Preparing for Fall 2021

Planning for the fall 2021 semester is already underway. We will continue to update this page as more information is finalized.

(updated 5/4/21)

The University of Kansas Lawrence and Edwards campuses are planning a return to — as much as possible — in-person instruction and service this fall. Instructors and scheduling officers are building course schedules to offer in-person instruction for most courses that had been in-person prior to the pandemic.

While the KU campus will look similar to our pre-pandemic environment, we will continue with important COVID-19 health and safety measures to protect ourselves and our community. The most important step that any of us can take is to get vaccinated as soon as possible.  

Here are some of the similarities and differences students, faculty, staff and campus visitors see next fall.

Everywhere on Campus

  • Masks encouraged outdoors, and may be required at outdoor events.
  • Outdoor tents with electricity and WiFi available for study breaks.
  • Buses at regular capacity limits.
  • Social distancing encouraged where possible.
  • Some staff positions designated for remote work.
  • Short-term parking permits (daily, 15 use and 30 use) available for faculty and staff.

In Buildings

  • Masks required at all times except when eating.
  • CVKey app no longer required for entry, but still encouraged for individual health monitoring.
  • Most buildings have at least one entrance with a touch-free door opener.
  • Hand sanitizing stations available in hallways, typically located near elevators.
  • Most restrooms have touch-free flushing and faucets.
  • Drinking fountains remain unavailable, but most buildings have at least one water bottle filling station.
  • One-way restriction on stairs removed.
  • Common areas open, but social distancing still encouraged where possible.
  • Break rooms open and restrictions of food storage lifted.
  • Conference and meeting rooms open.

In Classrooms

  • Masks required at all times.
  • No eating or drinking in classrooms.
  • Alcohol wipes still available for cleaning desktops.
  • Rolling plexiglass barriers available for instructors who want them.
  • Classroom seating designed for an optimal teaching and learning environment based on the Higher Learning Commission recommendations. Regular seating capacity in lecture halls.

You Have an Important Role

KU students, faculty, staff and campus visitors will again play an important part in keeping our campus open and focused on teaching and research. By following the proven, science-based health measures we implemented last fall, you helped us successfully complete this academic year without the interruptions that some other institutions faced. Next year, your actions both on and off campus will again be the difference in KU successfully experiencing a more traditional on-campus teaching and learning environment.

Contingency Planning

Even with the vaccine rollout and other positive news, there are many unknowns that may complicate our efforts. Our Unified Command team, the Pandemic Medical Advisory Team and a number of other campus teams continue to monitor conditions and will make informed recommendations to KU leadership.

As we work to restore our institution, we will not lose sight of our goal to protect ourselves and others. While no one desires an abrupt shift to online courses as we did in March 2020, we know how to transition to online should we need to in order to better protect the health of our students, employees and the community. We also will look for lessons learned and will evaluate how our offices and staff have functioned over the past 10 months to identify ways we can best meet the needs of students and constituents, while also providing employees with the benefits of flexibility, adequate support and improved work/life integration.