TIFTON—When Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College opens classes for the fall semester on Aug. 12, ABAC President David Bridges is making plans for the students to return to the familiar campus setting.
Those students should not expect business as usual.
“Our institutional priority is to return to face-to-face instruction,” Bridges, the longest serving president among the 26 colleges and universities in the University System of Georgia (USG), said. “But it will be far from a return to normal.
“We are taking extensive measures for the safety of our students and our employees in the classrooms, the offices, the residence halls, and the dining hall. Right now, we are going through an extraordinary planning process.”
ABAC and the other 25 USG institutions moved to online classes for the final weeks of the spring semester when the pandemic began. All summer term classes are also online.
“These are unprecedented times,” Bridges said. “We are dealing with complex directions from many sources including the Governor’s Office, the Georgia Department of Public Health, the USG, and others. When the fall semester begins, we want to be ready.”
Bridges said changes will be quite evident ranging from the number of students in a class to the proximity of students to each other when they eat in the dining hall. Social distancing will be the norm, not the exception.
“Our primary mission is to teach students,” Bridges said. “We are working daily on a plan to do that.”