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2017-18 Annual Report

Submitted by Karen P. DePauw, Ph.D., Vice President and Dean for Graduate Education

I.  Key accomplishments during 2017-2018

Fall ’17 enrollment: 6,746 (3,774 Master's, 3,002 Doctoral), Campus (69% Blacksburg, 16%  extended, 15% Virtual), 11% URM, 30% International (102 countries)

The major accomplishments of the Graduate School are articulated below:

  • Processed 10,148 admission applications, 4128 acceptance; 41% acceptance, 44% yield
  • Awarded 2,222 degrees and certificates, awarded 450+ PhDs
  • Implemented holistic admission process, data are being collected about success; anecdotal evidence is very good
  • Established a plan and conducted workshops for successful implementation of use of iThenticate for ETD submission starting in Summer I, 2018
  • Enhanced highly successful diversity programs including Diversity Scholars, Connect Lunches with many social identity groups, and Bouchet Society inductees
  • Worked closely with CGS&P for approval of inclusion and diversity requirement for incoming graduate students
  • Supported unique and very strong IGEP programs, with more than 300 students currently enrolled, over 250 participating faculty, and over $200 million in active research projects
  • Admitted two new individual interdisciplinary PhD (IPhD) students and assisted those students in developing their research plans
  • Assisted with the development and approval of graduate certificates (2), curricular modifications (3), new “IGEP”-like programs (1), accelerated programs (2), new master’s degree (2), and new PhD (1)
  • Enhanced data collection and analysis through revised exit survey, post admissions services survey, climate survey and interdisciplinary thinking survey
  • Successfully implemented child care options of Little Hokies Hangout (LHH) and family support; monthly luncheons capped at 50 attendees, 150% in enrollment in LHH
  • Strengthened Academy for GTA Excellence to advance and reward teaching excellence by graduate students; inducted members, associates, and fellows.  Fellows have taken the lead in sponsoring monthly gatherings and workshops for GTA workshop.
  • Offered nearly 100 programs for graduate student throughout the year including Week of Welcome (1000+), GTA workshops (600+), orientations (750+) and Graduate Education Week (1500+) that reach more than 5000 students annually.
  • Re-opened Room G as a Health and Wellness space after renovations and complete refurbishing in collaboration with Hokie Wellness and SECL.
  • Connected monthly with Roanoke students to discuss service needs and best delivery methods including website
  • Organized and hosted successful three-day conference on the role of the Graduate School and the places, spaces, services, and collaborations it takes to support the unique needs of graduate students.
  • Provided quality services to international students including Walk-in immigration 4925 advising sessions and 2450 process requests.  Implemented virtual immigration check-in
  • Co-presented with Cranwell International Center staff three half-day workshops on the international student experience and established new International Student Advisory Board
  • Successfully completed first year of batch processing software (Synapsis)
  • GSSO led University-wide integrated system to manage assistantships launched phase I– Phase I of multi-year project 
  • Graduate Honor System cases: 47 current students referred in a total of 33 cases (94% increase), 25 for cheating, 2 for falsification, and 21 for plagiarism; 18 cases resolved through facilitated discussion; 6 cases resolved through judicial hearing; remaining cases are pending.
  • GSSO took initial steps toward improving service delivery to Roanoke students specifically mechanisms for immigration and academic progress advising
  • Continued to offer successful Transformative Graduate Education courses reaching 250+ students.  Findings of exit survey include 95% of TGE participants felt prepared for career goals
  • Offered for the 13th year the highly successful and visible Global Perspectives Program (GPP) in Switzerland with graduate education summit at U.S. Swiss Embassy.  Continued to teach Transferrable Skills Course for University of Basel.
  • Enhanced partnership with the University of San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) and enhanced the 21st Century Faculty initiative for USFQ faculty (now called SHIFT); hosted 2nd cohort of faculty from USFQ to VT.
  • Managed effectively tuition remission program ($4.9 million), unfunded tuition scholarships ($20.4 million), graduate assistantships ($3.7 million) including Graduate School Doctoral Assistantship (GSDA) program, Interdisciplinary Graduate Education Programs (IGEPs), Dean’s Diversity Assistantships (DDA), and the Cunningham Doctoral Scholar Assistantships.
  • Managed the following university scholarship and fellowship programs: awarding over $195,000 in fellowship stipends and tuition awards and managed external scholarship and fellowship programs from National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships (21 fellows), National Physical Science Consortium Fellowship (3 fellows), Fulbright Scholars Program, GEM Consortium Fellowships, Southern Regional Education Board Fellowships, Vietnam Education Foundation Scholarships (1 fellow), Vietnam International Education Foundation Scholarships (2 fellows) 
  • Managed and allocated approximately $3.7 million to support graduate assistantships funded through various programs, including but not limited to the Graduate School Doctoral Assistantship (GSDA) program, Interdisciplinary Graduate Education Programs (IGEPs), Dean’s Diversity Assistantships (DDA), and the Cunningham Doctoral Scholar Assistantships.   
  • Awarded the 2nd cohort of Outstanding Faculty Mentors to recognized outstanding faculty mentors from each college and interdisciplinary program.
  • Presented numerous presentations on graduate education holistic admissions within VT and externally (NAGAP, CGS), ethics and integrity, social media (CGS, CGS workshop), crisis communication (CGS, NAGAP), and more.

