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K-State Today

March 6, 2020

Mitigating impacts to student instruction due to COVID-19

Submitted by Chuck Taber

Dear faculty and staff,

Over the past several weeks, Kansas State University, like many organizations across the nation, has been considering how best to respond to the spread of COVID-19. The university has been issuing regular updates and you can access these, as well as other important information, at the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) website.

While academic operations currently are continuing without serious interruption, we are urging faculty, instructors and those who lead any type of educational programming to begin reviewing options and alternatives in the event of future disruptions related to the spread of COVID-19.

I have asked a working group to convene to develop potential strategies and tactics that could be deployed and to coordinate their efforts with the universitywide efforts to establish continuity plans. The members of the working group are:

  • Chad Currier, deputy CIO for enterprise technology/chief operating officer and chief information security officer.
  • Scott Finkeldei, director for academic and student technology.
  • Emily Lehning, working group co-lead/special assistant, Office of the Provost.
  • Katie Linder, executive director for program development, K-State Global Campus.
  • Jason Maseberg Tomlinson, director, Student Access Center.
  • Debbie Mercer, dean, College of Education.
  • Ernie Minton, dean, College of Agriculture, KSRE director.
  • Brian Niehoff, associate provost, Office of Institutional Effectiveness.
  • Karen Pedersen, working group co-lead/dean, K-State Global Campus.
  • Gary Pratt, chief information officer.
  • Donald Saucier, professor of psychological sciences/faculty associate director of Teaching and Learning Center.
  • Elliot Young, assistant vice president, university risk and compliance officer.

At this stage, we are asking faculty and instructors to review the Keep Teaching website that has tools and resources currently available to you. These existing resources will provide options for you to consider and strategies for continuing instruction if not all students and instructors can meet as usual. The toolkit available on the Keep Teaching website will continue to be developed over the next several weeks.

For faculty and staff who are planning conferences, educational programs and events, we encourage you to review the guidance posted on the university's Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) website, and to visit with your supervisor. Technology resources are available to assist with non-credit and conference programming.

Students who suspect they may have been exposed to the virus and those who have compromised immune systems should be referred to Lafene Health Center for guidance on quarantine procedures and medical treatment. Lafene and the Office of Student Life will collaborate to support students who may miss classes due to the virus and communicate with the student's faculty. Faculty and instructors are asked to accommodate these students as needed.

If you have questions, comments or suggestions, please send them to Karen Pedersen at karenpedersen@k-state.edu and Emily Lehning at lehning@k-state.edu.

We will continue to monitor the quickly evolving situation and provide as much guidance and support as possible in the event of a disruption to our ability to deliver the high-quality educational experience our students deserve.


Chuck Taber
Provost and executive vice president