Strategic Plan Projects Gain Momentum

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When it was released in August 2010, Georgia Tech’s Strategic Plan was a seedling that was just taking root. Building upon institutional strengths, it was intended to provide a structure for the next stage of Tech’s ascendancy as a global research university.

Two and a half years later, “Designing the Future,” a document created to guide Georgia Tech to its 150-year anniversary in 2035, is beginning to bear fruit.

"By engaging students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends, we created a shared vision of success," said President G. P. "Bud" Peterson. "Georgia Tech's 25-year strategic plan was designed to be a living document, and together we are making significant progress on our five strategic goals. As we continue to translate the plan into action, our strength comes from the ongoing collaboration and innovation for which Tech is so well known."

In fall 2011, a steering committee was charged with shepherding the development and implementation of 16 institutional projects, each one reflecting one or more elements of the Strategic Plan. Those 16 projects—led jointly by both faculty and staff on topics ranging from undergraduate education, technology transfer, research innovation and campus operations—demonstrate a forward-thinking approach, worthy of the Tech motto “Progress and Service.”

Members of the executive leadership team evaluated each project’s final report along with the recommendations last May, and allocated funds to support the continued development of these initiatives.

“Several of the initiatives are fully developed,” said Rafael L. Bras, provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs. “Others are moving forward, embedded within the operating units that have been charged with piloting or initiating new ideas. With thanks to the task force co-chairs and the steering committee for their diligent work, we have the framework for pursuing an enriched undergraduate experience and transformative interdisciplinary research.”

Tangible evidence of this sentiment abounds. Investments in the Engineered Biosystems Building and Technology Enterprise Park demonstrate an institutional commitment to re-energizing Tech’s approach to life sciences. Continued growth of the faculty has already had an impact on both research priorities as well as classroom instruction, and initiatives such as the startup accelerator Flashpoint are helping to position Tech as an institution synonymous with innovation and economic development.

“As these initiatives continue to mature, they will help to create new fields of study, solve new kinds of problems and create new opportunities,” Bras said. “Twenty-five years is an unusual planning horizon, but it enables us to think broadly about the type of institution we want to be.”