News - UPDATE: 6/12/2020

UPDATE: 6/12/2020

UPDATE: 6/12/2020

This summer will be busy as we plan and prepare for re-launching on campus classes and residence life. We are so excited to welcome our students and employees back to campus while recognizing the need to follow the current guidelines by government and health officials. President Davis has asked me to oversee a dedicated group tasked with preparing for students to return to campus in the fall. In addition to the groups outlined below, both President Davis and I are on a daily call with local civic and health leaders daily reviewing the health situation of our community and discussing preparation plans.

Each decision will be heavily vetted with the following task force groups focused on restoring our personal, face-to-face, hands-on learning experience that is essential to a Greenville University education. Safety for our students and employees is critical and we will need everyone’s help in following protocols established with the leadership of our local and state health departments. A driving force in our decision-making process is what we are hearing from our returning and prospective students and confirmed in recent data produced by Inside HigherEd. After surveying over 10,000 students’ as to what type of format they would like to participate in this fall, 78% of them voted to return to campus and classes as normal as possible. And this is possible as we work together with our local health department and follow safety protocols.

Our Re-Launch Task Force will be divided into the following subgroups and the leaders of the sub-groups will report up to me with a debrief once a week:

Protect Them: Led by Terrell Carter

Task force members: Dr. Michael Laughlin, Travis George (WFF Cleaning Services), Amber Henrichsmeyer, Terry Everett (adjunct faculty and Greenville Public Health), Jo Branscome, Stephen Groves, Renea Barnes

This group will focus on the health and protection of stakeholders, including incrementally bringing employees back to work on campus, hosting public events safely for students, prospective students, employees and community members. A back-to-work timeline and plan will be presented to the President’s Council by the second week in June. The group will examine best practices shared from higher education and governmental entities and focus on how the reopening of Illinois impacts us on campus in both Phase 3 and Phase 4.

Special volunteer consultant: Dr. Allen Turner, DBA, MBA, MSI, MEP, Emergency Management Specialist.

Teach Them: Led by Kasey Laughlin

Task force members: Michelle Sussenbach, Dr. Kathy Taylor, Dr. Eugene Dunkley, Dr. Terrell Carter, Patrick Farmer

This group will focus on the needs of a safe teaching environment, including cleaning and disinfecting, classroom distancing, and preparation for various models of educating based on potential circumstances.

Host Them: Led by Ross Baker

Task force members: Tom Ackerman, Naomi Brown, Mark Owens, Martin Porter, Robbie Schumacher, Chris Swift, Sean Eifert (administrator; Bond County Health Department)

This group will focus on the common space areas and how we eat together, live together, do community life, and participate in athletics together. The group will work to balance safety issues while allowing as much as possible, the GU experience and GU traditions to thrive.

Once again, we are so excited to welcome our community back this fall. We will continue to provide details and updates as this task force works together to achieve our goal.

Thank you,

Ross Baker

Dean of Students

This story was published on June 12, 2020

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