Office of the President
Georgia Southern University

Message from the President

December 20, 2018

To the University Community:

Several media outlets and other online opinion writers recently reported that Georgia Southern was making some wholesale changes across all our curriculum around the very important ideals of diversity and inclusion. This information is not accurate.

We tried numerous times to have these articles corrected but were unsuccessful, so I wanted to set the record straight here.

I want to reiterate the University’s commitment to building a safe, diverse, open, trusting and inclusive environment for all students, faculty and staff.

Part of the effort to ensure our commitment to these values will include adding diversity and inclusion elements to existing classes offered to first-year and second-year students.

Georgia Southern University is not creating a new diversity and inclusion course. The University is working to add content into the first-year seminar and a planned second-year seminar. The purpose of the new content is to bolster our efforts in these courses to prepare students for the challenges of a complex, diverse and sometimes difficult global workforce. Planning to enhance these courses was well underway before the recent student government resolution, which we appreciated as an endorsement of our efforts.

For the past decade, the University has required new students to take a first-year seminar, which is common at many institutions to acclimate students to college life, build good study habits and learn the traditions of the institution. Adding content to the seminars does not cause tuition to increase and does not add to a student’s time to graduate. It is not required for upperclassmen who transfer into the University.

With the help of Dr. Damon Williams, Georgia Southern is developing a plan to strengthen our commitment to inclusive excellence at Georgia Southern. We will continue our dialogue on improving our culture this spring. Be on the lookout for more details.

Shelley C. Nickel

Interim President
Georgia Southern University

Last updated: 12/20/2018

Office of the President • PO Box 8033 Statesboro, GA 30460 • (912) 478-5211