January 7, 2011
Emory University’s strategic plan, “Where Courageous Inquiry Leads,” has set our course for the past five years, serving as our roadmap to 2015. During this time the landscape around us has changed dramatically. But we can say one thing for certain about our experience so far: the national economic climate has become thinner, and the terrain of higher education has become rockier, but the constellation of goals by which we are guided remains our true north.
We are still headed in the right direction, and we can continue with confidence on the path we have set for ourselves.
That constellation of goals by which we are steering includes:
• creating on our campus a world-class and diverse community of scholars;
• enrolling the best students and ensuring that they will have the best educational experience available;
• cultivating an intellectual and physical environment that enhances the lives of all members of our community, including staff, faculty, students, alumni and our neighbors;
• achieving due recognition as a place where scholars work together to confront the human condition:
• exploit emerging technologies for good; and exercising exemplary stewardship of our financial and other resources.
“The roster of buildings erected, renovations accomplished, and landmarks restored is all the more remarkable given the fact that all of these things were planned before the economic downturn and were accomplished with a heightened expectation of efficiency and fiscal responsibility.”
-President Jim Wagner
As this special issue of Emory Report makes clear, those goals and their corresponding themes remain unchanged and will endure. They are the consensus that we arrived at through long consultation and that we continue to adhere to. They hold out the greatest promise for us to advance our mission as a university to create, preserve, teach, and apply knowledge in the service of humanity.
These five goals also grow naturally and logically out of the priorities we established five years ago: priorities of quality, distinction, financial strength, and resource stewardship. The stories in this special issue offer heartening confirmation that we have succeeded as a community in keeping these priorities always uppermost in our efforts of the last five years.
We could not have done so without the strenuous thought, creativity, imagination, and hard work of countless men and women throughout our several campuses.
Among the highlights of our community’s success, “Building new ideas” in this issue offers a stunning summary of the major transformations in our campus since 2005.
The roster of buildings erected, renovations accomplished, and landmarks restored is all the more remarkable given the fact that all of these things were planned before the economic downturn and were accomplished with a heightened expectation of efficiency and fiscal responsibility.
Happily, they have also brought plaudits from national organizations to the men and women who accomplished them.
One promise we made to ourselves while setting out on this journey to 2015 was to check our progress regularly. (See "Marking progress".)
Through the good work of our Office of Institutional Research, we have been helped by a full and detailed array of metrics in gauging how we are doing with regard to student quality, faculty strength, staff satisfaction, fundraising, and health care delivery. We are doing well by many measures, but have some work to do in others.
These areas of concern are at the top of our list of issues to address during this current academic year, and we are confident that we will be able to make course corrections.
Five years gone, with five to go, this report serves as a toast to achievements thus far and a spur to further hopeful aspiration.
—President Jim Wagner