By Kathy Lyles
After a one-year hiatus, the State of the University Address returned to Flint Hall in the Falany Performing Arts Center on Reinhardt University’s campus. On August 9, the Hall was filled with excited faculty and staff to hear the annual address given in-person by President Mark A. Roberts, Ph.D. to kick off the 2021-22 academic year. While taking needed precautions due to the continued spread of COVID-19, this was a welcomed change from last year’s Zoom presentation.
Opening with “Our Real Work” by Wendell Berry, Roberts covered a variety of topics including achievements of the past year, a COVID-19 response and update, and a financial update. He mentioned the challenges of the past year in the areas of teaching, fundraising and enrollment, and then discussed the University’s plans for moving forward in these areas. New faculty members were introduced and several members of the faculty and staff were recognized for their work.
Highlights of the Address include:
- Updates to the University COVID-19 protocols. The updated policy includes the requirement that all faculty, staff and students wear masks indoors when social distancing is not possible. Vaccinations are encouraged and a vaccination clinic will be held on campus on August 24. To read the Fall 2021 Back-to-Campus plan with updated policies, visit https://www.reinhardt.edu/back-to-campus
- Continued innovations by our Admissions teams to recruit prospective students in new ways through online tools and new programs on campus.
- Advancement exceeded fundraising goals for the 2020-2021 year.
- Maintenance and structural enhancements, including the addition of electric car charging stations and the repair of drainage around some of the buildings.
The COVID-19 global pandemic has been a shadow looming over all areas of life since March 2020. Roberts pointed out that despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, the Reinhardt Community has continued to march forward and see success. Among its many successes, Reinhardt boasts achievements in athletics, continued productivity among faculty outside of the classroom and the graduation of over 350 students in Spring 2021.
Overall, Roberts’s address was uplifting and optimistic as the University starts the 2021-2022 academic year. He knows that by continuing to work together, the Reinhardt community can overcome any challenge and have a great year.