Over the coming weeks and months, the Institute will develop a strategic plan that envisions Tech’s future and provides a roadmap for achieving that goal. The purpose of the plan is to transform Tech into the premier educational institution for the 21st century. The hope is to develop a plan and to implement it over the next 25 years, in time for the 150th anniversary of Tech’s founding.
“The principal question is: what should Georgia Tech be like in 25 years? What do we expect Georgia Tech’s international footprint be like in 25 years? What will the student experience be like? How is that going to change what we do from an educational perspective? Those are some of the questions that we want to answer,” said Institute President Bud Peterson.
“The purpose of the strategic plan is to lay out what we need to do in the next 3-5 years, the next 10-12 years to achieve the vision of making Tech the foremost university for students and the community,” said Steve Cross, Director of Georgia Tech Research Institute and a member of the President’s cabinet.
Cross explained the logic behind a strategic plan. “What we want to do is to develop a plan that can guide the different colleges and administrative units in their planning and budgeting towards achieving the stated goals and to setup benchmarks to test their performance,” Cross said.
Previously, strategic plans have previously been implemented with success. The plan developed nearly 10 years ago set the stage for many of the infrastructure and construction projects that have since been implemented on campus. Like the previous plan, the current one aims to focus the Institute on a path that helps serve the campus and the broader Atlanta community.
One of the proposed strategic themes is to explore how education can be delivered more effectively. “One of the things we really want to explore is how we can better deliver content, and give students a more interdisciplinary and experiential education,” Cross said.
Other important themes include global health, the role of Tech’s international operations and the role of the Institute in the state of Georgia.
“Anybody who wants to come and get involved will have a chance to. We want all the students, faculty, and staff to get involved and help clarify and define the themes central to Tech,” Cross said.
Members from the President’s cabinet and other administrative units met on August 3 to develop a steering committee for the development of the strategic plan. The steering committee consists of 75 individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds who interact with Tech on a variety of different capacities. Alumni and students, along with faculty and staff play an important role in the steering committee. The steering committee currently has six students representing the student body.
This steering committee will reduce the proposed themes to approximately 10 themes which it then will present to stakeholders.
A tentative timeline for the process is as follows. After meeting with the steering committee on August 24, President Peterson will formally announce the planning process for the initiative during his investiture ceremony on September 3. Following that announcement, the steering committee will hold a series of town hall style meetings with students, faculty and alumni.
Peterson stressed that he believes student involvement is critical to making the plan a successful one. “I really encourage students to get involved in the strategic planning process. The steering committee has been developed simply to give some structure to this broad task. We need the students’ creativity and their innovation to come up with a good plan,” Peterson said.
During the spring, the committee will come up with roadmaps to achieving different themes. After reviewing the plan with various constituencies, the committee is scheduled to come up with a draft of the plan by the end of the spring semester. During the summer, the committee will spend time refining and polishing the plan for finalization.
“Once the plan has been completed, departments across campus can adjust their budgetary and administrative tasks towards achieving the goals. In addition, the plan will be an important step in continuing fundraising for the Capital Campaign for Georgia Tech,” Cross said.