Clough presents vision for new year
By Daniel Uhlig / STUDENT PUBLICATIONS
After his speech yesterday, President Clough talks with Pamela Jackson and Glenn Curtis, Jr. Many students attended the annual address.
In his annual State of the Institute Address, President G. Wayne Clough highlighted Tech’s accomplishments throughout the last year and set a number of goals for the coming year. Clough identified seven strategic goals for the Institute, but focused on three in particular-student-focused education, enhanced research enterprise and expanded local, regional and global outreach.
In discussing his goal of more student-focused education, Clough noted the success of the undergraduate research initiative he introduced in last year’s State of the Institute Address. The Institute has already funded 50 undergraduate research projects.
“Beyond our central initiative, many of our academic units have developed their own outstanding undergraduate research programs,” said Clough.
Another aspect of student-focused learning emphasized by Clough was an improved physical environment for teaching and learning. He discussed the new Learning Resources Center, which the Board of Regents recently placed on its list of construction projects to be funded. It will be adjacent to the library and will include classrooms and labs as well as other academic support services.
“Every freshman student will take their chemistry, physics, biology and earth sciences laboratories in this building, bringing them almost daily into the same space where advising, information access and tutoring services are also there for them,” said Clough.
Clough also discussed the progress of the student leadership initiative coordinated by Robert McMath, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies, and Lee Wilcox, Vice President of Student Affairs and its role in student-focused education. He also announced the appointment of Dr. Arnie Stancill, a professor in Chemical Engineering, to the Turner Chair of Servant Leadership-a position that will work to further develop student leadership at Tech.
The last component of student-focused learning emphasized by Clough was the new midterm grade reports, which will be made available to students for the first time this week.
“The midterm reporting process addresses a need that was acknowledged by students and faculty alike,” said Clough.
“And figuring what to do and how to make it work has been a great team effort involving faculty, academic advisors, academic support staff, he registrar’s office, the counseling center in student affairs and the dormcounselors in housing.”
The next goal highlighted by Clough was increased local, regional, and global outreach. Clough specifically noted the increased local outreach Tech is planning over the next years. The campus is physically expanding in all directions with new buildings, and the Institute is also expanding services into the community. One example of this outreach is the Technology Square development, which includes not only amenities for the Tech community, but also for the greater Atlanta community.
Clough also emphasized the importance of building a greater research enterprise.
“We have to create an environment where faculty can pursue both short and long term research that produces usable products for today as well the basis for those of tomorrow,” said Clough.
In particular, Clough noted the importance of interdisciplinary research. Tech’s growing involvement in biotechnology research, he claims, is an example of how interdisciplinary research can allow the Institute to expand into new fields of research and stay on the cutting edge of knowledge creation.
“We already have significant research underway in several interdisciplinary fields that have tremendous potential for the future,” said Clough. These new fields will allow Tech to better fulfill its role as a leading technological university.
“We strive to define the technological university of the 21st century because of the opportunity and the capability it will provide to shape futures through innovation-the futures of our students, our Institute and the citizens of our community, state, nation and world,” said Clough.
Clough ended his address on a more philosophical note. He acknowledged that in the wake of the events of September, Tech’s role in the world is even more important.
“For Georgia Tech and our nation, we now live in a changed environment, one faced with economic challenges as well as societal ones,” said Clough.
“Yet nothing need deter us from our mission of educating the leaders of tomorrow and creating the knowledge required to address the problems we face. Indeed, both of these tasks are now even more important to our nation, reinforcing as never before the essential nature of what it is we are positioned to do. If we remain true to our well-honed strategies and unleash the talent of the people who are Georgia Tech, our opportunity to make a difference has never been greater.”
As he does each year, Clough delivered the address a number of times throughout the week. He addressed the faculty on Tuesday afternoon and the student body on Thursday morning.