University-wide discussions on future directions for Virginia Tech are beginning to gel. University Distinguished Professor and Senior Fellow for International Advancement Paul Knox summarized the five subcommittee efforts in a report to the university Academic Council Oct. 19.

“We are beginning to see trends and commonalities among the work groups. We see considerable affirmation of key institutional strengths, but we also see some innovative ‘stretch’ concepts that might challenge our traditional ways of business,” said Knox.

Knox makes clear that his report is not the first draft of the long-range plan. Rather, it is the first written draft to fully “synthesize the task forces’ thinking and propositions.”

He adds, “I urge all university employees to read the report and working papers recently posted to the long-range planning website.”

President Charles W. Steger commissioned the Long-Range Planning Task Force in March to envision the future of Virginia Tech and underscores the importance of institutional planning.

“While long-range planning might seem like a ritual exercise distant from your regular work, our previous university strategic plans have clearly set our course for the future. When hit by significant state budget reductions last decade, we relied upon our collective agreements and principles embedded in the strategic plans to guide our decisions, particularly financial investments. That is why your understanding and involvement in the planning process is very important,” said Steger.

Knox says that the formal plan will begin to emerge early in spring semester and delivered to the university board of visitors in March.