Dear East Georgia State College Faculty and Staff,
Although it seems like a lifetime ago, I left the private practice of law in Oregon in 1989 to head to Georgia with Joyce and our two daughter to come to take a teaching position at the University of Georgia in Athens. Initially, it was a temporary position. I loved the position and, luckily, it became permanent. I say “luckily” because a position at a college or a university gives you the privilege of being part of a community in which learning is at the heart of the community. Each day, your ideas are challenged and explored. You encounter new people of all ages and ethnicities from places unlike the one from which you came. You share events of many kinds from the arts to athletics and celebrate accomplishments. In short, an academic community --- like East Georgia State College --- is a special place.
Over the years since 1989, I admit, I allowed myself to become a bit complacent about this simple fact. Suddenly, in March of this year, much of this was suddenly taken from all of us by the coronavirus. Students moved out. Faculty and staff worked from home. The community sheltered in place. I am no longer complacent about what was taken away from all of us so suddenly.
So, that leads to the point of this brief letter. The University System of Georgia has directed all 26 colleges and universities in the system to prepare detailed, written “return to campus plans.” As devastatingly detailed as that sounds, it isn’t. It is very real. It means that we are actively planning for a return to campus at the start of fall 2020.
Many things will be different when all of us return. But the essence of the college will return. All of us will, again, be together and focused on learning. I am not ever going to take that for granted again.
I am looking forward to having everyone back on campus soon.
In the meantime, stay healthy. Stay safe.
East Georgia State College