January 7, 2021
Contact: Linda Fox  | 706-542-4879  | More about Linda


Welcome back and a very happy new year to you all! I hope you all had a chance to relax and catch your breath over the holidays. As we get ready for the spring semester classes to begin, here are a dozen reminders and updates:

  1. We will continue to follow in-person instruction with social distancing. Our priority remains unchanged – we should maximize in-person instruction in a way that maintains health and safety considerations for all faculty, staff and students.
  2. Appropriate face coverings will continue to be required while inside University facilities/buildings. The University provided all faculty, staff and students two face coverings to start the Fall Semester. With the realization that these have been heavily utilized, the University has purchased one additional face covering for campus community members. UGA has established several distribution sites around the Athens campus to ensure easy pickup and to reduce probability of crowds in any one campus location. Students on UGA’s extended campuses (Griffin, Tifton, Buckhead, Gwinnett, etc.) will have an opportunity to pick up one additional face covering at their locations as well. Local campus administrators will follow up with information on those designated distribution sites.  Students will need to have their University-issued ID to pick up a face covering.
  3. Following extensive campus-wide communications in October 2020, a detailed “spring planning” note was sent by OVPI to all faculty and graduate teaching assistants. The message is available here: https://ovpi.uga.edu/news/preparing-for-spring/. It lists several resources, practices and priorities that can help us have a successful semester ahead. I encourage you to look over this again and share this information with your faculty and TAs as you feel appropriate.
  4. UGA will be operating on a revised academic calendar - classes will begin on January 13 (instead of January 11), there will be no spring break, and we will have three instructional breaks (February 17, March 12, and April 8). Some professional degree programs have additional modifications to their academic calendar – if you have additional changes, please be sure to communicate these with students in those programs.
  5. Following discussions with the Educational Affairs Committee (EAC) in the Fall, it was decided that there should be no assignments or course-work for any classes or for extra-curricular activities on instructional break days. It is also strongly recommended that no such activities occur on the day after the break. The exact language from the EAC was shared in a memo in December. I ask department heads and directors to please remind all instructors in our college about this requirement so they can develop their syllabi accordingly. This will also be highlighted in a campus-wide communication early next week.
  6. Our college facilities manager and building services team are checking all the classrooms in your buildings to make sure these have the correct furniture placement and markings to enable social distancing as well as supplies in the hallways for sanitation. Across campus, 32 additional classrooms were upgraded with technology, including classrooms in Barrow and Dawson. While this work is slightly behind schedule due to delays in equipment availability, most classrooms should be ready when classes begin. If you need any additional help with your assigned classroom, please contact Melinda Pethel regarding teaching technology and contact Joe Nageotte for other facilities/furnishings issues as soon as possible.
  7. Classes are offered in three formats: in-person, hybrid, and on-line: The formats for all classes must be identified in Athena and should not be changed without approval from the Office of the Provost. Your department head submitted the instructional format in December and should be contacted if you have questions.
  8. UGA will continue to use the revised class periods with an additional 5-minutes between classes. Campus transit will continue to operate, but will have reduced capacity due to social distancing.
  9. We continue to receive some inquiries about attendance policy. As a reminder, the policy has not changed and faculty can adopt attendance requirements that best suit their classes. However, we anticipate a number of students needing to quarantine/isolate (especially early in the semester) and class attendance requirements must remain sufficiently flexible to address these needs.  We also have received inquiries about students desiring online accommodations in face-to-face and hybrid courses.  Students without a DRC accommodation need to make plans to follow instructor guidelines as outlined in their syllabus.
  10. The Student Care and Outreach team will continue to notify instructors when a student in their classes need to quarantine or isolate. Some of your faculty may have received these notifications this week (since students with positive tests this week may not be able to attend class in-person next week)
  11. Remember to have a back-up instructor for all your classes, in case an instructor needs to be in quarantine/isolation and is temporarily unable to communicate with students.
  12. A significant challenge in the Fall was helping students new to UGA connect with faculty, other students or broadly engage in the UGA community. The spring semester will bring over 2000 new students to UGA (freshmen, transfers, graduate and professional). Helping these students – and the ones who started in the Fall, but never really got an opportunity to have a true UGA experience – should remain a big priority for all of us.

