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KU Law update: Online instruction, building and library availability, and other news

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

From: Dean Stephen Mazza
To: KU Law community
Date: March 17, 2020

Dear KU Law community,

There are several new developments to share with you as the situation around the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) evolves.

Important updates:

  • The University of Kansas announced today that online instruction will continue through the rest of the spring semester. All courses will be taught remotely. KU employees are encouraged to work remotely as much as possible.
  • The Wheat Law Library is closed to the public, with limited access for KU Law students, faculty and staff.

This message also covers several new developments, including: preparing for online instruction, law library closure, building availability, information for student hourly workers, summer study abroad programs, and how we will share information about accessing law school services moving forward.

The latest news from the university continues to be available at coronavirus.ku.edu. Law school-specific information will be posted at law.ku.edu/coronavirus-information.

Online Classes Will Continue for Remainder of Spring Semester – Preparing for Online Instruction

In preparation for classes to resume in an online-only format on March 23, students need to make arrangements to be able to regularly access and use Blackboard, KU email and online meeting platforms such as Zoom.

We’ve asked faculty to rely on Blackboard as a primary tool for online instruction. For the most part, faculty will conduct courses in an asynchronous manner – meaning recorded, not live – and then post content to Blackboard. The exact format will vary by course.

Several other interactions, such as office hours, will be conducted with online meeting tools like Zoom. Please review the resources below and make sure you have access to these services:

blackboard.ku.edu/students/resources
kansas.zoom.us/
technology.ku.edu/email/owa

Additional university resources are available in the “studying” section of remote.ku.edu.

If you are facing challenges to remote learning such as internet connectivity and computer issues, please contact Assistant Dean Leah Terranova at leaht@ku.edu. Dean Terranova will be following up with additional information and resources for remote learning in the coming days.

Library Closure

University procedures about libraries and other public spaces have changed since last week. The Wheat Law Library will be closed to the public until further notice, per a directive from Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health that all public libraries close.

The library will continue to be open on a limited basis for KU Law students, faculty and staff. Students who need access to books, materials and other belongings that are stored in study carrels or library offices will be allowed in for limited periods of time during library hours to collect their items. The library is open for that purpose on Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. It will be closed on weekends. Those hours are subject to change, and will be updated on the Library Hours page of the KU Law website.

If you are subject to quarantine, are feeling sick or are otherwise unable to collect your items in person, contact Library Director Chris Steadham at csteadham@ku.edu to make arrangements for us to get your items to you another way.

Computer terminal access will be available on a reservation-only basis, for students who need access to complete their coursework online. To make a reservation, contact Library Director Chris Steadham at csteadham@ku.edu

The library cannot be a study or gathering space, even for KU Law students, for the time being. To limit face-to-face interaction and help prevent the spread of this outbreak, do not visit Green Hall unless it is absolutely necessary.

Building Availability

While the law school building remains open, we will close many spaces to reduce their use. Classrooms and study rooms in Green Hall will be locked until in-person classes resume. In the interest of maintaining the health of our KU community, we strongly discourage you from visiting the building unless it is absolutely necessary. As of March 17, KU employees are encouraged to work remotely as much as is possible.

Information for Student Hourly Workers

Student hourly workers, including research assistants, will continue to be paid. Students should contact their supervisor to determine if they can continue their work remotely. Students who are able to work remotely will report their time as usual for approval.

Students who are not able to work remotely due to COVID-19 will be paid an amount equal to their average hours per week for the spring semester. Law school administration will determine those averages based upon previous time reporting. We will work with your supervisors to accurately report your time to HR. You will not be required to report time in the HR pay system.

Ireland Study Abroad Program

This summer’s study abroad program in Ireland has been canceled. We will follow up with students who had signed up for the program with more information.

How to Reach Us

The law school will post information about services that will be offered remotely and operating hours to the KU Law website at law.ku.edu/coronavirus-information. That list will be updated regularly as this situation develops. Most services and interactions will be conducted remotely.

We don’t have all the answers yet, and you can expect things to continue changing in the coming weeks. We will communicate new information as quickly as possible.

Take care,

Stephen Mazza
Dean and Professor of Law