Averett CoffeeBreak 7-29-2020

Posted on July 29th, 2020 by Matt Bell

CoffeeBreak is an e-newsletter distributed to Averett faculty and staff to keep them up-to-date on campus activities and information. Please send information you would like included in CoffeeBreak via this form. For the next CoffeeBreak, please submit by Friday, July 31, for a Wednesday, Aug. 5, publication.

Comprehensive Reopening Plan Certified

Averett University received official notice late last week from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia that our comprehensive reopening plan has been approved. This plan has been reviewed by SCHEV and has been found to be compliant in containing the required components of the ‘Higher Education Reopening Guidance,’ which was developed in consultation with the Virginia Department of Health. For a glimpse of major highlights and a link to full plan, visit averett.edu/alert.

Fall Sports Postponed Until Spring 2021

On Tuesday, July 28, USA South Athletic Conference announced the postponement of all fall sports. This includes football, men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball, and men’s and women’s cross country. The decision to postpone was unanimous by the presidents in the USA South following a recent rise in COVID-19 cases. With fall sports postponed until the spring, athletes are still permitted to train, practice and scrimmage. Read the full story by clicking here.

Opening of the Year Kick-Off for Faculty and Staff – Monday, August 10

We are thankful to soon be joining together again as we prepare to begin the new academic year. These challenging times in our world make these such occasions all the more meaningful as we reconnect, welcome our new faculty and staff, prepare for the new year, reflect upon our accomplishments and look to the dynamic and promising future ahead.

Our Opening Kick-off program will be held virtually since the overwhelming majority of feedback indicated this preference. The Zoom session will be held from 1:30-3 p.m. on August 10. Here is the link to the password protected session: Click Here To Join The Faculty and Staff Opening of the Year Kick Off 2020  Zoom Meeting.

If you would like to dial in by using your phone, please email averettcentral@Averett.edu from your Averett assigned email account and the password for access will be sent directly to your Averett email address within 24 hours.

New this year is a Family Drive-by Social in front of the President’s House, 500 Hawthorne Dr., from 4:30-6 p.m.! President Franks, Joe Franks and members of President’s Council will be excited to see you and have some special goodies to pass out during the caravan! Deck your vehicle in Averett gear to celebrate the accomplishments of the AU 2020 strategic plan and the start of a new academic year. Prizes given to best in show!

The Opening Kick-off begins a week of opening activities including two separate workshops on Tuesday, Aug. 11, for faculty and staff. The workshops “Caring for Ourselves and Others During Unsettled Times” and “Unconscious Bias Awareness & Training” will be offered during flexible times to keep each session manageable in regards to number of participants. The workshops will be in-person with a Zoom option. Details will be announced in the near future.

We look forward to being together again soon!

Return to Campus Q&A via Zoom Every Thursday

Join Kathie Tune, director of HR, for a question and answer virtual meeting each Thursday from 10-11:30 a.m. if you need clarification on what to do before returning to work, what to do while at work and what to do if you need to leave work. The virtual meetings will continue indefinitely.

Email ktune@averett.edu if you need information outside of the Zoom meeting.

Click here to join the Campus Q&A Zoom Meeting

If you would like to dial in by using your phone please email averettcentral@Averett.edu from your Averett assigned email account and the password for access will be sent directly to your Averett email address within 24 hours.

Travel Precautions

As your summer travel continues, we ask that you use as much precaution as possible for the sake of your health, the health of your family members and coworkers. Prior to leaving work for vacation, conference travel, etc., please make sure to discuss your return to work plans with your respective division chairs and supervisors. Along the way, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact Kathie Tune at ktune@averett.edu.

As has been communicated throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we are asked to follow the CDC guidelines set for traveling throughout the United States. Follow this link for CDC guidance on preventing getting sick. Follow this link for CDC guidance on traveling in the United States.

At this time, Averett is following CDC recommendations for quarantine for 14 days for employees who have traveled internationally or via cruise ship. Virginia currently does not have any quarantine requirements upon arrival from travel within the U.S. However, if you are traveling to any “hot spots,” please continue to self-check for any symptoms, wear a mask whenever and wherever possible and to continue the same health protocols you have been using at home and work.

Averett also adheres to CDC guidelines regarding the appropriate use of face coverings throughout each of its campus locations by students, faculty, staff, volunteers and visitors. Face coverings, when properly worn, are meant to protect other people in case the wearer is unknowingly infected but does not have symptoms. As a reminder, all students and faculty are expected to wear face coverings in classrooms. Students will not be admitted into a classroom without a face covering. Any student and/or faculty member not adhering to the guidelines will be referred to the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Success.

If you develop COVID-19 symptoms during any type of travel or within 14 days of your return, contact your health care provider and Human Resources. Employees should also be aware of CDC travel health notices, recommendations and frequently asked questions.

Averett Receives Grant from J.T. Minnie Maude Charitable Trust

This past spring the Office of Institutional Advancement submitted a request to the J.T. Minnie Maude Charitable Trust for funding for the “Averett Online” brand development. We are pleased to announce that the trust made an award to Averett in the amount of $300,000 to be used for the “enhancement and expansion of the Averett Online brand.”

Brand development is the signature kickoff to the “Averett Online” endeavor. It will be the driving force and foundation of this initiative, and will augment the brand recognition and visibility of the University itself. J.T. Minnie Maude has been extremely generous to the University. We are very grateful for the many services and programs they have gifted to Averett students!

Outstanding Faculty and Staff Award Nominations

The nomination process is wrapping up for the Outstanding Faculty and Staff Awards! Please take a few minutes of your time to nominate your fellow faculty and staff members.

