A Message from the Vice Provost for Graduate Studies
Dear Graduate Students, Professional Students, Postdocs, Faculty, and Staff:
We are living in a challenging time for our country, for the University of Kansas, and for each of us individually. The coronavirus pandemic has altered the way we live and work, prompting feelings of fear and uncertainty and distancing us from one another. In some cases, these fears have perpetuated xenophobic rhetoric and prompted anti-Asian discrimination. The appalling violence against the Black community, including the recent murder of George Floyd as well as countless other instances of racial injustice, have also made us starkly aware of the biases that continue to taint our society.
The University of Kansas is not immune to the virus, xenophobic rhetoric, or the effects of systemic racism. The Office of Graduate Studies is committed to listening, growing, and taking action to combat the institutional inequities faced by Black, Indigenous, and communities of color. Discriminating against others because of their race, ethnicity, or national origin is antithetical to the inclusive learning community that we aspire to be. Should you witness or experience discrimination or harassment, please use these resources to report the behavior. We are fully dedicated to undertaking the critical, ongoing work of creating a more diverse and inclusive experience for our graduate community.
As we together navigate the challenges of the pandemic, the Office of Graduate Studies is also working to protect the health and wellbeing of all of our graduate and professional students, faculty, and staff. KU will operate in-person this fall while taking the full measure of precautions to keep everyone as safe as possible in addition to offering extensive remote options for students at all levels. You can read about how Jayhawks are taking a proactive, science-based approach to reopening campus and curbing the spread of COVID-19 in the Protect KU online guide, where you will also find numerous resources and the latest updates about campus procedures. The Office of Graduate Studies has also created a COVID-19 resource hub specific to the graduate student community on our website.
Transformative change is rarely easy. Working toward a more just society, and reconfiguring the campus environment to ensure the safety of the KU community during the pandemic, will require collaboration, cooperation, creativity, and hard work. The graduate community at KU routinely exhibits these strengths, and I feel confident in our ability to support one another through this time of change and emerge all the stronger and more connected on the other side.
Please know that the Office of Graduate Studies is here to support you, and we are listening—if there are resources and/or information that you’re currently missing, if you have concerns or unmet needs, or if you simply have feedback for our office, please let us know.
With great gratitude,
Jennifer A. Roberts
Vice Provost for Graduate Studies