II.  Strategic Plan for the Graduate School

The Graduate School has assumed a leadership role by undertaking initiatives toward helping the university achieve the goals and aspirations for graduate education articulated in the Plan for a New Horizon 2012- 2018, Beyond Boundaries and Destination/Strategic growth Areas. As such, our efforts continue to focus on graduate education with the Beyond Boundaries thematic areas of student preparedness, the campus of the future, and the global land-grant mission in addition to the three of the four cross cutting concepts of strategic research, VT- shaped learning, and Advance/InclusiveVT. The priorities and goals set by the Graduate School seem to fit quite well with the thematic areas and concepts of Beyond Boundaries and DA/SGAs. Below are the Graduate School’s goals, which have evolved over the last ten+ years and seem to be very appropriate to the key university strategic objectives.  The narratives address the questions posed in II.A and II.B. Key metrics are identified in II.B. The final section below addresses II.C Financial resources

A.  Key strategic objectives

.Implement and enhance the Transformative Graduate Education (TGE) initiative.            

The Future Professoriate, Global Perspectives, Citizen Scholar, and Communicating Science programs are well developed and continue to be enhanced and sustained. Some progress was made on the development of the Career Professional options through the GRAD 5314 course and additional programs and workshops offered by Graduate Student Services Office (GSSO).  The Graduate School partners with the Library every semester to offer panel discussion on open science movement.  The Graduate School rolled out the Disrupting Academic Bullying initiative, developed a website with detailed information and conducted multiple information sessions, workshops and departmental seminars. In addition to disrupting academic bullying workshops, we offered many workshops and seminars more broadly focused on creating affirming, ethical and inclusive environments for graduate education. This year we also offered the GRAD 5214 Diversity and Inclusion in a Global Society each semester with increased enrollment. 

All TGE programs including the new additions are clearly aligned with Beyond Boundaries thematic areas of student preparedness, campus of the future and the global land-grant as well as the university cross-cutting concepts of VT-shape learning and inclusiveVT.  As a part of the TGE initiative efforts, we will continue to enhance the programs offered through Graduate Student Services Office (GSSO) and the Office of Recruitment, Diversity and Inclusion (ORDI).  We will continue to share the TGE and Graduate Life Center programs with CGS colleagues and international universities desiring to develop and implement 21st C Faculty programs (e.g., University de San Francisco de Quito).  For the first time (after multiple requests from colleagues), we organized and hosted successful three-day conference on the role of the Graduate School and the places, spaces, services, and collaborations it takes to support the unique needs of graduate students.

