Faculty and staff across the greater Washington, D.C., metro area joined members of the Northern Virginia Steering Committee this week for its second town hall meeting at the Virginia Tech Research Center — Arlington.

The committee, led by Dean Julie Ross in her role as a special advisor to President Tim Sands, hosted the meeting on Feb. 5 to gather input and provide an update on progress to develop a cohesive vision and organizational plan for Virginia Tech in the region.

The steering committee’s scope of work includes the development of instructional, research, and outreach missions with an emphasis on those that will distinctively position Virginia Tech among land-grant universities and leverage the opportunities afforded by operating in the nation’s capital.

Following opening remarks from Ross, the Paul and Dorothea Torgersen Dean of Engineering, attendees participated in breakout sessions led by steering committee members to gather feedback about the mission and vision of Virginia Tech’s future in the D.C. area.

Discussion questions focused on the core attributes that help define Virginia Tech’s presence in the region and differentiate the university from its peers. Areas of emphasis included educational opportunities for graduate students, research and partnerships with industry and government, and convening diverse communities in the D.C. metro area to build a culture of innovation. 

“Virginia Tech’s presence in the D.C. area is key to engaging a diversity of people, ideas, and perspectives to drive transformational change,” Ross said. “By deepening and further defining our footprint in the region, we’re positioning students, faculty, and researchers for outsized impact for the future.”


DC area town hall breakout sessions

breakout sessions
Breakout sessions led by Northern Virginia Steering Committee members gathered input from attendees on the future vision for Virginia Tech in the greater Washington, D.C., metro area. Photo by Craig Newcomb for Virginia Tech.

Ross announced plans to solicit nominations for faculty and staff who are based in the D.C. area to participate in a stakeholders group that will serve as a sounding board to engage and capture feedback on draft mission and vision statements. The group will represent the diversity of academic programs, services, units, and colleges in the region. Nominations will be collected via a Google form and are due before 5 p.m. Feb. 9.

Ross reported that the committee is on track for submitting recommendations to Sands and Executive Vice President and Provost Cyril Clarke at the end of June. Deliverables will include recommendations focused on strategic positioning, organizational structure, and operational support needed for the D.C. area. 

As the committee continues its work in the months ahead, attendees were encouraged to be part of the conversation by participating in future group discussions, sharing new ideas, and offering feedback online at dcarea.vt.edu/feedback.

Ross expressed her appreciation to participants for their feedback and active engagement in this important process as the university looks to build on the success in the region over the last 50 years.

Share this story