From the President

WRAS/GPB partnership is one of many between Georgia State and the community

Georgia State has a long history of partnerships that benefit the university, Atlanta and the state. There are hundreds of links among the university, its colleges and schools and organizations that are crucial to a vital and vibrant community, and to providing extraordinary experiential learning opportunities for students.

12fall_presidentbeckerThe College of Law, for example, has been engaged for 10 years with the Atlanta Legal Aid Society and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in the Health Law Partnership (HeLP), a collaboration among healthcare providers and lawyers to improve the health and wellbeing of low-income children and their families. HeLP is also an educational partnership that promotes the public’s health through interdisciplinary teaching and learning among law, public health and social work students.

Another example is After-School All-Stars Atlanta, which provides comprehensive after-school programs for at-risk students in metro Atlanta. Run through the College of Education, the program has supported tens of thousands of students at 11 sites since it was founded in 1999. Georgia State students are teachers and mentors on academic subjects, extra-curricular activities, and health and wellness. After School All Stars-Atlanta is funded by local foundations, the state Division of Family and Children Services, and private donations and gifts.

The university announced in early May a new partnership with Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) that drew a lot of attention and some criticism from students, alumni and Album 88 listeners. This is another example of a mutually beneficial relationship that will serve our community and provide significant new opportunities for students.

The GPB affiliation opens doors to opportunities critical to the professional development of Georgia State students aspiring to careers in the entertainment and information industries. With more than 1,650 students majoring in film and journalism, expanding course offerings, available faculty, facilities access and contact with the region’s media industries is a university priority. The GPB partnership provides the Department of Communication with much-needed access to state-of-the-art media production facilities and to a regionally visible TV outlet.

The benefits to Georgia State students will be numerous and varied as a result of the GPB partnership. Access to GPB’s state-of-the-art digital studios will support significant new curriculum offerings, as well as opportunities for creating original network programming. In addition, students will participate in programming 12 hours daily on a cultural affairs digital sub-channel that Georgia State will introduce on GPB’s network mid-2015, and a growing number of students will have internship placements. The first year of the partnership will directly benefit more than 130 students, and that number will expand significantly over time. They will engage in creative projects and broadcast production in GPB’s modern, top-of-the-line facilities. Georgia State students will program and broadcast 12 hours daily on a GPB digital channel. This enables Georgia State to deliver high-quality experiential learning for about 100 students at any given time, a dramatic increase from what we have been able to support in the past. The university could not provide these extraordinary learning opportunities without GPB.

The collaboration with GPB also enables the university to serve communities across Georgia in new and significant ways. The cultural affairs digital sub-channel will provide Georgia State, as well as educational institutions and arts and cultural affairs organizations across Georgia, a means to broadcast lecture series, athletics events, and arts and cultural programming to television audiences statewide. In addition, Georgia State faculty and students will be featured across GPB’s main network on matters of public interest. These new offerings, both on the digital sub-channel and on the main network, are significant in their own right, and yet they are just a beginning.

The Georgia State-GPB partnership lays the foundation on which we can build for the future as the world of information and entertainment changes and evolves rapidly.

I am proud that my Georgia State colleagues are deeply engaged in constructive partnerships that benefit our students and the community. Programs like HeLP, After-School All-Stars and the GPB partnership provide students unique educational experiences, ones that we could not offer without strong and sustained cooperation from our partners. In turn, through these educational experiences our students provide unique and valuable services to the community.

Georgia State is nationally recognized as an innovative university that is creating the future for higher education, and I have every expectation our existing and future partnerships will play a major role in helping us become the very best university we can be.



Mark P. Becker