We added TGE specific questions to the exit survey and received the following results: 

·       31% of survey respondents indicated they participated in 1 or more TGE Initiative

·       8% of respondents indicated at one of those activities was receiving the PFP Certificate

·       75% of students who indicated they participated in any TGE initiatives feel extremely well, or very well prepared for what they are doing next. 

·       79% of students who indicated they received the PFP certificate feel extremely well, or very well prepared for what they are doing next.

·       68% of students who indicated they did not participate in any TGE initiatives feel extremely well, or very well prepared for what they are doing next.

·       Students who participated in the PFP Certificate felt the most well prepared for what they are doing next.

·       Students who participated in the PFP Certificate agreed the most with the statement (essentially the same as TGE), both categories were higher than those who chose neither TGE or PFP participation. 

Support and enhance interdisciplinary graduate education through Interdisciplinary Graduate Education programs (IGEPs) and Individual Interdisciplinary PhD (iPhD).     

The Graduate School supported and continues to enhance the existing 14 IGEPs and approved 3 new students into the iPhD program. These provide educational experiences through which the graduate students (and faculty) can enhance their “interdisciplinary thinking” and explore the “wicked” research problems that require interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary collaboration and teamwork.  This year we developed a survey to assess the extent that these programs improve interdisciplinary thinking and actions; it will be implemented for Fall ’18. Accomplishments include:

o   Graduate School hosted two well received IGEP receptions, brown bag discussions, and more

o   Six of the IGEPs offered their GRAD 5134 course during the 2016-2017 cycle. 

o   Three IGEPS, Water, HCD, and RS, have active certificate programs.  Water, HCD, and RM have enrolled or completed 7, 12, and 13 students in certificate programs to date.  Disaster Resilience has submitted request to create a graduate certificate program, pending approval. 

o   IGEP continues to serve as an effective tool for recruiting a broad range of students across disciplines focused on IGEP-themed education and research.  This past cycle, 33 new students joined the 12 IGEPs (excluding GBCB and MACRO). To date, 96 IGEP-affiliated students have graduated from Virginia Tech. IGEP students have been recipients of numerous national and international awards, including Graduate Student of the Year from the WATER IGEP.

o   IGEPs have been markedly successful in attracting external funding.  New grants awarded this cycle total $84.4M, with several having a duration of the next 3-5 years.  Major interdisciplinary educational awards include a $3.6M Partnership in International Research and Education (PIRE) affiliated with VT SuN and a $3M NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) awarded to the DR group.

Table 1 summarizes some of the key quantitative measures of productivity across the IGEPs. As is well-evidenced by the numbers, the IGEPs are highly successful programs, drawing expertise from a wide range of faculty and having served directly nearly 400 students to date.  The IGEP programs are highly research active, with nearly $85 million in new grants commencing this period, over 600 journal publications and over 900 conference presentations. 

 

Table 1: Summary of quantitative metrics provided in the 2016-2017 Annual Reports

 

# faculty

# Students Graduated

# Current Students

Journal publications

Conference presentations

Total New Grants@

BuiBuild

13

2

10

7

21

$1,756,835.00 

BioTrans

18

10

27

20

44

$10,269,884.00

CTE

16

7

16

38

66

$24,067,188.00

HCD*

26

5

34

0

31

$4,740,831.00

IGC

54

3

34

231

312

$13,523,975.00

RM

17

6

25

28

77

$817,701.00

RS

15

4

12

60

81

$5,487,925.00

TOR

27

15

30

66

55

$2,274,406.00

TPS

27

13

54

89

120

$4,643,540.00

VT SuN

9

17

21

49

21

$9,130,885.00

Water

12

13

14

77

99

$3,957,885.00

DR^

6

1

23

15

18

$3,694,813.00

GBCB+

 

 

 

