one-third of its classes will be fully online for the fall semester and another third of its classes will be hybrid courses, according to an email sent to students from Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer Wednesday afternoon. 

The final third of courses will be in-person, Bichelmeyer said.

The full class schedule will not be released until Aug. 3. 

The changes are being made to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus among KU staff, faculty and students. 

"While I can’t predict the spread of the virus, one thing about the fall semester I know will be true is that what happens on campus this fall, and the experiences of our students, staff and faculty, will look different than any other semester has ever looked in the history of KU," Bichelmeyer said. "This will be true at every university in this country and across the globe."

KU's enrollment system shut down July 19 as the registrar's office has made changes to the fall semester schedule. Students are unable to enroll in classes until 7 a.m. on Aug. 3. 

The changes made may include time, class location, frequency and instructional model. Once the full schedule is released, students can switch courses as they see fit. 

Students throughout the week have noticed changes to class schedules on Enroll & Pay, prompting the response from Bichelmeyer. 

"We are living through extraordinary times, and we want to ensure you are able to progress in your studies, and that our most vulnerable students are well-served," Bichelmeyer said. 

Students will be able to attend in-person classes when they are able through the redesigned courses, Bichelmeyer said. If a student needs to quarantine, they can continue their class online and return when they are able to.

Most classes will occur from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays to limit the density of students on campus, according to KU's coronavirus website. Saturdays will be used as a last resort. There will be also be 15 minutes between classes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays to avoid congestion. 

KU indicated in the past it would roll out university-wide saliva testing in a partnership with a Lenexa company. It is unclear when or how KU plans to distribute the testing.

KU leadership previously said they would test individuals before they return to campus and throughout the semester as needed if they show symptoms of COVID-19. 

"All of this is to ensure that each of our students will have the opportunity to progress through their academic program and not let the coronavirus stop them from advancing toward the future to which they aspire," Bichelmeyer said.