Georgia Tech will define the technological research University of the 21st Century.
More than five years has passed since we set out to begin “designing the future” with our 25-year strategic plan. Guided by the plan, Georgia Tech is still one of the best institutions of higher learning in the country and world, and our dedication to the improvement of the human condition through advanced science and technology stands strong.
But the business of national and international education is rapidly changing – the old models in terms of business, pedagogy and mission are either being questioned, or are no longer valid, meaning we must continually assess and reassess our own methodologies. Issues of “flat world” connectivity, technology and accessibility, affordability and return on investment, and a diversifying body of learners drive today’s higher education model, all while the old funding model becomes obsolete.
Private institutions tend to have access to broader markets, potential of unrestricted nimbleness of action, unfettered arenas of operation, and very deep pockets. Public institutions that will thrive in this environment must become more private-like, maintain a cost advantage, develop a more varied revenue source, etc. Georgia Tech is in a good position to be one of the public institutions that thrives and we must maintain the momentum that excites and invigorates us year over year.
We must continue to distinguish ourselves in the way we educate our students – both residential and digital, and in the way we collaborate with government and industry partners, and connect with our local community and the world.
Georgia Tech’s Education Innovation Ecosystem
As the landscape of higher education evolves, we must be leaders amongst our peers. Georgia Tech is frequently sought as an example, and that behooves each of us to work as a team to formulate the best practices for research universities. Others should ask “What does Georgia Tech think” as they work to improve their own education.
This fall, we hosted an all-hands meeting and a town hall to introduce Georgia Tech’s Educational Innovation Ecosystem – an environment defined by the joint efforts of C21U, CTL, GTPE, and OIT. Moving forward, the initiatives of the individual units will be coordinated to meet one mission minded and team-oriented strategy. This strategy includes the organizational move of C21U into the Office of the Provost. Moving forward, you can expect to see the formation of a Digital Learning and Educational Innovation Council. Built from the units’ senior leadership, the council will steer this path.
To continue to lead, it is necessary to take a critical and forward-thinking look at current methodologies and approaches to education. To that end, we are establishing the Commission on Creating the Next in Education. The mission of this education commission is to take a critical and forward-thinking look at the educational enterprise of the technological research university of the 21st century. Through a multi-phased approach over 18 months, the commission will take a look at the Institute’s current methodologies and approaches, benchmark best practices in higher education, including issues of delivery and accessibility, and make recommendations for a plan that will maximize Georgia Tech’s strengths, and position the Institute as a transformational leader amongst research institutions.
Through study, discovery and dialogue, the commission will think creatively and broadly about harnessing the power of Georgia Tech’s faculty, students, and culture to imagine the Georgia Tech education of the future. More specifically, the commission will:
- Envision, within the context of Georgia Tech’s strengths, mission, and opportunities, the educational enterprise of the technological research university of the 21st Century; and
- Suggest a possible road map to move Georgia Tech to that vision.
The commission’s work and activities will include the following topics:
- The needs, learning styles and demographics of future graduate and undergraduate students;
- New populations and markets of students and learners;
- Financial models and potential partners;
- Best practices of peers and trends in higher education that align with Georgia Tech’s strengths and mission;
- New ways of engaging with the Georgia Tech community to develop, foster and grow ideas around the Georgia Tech educational experience; and
- Experiments, both marginal and transformational, that can be piloted or implemented to move Georgia Tech to the envisioned future state.