 

 

 

MACRO+

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

240

96

300

680

945

$84,365,868.00

The IGEPs provide positive examples and best practices for the further development of the Destination/Strategic Growth areas (DA/SGAs).  Using the IGEP model, we assisted with the development and launching of the Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) program which enrolled its first students for Fall ’18.  Throughout the year, we have also encouraged the DA/SGAs to consider the IGEP model.  The IGEPs are naturally aligned with strategic research, student preparedness, and VT shaped learning.  Interdisciplinary graduate education can also be aligned with new academic programs (e.g., certificates, degrees) to be offered in NCR.

Table 2 provides a summary of where IGEPs have most strongly aligned with and contributed to the Destination Area themes:

Destination Area

IGEP Synergies

Adaptive Brain and Behavior

RM, TOR, CTE

Data and Decisions

DR

Global Systems Science

IGC, TPS, RS, DR

Integrated Security

 

Intelligent Infrastructure for Human-Centered Communities

HCD, BioBuild, DR

 

 

Review and update the portfolio of graduate education programs (e.g., accelerated programs, degrees, badges, certificates).

The Graduate School has the ultimate responsibility for graduate education (e.g., accelerated programs, certificates, degrees) throughout Virginia Tech regardless of location.  In this capacity, the Graduate School continues to work closely with the College Deans for graduate education opportunities in Blacksburg, NCR, Roanoke, and beyond.  Several new or revised graduate degrees, graduate certificates, accelerated degrees and other curricular changes occurred this year included the following:

·       Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB), an umbrella life science program (like IGEP)

·       Extension of the MA in Data Analysis and Applied Statistics to NCR

·       Accelerated SPIA program with Wuchang University of Technology

·       Accelerated 4+1 Masters in Urban Resource Planning

·       Curricular modifications to Statistics PhD

·       Curricular modifications to BMVS PhD program approved May 2018 (after final CGSP meeting of year)

·       Two graduate certificates - Nuclear Science, Technology, and Policy; Arts Leadership

·       New degrees or major revisions: MS in Nutrition and Dietetics (approved); Neuroscience PhD (next CGS&P meeting); Master of Urban and Regional Planning (major revision)

·       Clarification of graduate degrees (MA, MS, and professional degrees)

·       Initiated conversations about the creation of micro-credentials (badges)

·       SCHEV specific items:

o    MA in Nonprofit and Nongovernmental Organization Management: back with faculty for significant revisions since January of 2018

o   PhD in Security Governance: not approved by SCHEV: back with faculty for revision

o   MS in Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health: with faculty - under revision, planned initiation SP2019

o   VTCSOM: MD degree, approval to award effective 7/1/18

As the Destination Areas (DAs) and Strategic Growth Areas (SGAs) continue to evolve, we continued to stress the number of ways in which graduate education will be incorporated into their structure.  These include the following:  (a) students pursuing graduate degrees, (b) graduate students serving as GRAs within the DA/SGAs, (c) graduate students serving as GTAs to assist with the educational mission of the DA/SGAs (and providing valuable teaching experiences for the graduate students), (d) offering graduate certificates, (e) exploring accelerated undergraduate/graduate degrees (within and across departments), (f) utilizing the IGEP model for the development of DA/SGAs and (g) developing new degrees as might be desired in the future.

Expand data collection and analysis of graduate education

The Graduate School collected and analyzed data about graduate education and shared these with the university community (e.g., Commission on Graduate Studies and Policy, Graduate Program Directors, CARS/CAGS, and more).  The data collected include international and domestic applications, admissions, enrollment and academic progress; descriptive demographics; SCH for GRAD courses; assistantships; climate surveys; number of graduates annually and more.  These data are available on our website in clear visualization formats which we will continue to improve.

