January 22, 2024
Message from Interim Provost Mercer: Additional guidance for academic continuity
First, I want to thank you for your contributions to making the start of the spring 2024 semester such a success for our students and our colleagues across the university as we continue to experience disruptions to our IT systems. In true K-State fashion, you have helped your students and colleagues navigate the circumstances we find ourselves in. I am grateful for all you have done and for your continued patience as we move forward.
I thought you could use an update to assist in the continued successful navigation of these first days of classes. These responses to some frequently asked questions begin with teaching, student enrollment and student success. I will soon have additional updates regarding research and other parts of our work.
We face an ongoing and dynamic situation, so while these are the most recent updates and answers to your questions, I encourage you to keep track of developments through our central repository for IT disruption information.
Is Canvas still working?
Yes. Canvas still works. You can share course content and files on Canvas. We ask for flexibility and understanding during the first few weeks of class for students unable to access materials. If you see someone on KSIS who is not yet on your Canvas site, please send the syllabus and any assignment links directly to that student or send direct links to all students so they have multiple ways to access materials during the first weeks of class.
If you have students who have struggled with access to your content for any reason, please be flexible with the due dates of your initial quizzes, assignments and assessments. Because this disruption is due to a technology-related issue, we need to be mindful to check in with our students regarding their access to content.
How can I see an updated student roster for my course?
KSIS has the updated class enrollment and location information. IT worked with the registrar's office and has prioritized a way to link KSIS information to Canvas.
How long will Mediasite be down?
We do not have a set timeline for the restoration of Mediasite services for creating and housing video content. K-State IT is in the process of setting up a cloud-based iteration of Mediasite, which can be used for new content production. While we have backup of some content, we cannot assure the recovery of that content or its quality. A start to recovery of backup content is weeks, not days, away.
We encourage you to create or recreate video content via the previously shared video resources. Remember that short videos can be uploaded directly to Canvas files for students to view. Longer videos can be saved to OneDrive and linked to Canvas pages as well.
Please note that if you have been contacted by the Student Access Center and are required to create accessible content, you should confer with them to continue that dialogue and process.
How do new students enroll in class?
Our admissions team is manually admitting for spring 2024 only. Students who are admitted after Friday, Jan. 12, do not have access to a verified eID. Admissions will contact the student's college of record so they may reach out and work with students to "quick-enroll" in courses. There may be students who continue to have transcripts holds, etc. even though they resolved the issue. Please reach out directly to admissions at email@example.com to manually confirm the resolution and assist you further.
How do students add or drop classes?
KSIS remains functional for all processes. This includes the ability to add/drop and add or change programs/plans.
Will late enrollment fees be waived because of the IT disruption?
No. At this time, we are enrolling students and will not waive late enrollment fees. If this changes, we will communicate to the university community.
How can I see (or request a change to) the most updated class and enrollment information?
KSIS has the most updated information. Due to some facility challenges, we have had changes to the schedules, classrooms and class capacities that will be reflected in KSIS and are being manually updated in 25Live. Secondary providers such as SSC/Navigate, Canvas and uAchieve, known as DARS, that typically sync with KSIS data are not updating at this time. There is an ability to run processes in these databases, but any recent changes from KSIS are not being reflected. The registrar's office has updated its forms page, and directions on submitting requests will be shared with liaison groups. Please contact the registrar's office directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the impact on student financial aid?
Students who completed financial aid files as of Friday, Jan. 19, have received their financial aid. Any student who has completed the file since this time will have a delay in the federal aid award, including Federal Pell Grants or loans. Please refer the student to the Office of Student Financial Assistance at email@example.com if there is an immediate financial concern.
Should advisors use Navigate for student-facing communication?
Right now, we are relying on KSIS for the most updated and accurate student information. Advisors can compare their student lists in KSIS to those in Navigate to determine which students might receive campaigns in error. Following best practice and as time allows, advisors should reach out manually to students who are missing from the campaign.
Are we able to support student accommodations?
Yes. The Student Access Center remains our resource for those students. Please direct students to that office as usual.
We have many colleagues across the institution who are working to establish academic continuity. I want to thank those teams for their service to our university.
I also want to thank all of our faculty and staff for your continued commitment to providing our students an excellent, unparalleled experience, even through disruptive times.
You will hear more from me and other university leaders regarding continued operations in the coming days. In the meantime, know that we are working hard to support you and your efforts, and we will continue to communicate as much as possible, as quickly as possible.
Interim provost and executive vice president