Updates About KU
Students and Colleagues,
On August 6, President Trump issued an executive order prohibiting “any transaction that is related to WeChat by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States,” with Tencent Holdings, Ltd or any subsidiary of that entity, as identified by the Secretary of Commerce under the order. The executive order charges the Secretary of Commerce with defining the transactions that will be prohibited effective Sept. 20; however, the Commerce Secretary has not yet released that guidance.
The University of Kansas, like all institutions, is in a wait-and-see mode as to whether the Secretary of Commerce will narrow the scope of covered transactions in implementation of the ban. Until the Secretary makes a less restrictive determination, KU’s Office of Global Operations & Security, the Office of the General Counsel and KU Information Technology have determined that use of WeChat in KU’s business operations and on its networks will fall within the scope of the executive order’s ban. Per KU’s Acceptable Use of Electronic Information Resources policy, KU users must employ electronic information resources consistent with the requirements of federal, state and local law, and Kansas Board of Regents policies. Until further federal guidance is available, KU will disable access to the WeChat app on KU-owned and managed devices and will also prevent use of the campus network to access the WeChat app, effective Sept. 20.
We understand that many of our international students, faculty and staff rely on WeChat to communicate with family and friends in their home countries and around the world. They also may depend on the app for financial transactions and other purposes. Since we know that lack of access to the KU campus network in particular will create a hardship, we stand by to make adjustments to our compliance plan based on issuance of further federal guidance or other legal developments.
President Trump also issued a similar executive order regarding the TikTok social media app. Because the effective date of that executive order has been pushed back to Nov. 12, KU will wait to determine whether similar action is required.
As soon as we have more guidance, we will share additional information with you. In the meantime, we want you to be aware of the current situation with use of WeChat and TikTok so that you may seek and plan for alternative network or mobile-based communication services apps when using KU-owned and managed devices or the campus network.
Office of Global Operations & Security
Chief Information Officer
KU Information Technology
Watch the videos below for answers from KU leaders and representatives to questions from international students. Click here to watch the whole video from July 16th virtual town hall.
1. Can you touch base on Tuesday’s decision to rescind the ICE guidelines? What does that actually mean for us? Should we expect a similar guideline/attack from the Trump administration in the near future?
2. Explain what hybrid means. There are hybrid in person and also online hybrid classes. Are those hybrid classes or online classes? What exactly would be considered an acceptable breakdown of in person, hybrid, and online courses for undergraduate and graduate students?
3. If I am in this states, how many credits can I take online?
4. Can I take courses fully online outside of the U.S. and maintain my F1 status?
5. Will KU housing have a limited capacity and will international students get priority housing? Can I cancel my KU housing contract without penalties if I can’t get to the USA? In case I decide that I want to be on campus during Fall, what is the deadline for choosing my move-in date?
6. Will students have issues returning for the Spring 2021 semester?
7. Academic Support and Online Programs
KU’s vision for a safe and inspiring campus this fall
In the fall, we intend to reopen the University of Kansas with in-person classes. Whether you join our community in person for on-campus activity or remotely through online options, KU has a place for you.
We know you want as much information as possible when making decisions, so here is our most up-to-date information for the Fall 2020 semester.
We can’t answer every question now — but we've created a section of our website to provide key updates and we’re ready to address some of your biggest concerns in this email.
The Fall 2020 application deadline has been extended to August 14th.
When will classes take place?
Fall classes will still start on Aug. 24 and meet all the way up to Thanksgiving, with in-person classes ending on Nov. 24. (Students won’t take time off days for Labor Day or fall break as they normally do). Students will then complete the rest of the semester online finishing on Dec. 11.
The spring semester will start a week later than usual on Feb. 1 eliminating spring break.
These measures will help minimize risks related to student travel in the middle of the semester.
Where and how will classes take place?
In order to allow more space between students and minimize risk, some classes will be moved online to limit the number of people in buildings.
Freshmen courses, lab courses, and courses that require a physical space are prioritized those to be taught in person whenever possible. Some upper-level and elective courses will likely move online, which will affect our incoming freshman the least.
As many international students are not able to join us on campus, KU has prepared online options to allow these students to take a full course load remotely. All KU classes will include online components designed by our faculty to keep you growing as a student.
What will I be asked to do on campus?
Students can expect the following guidelines on campus: mandatory face masks, physical distancing, and a limited amount of people allowed in rooms.
In addition, we will use testing, symptom tracking, and contact tracing to monitor and mitigate any issues that do arise on campus. KU has medical experts, community partnerships, and researchers to help us handle this work and lead with innovation.
How will I study? Work out? Meet with my peers?
We understand that much of the experience of studying at a USA university takes place outside the classroom. Until group size limits are lifted, some of extracurricular activities and traditional gatherings may look different than normal.
Key resources will still be available to you but may be adapted. Academic support may be virtual. Recreational opportunities could be limited. Library materials will be accessible, but library study and meeting spaces might not be.
For information about housing, review KU Student Housing’s plan for the coming year. We're confident that the KU community will continue to make these and other adjustments that keep us all safe.
