Dear KCU Faculty and Staff,

I thank everyone for your commitment to the health and safety of our campuses and for adhering to KCU’s guidelines to protect one another. Our efforts to keep COVID-19 under control on our campuses are showing signs of paying off, as KCU’s positivity rate at this time remains very low. However, we are far from being out of the woods and the situation could change quickly — the rates of new COVID-19 cases in parts of Missouri remain among the highest in the country.

As you may know, this past week the Joplin City Council rescinded its mandate for wearing masks in public along with loosening limitations on the size of gatherings. The city’s new policies are not in alignment with the public health and safety guidelines adopted by KCU. Even though you will see people out in the community following different guidelines, I strongly encourage everyone to maintain KCU’s standards for behavior both on and off campus in Joplin and Kansas City in order to help us get through this semester.

Updates on our reawakening moving forward:

Due to the increase in the spread of COVID-19 in our region, we have adjusted our timeline to reflect a more conservative move to Stage 4 of our campus reawakening plan at the start of the Spring Semester.

  • We had hoped move to Stage 4 of our reawakening plan on Sept. 8, with a broader reopening of our campuses in a staged manner. However, our current gating criteria, based upon science, will not allow us to move from Stage 3 at this time, and it is unlikely we will be able to do so before the end of this semester.

  • KCU will continue to take the most conservative approach, erring on the side of safety in order to: protect our faculty, staff and students; maintain curricula for all programs that meet specific accreditation standards; keep our students on track to graduate on time; and maintain current levels of faculty and staff employment.

  • If we observe a decrease in new COVID-19 cases, we may consider moving to Stage 4 sooner. If you have any questions about the return to campus, please speak with your work unit manager, department chair or deans’ office.

Lastly, an important reminder that it’s not too early to begin planning for the election on November 3. In the midst of all of the challenges we’re facing from a global pandemic and continued civil unrest, we all must exercise our civic responsibility to vote! Make sure you’re registered to vote and understand your options in either Kansas or Missouri or other states. 

Yours truly,