A Path Forward – Together: Action Teams Report Out

In our ongoing effort to address the challenges brought to light by the events earlier this semester, the three Action Teams — “Student Mental Health,” “Campus Culture,” and “LGBTQIA Community Support” — have completed their tasks and submitted their respective reports. The teams composed of students, faculty, and staff were charged with soliciting input from the community and preparing a final report that presents a brief summary and historical background, benchmarking and discussion of best practices, identification of the key issues, and the compilation of both short- and longer-term recommendations.

In their midterm update on Oct. 17, I was very impressed as committee co-chairs for each team outlined the methodologies employed and steps taken to ensure a thorough review of the topics, including being very purposeful in offering opportunities for input from various groups and individuals within the overall Georgia Tech community. The final reports submitted reflect that broad level of input and provide thoughtful insight on ways to address the challenges identified. As indicated in my letter to the campus community Sept. 23, 2017, we have made those reports available online.

We are very grateful to the Action Team members, both for the speed with which they addressed their assignment, necessitated by the importance of the issues, and for the quality of their work. The reports are so comprehensive that I believe the background research and recommendations may also serve as a useful resource for our colleagues at other universities.

We challenged the Action Teams with an aggressive timeline; now, we are placing that same challenge on ourselves. Having reviewed the reports, I have asked our campus leadership to do the same, and provide detailed implementation plans that outline the responsible party, a timeline for implementation, and the resources required for each of the recommendations addressed in the three reports as they pertain to their specific areas of responsibility. We will then take that information and develop an action plan, with both short- and long-term goals. By the end of fall semester, we will share a report with the campus community that includes both our implementation plans and the steps taken to date.

All of us at Georgia Tech are indebted to the co-chairs, along with the more than 50 students, faculty, and staff who devoted so much time, energy, and effort to complete these reports in an accelerated manner. As a result of their effort, we are now well-positioned to create A Path Forward — Together. On behalf of the entire Georgia Tech community, our heartfelt thanks to each and every one of them and the many others who contributed to this effort.

G.P. "Bud" Peterson