Department Guidance

Visit the Office of Graduate Studies' hub of COVID-19 resources for more specific information on grading, research, gradaute student employees, and more.

This page includes general guidelines and recommendations for department chairs, directors of graduate studies, faculty, and supervisors. We will also post relevant workshop recordings on this webpage. Finally, at the bottom of the page, we invite your feedback regarding what resources you can share, and what rescourses you might be missing that we can help provide, as we together navigate the COVID-19 crisis. 


Remote work requires that graduate students have stable food and shelter as well as computers and internet access. If you haven't already done so, as soon as possible please contact each of your graduate students to confirm:

  • Their location
  • That they have housing and food security (if the answer is no, please guide them to
  • That they have adequate computing technology 

Here is an example of one survey that you can send to your graduate students. Feel free to adopt this as you see fit for your own purposes. You can implement this survey in Qualtrics or use Google Forms.

Additional recommended steps & resources

  • Remember that students who are at the intersections of underrepresented groups will be among the most impacted by this crisis. Please take extra care to check-in with these students. 
  • Figure out what requirements may need to change or be relaxed (i.e. waiving a previous requirement to give a presentation). Clearly communicate such changes to your students.
  • Think of alternate and more fluid ways to communicate with your students in addition to email. Some departments have established a Slack channel among their graduate students and are finding this form of communication to be more organic and successful. 
  • Have your GTA-responsible faculty or staff make sure that GTAs are adapting well to the change in instruction. Check-in with GTAs, and communicate all instruction that would normally be given verbally in writing.
  • Send clear messages to graduate students from departmental leadership. The Office of Graduate Studies does not regularly communicate directly with graduate students. The majority of communication with graduate students is expected to come from the department-level. 
  • Talk to faculty about the challenges that students might be facing and how to address those challenges. 
  • Talk to students about what resources are available for them through KU. For wellness and financial resources available to graduate students, please visit this webpage
  • Keep checking-in with your graduate students. If someone doesn't show up for remote class, follow-up to make sure they are okay. An initial check-in is great, but it is not enough on its own. Circumstances will change quickly, and you need to keep ensuring that your students are okay. Navigating this crisis will be a marathon, not a sprint.
  • Forgive yourselves. We are facing an unprecedented challenge. Now is not the time for judgments and perfectionism but for forgiveness and flexibility. Let's work together—creatively, generously, and optimistically—to make the best that we can out of a difficult situation.

What else can you share? 

What steps, protocols, or resources has your department implemented that you can share? Please share resources here. We will compile and publish all responses that we receive on this webpage.

What are you missing?

If you are in need of additional resources and information that you don’t find on our website, please let us know using this form. We are asking for your feedback and suggestions as to how the Office of Graduate Studies can better assist you in your roles and respond to your needs during this rapidly-evolving situation. All responses that we receive will help us better help you.

Recordings of DGS Workshops

  • April 1 Workshop

  • April 2 Workshop

Donate to the Graduate Student Emergency Fund
COVID-19 Updates and Information

Find additional resources regarding online teaching & learning during the COVID-19 outbreak at REMOTE.KU.EDU.

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