KU leaders challenge in-class mandate

Department heads want an option to teach online, but exemption is difficult to get and possibly illegal.

By

State News

June 26, 2020 - 2:35 PM

The University of Kansas plans to shorten its fall and spring semesters. Photo by Tristan Bowersox / Flickr.com / kcur.org

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Many department chairs at the University of Kansas are pushing back against the school’s plan to have classroom instruction in the fall, saying they should have the option to teach online.

On Monday, a letter signed by 38 department heads was emailed to Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer after Chancellor Douglas Girod announced last week that the school would hold in-class sessions starting Aug. 24. Since then, another 14 have signed, KCUR-FM reported Thursday. 

Instructors can ask for an exemption from the requirement under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which department heads call “impossibly unwieldy, discriminatory and perhaps illegal.”

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