Priority 2: Sustain Academic Excellence

Our goal is to strategically establish and enhance academic programs to deliver distinctive, responsive and innovative offerings that effectively prepare leaders and scholars to meet the demands of a global society and workforce.

We will be more intentional as we prepare our graduates for the technology talent pipeline and other high demand areas.  According to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, 2018 Virginia Plan for Higher Education,  “With the current and expected growth in information technology jobs, the state will need to support investment in the development of new programs, internships and research to meet the growing workforce demands. In addition, while growth of technology jobs are an important element to Virginia’s economy, ongoing support is needed for other areas with critical shortages, including the fields of teaching and healthcare.”  We will communicate our value to local businesses and work to partner with business and community organizations who will assist through the creation of internships and work based opportunities.

Virginia State University is committed to delivering instruction and services to our students to ensure that they are equipped with the skills needed for a successful and productive transition into the workforce.  Our leadership will continuously work to identify opportunities to close the gaps in enrollment and completion for underrepresented students as per the recommendations of the State Council of Higher Education.  In addition we will continue to align our strategies to those identified as part of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s priorities contained within its six year plan.

Priority 2 Objectives:

Pursue and implement programs that define our niche and prepare our target population to meet the demands of a global society and workforce

Strategic Actions

  • Develop new undergraduate and graduate programs responsive to the demands of Virginia and the global workforce (i.e. Military Science (ROTC), Degrees in Nutritional and Food Sciences, Data Analytics, and Nursing, MBA with an entrepreneurial/employment focus; and other advanced degree in Humanities, Agriculture and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics – Health (STEM-H) disciplines)
  • Create new intradepartmental/interdisciplinary majors and concentrations in Food & Agriculture Industry, Marketing and Management across Agriculture, Family and Consumer Sciences and Hospitality Management
  • Establish industry based membership for a board of directors in each College to provide holistic feedback on preparing students with the skills needed to become valued and productive employees and future leaders
  • Conduct audits to assess the productivity and effectiveness of all current academic programs, and calculate Return on Investment (ROI) with specific metrics
  • Review all academic programs to identify opportunities to develop new degrees with our current courses, human and physical resources
  • Achieve reaffirmation and/or accreditation of all professional programs
  • Develop programs that provide students the opportunity to earn professional certificates and stackable credentials

Pursue and implement innovative and non-traditional instructional program methods and content delivery

Strategic Actions

  • Initiate online degree programs
  • Offer certificate programs in traditional, hybrid, and online modalities
  • Offer training and support for faculty to employ innovative, and nontraditional pedagogy and andragogy delivery techniques
  • Develop formal education and degree programs for major employers in the metropolitan area as a remote educational center with the VSU brand

Hire, develop, and retain talented and renowned faculty that cultivate an intellectual environment and demonstrate excellence in teaching, research and service

Strategic Actions

  • Develop a salary administrative plan for faculty, and allocate financial resources that support the prioritization of maintaining a high-caliber faculty corps
  • Conduct an independent organizational review for each College to ensure that staffing, faculty assignment loads, resources and incentives that are aligned to maximize recruitment, teaching, research and service opportunities
  • Evaluate and revise the tenure and promotion process to better address retention and recruitment of  renowned faculty
  • Formalize the tenure and promotion process
  • Provide appropriate tenure-track faculty, instructors, and support staff positions to implement new degree offerings.
  • Invest in ongoing faculty professional development 
  • Implement  timely hiring procedures to streamline the faculty onboarding process
  • Develop a faculty leadership institute to support faculty leadership aspiration beyond the classroom

Develop infrastructure to create an environment that supports needs of our students, faculty and staff

Strategic Actions

  • Enhance the technological infrastructure to support SMART instructional classroom
  • Invest in creative and innovative spaces to support students, faculty, and staff development
  • Leverage technology use across academic programs
  • Upgrade and improve upon the physical infrastructure of existing facilities; while building new facilities, which support and expand the academic, research and extension missions of each College

Implement leadership programs that promote civic engagement and prepare globally competitive leaders and scholars

Strategic Actions

  • Implement VSU’s Quality Enhancement Plan- BOLT (Becoming Outstanding Leaders of Tomorrow)
  • Engage alumni and industrial partners to establish and advance university goals and priorities with student leadership development programs
  • Facilitate, and promote student opportunities to engage in leadership development programs, career readiness programs and impactful internships
  • Increase the number of students participating in national, and international internship and experiential learning activities
  • Develop leadership minors
  • Establish local community partners to collectively identify and address issues of public concern

Increase faculty engagement in research and scholarly activity

Strategic Actions

  • Support development activities to improve research and grant proposal writing
  • Provide additional opportunities for faculty-student research collaborations
  • Promote interdisciplinary learning, research, and engagement via a world-class collaborative platform while optimizing building space utilization, faculty engagement, and idea exchange.
  • Enhance the infrastructure to support grant funded activities
  • Evaluate and enhance faculty incentives, including funding, promotion, tenure, and post tenure review, to increase productivity in grantsmanship, research, and scholarly activities

Increase internationalization and global learning

Strategic Actions

  • Develop and implement a plan for internationalizing the curriculum across disciplines and integrating global learning outcomes into academic programs and co-curricular activities
  • Schedule periodic faculty and staff professional development workshops, seminars, etc. designed to transform the teaching and learning process to enhance students’ global competencies
  • Increase faculty and student access to global experiences

Offer increased options for life-long learning

Strategic Actions

  • Enhance the Professional Certification and Continuing Education Center to prepare students for professional credentialing and assist other professionals in meeting the continuing education demands of their profession.
  • Develop programs that are responsive to the demands of employers and industry
  • Allocate resources needed to  implement continuing education infrastructure implementation of programs