On September 20, Georgia State held a kick-off event for its new 10-year strategic plan. This plan, running under the motto “Out Place, Our Time,” is centered on improving four central aspects of the university throughout the next decade.
University President Brian Blake led the kick-off event on Georgia State’s Clarkson Campus. The event was broadcast live to auditoriums across all Georgia State campuses. At the event, President Blake and members of the “strategic plan task force” told the crowd their goals for the plan and its four pillars.
“It gives me great pleasure today to share what I personally think would be great aspirations for us over the next 10 years,” said Blake. “We’ve done so much great work to move from a commuter campus to a very engaging residential campus, but I think we can do more. I want us to have the most vibrant and engaging experiences for students, staff and faculty to live, learn and work together.”
This message ties into the strategic plan’s first pillar, “Identity, Placemaking and Belonging.” This pillar, according to the strategic plan’s website, is centered around making the university “a place for all,” and turning the Atlanta campus into a “college town downtown”.
Michael Sanseviro, the Vice President of Student Engagement, spoke on what this pillar hopes to achieve. Sanseviro explained that this pillar centers on revamping Georgia State’s culture and “collective identity” for both students and faculty. This pillar also focuses on improving the university’s “spaces and places” by implementing more green spaces around campus and acquiring more buildings to grow the university.
It was announced at the event that the university is already taking action to fulfill this goal. A visual rendering was shown at the event of a potential renovation of Gilmour St. and a plaza connecting Sparks Hall and Hurt Park.
It was announced that the university recently gained approval to acquire the United Way building north of Hurt Park at the Atlanta Campus.
“Gaining control of that building is instrumental to achieving the goals and aspirations of our identity, placemaking and belonging pillar,” said Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jared Abrams.
The second pillar discussed was “Innovating Research, Scholarship & Creative Activity.” This pillar focuses on “enhancing Georgia State’s research reputation” and “embracing an inclusive culture of research, scholarship and creativity at Georgia State.”
The university plans to achieve these goals by increasing researcher recruitment and by streamlining the processes associated with research. The university also announced that it will continue to support research in the humanities, arts, social and behavioral sciences.
“Student Success 2.0” was the third pillar discussed at the event. Sr. Vice President of Student Success Allison Calhoun-Brown discussed the potential impact this pillar can have.
“Student Success 2.0 demonstrates the university’s continuing commitment to improving who we are,” said Brown. “This new and enhanced version will be even more effective in delivering the promise of education for all of our students.”
This pillar focuses on improving the quality and availability of education at Georgia State. The university is working towards becoming a national model for educational affordability and accessibility. To get there, it is developing programs that will hopefully provide better academic and financial support to students.
The university is also pushing to provide more “high-demand degree programs” for graduate students and more competitive financial support.
The final pillar of the strategic plan is “Beyond College to Career.” This pillar aims at helping students “achieve their full potential in their careers and lives.” Lisa Armistead, Dean of the Graduate School spoke on how the strategic plan will help students accomplish this.
“We aim to prepare our diverse undergraduate and graduate students to pursue their chosen fields with adaptability, agility and creativity,” said Armistead.
The event ended with words from President Blake.
“We hope you’ve found today’s forum insightful. We look forward to partnering with everyone here, our students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends to create a blueprint to 2033” said Blake.
More information on the strategic plan can be found at https://strategic.gsu.edu/.