In 2015, President Dorman debuted four transformative ideas in the State of the University Address. These ideas revolved around imagining something bigger and better for our university.
Writing and Literacy
Imagine if Georgia College could build on the strengths of our existing writing and literary studies program and could become the unquestioned place in the South for those who want to seriously pursue and develop their writing. Building on the strength of the Flannery O’Connor history on our campus and our existing Writing Center, could we develop and invest in this area; and in doing so, could it become the place that future O’Connors want to study and hone their writing skills? Could the community of Milledgeville become a writer’s village where those who want to develop their writing skills and abilities come to do just that and meet with others who are doing so? Would the inspiration of our environment along with the talent of our faculty in this area allow us to build on an existing strength and build a southern writing center that would contribute to the creative writing literature? Imagine with me: Could Georgia College become the site of one of the south’s preeminent centers for creative writing and literary studies?
Health, Economic, Environmental and Educational Disparities
Imagine if Georgia College could do something to impact the substantive disparities we find in communities around us? You only have to look around you to come to the conclusion that many of Georgia’s rural counties face deep health, economic, environmental and educational disparities. Much of this is caused by what demographers would tell us is a de-populating of the 15 rural counties in our state. Georgia College finds itself located in and surrounded by counties with health, economic, environmental and educational disparities. What institution in the state is better equipped and ready to answer and propose some solutions for these issues than Georgia College? As the designated public liberal arts university, we have a special commitment to democratic action and a commitment to the democratic way of life that is reinforced by the liberal arts. Therefore, we must and should use our knowledge and invest in our faculty to come to the aid of this issue. Can you imagine a center at Georgia College where a group of interdisciplinary faculty from health, education, environmental sciences and business provided important knowledge development and guidance to our rural counties? Imagine with me: Could Georgia College become the preeminent source of guidance, best practice and scholarship regarding rural economic development with focus on health, education, environmental and economic disparities?
Arts in Community Change/Development
Imagine a community touched by the arts as they are envisioned at Georgia College. What distinguishes the arts as they are presented on our campus? What is unique about our faculty and students who study the performing, musical and visual arts at Georgia College? It is my belief that our faculty see the arts as a way to engage the individual for meaningful community transformation. Our faculty and students see art as a vehicle to express themes of social change and community transformation. We see this in the performances offered by the theatre Department, the visual offerings of the art department, and the community JazzFest on Front Campus organized by the music department. And, Georgia College art students this year have been involved in bringing a wonderful mural to the Collins P. Lee Center here in Milledgeville. Imagine with me: Could Georgia College be known as the preeminent university in the nation to study how the arts engage individuals for meaningful community transformation?
As I have gotten to know many Georgia College students over the last several years, I see qualities of leadership in many of them. We are already developing leadership in our students through the work of Mr. John Bowen and the GEM program and many of our faculty. Also, thanks to the work of Dr. Costas Spirou, three Georgia College students spent their fall semester in congressional offices in our nation’s capital through the GC in DC program. Our students are leaders in giving back as well, as noted by the continual success of the GIVE Center on our campus. In addition, the newly envisioned National Scholarship Office will function intentionally to build leadership traits within students to prepare them for advanced scholarships. Finally our MBA, MPA and Masters and DNP in nursing are all about training the next generation of leaders in business, public affairs and nursing. Imagine a time when all students who leave Georgia College are prepared to be citizen leaders in their schools, workforces and communities. Imagine with me: Could Georgia College be the preeminent university where leaders are formed through scholarship, public service and community engagement?