2021 State of the University Address

2021+State+of+the+University+Address

Raleigh Hutchison

Dr. Steve Dorman shared gratitude towards the student body and optimism concerning
the semester in his final State of the University address posted Friday via GC’s website. The
address included guidelines for 2021, while recognizing the accomplishments of 2020.

Since two weeks ago Dr. Dorman announced his upcoming resignation from the
presidency to occur this Sept. 1, he chose to spend the time of his 8th address rewarding
achievements and sharing plans.

Inclusive diversity has been a long term goal of Dr. Dorman. In 2020, Dr. Dorman shared
an initiative to launch an updated Diversity Action Plan. On Friday, he said that diversity on
campus “celebrates differences in perspective because it makes us a strong and more resilient
institution.”

Dr. Dorman has slowly been adapting GC to evolve into a higher education system of the
future. The pandemic put his plans in fast forward, forcing students and teachers to adjust to
online learning by gaining technological advances. Dr. Dorman claims these changes have made
us a more adaptive and nimble institution.

According to the address, the University’s budget took a 10% hit over the past year,
partially due to the drop in undergraduate enrollment last fall. Luckily, graduate programs
reached a record high enrollment, Dorman confirmed.

GC Journeys has received acknowledgment from outside organizations as it proves its
goal to enhance the University’s liberal art mission, Dorman said. The university also expanded
research developments over the past year and The Council of Undergraduate research has named
GC a leading university in undergraduate research. This is the first time Dr. Dorman formally
expressed his gratitude for the award.

Dr. Dorman shared how GC’s recent alliances with neighboring universities enhances
students’ academic experience as well as the collaborations made within the university.

Dr. Dana Gorzelany-Mostak has been appointed to make GC more intentional in assisting
faculty in competing for awards and national recognition. According to Dr. Dorman GC has
applied for multiple awards this year.

In 2021 the Integrated Science complex is scheduled to open after breaking ground nearly
one year ago. This building will house STEM research. The Andalusia Institute is also planned to
open later this year, a huge opportunity for GC.

In hopes to encourage lifelong learning, Dr. Dorman created “The School for Continuing
and Professional Studies.” An executive director will be hired this year and programs and
activities will be created with the goal of assisting professionals as they transition to a new job.

In response to mental health issues during 2020, GC began a 24/7 mental health hotline
which provides counseling services on demand to students in need.

According to Dr. Dorman, GC raised almost $31 million dollars through the University
Advancement Team. This number exceeded the campaign target that was set for this year.

Dr. Dorman closed his address with gratitude for the GC family and all they were able to
achieve during the pandemic. He shares certainty that they will be a welcoming home for the
future president of GC.