Of the five major points that are included in Tech’s legislative priorities, two in particular stick out above the rest. It’s a telling sign of the state of our campus that, among the securing of funds and bonds, lies the plans to obtain financial support for the construction of the Biosystems building and the renovation of Chapin. While the Biosystems building will greatly enhance education and research at Tech, the inclusion of the Chapin building at this point in time creates confusion about the priorities of reconstruction. There are other aging, highly trafficked buildings on campus like Guggenheim and the Instructional Center that provide intrinsic value through improving recruitment of incoming students, facility ratings and in turn provide more funding for building improvement, yet have not been renovated.
Another major priority is the Institute’s request for formula funding. Overall, this is a good plan that will focus on hiring faculty to improve the student to faculty ratio. But an increase in size must not equate to a decrease in quality. Besides increasing volume, the focus must also improve training methods for faculty, facilitated by each school, to maintain a higher level of interaction.
Whether it was just Chapin’s turn on the rotation of renovation or if Tech plans to implement new training for new faculty remains unclear. A strategic vision may actually be in place, but if so, there is a need for more transparency when it comes to long-term funding. The Institute must do more to communicate its vision. Explaining issues such as these helps students better understand Tech’s priorities.
And finally, if there is no long-term plan concerning these issues, then Tech must step back and assess its current capacity and future capacity needs. It should then strategically identify what the Institute needs to achieve its future goals.