Coronavirus Updates

See how Georgia College is Staying Connected.

Georgia College is monitoring the coronavirus outbreak very closely and continues to receive guidance from the University System of Georgia (USG), the Georgia Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control.

For information on the reported cases at Georgia College, please visit our GC COVID-19 Reporting and Confirmed Cases dashboard.


Coronavirus Resources

The following resources provide more information about COVID-19 and appropriate mitigation strategies:

Information about Coronavirus

Travel information from the Centers for Disease Control

Travel Advisory from US State Department

US State Department

World Health Organization

Georgia Department of Health

University System of Georgia Resources

USG COVID-19 Health Benefits Update

The following links provide resources and information for students, faculty and staff related to learning, teaching and academic resources:

GC Keeps Teaching

GC Keeps Learning

USG Resources for Faculty

USG Resources for Students

Georgia College has received federal funding under the CARES Act. These emergency financial aid grants are for student expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus including eligible expenses such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and child care. More information, including eligibility requirements and the application, can be found on the CARES Act website


Messages to the Community

View all messages sent to students

June 10, 2020- 7:52 a.m.

Dear Bobcats,

The health and safety of Georgia College students, faculty, and staff is of the utmost concern for the university. Out of an abundance of caution, and due to continued concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, Georgia College will amend the fall semester academic calendar.

Fall classes will begin Wednesday, August 12, instead of the originally scheduled date of Monday, August 17. Fall break, originally set for October 12-13, has been removed from the calendar.  The last day of classes will be Tuesday, November 24.  Final exams will begin Tuesday, December 1, after the Thanksgiving break and will take place online.  The full revised academic calendar is available here, and the final exam schedule here.

The goal of these changes is to ensure learning continues while limiting the potential spread of COVID-19 by reducing travel to and from campus.

This new calendar has been reviewed and approved by the University System of Georgia and is supported and endorsed by the Georgia College academic administration.

More details on the university housing plan and move-in date procedures will be shared as soon as possible.  I truly appreciate your continued support. 

Sincerely,

Steve M. Dorman

President
Georgia College & State University

_____________________________________________________________

April 13, 2020- 4:17 p.m.

Recognizing the unique situation we are facing with COVID-19 and the shift to fully online classes, Georgia College has decided to extend the last day to drop with a W grade through Friday, April 24. If you would like to pursue this option, you may use your Unify/PAWS account to make this change to your schedule.

I strongly encourage you to speak with your academic advisor and your instructor before making a decision to drop a class. You will want to consider the impact of dropping a course not only in terms of your gpa, but also its potential effect on completing degree requirements, finishing prerequisites, and completing requirements for admission to certain major programs. Your instructor can provide valuable feedback for you on ways you can improve your performance in class, give you an objective evaluation of your current status, and guide you toward additional resources. Both can provide assistance and tips on managing the shift to online courses. 

Dropping a class may also have implications on your financial aid eligibility (including HOPE).  You should contact the Financial Aid Office if you have any questions or concerns about your aid eligibility.  Their contact information is 478-445-5149 or financialaid@gcsu.edu.

I am also available and would be glad to review your options with you.  Please take advantage of all of your resources at this time.  All of the Georgia College faculty and staff are committed to helping you succeed, especially during these unusual times.  
 
A. Kay Anderson
Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management
and University Registrar

_____________________________________________________________

April 9, 2020- 10:25 a.m.

Students,

As we prepare to issue the pro-rated refunds for Housing, Meal Plans, Mandatory and Course Fees, it is imperative that your information is current.  If you are due a refund, there are two options for delivery: Direct Deposit or Paper Check.  We strongly encourage you to sign up for Direct Deposit, if you are not already signed up.