The criteria for the award and nomination process can be found by clicking here. The nomination form can be found by clicking here. These forms can also be found on the intranet.

The deadline to submit nominations is Friday, July 31, by 4:30 p.m. Completed nomination forms need to be sent to awards@averett.edu.

Staff Social Distancing Lunch Hour

A Staff Social Distancing lunch hour is set for Thursday, Aug. 6, from noon to 1 p.m. via Zoom. Please join your colleagues for fellowship, catching up, trivia and taking a break from self-isolation. If you are still working from home, or transitioning back into the office and want some company on your lunch break, pop in and say hello. We hope you all will take a break from your busy day to join us!

Click here to join us via Zoom for the staff social distancing lunch hour. If you would like to dial in by using your phone, please email averettcentral@Averett.edu from your Averett assigned email account and the password for access will be sent directly to your Averett email address within 24 hours.

New Employee Introductions at the Averett Opening Program

We are finalizing plans for the New Employee Orientation set for Friday, Aug. 7, and for the University Opening on Monday, Aug. 10, and look forward to hosting all of our new and returning faculty and staff at these events. Since the introduction of new employees is a very important part of the opening, we will be introducing you virtually at our opening and request a photo and brief fun fact – no more than a sentence or two for a slide show presentation. We started the visual presentation last year and it was a big hit! So much so, we are doing it again this year.

Please send your picture and a brief fun fact to cbasinger@averett.edu by Friday, July 31. Feel free to ask us questions along the way.

And just a little reminder, please RSVP to the New Employee Orientation if you have not yet had a chance to do so. We are making final plans for chairs, gift bags and lunch boxes. We want to include you! Thank you. Kathie Tune ktune@averett.edu

Cougar Connection Returns Soon

Cougar Connection will return Monday, Aug. 10. This e-newsletter is published weekly for Averett students with news and updates about the upcoming week during the fall and spring semesters. We also share it with faculty and staff.

The deadline for each Cougar Connection is 4:30 p.m. each Wednesday, with the first deadline set for Wednesday, Aug. 5. To submit an article, use this form. To avoid running the same article for multiple weeks, articles about upcoming events will be posted the week of the event, unless otherwise noted in the submission. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, contact Matt Bell at mbell@averett.edu or 434-791-5681.

New Room Reservation Technology Now Available

A new, streamlined service is now available for reserving rooms at Averett through Microsoft Outlook. The technology is already integrated into the Outlook application for use. Users can select room options, view availability, request room reservations and communicate about room reservation and setup with Lynnette Lawson, special events coordinator. If you prefer to call Lynnette for room reservations and event planning, please feel free to do so. The enhanced Outlook calendar simply gives you another option to check room availability if you are so inclined.

The steps are as follows using Outlook on a PC (and can be viewed by clicking the photo at left):

  1. Click on “New meeting.”
  2. To the right of the location field click on the dialogue box “rooms.”
  3. Choose your preferred room (the numbers are non-socially distanced capacity).
  4. Once you have chosen your room, select “OK.”
  5. Then select “Send.” The request will come to Lynnette Lawson for approval, denial, or other room suggestion.

Rooms can also be seen/reserved by selecting “New Meeting” in Outlook. This will also give you the option to schedule a meeting and request a room for that meeting. For questions, contact Lynette Lawson at llawson@averett.edu, (434) 791-5625 or (434) 250-3769.

Averett Introduces Averett All Access!

Averett University is excited to announce that beginning Fall 2020, all textbooks and course materials will be provided to all traditional students. Through Averett All Access, all required textbook costs will be included in the billing statement as a fee and will be available the first day of class! Students save money by paying $26 per credit hour, saving an average of 40%.

Studies show students who do not have their required course materials from the first day of class are at a major disadvantage. Through the Averett All Access program, we can offer affordable digital course materials.

Averett All Access is an all-access course material program that allows students to have their materials by the first day of class. E-books will be available through Canvas and physical books through the rental program. The cost for textbooks is included on your bill with tuition and is eligible through financial aid and your student account.

For more information, click here or the photo at left.

CCECC Partners with Optima Health

In an effort to provide nutritional food and information to families suffering the economic downfalls of COVID-19, the CCECC staff partnered with Optima Health and the VCU Massey Cancer Center this week to pack and deliver food boxes for over 400 families who live in Pittsylvania County. We continue to support our local communities during this pandemic and hope that everyone is staying safe and strong. One Averett, One Family!


Cougar Cares Program

The Cougar Cares Program is looking for faculty and staff members who may have electronic equipment (laptops, iPads, printers, etc.) that is usable, but no longer in use. Several students who took our Student Life survey over the past few weeks did report needing such devices to be successful in their coursework, especially if taking classes virtually. If you have such equipment and are willing to make an in-kind donation, please contact either Billy Wooten or Erin Schlauch.

All Things Zoom

Faculty and staff may request a Zoom license as part of Averett’s Education Zoom plan. To request an account, faculty members are encouraged to contact Marietta Sanford and staff members are encouraged to contact Carly Pearce. If you would like some additional one on one Zoom training please schedule a time with the Averett Online team by clicking on the appointment link provided, or refer to Averett’s Zoom resource website. Want to learn more about Zoom Meeting Etiquette? Click here and learn 15 tips and best practices for online video conference meetings. In addition, Zoom is now integrated into Canvas. The Canvas-Zoom integration allows instructors to schedule online meetings from within Canvas and is available in all Canvas sites. Instructions on how to integrate Zoom into your Canvas course can be found in the following link.