New Mask Policy is Now Posted

Barbara A. Bichelmeyer Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor
Monday, Aug. 17, 2020, 12:00 p.m.
KU Lawrence All Staff Faculty and Affiliates,Active and Incoming KU Lawrence and Edwards Students

Dear, Students, Staff and Faculty,

KU’s new mask policy for the Lawrence and Edwards campuses has completed its review and revision process. The policy can be found online here.

Thanks to all who helped shape the policy with thoughtful comments and questions. It is stronger because of your involvement. Special thanks go to Deputy General Counsel Kim Grunewald, who took leadership on developing the policy, reviewing the feedback and addressing all the comments to create the final version.

Wearing masks while on campus is a critical measure in our effort to reduce the risk of virus transmission as we continue to live, work, study and socialize on our campuses. It’s a measure each one of us must take to protect our own health as well as the health of those with whom we interact.

For many of us, wearing face coverings on campus will be an easy transition – several communities already mandate wearing masks in public. Some of us will learn that our preferred style of mask, such as a neck gaiter, may not meet minimum standards outlined in the policy. For others, including many who are new to Lawrence, this policy may represent a considerable transition. As we begin the semester, my hope is we will all show kindness and understanding when we encourage and support each other to appropriately wear an acceptable mask on campus.

My conversations lead me to believe most members of our community will support and cooperate with this new policy. Because wearing a face covering is so important to our individual and collective health, we have procedures and guidance in place to support compliance. How we enforce the policy is dependent upon who is involved and where the infraction occurs.

  • Student Affairs will take the lead on enforcing the policy when violations involve students outside the classroom.
  • Earlier this month, Vice Provost for Faculty Development Chris Brown shared important guidance on how instructors can enforce the mask policy in classrooms.
  • Supervisors of faculty and staff should be aware that Human Resource Management will assist you in enforcing the policy and counseling employees.

Student Affairs, Human Resource Management and Faculty Development have partnered to create a single point of contact for you to report your concerns and observations regarding compliance. Individuals will be counseled and considered in accordance with the appropriate policies that govern our campus, our workplace and our classrooms.

Jayhawks, we’re taking actions to make wearing face coverings easy for most everyone. Students will receive two reusable cloth masks and a small bottle of hand sanitizer during their KU Student Housing check-in or, if they live off-campus, when they complete their COVID-19 saliva test. Faculty and staff working on campus this fall will receive similar wellness kits through their offices.

Please take time to review and ensure you understand this policy. It is one of many measures we’re enacting this fall, it is one that science tells us is critical to controlling the spread of COVID-19, and it requires your commitment to take on this personal responsibility. If you have questions or concerns after reading the policy, please reach out to

So many Jayhawks – students, staff and faculty – have worked so very hard throughout the summer to prepare the campus to provide you with heightened protection during the fall semester. Ultimately, however, no one but you can put on your mask, so on behalf of everyone in our community, I ask that each of you wear your masks according to this policy, to take care of yourself and to support each other.

Thank you in advance for your commitment to this important new aspect of being a responsible member of the KU community.



Barbara A. Bichelmeyer
Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor