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    COVID-19 

    April 7, 2020

    Savannah State University professors use 3D printing to produce PPE equipment for the COVID-19 pandemic 

    SAVANNAH – Savannah State University (SSU) professors Nicholas Silberg and Theo Plothe, Ph.D., are using 3D printing technology to help create masks for first responders and frontline healthcare workers in the coronavirus (COVID-19) battle. 

    Silberg, professor and chair of the Department of Fine Arts, Humanities and Wellness, and Plothe, an assistant professor in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications, are using a free 3D printing file from a Georgia dentist, who began the Fired by Corona movement, to make as many as eight masks per day. 

    “Each mask takes about four hours to print, though multiple masks can be printed at the same time on the two 3D printers we have in our MakerSpace,” said Silberg.

    The completed masks will be delivered to a local dentist where they will be disinfected, sealed and fitted with filters to prepare for use in the field. Though not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration nor the National Institute of Occupational Health & Safety, the 3D-printed masks can serve as a backup and provide much-needed protection for healthcare workers until the shortage of N95 masks is resolved. 

    Plothe said the SSU MakerSpace is totally devoted to this cause and has ceased all other projects to focus on its 3D printing efforts for the Fired by Corona movement.

    “The SSU MakerSpace is effective and always busy,” said Plothe. “Unfortunately, we don’t have enough machines to print at scale as we’d like.”

    If you have a 3D printer and would like to volunteer to produce masks, contact Plothe at plothet@savannahstate.edu, 912-358-3362, or Silberg at silbergn@savannahstate.edu, 912-358-3335.


    April 2, 2020

    Savannah State University Continues Online Instruction for May and Summer Semesters

    Savannah State University (SSU) and all University System of Georgia (USG) institutions will continue to deliver instruction remotely during May and summer semesters, with only limited exceptions.

    While half of SSU’s summer courses are typically offered online, we are transitioning to offer all of our courses online to current and prospective Savannah State University students. “Our dedicated faculty have worked quickly to transition their courses to this format,” said Reginald Leseane, Ph.D., interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “Not only that, but they have embraced providing the best online experience for our students to keep them engaged in their studies.”

    SSU and the other USG institutions are tentatively planning to return to normal on-campus operations for the fall semester should guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Georgia Department of Public Health allow it.

    In the interim, all institutions have been asked to continue their current telework and flexible work strategies for faculty and staff. USG institutions overall have remained open, with only minimal staff physically on-site to ensure continuity of certain services.

    We continue to prioritize the safety of our students, faculty and staff as we do our part to help stem the spread of the coronavirus in Georgia, and fulfill our mission to graduate our students in these challenging times.


    April 1, 2020

    Graduate program applicants for the summer and fall 2020 semesters will be considered for admission without GRE or GMAT test scores. Savannah State University made this decision following the suspension of most spring in-person GRE ® and GMAT™ testing by ETS and the Graduate Management Admission Council.

    For more information, call the Office of Graduate Studies at 912-358-3393 or email grad@savannahstate.edu.


    March 30, 2020

     Savannah State Applicants for Summer and Fall No Longer Need ACT or SAT Scores

    First-year students applying to Savannah State University for the summer and fall 2020 semesters can be admitted without an ACT or SAT score. The decision comes following approval by the University System of Georgia, and the decision of the College Board and ACT, to suspend all spring SAT and ACT testing dates in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Prospective students must meet all other admission requirements, including satisfactory completion of the Required High School Curriculum and provide all other requested documentation. Students who have SAT/ACT scores may still submit them.

    Savannah State admission counselors remain available to assist applicants and prospective students by calling 912-358-4338 or email admissions@savannahstate.edu.


    March 30, 2020

    Greetings Faculty and Staff:

    Thank you all for your continued support for our students and each other during this most difficult time. I appreciate and applaud your dedication to Savannah State University (SSU). With that in mind, I want to remind you of the following steps in order to reduce the further spread of COVID-19:

     Stay strong and stay safe, Tiger Family!

     Kimberly Ballard-Washington
    Interim President


    March 25, 2020

    Student Refund Plan – Please forward to your parents/guardians

    Greetings Students:

    First, thank you to each of you for your patience during this uncertain time in our lives. These last couple of weeks have been filled with quick adjustments we could not have conceived only a few months ago.

    Many of you have asked about refunds, and as a member institution of the University System of Georgia (USG), we have worked closely with the system office to review the services we will be able to deliver and what services we will need to end. The USG has approved Savannah State University’s (SSU) Student Refund Plan for the Spring 2020 Semester as follows:

    · Housing – Refunded at 45% of the specific housing charge. Amount will vary depending on your selected housing unit.

