Dear Students, Parents, Alumni, Friends, and Visitors,

Since the spring of 2020, the three touchstones of decision-making at the School of Public and International Affairs have been health, safety, and the delivery of a quality educational experience. Attending to all three requires reimagining our work and study spaces and retooling our courses. With guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and our own state health officials, we have developed flexible paths for students to learn and to reduce risks to their health and safety. These pathways allow for combinations of face-to-face instruction, synchronous class participation, and asynchronous learning.

Both SPIA and UGA have developed useful COVID-related information for our community on topics ranging from newly configured bus routes to tips for assuring continuity of teaching and learning. Perhaps the most comprehensive campus information resource is found here, and my own COVID safety video to students can be viewed here.

Despite the less than perfect conditions for the start of the fall semester, our eagerness to welcome and work with our new and continuing students is undiminished. At SPIA, our educational mission has never been more important. A lot is at stake: we are dedicated to promoting health and safety while students achieve their educational goals, and we’re counting on our students, as future public leaders, to help prevent and prepare for the next pandemic.

We are wishing everyone in the SPIA community all good fortune this fall and throughout the academic year.


Matthew R. Auer
Dean and Arch Professor of Public and International Affairs