Message for students from Dean Leo

Message for students from Dean Leo

Dear College of Engineering Students,

I hope that you, your family, and those around you are healthy as we navigate through these unprecedented times in our university and in our communities.  I know that you have been receiving periodic communications from President Morehead, Provost Hu, and other senior administrators at UGA over the past several days on items of importance to the campus community, but I wanted to add a few comments regarding items that are specific to our College of Engineering. 

This message is a little long, so to help you here is a list of items that are included:

  • Engineering Convocation
  • New Application Date for Major Admission
  • FE Exam Requirement
  • Graduate Program Completion
  • Transition to Online Instruction
  • Virtual Student Service Programs
  • IT Resources for Online Instruction
  • Athens-Clarke County Shelter-in-Place Ordnance

Engineering Convocation 

As all of you know, the university made the very difficult decision to cancel the Commencement ceremonies for the Spring semester.  For this reason, we have also decided to cancel our Engineering Convocation ceremony that was scheduled for May 7.  In an ArchNews communication on Monday morning, President Morehead stated that he has a group examining alternative ways that we celebrate the accomplishments of our graduates, and, while no details are available at this moment, I want to ensure you that we will work closely with the university to understand how we can honor College of Engineering graduates after this crisis has subsided.  We will be sending information as it becomes available. 

Application Date for Major Admission / High-Demand Major Process 

Another important change for our college is the postponement of the application date for admission into an engineering major.  For students who will be applying to admission into their major through the High-Demand Major Process, the application deadline has been postponed until 5 p.m. Monday, April 20.  Admission decisions will be made on the same schedule and will not be postponed.  Please contact Associate Dean Ramasamy ( with any questions. 

FE Exam Requirement

The testing facilities for taking the FE exam have been closed, and for that reason our college will be waiving the FE Exam requirement for all students graduating in the Spring 2020 semester.  We still strongly encourage our students to take the exam when testing resumes, although it will not be required to complete your degree this semester.  Please reach out to Dr. Sid Thompson (BSAE, BSME, BSCE, and BSEnvE) or Dr. Fred Beyette (BSEE) for further questions.  

Graduate Program Completion

Graduate research assistants and graduate teaching assistants are encouraged to stay in close communication with their research advisor or faculty mentor regarding their responsibilities the remainder of this week and throughout the rest of the semester.  If you are close to a key milestone such as a proposal defense or final defense, please review the Graduate School website for any modifications to these procedures during the remainder of the semester.  The Graduate School has modified some of their policies regarding holding proposal defenses, final examinations, etc., so please review the information that is coming from the Graduate School to be up-to-date on any changes in those policies.  Please contact Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Dr. Ramasamy ( with any questions. 

Transition to Online Instruction

Our faculty and staff have worked diligently to transition our instruction online while continuing the operation of the college.  As of yesterday, our faculty have revised the syllabi for their courses to account for the changes that may be made due to the two-week suspension and the transition to online instruction.  The faculty have completed revising their syllabi and have been asked to reach out to you with any additional information.  I would encourage you to check eLC (or the equivalent platform the faculty member is using) and review the revised syllabi.  This will give you an understanding of the expectations for the remainder of the Spring semester.  Some of the faculty may reach out to you this week to set up a question and answer session, and I encourage you to participate if they do so.  Later this week they will be testing their online delivery methods with help from our Engineering Education Transformations Institute to fine tune their content before classes resume next week.   

Virtual Student Service Programs

I am pleased to report that many of our student services and experiential learning programs are continuing in a virtual format.  Thanks to the hard work of our staff, we are continuing to advise students remotely and we are planning to transform several of our typical student events into a virtual format.  As the semester resumes next Monday, please continue to check for opportunities to connect with employers, alumni, etc. through our virtual Employer of the Day and Alumni of the Day programs.  If you have any questions about engineering study abroad, internships, co-ops, etc., please contact Lauren Anglin ( with any questions.  Our Assistant Dean for Student Success and Outreach, Dr. Stephan Durham (, can also answer any questions about student clubs or student activities for the remainder of the semester.    

IT Resources for Online Instruction

As we prepare to resume classes online next week, I want to ensure you have access to the resources you need to complete coursework remotely.  Below are a few notes and resources provided by our Office of Information Technology:

  • Access:  You may access the IT Support Guide, which will provide details on what software is available on the MyLab, how to access MyLab, and how to access files on your Student Z: drive.
  • Support: You can contact the IT support team to answer questions/receive help at  
  • Virtual Helpdesk: The IT support team will be maintaining a Virtual Helpdesk during normal business hours, Monday – Thursday 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. and Friday 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.  You can reach the virtual helpdesk at with meeting ID: 954122904.
  • Software: You can access any of the computer software/programs you have traditionally used in our computer labs via the MyLab network.
  • Virtual Computer: Currently, IT has established Driftmier Rooms 1304 and 1310 as a virtual classroom.  This will allow you to connect to one of the computers in the classroom and use it as a virtual machine. This may be particularly useful should you be running larger programs/software. 

Athens-Clarke County Shelter-in-Place Ordnance

The Athens-Clarke County government has passed a Shelter-in-Place Ordnance ( that restricts travel to and from campus.  For this reason, we will be closing the facilities in Driftmier Engineering for on-site student use while the ordnance is in effect (currently through April 7).  All facilities will still be available remotely as described above.  We are working with the university to understand if we can allow appropriate access to our facilities after the resumption of classes on March 30 and will update everyone once decisions have been made.

It is hard to believe that it was only a little over two weeks ago that we said goodbye to everyone as they headed off for Spring Break.  I want to echo President Morehead’s appreciation of your patience and understanding as you’ve responded to all of the changes that have taken place in such a short period of time.  I assure you that we are eager to resume the semester and want to work with you closely over the next several weeks to bring a successful close to the Spring 2020 term.


Donald J. Leo

Dean and UGA Foundation Professor of Engineering