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 more information about how Georgia College is continuing to build a campus wherever you go, visit the university's GC United website. The site features upcoming events, resources, videos, webinars, information on GC Helping Hands Hardship fund, and more.
- Georgia College and the University System of Georgia’s 26 institutions will continue to deliver instruction remotely during May and summer semesters, with only limited exceptions. We are tentatively planning to return to normal on-campus operations for the fall semester should guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Georgia Department of Public Health allow it.
- On April 29, President Dorman announced working groups that are working to address when and how Georgia College will be able to resume normal operations. Details from these groups will be forthcoming in the coming weeks.
- In accordance with Governor Kemp's order for state agencies to reduce their budgets by 14% for fiscal year 2021, administration is working with leaders at the system office and on campus to submit a revised budget for the next fiscal year. View Georgia College's proposed budget recommendation.
- For information on the reported cases in the state of Georgia see the Georgia Department of Health daily report.
- In line with the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the University System of Georgia (USG), Georgia College has canceled all upcoming Spring and Summer faculty-led Study Abroad programs, effective March 19, 2020. The health, safety, and security of Georgia College students and faculty is always the number one priority of Georgia College and the International Education Center, and faculty program leaders are developing plans to keep students on-track for graduation.
- 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.
- Georgia College is open but is operating with limited in person interaction. For a list of service availability, visit our service availability website.
This website will be updated as new information becomes available and as the situation unfolds.
In an effort to find useful information as quickly as possible, below is a list of frequently used numbers:
- Academic Advising Center - (478) 445-2361
- Admissions - (478) 445-1283
- Business Office - (478) 445-5254
- Career Center - (478) 445-5384
- Financial Aid - (478) 445-5149
- Housing Office - (478) 445-5160
- Human Resources - (478) 445-5596
- Information Technology - (478) 445-7378
- Registrar's Office - (478) 445-6286
Messages to the Community
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 email@example.com.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
GC Business Office
April 2, 2020- 1:35 p.m.
Georgia College and the University System of Georgia’s 26 institutions will continue to deliver instruction remotely during May and summer semesters, with only limited exceptions.
We are tentatively planning to return to normal on-campus operations for the fall semester should guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Georgia Department of Public Health allow it.
In the interim, we have been asked to continue their current telework and flexible work strategies for faculty and staff. Georgia College, overall has remained open, with only minimal staff physically on-site to ensure continuity of certain services.
We continue to prioritize the safety of our students, faculty and staff as we do our part to help stem the spread of the coronavirus in Georgia and fulfill our mission to graduate our students in these challenging times.
Steve M. Dorman
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:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- 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.
Steve M. Dorman
Georgia College & State University
May 20, 2020- 6:31 p.m.
Dear Georgia College Colleagues,
Thank you for your continued patience and diligence in your work in light of the uncertainty dictated by our circumstances. Today, I want to update you on the progress of the Reopening Working Groups and our proposed Budget Reduction Plan. Our reopening work groups continue to meet and deliberate. The draft plan for the first working group, the Workplace and Health Safety Committee, has been submitted to the Chancellor’s staff for review. Plans for the remaining working groups (academics affairs, student life, public service/continuing education, communications, and financial impact) will be submitted to the system office by May 26. We will share more with the campus once these plans are approved for implementation.
In other developments, I have attached a summary of our proposed budget plan which adopts the directives that the system office has communicated earlier. We continue to experience challenging times. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the state’s economy, and this will undoubtedly affect higher education. This April, state revenues declined by more than $1 billion (or 35.9%) compared to April of last year. Further revenue declines are expected and will likely result in serious budget reductions we must plan for now.
The University System of Georgia (USG) and all state agencies were recently asked to prepare budget plans that reduce spending by 14% in Fiscal Year 2021, which starts July 1. Nothing will be final until a budget appropriation is approved by the General Assembly and signed by the Governor. That is expected to happen in June, as legislative leaders meet for the remainder of the 2020 legislative session and finalize the FY21 state budget.
Chancellor Wrigley asked us to be strategic in our approach as we plan for this reduction at our institution. Our greatest priority continues to be helping our students complete a college education. Again, I want to reiterate that this a plan, and final reductions will be determined in the weeks ahead.
In an effort to remain transparent, please know that we will continue to update the campus as we learn more.
Again, thank you for your kind words and support during these unprecedented times. Please stay well!
Steve M. Dorman
Georgia College & State University
May 7, 2020- 5:46 p.m.
Georgia College Colleagues,
Please find below the Salary Tier Chart that the USG has provided to us as guidance for the furlough implementation as we develop our respective plan for a 14% budget reduction. Please understand that this is a plan at this point and that we will manage toward the budget that we are finally provided from the General Assembly.
Proposed Salary Tiers for Furlough:
Steve M. Dorman
Georgia College & State University