A Message from Interim Provost Carl Lejuez
A Message from Interim Provost Carl Lejuez
Students, staff and faculty,
In July 2017 the Kansas Personal and Family Protection Act changed how public universities in Kansas can regulate firearms on their campuses.
The law allows most citizens 21 and older to carry concealed handguns into public buildings, including structures on the University of Kansas Lawrence and Edwards Campuses, unless adequate security measures (as defined by the law) are in place to ensure that no one can take a gun into a particular building.
The change in law made many members of the KU community nervous and, as new students, new employees and visitors arrive on campus, many continue to ask questions about what is allowed and what is not allowed under the umbrella of the law. This website, concealedcarry.ku.edu, provides concise information and links to resources that can help you play an active role in our efforts to support everyone’s safety.
As you may know, the Kansas Board of Regents weapons policy, the Kansas Attorney General and the KU Weapons Policy offer guidance and rulings that affect what state employees and others should and shouldn’t do with regard to the law’s implementation at KU. Please understand and follow the law and policies, which can be found on this website. KU buildings, and spaces in them, are considered public spaces where concealed carry may not be restricted without adequate security measures and Kansas Attorney General approved signs.
Based on past questions to this office and to General Counsel, here are important aspects to know:
- Handguns should be thoroughly concealed and secured on one’s body or in a bag or backpack under the person’s direct control.
- Long firearms are not permitted on campus.
- When developing syllabi, instructors can use resources available at concealdcarry.ku.edu/syllabus-language. Requesting students to refrain from carrying weapons is not appropriate, and doing so could lead to unintended violations of law or policy. Please consult with General Counsel before making changes to the suggested syllabus language.
- Individuals solely assigned to an office at KU may close and lock the door when they are alone in the office; however, offices cannot be declared “gun-free zones,” nor can eligible individuals be barred from carrying a concealed handgun into an office. Follow departmental rules for office hours.
- Faculty and staff are not at liberty to bar others from carrying a concealed handgun. This includes the posting of signs that use the prohibition symbol featuring the red circle and backslash and a handgun. The only signs permitted regarding the carrying of guns must be approved by the Kansas Attorney General.
- Faculty and staff are not permitted to ask those carrying concealed handguns to identify themselves. Additionally, faculty and staff cannot prohibit the possession of ammunition.
- Faculty are not at liberty to change class locations or formats (e.g. from in-person to online) without prior approval as outlined in the Faculty Code of Rights and Responsibilities.
- Faculty may not permanently change the location of their scheduled courses. Follow procedures outlined in University Senate Rules and Regulations.
- Faculty, staff and student employees may not use resources or equipment paid for with state appropriated funds – such as a KU email address, printers, paper or other supplies – to advocate for change in the state law. Doing so could violate the law.
- Policy violations will be addressed in accordance with the appropriate code of conduct, employment policy or University Senate Rules and Regulations.
- If you see something, say something. Handguns should always be concealed. If you see a handgun displayed, report it to KU Public Safety, 785-864-5900. Officers will investigate. Call 911 if danger feels imminent. Open carry of all firearms, except by law enforcement officials, is prohibited at KU.
The Center for Teaching Excellence has developed guides for handling volatile conversations in the classroom and an FAQ on concealed carry and teaching. Associate Professor of Journalism Doug Ward, associate director of CTE, also has written an article featuring experiences of faculty and law enforcement officials from institutions in other states that have made the transition to concealed carry.
Finally, each of us shares concern over the health and well-being of members of our KU community, including the risk of self-harm. If you suspect someone is in emotional distress, please help them find the care or services they may need. KU has confidential resources too, including the Student of Concern Review Team and, for faculty and staff, through Human Resource Management.
KU Public Safety offers a variety of workshops and trainings to help faculty, staff and graduate assistants better prepare for their respective work and engagement on campus. Student organizations and living groups can also request presentations to help illuminate how to handle threatening or dangerous situations.
As much as we strive to anticipate every possibility and question, we realize we can’t predict the future or read the minds of others. New questions and concerns will surely arise.
With your input and participation we will continue to learn and adapt.
Interim Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor