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Higher education commission to meet on campus

Spectrum Volume 17 Issue 31 - May 4, 1995

The Commission on the Future of Higher Education in Virginia will meet Wednesday, May 10 on the Virginia Tech campus. Established by the 1994 session of the General Assembly, the commission has a broad mandate to "recommend an appropriate course of action for the direction of higher education in the commonwealth."

In previous meetings, the commission has examined such issues as the relationship of higher education to economic development and duplication among programs in higher education.

The topic of the May 10 meeting is the role of instructional technology in developing new ways of teaching and learning. To underscore the theme, this will be a "virtual meeting," with one-third of the commission each at Virginia Tech, Old Dominion University, and George Mason University. The three sites will be connected by satellite teleconference. This portion of the meeting will be broadcast on campus cable channel 6 from 1 to 2 p.m.

In advance of the teleconference, the commissioners will meet with President Paul Torgersen and Provost Peggy Meszaros to discuss faculty roles and rewards. Then faculty members from a variety of disciplines will provide hands-on demonstrations of uses of instructional technology in their disciplines.

The commission is also concerned with higher education and economic development. Thomas Robertson, president of Carilion Health Systems and co-chairman (with Torgersen) of the New Century Council, will address the teleconference on this topic on behalf of the Business Higher Education Council.

The commission is chaired by Sen. John Chichester of Fredericksburg, who is an alumnus of Virginia Tech. Other commissioners expected to attend the meeting at the Virginia Tech site include Sen. Elliot Schewel of Lynchburg; Del. Whitt Clement of Danville; Secretary of Education Beverly Sgro; Gordon Davies, director of the State Council of Higher Education; and citizen member Mary Edwards Owen of Fork Union.