1. Kansas State University
  2. »Division of Communications and Marketing
  3. »K-State Today
  4. »New academic working group formed

K-State Today

May 18, 2020

New academic working group formed

Submitted by Chuck Taber

Dear colleagues,

President Myers announced our intention of resuming on-campus operations this fall semester in his recent letter to campus. A return to our campuses to continue learning, teaching, research and discovery, and outreach means that we need to determine the ways in which we will conduct these activities as a result of the pandemic. We are committed to honoring the five guiding principles we established from the beginning and aligning with the CDC and state and local health requirements and guidance.

The commitment to return to campus operations means that we need to carefully consider and determine how we will accomplish our instructional mission. There are a variety of models that universities have been weighing toward this end. We understand the sense of urgency to determine the approaches that best fit our campuses, and also adhere to state and local safety guidelines. 

To advance this effort, I am forming an Academic Instruction Working Group to provide recommendations for the coming academic year. The group will be co-chaired by Karen Pedersen, dean of Global Campus and Brian Niehoff, associate provost for institutional effectiveness.

The working group’s charge is to propose an academic instruction model that:

  • Continues to protect the health and safety of students, faculty, staff and our communities.
  • Maintains high-quality learning environments for students. 
  • Balances the needs of students and faculty.
  • Is quickly adaptable to respond to changing conditions related to COVID-19.

Their initial task will be to make recommendations regarding the various approaches that require university decisions and those approaches that are available to and can be implemented by faculty and departments. 

Members of the Academic Instruction Working Group are: 

  • Kelley Brundage, university registrar
  • Hans Coetzee, professor and department head, Anatomy and Physiology, College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Royce Ann Collins, associate professor of educational leadership, K-State Olathe
  • Dawn Deeter-Schmelz, professor of marketing, College of Business Administration
  • Todd Easton, associate professor of industrial and manufacturing systems, Carl R. Ice College of Engineering
  • Tanya González, professor of English, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Trisha Gott, associate director and assistant professor, Staley School of Leadership Studies
  • Troy Harding, professor and interim department head, School of Integrated Studies, K-State Polytechnic
  • Pamela Kempton, professor and department head, Geology, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Matthew Knox, professor and department head, Architecture, College of Architecture, Planning & Design
  • Sonya Lutter, professor and director of the School of Family Sciences and Human Services, College of Health and Human Sciences
  • Dan Moser, associate dean for academic programs, College of Agriculture
  • Emily Oertling, graduate student, College of Health and Human Sciences
  • Reagan Stonestreet, sophomore, College of Business Administration
  • Deepak Subramony, associate professor of curriculum and instruction, College of Education
  • Mark Ungerer, professor of biology, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Kristin Waller, associate athletics director, K-State Athletics
  • Kevin Wanklyn, teaching assistant professor of mechanical and nuclear engineering, Carl R. Ice College of Engineering
  • Kimberly Williams, professor of horticulture and natural resources, College of Agriculture
  • (Ex-Officio) Scott Finkeldei, director for academic and student technology, Information Technology Services
  • (Ex-Officio) Katie Linder, executive director for program development, Global Campus
  • (Project support) Sandra Brase, program/project coordinator, Office of the Provost

The group will begin meeting as soon as possible with final recommendations due by June 1, 2020. We expect the working group to continue to meet as needed through the next academic year to address contingencies arising as a result of the pandemic.

The Academic Instruction Working Group replaces the Academic Continuity Work Group appointed on March 6. I am grateful for the excellent work of the continuity group and their successful efforts in moving us to emergency remote teaching, learning and advising.

The efforts of our faculty, staff and students over the past eight weeks has been extraordinary. Thank you for the resilience, flexibility and compassion you have shown during this unprecedented semester.


Chuck Taber
Provost and Executive Vice President