April 3, 2020 – 7:50 a.m.
Remote Instruction Will Continue for ABAC During the Summer Term
TIFTON—Instruction will continue to be delivered remotely at ABAC and the other 25 institutions in the University System of Georgia during the remainder of the spring semester and the summer term, with only limited exceptions.
USG institutions, including ABAC, 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.
Meanwhile, 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.
Interested persons can consult this website for additional information on spring semester instruction (which is ongoing) and options for students during the 2020 summer term.
March 30, 2020
To: ABAC Students
From: Paul Willis, Executive Vice President for Finance & Administration
Prorated refunds, prompted by a disruption in service as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, will begin to appear in individual student accounts on April 2, 2020 at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. These prorated refunds will apply only to ABAC students who meet the criteria for refunds at ABAC instructional sites in Tifton, Moultrie, Bainbridge, Blakely, and Donalsonville.
Prorated refunds for dining, student activities and the public safety fee will be included. Prorated refunds should be in all student accounts by the close of business on April 2, 2020. No refunds will be issued for class lab fees, tuition, or institutional fees in accordance with guidelines issued by the University System of Georgia.
Prorated refunds will not include any refunds for housing at this time. The prorated housing refunds will be credited to ABAC student accounts within three weeks.
Questions regarding the prorated refunds should be directed to email@example.com.
Withdrawal Without Penalty
The withdrawal period without academic penalty has been extended to April 9 at 5:30 p.m. The withdrawal form is also now an online process, and the form can be found here Student Course Withdrawal Form.
We encourage you to try the online environment and talk with your instructor before deciding to withdraw from a class. Academic Support is available to assist you over the phone 229.391.4995, by email firstname.lastname@example.org, or through virtual face-to-face.
March 25, 2020
To: All ABAC Employees
From: Paul Willis, Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration
Because of the changes brought about by Coronavirus, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College will embark on a Four-Day Work Week beginning April 6, 2020 and continuing through July 24, 2020. Employees can enjoy a three-day weekend with their families during this time frame. With no students on campus during the spring term, ABAC will be as energy efficient as possible with the new schedule. Regular hours will resume on July 27, 2020 as we prepare for the fall semester.
Beginning April 6, 2020, ABAC employees will transition to a new, four-day (Monday – Thursday), ten hours daily, work week through July 24, 2020. During this time frame, ABAC’s posted hours of operation will be Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
It will be each department manager’s responsibility to ensure that their department is open and fully operational during the ABAC posted hours of operation.
Managers will have the flexibility to work with their employees’ schedules to ensure their complete hours during this four-day work week (i.e. full time = four 10-hour days). Part-time employee hours will be adjusted to work within these new operating days and hours.
Please note that the ABAC campus will be closed on Fridays. The air conditioning system will only be scheduled to run during the ABAC posted days and hours of operation.
- All full-time and part-time benefited employees:
- Monthly and bi-weekly staff employees will start the new schedule on Monday, April 6.
- Faculty will work according to direction from Academic Administration.
What do I need to do?
- Monthly Staff employees will continue to request leave the same as before.
- Bi-weekly employees will post time based on their new four-day work week schedule and continue to request leave the same as before.
- Managers of bi-weekly employees will need to approve time by Wednesday afternoon.
- Full-time and part-time benefited employees will notice a change to their leave request calendar which reflects the new four-day work week schedule hours.
- Any partial day leave request will be completed the same as before.
- Faculty will continue to request leave the same as before.
What if I have questions or issues?
The Payroll Office will continue to send email reminders for posting and approval deadlines. If you have any questions or issues, please contact the Payroll Office in Tifton at (229) 391-4868 or (229) 391-5271.
March 24, 2020
The following ABAC facilities are closed until further notice.
- Georgia Museum of Agriculture – Museum closed for historical tours and visitors. The Country Store – Remains open for patrons
- Forest Lakes Golf Course – Closed
- Thrash Wellness Center – Closed
March 23, 2020
What – the Tifton City Council held an emergency called meeting via teleconference at 2 p.m. on Monday, March 23 to enact an ordinance instituting emergency measures to halt the spread of COVID-19.
These measures include a shelter-in-place order, requiring all but essential businesses to close and banning public or private gatherings of any number of people outside a household.
