Georgia Southern president announced plans to return to campus in August

The six values of the university according to Marrero are integrity, innovation, openingness and inclusion, collaboration, sustainability and excellence.

Andy Cole

STATESBORO — In an email sent on Thursday to faculty and staff, Georgia Southern President Kyle Marrero announced the university’s plans to reopen in the fall.

“[GS] is planning to bring our students back to our campuses to begin the fall semester 2020,” said Marrero. “The health, safety, and wellbeing of our students, faculty, staff, and communities will continue to be our utmost priority.”

In the email, Marrero announced a “staggered, sequenced and gradual” return for faculty, staff and student workers who, since mid-March, have been teleworking.

Marrero also described a plan, divided into three phases, that has already begun. Phase one, according to Marrero, is estimated to-be-completed anywhere from June 1-15.

Phase two is slated to begin on June 15 and end on July 20. Then, the university will begin phase three to prepare for the university to, once again, become fully operational on August 1.

GS has also developed three extensive FAQs (that can be found here). One for faculty and staff, another for students and one for the public.

Here are a few of the notable questions and answers:

Q: Will faculty, staff and students be required to wear face masks?

A: The wearing of face masks or cloth face coverings by all employees working on campus is strongly encouraged when in the presence of others and in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., common work spaces, meeting rooms, classrooms, etc.). Appropriate use of face masks or coverings is critical in minimizing risks to others near you. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you have no symptoms. The mask or cloth face covering is not a substitute for social distancing. Employees in some front line, high contact positions (e.g. custodial and dining staff) will be provided face coverings. All other employees will be responsible for providing their own face coverings.

Q: Will hand sanitizer be provided for faculty, staff and students?

A: Yes. The university already has sanitizer dispensers throughout campus and is working to increase those numbers.

Q: Has there been discussions about employees who have children in the school system and how that situation would be addressed if the public schools do not reopen in August when we do?

A: We understand that childcare, eldercare and school situations have to be considered. Employees will need to work with their supervisors and HR if there is a conflict. Anyone with concerns related to returning to the workplace should contact Human Resources by emailing [email protected] or by calling 912-478-6947.

“Please note that this plan details our initial return to campus only,” said Marrero. “Communication with regard to the full implementation plan for Fall semester 2020 will be forthcoming.”

Marrero added that if any faculty or staff have questions, reach out to their supervisor or email their question to [email protected]

Andy Cole, Managing Editor for News Coverage, [email protected]