Dr. David Cook, Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs and Economic Development at the University of Kansas, provided an update about KU, it’s current issues and initiatives. 

Dealing with COVID pandemic has been the preoccupying concern of University leaders.  Testing protocols that were implemented in fall 2020 have proved to be successful, and the University will adopt a similar plan for the 2021 spring semester.  Cook was pleased to report that at this time there have been no transmissions, no hospitalizations, and no deaths associated with the virus on campus. 

Other good news:  There was a smaller enrollment drop due to the pandemic than anticipated last spring.  Retention of students has been good with drops occurring primarily in the international student population and in number of the incoming freshman. 

The University continues to move forward on several initiatives.  A new Welcome Center to be located near the Alumni Center on campus will improve the first impression that the campus presents to prospective students.    

Other initiatives include KU’s involvement with the University Engineering Initiative Act (UEIA); an expansion of the Bioscience and Technology Business Center (BTBC) on west campus and work to recruit companies for job growth and capital investment and to place graduates in the local economy; and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) task force will make recommendations.