It exempts certain “essential” operations. For details see the presser below along with the link.
What does it mean for ABAC? Over the past 10 days and in accordance with USG guidelines, ABAC suspended face-to-face instruction, notified students that they would need to vacate dormitories, and implemented staffing plans that dramatically reduce the number of people on campus. In order for online instruction to continue, some employees must be on campus. However, we have asked that employees only be on campus as directed by their supervisor and that they not congregate.
If you are scheduled to work or need to be on campus for support of instructional matters, to support campus operations, or campus safety, continue working.
We are in accordance with the City’s expectations. I will advise the city.
March 20, 2020
The safety of our guests, students, faculty, and staff is our top priority.
Due to concerns for COVID -19, all campus visits, including tours, have been cancelled until further notice. The Stallion Day scheduled for April 4 has been canceled as well.
Our next Stallion Days will be held in November 2020, February 2021, and April 2021. The dates for those events will be forthcoming.
We are creating a virtual tour of our campus and this should be available soon.
On-campus Housing Plan
March 17, 2020 – 4:30 p.m.
Cancellation Notice – ABAC Faculty, Staff, and Students
The COVID19 situation continues to evolve. Therefore, ABAC’s event schedule continues to change.
As of this notice, ABAC has cancelled:
- All face-to-face instruction for spring semester. All classes will be conducted online beginning March 30, 2020 (see previous announcements).
- All public events scheduled to occur through the close of spring semester (May 7, 2020).
- Spring semester commencement ceremonies in Tifton and Bainbridge previously scheduled to occur on May 7, 2020. Students who were slated to graduate have already been notified.
- Spring semester nursing pinning ceremonies in Bainbridge (May 6) and Tifton (May 7).
- Ag Education pinning ceremony for spring semester.
The following steps are in development:
- Most ABAC students will be asked to move out of campus residence halls by Wednesday, March 25, 2020. Exceptions will be made for hardships. Details will follow.
- While the ABAC campuses are not closed, the college must make a concerted effort to reduce potential viral exposure resulting from large numbers of people working in proximity. Unit staffing plans are being developed.
- All parts of the college are working on an instructional continuity plan.
March 16, 2020
Beginning March 30, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College will teach all classes online for the remainder of the spring semester, in accordance with guidance from the University System of Georgia. Many members of the faculty have been working diligently to prepare for online instruction for a two-week period. Keep working.
However, the situation has changed. Now, we must prepare to deliver online for the remainder of the semester. Doing so will require an extra measure of work by everyone. We will provide more details on the academic and technical support that ABAC provide to help with the transition to online classes tomorrow.
The ABAC campuses we be closed to students and the public. This includes residence halls. ABAC Housing will communicate directly with residential students who have already left campus regarding when and how they will be able to retrieve their belongings from residence halls. The college is working on a plan to provide prorated refunds to students in housing and those with meal plans who have left the residence halls. Accommodations will continue to be made for those students unable to return to their homes.
We will continue to update you through email and the ABAC website www.abac.edu. Please rely on official information that you receive from the ABAC President and ABAC’s Coronavirus Response Team. New information will be available on the website. These are trusted and reliable sources. Social media, news media and other channels of communication do not have the most accurate and current information about ABAC or the University System. During this particularly fluid time it is critically important that you rely on official communications for actionable information.
Thank you for your patience and hard work. Change is difficult for many. Others are seeking definitive answers. And others of you are dealing with personal hardships. We will get through this challenge.
Stay tuned for more information.
David Bridges, President
Media Statement from University System of Georgia: For Immediate Release March 17, 2020
The University System of Georgia (USG) has decided that all 26 institutions will move to online instruction for all courses for the remainder of the semester with extremely limited exceptions. This action comes following last week’s decision to suspend instruction for two weeks to ensure business and instructional continuity, and to allow further state assessment of COVID-19.
Students are not allowed to return to campus until they receive permission from their institution, which will be forthcoming soon.
Additionally, residence halls will be closed, with minimal exceptions for students unable to return home, or who cannot find housing elsewhere. Students will receive specific instructions from campus leaders regarding when they will be allowed to return to campus to retrieve their belongings from residence halls. Students must follow those instructions. For those students who are unable to depart campus, we will make every effort to accommodate these students.
