The university’s 2012-18 distance learning strategic plan, a document representing the contributions and perspectives of more than 20 university community steering committee members who met in working groups over the summer, is available for review.

Daniel Wubah, vice president and deputy provost for undergraduate education, who charged the steering plan committee in May, complimented the dedication and commitment of the group in outlining the university’s goals and objectives to reach new levels of distance learning excellence. “I could not be more pleased with the active engagement and rich dialogue generated among this group to support the growth of distance learning at Virginia Tech,” notes Wubah. “I am energized by the collective spirit detailed throughout the strategic plan and look forward to seeing these cross-collaborative partnerships take shape.”

Steering committee members were selected based on their areas of focus and expertise, including university administrators, academic leaders, faculty and staff, as well as members of the Institute for Distance and Distributed Learning.

Through the themes of implementation, advocacy, validation, and empowerment, the strategic planning committee framed goals and objectives around a set of target foci, including:

  • Access to affordable and high quality education;
  • Developing rich and rewarding lifelong experiences;
  • Enhancing student success and recruitment opportunities;
  • Increasing the university’s image as a distance learning innovator;
  • Fostering sustainable partnerships;
  • Supporting cross disciplinary research and development activities; and
  • Empowering faculty engagement in distance learning.  

"It was efficient to work in small subgroups so each group could address a particular part of the university's distance learning operations and hence, focus on a particular section of the strategic plan,” comments Rosemary Blieszner, alumni distinguished professor and associate dean of the graduate school. “Everyone in my group contributed importantly to our final report, and I enjoyed having the opportunity to meet faculty and staff I had not known before. This was a very satisfying experience."

Goals supporting these domains serve as a bridge between aspects of the overall University Strategic Plan 2012-2018, ‘A Plan for a New Horizon’ and unit-level plans in constituent areas engaged in distance learning.

The first phase of the strategic plan process is to create a university-wide awareness and setting the stage for academic units and individuals to identify elements of the plan that can best meet or enhance their distance learning goals within their own teaching and learning environments. These impacts will be celebrated and shared through features on the Virginia Tech Distance Learning Strategic Plan website.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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