This is an incredible time of growth for our university. In recent months, we have both created and strengthened innovative partnerships that will continue to help our university grow while adhering to our number one priority: offering quality and innovative service to our students and patients.
Everything we do at this institution is grounded on the concept of providing our students with state-of-the-art education and training opportunities in Augusta and beyond. That’s what drives this university, and it is shown in the growth we have seen in the number of degrees awarded each year.
We strive every day to provide our students with an innovative and inclusive learning environment to prepare them for the workforce, and our continued enrollment growth and addition of new programs reflect that commitment. Augusta University is a place to not only receive a quality education, but also to build a fulfilling career and make a positive impact on the lives of others.
At the beginning of the academic year, a delegation led by AU Provost Neil J. MacKinnon, MCG Dean David Hess and AU College of Nursing Dean Tanya Sudia traveled to Scotland to continue to build our new partnership with Robert Gordon University and the University of Aberdeen by awarding visiting faculty status to Professor Laura Chalmers, an expert in critical care nursing and interprofessional practice at RGU and Professor James N’Dow, MD, chair in surgery at Aberdeen Medical School. This international partnership with these two world-renowned universities will help us foster new, innovative conversations and ways of thinking, while creating amazing opportunities for our students and patients moving forward as we work on international research collaborations.
In addition to the promising partnership opportunity with Wellstar Health System that Dr. Hess discusses in his column, we also recently announced two partnerships that will add value not just to Augusta University, but to the CSRA and beyond. Augusta Advantage, a new initiative with Augusta Technical College, along with a new partnership with the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence were created with the knowledge that Augusta University is uniquely positioned to help the region and state continue to grow and thrive.
AU faculty are also developing five other programs be launched in the next couple of years, including a Master of Health Sciences in Speech Language Pathology, a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Systems Engineering, a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience, a Bachelor of Arts in Sports Management and a Bachelor of Science in Data Science.
On top of the new program offerings, AU will launch a new School of Public Health, pulling from MCG, the College of Allied Health Sciences, the Institute of Public and Preventive Health and the College of Education and Human Development, as well as Augusta University Online, which will officially launch later this year.
While each of these new initiatives do not directly impact MCG, the indirect value will be felt as we continue to create new avenues for students to join our student body, and for new interdisciplinary research opportunities to be formed.
I am also excited to announce that the Robert B. Greenblatt, M.D. Library will reopen in April with a completely new look and more resources. For those of us who spent countless hours in that library while at MCG, you know how great a resource that library is. We have committed $500,000 in new permanent funding to the budget. Every college and school on campus will be able to request materials and access to collections they need to succeed, and this will be tremendously beneficial for our medical students, including better access to the Web of Science database.
Growth and change are major parts of the spring, and there is plenty of growth and change coming to the Medical College of Georgia and Augusta University.
We are incredibly proud of what the Medical College of Georgia has accomplished, but we must set our sights even higher. The future is extremely bright at MCG, and I can’t wait to see what is in store for the next decade — because there is great opportunity awaiting us. I am thrilled to be leading our great university into the future. With the support of those who love MCG, anything is possible.
Brooks Keel, PhD
President, Augusta University