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Strategic Priorities

The College of Engineering strategic plan centers around three strategic priorities: strengthen community, build the infrastructure and resources to support our vision, and align education and research for impact in a rapidly changing world. 

Associated with each of these three priorities are a variety of goals we use to guide implementation activities and evaluation processes. Below you'll find recent highlights and updates associated with each goal that are the result of implementation efforts through June 2021. 

Strategic Plan Diagram showing that "Community" is nested inside of "Infrastructure" which is inside of "Impact".

Updates and Highlights from Fiscal Year 2021

Strategic Priority 1: Strengthen Community

  • Developed Mastering Your Future and Step to the Doctorate programs
  • Bolstered partnerships with Virginia State University and Norfolk State University
  • Focused on faculty/staff diversity recruitment plans
  • Restructured undergraduate scholarship awards to focus on multi-year commitments
  • Identified starting math course as a key differentiator for persistence and time to degree
  • Initiated a small working group to focus on math readiness and course-taking 
  • Hosted the first Virginia Tech Engineering joint advisory board meeting in spring 2021
  • Increased overall participation from undergraduate alumni from 16.4% to 19.8% (1,645 new donors)
  • Engaged over 12,000 engineering alumni in the inaugural year of tracking (3,400 newly engaged)
  • Hired a new Director of Communications and Marketing
  • Restructured and aligned communications positions between the college and departments

Strategic Priority 2: Build the Infrastructure and Resources to Support Our Vision

  • Initiated a project led by Walter Lee focused on inclusive graduate mentoring

Engaging in eight capital projects directly affecting the college:

  • COE raised $26.8M in fundraising for new gifts and commitments, surpassing FY21 goal of $13.8M by 94%
  • Increased annual fund support to $2.5M, up 11% from FY20 (donor increase of 21%, or 782 individuals)
  • Completed a business processes working group that identified opportunities for enhancing college organizational processes (led by A/P faculty members Tasha Smith, Ryan Spoon, and Brad Martens)
  • Added this goal to the strategic plan in FY21
  • Identified college’s competitive/aspirational benchmark institutions
  • Identified a set of college-level metrics that will remain in focus to evaluate progress

Strategic Priority 3: Align Education and Research for Impact in a Rapidly Changing World

  • Hired several faculty members in both Blacksburg and Northern Virginia locations to support growth
  • Departments built data-driven technologies into new faculty hiring plans
  • Departments revised undergraduate curricula via new standalone courses or refreshing existing courses
  • Placed focus on this goal on hold for FY21 because of COVID-19; will resume in FY22
  • Placed focus on this goal on hold for FY21 because of COVID-19; will resume in FY22
  • Departments explored their curricula in FY21 and will implement/assess changes in FY22
  • Participated in university’s pilot for career-bridging experiential learning (departments included engineering education, biomedical engineering and mechanics, civil and environmental engineering, and industrial and systems engineering; led by Marie Paretti
  • Brainstormed approaches for new interdisciplinary curricular spines (Chris Williams and James Kong)