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Updates/Spring 2020

J-School students, faculty and staff: It’s a challenging time and we ask all to be patient and understanding and take care of themselves and others. Here is an update on changes in the J-School for the coming weeks:

Reach out if you need help 

Students: If you need assistance, the J-School has some resources to help you out in the short term. Please let us also know your long-term needs. Another great resource is help.ku.edu.


The deadline to withdraw from 16-week classes has been extended to July 6, 2020. Students complete the process in Enroll & Pay. Please consult with your advisor before making this decision. Credit/no credit policies also have been adjusted for many schools on campus, including Journalism. For the spring 2020 semester, students can elect more than one course to be graded credit/no credit. Journalism undergraduates can opt into having JOUR major courses count as credit/no credit. General education and elective courses can also be taken credit/no credit. However, courses being taken for non-journalism majors and minors may not be approved based on the program. Please consult with your journalism advisor before completing the form. Requests to elect or rescind credit/no credit for May 2020 graduates must be received by 11:59 p.m. (Central) May 29, 2020. August 2020 graduates have until 11:59 p.m. (Central) July 31, 2020. All other students have until Dec. 18, 2020 to submit a CR/NC form or rescind a previous request for eligible spring 2020 classes.

Graduation ceremonies postponed

The KU administration announced last week that May commencement and recognition ceremonies had been postponed. They remain hopeful to be able to reschedule later this year. Read more here.

The J-School would like to recognize this year’s graduates with a senior, master's, or doctoral degree sendoff, which we will post on the J-School website and a selection on social media.

Senior sendoff recognition

For this sendoff, please submit either a short video, photo collage or letter/quote to share thoughts about what your time in the J-School at KU has meant and/or where your journey will take you next. Details (submit one):

  • Videos: No more than one minute long, and please send in mp4 format
  • Letter/quote: Maximum of 250 words ​
  • Photo collage: Up to five photos -- high-quality .jpgs.
  • Email to jschool@ku.edu
  • Deadline is April 30

(Be creative, but keep in mind content must be appropriate for posting on a university website. The J-School reserves the right to edit submissions.)

Help with housing and utilities

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the governor of Kansas has enacted an executive order temporarily prohibiting evictions and foreclosures, as well as temporarily suspending the disconnection of utilities including electrical, natural gas, water, internet and telecommunication services until May 1, 2020. These executive orders apply to financial institutions and utility providers operating in Kansas. If you need assistance navigating payment, service or eviction obstacles you might be having with your landlord or utility providers due to the COVID-19 outbreak, please reach out to the Student Support & Case Management Office to speak with a case manager about your situation.

Report discrimination or harassment

Viruses have no nationality, no religion, no ethnicity, no gender. Please report incidents of discrimination to the Office of Institutional Opportunity & Access at ioa@ku.edu or 785-864-6414.

Bremner Center appointments

The Bremner Center is taking virtual appointments via Skype or Zoom for individual help with J-School assignments. Students can email lisamclendon@ku.edu or call 785-864-7623 to set up a time.

Tell us your story 

J636 Documentary students are reporting on KU students whose lives were profoundly affected by the early end of the semester and the COVID-19 virus. These are students who:

  • lost jobs
  • ended study abroad with dramatic travel
  • left a sports season half-finished
  • returned to find family members infected at home
  • left a romantic relationship on campus that was vital to them
  • lost touch with an important research project they were working on
  • left campus after arriving just this semester as a transfer student
  • remained on campus in residential life

Plus there are so many story lines that we have yet to imagine. Please send ericthomas@ku.edu any promising KU students to profile (undergrad, graduate or doctoral). Or perhaps you are one of these people! We want to tell your story.

Get internet access

Students who need access to internet service or computer hardware should reach out to KU Information Technology on the Lawrence campus and kuecservices@ku.edu on the KU Edwards Campus for guidance and assistance. Several internet service providers are also offering service at no-cost, low-cost or with waived fees.

Zoom backgrounds 

Perhaps you can't be on campus physically, but you can virtually! Download these scenic KU backdrops for your Zoom sessions.

Free Adobe

Students should now be able to access Adobe Creative Cloud at no cost through May 31, 2020, or as soon as students can return to campus. More information, including how to sign in, is here: https://remote.ku.edu/adobe. If students have issues with accessing/installing, they can contact IT Customer Service Center at itcsc@ku.edu or 785-864-8080.


All classes are online for the spring semester starting March 23. Instructors should be in touch with their classes about how that will work and should check with their students to make sure their students have access to a computer. If a student does not have access, the professor (NOT individual students) should contact Cade Cruickshank at ccrui@ku.edu to make arrangements. The campus buildings are closed, and most employees will be working remotely.


All campus events have been canceled for the spring semester until May 15. For the J-School, this includes William Allen White Day, the Scholarships and Awards program and the Delano Lewis lecture. KU will reassess later whether graduation events will take place.


Due to COVID-19 and KU’s efforts to protect the health of our community, the Journalism Advising Office is temporarily changing the procedures for main advising. To abide by the university’s social distancing recommendations, the preferred mode of communication will be virtual, email or phone, and Walk-in Wednesdays have been suspended indefinitely. Students who have a scheduled advising appointment will be contacted by their advisor with information about summer and fall enrollment planning and given the option to discuss their plan over the phone. Students who had an advising hold, but had yet to schedule an appointment, will also be contacted by their advisor to review enrollment plans. Students who would like to schedule a remote appointment should contact their advisor personally. 


Miss stopping by the JBar? No worries -- pop in to Heather's open Skype meeting. It is like the JBar, but you might see a cat. This is where you can ask a quick question or get help. Other JBar/JTech info:

Teams will still meet (just online)! Sign up today.

Topics are also meeting online. This is a great time to join our groups:

• Creative Break: Tune out the bad news for a few minutes and practice some mindful motivation: The JST Creative Break is a short daily challenge designed to help you cope by creating. Heather will release a daily challenge each morning (M-F) beginning March 23. These short challenges in a variety (and often your choice) of Adobe tools will allow you to keep practicing, learning and creating. Participate whenever and however you want, share on social media (#jstcreativebreak) and post in our group Slack channel. Signing up just means you will get the daily email on the challenge.​ Participate when you want. Sign up here.

Career and Outreach Office

The best way to communicate with Steve Rottinghaus, coordinator of the Career and Outreach Office, is via email at steve_rottinghaus@ku.edu or by phone at 785-864-7630. Through the spring semester, the office will continue to focus on job and internship searches, resume and cover letter reviews, and interview preparation.

Stay updated

Please visit coronavirus.ku.edu for updates from KU about the latest developments and decisions from KU and state leadership. Sign up to receive the J-School's Monday Memo here.

Contact us

If you need food or other assistance, please contact Professor Scott Reinardy at reinardy@ku.edu. For general questions, email jschool@ku.edu.

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