Action Plan for the University Strategic Plan


 



     

University Strategic Plan (2000-2005)

Enhance the Academic Mission | Support for the Academic Mission

 

II. GOALS AND PRIORITIES

Some of the goals of the 1995 Strategic Plan have been achieved, but many remain as priorities of the institution. In the section that follows, the unfinished work of the 1995 plan is incorporated into the goals and priorities for the next five years.

The vision is to provide an academic environment conducive to effective and inspired teaching, learning, and scholarship and to be recognized as one of the leading national state-assisted research universities located in an urban setting. This entails having significant state, national, and international roles as well as serving the residents of the metropolitan Atlanta region.

In the twenty-first century, Georgia State University's curricular and co-curricular activities must prepare students who are critical thinkers, creative problem solvers, and responsible citizens who make ethical choices. Students must be able to present their thoughts cogently both orally and in writing, develop leadership skills, and work well in teams. They should be literate in science, technology, culture, and information. Georgia State University must also ensure that students are able to analyze and evaluate important trends in disciplines, comprehend how the world is changing, understand the interconnectedness of knowledge, recognize that there is a blurring of boundaries among disciplines and among nations, and cope with the dynamics of change. A vision for students includes exposure to multiple viewpoints and the free exchange of ideas, an appreciation for diversity among peoples of the nation and around the globe, an understanding of their urban environment, preparation to utilize information technology, an ability to judge the quality of information, and experience with collaborative learning on campus and in the community. A diverse environment such as that encountered at Georgia State produces a balanced, better educated, responsible global citizen.

In striving to reach goals in the area of instruction, progress must also be continued in establishing and maintaining outstanding research programs and activities. Selected undergraduate, graduate, and professional program research efforts -- those that are already competitive nationally and internationally or that demonstrate promise of becoming so -- will be targeted and supported so that they can maintain their success and reach even higher levels of excellence. The necessity of promoting research derives from the fact that a university becomes great only when it contributes significantly to the advancement of knowledge and when it becomes a source of advanced knowledge that can be used widely for the betterment of life. Moreover, research is an integral part of advanced graduate and professional programs. Further, undergraduate education is enhanced when students have research experiences.

Georgia State University's impressive array of professional programs will continue to provide high quality education in the Atlanta area and the region. Furthermore, in appropriate instances, advanced educational programs will draw students from all parts of the nation and abroad. In all cases the programs will assemble faculty members that are capable of providing advanced expertise to outside constituencies, thereby directly promoting the advancement of society. We must strive to enhance our strong graduate programs while enhancing our undergraduate programs and services.

In order to accomplish the University’s visions, goals and priorities, the faculty must remain mindful that being a responsible community member extends beyond disciplinary interests to the (unranked) interconnected aims of:

  • liberal arts education in all undergraduate programs;
  • provision of a learning-centered environment;
    scholarly activity for all faculty;
  • advanced research programs;
  • accomplished professional programs;
  • intercultural and international perspectives;
  • connections across disciplines and content areas;
  • connections among graduate, professional, and undergraduate studies;
  • opportunities for collaborative research and scholarly interaction among faculty and between faculty and students;
  • exploration and use of new learning methods and technologies, when appropriate;
  • assessment of courses, programs and services for the purpose of their continuous improvement;
  • information literacy and lifelong learning;
  • collaboration across institutions and between the campus and the community;
  • use of our location in an urban area, a center of international commerce and a center of governance, to offer a distinctive education to our students;
  • participation in partnerships that have a positive impact on community.

Achievement of these interconnected aims will contribute significantly to student learning and an engaged university. A dynamic balance is sought among teaching and learning, research and scholarship, university and community service, and undergraduate and graduate and professional programs.

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A. Enhance the Academic Mission

A great university requires great students, great faculty and staff, and great facilities. Strong academic and co-curricular programs attract students. Supportive staff and administrative services with reliable physical and technological infrastructures help retain students and faculty. Strong external communications inform alumni, potential students, and other constituents of our accomplishments. The first strategic initiative focuses on the above and the infrastructure that supports teaching, learning, scholarship, and outreach or engagement. This initiative is intended to identify ways in which the intellectual environment for the entire university community can be heightened.

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a. Students

1. Recruitment

Georgia State attracts students from all fifty states and over one hundred countries around the world. These include high school graduates, transfer students from two- and four-year programs, working and "returning" students, and graduate and professional students. While the university attracts students worldwide, the downtown campus, the North Metro Center at Dunwoody (moving to the Alpharetta Center in Summer 2000), and the Gwinnett Center provide access to quality education in particular for residents of the entire metropolitan area. Further, the Helen M. Aderhold Learning Center is expected to be available for classes in Spring 2002. A Recreational Center is scheduled for completion in Summer 2001.

A student body of 27,000 by Fall 2005, with approximately 30% being in graduate and professional programs, is a recruitment goal. Georgia State will continue to serve both traditional and non-traditional students. A goal is to maintain or increase diversity while increasing the quality of the incoming students. A goal is to develop a plan to increase the international undergraduate student population on campus by 50 students per year for the next five years. Short-term recruitment goals are 2000 freshmen, 2000 transfer students, and 1800 graduate and professional students for Fall 2000. In addition, another 1800 students will be recruited mid-year. For Fall 2005, recruitment goals are 2500 freshmen, 3000 transfer students, and 2500 graduate and professional students. In Fall 1999, there were 23,500 students (including 1,200 international students with visas). At present, approximately 55% of the students attend full-time. The University offers a welcoming academic environment to traditional students as well as working and returning students - 53 percent work full-time and 25 percent work part-time. This composition produces a mature, serious student body with considerable diversity and a high proportion of graduate students. Approximately 6,300 African-American students are currently enrolled at Georgia State University, more than at any other college or university in Georgia. There is a significant metropolitan character to the student body - approximately 85% of the students in the University Village come from the 13-county metro area surrounding Atlanta.

For a campus that serves a large number of part-time students, credit hours generated is an important metric. A goal is to increase the average number of hours enrolled by a student so that the student makes timely progress towards graduation. To accomplish this goal, the university will investigate strategies such as increasing courses at the upper division and graduate level from 3 to 4 semester hours or scheduling courses in groupings that make it easier for part-time students to take three 3-hour courses per term. Prior to semester conversion, students were averaging 11.2 credits per term. Experience for the first four terms under the semester system shows averages of 9.9, 10.0, 10.2, and 10.0.