If there is anything else I can do to help you have a successful spring semester, please let me know.


The UGA Libraries and Center for Teaching and Learning are pleased to announce the call for applications for the third round of the Provost’s Affordable Course Materials Grant program. This grant is intended to provide one-time funding to support the adoption of open and/or affordable (less than $40) course materials. Awards will be made up to $5,000 each, with a total of $60,000 being awarded. These funds are eligible for use as salary and as operating expenses and must be expended by the end of FY21.

Criteria: Grant submissions will be evaluated for impact (dollars saved per student and size of student population impacted) and sustainability of project.

Eligibility: All full-time faculty (Academic Professionals, Instructors, Lecturers, Assistant, Associate and Full Professors, etc.) may apply for this grant. Applications from teams (e.g. groups of instructors teaching the same course) also will be accepted.

Grant proposal submissions should be submitted using the application form at this link and are due January 15, 2021. Applicants will be notified of their funding status by February 19, 2021. More information on the Affordable Course Materials Grant program is available here


Please join me in congratulating the following faculty and staff on being named the recipients of the $5,000 for each project from the Sweaney Innovation Fund award for 2021.

The first project that will be funded is by Clair McClure, TMI and Cara Simmons, SSCA, Creating an E-resource for FACS 2000/FACS 2000E Introduction to Family and Consumer Sciences.  This project will create a unified and comprehensive e-resource with interactive elements for seamless instruction across all instructors and sections;  Illustrate the alignment between F ACS 2000/E and other F ACS departmental courses (i.e., FHCE 2100, HDFS 2100); and develop substantial dissemination of information about the Body of Knowledge (BoK) for student learning, instructive effectiveness, and accreditation documentation.

The second project funded is by Patryk Babiarz and Adriana Garcia, FHCE, Advancing Analytical Skills in Undergraduate Students Using Current and Real-life Empirical Research Outcomes and Active Learning Opportunities. The project goal is to develop learning experiences and class materials including slides, software code samples (R and SAS), problem sets, and experiential learning opportunities using public datasets and statistical techniques with real world current and relevant topics. These class materials will be used to enhance the understanding, skills, and motivation to learn and apply analytics techniques for students enrolling in FHCE5150/7150 Consumer Analytics: Evidence-Based Policy. By providing real life examples, students will develop a clear sense of the type of problems they will be hired to solve in their professional careers.


While you may know and have already celebrated virtually the retirement of a faculty member in your unit, you may not know of others in the College who opted for the Voluntary Separation Retirement Incentive Program and retired Dec. 31, 2020. Here they are in alpha order.

  • Elizabeth Andress, FDN
  • Brenda Cude, FHCE
  • Jerry Gale, HDFS
  • Patti Hunt-Hurst, Dean’s Unit
  • Denise Lewis, HDFS
  • Michael Rupured, FHCE

All of these faculty have been granted emeritus faculty status by President Morehead. Congratulations and thank you all for your service to the College and University over your many years at UGA.


The virtual retirement event for the Associate Dean for Academic Programs, Patti Hunt-Hurst is 4:00 pm Thursday, January 14th. You may join us by registering online before Tuesday, Jan 12.

Please use this link to register: https://dar.uga.edu/apps/htmlemails/viewinbrowser/18579.  You will receive a registration confirmation and the zoom link for the actual virtual event will be sent to you at a later date.

If you have any questions, you may reach out to Linda Kirk Fox, Dean at lkfox@uga.edu or Terri Puckett, Administrative Associate, Department of Textiles, Merchandising and Interiors, at (706) 542-4891 or terri.puckett@uga.edu.


The UGA annual celebration of the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be held on the same day as in the past, with the program consisting of a video premiere instead of a breakfast.

Visit FACEBOOK.COM/UNIVERSITYOFGA at 9:00 am EST on Friday, January 15. This event is free and open to the public.

SCHEDULE (Dean’s travel and purpose during the next few weeks):

·         No travel planned.

·         The next Dean’s Update will be the week of Jan. 11.


Linda Kirk Fox


The College of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Georgia embraces a commitment to diversity by modeling for the state and nation a community of individuals and programs which seek to reduce prejudice, disparities, and discrimination and build a supportive environment for all.