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Bearings: News and Perspectives for Academic Affairs

Bearings: News & Perspectives for Academic Affairs

Sails up, Armstrong!

Apr 7, 2013, 11:20 pm - Carey Adams

If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable. – Seneca

Since joining Armstrong last summer I have been asked numerous times about my own priorities and vision for the university.  My response, which I hope has been consistent, has boiled down to these basics.

  • We will continue to be guided by our fundamental commitment to academic quality.
  • We will extend ourselves to reach students who are not currently at Armstrong but who want to and should be part of our community.
  • We want every student here to be as successful as possible in attaining their goals.
  • We will be so excellent at meeting the educational needs of our region that students from across the state of Georgia and beyond will want to come here.
  • We will be a driving force in our regional economy, society and culture, and we will be the leading institution of higher education in the coastal region.

Attaining these goals requires our continuing and renewed dedication.  It also requires that we be alert to opportunities and set our sails to catch the winds that can propel us toward our destination.  I know virtually nothing about actual sailing, but I do know that the point of a sail is to harness the wind and use it to one's advantage. 

Right now there are some strong winds blowing, and we are busy hoisting our sails to take advantage of them.  To name just a few:

  • Expansion of the Armstrong Liberty Center and the programs offered there will allow us to serve a military population that increasingly needs access to higher education.
  • Development of online and other alternative instructional formats is making it possible for working professionals, time- and place-bound local students, and students from other states to achieve their educational goals as Armstrong students.
  • Drawing on national best practices such as learning communities and the new First Class freshman seminar will increase the success of traditional freshmen.
  • We are responding to the growing and increasingly diverse needs for higher education in the state by offering a variety of credentials -- certificates, associate's degrees, bachelor's degrees, graduate degrees -- in a variet of formats.
  • Recruiting and supporting Hispanic and Latino students is providing us an advantage in competing for the opportunity to serve the fastest growing population in our state.

The thing about winds is that they are the same for every ship on the sea.  The differences are not in the winds, but in the capabilities of the vessels and the skills of their crews.  We are not alone in attempting to take advantage of these opportunities; we must be better than others at doing so. 

So, sails up, Armstrong.  Let's not squander the fair weather and friendly breezes.

Have a great week!

Carey