Photograph: Students in a classroom.

June 25, 2020 Update From Dean Lowry

Dear Law Students,

An update to my email of June 16 regarding planning for the fall semester:

Although we are still planning on holding in-person classes this fall, I know that many of you are wisely concerned about what pivots may occur as the number of Covid cases continues to rise. Everything we plan is subject to possible future modifications because of directives by the Governor and the Shawnee County Health Officer.

We hope that we will not be required to move to remote instruction this fall, but if you are not currently living in Topeka, you should take that possibility into consideration when deciding about apartment leases. Landlords may be eager to lock you into a year’s lease, but it is a renter’s market right now: you shouldn’t be pressured into signing a lease early, and it should be possible to negotiate for a month-to-month lease.

You should also know that some of your courses will be held remotely even if you are attending school in person, due to the professor being at high risk of complications if they contract the virus.

It will help Dean Mastrosimone greatly in determining the space for each course if everyone would note whether they plan to attend remotely or in person, via https://washburnlaw.edu/classattendancesurvey.

A big thank you to the 155 students who have already responded.

As noted on June 16, you only need to have a health and safety concern, even simply a concern that you might catch the virus, in order to be allowed to attend remotely. You don’t need to explain your concern or provide documentation of your concern. If you state that you want in-person instruction but later become concerned about exposure, you can change your mind at any time. Obviously, you MUST attend remotely if you are sick or have been exposed to the virus. What you can’t do, however, is request remote instruction for some courses but not others. Attendance records will be taken for each class, showing whether you attended remotely or in person.

Dean Mastrosimone will be releasing a course schedule later showing those courses expected to be conducted remotely. The university will be releasing a statement later on the health and safety policies for students attending classes in person. Since those are still in flux, we won’t have immediate answers for you until they come out.

If you have any other questions, however, please let me know. If you would prefer to talk rather than email, please feel free to call me directly on my cell at (785) 969-6102. If I don’t answer immediately, please be sure to leave a message, as I don’t respond to unknown numbers, for reasons with which we are all familiar.

Thank you once again for your professionalism and patience during a very strange time!

Best always,

Jalen Lowry