College of Science Strategic Plan

Define our future

Our College is beginning to create our next strategic plan.  At a time of rapid change here at Virginia Tech, this is an opportunity for all of us to shape the direction of the College of Science.

The strategic planning process is a chance to take stock of where we are and imagine where we want to be in the next five years.  It’s a chance to ensure that we’re best positioned to lead new scientific discoveries, to strengthen and expand our critical role in educating Virginia Tech’s students, and to reaffirm our central part in the Virginia Tech envisioned in Beyond Boundaries.  A successful plan will provide a roadmap for us as we make important decisions about where the College of Science should invest in the future.

The effort will be led by our college representatives to the University Strategic Plan Committee – Ron Fricker, Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Administration; and Steve Holbrook, Head of Geosciences. Steve and Ron will be coordinating with faculty, staff and students from across the college, as well as external stakeholders, to collect information and suggestions.  Your participation is vital, and we value your input. 

Dean Sally Morton's signature

Timeline

March 2019

Survey faculty and staff on the current mission, vision, and core values

April 2019

Second survey of faculty and staff on the strategic (research) theme/focus

May 2019

Town Hall: report results of March 2019 survey and open forum for discussion

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June-July 2019

Review surveys, Town Hall input, prepare for fall semester work

August-September 2019

Focus groups and brainstorming sessions

October 2019

Conduct workgroups

November 2019

Second Town Hall

Spring 2020

Planning is complete and implementation begins

2 male students perform groundwater experiment

Our Vision

Old: To be world leaders in transdisciplinary science, grounded in the fundamental scientific disciplines, fueled by data, and focused on decisions. 

New: To be world leaders in transdisciplinary science, grounded in fundamental disciplines, fueled by data, focused on discovery, and directed at decisions.

Rationale for change: Respondents felt that the original statement was overly focused on data and decisions at the expense of basic scientific discovery.

Estrella Johnson teaching math on whiteboard

Our Mission

Old: We explore, advance, and apply science to promote healthy people, strong communities, and a sustainable planet.

New:  We explore, teach, advance, and apply science to promote healthy people, strong communities, and a sustainable planet.

Rationale for change:  Many respondents indicated that the original vision, mission, and core values statements did not include education or learning.

male student taking notes in lecture on volcanoes

Core Values

Old: Excellence in all we do. Discovery as the key to science and innovation. Diversity and inclusion as an ethical, pragmatic, and essential component of science. The College of Science core values rest on the Virginia Tech motto of Ut Prosim and the spirit of a land-grant institution pervades all that we do.  Science is inherently Ut Prosim.

New: Excellence in all we do. Discovery as the key to science and innovation. Hands-on learning to promote an informed and scientifically literate citizenry. Diversity and inclusion to create a robust, durable and thriving scientific community. The College of Science core values rest on the Virginia Tech motto of Ut Prosim and the spirit of a land-grant institution pervades all that we do. Science is inherently Ut Prosim.

Rationale for change: Many respondents indicated that the original vision, mission, and core values statements did not include education or learning. The revision now includes hands-on (i.e., experiential) learning as a core value.  In addition, we revised the explanation/justification for the diversity and inclusion core value to better align it with the university’s and to address a few survey comments.