Strategic Initiative Teams Provide Updates

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Jennifer Herazy
Office of the Provost

Members of the Georgia Tech community recently received a preview for many of the ideas intended to push the Institute closer to realizing its vision as the technological research university of the 21st century.

Co-chairs for 11 of the 16 projects in active development were present for the Jan. 23 event, each providing a broad overview of the challenge as well as some preliminary recommendations for advancement on a range of subjects that include undergraduate education, technology transfer and campus culture. Active projects were selected from more than 130 white papers that were submitted in response to Tech’s 25-year strategic plan.

“When you consider the number of projects and the number of people involved in each one, you begin to notice the significant percentage of our faculty and staff who are engaged and invested in bringing our strategic plan to life,” Provost Rafael L. Bras observed. “It is very encouraging to see the vast representation from our community planning for Georgia Tech’s future.”

Formed and charged last August, the Strategic Plan Implementation Steering Committee is comprised of faculty, staff and students, each of whom is assigned as a liaison to one of the projects under development. Each was on hand, together with members of the senior leadership team, to listen to the presentations and prompt some early discussion.

“The opportunity for the steering committee to hear the progress of individual teams in a concentrated, one-day session was most valuable since it allowed potential for inter-team collaboration or perhaps even consolidation opportunities to be explored,” said School of Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor David Frost, a member of the Strategic Plan Implementation Steering Committee. “Many of the teams focused on developing just the vision and framework for their project at this stage and appropriately did not get buried in details of resources needed.”

Several presentations related to what Bras referred to as “the concept of how [Georgia Tech] educates the student.” Of these, Frost noted substantial student involvement during the preliminary phase.

“Initial teams were made up of predominantly faculty/staff members, but teams either added student members to the team or utilized approaches to garner significant student input into team activities,” he said. “This was a refreshing development since it clearly showed a desire to be connected to a major stakeholder group.”

The steering committee will continue to provide feedback and support to project teams during the next few months as co-chairs refine their proposals for an April 25 event, during which they will submit final action plans.

To review active projects and presentations, click here.