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Provost's Update - June 2018

To fulfill our land grant mission to the Commonwealth, Virginia Tech is focused on creating positive impacts in every county and every community throughout our state.  To achieve our vision for Beyond Boundaries and our position as a leading global land grant institution, Virginia Tech is committed to creating positive impacts on every continent.

As ambitious and exciting as this focus and commitment is, we all recognize that it cannot be achieved from Blacksburg alone. It will rely on a coordinated network of people, programs, and partnerships across the state through which we can synthesize our institutional strengths and create opportunities for growth. The National Capital Region represents an essential keystone for this synergy and showcases our innovation and collaborations nationally and internationally.

One of the NCR’s greatest strengths is that it is not a singular facility or program with a singular focus.  It is a robust network of people and places throughout northern Virginia that are creating opportunities to serve the Commonwealth through a number of high-impact educational, research, and outreach efforts. From the IT, data analytics, engineering, and policy programs at the Virginia Tech Research Center–Arlington (VTRC-A) to graduate programs at the Northern Virginia Center in Falls Church to the innovative architecture and design projects at the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center to the equine medical and agricultural research centers in Leesburg and Middleburg, the NCR represents a strong and synchronized commitment to elevating Virginia Tech’s visibility and contributions far beyond Southwest Virginia.

Critically important to the success and visibility of our NCR initiatives is the leadership role Virginia Tech is assuming in cyber and physical systems research through the Hume Center for National Security and Technology. The breadth and depth of expertise that resides within the Hume Center at VTRC-A was clearly seen in the decision by the state assembly to turn to Virginia Tech for leadership of the $25 million Commonwealth Cyber Initiative (CCI).  The CCI will leverage the knowledge and leadership capacities of Virginia Tech and the contributions of other state universities to build an ecosystem of cyber-related research, education, and engagement that will position Virginia as a global leader in cybersecurity.

Powering the CCI and other academic and research partnerships in the NCR will be our ability to think creatively and holistically about strategies to produce highly-skilled graduates to meet the evolving and expanding workforce needs of the region. In concert with the development of a talent rich workforce, Virginia Tech is positioning itself as a powerful engine that will help to grow and drive the knowledge, research, business, and innovation economies of the NCR.

Equally key to developing and focusing our partnerships and networks in the NCR are the over 60,000 Hokie alumni currently living in and around northern Virginia, who are helping to raise our visibility in the region. It is important that we continue to explore new ways to engage these valuable ambassadors of Virginia Tech through working with University Advancement and Alumni Relations. The contributions and impacts these alumni are making in the NCR help us to significantly strengthen our position as a teaching, research, and service leader within and beyond the Commonwealth of Virginia.

There are many more ambitious and exciting initiatives and opportunities that exist in the NCR than can be captured in this single message. And undoubtedly several others will emerge and develop in the years to come. The role that the National Capital Region plays in supporting Virginia Tech’s Beyond Boundaries vision and its relationship to the development of our new strategic plan cannot be overstated. I encourage each of you to review your own unit vision and strategic plans, and identify opportunities to leverage the strengths, networks, and global impact opportunities that have been created for Virginia Tech in the NCR.