Georgia Southern’s First Virtual Convocation

State of the University Address
Kicks Off New Academic Year

Georgia Southern University President Kyle Marrero delivered a virtual State of the University address due to the pandemic. The address is usually given in-person before faculty and staff followed by a luncheon, but this year it was livestreamed from the Performing Arts Center on the Statesboro Campus.

University members tuned in from remote locations to hear the president discuss how Georgia Southern is successfully adapting during extraordinarily difficult times and will continue to be nimble during the academic year.

“We are being asked to be innovative, flexible, nimble and willing to adapt and change,” Marrero said after welcoming all back to the three campuses. “And I want to thank you. You all have been tremendous, remarkable, heroic even, as we made it through these times and as we navigate through these uncertain times.”

Marrero touted the herculean efforts of faculty and staff, who maintained the integrity of the University’s five pillars — student success, teaching and research, inclusive excellence, operational efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability, and community engagement, in the midst of a pandemic that caused the University to move fully online in March. Marrero also discussed strides around the University’s inclusive excellence efforts, highlighted by the newly established Office of Inclusive Excellence and the hiring of the University’s first associate vice president for inclusive excellence and chief diversity officer. In closing, Marrero signed off with a message of resilience and hope.

“We can continue to move forward,” he said. “We can continue to elevate and live our mission and our vision and our values even in these times. We will adapt, we’ll be nimble, and we’ll ensure that every day that the public health and safety of our faculty, staff, students and our community is of paramount importance.”

President Cites Recent Georgia Southern Milestones in State of the
University Address

Moved more than 5,000 classes to fully online to complete the Spring 2020 Semester

Delivered summer term fully online while seeing credit-hour generation move up by more than 4%, compared to the Summer 2019 Semester

Moved 4,600 students out of housing and provided support for more than 100 students who remained on campus

Refunded almost $11 million in housing, dining and fees to students

Held virtual Spring 2020 Commencement, viewed by more than 100,000 worldwide

Provided more than $11 million in CARES Act grant funding directly to students

Modeled a 14% state budget reduction for FY21, then completed a 10% realized reduction, totaling $14.2 million

Developed and implemented flexible and remote work processes

Assessed and modified almost 5,000 courses for Winter 2021

Prepared campus with signage, cloth face coverings, face shields, PPE, hand sanitizer stations

Formed and implemented the CARES Service Center