KU suspends all nonessential research activity, citing COVID-19 concerns

photo by: Associated Press

Sidewalks are empty around Strong Hall in the middle of the University of Kansas campus In Lawrence, Kan., Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Classes are not being held while moving online due to coronavirus concerns. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

The University of Kansas on Friday suspended all nonessential research activity at the Lawrence and Edwards campuses amid growing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.

“We understand that this will significantly disrupt your current projects, but this is an unprecedented situation that requires us and our peer institutions to take this action,” a message from Chancellor Douglas Girod, Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer and Vice Chancellor for Research Simon Atkinson said.

Campus research facilities will be locked Friday, the message said.

The restriction takes effect Monday for nonessential research that requires researchers to be on campus.

Essential research activities are defined as those that have to continue to prevent a significant long-term impact on the course of the research. The suspension of research that would only delay the project for the duration of the suspension doesn’t qualify as essential.

For example, the research would be considered essential if it involves:

• Critical, long-term studies that would have to be repeated if interrupted or if time-sensitive data collection were to be impacted.

• Caring for animals or plants housed in facilities.

• Work required to prevent damage to equipment that cannot be shut down temporarily.

KU will reevaluate the status of its research ability every two weeks, but, the message said, “we anticipate these measures could remain in place for an extended time.”

More coverage: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

As the pandemic continues, the Journal-World will be making coverage of COVID-19 available outside of the paywall on LJWorld.com.

Find all coverage of city, county and state responses to the virus at: ljworld.com/coronavirus/

Please consider subscribing to support the local journalists who are helping to inform our community: ljworld.com/subscribe/


Welcome to the new LJWorld.com. Our old commenting system has been replaced with Facebook Comments. There is no longer a separate username and password login step. If you are already signed into Facebook within your browser, you will be able to comment. If you do not have a Facebook account and do not wish to create one, you will not be able to comment on stories.