A goal of the Physical Master Plan is to add varied types of student housing near campus to accommodate 2000 students beyond the 2000 beds available in the Village. Private developers are being encouraged to build additional student housing, particularly for married students, graduate students and international students. Availability of student residence halls has increasingly made Georgia State an institution of first choice for freshman students.

Demographics predict an increasing number of high school graduates over the next 10 years - Georgia is projected to have the third highest increase in high school graduates nationally (~24% to 2010). Further, the population bulge is more likely to be in the Atlanta metropolitan area rather than in outlying regions of Georgia. With an increased emphasis in K-12 on college preparatory programs, there should be more and better prepared students seeking a high quality education. Recruitment efforts have been enhanced significantly over the past five years as Georgia State transitioned from an essentially ‘open admissions' institution to a limited admission, research institution as mandated by the University System new admission requirements that will be fully implemented in 2001. Faculty and college personnel have worked collaboratively with enrollment services personnel in recruitment efforts, particularly since Fall 1998. Collaborative efforts will have to be sustained and enhanced to reach enrollment targets for 2005. In addition to an increased attention on new freshman students, the Admissions office has focused on transfer students that still compose half of our entering class. Transfer enrollment has declined for each of the past five years with the exception of Fall 99. A continuing challenge will be to sustain increases in transfer enrollment. At present, only half of new students attend new student orientations (Incept) - part of the problem is a small number of available days for Incept due to constraints imposed by the legacy Student Information System programs. A goal is to ensure that all new undergraduate degree-seeking students come to an Incept that has a stronger academic focus that includes placement testing, advising, and registration. Placement tests in at least English, mathematics, and second languages will be developed as part of Incept.

Part of a strong recruitment effort to attract and retain excellent students involves availability of scholarships and fellowships. One focus of the comprehensive campaign is to increase scholarship endowments by $14 million. A goal is to increase financial support for undergraduate and graduate students.

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2. Undergraduate Experience

A more welcoming environment is being provided through programs such as the Freshman Learning Communities, Emerging Leaders Program, and the Honors Program. A goal is to increase participation in Freshman Learning Communities that were successfully piloted for 300 students in Fall 1999. In addition, a similar concept may be tried for transfer students - an Advanced Learning Community. A goal is to increase the number of Presidential Assistantships where students are guaranteed opportunities as paid student assistants in areas related to their majors. This program is distinctive at Georgia State, giving undergraduates the opportunity of working with senior faculty on research projects and exploring career options. Improvement in facilities will be an additional attractant for high quality students. The Emerging Leaders Program provides students ways to reflect systematically on the exercise of leadership.

Improving retention rates is a significant goal for the university. Retention from freshman to sophomore year for the Fall 98 cohort increased over that of the previous year by 6 percentage points to 76%. A goal is to increase retention rates to 85% for the Fall 2004 freshman class. Programs that attracted students to the university should also play a role in retention especially those that provide a vibrant learning community. New students are being aided in their transition to Georgia State through a new centralized Student Advisement Center that assists all freshmen, transfer, and undecided students. This centralized facility is available to all students until they have completed areas A - F of the University System Core curriculum. The Student Advisement Center will be an initial central point of contact for all entering students. Once a student has earned 42 credit hours and has declared a major, advising will be performed in the colleges, with juniors and seniors primarily being advised in the departments. An Academic Improvement Program is in place to assist students who are having academic difficulty. This program may require students to enroll in study skills courses and, in some cases, to meet regularly with staff from the Counseling Center. Also, there is a maximum of 12 credit hours placed on enrollment in specially guided courses for the semester. Additional assistance for students is available through the Student Success Center in the Counseling Center, African American Student Services & Programs, Writing Center, Language Acquisition & Resource Center, Cooperative Learning Center, and many of the core departments provide tutorial support - the Counseling Center has produced a brochure that lists the various tutoring services available. There needs to be better coordination and awareness of the overall services that are available to increase student success.

National studies indicate that student involvement in the university community is a good indicator of potential success in college. The Student Life division is involved in the development of good citizenship via community service and volunteer work, and generally serves as a dynamic laboratory in which students can apply or complement talents they also develop in classrooms. Student development and leadership enhancement occurs through participation in the 250 organizations and intramural recreational activities. A goal is to increase student involvement in such activities.

Successful intercollegiate athletics programs, especially men and women's basketball, will help develop a sense of community and college spirit among students, staff and faculty. Recognition of the university can also be enhanced nationally through having successful sports teams. A goal is to align the university with a different athletics conference that includes more of the university’s peers. Further, the Athletics department initiatives in providing gender equity in the sports teams and diversity of its student athletes and coaches will be strongly supported by the whole community.

The academic enterprise will be further strengthened by efforts of both Student Life division and academic departments in building on the rich opportunities for community service by providing students with more occasions to reflect critically on their experiences in service. A goal is to increase student participation in service activities. Moreover, opportunities for service-learning programs that engage students in service that meets unmet community needs while enhancing their academic study, civic skills, and sense of social responsibility will be developed and supported by the university. There are a number of voluntary community service opportunities at Georgia State that are coordinated through the Office of Community Services. Location in downtown Atlanta, near the state capitol, gives students many possibilities for internships, cooperative education assignments, and other collaborative arrangements with business, law, fine and performing arts, industry, government, and service agencies while at Georgia State. The University participates in a number of outreach and enrichment programs, including several to increase minority participation in the sciences. Career service units provide career counseling and career development, teach job search skills and provide occupational information and work experience to students.

The growth of a more traditional undergraduate student body provides the opportunity for the university to increase study-abroad programs. A goal is to increase student participation in study abroad to two percent per year (approximately 480 students/year). These programs can be developed in traditional and non-traditional ways. For students who do not need to work, the traditional semester- or year-abroad program opportunities can be expanded. For working students, two- to three-week programs can be developed to link an experience abroad with continued coursework in Atlanta. Faculty and student exchange programs that provide for learning experiences on our home campus with faculty and students from institutions abroad can further enhance undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs.

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3. Graduate Experience

A goal is to maintain the graduate student composition of the student body at approximately 30%. This goal includes a continued increase in the number of doctoral students in departments that have nationally competitive doctoral programs and/or advance interdisciplinary, urban, and international foci of other parts of this strategic plan. The largest number of graduate degrees conferred at the University occur at the masters level, including the MA, MBA, M.Ed., and MS, all of which enroll a significant number of students. Masters degree programs fill unique niches in the University. Some serve as a progression into an available doctoral program, or as preparation for entry into doctoral programs elsewhere. In other areas, the knowledge base necessary to master a subject has expanded beyond that obtainable during the traditional four-year bachelor's degree program. In these areas, the masters degree is now considered the entry-level degree or the mark of a well-educated student of that discipline. In other areas, highly regarded professional programs at the masters degree level play an important role in educating in-service professionals.

