Restructuring Recap

BLACKSBURG, Va., May 9, 2003 – The departmental make-up of every college but Veterinary Medicine will be different by the time Virginia Tech opens for fall semester than it was at the beginning of the current academic year. Final college-level changes will become effective on July 1. Most of the colleges are still evaluating internal changes to departmental structures and programs.

"We have put in place the overall structure that we believe will best serve the university to carry out its strategic plan. We also believe that the restructuring will aid our quest for top-30 status while helping us to meet the challenges of reduced state support," said Joseph S. Merola, senior administrative fellow for restructuring. Merola has directed the restructuring efforts for the Office of the Provost.

The college with the largest number of changes is the new College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, headed by newly appointed dean Jerry Niles. That college merges most of the departments that comprised the former College of Human Resources and Education with most of the liberal arts departments in the former College of Arts and Sciences.

The new college includes the liberal arts departments of English, foreign languages and literature, history, interdisciplinary studies, philosophy, political science, and sociology. Two School of the Arts departments--music and theatre arts--are also part of the college. Human sciences departments include apparel, housing, and resource management; communication studies; and human development. The new School of Education within the college includes educational leadership and policy studies and teaching and learning. Special units include Air Force, Army, and Navy ROTC.

Another new college--the College of Science, which is also headed by a newly appointed dean: Lay Nam Chang--will include biology, chemistry, economics, geological sciences, mathematics, physics, psychology, and statistics. The economics department is merging with the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics and will probably have a dual relationship with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, now under the interim deanship of Natural Resources Dean Greg Brown, has added human nutrition, foods, and exercise, formerly in Human Resources and Education, to its program offerings. Other current departments are agricultural and extension education; agricultural and applied economics (see above); animal and poultry sciences; biochemistry; biological systems engineering; crop and soil environmental sciences; dairy science; entomology; food science and technology; horticulture; and plant pathology, physiology, and weed science.

New departments in the College of Architecture and Urban studies are art and art history, which had been in Arts and Sciences, and interior design, which had been part of a larger department in Human Resources and Education. The college also offers programs in architecture, building construction, environmental design and planning, landscape architecture, public administration and policy, and urban affairs and planning and includes the Virginia Tech Institute for Metropolitan Research.

The Pamplin College of Business is adding hospitality and tourism management, which moved from Human Resources and Education, to its offerings in accounting and information systems; business information technology; finance, insurance, and business law; management; and marketing.

Computer science will move from Arts and Sciences to the College of Engineering. Other departments in the college are aerospace and ocean engineering; chemical engineering; civil and environmental engineering; electrical and computer engineering; engineering fundamentals; engineering science and mechanics; industrial and systems engineering; materials science and engineering, mechanical engineering; and mining and minerals engineering. Hassan Aref is the new dean of the college.

The College of Natural Resources will add geography from the College of Arts and Sciences to its departments of fisheries and wildlife sciences, forestry, and wood science and forest products.

The restructuring will also align the colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Natural Resources, and Science in a Science Consortium, with some participation by the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. The consortium will allow participating colleges to share resources and human capital, especially in graduate and undergraduate education and research facilities

In other changes, Engineering and Veterinary Medicine will both be involved in the School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences.