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President outlines changes for College of Education

Spectrum Volume 18 Issue 13 - November 16, 1995

The following letter was sent to all university faculty and staff members explaining the recent decision by Virginia Tech President Paul Torgersen, to reorganize the administrative structure of the College of Education.

November 8, 1995


Dear Colleague:

Yesterday, at my request, Provost Meszaros advised the search committee for dean of the College of Education that this search would be put on hold indefinitely. After careful consideration, it is my judgment that serious consideration should be given at this time to integrating the College of Education within an existing college. This administrative change would not involve reduction of faculty or staff beyond that already contemplated in the college's restructuring plan, and would not involve termination of degree programs.

I have the highest regard for Dean Worner and the utmost respect for the work in which he and the faculty of the College of Education have been engaged over the past two years. Their activity has both refined and strengthened the programs of the college.

I am confident that we can carry this momentum into the new organizational structure in a way that will further enrich the academic stature of our programs in the discipline of education.

My reasons for proposing this administrative change at this time are as follows:

1. To strengthen teacher-certification processes through bringing the subject matter of education closer to the academic disciplines in which teachers are prepared.

2. To integrate further research on teaching and learning with the subject matter of other academic disciplines, particularly through the use of instructional technology.

3. To reduce the administrative infrastructure of the university without affecting the quality of instruction.

4. To take advantage of the opportunity presented by the retirement of the current dean to make this change with minimal effect on current personnel.

Accordingly, I have asked Provost Meszaros to study the implementation of this proposal in consultation with Dean Worner and the faculty of the college, and to report back to me no later than January 15, 1996. Specifically, I have asked her to address the following issues:

* the optimal organizational structure within an existing college; for examples, there could be a School of Education; a Graduate School of Educational Administration and an undergraduate department; or some other configuration.

* how to implement this administrative change without negatively affecting the quality of current degree programs or student progress.

* ways in which this change can bring greater interdisciplinary collaboration on the vital questions of improving teaching and learning, from the public schools through graduate education.

I trust that the faculty and staff of the College and the broader university community will stand ready to assist Provost Meszaros in carrying out this charge positively, creatively and expeditiously. The provost and I are meeting with the faculty of the College of Education within the next few days to discuss this matter.

Paul E. Torgersen