Aug 18

A Welcome Message From Bryan School Dean McRae Banks

Dear Bryan School Students,

Welcome to the 2020-2021 academic year in the Bryan School and at UNC Greensboro. For those of you who are new, we are pleased that you chose us to continue your education. To those of you who are returning, whether to finish a degree or start a new degree, we are pleased to have you back with us. You, the students, are the reason we exist, and we take that seriously. I think it is why UNCG generally, and the Bryan School particularly, is known for the close connections and caring that exists between students, faculty, and staff.

We are coming off of a great year in the Bryan School in many ways. Our AACSB accreditation in both business and accounting was extended for another five years (the maximum allowed). We completed the plans (drawings) for two additions to the Bryan building. One addition will take part of the courtyard to provide students a space for team meetings, studying, and relaxing. The other addition is actually a separate building in place of the existing auditorium that will be four stories and include a more flexible instructional and event space, as well as breakout areas, labs, offices, and other spaces that are in short supply. We hired nine new faculty members (three started in January). Even our pivot to fully online because of COVID-19 last March went very smoothly. Finally, this fall, if everyone shows up, it should be the seventh year in a row that we have set an enrollment record in the Bryan School.

At the same time, I must address the elephant in the room. COVID-19, particularly given the problems at Chapel Hill and their decision to pivot to online. I believe our situation at UNCG is very different. Along with other academic units at UNCG, we worked hard over the summer to ensure the course and professional development needs of our students and the safety of our students, faculty, and staff in a COVID-19 world. If you are taking courses online, you likely saw the increased course selection available to you. If you are taking courses on campus you will see the many precautions we have taken that include face masks for all, face shields for our faculty who are teaching face-to-face (f2f), hand sanitizer in the hallways and classrooms, sanitizing wipes in the classrooms, and social distancing in the classrooms and in common areas where there is seating. We have freed up offices and conference rooms so no student-faculty meetings need to occur in a faculty member’s office and instead can be held in one of the set-aside spaces. Many of those spaces also make use of plexiglass shields. UNCG has implemented additional and more stringent cleaning protocols in academic buildings. We are doing everything we can to try to provide a safe environment for your classes.

I want to emphasize that these precautions are only as good as the willingness of people to follow them, and I implore you to do that to protect yourself and to protect others. We know we have some faculty, staff, and students who have underlying conditions that preclude them from wearing face masks. Those faculty and staff will be wearing face shields, and I hope those students will, as well. But research has demonstrated that face shields are not as effective as face masks, so if you do not have an underlying condition that precludes wearing a face mask, please, please do!

There is much going on this year. My hope is that you will attend Company Spotlights and all of the many other career, professional, and personal development events and activities we offer. We are doing these not for us, but for you, to help you be better prepared for job interviews that lead to well-paying jobs and internships.

I wish you all the best this year.

My Best Regards,