UNK to fully transition classroom activity to remote beginning Wednesday

KEARNEY – Academic operations will transition fully to remote learning at the University of Nebraska at Kearney beginning Wednesday (March 18), Chancellor Doug Kristensen announced today.

This is in response to changing recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local officials in response to the health threat from the coronavirus (COVID-19).

On a virtual forum today with faculty, staff and students, Kristensen congratulated the campus community for their team approach to transitioning to remote learning, which he announced last week would begin on March 30 following spring break. He announced the new date at the beginning of the forum.

“The tremendous efforts that have been undertaken by faculty and staff to accommodate this unprecedented disruption to the academic calendar are evidence of the commitment that you all take to create an exceptional learning environment for our students,” Kristensen told faculty and staff today.

“Further, our students have shown resilience and professionalism in adapting to change. Changing course mid-semester is difficult. Our campus community has performed exceptionally under these circumstances.”

Kristensen and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs Charlie Bicak said work over recent days has given opportunity to make plans and develop communications that will serve to place students in the best position for success over the next weeks.

Some lab, practices or similar assessments may continue as scheduled, if approved by the department chair, college dean and Bicak, they said. These follow CDC and state guidance on event size under an updated event policy developed amid changing responses to the coronavirus.

Students are scheduled for spring break March 23-29. Residence halls, campus dining, and student services such as the library, Learning Commons, Student Success Office, Academic Advising and Career Development, Student Health and Counseling, Student Disability Services, First Year Program, Military and Veterans Services, Financial Aid, Admissions and others, will continue operating.

Faculty will continue to work as they are able, making coursework available online, virtual-access, real time or recorded, using an array of remote-delivery tools and resources.

Staff and faculty this weekend received guidance on leave from University of Nebraska President Ted Carter, which effective immediately and subject to supervisor approval, provides UNK and University of Nebraska employees up to 80 hours of administrative paid leave in the event of self-quarantine, quarantine or care of an immediate family member, childcare resulting from school closures, or other related scenarios.

Kristensen and Bicak reminded the community that updated information and changes to campus events, policies or guidance will be posted on a special webpage: unk.edu/coronavirus.