President Brooks Keel and Dr. Gretchen Caughman, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost, welcomed faculty and staff back to campus at the 4th Annual Fall Kick-off on Monday, August 13.
Keel used the opportunity to thank faculty and staff for their service and for choosing Augusta University.
“You come from some of the best universities and colleges in the country, and you chose to come here,” he said. “And we’re delighted you did.”
Then he kicked off a list of high points, beginning with enrollment, which is up 44 percent among freshmen since 2013.
“I’ve got to tell you, we’ve broken records the likes of which I don’t think any of us could have expected,” he said.
Growth was a constant theme of his presentation, particularly the idea of growing the university to 16,000 students by 2030.
“It’s not just about getting bigger,” he said. “It’s about reaching a level of students so we can start doing some things that I think are very important not only for our region, but for our state and beyond.”
The near-term growth toward that goal is significant, he said, including the opening of the Georgia Cyber Center, which houses the School of Computer and Cyber Sciences along with the Cyber Institute, the expansion of the Georgia Cancer Center, the relocation of the College of Science and Mathematics to the Health Sciences Campus and the renovation of the Fine Arts Center.
“We are truly a comprehensive research university,” he said. “We are all things in medicine, in research. We’re all things in undergraduate opportunities, and I appreciate all that you do to try to put us in position to do the very best we can.”
Caughman followed Keel’s presentation with an in-depth look at the data surrounding the university’s academic growth and programming.