A goal is to continue to build library collections, both paper and electronic, so that the libraries within the university can fulfill their strategic initiatives. Initiatives include partnering with faculty, departments, and interdisciplinary programs to develop a collection in all formats that support graduate programs of excellence and distinction, and to provide information services both virtually and in multiple physical locations, including Pullen Library, Law Library, and the new Alpharetta Center, for all graduate programs.

Development of criteria for graduate faculty designation since 1998 has strengthened the overall graduate student experience. Graduate faculty members serve as mentors directing the research of graduate students and supervising their maturation as teacher-scholars. Formal guidelines for these mentoring relationships are under development (Spring 2000). A goal is to place more emphasis on pedagogical preparation for those doctoral students who hope to become future teaching faculty with considerations such as these students enroll in college teaching courses and become involved with programs sponsored by the Center for Teaching and Learning.

A goal is to be more competitive for strong graduate students by increasing the number, value, and benefits of graduate assistantships and fellowships. In addition, the provision of graduate housing on campus downtown (see II. a. 1. Recruitment) would enhance recruitment and add to the liveliness of downtown. The intellectual vitality and active scholarly engagement of faculty and students enhances the overall quality of the institution. A large proportion of extramural funding goes directly to support learning opportunities for graduate as well as undergraduate students. Selected research projects in which graduate students are involved also contribute to improving the quality of life of the city and the region.

Graduate programs are also a strong magnet for international students. In addition, for some graduate programs, the study-abroad element of the Executive MBA program can be introduced to broaden the experiences in a number of master- and Ph.D.-level programs. For law students, four-to-six week summer-study abroad programs, such as the Transnational Comparative Dispute Resolution Program, in Linz, Austria, can be developed.

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b. Programs

Georgia State University will continue to strengthen its academic and administrative and student support service programs in concert with accepted recommendations of its program review process and of accrediting agencies for its professional programs. This process will include the University Senate in a review of academic and administrative departments, schools, Centers, Institutes and student support programs. A goal is to build on programs that have demonstrated quality and are nationally recognized.

Academic programs are at the heart of a university and are the attractant for faculty and students. To maintain vibrancy and currency of programs, Academic Program Review was initiated in 1994 and is being continuously improved. Its successful implementation is due in large part to its strong linkage with strategic planning and budget allocations. Departments are encouraged to be actively and regularly involved with curriculum management of their undergraduate and graduate programs. A goal is to continue to strengthen and focus departmental programs through academic program review. There is an emphasis on liberal education in undergraduate programs in both arts and sciences and the professional colleges. The need for increased interdisciplinary interactions and increased globalization is recognized as a competitive requirement in the future. As part of a balanced academic program review process, external reviewers provide an important evaluation of scholarship contributions to the discipline as well as evaluation of interactions among faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students. An ongoing goal is to redirect monies so that the proportion of the budget allocated to academic programs is increased.

The effort to improve the quality of support service to faculty and students has been a critical focus within the university. The establishment of the Administrative & Support Unit Assessment process has helped improve the quality of support offered by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. Similar efforts are underway now in Human Resources and the Office of the Provost. A small representative committee whose members come from the principal areas of the University has developed this process as a pilot. Its work is now being folded into the review processes of the University Senate. Administrative & Support Unit Assessment may assist the University in increasing its customer-service orientation, a continuing goal from the 1995 Strategic Plan.

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1. New Academic Programs

A goal is to develop new academic programs based on strategic strengths of the university. The following are intended as illustrative examples. The Yamacraw Project, of which Georgia State is a major participant, calls for the doubling of the number of graduates in three years in key areas of computer science. The University is well positioned to meet this goal, given the current high demand for majoring in this field. Concomitantly, the Computer Science department is seeking authorization for a doctoral program in computer science. Among programs that are anticipated to be under consideration for request for authorization is a doctoral degree in Applied Linguistics and English as a Second Language. In concert with the continued development of the Intensive English Program, a doctoral program would serve as a strong basis for education of international students and for important scholarly efforts related to second language acquisition. The Department of African-American Studies has built a strong foundation with its BA degree and may be ready to seek authorization for an MA degree.

A goal is to develop more joint degree programs including those with national and international universities that will enhance the University’s programs and reputation. The following are intended as illustrative examples. Near completion is a collaborative program of the Young School with the University of Pretoria on economic policy. The Robinson College has formed a consortium with seven of the most preeminent European business schools, and will offer a joint Global Electronic Commerce Masters (GEM) Executive MBA program. This international program will prepare the next generation of leaders to operate effectively in a global digital economy. With its creation and development, Georgia State will move to the forefront of e-Commerce academic programs, as this nation's first university to offer a global graduate program in e-Commerce. The College of Law is developing a joint degree program in law and urban planning with Georgia Tech.

There is a strong commitment to development of writing, communication, and information literacy across the curriculum. While the University received funds to initiate implementation of a Writing-Across-the Curriculum Program in the past five years, it has yet to be fully integrated into general education and the major. Furthermore, a goal of expanding the initiative to include communication-across-the curriculum has yet to receive funds sufficient to initiate it. A goal is to fully implement Writing-Across-the Curriculum and to initiate a support program for oral communication similar to that supporting Writing Across the Curriculum.

A movement to more courses and programs available on-line is accompanied by a demand for flexible, fast, high quality programs. Such programs will not be confined to on-line but may include hands-on experience, research lab, or community based experience. The trend is to more non-degree granting programs or to certificate programs as part of degree granting programs. We need to consider these possibilities in order to leverage our considerable capabilities; to think in terms of sets of modular courses as part of certificate programs. Development of standards will aid in quality control of programs that lead to a diploma or certificate. A goal is to develop high quality diploma or certificate programs in areas that match our faculty strengths and market niches.

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2. Interdisciplinary Programs

A goal is to enhance the following thrust areas that cut across some traditional organizational lines within the university and advance a multidisciplinary approach to future complex problems and needs.

