Associate Dean Vito Named Vice Provost

Ray Vito named vice provost of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies

Saying it is the best way he can contribute to Georgia Tech, School of Mechanical Engineering Professor Ray Vito has accepted the offer to become Tech's first vice provost of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies.

In the newly reorganized Office of the Provost, it means Vito will oversee curriculum development, educational technology and experiential learning initiatives such as the Honors Program and cooperative education.

Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Anderson Smith pointed to Vito's relevant experience, having served both as associate chair for Undergraduate Programs in the School of Mechanical Engineering and associate dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Engineering, as a determining factor in his choice.

"He has been a significant figure in shaping undergraduate and graduate studies at both the school and college level," Smith said.

"I look forward to working with Ray as Georgia Tech moves to the next level of educational excellence," he continued. "With the development of the undergraduate learning center, the activities of the task force for curriculum reform and our goal of significantly increasing the number of doctoral students on campus, we have the mechanisms in place to define how the technological research university of the 21st century educates its students."

Vito made it clear during a public presentation in August that he views the role as a facilitator, offering resources where necessary and helping to smooth the road toward systemic improvements.

"I've seen it many times and believe it in my heart: if you empower the faculty, good things will happen. In this position, that's the graduate and undergraduate coordinators. They are the people who make the academic programs at Georgia Tech work."

Citing the provost's task force that is reviewing Tech's undergraduate curriculum, Vito said some assessment was already under way. But he also drew upon the College of Engineering's strategic plan, promoting the exploration of "a new, innovative, rigorous and flexible bachelor's degree program that will serve as a foundation for advanced study."

He also hopes to advance a "culture of self-education," where professors engage students in the excitement of learning and motivate their desire to have a positive impact on society.

"We must encourage the kind of broad thinking that comes along with an integrated learning experience," he said. "I think this will encourage retention as well as additional study in the field."

In the drive to attract the best graduate students and prepare them for successful careers, Vito pointed in particular to improved metrics and mentoring. He emphasized his open door policy regarding student concerns as well as his desire to solicit their opinions.

"Student input is very important. I think we can learn a lot from them - we probably need to do more of it - and I would like to get them involved in some of the decisions that affect them."

Ultimately, Vito, whose research career has produced several patents and a commercial company, said he is intrigued by the opportunity to help define this new position.

"I have an active research program and I don't intend to give that up, but I think at this point in my career it is the best way I can contribute to Georgia Tech. I would like to thank Andy for the opportunity to work with him on issues important to the success of our undergraduate and graduate students."

The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the world's premier research universities. Ranked seventh among U.S. News & World Report's top public universities and the eighth best engineering and information technology university in the world by Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities, Georgia Tech’s more than 20,000 students are enrolled in its Colleges of Architecture, Computing, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Management and Sciences. Tech is among the nation's top producers of women and minority engineers. The Institute offers research opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students and is home to more than 100 interdisciplinary units plus the Georgia Tech Research Institute.