Tomorrow’s University

We are pursuing these topics as a way to enrich campus-wide conversations about how best to continue our movement forward as a premier institution of the 21st-century.

Virginia Tech’s unique emphases on learning, discovery, and engagement already position us as primary contributors in regional, national, and international arenas.  We imagine the structure of a networked university necessitates ongoing evolution, and that Virginia Tech will continue to reinvent itself on the leading edge as it has done throughout its history.  The content of this document is a “work-in-progress.”  Other voices, in the context of improvement, are welcomed.  This document does not, at present, propose a specific implementation plan as to how the university shall proceed, but it is intended to inform and inspire the planning process.

Key Ideas for Consideration:

To efficiently and effectively apply Virginia Tech’s existing physical, financial, personnel, information technology and research core resources, and secure additional resources, to better address the varying demographics and meet the needs of all students, as well as to raise the national and international profile of Virginia Tech, and enable the university to pursue innovations and seize opportunities that may arise.  How can we most effectively adapt, thrive, and lead as higher education and institutions of higher learning continue to shift and evolve?

Strategy #1- Year-Round Operation:

We should strive to develop, promote and support a flexible operational calendar to optimize time, place and resources, particularly for academic programs and student support units that generally are underutilized during the summer.  Increased flexibility means exploring the development of hybrid and networked options that increase local, regional, national and global access and enrollments without overloading the physical load-capacity of the university; in other words, we should begin building our own vision for and version of Virginia Tech as a networked university.

Strategy #2- Governance and Operations:

Continuously examine the structure and schedule of the existing governance system and overall university operations to identify where change is needed to expedite specific types of decisions and to improve the quality and efficiency of the institution.

Strategy #3- Multi-Disciplinary and Collaborative:

Promote and support creation of a Strategic Initiatives and Development Team (SIDT) to assist existing academic and support units across campus to assess, plan, and evaluate prospective multi-disciplinary collaborative degrees, partnership programs and other types of initiatives.

Strategy #4 – Global Experiences:

In addition to maintaining the quality and diversity of our current international academic, research and development initiatives, proactively and consistently improve the quality, diversity, and effectiveness of undergraduate international experiences with a goal of significantly increasing the number of VT undergraduates gaining such an international experience.  Ensure that every student graduates with the skills and competencies (language, cultural, business, etc.) necessary to live and work in a truly global marketplace.

1 Response to Tomorrow’s University

  1. Michael Kulikowski says:

    I’m so glad to see such a strong emphasis on collaboration and increased opportunities for interdisciplinary interaction to occur. I think this is absolutely vital, and though is something I think that we are starting to see change, does not happen anywhere nearly enough currently. Shared knowledge is invaluable and right now there are so many different project and initiatives on campus that do not communicate or even know of each other’s existence when they could have direct impact on one another. As an architecture major, I would love to start seeing more studios comprised of teams from each of the design disciplines and even building construction. This is how the real world functions, its also how we should learn. Having a multitude of perspectives on a project is extremely important.

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