Northern Virginia Steering Committee Hosts Town Hall Meeting to Shape Virginia Tech's Future in the D.C. Area


In a significant gathering, over 90 individuals took part in a town hall meeting convened by the Northern Virginia Steering Committee at the Virginia Tech Research Center — Arlington this week.

Under the leadership of Dean Julie Ross, acting as a special advisor to President Tim Sands, the committee organized the town hall on September 25 to elicit insights from faculty and staff within the broader Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The event also aimed to provide an update on the strides made towards formulating a unified vision and organizational blueprint for Virginia Tech's presence in the region.

President Tim Sands and Executive Vice President and Provost Cyril Clarke entrusted the committee in February with the task of plotting a course for Virginia Tech's future in the D.C. area.

After introductory remarks from Dean Ross, participants engaged in breakout sessions facilitated by steering committee members. These sessions sought to collect feedback regarding the crucial attributes of programs and activities in the D.C. area that are instrumental in propelling Virginia Tech towards its goal of becoming a top 100 global university.

Key themes discussed included access to various types of partnerships, diverse expertise and talent, research prospects, and world-class experiential learning opportunities for students to interact with government, industry, and urban communities.

Dean Ross emphasized, "Growth in the greater D.C. metro area is critical as we define Virginia Tech’s role as a top 100 global university. Our presence in this vibrant hub serves as a gateway to a world of opportunities. Engaging with colleagues across the region to foster an inclusive process is key in helping to define a future vision where our students, faculty, and researchers are driving innovation to new heights."

The steering committee's mandate encompasses instructional, research, and outreach missions, with a focus on those that will distinctly position Virginia Tech among land-grant universities and leverage the advantages of operating in the nation’s capital.

Discussions encompassed an overview of the committee's efforts, organized into three phases with deliverables and recommendations centered on strategic positioning, organizational structure, and operational support for the D.C. area.

Presently in phase two, the committee is examining the operational requisites of the region, including budget models, facilities and operating costs, tuition models, transportation, and housing.

Amy Sebring, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, noted, "Virginia Tech’s origins in the region have grown from the entrepreneurial efforts of individual research and educational programs. As we scale up our efforts in the region, we recognize the need to provide coordinated support structures that serve our faculty, staff, and students in the area and to facilitate collaboration between Blacksburg, Roanoke, and the greater D.C. area."

As the committee forges ahead with its endeavors in the coming year, attendees were encouraged to actively contribute to the conversation by participating in forthcoming town halls, presenting fresh ideas, and providing feedback through

Dean Ross conveyed her gratitude to participants for their valuable insights and enthusiastic involvement in this pivotal process, as the university seeks to build upon the successes achieved in the region over the last five decades.