    · Dining Plans – Refunded at 45% of the specific meal plan purchased. Amount will vary based on your selected meal plan.

    · Laundry – Refunded at 45% of the original charge.

    · Post Office Box – Refunded at 45% of the original charge.

    · Transportation – Refunded at 45% of the original charge.

     We did not include specific dollar amounts in this email because each refund amount is unique. We anticipate to have all refunds issued during the week of April 6 – 10, 2020.

    Consistent with the USG guidance, SSU will not provide refunds for tuition, the Special Institutional Fee, the Technology Fee or other fees not previously mentioned as these remain critical in supporting continuity of instruction and associated support. Technology is obviously playing a critical role as we transition to remote instructional delivery. The technology fee will support successful delivery of instructional content in the weeks ahead.

    We understand you may have questions about this process, and we invite you to submit those to Student Financial Services and we will respond as quickly as possible.

    Though you are away from the campus, the Division of Student Affairs is committed to helping you stay connected and engaged during this stressful time. Activities for clubs and organizations will be online. Please continue to check your email for more information. The Counseling Center services are available as well by calling 912-358-3129.

    Once again, thank you for your patience and understanding during this unprecedented and challenging time. We are strengthened by witnessing your undaunted determination to

    continue learning, and to make this the best educational experience possible. Our faculty and staff are working alongside you in this effort.

    Stay safe, Tigers. Go Orange, Go Blue!

    Kimberly Ballard-Washington
    Interim President


    March 19, 2020

    Greetings Savannah State University students, faculty and staff:

    I hope you are doing everything you can to stay safe as we respond to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. 

    As we manage this ever-changing situation, our primary goal is to protect students, faculty, and staff. One of the most important preventative measures is to avoid having people in large groups as advised by the Georgia Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As a result of the guidance of federal and state agencies, here are key decisions you need to know:

    Cancellation of Events

    Commencement

    I am sure Spring 2020 is not the experience you expected, or wanted to have. It is not the experience I wanted you to have either. I’m sorry for the stress, uncertainty, and disappointment you may be feeling.  You may be asking why we, when we have no known incidents of COVID-19 on our campus or in our area, have to change our lives. We are under a statewide declaration of a public health emergency. We must follow the guidance of federal and state agencies for your health and protection.

    The situation is fluid. There are still questions about what the next few weeks and even months may look like. We want to help ease some of your concerns. It is important that you check your SSU email for the latest information.

    First, there are a lot of things we don’t know at the moment. Circumstances are changing rapidly, and there are some things we just don’t have definitive answers to right now.  We ask that you please be patient with us. We will share information with you through your SSU email as it becomes available.    

     

    We are grateful for your patience and support as we continue to work together through this transition.  Feel free to reach out to me if there is anything we can do to help.

    Stay safe, Tigers! 

    Kimberly Ballard-Washington
    Interim President
    Savannah State University


    March 17, 2020 

    Greetings Savannah State University Alumni:

    Savannah State University (SSU) cares about the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and alumni. We are providing you with an update regarding the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)) global health crisis including information we received from the University System of Georgia, steps Savannah State University is taking and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

    Online Instruction

    We have been provided notice that all University System of Georgia institutions, including Savannah State University, will be moving to online instruction effective, Monday, March 30, 2020, for the remainder of the semester.  SSU will continue office hours while employees telework or use flex schedules. Faculty and staff will spend the next two weeks developing or refining their area business continuity plans, including transferring all courses to an online format.

    SSU Athletics

    SSU Athletics has cancelled all games for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year and suspended practices until further notice. This action was taken following guidance provided by the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

    2020 Annual Scholarship Gala

    Given the recent developments around COVID-19, we are postponing the gala scheduled April 4. Once a new date has been determined, it will be announced. We look forward to your participation and appreciate your support for our students. 

    While we are accustomed to hugging and shaking hands, we urge you to practice social distancing. Put simply, the idea is to maintain a substantial distance between you and other people — in this case, at least six feet. That also means minimizing contact with people.  

    The coronavirus situation unfolds daily. The university’s emergency response team will continue to monitor the situation and promptly share relevant updates on www.savannahstate.edu. We also recommend that you monitor the CDC website, www.coronavirus.gov, as it provides the most current official information.

    Stay safe, Tigers! 

    Kimberly Ballard-Washington
    Interim President
    Savannah State University


    March 16, 2020 

    USG Moves to Online Instruction for Remainder of Semester

    ********************************************************************

    Greetings, Savannah State Campus Community: 

    As you are aware, effective today, Monday, March 16 through Sunday, March 29, 2020, all University System of Georgia (USG) institutions, including Savannah State University, will temporarily suspend instruction for two weeks. This two-week period will allow time for USG institutions to test their business continuity plans and online instruction modules, and for state officials to continue to assess the current situation regarding the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Georgia.

