On Aug. 31, 2023, Institute President Ángel Cabrera delivered Tech’s annual Institute Address, during which he shared his view of the Institute’s achievements from the past academic year and his vision for the one ahead.
Cabrera opened his address by welcoming back the campus community for another year and acknowledging his fourth anniversary as the Institute’s President. According to Cabrera, each of the past four years has been a “banner year” for Tech, during which the Institute has adhered to its goal to “amplify our impact,” in accordance with the Institute’s Strategic Plan.
He began by citing a few positive metrics from the last year.
“Record-breaking applications and enrollment,” said Cabrera. “Top graduation rates. Historic research awards and sponsored activities. Best-in-class return on investment. And the highest economic impact for the state of Georgia.”
Cabrera thanked the hard working Jacket community and took the opportunity to acknowledge some of the new leadership staff changes from the last year, including the new Director of Athletics J Batt, new Interim Dean of the Scheller College of Business Jonathan Clarke and the new Interim Dean of the College of Computing Alex Orso.
Cabrera touched on the pride he felt being an ambassador for Tech over the summer. He shared a photo of himself at a White House state dinner in honor of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He recounted that many American and Indian CEOs and government officials in attendance shared positive stories of Tech alumni, from inspiring bosses and mentors to talented employees, colleagues and research collaborators.
Cabrera also shared the details of a densely packed three-day tour of Georgia, during which he represented the Institute at “nearly 20 events.” He stressed the significance of the wide-reaching impact of the Institute.
“We traveled 850 miles, and met students and families, alumni and friends. We visited with local lawmakers and business leaders. We toured some of the many companies in our state powered by our alumni, including one of the biggest business jet factories in the world and one of the biggest alligator farms! What can alumni not do?” Cabrera said.
According to Cabrera, last year, Tech had a statewide economic impact of about $4.5 billion, 22% of the impact of all public universities in Georgia.
“These numbers only measure immediate economic impact: jobs, expenditures and investments. They do not capture the value of the startups we incubate and the companies we help attract to the state,” Cabrera said.
Cabrera segued into discussing statistics of the growing student population. He said, since his arrival in 2019, “overall enrollment has increased by about 12,000 students according to [the] preliminary fall data.”
“Georgia Tech was just listed in the Chronicle of Higher Education Almanac as the fastest growing public university in the country over the last decade. Much of that growth was driven by our groundbreaking online master’s,” Cabrera said.
The on-campus undergraduate program alone has grown larger by 2,800 students, according to Cabrera.
He then paused his highlights to acknowledge that the growth of the student body is outpacing some of the Institute resources, including faculty, staff and infrastructure. Cabrera later extended this sentiment to include the growing number of research commitments the Institute has taken on in recent years.
He continued by citing a record number of admissions applications and the largest incoming class size in Tech history, saying that this year set Institute records for the number of new first generation and female students, among other traditionally underrepresented student demographics.
“Our unique value proposition [results in] one of the highest returns on investment anywhere,” Cabrera said.
Faculty appointments grew in the last year, with Tech netting over 80 new faculty and Georgia Tech Research Institue (GTRI) netting an additional 70 research faculty, according to Cabrera.
“Our faculty won research awards totaling a historic $1.45 billion … with GTRI making up almost two thirds. For the second consecutive year, NSF listed us as number one in research expenditures among institutions without a medical school,” Cabrera said.
He took time to highlight some of the technological, biological and artistic research being done at the Institute before segueing to discuss the upcoming stages of the campus master plan.
According to Cabrera, new construction is ongoing in both Tech Square and the new Science Square. A new 850-bed first-year residence hall has been approved for construction, set to open in 2026. Cabrera said that this year they will complete the “campus master plan,” referring to what is currently named Tech’s Comprehensive Campus Plan (CCP).
He mentioned intentions to support GTRI’s continued growth in Atlanta and Cobb County, as well as the beginnings of a new Arts Square that will be located across from the John Lewis Student Center.
Cabrera went on to discuss many more important aspects of the Institute’s operations and ambitions, including increases in faculty, the Global Student Experience initiative, “working to return study abroad rates to pre-pandemic levels,” the creation of the Division of Lifetime Learning and the establishment of the Center for Mental Health Care and Resources. He discussed topics such as diversity on campus, freedom of expression and the Supreme Court decision in the University of North Carolina and Harvard University cases.
He emphasized ongoing efforts to attract students from lower-income families and announced the new scholarship opportunity offered to Valedictorians and Salutatorians who demonstrate financial need.
Cabrera ended by recognizing some of the major accomplishments of Georgia Tech Athletics over the past year, including, “an incredibly exciting summer in golf.”
The annual Institute Address is typically held early in the Fall semester, and it is open for anyone to attend. The 2023 Institute Address is available to rewatch online at president.gatech.edu.