Strategic plan rollout continues

This spring will conclude the second year of Institute President G.P. “Bud” Peterson’s Strategic Plan. The 25-year plan outlines Tech’s goals and academic future up to the year 2035, Tech’s 150th anniversary.

Implementation is still in the early stages, with eight projects in the process of establishing their goals and vision for different aspects of Tech and their future.  Feelings about the execution of the plan so far are positive, with support from many administrators involved with the project.

“We’ve said all along that this was not going to be a plan we write and then put on a shelf,” Peterson said. “We were going to use it to guide what we did…and I think we’re using it to guide what actions we’re taking, the direction we’re taking as an institution…and some budget decisions.”

Next week, Peterson, the steering committee and committee chairs from each of the projects will meet to discuss progress so far.

“Those reports will be used to evaluate the next steps, how Georgia Tech will prioritize and fund initiatives in our short, medium, and long-term planning,” said Rafael Bras, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. “The good news is that there are a lot of ideas we can begin to implement without a large investment of capital or infrastructure.”

“We’ll continue to try to implement the things we think are important…as well as to reassess the list,” Peterson said.

One major goal has been the creation of cross-disciplinary relationships, encouraging students to branch out from their major and develop a level of understanding in different areas.

Different projects move at their own pace, according to project leaders, making it difficult to compare progress. Initiatives like the X-degree and the Burdell Center already have several years of momentum while larger-scale projects, like Revitalizing Undergraduate Education, have a slower implementation pace due to the longer time required to execute the project.

“The form that [Revitalizing Undergraduate Education] takes is still up in the air,” said Hugh Crawford, the Project Liaison for Revitalizing Undergraduate Education.

Those working on the Burdell Center have embraced their charge to be a place where students of all disciplines can come together and create new things.

“From our perspective, it’s pretty clear that the problems that we face on a day-to-day basis are becoming increasingly complex, and we can only provide useful solutions if we take a very diversified approach to them, which will take some inter-disciplinary collaboration,” said Jim Budd, the chair of the Burdell Design Center Project.