Dr. Edward H. Hammond, president of Fort Hays State University, announced Wednesday that the Ellis County man suspected to have been infected with SARS was not an employee or representative of the university.
Fort Hays State has an ongoing partnership with a university in central China, and a second partnership is set to begin later this year with a university in Beijing. Therefore, the president thought it was important to put the public at ease about any connection between the university and the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome in the Far East and Canada.
County Health Administrator Butch Schlyer said the man who exhibited SARS symptoms had traveled to China sometime in the last couple of months. President Hammond canceled all upcoming university trips to China several weeks ago and it has been several months since anyone representing the university has visited China.
FHSU faculty continue to teach classes at SIAS University of Business and Management in Henan Province in China by using technology and working with teaching assistants who live on the SIAS campus.
Also, among the international students enrolled on the Hays campus, there are fewer than two dozen students from mainland China and Hong Kong. The Office of Student Affairs confirmed that none of those students had visited home since well before the SARS outbreak.