With his State of the Institute address on Tuesday, Institute President G. P. “Bud” Peterson gave his thoughts on the state of affairs at Tech; however, we feel that his speech left much to be desired.
Problems began with the general structure and delivery of his address. Most of the address was a straight rehash of aspects of the Strategic Plan that we have heard before, providing few descriptions of new deliverables or metrics describing progress. More, the address did little to address the direction of the Institute going forward, focusing solely on summarizing past events. Student input was also severely limited, as little time was provided for questions.
Rather than a repeat of points we have heard before, we would have preferred to see him address new challenges and problems Tech faces, and how they can be overcome. First and foremost, the address did not discuss any issues faced by the current student body. All changes and initiatives Peterson discussed won’t begin to take effect until long after current students have graduated.
We would have liked to hear his plans concerning current budget issues, and how the administration intends to improve the quality of teaching. Details of initiatives to provide students with a more well-rounded education and opportunities to join interdisciplinary projects would have also been welcomed.
Tech’s position in the Atlanta community is another topic we feel would have benefitted from more discussion. Peterson has talked about turning Tech into a more open campus, but there have not been any details as to how this will be achieved or what effects it will have.
Finally, we feel that research and academics should have played larger roles in the address. Tech’s position among peer institutions is important, yet few details were given on how this position will be improved.