Ángel Cabrera, Georgia Tech’s incoming president, visited the campus Friday and like any wise student, he said he needs to do some homework on challenges facing the school before he takes office in September.
The Georgia Board of Regents voted Thursday to hire Cabrera, who had been president of George Mason University since July 2012. The outgoing Georgia Tech president, G.P. “Bud” Peterson announced plans in January to retire.
Cabrera, 51, told reporters he needs time to familiarize himself with Tech’s affairs, such as the university’s ethics policies and practices, before committing to any new improvements or initiatives. Several top administrators have resigned or been fired in the last year for various ethics violations.
“We have to do our homework, so I am trying to understand the issue,” he said.
Cabrera made similar comments about mental health services for students, another ongoing issue at the school, but alluded to some work he did on that topic at George Mason.
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Cabrera, who earned his master’s and doctoral degrees from Georgia Tech, said he hopes to help students and researchers find ways to address global challenges, such as economic development and combating diseases, as well as continue the ongoing efforts to offer more online courses and degree programs. He visited the campus with his wife, Beth, whom he met when they were both Georgia Tech students. University System of Georgia Chancellor Steve Wrigley and Board of Regents Chairman Don Waters were also there for his visit.
Cabrera, who was born in Spain, reflected on his path to Georgia Tech in his opening remarks. He recalled arriving on campus 28 years ago with two suitcases, many dreams and some apprehension.
“Not in my wildest dreams when I landed here I thought that one day I would be asked to serve as this school’s president,” he said.
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