Student Affairs Committee
By Matthew Winston,
Office of University Relations
Spectrum Volume 20 Issue 03 - September 11, 1997
The Student Affairs Committee of the Board of Visitors met Monday, Aug. 25, before the full board met. The committee meeting began when Chairwoman Linda Pedigo introduced the two newest members of the committee, Bennie Etheridge and Krista Johnston, who is the undergraduate student representative to the Board of Visitors.
The agenda consisted mainly of a review of the Division of Student Affairs Strategic Plan, which was presented by Landrum Cross, vice president for student affairs. The division's mission statement was presented. The plan for the planning cycle which will take the division into the year 2001 stated that the division is committed "to promote student learning and personal development by education of the whole person; to advance active learning directed toward a student's ethical, social, civic, leadership, and career development supportive of academic achievement; to provide a just and caring community with availability of opportunity; and academic achievement and persistence to graduation for a diverse student body."
The strategic plan lists four areas of strategic priorities for the division, which it hopes to achieve by seeking more visibility and active involvement in developing policies and programs at Virginia Tech. These strategic thrust areas are academic partnerships and collaborations, assessment, diversity, and technology. Cross indicated that initiatives in each of the six units in the division will help accomplish these goals. The offices of the Dean of Students, Residential and Dining Programs, Career Services, University Unions and Student Activities, Military Affairs, University Counseling Center, and Student Health Services all report directly to the vice president for student affairs.
According to Cross, the tasks necessary to accomplish many of these goals include developing more comprehensive programs for student leadership development, faculty and student program collaborations, and cooperative programs between different facets of the university, such as the College of Human Resources and Education and Recreational Sports and Student Health Services. He also emphasized a need to continue improving the quality of the learning environment in the residence halls as recommended by the Perry and Sorensen committees' reports.
The division's plan also outlines the importance of increasing the university's emphasis on diversity. These responsibilities will fall heavily on the Dean of Student's Office, which is charged with developing annual symposiums addressing the topic of diversity of student populations and issues which are associated with this topic.
The final part of the plan outlined a focus on enhancing the learning experience both in and out of the classroom through the use of technology. The division will develop a computer-based interactive delivery mechanism for information on student-life issues.
Among other business conducted at the committee meeting, a change in the student-life section of the Hokie Handbook was proposed to help streamline the university's judicial procedures process. The new language and procedure would allow the Dean of Student's Office to focus on more serious cases while still preserving every student's right to due process.
All committee action was approved by the Board of Visitors at its full meeting.