Welcome Back, Panther Family!
I know you have all been preparing for this day for months, and I have personally seen all your hard work as our university community comes together to welcome our students.
This is such an exciting time for many of our students who are getting a global – and invaluable – perspective of the world by studying abroad. To that end, I was delighted to learn that Georgia State sends more African American students to study abroad than any public university in the nation, according to data provided by Open Doors.
I am excited to announce a new position that will concentrate on the intersection between human resources, financial management and facilities with a focus on multiyear strategic resource management. This new role will oversee these existing three areas in addition to a new unit that will focus on future financial planning and operations. Longtime higher education and health care financial administrator L. Jared Abramson will join Georgia State as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
There have been many firsts in my year as Georgia State’s first African American president, but I am particularly proud to be at the helm during Georgia’s first official statewide recognition of Juneteenth. It’s a long-overdue recognition, and I’m so pleased to know that our university community has marked this important occasion for years. This year, the university will be closed on June 20 to reflect on the struggles of the past and celebrate the rich heritage and contributions of African Americans.
I’m always delighted to show off Georgia State’s stellar people, places and programs. So, I was extremely honored to greet Her Royal Highness Princess Astrid of Belgium and her delegation June 6 as they toured our Creative Media Industries Institute (CMII). A bit of context and history: Princess Astrid’s visit to campus was part of the largest economic trade mission to visit Georgia since the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games..
We’ve announced the winners of Georgia State’s first-ever Research Innovation and Scholarly Excellence (RISE) challenge! Teams of our renowned faculty — nearly 50 university experts across different fields — will conduct research under four dynamic research hubs, and each group will receive one-time seed funding of up to $750,000 over the course of one year to fund their work.
As we end our first academic year together, I want to thank you for all you do for Georgia State. It has been a record-breaking year in so many ways and I am grateful to be leading such a dynamic and important institution.
It’s my favorite time of year in higher education. It’s the time of year when our incredible graduates share out their own amazing photos in caps and gowns, telling us where they’re headed with their Georgia State degrees: Fortune 500 companies, graduate school or starting their own business. We also invited a former student back home to Georgia State to receive an honorary degree. Chris Bridges, aka, Ludacris.
We recently reached out with updates to our presidential initiatives and are excited to now bring you an update on the university’s strategic planning process. As you know, we are basing our strategic planning visioning around four key pillars: placemaking and identity, student success, research and innovation and college to career. We have assembled a diverse group of leaders representing every college and other critical areas at Georgia State to move our strategic planning process forward.