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Goals and Priorities: Virginia Tech’s Academic Enterprise

Updated February 2022

The Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost is committed to supporting and advancing Virginia Tech’s Beyond Boundaries vision, and to achieving the strategic priorities outlined in The Virginia Tech Difference: Advancing Beyond Boundaries. In partnership with faculty, staff and the academic community, Provost Cyril Clarke has developed and framed the following themes, goals, and initiatives to support and contribute to the progress of the visionary concepts of Beyond Boundaries.

Core strategic themes (extracted from and aligned with Beyond Boundaries):

  • Virginia Tech is a university with global reach and is increasingly recognized as an institution with a worldwide perspective, a commitment to empowering graduates to solve global challenges, and a convening force and top destination for international talent.
  • As a comprehensive university, Virginia Tech has developed and will continue to advance selected programs that are among the best in the world with adequate representation across the arts, humanities, design, sciences and engineering that synthesize talent and knowledge to achieve international reputational excellence.
  • Virginia Tech highly values inter- and transdisciplinary learning and discovery, and leverages these opportunities and experiences to address the complexities of the world’s most intractable societal problems.
  • Virginia Tech is committed to evidence-based, student-centered learning utilizing innovative instructional methodologies that are developed and employed across undergraduate, graduate, and professional curricula.
  • Virginia Tech recognizes the need for and value of engaging in partnerships with other educational institutions, public and private industries, governments, and local communities to achieve its tripartite mission.

Crosscutting goals

To enhance its international standing, quality of programs, and commitment to service, Virginia Tech must:

  • continue to increase representational diversity of students, faculty and staff, and foster an environment in which all individuals can thrive;
  • elevate the productivity and impact of faculty scholarship;
  • secure more extramural funding in support of research;
  • implement plans for developing faculty to achieve national distinction;
  • expand enrollment of graduate students and appointments of postdoctoral associates, and promote their career success; and
  • embed experiential learning within the transcriptible curriculum.

These crosscutting goals map to AAU membership indicators and are critical to the growth and advancement of Virginia Tech’s research enterprise as guided by our strategic priorities and Beyond Boundaries vision.

Project-based initiatives

Our university commitment to the core strategic themes and achieving the crosscutting goals is best accomplished by convening and engaging talent in project-based initiatives that are worthy of significant additional investment over the intermediate to longer term. Included among current initiatives are the following:

This project-based approach to initiative development is designed to build on the core strategic themes and achieve the crosscutting goals, and is the motivating justification for launching the next phase of the Destination Area (DA) program.

Moving forward

Building on the foundational capacity already established during the first phase of the DA program, we will soon solicit proposals for project grants to identify a limited number of thrust areas in which Virginia Tech is well positioned to solve a particular problem or answer an important question. These thrust areas will be aligned with existing strategic interests represented by Research Frontiers, research institutes, Interdisciplinary Graduate Education Programs, and the existing DA thematic areas.

As Virginia Tech moves forward to the next phase of DA development, we are piloting two initial thrust areas that are strategically important to the university and require immediate investment. These pilots will enable us to “work out the kinks” in support of our broader efforts to advance the project-based thrust areas.

Using existing DA funding, the plan is to commit eight faculty lines (or fewer if some of the hires are mid-career) in the following areas: