Initiatives begin to take form from the new strategic plan

Eighteen months ago, the Tech community embarked on an ambitious journey to write a 25-year strategic plan that would differentiate us in the years to come, positioning Tech as the defining technological research university of the 21st century. It has only been six months since the plan was finalized, and I’m happy to report that we’re making progress.
The campus community has been busy engaging in the execution of our new strategic plan. In addition to the five main goals of the strategic plan, a number of initiatives emerged from the planning process. One of the initiatives we are already exploring is the concept of creating an “X-College.”
The idea grew out of a recommendation from students and faculty that Tech must increase the level of student-faculty interaction and provide more flexibility in our curricula. We are moving forward with a plan that would to allow students, with faculty guidance, to compose programs of study that focus on what we call the “grand challenges”—global problems facing society today, using knowledge from a wide range of disciplines. In Jan., the provost announced the creation of a committee chaired by Professor Richard Barke from the School of Public Policy. This committee is reviewing options and will formulate strategies for implementation.
The creation of the Center for 21st Century Universities is another example of the strategic plan moving forward. The center will be based in the College of Computing, but will include faculty from Management, Public Policy and Industrial and Systems Engineering. It will focus on the role and opportunities presented by disruptive technologies, such as social networking and innovations like open courseware, serving as a living laboratory for testing new educational ideas.
Tech is preparing the next generation of leaders in biomedical engineering thanks to another new program—our Graduate Leadership Program within the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering. This program teaches Tech graduate students to be strong leaders who can readily communicate their research agendas beyond the pragmatics of scientific techniques and experimental outcomes.
To support the plan’s focus on faculty-led, interdisciplinary and transformative research, Executive Vice President for Research Steve Cross has announced the launch of the Institute for People and Technology (IPaT).
Led by Executive Director, Professor Beth Mynatt from the College of Computing who previously served as the director of the GVU Center, 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.
Expanding our global footprint and influence is another one of our goals. Earlier this month, Provost Rafael Bras announced the creation of the International Advisory Group, a faculty committee chaired by Steve McLaughlin, vice provost for International Initiatives, that will serve to support and advise on issues related to Tech’s strategy for global engagement.
Part of designing our future is to relentlessly pursue institutional effectiveness. The new eProcurement system, BuzzMart, is a part our effort to be more efficient in the way we do business. The new system is replacing Tech’s PeopleSoft campus requisition and has several benefits including 24/7 Internet-based access, a one-stop shopping experience, and student and affiliate access.
These are just a few of the examples of how our strategic plan is coming to life all around you. I encourage you to remain engaged in the process. Continue to look for new and innovative ways for Tech to Design the Future.


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