Main Goal: Promote excellence in research and scholarship.
Virginia Tech will strive to foster an environment, both physical and virtual, to support and ignite groundbreaking research that is high quality and has impact. Research and scholarship that is valued by the Virginia Tech community is:
- internationally recognized
- of both local and global relevance
- the primary means of educating the next generation of innovative researchers
Virginia Tech is currently recognized for its profound and meaningful impact of our scholarship across all its domains of inquiry. Our research identifies important new questions, addresses fundamental issues, helps shape the direction of knowledge creation, and has a significant impact on practice. By focusing more closely on creating an environment conducive to research excellence, our faculty will achieve further national and international recognition for scholarship that already makes a significant contribution towards the generation of new knowledge in our multiple domains of inquiry. To solve the complex problems facing our world, we need interdisciplinary research that brings together diverse sources of expertise under strict time and resource constraints. By building upon its research strengths, Virginia Tech can become more competitive not only for research funding and investment but also for recruitment of well-known or promising faculty and top-performing students.
Virginia Tech’s research portfolio has grown dramatically over the past six years, both in size (~$400M) and scope (life and health sciences, innovative technology, energy and environment). A continued focus on growth in size and scope should be complemented by an emphasis on research and scholarly excellence across all disciplines. A focus on the quality and impact of faculty research and scholarship as demonstrated in ways appropriate to each discipline will provide indicators of the national and international reputation of Virginia Tech faculty, and will further the continued rise in prominence of Virginia Tech as a comprehensive research university.
Research-extensive universities face a number of challenges in the near term, as each strives to build programs and a reputation that will differentiate the university from its peers. The projected growth of graduate programs at Virginia Tech, paired with the continued focus on the quality of scholarship and depth of faculty expertise, will require consistent investment over time. Though the economic climate has become increasingly uncertain, the university has expanded its research portfolio. Such investments have positioned Virginia Tech favorably to meet today’s economic challenges with a more diverse research portfolio, creating potential for growth and excellence in cutting-edge, high demand disciplines. In the near term, it will be necessary to identify the areas in which the university can or will claim distinction, and to allocate the resources that will enable Virginia Tech to attract and retain the best faculty and students in those areas. Such research investments will be enabled, in part, through development of strategies to increase efficiencies, to leverage partnerships with the commercial sector, national laboratories, international partners, government agencies, and other universities, and to reduce administrative barriers to collaboration with these entities, whether they are local, national, or international.
To promote excellence in research and scholarship, Virginia Tech should focus on four strategies:
- Define and implement the mission of the modern land grant university by expanding our scope of research.
- Foster synergies between research institutes and academic departments
- Establish an innovative process for promoting collaborative research and scholarship in selected areas to enhance Virginia Tech’s research mission.
- Focus resources on a selected number of domains of discovery that optimize our return on investment as indicated by both quantitative and qualitative (e.g., scholarly productivity and societal importance) measures.