KU Backs Down From In-Person Teaching Order

The University of Kansas is providing faculty more flexibility if they don’t feel comfortable teaching in-person classes in the fall amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Barbara Bichelmeyer says that decisions on courses, how they would be taught, and teaching assignments should be the purview of the department or program, KCUR reports.

The move came after faculty had pushed back after they were told to return to campus beginning August 24th, unless they could invoke an exemption under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

More than 50 department leaders signed a letter to Bichelmeyer raising concerns.

Instead of filing for an accommodation under the ADA, instructors will simply be asked to indicate their teaching preferences, and to note the safety level they require in order to teach in person.

In a letter to faculty and staff , Bichelmeyer said that it remained the university’s goal to have as many in-person and hybrid classes as possible in the fall.