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Colloquium outlines outreach concepts

Spectrum Volume 17 Issue 26 - March 30, 1995

The recent Outreach Colloquium, sponsored by the Provost's Office and the University Leadership Development program, provided information that should help Virginia Tech as the university determines its own concept of outreach, the sponsors say.

"I thought the colloquium was very successful in informing our decision-making about the concept of outreach. The four presenters were superb models, but each from their own perspective unique to their situation. Now we must fold what we heard into our overall thinking of where Virginia Tech goes with outreach," said Provost Peggy Meszaros, who summarized the morning presentations and talked about the importance of outreach to Virginia Tech during the colloquium luncheon.

Meszaros announced during her presentation that she has received the first draft of the report from Tech's Outreach Task Force and anticipates a final draft in May.

The guest speakers who described their respective schools' approach to outreach included John V. Byrne, president of Oregon State; E. Eugene Younts, vice president for services at the University of Georgia; James C. Votruba, vice provost for university outreach at Michigan State University; and C. Eugene Allen, provost for professional studies at the University of Minnesota.

Byrne told the large audience of Virginia Tech administrators and leaders that Oregon State's promotion-and-tenure criteria now consider Ernest Boyer's four categories of scholarship, including scholarship of application, which is outreach.

Younts said all colleges at the University of Georgia plays a central role in administering their outreach programs.

Votruba reported that Michigan State University has a $1 million fund available for internal competitive grants in outreach programs.

Allen said the University of Minnesota has an Outreach Council chaired by the provost and made up of college deans and distinguished professors.

Gregory Brown, dean of the College of Forestry and Wildlife Resources and co-chair of the Outreach Task Force, said he was pleased with the attendance, participation, and presentations at the all-day event. "I felt all of the invited speakers did a good job. Diversity was represented by their respective positions and their institutions, and several perspectives were presented," he said.

Brown also praised the provost for her luncheon presentation, which, he said, "certainly highlighted the major points in emphasizing the importance of outreach to Virginia Tech."

Richard F. Harshberger, director of University Leadership Development, called the colloquium "a smashing success." Harshberger and Fred Krimgold, director of outreach programs in Northern Virginia, organized the event.