Update: March 30, 2020

FMS Students,

We’ll update this website with information and announcements as they become available to keep you informed on the changing situation. To keep things as simple and clear as possible, we are just posting bullet points. Please feel free to follow up with the FMS office staff for more information.

  • We have added multiple links for food security to the resource list below.
  • By now, most of your classes should have transitioned to online instruction. If you are experiencing difficulty in accessing your courses or other resources, please let either myself or Lindsay Ly know and we’ll try to put you in touch with someone to help.
  • If you were awarded a SOTA travel or research grant, you should have been contacted about your award.
  • It was announced that all FMS summer courses will be fully conducted online. If you have further questions, please contact either the instructor directly or the FMS office

As we enter this second week of the Stay-at-Home order, all of us have had to make significant changes to our lifestyles. Our hearts go out to all those with family or friends who have been affected by the virus. We realize that the sudden disruption is severe.

Michael Baskett


Food Security


Update: Monday, March 23, 2020

FMS Students,

Due to the Douglas County Health Office’s “Stay at Home” order and the fact that all campus buildings are now locked, we ask that all students with checked-out equipment do not attempt to come to Summerfield as there will be no staff or services available. John McCluskey will contact you with details on how to return the equipment at a future date.

Michael Baskett


Update: Friday, March 20, 2020

FMS Students,

All of us are feeling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. As you know, KU announced that starting Monday 3/23, courses will transition to online instruction for the rest of the semester, all meetings over 50 people are canceled, and many public spaces have been closed in order to reduce in-person interactions and protect lives. The Film and Media industries have taken similar precautions. Across the globe professional productions having mostly shut down and such high-profile public media events as SXSW and the Cannes Film Festivals have been cancelled or postponed.

Amidst this uncertainty, we want you to know that your health and safety is our top priority. FMS is united in its commitment to reducing the chances for anyone to be put at risk. For this reason, we made the difficult decision to suspend access to equipment and spaces for the foreseeable future (see the FMS Production Policy on COVID-19).

We know that many of you are frustrated by the lack of access and anxious over what this new policy may mean for completing your projects as well as for your academic progress. We truly understand and empathize with you because these changes have a direct effect on us all. But please understand that these precautions are there to protect you. We encourage you to recognize that change—even unforeseen radical change—is a constant part of film and media production. Learning to deal with that change by using the skills you are learning is instructive in ways that may be difficult to anticipate at this time.

No one knows for certain how this situation will unfold, but FMS is focusing on what can be done now. This past week your professors and instructors met to discuss how best to minimize the impact on you. The transition to online instruction requires significant changes to course syllabi and content but please know that your grade will not be negatively impacted by the official responses to COVID-19. Our goal as a Department is to help you complete the semester on time and with as little disruption as possible.

To this end, your instructors will inform you of syllabus/expectations adjustments starting 3/23. I’ve encouraged all instructors to work with students by keeping flexible policies regarding attendance, assignments, tests, make-up work, etc. Instructors will also strive to heighten communication and reduce response times to student inquires for the rest of the semester. Finally, FMS will not tolerate discrimination against anyone because of race, ethnicity, sexual identity, gender, travel history, or any other factor.

This is only a first step. I expect that there will be questions and adjustments in the days ahead that we will need to address. We will adjust our policies as needed moving forward. We encourage you to contact the department directly if you have concerns or questions. We want to help all students, staff, and faculty through this time.

Because each student is experiencing this situation in different ways, we have provided below some links to a range of resources that we hope will be of help. We will continue to update with more information and resources as they become available.

Be well and stay strong,

Michael Baskett

Chair, Department of Film and Media Studies

March 20, 2020


For information on all KU policies regarding COVID-19 including:

  • Housing
  • Travel
  • Study Abroad
  • General Health & Wellness

…and more, please see the following: https://coronavirus.ku.edu/


For general information on State policies for Kansas regarding:

  • Individuals/Families
  • Child Care/Foster Care
  • Cleaning
  • Education
  • Public Events/Mass Gatherings
  • Public Utilities

…and more go to:



For more information on Gov. Kelly’s executive order banning evictions until 5/1 see:






Effective immediately, FMS has made the following changes to its policy on production-related equipment and space usage to protect the health and welfare of all students, staff, and faculty due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These policies will remain in place until the University resumes in-person classes. Because of these changes, adjustments will also be made to production course content (outcomes, assignments, assessments, etc.) for the remainder of the semester. Course syllabi will be adjusted in order to compensate for any production work that cannot be completed as planned this semester. All FMS faculty are committed to working with students in order to help them complete their course work on time. If you have questions regarding how these changes may impact specific classes, please contact your instructor directly.

Equipment Check-out:

  • The Equipment room will remain closed until in-person classes resume. There will be no further check-out of production equipment for the duration of the Spring 2020 semester.
  • Students with equipment currently checked-out will be contacted by John McCluskey to schedule a return time on Monday, March 23.

Facilities Use:

  • All FMS facilities (production spaces, editing rooms, classrooms, computer lab, service centers, etc.) will remain closed until in-person classes resume.

Production Guidelines:

  • All production and post-production for class projects should avoid in-person contact and must comply with University guidelines. This includes, but is not limited to, strict avoidance of the following:
    • Any productions with more than one participant on-set
    • Any in-person casting sessions
    • Any in-person shared-space editorial sessions
    • Any in-person production meetings
    • Any in-person screenings
    • Any form of production work that potentially puts students or others at risk
  • FMS strongly discourages all productions that require direct contact between crews and casts even when using your own equipment, as these violate University guidelines and potentially put students or others at risk.
  • FMS strongly discourages the sharing of personal production gear as this also potentially put students or others at risk.

Remote Access:

  • IT is currently preparing windows-based applications of Toon Boom, Final Draft 11, Blender, Adobe Suite, and Pro Tools for student use via Virtual Lab. Once the software is available, IT will send out further instructions.



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