by Taylor Bryant
“You have the opportunity to reshape the world now” are few of the many encouraging words Dr. Curtis Carver Jr. shared with hundreds of UWG students as he recently keynoted the Richards College of Business BB&T lecture series, held Monday, April 7, in the campus center ballroom.
Dr. Carver, who serves as the vice chancellor and chief information officer for the University System of Georgia lectured on “Emerging Threats, Emerging Opportunities: Thriving in the New Normal.” The lecture delved into and examined the underlying causes and reasons for both concern and optimism.
“What I hope is that you will think about the world differently when I finish this presentation,” says Dr. Carver as he begins the lecture, sharing with students what he does in his day-to-day operations.
Currently, Dr. Carver oversees a statewide educational infrastructure and service organization with more than 250 innovators and an annual investment in higher education of more than $70 million. Through his leadership, Dr. Carver garnered national recognition for the University System of Georgia including the 2012 Global CIO Break Away Leader Award, 2012 and 2013 Georgia State Technology Innovation Award and 2014 Computer World Premiere100 IT Leaders.
In his presentation, Dr. Carver used charts and slides to show students the educational impact as it pertains to education levels, graduation rates and financial aid in the United States in comparison to other countries.
“The problem is everyone around us is moving,” he adds, while pointing to a chart in his slideshow presentation. “Look what’s happened in Korea. They’ve gone from 12 percent educational attainment to more than 60 percent educational attainment. This is a problem of global perspectives. We have to say to ourselves that the rules that we’ve followed, we cannot follow anymore.”
After showing the charts of educational attainment, Dr. Carver motivated the students to be innovative and pursue any ideas they may have. “Whatever your crazy idea is, you can find 10,000 people to believe the same thing no matter how crazy the idea is.”
He continues, “All of you are uniquely different. All of you learn in a uniquely different way. This idea that everyone is going to flow through one path and that one path is going to lead to the next generation of leaders is probably not the right model…. How can we create opportunities so that 100, 300 and 500 dollars won’t lead to the student leaving the university?”
Dr. Carver also provided ways that students could become trailblazers in educational technology, specifically in computer, cellular and gaming technology. Before taking questions and answers, he left the students with a charge to make a difference.
“You have a unique opportunity to reach segments of our world that we have never been able to reach, and to fundamentally change our trajectory as a human race,” he concludes. “You’re at the right place to do this. Are you willing to step up and do it? Are you willing to not only have your flame lit, but to light other’s flames?”