Clough to Tech:
Build for future|
By Hemanth Meka
October 30, 1998
Last Thursday, President Wayne Clough gave his annual State of the Institute Address in the Ferst Center for the Arts.
Clough reviewed some of Tech's accomplishments in the last year. He specifically noted prestigious awards won by Tech faculty, Tech's national reputation for excellence, Matt Kuchar's outstanding performance in the Master's and US Open Golf tournament, and Tech's strong athletics program.
The President demonstrated how the improvements in Student Services and infrastructure have resulted in the largest, most diverse freshman class in the history of the Institute. Ongoing improvements have also resulted in Tech graduating more women and minority engineers than any other university in the country.
In order to meet the needs of Georgia Tech students, several new construction projects are planned. The Biotechnology Environmental Molecular Building (BEM Complex), the Advanced Computing Technology Building (ATCB), the Continuing/Executive Education Center are all to be constructed in the near future.
Clough noted that these improvements and the additional students and staff they will attract will stress Tech's already taxed infrastructure. In addition Clough anticipated that in the next few there is likely to be an increase in transfer student enrollment.
One example Clough gave of efforts to deal with the infrastructure problem was the parking situation. An audible sigh of relief was heard in the audience when he stated a one thousand space parking deck will accompany the BEM Complex.
Clough repeatedly emphasized the importance of always looking to the future rather than stagnating in the present.
"If we wish to become one of the world's best research universities, we cannot bask long in the glow of what has been done," Clough said. "Just when Wile E. Coyote had built the perfect Acme machine of destruction, that's when the roadrunner dropped the anvil on his head. We must be like the roadrunner- always thinking ahead, planning for survival and success, and moving forward."
Tech is also expanding to form a regional engineering program along with Georgia Southern State University, Armstrong Atlantic State University, and Savannah State University and Southern Polytechnic State University to reach more students outside the normal classroom education and the continuing education system. Clough hopes the program will function as designed in order to decrease the strain Tech's resources.
Clough also emphasized the importance of interdisciplinary research and collaborative efforts of universities, industries and government. He went on to say that in order to build a stable foundation for future growth, global economic trends, science and research trends, and competition trends must be closely monitored.
Clough also touched on coming improvements to student life. The Undergraduate Learning Center, slated for the current site of the Hightower Textiles building, will be a facility that will address some of these needs. It will not only provide library collections, but also classrooms and meeting rooms. It will include community meeting areas with food service and a formal dining area with a scenic view of the Campanile on one side and a panoramic view of the Atlanta skyline on the other.
The President also spoke about Tech's recreational, fitness and intramural facilities. The planned expansion to the complex, called SAC-II, along with renovations of the present SAC will expand the facilities in order to be able to accommodate the student body for the present and future.
Clough also acknowledged the need for more programs with the arts. On Clough's agenda is an Art and Technology program. The program will work in a manner similar to that of the current Music Department inside the College of Architecture.
Attracting and retaining students and faculty is also a high priority for Clough. The Institute's Capital Campaign has passed the $320 million mark and helped generate Tech's 26th endowed faculty chair. A video feed of the address will be available over the Web at jetstream.gatech.edu/president/ as well as on GTCN.