Strategic Planning: The 6-Month Update

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When you think about 2035, you might see a world where a trip to the International Space Station is a reality for most middle class Americans and there are cures for common cancers.  

The goal of Designing the Future: A Strategic Vision and Plan is to get everyone across campus thinking about what the world — and specifically, Georgia Tech — will look like in 25 years.

Sure, we’re only about six months into the plan, but members of the Tech community have already been busy implementing the ten institutional initiatives introduced with the kick-off of the plan, developing new initiatives and taking action.

For example, leaders from academic and research units across campus came together in December for a strategic planning implementation retreat. About 120 white papers were submitted by the colleges, research units and academic support units for discussion and consideration.  

This article officially kicks off The Whistle’s coverage of strategic plan implementation on campus. We’ve featured eight ideas that have been initiated or are being considered for implementation by Institute leadership. Given we are only months into a 25-year plan, some of these ideas are still in the discussion and conceptual stages.   

With each idea, we’ve provided the basic details and what the main participating units are or might be. Most importantly, we’ve highlighted the strategic goal(s) to which the idea corresponds. In case you need a refresher, the strategic goals outlined in the plan are:

  • Goal 1: Be among the most highly respected technology-focused institutions in the world.
  • Goal 2: Sustain and enhance excellence in scholarship and research.
  • Goal 3: Ensure that innovation, entrepreneurship and public service are fundamental characteristics of our graduates.
  • Goal 4: Expand our global footprint and influence to ensure that we are graduating good global citizens.
  • Goal 5: Relentlessly pursue institutional effectiveness.

Here are the ideas:

Global Village @ Tech Square
DETAILS: The Global Village @ Tech Square would include an International Center that would serve as home to the Office of International Education, international campus staff and the European Union Center, and would be a focal point for intercultural exchange and activity. This village might also include landing space for local consular corps or international universities that wish to establish their presence on campus. Global companies would have a place for embedded labs or spaces.
MAIN PARTICIPANTS: Offices of the Vice Provost for International Initiatives and the Executive Vice President for Research, as well as deans of all colleges and the Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration

Innovation Task Force
DETAILS: In July, the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research (EVPR) formed this group, which developed a fast-track approach to licensing, to  be rolled out by semester’s end. The group also initiated two programs: the Innovation Seminar to help faculty members accelerate the formation of new spin-out companies and the Focused Innovation for Research and Education program, launched this fall, to provide internal seed funds to support transformational ideas across Tech’s education and research enterprise.
MAIN PARTICIPANTS: Office of the EVPR in collaboration with Enterprise Innovation Institute, Georgia Tech Research Corporation, colleges and research centers
STRATEGIC GOALS: Goals 2 and 3

Globalization of Education and Increased Language Support
DETAILS: Though this initiative, the “globality” of students’ experience will be closely examined and enhanced. This will entail a focus on graduate students’ English skills. The international texture of the educational experience for all students will build on current activities including the international plan and international co-op, in addition to increasing language- building opportunities.
MAIN PARTICIPANTS: Offices of the Provost and Vice President for International Initiatives, all colleges, the Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning and the Language Institute
STRATEGIC GOALS: All goals outlined in the plan

Burdell Center for Multidisciplinary Design
DETAILS: The Burdell Center would be a space where the rich range of complementary design cultures and practices on campus, especially with the Colleges of Architecture and Engineering, can come together. It would provide the range of spaces required to support integrated design and manufacturing: studios and collaborative workspaces, shops and fabrication labs, exhibition spaces, etc. This center would be a facility where students from across campus can work together on projects collaboratively — whether they were senior projects or for various competitions.  
MAIN PARTICIPANTS: College of Architecture and College of Engineering
STRATEGIC GOALS: Goals 1, 2 and 3

Institute for People and Technology
DETAILS: Similar to the Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience, this institute (known as IPaT) will catalyze research activities, create new economic development opportunities and address important societal problems. It will support various college research centers that collectively pursue transformations in healthcare, education, consumer media and other complex human enterprises by integrating advances in human-centered computing, architectural and digital design, policy and system science and engineering.     
MAIN PARTICIPANTS: Every college, as well as the Georgia Tech Research Institute and the Enterprise Innovation Institute

Minor in Leadership Studies
DETAILS: This minor was created with the objective of providing students with an in-depth knowledge of leadership theory, skills, experience and application through a rigorous program of multidisciplinary study. The minor will be available to students this fall and will initially be comprised of two tracks, one in public policy and the other in management (students select which track they’d like to follow). The goal for next year is to add a third track in international leadership, which would be offered by the School of International Affairs.   
MAIN PARTICIPANTS: College of Management, School of Public Policy and Student Affairs

Tech Arts
DETAILS: Tech Arts is intended to connect the Tech community to the world of arts and expression. There would be four core focuses to this initiative: education research, performance/experience and community outreach/influence/adoption. Some of the specific ideas include an undergraduate degree in computational music, the creation of studio space and performance, and significantly increased community engagement through partnerships with the Woodruff Arts Center and Atlanta Public Schools.
MAIN PARTICIPANTS: Interactive Computing, Music Technology, Literature, Communication and Culture, Design and Electrical and Computer Engineering
STRATEGIC GOALS: Goals 1, 2 and 3

DETAILS: BuzzMart is the new eProcurement system that replaced Tech’s PeopleSoft campus requisition. The new system offers the following benefits: 24/7 Internet-based access, one-stop shopping, real-time processing, student and affiliate access, electronic approval and workflow and no end-of-the-month reconciliation or invoices to organize.
MAIN PARTICIPANTS: Every unit on campus

If you have questions about information provided in this article, e-mail Chet Warzynski.



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