President Emeritus Carl V. Patton: On the Issues

Our Community Role

“As an urban research university, we’re the home for new ideas and the heart of our downtown community. We’re in business to educate students, to conduct research and to serve the community. The decisions we make focus on our educational mission, but we can and should contribute to the community. We try to make academic decisions that help the community.

“It’s not just us serving the city. It’s not the city serving us. It’s the idea of together building a city and a university that are second to none. Georgia State is a source of limitless potential that can be unleashed through a clear understanding of how we generate lasting value to our city, our state and the nation. Working with our community, we are able to determine our shared future.”

Economic Partnerships

“For universities, building partnerships with businesses and government is both good politics and good policy. Much of the economic growth and development we see today results from the innovations created by university research. Setting an appropriate climate to support and expand this kind of research requires more than just state and federal dollars; it requires effective partnerships between academia, industry and government.

“The benefits from these partnerships are striking. Competitiveness in the marketplace and the availability of jobs are bolstered, and we enjoy an increased quality of life in our community.”

 Service Learning

“Georgia State’s urban setting provides a rich opportunity for enhancing traditional methods of learning. Our students are encouraged to recognize and capitalize on the opportunities provided by attending college in one of the nation’s largest and most lucrative job markets.

“Many of our programs offer learning experiences that are conducted in and meet the needs of our community. This real-world work experience often is the on-ramp to a successful professional career. Students also develop a lifelong connection with the community and gain an understanding of civic responsibility.”


“Georgia State is the most diverse campus in Georgia. Our enrollment reflects the diversity of our state with more than 45 percent minority representation in our student body. Our students come from every county in our state, every state in the nation and more than 150 countries around the world.

“Faculty and student diversity offers educational benefits for all students that challenge stereotypes, broaden perspectives and sharpen critical thinking skills. Because Georgia State is in the heart of Atlanta, our faculty and students will continue to reflect the diversity of our city’s international population.”


“Research enhances student and faculty learning, improves the quality of our academic programs and enriches our state and nation. A university builds its reputation on the caliber of the research it produces, and increased funding acknowledges the quality of its faculty both nationally and internationally.

“Because of Georgia State’s nationwide research reputation, we are able to recruit and retain faculty and administrative research personnel of renown. The quest for basic knowledge enables our researchers to develop intellectually and allows our students to contribute actively to the knowledge base.

“Georgia State’s aggressive pursuit of the discovery and transfer of new knowledge in all areas of study is in the common interest of society. Research is the catalyst that creates technology, enhances the economy and improves human health. Our research is a vital means to educate and prepare scientists, educators and technicians who are the backbone of our economy. The research we conduct today at Georgia State will improve our quality of life for tomorrow.”


“The effectiveness of our higher education system is based on the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge and the attainment of understanding through scholarship and teaching. These essential university functions occur best in an atmosphere where ideas are freely exchanged in the faculty member’s area of expertise. At times, this academic freedom may bring a faculty member into conflict with society, governments or the university itself. Tenure provides security against pressures that might arise from such conflicts. Faculty members are free to be effective and committed teachers and scholars, constantly striving to expand and communicate their knowledge and understanding for the benefit of society. In return, Georgia State is assured of a continuing dedicated group of teachers, scholars and academic leaders.”

Post-tenure Review

“Georgia State is committed to offering educational experiences of the highest quality to those we serve. To improve our effectiveness, we must consistently assess all aspects of what we do. Regular periodic evaluation of cumulative faculty performance is just one component of achieving the greatness of which we are capable.

“Tenured faculty members have a duty to use their academic freedom in a responsible and ethical manner. Georgia State’s process of post-tenure review offers benefits to the faculty and to the university. Faculty achievements and contributions can be recognized and rewarded, continued professional development can be promoted and deficiencies can be identified and resolved.”

College Costs

“The cost of an education has risen over the years, but a Georgia State education remains within reach and is an exceptional investment. While higher education is a product and a service, it is also an investment that provides personal and financial dividends for a lifetime.

“Considering the benefits received, Georgia State’s costs are a bargain to our community. Students who are eligible can count on Georgia’s HOPE scholarship to help them with educational costs, and our location provides countless opportunities for employment. Working students can choose to complete their degree programs part time, at night or on weekends. We make a genuine effort to offer the programs our students want when they want them at a cost that is affordable. This is all part of our commitment to those we serve.”