To access your funds faster, please enroll in Direct Deposit using the following instructions:

                1.  Log into Unify
                2.  Click the PAWS icon
                3.  Select the Student Account Center tab and proceed to the Student Account Center
                4.  Select the Electronic Refunds link on the right side of the page
                5.  Click the Set Up Account button and follow the on screen instructions

Please note, refunds will no longer be available for pick-up at the Business Office.  If you do not sign up for Direct Deposit, your refund check will be mailed to the current address on file.  Please follow the instructions below to ensure your account has the most up-to-date address listed.

1.  Log into Unify
                2.  Click the PAWS icon
                3.  Select the Personal Information tab
                4.  Select View Addresses and Phones to view current address on file
                5.  Select Update Addresses and Phones to update with current address

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Business Office at 478-445-5254, or by email at businessoffice@gcsu.edu.

Sincerely,

GC Business Office

View all messages sent to faculty and staff

July 1, 2020- 10:47 a.m.

Dear GC Colleagues,

The legislative session has come to an end and we now have a clearer picture of our budget for FY 2021. I am writing this letter to inform you how we will account for the current budget reductions. The University System of Georgia (USG) was required to reduce institutional budgets to meet realized and projected state revenue declines.  The state funds operating budget recognized a decrease of 10.8% over FY 2020.  Reductions were allocated across all institutions proportionally based on the FY 2020 budget. 

Fortunately, furloughs will not be implemented to meet the current FY 2021 budget. However, furlough language will remain in the faculty contracts to allow for future flexibility, if needed.  In lieu of furloughs, alternative measures were required to meet the budgetary shortfall for FY 2020. These measures are noted below. 

New funding for formula funding, which includes funding for enrollment growth, increased square footage, and health insurance increases for FY 2021 was not received.  To address the enrollment earnings of the unfunded formula funding, the USG acted to provide increased funds to institutions with growing enrollment, while those institutions with declining credit hour production will see a reduction.  Georgia College was slated for a slight increase in enrollment funding thanks to an increase in graduate enrollment in FY 2019. 

Funding to support student success system initiatives was allocated and adjustments to funding were made to address a decline in the Teacher’s Retirement System employer rate.  Undergraduate enrollment declines in FY 2020 and projected FY 2021 have created an additional reduction to revenue streams supporting the operating budget.  This cumulative loss in revenue is addressed in the FY 2021 original budget. 

Capital project funding and Major Repair and Rehabilitation (MRR) funding is being allocated through state general obligation bonds. Georgia College was approved for FY 2021 funding to support two capital projects (see below), as well as funds to support an approved MMR project. 

 

Summary of Required GC FY 2021 Legislative/USG Budget Changes: 

 

  • FY 2021 Budget Reduction for GC: ($4,083,505) 
  • FY 2021 Budget Reduction for Georgia Center for Early Language and Literacy: ($280,680)
  • Enrollment Earnings: $45,448
  • Unfunded Health Insurance Increases: ($289,000)
  • Know More, Borrow Less Funding Initiative: $29,750
  • Teacher’s Retirement System Rate changes: ($403,414)
  • Teacher’s Retirement System Payment for ORP Members: $55,897
  • Tuition Decline: ($327,752)
  • Integrated Science Complex Capital Project: $2.1 million
  • Andalusia Interpretive Center Small Capital Project: $2 million
  • MRR/ HVAC Replacement for Parks Hall: $1.7 million (estimated allocation)

 

Georgia College Selected FY 2021 Budgetary Reduction Measures: ($4,365,809)

 

  • Temporary reduction to all travel budgets: ($175,000)
  • Reduction in institutional contingency funding: ($1,300,000)
  • Reduction in sixty-two departmental budgets across all divisions: ($149,050)
  • Eliminated twenty-two unfilled positions: ($1,382,071)
  • Increased summer revenue institutional overhead two percent: $133,000
  • Redirected permanent lapse funding: ($217,892)
  • Temporary freeze on all non-instructional vacant positions ($1,008,796)

 

The bulk of the financial stress recognized in the FY 2021 budget can be attributed to the negative impact of COVID-19.  As we collectively work through this uncertain time with austere budgets, faculty, staff and student health and well-being remain paramount in our efforts.  This year’s budget, albeit restrained, continues to provide adequate resources needed to achieve student success, student affordability, campus safety measures, and mission-critical initiatives. We are fortunate that we can fund these important activities while at the same time protecting the existing positions we have.

