A pragmatic look at our progress this year

One hundred years after its founding, Georgia State hardly resembles the way it was in 1913.

No longer are we a small business night school for white men. Rather, we’ve grown to become one of the most diverse institutions of higher education in the country and the second-largest university in the state of Georgia. In the process it’s also become a national model that for other schools around the country.

Through a concerted effort of planning and expansion, we’ve planted down roots and seen our campus flourish with a record number of applications, enrollments, graduates and research funding coming in for our centennial year of operation.

We’ve also seen the university begin progress on construction of new academic buildings for our law and business programs and promise to shutter other ones whose time has come and gone to make way for a true green space on campus.
Speaking of all things green, we finally have a sustainability fee that will help fund the development of environmentally friendly practices at Georgia State – a true win for the university – all without raising the total cost to students.

But on a sadder note, we’ve also paid witness to perhaps one of the most disheartening sports seasons in Georgia State history. Indeed, 2013 has left us feeling crushed after a grueling, winless football season and unexpectedly disappointing start for our men’s basketball team.

Finally, the Student Government Association isn’t doing so hot, either. With former Executive Vice President Ashley Epperson’s recent resignation, it appears SGA has yet to recover from last year’s fiercely debated election debacle. Well, at least we’ll have the opportunity to fix that next year.

On the whole, however, Georgia State has been made better by the contributions of its community in 2013, and we look forward to seeing what we can accomplish together next year.

At the 2013 State of the University, President Becker made this point very well.
“As we enter our second century it’s time to build on that momentum and continue our impressive progress toward establishing Georgia State as a premier urban research university,” Becker said in October. “We will continue to invest in our students, staff, faculty and program.”

Bravo. To make Georgia State’s second century as successful as its first, we’ll need that brand of idealism coupled with a sense of pragmatic planning necessary to grow.

It’s what we’ve come to expect, and it’s what we deserve.