VCU announces plan to ‘Recalibrate’

VCU announces plan to ‘Recalibrate’

Madalyn Schimpf
Contributing Writer

VCU is revamping its plans for the future by launching A Recalibration of VCU 2020:  Vision for Excellence through nine interactive community forums held throughout late October and early November in order to gather feedback and create discussion in the VCU community.

At a community forum last month, Beverly Warren, interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, presented an updated VCU 2020 plan which included expanding the commercialization of intellectual property, unifying the MCV and Monroe Park campuses, developing a high quality advising program available to all students, and increasing the number of tenured faculty by 560 members over the next five to eight years.

“In this time of limited funding we are challenged … by 2012, this institution will have lost 64 million in its state funding and support, and that has a tremendous impact in what we can do and an impact on how we should be more focused,” Warren said.

Warren explained that due to a decline in state funding, new leadership, increasing potential and changing expectations for higher education, VCU President Michael Rao presented the Recalibration Task Force with a charge to update the VCU 2020: Vision for Excellence by July 22, 2010 since its initial adoption in 2006. The presidential charge included assessing the current plan’s progress, determining the impact of the decline in state funding, prioritizing goals and identifying new initiatives.

The task force met from early May to mid-July. It presented its first draft of the recalibration to President Rao in July and gave an interim report to the Board of Visitors at a board meeting in August.

A chief goal of the recalibrated plan is to “move out of the comfort zone and into VCU being a preeminent public research university.” The university plans to increase funding for research from its current $255 million to $300 million. However, VCU will continue to be committed to the arts in the future.

A revised VCU 2020: Vision for Excellence is scheduled for presentation to the president by January 2011 and presentation to the Board of Visitors in May 2011.

“The important thing about the community forums is this two-way dialogue. One, making sure you hear our thinking, and secondly, we would like to hear your thinking on how we could better refine, clearly articulate or even consider adjustments,” Warren said.

The Recalibration Task Force aims to also gather community input through the interactive website found at http://www.future.vcu.edu.

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