As a partial consequence of successful competition in the Georgia Research Alliance, a broad area of academic excellence has emerged at Georgia State University in science, including the preparation of undergraduate students for graduate and professional schools, particularly in areas related to biological science. Utilization of the University's scientific talent and resources towards meeting economic and scientific development goals remains a matter of continuing interest. A five-year goal is to continue to strengthen the areas of biotechnology and drug design, brain research through the neuroscience initiative, computational neurobiology, and environmental science. In addition to encompassing a broad area of interdisciplinary activity, there is considerable ongoing collaboration with other state institutions, some regional universities and several Middle Eastern countries. An economic development dimension is being strengthened through infusion of students studying entrepreneurship helping with business plans for fledgling biotechnology start-up companies in our incubator facilities. This program could be expanded to cover the legal aspects of entrepreneurship. A related dimension of excellence in graduate training is ongoing commitment to the "Pipeline Program", which has been supported by funds from the University System and the National Institute of Health (NIH), and which has proved successful in increasing the numbers of women and minorities seeking careers in the sciences. Sustaining excellence in the interdisciplinary sciences will require the acquisition of new research facilities. An initial design of such a research facility has been completed and the University plans to seek funding for this facility from sources other than the Board of Regents. A major teaching and research laboratory building for the natural and the health sciences remains as the highest priority for capital projects for the University.

A broad area of academic excellence exists in policy, particularly as it relates to economics, the environment, education, health, crime, poverty, transportation, and law. The Georgia Research Alliance has funded the growing activity in environmental policy in the Young School of Policy Studies and sponsored the creation of the experimental economics laboratory. These initiatives have grown to national academic prominence and have been integral to the state in policy development, including work on the interstate water compact, the monitoring of ozone emissions and water resources policy. The environmental programs have attracted graduate students who are interested in combining policy work with scholarly inquiry. A five-year goal is to continue further development of sustained collaborative efforts in the policy arena. By being broad-based in academic disciplines, Georgia State University will be recognized as a premier resource for analyses of problems facing the citizens of Georgia and will become the pre-eminent think-tank in the South on policy issues. One purpose is to contribute to the base of knowledge about policy and thus produce information that is useful for making policy decisions. Georgia State is not only a community, state, and regional resource for consultation and training in policy issues, but also a significant contributor in the international arena especially in tax, dispute resolution, and disability initiatives.

Georgia State has emerged as a leader in state and national P-16 initiatives. Systemic renewal of education can be advanced through a strong working partnership among business, community, and the various education sectors - a P-16 context. The Georgia P-16 Initiative is a statewide, voluntary strategy to solve problems of low aspirations and under preparedness of students in Georgia's public education systems from pre-school through post-secondary education. With establishment of a Professional Education Faculty (PEF) in 1991, Georgia State was an early pioneer in creating joint responsibility between Arts & Science and Education faculty for educator preparation. Teachers and administrators from the P-12 sector have now been added to the PEF. Development of a local P-16 council has created a climate of increased cooperation across the various education sectors. The Metropolitan Atlanta P-16 Community Council comprises five school districts, three technical institutes, two two-year colleges, five four-year colleges, and over twenty education and business support organizations and foundations. A five-year goal is to position Georgia State as a national leader in urban education, an area of profound importance to this region, the state, and the nation. Georgia State University will commit greater effort and resources to working with public schools to ensure an excellent education for all students, to create a larger pool of college-prepared high school graduates, and to ease the transition of youth from high school to college. While seeking to work with many school districts, Georgia State University recognizes that the local urban school systems offer opportunities for addressing some of the more significant challenges that must be met throughout this nation. PEF faculty are responsible for piloting successful new models for advancing the achievement and well being of all children in the schools in partnership with their communities. These initiatives will also produce future teachers who can work collaboratively to see that all children learn. In addition, collaboration with other state institutions in contributing to systemic initiatives already exists and will be further enhanced, as will collaborations with urban communities in other countries. The PEF will continue to collaborate in the improvement of teacher preparation programs. For early childhood and middle school teacher preparation students, an objective is to improve science content through a sequence of upper-level integrated science offerings, involving collaboration among the four science disciplines as well as coordination between science and science education faculty. For students preparing to teach at the secondary level, an objective is to help meet state needs and to improve the quality and quantity of content by developing multidisciplinary programs leading to dual certification.

Another partial consequence of successful competition in the Georgia Research Alliance and the Yamacraw Mission is emergence of strength in electronic commerce, law reforms to accommodate electronic commerce and new technologies, computer information systems and computer science, and digital arts, visualization and communications. A five-year goal is to strengthen these identified areas. The Yamacraw Mission, of which Georgia State is a major participant, calls for the doubling of the number of graduates in three years in key areas of computer science and focuses on four target areas in education and research: networks, wireless, high-speed access devices, and content processing. Georgia State's Yamacraw focus is on digital image processing, digital signal processing, VLSI manufacturing, pattern recognition, and data compression. A new Ph.D. in Communication Studies program includes an interdisciplinary curriculum and emphasizes computer-mediated communication and international information systems -- all of which contribute to the economic development of the State and are supported by the Georgia Research Alliance. A premise of the Georgia Research Alliance is that technological development in telecommunication must be accompanied by a matching effort in the content to be communicated. With this premise in mind, the University and the Alliance developed the Digital Arts and Entertainment Laboratory, an interdisciplinary laboratory that involves faculty from Communication, Computer Science, and Graphic Design. A goal is for this state-of-the-art facility to become (1) the nation’s pre-eminent educational facility for creating cutting-edge content for digital media environments and (2) a nationally recognized model for collaboration between the academy and industry in training, applied research, and incubation for digital media industries.

As the dominant provider of high quality, practice-relevant graduate business programs in the metropolitan Atlanta market, a five-year goal of the Robinson College of Business is to continue to develop and deliver educational programs with curricula imbued with global perspectives that earn the College recognition as a world-class business school. The college will build on its reputation of delivering a national top-ten part-time MBA program through further development of the Center for Executive Education, the International Center for Entrepreneurship, and the Electronic Commerce Institute. The e-Commerce Institute is an innovative, interdisciplinary unit, created to oversee the Center for Digital Commerce, regular and executive degree programs, and an incubator. A goal is to be a major resource for Georgia in attracting and retaining "industries of the mind" and to make Georgia State University a primary resource in theory and practice of electronic commerce in areas such as the development of mobile commerce and the application of wireless technologies. The Robinson College of Business recently established The Herman J. Russell, Sr. International Center for Entrepreneurship to provide innovative interdisciplinary academic programs, foster community engagement, and encourage worldwide knowledge creation, all for the goal of advancing the theory and practice of entrepreneurship.