This year we will initiated data collection for the following:

·       inclusive holistic admissions approach to determine if the admissions pool has become more diverse in criteria other than the standard demographic factors

·       administered the additional student services survey

·       the impact of the Transformative Graduate Education (TGE) Initiative programs upon career and professional development (career placement)

·       Developed survey for interdisciplinary thinking for Fall ‘18

·       Edited the climate survey to be administered ’18-‘19 

·       Re-established  the Graduate Exit Survey – All students that were awarded a degree in the 2017-18 Academic year were sent a survey intended to assess their experience as a graduate student at Virginia Tech with specific focus on how well prepared they felt they were for whatever they are doing next. The survey was completely re-written from the previous version that last went out in 2014. The survey was sent to 1,981 graduates with a response rate around 33%.  

Actively encourage and foster an inclusive and globally diverse graduate community

The Graduate School continues to sustain and enhance our inclusion and diversity efforts through the following ways:

·       the efforts of the Office of Recruitment, Diversity and Inclusion (ORDI)

·       InclusiveVT initiatives: holistic admissions, creating affirming environment (e.g., disrupting academic bullying), and inclusive Graduate Life Center (welcoming GLC).

·       Expanded our efforts in recruitment of individuals of diverse background and work closely with the colleges to meet university goals

·       Enhanced support initiatives and service programs (e.g., workshops, resources, incoming student survey, ambassador and scholars, social gatherings) for students across their multiple and diverse identities (e.g., underrepresented and underserved, international) – Connect lunches, Diversity Scholars program

·       Explored accelerated programs with HBCUs and MSIs specifically Virginia State University and Florida A and M (FAMU)

·       Expanded and organized the autumn HBCU/MSI Research Summit

·       Taught GRAD 5124 Diversity and Inclusion in a Global Society in Fall and Spring

An integral part of creating an inclusive and diverse environment and student body, the Graduate School continued to strengthen the academic community:

·       expanded the child care initiatives with approval of license of Little Hokies Hangout for children from 0-2 years

·       expanded work-life balance grants to include significant life events; funded approximately 15 per year

·       partnered with Hokie Wellness to reopen the health and wellness room G in the GLC

·       secured graduate family housing in the Master Plan

.   

Advance the use of technology in the Graduate School and in support of graduate education university-wide

For many years, the Graduate School has led the way in utilizing advanced technology in admissions and academic progress across the university.  The VT Graduate School has served as a model for other U.S. graduate schools in technological advances and more recently for our communication strategies and use of social media (e.g., blogs, twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn).  The digital admissions and academic progress tools (e.g., admissions, ESS, Hobson’s) have significantly enhanced our capacity to identify, recruit, admit and graduate our graduate students.  As pressures for enrollment management grow, we began the conversations with the VP for Enrollment Management. 

 

Collaboration and key performance measures (from ’17-’18)

Beyond the administrative support and services provided university-wide, the Graduate School is actively engaged with the Colleges for development and delivery of disciplinary academic programs and the interdisciplinary graduate education programs. The efforts of the Graduate School provide both the coordinated administrative services (recruitment, admission, immigration, graduate catalog, academic progress, Institutional Plan for Graduate Education, tuition remissions, and more) and initiatives that complement and enhance the academic programs (TGE coursework, diversity fellowships, IGEPs, and more).  We are actively engaged in supporting international cooperative programs and degree plans, which are lead by faculty members and colleges. We have continued to partner with colleges on degrees and fellowships (e.g., Shandong University 3+2, VSU, COE New Horizons Scholars, Cunningham Fellowships).

            Although it was not called VT-shaped student, the Transformative Graduate Education initiatives (established in 2003) and the Graduate Life Center (established in 2005) have focused through a combination of academic and extra-curricular professional development programs on shaping the graduate experience of Virginia Tech students. The programs offered through TGE compliment the disciplinary education provided in the departments/programs.  Relatedly, the IGEPs promote disciplinary depth along with interdisciplinary breadth in areas of crucial societal importance and enhance the student preparedness for the workforce. Each year we have added to the TGE initiatives and strengthened the affirming environment (GLC and beyond), which represents our comprehensive, inclusive, adaptive approach to supporting student success.

