Appendix B

GSU Strategic Planning

SWOT Analysis | April 8, 2010


  • Location in Atlanta, urban environment, connections to organizations, airport, etc.
  • Diversity, diverse student body, commitment to diversity
  • Faculty and staff who care about GSU, are strong teachers with real world experience, with a number of world class scholars
  • Some strong academic units
  • Value, affordability for students, reasonable tuition
  • Community relations/partnerships with metro Atlanta community, colleges, businesses, government agencies
  • New energetic leadership and joint governance
  • Commitment to increasing research productivity
  • International focus of many programs, international connections, international student body


  • Insufficient amount of federal research grants awarded to the university
  • Relatively few faculty who are nationally recognized as measured by the most prestigious indicators
  • Insufficient research support to attract and retain world class faculty and graduate students
  • Lack of distinctive focus and identity
  • Infrastructure issues, insufficient staff and systems to support faculty, low service culture, bureaucratic processes and procedures, technology issues, training for staff and administrators
  • Weak alumni connections, lack of donor and alumni support, size of endowment relative to aspirations
  • Perception as a commuter school,/night school/4th tier university, teaching university, “Best Kept Secret” mentality, old image, no brand, limited resources for marketing and PR
  • Facilities are outdated, under-maintained; lack of space, physical campus not inviting, old buildings, lack of cleanliness
  • Student retention
  • Lack of mechanisms and incentives to facilitate collaboration/coordination across academic departments and business units

Top Opportunities

(In Rank Order)

  • Increase grant funding for research/support for research/mechanisms and incentives for interdisciplinary research across departments and units
  • Re-imagine undergraduate education thinking creatively about the undergraduate experience
  • Internationalize the curriculum/expand University’s global reach and international partnerships
  • Determine what is and should be distinctive about GSU
  • Become a national model for development of solutions to important problems of urban environments

Other Opportunities

(In Rank Order)

  • Recruit and retain best faculty and staff while ensuring diversity and quality are top priority
  • Increase alumni relations, engagement, involvement, support
  • New marketing/PR efforts/raise profile/get rid of “Best Kept Secret” label
  • Be a leader in understanding and addressing issues facing major metro cities
  • Eliminate weak departments/programs
  • Expand/improve doctoral programs, increase resources
  • Improve systems to increase efficiency (financial systems, HR, student systems, support of research)/overhaul bureaucracy/new training initiatives for faculty, staff, administrators to support the mission
  • Improve student life on campus, culture, athletics, football
  • Increase national rankings

Other Opportunities

(Continued, In Rank Order)

  • Modernize facilities and expand the physical plant (classrooms, labs, office space)
  • Increase genuine partnerships with community organizations, CDC, Grady, NGO’s, GRA, government agencies, businesses, other universities
  • Become world class in technology/on-line or mobile class delivery opportunities/technical support for faculty and staff
  • More involvement in field of medicine, biosciences, health
  • Develop fine arts program
  • Leverage Science Center, Science Park/add buildings
  • Increase sustainability efforts/ecology of the urban university
  • Improve working relationships with 2 year schools
  • Use football as a research and teaching tool (e.g., sports medicine, marketing)


  • Budget constraints/insufficient funding/economy/state’s commitment to education/inadequate support from alumni
  • Lack of state-of-the-art management technology and training for teaching, research, and university operations
  • Physical facilities/space constraints/aging infrastructure
  • Loss of key research active faculty/faculty attrition/loss of most talented faculty
  • Competition from other universities in Atlanta
  • Perception of campus safety/crime/homelessness
  • Spiraling inflationary costs of maintaining library and information data bases