The College of Law is the only provider of high quality ABA accredited part-time and full-time legal education in the state of Georgia and the only public provider of legal education in the Atlanta metropolitan area. A five-year goal is to continue to develop programs and curricula that bridge legal theory and practice, serve constituencies in the surrounding metropolitan area, and possess interdisciplinary dimensions. Initiatives include the Tax Clinic; an emerging programmatic linkage with the Georgia legislature; Consortium on Negotiation and Conflict Resolution programs, including its mediation program in the Atlanta public schools; continued development of interdisciplinary, joint degree programs in law and business (JD/MBA), law and policy studies (JD/MPA), and law and philosophy (JD/MA); and continued development of the Legal XML/Digital Signature project and its linkage with law, business, and e-commerce.

Georgia State University’s schools and colleges contain the necessary faculty expertise to fully implement a multidisciplinary approach to problems of the cities. A five-year goal is the creation of an urban initiative that will bring together the relevant strengths existing across departments, schools and colleges. These strengths include emphases on urban sociology, anthropology, geography, economics, legal issues, politics, public policy, urban policy studies, historic preservation, real estate, community and clinical psychology, African American and ethnic studies, immigration, nursing, criminal justice, social work, and labor and public history. Together these areas house a critical mass of faculty with strong reputations and extensive experience both in basic research, which produces clearer understandings of urban structures and dynamics, and applied research, that lends itself to policy and programmatic analysis and reform. Their foci are both domestic and international.

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3. Assessment of Student Learning

Faculty-driven assessment of student learning is being emphasized, especially in the prevailing environment of increasing accountability and attempts to measure value added to the student. Colleges and universities, especially in state-supported institutions, are under increasing pressure from policy makers to be more accountable for student learning. In addition, the number of possible paths to a baccalaureate degree is growing. Not only do students transfer freely among community colleges, state colleges, and research universities, but also the development of "virtual" on-line universities implies that courses must have value and meaning beyond individual campuses. It is time for university faculty to revisit the goals for general education and for departmental faculty to review their goals for the major, both of which were adopted in the early 1990s. A goal is to assess student learning outcomes in general education and all the majors and to use the data to continuously improve the learning environment and enhance effectiveness of our educational programs. This assessment will include examination of the curricula to ensure that they are reflective of the intercultural and international realities of global citizenship in the twenty-first century. With an increase in the number of distance learning courses, especially with the advent of web-based courses, particular attention will be given to development of processes that ensure that these types of courses are no less intellectually rigorous and at least of the same quality as traditional face-to-face courses. Rapid increase of distance learning programs heightens the need for reliable and valid performance measures. An objective is to provide a clearly understood set of outcomes, especially student knowledge, skills, and competency levels. Identification of learning objectives for student performance will aid an objective to develop assessment tools that may be used for on-campus or on-line courses.

Standards and assessments that are publicly available are one way to provide quality control in a diverse environment. Standards are a vehicle for accomplishing the transition in undergraduate education from teaching to learning that is being talked about nationally, from an emphasis on knowledge conferred upon students to the priority of students' use of their learning. Standards imply mastery or proficiency, not minimal knowledge or skill. To be effective, standards should be high, achievable, and credible to students, faculty, the lay public and potential employers. Some Arts & Sciences and Education faculty members at Georgia State are already contributing significantly to various aspects of standards-based education. The projects include a pilot program, Performance Assessment for College and Technical Schools (PACTS) for alternative admission from high school to work, technical institute, or college. In lieu of SAT scores and high school grade point averages, assessments are being developed to measure what students know and are able to do in six disciplinary areas. These assessments are being designed to incorporate the Georgia High School Graduation Test as well as common performance tasks and student work portfolios. In another project, an objective is to develop a proficiency-based system for exit from disciplinary areas (e.g. science) of the University System of Georgia's Core Curriculum and to enable transfer from one institution to another. In a third project, Quality in Undergraduate Education (QUE) , an emphasis is on what a major (e.g. biology) should know and be able to do in a particular discipline after two years and four years of college. Common goals are to shape courses for better understanding and to present curricula in an understandable and integrated way, helping students to make coherent course selections. A fourth project, Standards-based Teacher Education Project (STEP) is designed to ensure that future teachers and other educators will be able to bring all their pupils to high standards. Pre-service educators must understand and meet content and pedagogy standards that have been carefully aligned with P-12 standards. The leadership role that Georgia State is playing statewide and nationally on standards-based education and educator preparation will be enhanced by increased involvement by faculty. A goal is to develop standards and assessments in some pilot disciplines as an alternate way to provide quality assurance for undergraduate education.

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4. Urban and Community Initiatives

Georgia State can capitalize on its location in a vibrant metropolitan international city, near the state capitol, and in the center of the business and high tech community, the media center, the not-for-profit sector, and many cultural attractions. As the leader in the South, Atlanta and the region are growing in stature both nationally and internationally. We should continue to use our location and its international connections as a resource whenever relevant to invigorate our teaching, learning, research, and community service functions. As such, we can expect many of our students and faculty, as well as the community broadly defined, to benefit from activities such as urban courses, applied research, service learning, internships, cooperative education, and study abroad. Likewise our location in walking distance of the State Capitol, City Hall, and the County office gives our students great opportunity to observe governance first-hand, to hear regularly from leaders in the political process, and to have ready access to internships and work study. A goal is to provide an urban experience for students in the Freshmen Learning Communities, so that they obtain a common of understanding of the importance of urban structure and issues. Our diverse student body means that there should be a much richer cultural experience than on a typical campus. Another goal is for our general education curricula and selected undergraduate majors and graduate programs to reflect our distinctiveness and our stated mission as a research university in an urban setting.

The University is committed to providing education for health care and human service professionals. Currently, there is a shortage of these professionals locally, regionally, and nationally. This shortage is expected to increase dramatically in the next decade. The College of Health and Human Sciences educates service providers for entry-level and advanced practice and leadership positions. The College also prepares graduates for faculty and research positions in colleges and universities throughout the state and the nation. The College works closely with the community in many partnerships to enhance the teaching, research and service activities of the College and the University. For example, the Master of Science in Social Work program is the only social work program in the nation that focuses exclusively on community building. A goal is to continue to strengthen health and human sciences connections with community initiatives.

