An Update from President Jones Regarding Fall 2020
Submitted on May 26, 2020
Dear Campus Community,
Georgetown College will be in session this fall and spring. And, as much as possible, we are planning for in-person instruction and for athletic competitions. We are still working through the details of how this will look, but, for now, all of us should plan to be back together on campus this fall.
Safety must always come first. The lives and well-being of our students, faculty, staff, and coaches are too precious to risk carelessly. We also know how valuable it is to you, our students, to be able to be on campus, where you can interact with faculty, staff, coaches, and peers, forming relationships that will benefit and shape you for the rest of your lives. To that end, we will strive to create as safe of an environment as possible, knowing that we can never eliminate all risks on campus (or from your lives). Please note, we are doing all we can in our planning to be open as safely as we possibly can; however, local, state, and federal governments will dictate much of what occurs on campus (for example, eating in the dining hall or grab-and-go meals), with the method of our instruction (in-person with restrictions or entirely online), and how our students-athletes compete (or not).
Scenario-planning for the fall semester is well underway across the entire campus, and we expect to send out additional information to our college community by mid-June regarding campus schedules and our initial plan to mitigate risk for all of our students, faculty, and staff. I asked Dr. Jonathan Sands Wise, our VP of Enrollment Management, to chair a Scenario-Planning Taskforce that oversees seven different working groups. These working groups are looking at many creative ways to mitigate risk in our teaching and learning, in housing and dining, in athletics, and in events both on- and off-campus. With the help and support of all of our faculty and staff and guidance from our Board of Trustees, along with expert advice and cooperation from local health professionals and relevant government agencies, this taskforce is now working to determine how best to plan and prepare for a variety of different scenarios that we may face this coming academic year. We plan to send additional details to all students and families by the middle of June regarding exactly what campus changes will occur.
When we return to campus, things are going to be different. Barring any unforeseen major medical advances, changes to our usual way of doing business will be necessary to protect every member of our community as much as possible. We may not necessarily like all of these changes. However, by collectively committing to our neighbor’s safety, we will be able to gather together responsibly and rise above the various challenges created by this pandemic. We trust that, by God’s grace, this will be a year to remember: not just for its challenges and difficulties, but equally for all of the ways in which our faculty, staff, and students worked together to support one another. There will be much written about this time period regarding our global community, our country, and our efforts on campus. May we be the heroes in the college’s and community’s stories for what we did and how we did it.
Again, we will be open. And, we are planning to have all of you back on campus this fall. In the meantime, you can help make being back on campus as likely as possible by continuing to practice social distancing in your local communities, wear a mask when you are out and about in public, and stay home when you are sick. If you have any questions, or if I can help you in any way, please be in contact with me.
400 East College Street
Georgetown, KY 40324