     

    On March 12, 2020, Governor Brian Kemp’s office issued a memo regarding State Workforce Readiness for COVID-19 advising state agencies to reduce the number of employees on-site at any one time. The memo provides guidance for the agencies to take immediate action to implement telework options for staff who can telework without interruption to their duties. For those employees who are not able to telework, the guidance advises agencies to increase work schedule flexibility.  

    We are asking employees to work with their dean or director to determine next steps related to their work schedules (telework or flexible work schedule) no later than end of today, Monday, March 16 based on the following guidance. Deans and directors will then provide a written plan to their respective vice presidents.

    ·       Telework – Telework options should be allowed for employees who can conduct their job duties remotely without interruption. 

    ·       Flexible Schedule – Supervisors should implement schedules that will reduce the number of employees in the workplace to the minimal level required at any given time to sustain service, safety, and compliance.

    Telework and work schedule flexibility should continue through Saturday, March 28. This is a fluid situation and updates will be provided, as needed. Please note, Savannah State University is not closed during this two-week period, and telework and flexible schedule policies will apply. Supervisors may waive the requirement to complete a telework agreement during this period, and the direct manager may approve the arrangement via email or alternative form.  

    In addition, below is guidance related to scheduled meetings and travel during this time:

    ·       Virtual Meetings/Gatherings – Transition required in-person meetings to an electronic format or reschedule for a later date, beyond March 29.  

    ·       Suspend non-essential travel 

    o    Employees should explore all options to obtain refunds or credits for cancelled or rescheduled conferences and business meetings.  Employees will be reimbursed for expenses that cannot be refunded due to COVID-19 assuming the travel was properly authorized consistent with travel regulations. 

    o    Presidential approval is required for any travel during this time.

    I would like to reiterate the University remains open for business. Faculty and staff will spend the next two weeks developing or refining their area business continuity plans, including transferring all courses to an online format. Faculty with specialized and/or animal labs should continue to attend to these facilities during this time. 

    We will remain in contact with you for updates as they become available.

    Thank you.

    Kimberly Ballard-Washington
    Interim President
    Savannah State University



    March 13, 2020

     

    Message to Savannah State Students: 

    Late yesterday afternoon, the University System of Georgia announced its decision to temporarily suspend instruction for two weeks at its 26 institutions, including Savannah State University, due to the recent developments around the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

    Why Weren’t Students Given More Notice

    Available Support for Students

     

    I’m fully aware this is an inconvenience given the immediacy. However, COVID-19 has proven to be extremely deadly and to prevent the spread of the disease to you and our campus community, it’s important to take this action quickly. My highest priority for you, in addition to your education, is your health and safety.

    Please be safe.

    Kimberly Ballard-Washington
    Interim President
    Savannah State University

     


    March 12, 2020

    Greetings Faculty and Staff:

    Effective Monday, March 16 through Sunday, March 29, 2020, all University System of Georgia institutions, including Savannah State University, will temporarily suspend instruction for two weeks to allow time for USG institutions to test their business continuity plans and online instruction modules and for state officials to continue to assess the current situation regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) in Georgia.

    Faculty and staff will spend the next two weeks developing or refining their area business continuity plans, including transferring all courses to an online format. Faculty with specialized and/or animal labs should continue to attend to these facilities during this time.

     We will remain in contact with you for updates as they become available. Thank you.

     Sincerely, 

     Kimberly Ballard-Washington 
     Interim President 


    March 11, 2020

    As you prepare to leave campus for Spring Break, please take precautions to stay healthy and safe, whether your plans include international or domestic travel, or even if you plan to stay in the Savannah area. Savannah State University is carefully monitoring developments of the coronavirus disease COVID-19 situation. University officials will continue to use information, guidance, and recommendations from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Georgia Department of Health that can best inform our decisions and shape the university’s response. 

     

    To date, there have been no cases of COVID-19 reported at Savannah State University. Although cases have been reported in Georgia, the risk remains low. We depend on updates and recommendations from the CDC and the U.S. Department of State and encourage you to be vigilant in protecting yourself and others. 

     

    During Spring Break: 

     

    Register Your Travel:  

     

    Before Returning to Campus: 

     

    How to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19: 

     

    COVID-19 is spreading in the U.S. and in other countries. Please follow CDC guidelines and recommendations. We encourage you to get updated travel information at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel

    Stay safe! 

    Sincerely,
    Kimberly Ballard-Washington
    Interim President