The institution should make a concerted effort to compile, assess, and publicize its community impact through support for undertakings such as the web-site for the Urban University Portfolio Project. A goal is to develop an increasingly strategic approach to community partnerships as we integrate The Atlanta Project into our Neighborhood Collaborative initiative.

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5. Information Technology

One of the great challenges of the next five years will be how we grapple with issues that surround information technology in the digital age. Information and knowledge are not the same thing. The central mission of the academy is the creation of new knowledge. Information technology is an enabling technology not unlike the development of the printing press. Technology and the Internet are profoundly changing the economy, culture, and law. Information technology allows for new dissemination mechanisms and new ways for students to engage in inquiry-based learning. It opens up new avenues for faculty collaboration to create more robust teaching products that naturally integrate individual research into the curriculum. Network-delivered, computer-mediated learning experiences will probably dominate post-secondary learning in the decades ahead. Extrapolation of existing approaches will be a failed strategy. In the words of an old Chinese proverb, it is impossible to cross a chasm with a thousand small steps. We need to create a vision of different futures, then plan backward from the future, rather than merely extrapolating forward from the present. A continuing goal from the 1995 plan is the improvement of technology support for instruction and the provision of technical and faculty-development support for classroom enhancement. The critical need for students in all colleges of the university is for additional access to technologically supported classrooms. There is a marked shortage of classrooms equipped with sufficient educational media and/ or computer workstations. A goal is to increase the number of media-equipped classrooms and to provide instructor access to the Internet in all classrooms designated for long-term usage.

We need to invest not only in information technology infrastructure, but also in the skills of faculty and staff in developing a "learning infrastructure" of learning tools and interactivity that can be fused with traditional on-campus learning. Our challenge is how to make the right investment to empower our faculty to use these tools to improve the quality of the learning environment. Therefore, a goal is to establish a Teaching and Learning with Technology Center within the Center for Teaching and Learning. The purpose is coordination of the on-campus services for faculty that can provide training and support so that faculty may take advantage of the opportunities that information technology offers for improving student learning.

There is pressure to offer distance learning programs in response to some perceived new markets. Another great challenge of the next five years will be the extent to which we are willing and able to provide any time, any-place quality education. On-line courses will be an important option for students who are increasingly technologically sophisticated. On-line courses are also attractive for lifelong learning and as a mechanism to keep alumni connected. We need to be selective in our development of new technologies in general such as on-line courses and, more particularly, in hybrid courses that use a combination of on-line and face-to-face instruction. A goal is to explicate a strategy for development of a selection of hybrid courses. Library faculty will play a key role in helping students develop skills in evaluation and validity of on-line information. Training and access to improved facilities and technology support will be an important enabler for electronically mediated learning. Georgia State must recognize that we are competing in a market for baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate degrees with for-profit providers of postsecondary education.

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6. International Initiatives

Georgia State has developed a strong international reputation through its two-pronged strategy of thematic initiatives and regional initiatives. In the next five years, a goal is to be recognized (in Atlanta, nationally and internationally) as an institution with a strong global perspective and a center of international excellence in a number of areas in which we are engaged with other countries. These areas include biotechnology training and development, entrepreneurship development and business training, global electronic commerce, environmental economics, human resource development, instructional technology, peace education and conflict resolution, international and comparative law programs, professional media training, tax and fiscal policy, teacher education, and programs for peoples with disabilities.

Thematic initiatives include tax and fiscal policy with proposals being funded for work in a number of countries, including Russia and some former Soviet states, Guatemala, Jamaica, and Uganda and electronic commerce in five European countries. Country initiatives include Cote d'Ivoire, Egypt, Mexico, and South Africa, with the potential to broaden to other countries in West Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, Europe, and southern Africa. A goal is to have Georgia State constantly sought out by international development agencies and international higher education institutions for expert advice and consultation on matters related to the above. Parallel to these research and technical assistance programs are graduate degree programs tailored to the needs of leaders of tomorrow from the developing countries. Countries, corporations, and international agencies will provide principal funds for the university’s international initiatives and programs.

The Institute of International Business serves as a catalyst to position the State of Georgia at the forefront of global business opportunities by mobilizing knowledge-based resources and intellectual capital at Georgia State and within the business community. A goal is to further internationalize the curricula, and to leverage the potential of international linkages through strategic alliances that facilitate faculty research on global issues. Under the auspices of the Institute of International Business, the Robinson College joined an elite group of business schools that offer a Master of International Business degree. The MIB is the first program of its kind in Georgia. It draws upon the historical strengths of the Georgia State learning environment: flexibility in program design, talented and experienced international faculty scholars, and direct access to the Atlanta-based global business community.

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c. Faculty

Given that the undergraduate student body is mandated to improve, the absolute driver of quality must be the faculty. Also of significant importance is the quality of graduate students we attract. As the perception of quality does not necessarily track the actual level thereof, continuing improvements in, and accomplishments by, the faculty must be heralded more effectively than heretofore. Georgia State University's full-time instructional faculty approaches 950, with 89% of them holding the terminal degree in their discipline. The number of full-time faculty has increased by 150 since 1995. Initially rapid expansion of demand for undergraduate courses in the years preceding semester conversion was met by a dramatic increase in the number of part-time instructors. To assure academic program quality, the University dedicated funds to replace the large number of part-time instructors with a smaller number of full-time instructors, who have the support necessary to meet the needs of students in their classes. A goal is to convert non-tenure-track positions into tenure-track appointments in targeted departments where the service role is balanced with robust undergraduate majors and graduate programs, achieving a condition where non-tenure track faculty comprise no more than 10% of faculty.

A goal is to continue to increase faculty and administrator diversity. In 1999, task forces on Advancement for Women and on Recruitment and Retention of Underrepresented Faculty made a number of recommendations to aid the University in its diversity efforts. These recommendations are being systematically implemented with the aid of two faculty members who are working part-time with the Provost’s office.

Georgia State University requires that its entire tenured and tenure-track faculty be teacher-scholars. Being a scholar means engaging in original research. The work of the scholar also means stepping back from one's investigation, looking for connections, building bridges between theory and practice, and communicating one's knowledge effectively to students and the professional community. After careful analysis of available models of faculty performance, University standards, clarified by unit guidelines, were established for promotion and tenure, graduate faculty status, and faculty workload. The pre-tenure review process is established to nurture faculty early in their career. The post-tenure review process is being employed as a means of identifying the optimal utilization of faculty skills and achievement of equitable faculty workloads. A goal is to continue to optimize the ways in which faculty contribute to the aligned missions of their department, college and the university. Development of a policy on professional leave is one way to encourage renewal of faculty and alignment of their contributions to their profession and the University.