I would like to thank Vice President Allen and her budgetary team for putting together these budget numbers in the system at the last minute so that we all could receive a July pay check. Thanks also to each of you for your patience and understanding as we go through what will be a ‘lean’ year budgetarily. I am hopeful that as the economy improves, our budget situation will also improve so that we can continue to provide high quality academic programs and an outstanding college experience for our students.

Sincerely,

Steve M. Dorman

President
Georgia College & State University

_____________________________________________________________

June 10, 2020- 7:52 a.m.

Colleagues,

The health and safety of Georgia College students, faculty, and staff is of the utmost concern for the university. Out of an abundance of caution, and due to continued concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, Georgia College will amend the fall semester academic calendar.

Fall classes will begin Wednesday, August 12, instead of the originally scheduled date of Monday, August 17. Fall break, originally set for October 12-13, has been removed from the calendar.  The last day of classes will be Tuesday, November 24.  Final exams will begin Tuesday, December 1, after the Thanksgiving break and will take place online.  The full revised academic calendar is available here, and the final exam schedule here.

The goal of these changes is to ensure learning continues while limiting the potential spread of COVID-19 by reducing travel to and from campus.

This new calendar has been reviewed and approved by the University System of Georgia and is supported and endorsed by the Georgia College academic administration.

More details on the university housing plan and move-in date procedures will be shared as soon as possible.  I truly appreciate your continued support. 

Sincerely,

Steve M. Dorman

President
Georgia College & State University

_____________________________________________________________

May 27, 2020 - 2:28 p.m.

Dear GC Colleagues,

We recently submitted plans to the system office outlining a gradual and staggered return to campus. The system office has now authorized us to begin implementing the reopening of our campus.   I would like to explain what these next steps will be as we reopen the university. Additional information will follow for faculty members and students as we begin preparing for the Fall semester and beyond.

As always, the health and safety of our campus community remain our top priorities. Therefore, we will do all that we can to comply with executive orders and directives from the Governor’s office and ensure that our reopening plan adheres to guidance from the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH) and the CDC.  As we work through the reopening of our campus, I would like to remind you of our campus values of Reason, Respect, and Responsibility. As we implement these reasonable health and safety measures we do so not only because we have a responsibility to keep you healthy and safe, but also because all of us should respect the health and safety of others on campus.

We will have a gradual and staged return to campus. Movement forward with this plan will be dependent upon continued good health of our employees. As we monitor the progression of this plan, we will not hesitate to slow the progress should we determine there is a spike in COVID-19 cases.

If, after reading this letter, you have questions about your time to return to campus, please do not hesitate to contact your supervisor or your appropriate vice president.

Stage 1, Weeks 1-2: Beginning June 1, all facilities management employees will return to campus as appropriate. In addition, some financial services employees will return to close out the current fiscal year and prepare for the coming financial year. The Georgia College campus will undergo a deep-cleaning process that will last approximately two weeks. All employees involved in this process will be provided with appropriate PPE to perform these duties and will be trained regarding safety and health prior to beginning their job functions. Employees are expected to wear appropriate PPE properly at all times.  These procedures will ensure that our campus has been fully cleaned and is ready for the gradual return of faculty and staff. The plan for cleaning campus prior to employees returning or in conjunction with employees returning will use best practices as learned through the Georgia National Guard Training and existing protocols for cleaning campuses.  Relevant preparations during this time will include preparing office spaces and high-touch areas such as campus elevators, stairs, restrooms and common areas. Also, appropriate supplies will be provided to encourage mitigation, including hand sanitizers, adjustments to furnishings to ensure appropriate distancing, and the installation of signage and markings that promote safe practices. In some situations, plexiglass barriers may be installed. Please see the attached chart to determine departments and employees who will be returning to campus during this first stage.

