July 6, 2021
Contact: Linda Fox  |   | More about Linda


I want to take a moment to thank you, each and every one of you, for all your hard work, dedication, flexibility, and commitment over the last year.

The end of rotational work schedules and return to work on campus is beginning in earnest today. Some individuals have approved adjustments for remote work schedules for the month of July, approved by the employees’ supervisor, the dean, and HR. If you don’t fall into that category with pre-approved exceptions, there is an expectation for your physical presence in the workplace in order to support our students and constituents most effectively.

There are no face covering or social distancing requirements for those who are fully vaccinated, and we do not anticipate COVID-19-related restrictions on either teaching or research activities in the fall. If you have not received a vaccine, I strongly encourage you to do so. 

Travel authorities (TAs) will no longer be required for in-state travel also starting July 1, 2021. An approved travel authority will still be required for all out-of-state travel using pre-COVID procedures and regulations.

It is the opinion of many that we work best from the office environment where we can brainstorm new ideas and collaborate with more ease in person. We will, however, continue to harness the advantages of Zoom meetings and use of hybrid meeting and teaching formats.

Kelly Kerner, UGA’s Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations sums it up nicely in his video “Welcome Back” https://apps.dar.uga.edu/html-emails/-/gail-email/tbd-12. I like his message of empathy during the time of transition back to campus and appreciation for employees. It is worth repeating and sharing his message with all of you in FACS!

I know this has been a particularly challenging time for us all. But I’m encouraged by the progress being made with the vaccine and the prospect of what’s to come. Finally, after many, many months, there is light ahead, and I’m so excited to welcome you back to Dawson or wherever your workspace is on campus. Can’t wait to see you in-person.


Exciting news for FACS College to see Dr. DeRetta Rhodes  UGA Today named a new, incoming UGA Alumni Board member. The internal news release was announced last week.

DeRetta (BSFCS ’92, PhD ’10) joins Camille Kesler (BSFCS ’94) on the UGA Board. You can read about Camille on the Centennial 100 Honorees web site, https://www.fcs.uga.edu/alumni/awards-facs-centennial-100, scroll down to find Kesler. DeRetta was featured in the FACS Magazine cover story fall 2019 https://issuu.com/ugafacs/docs/2019_facs_magazine

Both Kesler and Rhodes are former FACS Alumni Board Presidents.


Following the OneUSG Connect implementation, UGA Human Resources engaged Segal, a leading HR consulting firm, to complete a comprehensive review of its operations. This review was completed in Summer 2020 with input from more than 250 faculty and staff. Lynn Parham, Assistant to the Dean and FACS’ faculty affairs liaison served on the Advisory Group.

This review identified strengths in the HR organization, such as hardworking and dedicated staff, as well as opportunities to improve processing times, service levels, consistency, and quality. It is the University’s and Human Resources’ desire to be considered among the top performing HR organizations in higher education.

Over the past year, the HR leadership team worked with its internal staff and an advisory team, representing the broad and diverse missions of UGA schools/colleges/units, to develop the transformation vision, strategy, and implementation plans. To achieve the identified objectives, organizational transformation is a necessary first step.

Please take a few minutes to watch this short video (2:31) and visit the transformation webpage for information on this initiative and timeline. Some of the highlights include:  

  • New Service Center: HR processed more than 100,000 service requests last year, and these were spread across the HR team. We are now creating a single service center. That means one point of contact, fewer bottlenecks, and improved processing and response times.

  • New Centers of Excellence: With transactions consolidated into a single Service Center, the HR team will reorganize into new “Centers of Excellence.” These centers will provide strategic and consultative guidance to the University community.

  • New Website: The current HR website is difficult to manage, which makes information and self-service tools hard to find. HR will complete a full-scale overhaul of its website by the end of the calendar year to better serve our UGA community.

The initial phases of the transformation will take place over the course of the 2021 calendar year. The overarching goal is to build a best-in-class HR organization that is efficient, nimble, and a true strategic partner for all schools, colleges, and units in elevating UGA’s greatest resource – its people.

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

  • The next Dean’s Update will be week of July 12


Linda Kirk Fox

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.