Some of our programs are superior in quality to those of competitor institutions. An objective is to maintain and enhance recognized quality programs and to develop additional complementary strengths. A noticeable improvement can most quickly be achieved by focusing efforts and resources on a limited number of programs that are currently strong but not first rate. The Comprehensive Campaign provides an opportunity to fund endowed chairs in areas of strategic importance to the University. While endowed chairs normally will be built on existing faculty lines, a goal is to have colleges and departments cluster current or new faculty in areas closely related to those of the newly added chaired professorships.

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B. Support for the Academic Mission

 

a. Governance

The University Senate is the legislative body of the University as established in the Statutes and Bylaws. The University Senate and its committees are composed of faculty, staff, administrators, and students. The Senate's structure and operation enable regular discussion among faculty and administrators on matters of central importance to the University community. The body also promotes collegiality across colleges and fosters a sense of collective commitment to the institution among faculty, staff, administrators, and students. Much of the progress on objectives of the 1995 Strategic Plan has resulted from the collegial environment provided through the venue of various senates committees and subcommittees where, in particular, faculty and administrators work together to advance the university. A goal is to maintain and increase collegial working relations between and among faculty, staff, administrators, and students and to continue the strong commitment to this governing process.

Members elected to a Staff Advisory Council represent the staff of Georgia State University and also serve on various Senate and university committees. The Council advises the administration on staff issues both directly and indirectly related to salary equity, personnel benefits, tuition remission and various personnel policies/procedures. In addition to salary equity concerns, the Staff Advisory Council works with the administration on other issues affecting staff benefits and development. One such benefit that has recently been provided by the University System is tuition remission for employees of the university. Encouraging the development of the staff through support of their educational pursuits helps to enhance the scholarship of a crucial segment of the university community. The Staff Advisory Council will also continue to meet with sister institutions to address University System staff concerns.

Students have an elected Student Government Association (SGA) and some members of SGA represent student interests on the University Senate and various Senate committees. A goal is to have significantly more students involved in SGA elections and activities.

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b. Staff

Georgia State University's staff are a diverse and multi-cultural body of approximately 1800. Full-time staff members fulfill a critical role in support of the academic environment, administration and facilities. They afford the University a high-quality foundation upon which scholarly agendas of the academic community may be built. There is a strong sense of staff commitment to the university with approximately 250 either alumni or currently enrolled in classes. Some scholarships are now available for staff to pursue further education. Their commitment is also demonstrated significantly through annual giving to the university that has increased dramatically in the past several years. Over 75% of staff contributed in FY 99. In addition to their involvement in the university community, the staff are strongly tied to the Atlanta community through volunteer and leadership roles in civic organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, The Atlanta Project, and United Way.

Although considerable progress has been made toward bringing the salary ranges of staff positions to the median market value, average actual salaries of many groups of incumbents still fall below market value. A goal is to continue to close the gap between average salaries and median market salaries and to correct salary inequities among staff. The corrections must be based on market and merit evaluations. Further efforts need to be directed toward objectives to improve performance management (from defining job descriptions to providing appropriate feedback to, and developmental opportunities for, staff) and to staff recruitment outcomes (including more active recruitment and applicant tracking) to ensure high skill levels and diversity.

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c. Enrollment Services

Increased reliability and approachability in services to students is a goal. At present, there are too many situations where students have difficulties with the admissions process, financial aid, student accounts, being able to register for a complete schedule of courses, or academic assistance. At the heart of the problem lies an antiquated and increasingly unreliable student information system coupled with poor coordination among different offices. An objective is to replace the legacy systems with a client server-based Banner system by Fall 2002. However, concomitantly, we need to redesign the processes used to serve students. We need a seamless process from initial contact with potential students through matriculation, to graduation, and into alumni status. We must improve significantly the training and respect given to our front-line staff who interact daily with students. We may also improve student services by linking academic and academic support personnel in various cross- functional teams to address opportunities for improvement in financial aid, admissions, international admissions, student accounts, INCEPT, and class scheduling. To improve communication with students, an objective is to implement universal email service for students to begin when students are admitted to the University. Similarly, a goal is to improve utilization of our classroom space and to provide a schedule that serves the needs of our varied student body. Programs that involve on-line courses must also be supported by a student system that provides on-line registration, advising, chat rooms, security on tests, and asynchronous discussions. In addition, for a successful experience, students need to be able to take responsibility for their learning and need to have adequate computing skills. A web-based readiness self-assessment survey is available on-line.

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d. Administrative Services

In order to ensure optimal support for the University’s mission, a goal is to enhance customer-service and preserve fiscal accountability. Continuous quality improvement principles will be promoted to underscore a strong student-centered and customer-focused orientation that, in turn, will lead to improved administrative processes. These principles include respect for ideas and people, enhanced leadership and empowerment, use of facts to guide management decisions (and the processes and systems for collecting those data), satisfying those people served, and inclusion of appropriate faculty, staff, and students on cross-functional efforts to improve and streamline processes. Work will continue to be directed at ensuring that the processes meet performance standards established by State and Federal agencies.

A goal is to provide effective administrative services by enhancing leadership at all levels of the organizational structure. Leadership skills can be enhanced through training, role modeling, and opportunity for participation. Succession planning needs to be incorporated into operations to ensure smooth transitions. Employees at the managerial levels must be empowered and assured of appropriate developmental opportunities (see II. B. b. Staff).

Improvement of the electronic infrastructure and support is an ongoing goal from the 1995 Strategic Plan. A Data Warehouse project has been initiated to provide on-line the minimal set of data useful for administrative decision making and reporting. Similarly, an integrated system for student records that has improved data management and data access will be accomplished. A goal is to enhance or replace individual administrative systems, including student records, faculty information, financial data and others that have been developed over a long period of time, with an integrated relational database system. Such a system should strive to eliminate costly redundant data files, and place user-friendly report writing and analytical tools in the hands of administrative users (see II. B. f. Technology).

