Starting a new job is always demanding, but when that job is university president and the year is 2020, it comes with a few extra challenges.
Beginning in July, Cheryl Green took on the challenges of educating 5,000 students during a pandemic and leading a racially diverse institution through a year of racial reckoning.
Green is the new president of Governors State University.
“I’ve been in the role just around five months, and it has been an incredible journey to start as president during a pandemic,” Green said. “But I was fortunate to step into the role and join a team of professionals who are faculty and staff who gave a lot of energy and thought to planning and developing ways that there would be continuity of instruction.”
Green said that while progress is being made in slowing the spread of COVID-19, GSU plans to continue online instruction into the spring.
“As we monitor the landscape … and listen to the guidance by the governor’s office, we are putting the safety and well-being of the students in the campus at the forefront, and so our spring will look almost identical to the fall: 80% of our classes will be remote or online, and about 10% will be what’s called hybrid, and another 10% in person because there’s a select few classes that have to be taught in very small groups with social distancing and other protocols in person,” she said.
And she revealed that she has a special goal in mind for her time at the GSU’s helm.
“I have taken it on as a personal mission to remove the ‘hidden gem’ reference to GSU. I don’t want us to be hidden, and we won’t be hidden,” she said. “We are a jewel of the southland.”