Staff Gather for President’s Town Hall
““Thank you.” That was the message from President G.P. “Bud” Peterson that kicked off last Thursday’s staff town hall.
“One of the reasons students come here is to learn how to interact in social environments,” Peterson said. “And a lot of that education comes from the interactions they have with you. What you contribute to this university is something that we will never be able to replicate online or elsewhere.”
The event was one of a series of town halls Peterson has held in recent weeks to encourage ongoing communication between faculty, staff, and leadership, and to share information, including topics featured in the President’s Spring 2013 Update.
First, Peterson provided a legislative update. He shared that $5 million to complete and equip the new Engineered Biosystems Building and $1.875 million to support the renovation of the Chapin Building had been approved.
Also, the Institute will now be able to carry forward some funds from one fiscal year to the next, and a bill was passed allowing the Board of Regents to determine the employee contribution rate to the Optional Retirement Plan.
Peterson also said no state funds were allocated for merit increases in FY14. Additionally, he noted that the removal of restrictions on concealed carry of weapons did not receive a floor vote; this was met with heavy applause.
Peterson also touched on statistics related to the incoming freshman class: 50 percent are from outside of Georgia, 36 percent are women, and there is an admitted student from every state and from 72 nations.
He also discussed the success of the TechArts and Arts at Georgia Tech initiatives (arts.gatech.edu), and the innovation ecosystem that is thriving on campus, which has attracted companies such as Panasonic to Tech Square.
In discussing the strategic plan, Peterson said that its initiatives have been progressing well. In particular, he spoke about educational initiatives including massive open online courses (MOOCs).
“I’m proud to say that Georgia Tech is a leader in this area,” Peterson said. “We currently have 330,000 people enrolled in our 11 courses.”
And he mentioned some of the improvements that have stemmed from recommendations made by the Family Friendly Task Force, including the addition of a second child care facility to campus.
Following Peterson’s presentation, there was a question-and-answer session, during which the question of how sequestration will impact Georgia Tech was raised.
“I don’t expect to see an immediate impact,” Peterson responded. “I think the largest impact will be felt by our researchers. Most funding agencies won’t cut their budgets for existing grants, but they will likely reduce the number of grants they sponsor in the future.”
Another audience member asked if Tech had plans to create a school or college of the arts in the future, since much emphasis has recently been placed on cultivating the arts at Tech. Peterson said that there are no plans to do so at this time.
To view the town hall in its entirety, click here.
- Workflow Status: Published
- Created By: Amelia Pavlik
- Created: 05/10/2013
- Modified By: Fletcher Moore
- Modified: 10/07/2016