Process review and improvement is essential for ensuring the fiscal integrity of the institution as well as for improving services to the university community. Three modules of the PeopleSoft financial systems were implemented in FY00. These modules will assist in streamlining processes and monitoring performance. Adoption of other technologies has allowed the utilization of the student, staff, and faculty identification cards as debit cards (both on and off campus), copy cards, and building access cards. Further systems enhancements are needed in the near future, including a faculty information system, PeopleSoft’s asset management module of the financial system, the Banner system for student accounts, and the PeopleSoft human resources information system (see II. B. f. Technology). In addition, a goal is to provide more feedback interactions between systems development teams and functional users and customers.

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e. Facilities

The improvement of campus facilities since 1995 has been spearheaded by the work to create a physical master plan. Execution of a refined version of this master plan will guide the University to at least 2005. As the University has expanded westward in the downtown from its core of buildings that were built in 1950’s, 1960’s, and 1970’s around Kell Hall, the lack of building and campus identification made the University indistinguishable among the buildings of downtown Atlanta. A program of signature signs and banners has helped to establish a presence to the campus, which will be further enhanced by the Main Street master plan for streetscape improvements along Decatur Street. Space remains a critical need despite the acquisition and construction of new buildings, including the residence halls, the Rialto Theater, the Haas Howell Building, the Standard Building, the Commerce Building, the Student University Center, and build-out space in the Natural Science Center. The university has been successful in gaining University System support for the acquisition of a site and the construction of a new classroom building. Also, State of Georgia support for a building for the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies has been obtained and student activities fund support is being used for the construction of a new recreation center. The City of Alpharetta and the Georgia State University Foundation with the support of the University System have joined forces to develop a Georgia State satellite campus in Alpharetta. A goal is to increase the quantity and quality of office, classroom, and teaching and research laboratory space to accommodate additional growth in student enrollment and faculty and student research. A new teaching laboratory building is a top priority for capital acquisitions requests to the Board of Regents. A research laboratory building is being planned. These new buildings will provide for relocation of programs from marginal lab space in Kell Hall and free that building to serve as swing space for future capital replacement projects. Georgia State will continue to encourage positive development around the campus through good relationships with neighborhood and city constituencies. Public/private partnerships for student housing will particularly be encouraged (see I. a. 1. Recruitment). Joint efforts for the development and maintenance of traffic improvements, streetscape, and open green-space will be continued.

Along with new construction, a goal is to maintain and upgrade Georgia State University existing facility inventory and develop strategies for improving operational efficiency. Securing adequate funding for deferred maintenance, code compliance, and systems infrastructure improvements will be a particular focus. Safety will be enhanced through continued policy development and training programs for the campus community.

With the expansion of campus westward, building access and other security issues have become a growing concern to many in the community. The concerns have been partially addressed by installing security card access technology in the buildings, introducing a community policing paradigm (including bicycle patrols) to the police operations, and taking a broader role in downtown (for example, assuming the responsibility for Woodruff Park). A goal is to continue to monitor closely safety and security issues and to take rapid corrective action as needed.

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f. Technology

A goal is to become and remain current in the application of computing and information technologies. All students should have ready access to computing resources and an opportunity to develop information management skills for lifelong learning. The educated citizen of the future will need to know how to access global databases. Administrators will need easy electronic access to data on which to base decisions for execution and continuous improvement of the University's activities. Faculty and staff will need the support of human resources, equipment, and classroom facilities in the transfer and application of technology to new learning environments. Out-of-class electronic connections between faculty and students will be encouraged. Because of the University’s growing dependence on the technology infrastructure, it is essential to plan for and install adequate network and other infrastructure capacity in advance of when it is needed. Regardless of whether courses are being offered with technology-enabled components or completely on-line, slow response and outages are debilitating to the educational experience. Similarly, adequate network and other infrastructure capacity are essential for administrative and service functions. A Senate Committee on information systems and technology has been formed to advise the provost on these matters. A strategic plan has been developed and will be updated regularly since information technology is an area that is changing rapidly and needs to be reviewed more frequently than every five years.

A goal is to complete the basic fiber optic backbone and the accompanying vertical risers and horizontal in-building connections for networking campus academic and administrative buildings. This will provide easier electronic access for faculty, staff, and students to the University's library and information resources. The university libraries staff will continue to provide leadership both locally and statewide in the Chancellor's project to link Georgia's libraries electronically. Georgia State University will continue to support the libraries' technological advances. Other goals are addressed in II. A. b. 5. - Information technology.

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g. External Relations

A goal is to continue to enhance activities in the areas of alumni support and fundraising and in public relations. Alumni involvement at all levels of university activities will be increased. This includes participation of alumni as guest lecturers in classes and in panel discussions where relevant, as well as in fundraising activities. Good stewardship of gift funds, the identification of strategic opportunities for programmatic investment and a redoubled effort to present the University's genuine needs in compelling fashion has allowed Georgia State University to mount a successful capital campaign that will have surpassed its goal of $75 million by December 2000. As of December 31, 1999, over $70 million has been received or pledged. It is anticipated that a second comprehensive campaign will be initiated before 2005. In a future campaign more active involvement of the colleges and the alumni will be sought. In the interim, a special target will include matching funds necessary to build a Teaching Laboratory Building.

A goal is to develop an effective internal and external communications plan. Efforts to develop a strong web presence are being aided through our collaboration with some other urban universities in an Urban University Portfolio Project. Identification of the campus has been improved significantly in the past several years through unified identification in signage on various locations.

A clear and realistic image of Georgia State University's distinctive strengths as a research university in an urban setting engaged in significant teaching, research and outreach needs to be projected. This is particularly important for national ratings. Published ratings normally place significant weight on academic reputation as measured by a survey of college presidents. A goal is to increase our national reputation as reflected, for example, in the Princeton Review or U.S. News & World Report annual rankings. Other factors that are considered are faculty resources that includes average faculty compensation, the percentage of faculty with the highest degree in the field, the percentage of faculty who are full-time, and the student/faculty ratio. A student selectivity category includes variables of the fraction of freshman applicants that are admitted, the fraction of accepted applicants that enroll, the percentage of incoming freshmen in the top 10 percent of their high school class, and the average SAT score of entering freshmen. Two other student categories are retention rate and graduation performance. Variables include the percentage of classes with 19 or fewer students, the percentage of classes with 50 or more students, the six-year graduation rate, the freshman retention rate, and the graduation rate relative to a predicted graduation rate measure. Financial resources are also normally weighted in the rating score. This category includes average education expenses per student. The alumni giving rate represents yet another contributing factor in some national ratings. Overall, we need to execute a strategy to portray the very strong academic attributes of Georgia State University to the region and the nation.

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