Will these plans change?
We can commit to these plans now, but we all know how swiftly the situation can change. We will always follow the lead of state and local health officials, even if their recommendations force us to change course. This lets us put every KU community member's health first.
In the weeks to come, as we finalize these plans, we will communicate with you when we have more details.
Even in these less than ideal conditions, we will fully deliver on the promise of world-class educational opportunities and a preeminent academic network to connect with no matter the distance. If you are ready, you can apply here.
I am reaching out to provide you with an update about KU’s plans for reopening campus in Fall 2020. It is our priority to ensure that as an admitted Fall 2020 student, you have all necessary information as you make plans to join the Jayhawk family.
Summary of 4 key updates:
- KU intends to reopen for in-person classes with on-campus housing options in Fall 2020 with alternative online enrollment options for students whose travel is restricted by COVID-19.
- Class sizes and all campus areas are being evaluated to ensure all classes, laboratories and community spaces are structured to allow for social distancing and student safety.
- KU is planning to provide support services, orientation, and enrollment processes for students both in-person and online.
- Online tuition rates for fall 2020 will be set in June.
Read below for more details on each of the key updates.
1. KU intends to reopen for in-person classes in Fall 2020. However, we realize COVID-19 may continue to cause travel delays. So, the university will provide appropriate online course options and late arrival dates for students who have delayed arrivals or who are unable to travel.
While KU intends to offer in-person courses this fall, we know that not every student will be able to come to Lawrence in time for the start of the semester. Another option being considered is to allow students to begin regular in-person courses online from off campus and abroad, to allow extra time for arrival. The University is currently planning two start dates. The first will be in August for students able to arrive for the standard fall start date. The second will be in October for those whose travel is delayed and need to begin their fall studies online prior to transitioning to campus in October.
Please note, students planning to arrive later in the fall semester must enroll in regular classes that are primarily in-person but have a hybrid instructional opportunity that allows students to begin the class from abroad while they work on arriving in the U.S. Enrollment in courses that are designated as purely online will not allow for entry into the U.S. as an F-1 or J-1 student. Students who enroll in fully online courses will complete the entire fall semester online and then seamlessly transition to campus in the spring 2021 term. The University is prioritizing typical freshman courses and labs for in-person instruction to ensure students receive the KU experience as much as possible. It is the goal of the University to adhere to the current class schedule, but some shifts will be necessary. More communication and updates will be provided to students as plans are finalized for all classes over the next few weeks. View the Fall 2020 course schedule.
We expect some students will need additional time before beginning in-person study. Students who are unable to travel in the fall may complete the first semester or year of their academic or English language studies online. If more time is needed, KU will work with individual students to ensure they are well cared for. The university is prepared to ensure all students can begin their studies without delays or harm to their academic programs. Students that study online will be able to enroll in a full load of online classes. Our goal is to reach every student, regardless of where they are at any given time. Learn more about available online study options.
An important note that we wanted to share with new students is that many KU courses have been offered online traditionally (pre-COVID) and that this structure is preferred for some content. Faculty have learned a lot this spring – and many have found that the online or hybrid format works well for their curriculum. There is a wide range of teaching modalities traditionally available at KU and students and faculty alike are finding success in a variety of course structures.
2. The university is currently evaluating class sizes and all campus areas to ensure all classes, laboratories and community spaces are structured to allow for social distancing and student safety.
Adjustments to the academic calendar are being considered, which would shift the timeline of in-person courses to allow for the fall semester to be completed more quickly or without breaks which could take students off campus. This would help to avoid COVID-19 related travel complications or the need to transition to online classes during the semester.
KU will ensure that classes comply with social distancing requirements so that everyone is safe. Large lectures will be delivered in a way which ensures only small groups of students are together at one time. We are also ensuring appropriate air circulation in all buildings, implementing signage and creating one-way traffic patterns in buildings, stairways and corridors to ensure social distancing. The University will make a slight adjustment to extend the time between classes to ensure students have enough time to travel between classes while employing physical distancing measures. We are reviewing options that are the least disruptive, but also meet accreditation requirements. All students, faculty and staff will be required to wear masks in common areas.
3. The university is planning for appropriate on-campus housing options, in-person and virtual support services and orientation and enrollment processes which will support students both in-person and online.
On-campus housing registration has been open for several weeks and KU’s Housing and Dining departments are working on plans to ensure student safety. This could include reducing the number of students in shared residence hall spaces or reconfiguring rooms to allow for improved social distancing.
Orientation will be online for students who cannot be present and in-person during the two main arrival periods (August and October). Students will need to arrive two weeks prior to the start of in-person orientation to allow for the required 14-day quarantine. Online students will have virtual academic advising and enrollment. For in-person students, advising will likely be a combination of online and in-person, depending on the context.
4. Online tuition rates will be set in June 2020.
Regarding cost, students who are enrolled online may have a unique tuition rate. KU’s tuition proposals are currently under review by the Kansas Board of Regents and should be set this month.
Charles A. Bankart
Associate Vice Provost
KU International Affairs