            The Graduate School works with all administrative units of the Provost’s office and all academic units. We have formal and informal collaborations with the undergraduate education, student affairs, outreach and international affairs, research and innovation, enrollment management, inclusion and diversity, library, faculty affairs, fiscal operations, NCR, and Roanoke. We continue to be adaptive to the needs of other administrative units (administration services, alumni, fundraising, budget, etc.) in support of graduate education.

            It should be clear that many of the efforts of the Graduate School are undertaken with the Colleges (departments/programs).  In addition, collaborations are necessary to achieve our goals.  Offices include the VP for Enrollment Management, VP for Inclusion and Diversity, VP for Research, VP for Student Affairs, VP for Outreach and International Affairs, VP for NCR, VP for HS&T and more.  All functions of the Graduate School are focused on and in support of graduate education university-wide (including all campuses and locations).

 

II.b Key Metrics

Although specific metrics are applied to some objectives above, I have opted to include broader university metrics that could be used::

o   Enrollment (e.g., applications, admissions, enrollment)

o   Completion and graduation (e.g., annual number of masters and doctoral degrees granted, certificates earned, time to degree)

o   Career placement (e.g., academic positions, career options beyond academia, satisfaction, career choices)

o   Effectiveness of education and preparation for careers (e.g., TGE and IGEPs, interdisciplinary thinking. Ethics training)

o   Inclusion and Diversity (e.g., demographic data, climate surveys, holistic admissions, diversity course, international students)

o   Student participation (e.g., SCH in GRAD courses, participation rates in programs and workshops, GSA and other organizations)

o   Assistantship and fellowship awarded (e.g., GTAs, GRAs, Fellowships, NSF, NIH)

o   Graduate student contributions to university missions (teaching, research, engagement)

o   Globalization (e.g., international partnerships, international students, global perspectives)

II. C. Alignment of financial resources

The Graduate School continues to review resources to align with our strategic objectives.  Some of the accomplishments this past year include:

·       Developed and implemented an improved approach to manage the university’s Graduate Tuition Remission Program and identify under-and-unutilized allocations. 

·       Worked closely with the Offices of the Provost and Budget and Financial Planning to increase the flexibility associated with the $5.1 million allocation of State General Fund Fellowships (i.e., 999xxx funds). 

·       Continued to improve the Graduate School’s accounts payable procedures to comply with the university’s Prompt Payment Guidelines ensuring that more than 98% of the senior management area’s invoices were paid on time during FY2017-18. 

·       Improved the management of the Graduate School’s travel reimbursement process to ensure that more than 95% of the requests were submitted and approved within thirty working days after the completion of the trip.  

·       Continued to enhance the annual financial reporting process including the resource portfolio which analyzes and projects the senior management area’s consolidated annual resources and requirements. 

·       Continued to improve the credibility of the Graduate School’s financial and human resource operations.  Conducted informal surveys of academic and other senior management areas across campus to understand past issues and accumulate recommendations for improvement.

·       Continued to improve the overall effectiveness and responsiveness of the Graduate School’s human resource and payroll operations, especially related to the annual performance planning and evaluation process and leave reporting

·       Managed and allocated approximately $3.7 million to support graduate assistantships funded through various programs, including but not limited to the Graduate School Doctoral Assistantship (GSDA) program, Interdisciplinary Graduate Education Programs (IGEPs), Dean’s Diversity Assistantships (DDA), and the Cunningham Doctoral Scholar Assistantships.  Completed the transition of the fellowship and assistantship management responsibilities to the Director of Finance and Administration. 

·       During 2017-18, the Graduate School managed the following university scholarship and fellowship programs; awarding over $195,000 in fellowship stipends and tuition awards.

