Peterson delivers annual address


Institute President G.P. “Bud” Peterson presented his annual Institute address this Tuesday at the Clough Commons. Peterson discussed achievements and  advancements in the past year  as well as goals and challenges for the 2011-’12 academic year.

Peterson focused on the importance of Clough Commons as an academic resource for Tech students and as a

means of enhancing undergraduate education. He elaborated on updating the campus master plan and the added benefits of the new facilities constructed on campus. He provided the audience an insight into the partnerships and collaborations developed by Tech, research achievements and goals of the Strategic Plan to better serve the state and nation. He concluded by explaining the value of an education at Tech, despite recent tuition increases.

“Because the Clough Commons is linked both physically and intellectually with the library, students will benefit from the boundless resources in a common enterprise designed to enhance their undergraduate experience,” Peterson said.

He highlighted the consistency of the Clough Commons in accordance to the Strategic Plan of what Tech aspires to be in 2035, by elaborating on the opportunities offered by the Clough Commons for collaborative learning, team projects and other facilities that create innovative students.

Peterson also focused on new technologies and teaching methodologies provided by the Clough Commons that contribute towards the enhancement of education and learning. According to Peterson, Clough Commons, the Campanile, the Campus Transit Center and North Ave. improvements have transformed the campus.

This year, the campus plan will be updated to ensure that it will reflect the need and aspirations of future students.

“Our Strategic Plan is designed to position Tech for greater national and international promise…Several universities have enquired about the process by which it was developed,” Peterson said.

The Strategic Plan envisions what Tech aspires to be in 25 years with the help of five goals. It is a means of examining and measuring success undertaking the primary goal of “Designing the Future.”

Tech has made several changes in accordance with the Strategic Plan in the form of several student facilities. Peterson elaborated on the current Strategic Plan Project Teams and their importance. He continued to list achievements in the past year in accordance to each goal of the Strategic Plan.

“Our vision is that we will define the technological research university of the 21st century. We will be leaders in influencing major technological, social and policy decisions,” Peterson said.

According to Peterson, evidence of progress in this field includes faculty testifying before Congress, faculty appointments to scientific policy committees and business and government seeking out Tech for research related expertise. Tech is one of six universities in Advanced Manufacturing Partnership designed to create manufacturing jobs and enhance global competitiveness.

Tech has taken steps to sustain and enhance excellence in scholarship and research in accordance with the second goal of the Strategic Plan. New Sponsored Researched Awards of $600 million have been developed along with concepts of interdisciplinary minors and graduate leadership programs in BME.

Tech has made progress in accordance with the third goal in ensuring that leadership, entrepreneurship and public services and fundamental characteristics of graduates. The partnership with the Emory School of Law and the Business plan competition reflect this goal.

According to Peterson, the fifth goal of pursuing institutional effectiveness is highlighted by the strong impact of Georgia Tech Savannah in South-East Georgia. He also talked about the advancement in Athletics and various sporting events, commitment to diversity and the economic impact of the university.

“While we’re in the midst of a recession, today we stand in a $90 million facility. I fully recognize that we have not been able to give merit increases for 4 years and we’re working to try to resolve that in the months and years to come,” Peterson said. He explained that cost per student for the University System of Georgia (USG) and Tech has gone down in the past several years.

Peterson explained how Tech remains as one of the best valued institutions in the country as observed by Smart Money magazine which ranked the university first in terms of financial return on investment. He concluded by explaining some of the developments in innovation and research.

“To try to understand and keep up with all the marvelous things that you [audience] and all the others are doing here in Georgia Tech is a tremendous challenge. Our faculty, staff, students, alumni and many supporters deserve tremendous credit for creating a marvelous institution,” Peterson said.


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