The Courage to Face the Toughest Challenges
Georgia State is facing the toughest test in our history.
The worldwide coronavirus pandemic has forced our university to take extraordinary measures to continue delivering a first-quality education to our students, and we will continue to do so regardless of the challenges ahead.
Like all higher education institutions, we must reconsider and adapt our approaches to teaching and learning, student housing and student services, and the manner in which we conduct the university’s daily business operations.
In this time of great uncertainty it can be difficult to be optimistic, yet I am.
I have seen the grit and determination that characterize Georgia State. I’ve seen the perseverance, the courage to tackle seemingly insurmountable challenges and the enduring commitment to hard work that symbolize our university. I know the brain power, the innovative nature and the creative genius that exist here, and they are fundamental to our future plans.
Our university has been through challenging times before and weathered the storm, each time emerging on the other side of the storm a stronger, better institution. We’ll do so again.
This past semester, our faculty quickly adapted their courses for remote delivery as campuses across the nation were closed to students. Our students adjusted with amazing speed to learning at a distance. Teleworking became the norm across our Georgia State campuses, and the staff proved the ability to overcome the obstacles of sheltering in place to do their jobs.
As we move forward, health and safety remain our top priorities. We will perform our research and university operations at the highest possible levels while also employing appropriate public health measures to ensure the health and safety of students, faculty and staff. We are working hard to create models for working and educating that strike the appropriate balance between social distancing measures and achieving our core missions of education and research. We will once again be working on our campuses and educating in face-to-face settings, and how we do so will be different than in the past. We will continuously stay abreast of public health guidance, and we will use that guidance to make our campuses as safe as possible.
Perhaps the biggest challenge facing us is to do more with less revenue. How much less won’t be known until the state budget is finalized and we receive our allocation from the University System of Georgia Board of Regents. We faced a similar reduction in state funding in 2009, and then, as it is now, our approach was strategic and targeted. Remember that coming out of the Great Recession, Georgia State experienced an unprecedented period of growth and recognition. With fewer resources available to us we will once again draw on our culture of innovation to achieve our goals, carefully investing in our future as we are making cuts where appropriate.
We are living through a historically challenging period, and it demands our best. Georgia State has been through daunting challenges. We’ve learned and grown from those experiences, and we are well prepared to prove our mettle once again. I have confidence in our Georgia State community, and the future we will create together.
Mark P. Becker