Stage 1, Weeks 3-4: On June 15, the university’s senior leadership and senior management for academic and administrative units will return to campus as needed to review their overall work environment and ensure appropriate physical configurations are made to adhere to all relevant health and safety guidance. Vice presidents will consult with their extended leadership to determine appropriate scheduling and/or physical environment needs to accommodate appropriate social distancing. Plans must also be made to accommodate visitors to campus offices. It is possible that some units on campus will continue to have flexible work arrangements through a combination of working hour shifts, teleworking, or alternating campus working days. University employees must follow appropriate social distancing guidelines when on campus. University employees must wear face masks except in personal offices and spaces. Please see the attached chart to determine departments and employees who will be returning to campus during this time.

Stage 2: Beginning June 29, staff from administrative and academic units across campus may return to work on campus on a limited basis. Offices will begin to open to the public on a limited basis with limited staff. Prior to this point, you will be notified by your supervisor regarding work scheduling or physical distancing measures that must be used to comply with a safe work environment. University employees must follow appropriate social distancing guidelines when on campus. University employees must wear face masks except in personal offices and spaces. Please see the attached chart to determine departments and employees who will be returning to campus during this time.

Stage 3:  Stage 3 will begin on August 1 as we prepare for faculty and students to return to campus. All offices will be open. Staffing levels will be determined at that time. University employees must follow appropriate social distancing guidelines when on campus. University employees must wear face masks except in personal offices and spaces. Appropriate provisions and modifications to programs may be necessary to comply with recommendations from the Georgia Department of Public Health.


Here are some specific guidelines and things you need to know and practice as you return to campus (This applies to all stages):

1. Testing:  At this time, there are no plans to routinely test for COVID-19 among otherwise healthy faculty and staff. However, if you are a GC employee who is sick or becomes sick with COVID-19  symptoms, you will be asked to not be on campus and be expected to provide results of a COVID-19 test prior to your return to campus. You will be assisted by HR in finding the proper outlet for testing.

2. Contact tracing: The Georgia Department of Public Health has committed to contact tracing. If you or someone you work with is diagnosed with COVID-19, the Department of Public Health will be notified. They are the responsible party for contract tracing, and they will determine if further tracing and testing needs to be done by you or others in the office environment.

3. Isolation & Quarantine: If you are COVID-19 positive or believe you have been exposed to COVID-19 prior to coming to work, you must contact HR. If you have become sick while on campus, you will be sent home immediately; and HR will contact you. HR will consult with you regarding your testing options. If testing indicates that you are COVID positive, you will be directed to self-quarantine. During self-quarantine, you will be expected to work from home if possible. Should you become sick, you will be expected to take appropriate leave; and work will be discontinued. If you come into contact with someone who has been identified as COVID-19 positive either on or off the job, you should tell your supervisor, self-monitor and contact HR immediately. If you have questions regarding your need for a test based upon exposure with others who may or may not have been COVID-19 positive or other potential exposure situations which arise, you may contact Rhonda Dixon in Student Health Services at ext. 1282.

4. Hygiene Expectations: Every employee is expected to follow GDPH and CDC basic guidelines:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue or inside your elbow.

5. Face Masks/Face Coverings:   Until further notice, all employees, students, and faculty must wear face masks in all public situations, meetings, events and assemblies on campus where there is the likelihood that the social distancing requirements may be compromised.  Use of face masks may be discontinued in personal office spaces and residence hall rooms.  If you do not have a face mask, one will be provided for you. Visitors to campus offices will be supplied with a mask to use during their interactions on campus.

6. Social Distancing: Please make every effort to comply with the social distancing requirements. This means, when at all possible, you should stay 6-feet away from others and not gather in groups. Please refrain from handshaking and related unnecessary person-to-person contact in the workplace. Please refrain from using other employees’ phones, desks, office spaces, or other work tools and equipment.

