WRITER: Conner Mitchell

KU's Department of African and African-American Studies celebrates 50 year anniversary during pivotal time in history

Fifty years ago, the University of Kansas was uniquely positioned at the beginning of the initial push in the United States to create educational programs dedicated to studying the history and impact of the experiences of Black people. While the first Black studies program at a university was formed at San Francisco State University in 1969, a year prior, courses were already being taught at KU on Black ...

COVID-19 research at KU is exploring medicinal answers and beyond

Colleges and universities across the United States have been at the forefront of researching COVID-19 and how to treat it since before the pandemic took hold in March. At the University of Kansas, efforts are ongoing to find medical answers to fight the disease, but researchers are also focused on the real-time effects the unprecedented global health crisis is having on different areas of daily life. On the ...

Group of KU students plans to strike on Monday; administrators and union for graduate teaching assistants spar over planned protest

Many University of Kansas students are preparing to strike — not attend classes on Monday — and now that pending protest is enflaming already tense relations between KU administrators and the union that represents graduate teaching assistants. KU on Saturday accused the union that represents over 1,000 KU graduate teaching assistants of "endorsing conduct that is illegal" and doing a "disservice to GTAs ...

Long says another round of furloughs, salary reductions coming for KU athletic department; fans won't be allowed on hill for Sept. 12 football game

Kansas Athletics Director Jeff Long said Friday that the department would undergo another round of furloughs and salary cuts as it continues to struggle with cash flow amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The department announced a sweeping round of furloughs and pay reductions in May that Long estimated at the time would save KU Athletics about $650,000 through the end of the year. The department had also implemented ...

Kansas to begin releasing locations of some active COVID-19 outbreaks, Kelly says

Story updated at 5:37 p.m. Wednesday: One week from Wednesday, the state of Kansas will begin releasing the locations of some active COVID-19 outbreaks, according to a news release from the governor's office. Gov. Laura Kelly's office said that last week, Kansas saw its largest increase in outbreaks since the pandemic began, with 26 new clusters from Wednesday to Friday. The state ended last week with 170 ...

KU's mass testing program reveals 72 new cases; no testing efforts of similar scope currently planned, Girod says

The mass testing program instituted prior to reopening the University of Kansas campus for the fall semester has revealed 546 cases of COVID-19 so far — with 72 new cases coming to light this week — and the university isn't planning any more mass testing efforts on the same scale, KU Chancellor Douglas Girod announced Wednesday. For the first time, Girod said in a campus message that KU would not continue ...

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Bollier virtually visits KU students, stresses need for 'listening'

Democrat Barbara Bollier spent much of her life as a moderate Republican, and she believes that experience will serve her well in the race for U.S. Senate in November, she told a group of University of Kansas students on Tuesday. "I am about listening," Bollier told the audience of several dozen students in the virtual call. On the call, Bollier pitched herself as a candidate who could appeal to both Democrats ...

Kelly encourages use of CARES funds to buy drop boxes for election as Kansas sees 'historically alarming case numbers'

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly on Monday spent much of her weekly COVID-19 news conference encouraging counties to use funds allocated to them from the federal CARES Act stimulus to purchase drop boxes for advance mail ballots in the November general election, in part to ease the burden on the U.S. Postal Service. Kelly said she met last week with Secretary of State Scott Schwab, and, given the historically high ...

KU community works to adjust to new normal during COVID-19 pandemic

The campus of the University of Kansas looked and felt far different last week compared with the beginning of a normal fall semester. Students who hadn’t elected to take online-only classes because of the COVID-19 pandemic were masked, even outside. Some classes were held outside of their buildings with chairs 6 feet apart — or in giant white tents to promote better airflow. And small white kiosks greeted ...

COVID-19 cases at KU increase to 474; greek community now testing positive at rate of 10%

Students continue to make up more than 97% of positive cases of COVID-19 at the University of Kansas, the total number of which has risen to 474 as of 10 p.m. Thursday. KU Chancellor Douglas Girod announced the latest testing data Friday afternoon, which also showed that KU's fraternity and sorority community — which has been in the spotlight for images and videos of large parties without masks or social ...

