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A February Message from the President

Feb. 15, 2022

It’s hard to believe we are well into the second month of the spring semester! 

Our pandemic response remains a priority as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 environment, but fortunately cases have dramatically dropped in the last few weeks. While this is positive news, I am keenly aware of the hardships you all continue to overcome and your dedication to ensuring our mission of educating and serving our students – thank you!

The 2022 Georgia legislative session continues through the first week of April.  As I said in my January letter – we are incredibly grateful for the support of our delegation and the Governor, and we will continue to follow our specific items of interest, including the Jack and Ruth Ann Hill Convocation Center furnishings and equipment funding on the Statesboro campus, Science Center Lab renovation funding on the Armstrong campus, the cost-of-living salary increases for state employees, and formula growth funding for the USG.  During this process, we will earnestly respond to any questions or requests for information that arise throughout this session.  We have a good story to tell at Georgia Southern and are committed to the success of our students.

Last week, the Board of Regents honored students from each of the 26 institutions during its annual Academic Recognition Day. These students, selected by their individual college or university, represent the highest academic achievement, strive for excellence and have the ability to share knowledge in various areas of expertise.  Harper Lewis, a BSN student who graduated in December and will start working this week at East Georgia Regional Medical Center, was Georgia Southern’s honoree.  She’s a great representative of our students’ accomplishments.

Also, at the BOR meeting last week, we were granted approval to renovate and repurpose the former GBI building located on the Armstrong Campus (triangle property).  The newly renovated space will be designed to support our research activities, including the new Institute for Water and Health, which was established in November 2021 to support the coastal Georgia region through water quality research and collaboration on water resource management issues with scientists, government agencies, industry, nonprofit organizations, and communities.  In addition, Georgia Southern was given approval to demolish the former University Villas residential buildings on the Statesboro campus and create a paved parking lot containing between 800 and 1,000 spaces with new curbs and gutters, landscaped islands, and emergency call boxes. (As a reminder, University Villas has not been operational since Fall 2020.) And finally, the board approved the naming of the Anthony P. Tippins Family Indoor Practice Facility in recognition of his transformational gift and service to Georgia Southern.

Earlier this week, you received an email from me about our annual Employee Engagement survey. Remember, the purpose of the survey is to gain input from all employees about their work environment, what is working well and where there may be opportunities for improvement. This spring, February 28 – March 14, the survey will be administered for the second time.  The survey provides all employees an opportunity to share feedback that will help supervisors and Georgia Southern leadership ensure that Georgia Southern fosters a workplace environment where employees feel engaged and valued.  Following the survey, leaders will use the feedback to compare results from last year to assess outcomes specific to their Action Plans, engage in conversations with their employees to focus on improvement, and outline ways to improve by focusing on the highest priority areas updating/revising their Action Plans based on this year’s survey results. Our goal is to create clear roadmaps to success for all employees, departments, and the institution in a continuous improvement cycle. You will hear more about this in the coming weeks from your divisional leaders.

Finally, I want to take a moment and thank all of you who contributed to our annual For the Love of Blue campaign, which wraps up on Feb. 18.  It sends a powerful message to our external donors when they see the level of support exhibited by our faculty and staff – those who are closest to the students we impact every day.

As we work through this month and for the remainder of the semester, let us be guided by our values, our mission, and our shared commitment to growing ourselves to grow others! 


Last updated: 4/2/2022