“Be innovative, flexible, nimble and willing to adapt and change.” Georgia Southern University’s president delivers the Fall 2020 State of the University

“Be innovative, flexible, nimble and willing to adapt and change.” Georgia Southern University’s president delivers the Fall 2020 State of the University “Be innovative, flexible, nimble and willing to adapt and change.” Georgia Southern University’s president delivers the Fall 2020 State of the University

August 31, 20203 min read


Georgia Southern University President Kyle Marrero delivered a virtual State of the University fall 2020 address to faculty and staff, broadcast live from the Performing Arts Center on the Statesboro Campus on Aug. 12.


Maxing out with 1,507 viewers at one point, 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 fall semester.


“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. He cited specific examples of performance excellence since March with the following collective efforts:


  • 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;
  • Developed and began implementation of Initial Return to Campus and Return to Campus Plans, based on input from more than 130 faculty staff across campus and public health guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Georgia Department of Public Health;
  • 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 fall 2020;
  • Prepared campus with signage, cloth face coverings, face shields, PPE, hand sanitizer stations;
  • Formed and implemented the CARES Service Center;
  • Continued communication, coordination and monitoring of community health care providers, public/private schools, municipalities and agencies.


Marrero also presented August figures showing that fall 2020 enrollment looks strong compared to this same time last year, however, he was quick to note that the figures may fluctuate based on various factors throughout the semester. Final fall enrollment figures will be released in October.



“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.


“I am confident that we are ready as we can be and together we’ll assess and navigate the entirety of the fall semester with the goal and outcome of our students being successful. As a whole Georgia Southern University can make it through this together.”


If you are journalist and would like to know more about Georgia Southern university and how it is succeeding during COVID-19, simply reach out to Georgia Southern Director of Communications Jennifer Wise at jwise@georgiasouthern.edu to arrange an interview today.



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