USG will be providing guidance to campuses on refunds for housing, dining, and other services. Students should wait for their campus to contact them.
Institutions will remain open, with minimal staff physically on-site, to ensure continuity of certain services.
In the end, we want to ensure that our faculty, staff and students are safe; that we do our part to help stem the spread of the coronavirus in Georgia; and that we fulfill our mission to graduate our students even in the face of these challenging times.
March 13, 2020
ABAC Event and Trip Cancellations
ABAC Residence Life Information
10 a.m. from President Bridges
Thank you for your patience and understanding amid some confusion regarding schedule, spring break, cessation of face-to-face instruction, operations, and other matters as a result of the ongoing coronavirus issue. While we would all appreciate and prefer clear, concise, and definitive instructions on what to do and assurances that everything will return to normal, that is not possible in the rapidly changing time in which we are operating.
ABAC functions in a complex environment in which we interact with other institutions within the USG. We are a part of a large and complex state and federal government and most importantly what we do has significant impact on others within the system, and vice versa.
- ABAC is not closed for the next two weeks! We have suspended face-to-face instruction.
- There is much work to be done to prepare for new online delivery that may be required in the coming weeks. We will provide details on work schedules.
Throughout the day, and in the coming days, you will receive more information and greater detail about:
- Instructional matters – instructional schedules for face-to-face instruction, online instruction, eCore, dual enrollment, etc. We will also provide more detail on the delivery of new online content after the upcoming two-week break in face-to-face instruction.
- Work-related matters – when you will be expected to report to work, when you will be permitted to work from home, leave, etc.
- Residence life issues – dorms will remain open even though students are being encouraged to leave campus for the next two weeks. We will be providing guidance what steps students need to take who intend to remain on campus during the two-week period.
- Event schedules – we are reviewing the schedule for all college events, both those occurring on campus and off. We will be issuing a statement on these later today.
March 12, 2020
All ABAC Students, Faculty, and Staff,
Please see the memo from the University System of Georgia regarding the suspension of instruction by colleges and universities in the University System of Georgia.
Please note that even though students will not attend classes from March 16 through March 27, 2020, the College will be open for business.
Students should monitor the ABAC website and their Stallion email accounts during this two-week period for detailed information about their return to campus and classes.
Students who have questions about on-campus housing during this two-week period should contact email@example.com.
ABAC faculty and staff will receive additional information about campus operations and duties during the two-week period in a separate email tomorrow.
March 11, 2020
Spring Break Travel Advisory
The Coronavirus situation is constantly changing, and we understand that everyone is concerned. The ABAC Coronavirus Response Team is constantly receiving input and guidance from various informed, relevant, and reliable sources including the University System of Georgia, the Center for Disease Control, the State Department of Public Health, and others.
Our teams are hard at work to provide the best advice and resources during a time when the situation is constantly changing.
You will be receiving communications by email and through this website with detailed updates according to the following schedule:
- Today, March 11, 2020 – a general update and specific instructions regarding travel during spring break and the return of faculty, staff, and students to ABAC’s campuses after the break
- Tomorrow, March 12, 2020 – details regarding continuity of instruction if the situation becomes more serious and requires partial or complete cancellation of on-site classes
- Tomorrow, March 12, 2020 – initial guidance on how to handle assignments, work, and deadlines for students whose return to campus that might be impacted
- Tomorrow, March 12, 2020 – guidelines regarding housing, residence life, and accommodations for students whose return to campus might be impacted
March 9, 2019
Update regarding Study Abroad to Belize
Due to new recommendations from trusted and informed sources and the ever-changing circumstances surrounding the Coronavirus, the ABAC Administration has decided to cancel the spring break study abroad trip to Belize.
The faculty and students scheduled to go on this trip have been notified.
To ABAC Faculty, Staff, Students,
It is important to remember that it is the time of year when the common cold, flu, and seasonal allergies are prevalent. Many faculty, staff, and students are dealing with these illnesses during a time when there is heightened concern about Coronavirus (COVID19).
We are aware of and are monitoring the status of these non-COVID19 illnesses. We do not have evidence of COVID19 among faculty, staff, or students.
We encourage your vigilance in taking precautions to keep yourself healthy. We will continue to provide you timely and accurate updates.