Message to the university community from Provost Peggy Meszaros
Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 04 - September 19, 1996
Every 10 years our university is required to seek reaffirmation of the accreditation granted by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). This accreditation is important to us not only because it assures the quality of our degrees but also because it makes us eligible to receive a variety of federal funds, including those used to provide student support. In the two years leading up to the reaffirmation decision, we must conduct an exhaustive self study of the university. This time we are fortunate in that SACS has granted us permission to adopt an "alternate" self-study model, which allows us to expend a little less effort on demonstrating compliance with the association's criteria for accreditation and instead to undertake a strategic study of our own choosing.
We are using this opportunity to take a long, hard look at how Virginia Tech should position itself to meet the demands of the Information Age. Advances in information technology are making possible dramatic changes in the way higher education operates. We must keep in mind, however, that technology is a means rather than an end, and it is vital that we make conscious choices about the direction in which our university should move. Our focused self study will provide the information and time for debate about our choices.
In this and future issues of Spectrum, information will be provided about the progress of the complete self study. In addition, a Web site will shortly be operational. A structure for the study is already in place, involving a Steering Committee and several subcommittees. I urge all members of the university community not only to keep yourselves informed about the study but also to contribute your own thoughts and ideas, by contacting one or more of the committee members whose names are included in the attached article. This is important work which will guide and shape the future of Virginia Tech and I look forward to our lively discourse.