·       During 2017-18, the Graduate School managed the following external scholarship and fellowship programs supported through the following funding agencies:

o   National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships (21 tenured fellows)

o   National Physical Science Consortium Fellowship (3 fellows)

o   Fulbright Scholars Program

o   GEM Consortium Fellowships

o   Southern Regional Education Board Fellowships

o   Vietnam Education Foundation Scholarships (1 fellow)

o   Vietnam International Education Foundation Scholarships (2 fellows)

III. Leadership assessment

A.1. Communication strategies

 

There are a number of ways that I have communicated the university and Graduate School strategies to the constituencies of the Graduate School.  The groups are several and communication mechanisms are sometimes modified for the various constituencies. Examples include the following:

·       Updates at weekly staff meetings

·       Discussions with Associate Deans during weekly meetings

·       Presentations and discussion at bi-annual entire Graduate School staff gatherings (including staff a NVC)

·       Informal gatherings of graduate students including NVC and Roanoke

·       Updates at the monthly Graduate Student Assembly meetings

·       One a semester gathering of Graduate Program Directors

·       Meeting with CARS/CAGS

·       Regular updates with bi-monthly meetings of CGS&P especially at the first meeting of the new academic year in which I share the “state of graduate education” and goals/tasks for the upcoming year

The Director of communication oversaw the following:

·       Development of an IGEP recruitment brochure and other print materials

·       Continuously modified the Graduate School website and added accessibility features

·       Increased engagement on social media platforms to expand our outreach

·       Worked with communicators across the university to tag stories with graduate education components (programs, students, faculty, etc.) so those stories have broader reach and feed to our pages, and shared those stories across social media platforms.

·       Featured one of our graduate students in the Council of Graduate Schools’ GradImpact website, with other submissions waiting for publication on that site.

A.2  Creation or revision of policies and procedures

Throughout the year, the Graduate School and as appropriate with the Commission on Graduate Studies & Policy regularly reviews and updates policies and procedures.  These included the following:

o   Review of ethics requirement plans

o   Use of iThenticate for ETDs and Feedback Studio for coursework and general use

o   Procedures for holistic admissions (electronic processes)

o   Development of inclusion and diversity requirement for incoming graduate students

o   Procedures for appointing graduate program faculty to serve on graduate student committee (including electronic version)

o   Clarification of graduate degrees document

o   Review and approval of new certificates, accelerated programs, MOAs and degrees

o   Assistantship contract tool

o   Revision of the Graduate Honor system constitution

o   SEVIS recertification

A.3. Engagement of employees in decision-making

There are three primary ways in which I have engaged the directors and Associate Deans (incl NVC) in strategic planning and assessment.  First, annually I request feedback on the existing goals and strategies and ask for goals for the upcoming year.  Second, we have robust discussions at weekly staff meetings about progress on initiatives and assessment.  Third, I have encouraged each unit to gather feedback about progress and plans from within their unit.

            In addition to specific conversation with Directors and Associate Deans, the entire staff is engaged in updates and input at one of the two all staff gatherings.  These consist of Graduate School updates and progress overviews and lively discussion among the attendees including those from the Northern Virginia Center.  I visit the NCR 1-2 times per semester and meet separately with the Graduate School staff, program directors, faculty and graduate students to seek their input and feedback.

A.4  Strategies for development of leadership skills 

Collaboration and innovation are critical to an effective leadership team.  My leadership approach includes making sure that everyone is informed and engaged in discussions and decision-making, creating a culture of dependability, holding high expectations of all, fostering an environment of trust, respect and honesty in which all can freely express their views, and ensuring that our work in meaningful and relevant and that each person can see that their work does matter and contributes to the collective effort of the Graduate School.  Toward this end, the Associate Deans and Directors are encouraged bring ideas and proposals to the table for consideration as well as manage their own units effectively.  In addition, I have supported and will continue to encourage employees to pursue leadership development opportunities including Diversity Development Institute and other programs offered by the university.