7. Alternate Work Arrangements will be made for Employees who are at High Risk: Individuals who fall into one of the following GDPH and CDC categories for higher risk for severe illness with COVID-19 may request alternate work arrangements.  Based on what we know now, those at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 are:

  • People 65 years and older
  • People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
  • People of all ages with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, including:
    • People with chronic lung disease or moderate-to-severe asthma
    • People who have serious heart conditions
    • People who are immunocompromised
    • People with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher)
    • People with diabetes
    • People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
    • People with liver disease

The USG Human Resources department has provided a common form for employees to use in  making such a request. Documentation for underlying medical conditions will be required as a part of the request.  If you believe you fall into a high-risk category that would make you a vulnerable employee, please contact Amber Collins (478-445-4236) at the Georgia College Human Resources Office. GC HR will review the request and, upon approval, will work with the employee and their immediate supervisor in documenting and providing for an alternate work arrangement.

8. Monitoring Employees for COVID-19:

Self-Monitoring – It is your responsibility to monitor your health. Do not come to work if you are ill. All employees should be diligent about self-monitoring.  Symptoms of COVID-19 can be found online and are listed below:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

This is not an exhaustive list of symptoms; and other less common symptoms have been reported, including gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. As more is known, other symptoms may emerge. Employees should be vigilant about checking their own health. If you have any of these symptoms DO NOT COME TO WORK.

Temperature Checks – Employees may be asked to engage in temperature checks while on campus.  Normal temperature should not exceed 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit without the aid of fever-reducing medications.  If an employee shows a temperature above 100.4, the employee will be sent home by their supervisor immediately and should contact their healthcare provider.  GC HR will contact the employee that day to determine the extent of the illness. To return to work, employees should provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result OR should be without a fever above 100.4 for a period of 72 hours without the aid of fever-reducing medications and have no additional symptoms.  Employees who are sent home should use applicable leave options which will be described by HR.

9. Travel: Non-essential travel is prohibited until further notice.

10. No non-essential activities: There will be no face-to-face, nonessential activities conducted on campus during Stages 1 and 2. This includes but is not limited to all internal and external events, camps, facility rentals, campus meetings, intercollegiate activities, intramural activities, Kids University, congregating groups, Montessori Academy programming, and Student-Life programming. Further guidance will be forthcoming regarding Stage 3.

11. Central points of notification:  Requests regarding HR related issues should be sent to Amber Collins (478-445-4236) at the Georgia College Human Resources Office.  Health-related questions should be directed to Britt McRae (478-445-5288) at Student Health Services.

12. The Plan: For more information, please consult the Georgia College Reopening Plan that was recently submitted to the Chancellor’s Office. Because we are in an everchanging environment, guidance provided in this letter supersedes any guidance provided in that plan.

I recognize that while many of us welcome the return to campus and seeing our colleagues once again, the situation is still far from business as usual. This correspondence is meant to provide guidance for Stages 1 and 2 as we begin a gradual and staged return to campus. More guidance will come as we prepare for Stage 3 and the eventual return of students to our campus.  The COVID-19 situation is fluid, and guidance will very likely change over time, even after these plans are prepared and implemented. Please know that our goal is to protect the health of employees and students. Everyone at the university has an individual responsibility to contribute to proper behavior and adhere to public health guidance to protect themselves and others as well as to help contain the spread of the virus. Our institutional controls are only as effective as the willingness of individuals to cooperate with these guidelines.  

Thank you for all that you do for Georgia College, especially during these challenging and unprecedented times.

Sincerely,

 

Steve M. Dorman

President
Georgia College & State University

 

 

Help Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus

 

Coronavirus (COVD-19) Safety Advice and Tips: 1. Wash hands with water and soap/sanitizer for at least 20 seconds. 2. Don't touch eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. 3. Wear a mask. 4. Avoid crowded places and maintain 6 feet of distance when possible. 5. Avoid contact with sick people. 6. If you become sick, seek medical care immediately.