January 5, 2021
University examines options in light of surging pandemic
Dear K-State Community:
Welcome to the start of a new year. We hope to see progress in our fight against the pandemic that disrupted our operations last year. At this time we remain in Phase 3 of our reopening plan as we continue to adhere to our five guiding principles for continued operations.
As a reminder, in Phase 3 employees are encouraged to work remotely if possible and mass gatherings are limited to 50 or fewer individuals. Face coverings, physical distancing and hand-washing continue to be essential methods to keep each other safe. While there is a temptation for us all to succumb to "pandemic fatigue," now is the time for increased resolve and resiliency.
Projecting to the start of classes on Jan. 25, the indicators we rely on to make decisions are not moving in a positive direction. New case rates continue to increase, as do hospitalizations throughout our host communities and state. Our medical authorities tell us a new variant of the virus is likely to increase the transmission rates of this already widespread pathogen. The rollout of vaccines, while holding great potential, remains slower than anticipated in the country, but especially in our state.
Our administration is working with various planning groups to address contingency plans for the spring semester. This includes the possibility of starting the semester in a completely remote learning posture. Our intention is to assess the data and decide how to approach the coming term for all facets of the university. Please know we are closely monitoring the situation and will keep you apprised.
The K-State community is up to this continued challenge, as we learned during a tumultuous 2020. As we begin a new year, there is hope on the horizon. Let's stay focused on the immediate tasks at hand.
Richard B. Myers