Karen E. Torgersen, director of undergraduate admissions at Virginia Tech since 1997, has submitted her resignation from the university effective Dec. 31 to become associate executive director of U21pedagogica Limited (Pedagogica), a new international educational enterprise in Charlottesville, Va.

"Karen brought a level of energy and expertise to Undergraduate Admissions that only an alumnae of the university could bring. The growth in numbers of undergraduate applications and the academic quality and diversity of those applicants is a direct result of marketing and program efforts Karen and her staff have initiated. Karen's presence in this very important university leadership position will be missed," said David R. Ford, vice provost for academic affairs.

Torgersen, a 19-year Tech employee, joined Undergraduate Admissions in 1986 after spending two years as assistant to the director of budget and financial planning at the university. She moved through the ranks in admissions and was named interim director in 1996 and director the following year.

"Though I am very sad to be leaving Virginia Tech and I will always be a Hokie, I am excited at the prospect of being involved with this new educational initiative," Torgersen said. "It is the wonderful people I have had the opportunity to work with that make this parting so difficult."

Under her leadership, application numbers and the quality of the freshman class have steadily increased. She worked with CollegeNet Inc. to streamline the online application process, making Virginia Tech in 1995 the first university to offer an all-online application and payment system. Currently, more than 80 percent of the university's undergraduate applicants apply online.

Torgersen earned her bachelor's and MBA degrees at Virginia Tech. During her employment with the university, she made presentations throughout the country, wrote for professional journals, and served on committees for a number of professional organizations. She is currently a member of the Sen. Harry S. Byrd Leadership Award Selection Committee.

In her new position, Torgersen will work for a subsidiary of Universitas 21 LBG (U21), an international network of 16 universities in 10 countries. Pedagogica is the exclusive provider of quality assurance services to Universitas 21 Global, an online university that offers business and technology degrees.

Virginia Tech will initiate a national search for her replacement.