Administrative changes in D.C. area designed to improve service to employees, students
As Virginia Tech continues to reposition academic programs and administrative support services in the greater Washington, D.C., metro area, the university is realigning organizational personnel with the goal of enhancing essential services to students, faculty, and staff on a regional basis.
The changes will enable Virginia Tech to advance its realignment of academic and research programs around thematic areas of distinction to elevate the national and international visibility of the institution and its degree and research programs.
“The reorganization and repositioning of administrative services in the greater Washington, D.C., area is essential to accelerating the thematic alignment of our academic programs that can advance areas of distinction and expertise for Virginia Tech,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Cyril Clarke. “The goal is to provide access of students, staff, and faculty across the region to services and connecting these to administrative leadership in Blacksburg. This approach aligns with the overall strategy of advancing distinctive programs that benefit from their proximity to our national capital, but in a manner consistent with a one-university approach.”
The new administrative structure is being implemented in concert with the establishment of a steering committee charged with developing a cohesive vision and long-range organizational plan for Virginia Tech in the greater Washington, D.C., area. Julie Ross, the Paul and Dorothea Torgersen Dean of Engineering and a recently appointed special advisor to President Tim Sands, will lead the committee to build on the significant work already accomplished in advancing the university’s programming and physical footprint in the region. The steering committee will focus its efforts on university-level strategy and sites, including the Virginia Tech Research Center — Arlington, Innovation Campus in Alexandria, and the redevelopment of Falls Church.
Administrative services anchoring the organizational realignment include information technology, facilities, finance and business operations, market research, library services, and international student support. The change represents a significant step toward improving operations in support of the university’s broader land grant mission and in extended campus operations in the Washington, D.C., area specifically.
“Increasing our capacity to deliver essential services to students, faculty, and staff in support of our academic degree and research in the greater D.C. metro area will accelerate and strengthen our commitment to serve the commonwealth, our nation and beyond,” said Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Amy Sebring. “I want to thank those who have made so many contributions so far and who remain committed to continue this work forward.”
Virginia Tech began the process of reviewing and evaluating administrative support in the greater Washington, D.C., area in 2018 in an effort to strengthen and align it with academic instruction and student services in the region. Considerable work has been accomplished on site realignment of programs and services that has included input from faculty in the region as well as representatives from the Provost’s Office, Administration and Operations, Research and Innovation, Graduate School, and Innovation Campus.
Academic programs being reorganized and further developed in the region are centered around three distinct areas of thematic strength:
- Human-cyber networks at the Innovation Campus, with an initial emphasis placed on computer science and computer engineering.
- Integrated security at the Virginia Tech Research Center — Arlington, enabled and accelerated by the recent establishment of the National Security Institute.
- Smart construction research and development at Falls Church.
As this reorganization progresses and with the support of the administrative realignment, the center of academic activity will shift to the Innovation Campus in Alexandria, which is the target of substantial investment by the university, commonwealth, and industry partners.
“Achieving a successful outcome depends on continued collaboration and partnership between university leadership, academic colleges, the Innovation Campus, the Graduate School, and employee and student support services in the greater Washington, D.C., area,” Clarke said.