News: State of the College Address Celebrates Wins and Focuses on Priorities Ahead

2021 State of the College Address

Posted February 3, 2021

The Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts is notable for its diversity of broad disciplines at intersection of humanities, social sciences and technology. The value of that diversity was the theme of the State of the College address on Jan. 28, 2021.

Dean Kaye Husbands Fealing delivered her inaugural address, titled “Connecting: Developing Leaders Bridging Humanities, Social sciences, and Technology” via BlueJeans Events. She reflected on her first six months as dean and also outlined College priorities, including operations and governance, strategy and performance metrics.

She also focused on the College’s efforts to promote diversity and equity, to continue offering majors that are both intellectually enlightening and provide professional opportunities, and to grow in stature on campus and the wider community.

Watch the State of the College Address

Additional priorities included:

  • Create a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive culture and climate, with attention to the health, safety, and wellbeing of our students, staff, and faculty.
  • Create more opportunities for experiential learning for our students and to engage life-long learners.
  • Create an incentive structure for fostering creativity and collaboration in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts and at Georgia Tech.
  • Develop and engage a comprehensive financial and fundraising plan.
  • Initiate, complete, and implement the College’s strategic plan.

The dean shared several connection points where the College's curriculum and research bridge across two or more schools, including: computational social science; digital humanities; energy, environmental science, and sustainability; ethics and emerging technologies; gender studies; global development; global languages and cultures; health analytics, policy, and well-being; media studies; security issues, including cyber, economic, health, food, and international; science and technology policy and governance; and social justice.

Husbands Fealing, who assumed the role of dean in June 2020, highlighted the College’s strong recent growth. Graduate enrollment has almost tripled in the past three years, from 254 students in 2018-19 to 616 in 2020-2021. Undergraduate enrollment also has grown, from 583 in 2016-17 to 837 in 2020-21. The College also has shown the largest growth of any college on campus in credit hours offered for master’s courses, adding 823 hours since Fall 2017. The College also raised $4.1 million in fiscal year 2020, and sponsored research funding also reached a high that year, she noted.

The dean also noted the recent work of the College’s Diversity and Inclusion Council, composed of 32 faculty, staff, and students. The Council recently passed a set of bylaws and established five action groups examining culture and climate; communication and community engagement; curriculum; governance and membership; and recruitment and retention of faculty, staff, and students.

Additionally, she outlined how the College’s ongoing efforts to develop its new strategic plan are oriented around one question: What should be the purpose and potential of a liberal arts college at a technology-centered university in the 21st century? A 16-member study committee, which includes faculty, staff and students, is working to develop a study report. The committee is using the framework of National Academies studies to report findings, recommendations and conclusions that emphasize the College’s strengths and redefine its purpose and potential. The study report will be released in June 2021 to launch the strategic planning process in fall 2021.

The dean presented the newly-developed mission and values of Georgia Tech, and connected those values to her leadership philosophy and personal values. Husbands Fealing invited members of the college community to provide input on the unique contribution of the humanities and social sciences to the mission, vision, and goals of Georgia Tech. Community members can submit feedback to dean@iac.gatech.edu.

She ended the address by responding to questions on a variety of topics, including health and well-being, the role of the arts, budget outlook, development goals, career education for students, and how the College can become more agile regarding issues that reach beyond the classroom.

The 2021 Spring State of the College Address recording and presentation are available on the Strategy and Impact website.

Contact For More Information

Denise Ward

Director of Communications

denise.ward@iac.gatech.edu