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Happy New Year!

Jan. 10, 2022

Happy New Year and welcome back to spring semester 2022! I hope everyone had a chance to relax, recoup, and are returning ready to continue serving our students and communities. As we say goodbye to 2021, we continue to solve and evolve through challenges presented now and in the future. We know our ability to persevere and adapt has given us continued hope, resilience, and success. I know our success has been because of your great work and commitment – thank you, and I look forward to 2022 with optimism and further expectation of success.

As we resume classes this week, and with COVID-19 cases increasing due to the Omicron variant, we are providing free expanded testing to all students, faculty, and staff on the Statesboro and Armstrong campuses. Vaccines continue to be offered on both campuses and we continue to strongly recommend the wearing of masks indoors. In addition, our CARES Center is ready to support our community with the newly revised CDC/GDPH isolation and quarantine guidelines.

Today, January 10, also marks the beginning of the 2022 State Legislative Session in Georgia.  We are grateful to be supported by our local delegation and Governor and will closely follow our projects and interests – Jack and Ruth Ann Hill Convocation Center furnishings and equipment funding on the Statesboro Campus, Science Center Lab renovation funding on the Armstrong Campus, and formula growth funding for the USG.

We have so many wonderful opportunities this spring to celebrate and expand our impact to the region. We will be officially opening our Logistics Technology Innovation Incubator in Savannah at the Coastal Georgia Center this month in partnership with Plug and Play, SEDA, the Ports Authority, Savannah State, Savannah Tech, and Georgia Power. Over the next 12 months, 20 new start-ups in the logistics technology supply chain sector will incubate and further our impact to the region.

In February, the Junior Achievement Discovery Center on the Armstrong Campus in Savannah will celebrate its grand opening and formally open to 10,000 middle school students in the 10-county coastal region. In addition, we will celebrate the grand opening of the Armstrong Athletic Hall of Fame in the Armstrong Recreation Center.

The Performance Excellence Employee Engagement Survey will be launched February 28 – March 14. The University Strategic Planning Committee has reviewed the original survey instrument and provided feedback for this second iteration. Remember, the employee engagement survey is designed to measure our employees’ current ability and desire to engage with the institution and to determine how well the university provides an environment and culture in which employees want to engage. As we implemented our action plans this academic year with the results from last year’s survey, this year’s survey will allow us to assess what is working and what needs further improvement. As part of our vision statement — People. Purpose. Action: Growing Ourselves to Grow Others! — I believe that becoming a great place for faculty and staff to work and grow will help us produce results such as better faculty and staff retention, student experience and improved student retention and graduation. More information will be shared about this continued improvement effort in the coming weeks.

Finally, as educators, we must continue to believe in the transformational power of education and its ability to elevate communities. Our values, mission, and vision at Georgia Southern demand that we collaborate and care for each other, even when we may have differing opinions and/or beliefs. It is important for us always to remember our mission and our responsibility…to teach people how to think, not what to think. We must respect and allow open dialogue and debate in our classrooms, halls, campuses, and communities. Together, we will achieve success through modeling the very ideals we have set out to achieve – open discourse in a respectful environment.

As you can see, we are growing and will continue to grow and improve – not for our own sake, but to impact others! This is, and must continue to be, our goal even during challenging times.

I remain energized, ready, and thankful to be part of the Eagle Nation in this New Year, 2022!


Last updated: 4/2/2022