Photograph: Students in a classroom.

July 12, 2021 Update From Dean Francis

Dear Students:

I hope you all had an enjoyable and relaxing weekend. I am writing to send a reminder about course modalities and the ABA variance due to the pandemic on distance education credits.

  1. Summer courses. I want to clarify that courses offered this summer are being taught in remote or hybrid formats. I also want to reinforce that in-person students who experience any symptoms of COVID should participate remotely until released by their health provider to return to in-person classes. University Health Services is available free by phone (785-670-1470) to students anywhere for advice if needed. The protocols and interpretation of the ABA variance we used in the Spring semester apply to Summer classes.
  2. Fall semester courses. As you have been notified, interpretation of the ABA variance for the Fall semester is modified and is more limited than application of the variance to courses last Spring.
    • For the Fall semester, students will be allowed to participate in our in-person courses via Zoom, but the ABA has imposed the important limitation that students may participate remotely only due to pandemic-related concerns, not out of mere convenience. Student concern about exposing a vulnerable family member will be sufficient reason to attend remotely under the variance.
    • Because we are restricting remote attendance in these courses to students who have COVID concerns or who are ill, the course will fall under the variance and will not count as distance education credits. We expect that in-person attendance in classes will be high. The classrooms will be used as normal, without social-distancing and without a mask requirement.
  3. August Intersession Courses. Please be aware that the Fall semester limitation of the ABA variance will apply to the August intersession courses (August 16-27).
    • Please note that some Fall courses are being offered exclusively via Zoom or asynchronously online, and therefore are NOT covered by the ABA variance. Consequently Zoom-only courses and asynchronous courses this Fall will count as distance education credits. Only courses that are offered in a hybrid format with students participating remotely due to a COVID concern as described above are covered by the ABA variance and will not count as distance education credits.

Have a good week.


John J. Francis
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs