Contingency Plans if Finals are Disrupted Due to Power Outage

Chris Brown, Vice Provost for Faculty Development, Mike Rounds, Vice Provost for Human Resource, Public Safety, Facilities and Operations
Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021, 1:55 p.m.
KU Lawrence faculty and staff KU Graduate Teaching Assistants

Sent on behalf of Chris Brown, Vice Provost for Faculty Development, and Mike Rounds, Vice Provost for Human Resources, Public Safety, Facilities and Operations.

Dear Instructors,

Due to high winds in our region today and tonight, there is a continued threat of power outages that may disrupt final exams. If you still have final exams to administer, we ask that you begin thinking about options and how you can communicate those to your students should we lose power in multiple campus buildings. Your decisions may be affected by a number of factors, such as when an outage occurs during an exam, class enrollment, or whether asynchronous alternative assessments are possible. A power outage that affects significant areas of campus will be posted to

Due to the nature of the power grid, an outage such as the one affecting campus Monday evening may take a few hours to mitigate. While there is no single solution that will work in every situation, here are some considerations and possibilities:

  • Consider beginning or continuing the exam, even with suboptimal lighting.
  • If it is not possible to begin, please consider rescheduling the final or determine an alternate form of assessment. Graduate teaching assistants should also contact their faculty supervisor or department chair for further guidance.
    • Rescheduling the exam may be an option if you could not begin or continue the exam. E-mail your request to reschedule to Include the department and course number, the number of students, and alternative test times. The calendar committee will respond as soon as possible. Please accommodate students who are unable to attend an alternate exam time.  
  • If you have students taking a proctored exam with the Student Access Center (SAC) and you must change exam plans, please reach out to SAC staff at 785-864-4064 or
    • Similarly, if there is a loss of power in Strong Hall, SAC staff will contact the instructors for students taking proctored exams to determine alternate exam arrangements.
  • If a power outage affects multiple buildings on campus making it unfeasible to relocate, please be as flexible and patient with students as possible in determining alternatives and in the moment try to consider any students who have mobility concerns. Moving a final to an online format at the same scheduled time, may work for some students, but may disadvantage students residing on campus, who could also be affected by an outage.
  • Finally, when assigning final grades, please consider whether final exams were disrupted by these unavoidable circumstances, and the duress such situations can impart on students.

We appreciate all the care and dedication you have shown your students over the course of the semester and we hope this guidance will help you should nature interrupt your plans for finals.


Chris Brown

Vice Provost for Faculty Development

Mike Rounds

Vice Provost for Human Resources, Public Safety, Facilities and Operations