How KU's reporting of COVID-19 testing data compares with other universities

Since Aug. 7, the University of Kansas has undertaken the massive logistical challenge of administering a mandatory saliva test for COVID-19 to every student, staff member and faculty member returning to campus for the fall semester. That effort has so far resulted in nearly 19,500 tests, with 222 total positive results for the respiratory virus, according to the most recent data released on Tuesday. On ...

Health department removes two KU greek houses from quarantine list, adds another

Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health announced Thursday that it was removing two greek houses at the University of Kansas from a list of nine under COVID-19 quarantine orders and adding another house to the list. Late Wednesday, the county released the names of nine houses, and a possible tenth, that had been placed under quarantine orders to slow the spread of the respiratory virus and acknowledged that the ...

Norman: Kansas has 'a lot of work to do' in slowing spread of COVID-19 as state adds over 1,500 cases since Monday

Kansas' top health official on Wednesday revealed new statistics that show the state has far to go in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Lee Norman, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, said Kansas' percentage rate of positive COVID-19 tests was the sixth highest in the United States at 10.1% — well above the national average of 5.8%. The state is also seeing 108 new cases ...

Positive COVID-19 cases at KU increase to 222; community still testing positive at just over 1%

Story updated at 5:47 p.m. Tuesday: In its second release of data from initial COVID-19 testing, the University of Kansas announced Tuesday that 222 people in the university community have tested positive for the respiratory virus. KU Chancellor Douglas Girod announced the update in a campus message Tuesday afternoon and said that the 222 positive results were out of 19,452 total entry tests — a positive ...

Kelly reappoints Lawrence attorney to different opening on Kansas Court of Appeals

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly has again submitted the application of a Lawrence resident to the Kansas Court of Appeals, two months after the Kansas Senate rejected his nomination for a different open seat on the bench. In June, members of the Kansas Senate rejected the appointment of Carl Folsom, an assistant federal public defender in Topeka and adjunct law professor at the University of Kansas, to serve on the ...

KU officials haven't responded to request to delay physical instruction by 2 weeks, also silent on images of partying on campus

UPDATED STORY: KU issues cease-and-desist orders, 14-day public health bans to two fraternities seen partying ahead of fall semester • • • As of Sunday evening, KU’s top administrators had not responded to a Friday letter from faculty and student leaders urgently asking for a two-week delay to the start of in-person classes, the Journal-World has learned. Meanwhile, images of parties and other large ...

KU issues cease-and-desist orders, 14-day public health bans to two fraternities seen partying ahead of fall semester

Two fraternities at the University of Kansas have received cease-and-desist orders from KU Chancellor Douglas Girod after images and videos circulated on social media over the past week of large groups gathered outside without masks or social distancing. Girod announced the orders in a campus email just before 10 p.m. Sunday, and mere hours after the Journal-World reported that officials had not responded to ...

KU governance organizations urge Girod to delay start of in-person classes 2 weeks: 'The risks are too great'

Leaders in the four governance organizations at the University of Kansas on Friday night, less than three days before the start of fall classes, sent an urgent request to KU Chancellor Douglas Girod and Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer: Delay the start of physical classes by two weeks. In an email obtained by the Journal-World, University Senate President Sanjay Mishra, Faculty Senate President Lua Yuille, Staff ...

KU says it will share information on COVID-19 outbreaks that arise, but many specifics remain unclear

Three days ahead of an unprecedented fall semester at the University of Kansas, a university spokesperson confirmed to the Journal-World on Friday that KU would share "timely public health information" about outbreaks of COVID-19 that arise on campus, but a lot of the specifics of KU's plan aren't yet clear. The newspaper reported Wednesday evening, and KU confirmed Thursday morning, that 89 of the roughly ...

KU releases decision-making metrics for pandemic medical advisory team, will open for fall semester with 'low density'

When the University of Kansas campus officially opens Monday for the start of the fall semester, it will do so with a low physical density, according to new guidance issued from the university's Pandemic Medical Advisory Team. In a broader release of the advisory team's decision-making processes that will guide it through the fall semester, KU defined five different levels of campus operations — Level 1 ...