University Plan: Build on our strengths as a comprehensive public research university and land-grant institution; our goal is to establish a distinctive and globally recognized profile that emphasizes translational research and scholarship and builds on our existing and emerging strengths.

CALS Plan: The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is an integral component of the Virginia Tech research and outreach enterprise. The college is committed to developing and implementing research and extension programs that address society’s needs and expectations. CALS is committed to the integration of scholarship across the land-grant missions of teaching, research, and extension. The strengths of the college as one of the nation’s premier programs in agriculture and life sciences is realized as “translational” and aligns well with the university’s plan to meet state and federal commitments for higher education and research.


University Plan: We are poised to grow our undergraduate enrollment when appropriate and will pursue significant and strategic growth in graduate enrollment. Focusing on growth in graduate enrollment in science, technology, engineering, computational sciences, health sciences, and business- and policy-oriented subjects. ... This growth will also facilitate the pursuit of our mission to address significant science, technology, economic, and social issues.

CALS Plan: CALS will be a major contributor to the growth in both undergraduate and graduate enrollment at the university over the next six years. CALS is one of a select few land-grant institutions able to offer a comprehensive agricultural and life science education in both the traditional disciplines and in emerging areas of interdisciplinary scholarship. Undergraduate enrollment will increase from 2,600 to 3,000. Graduate student enrollment will increase from 500 to 850 in areas cutting across science (STEM-H), technology (biotechnology, nanotechnology, and bioinformatics), economics (agricultural economics, agribusiness, and financial planning) and the social sciences — all of which are components of CALS’s strategies for future growth.


University Plan: The integration of business with programs in science, engineering, and medicine creates the opportunity for radical innovation. In the spirit of our mission, we will contribute to business-, industry-, and policy-relevant research with a focus on multiple dimensions of security, resilience, health, and sustainability. These themes will also underpin much of our outreach activities and service learning.

CALS Plan: CALS will build on its strengths and strong history of collaboration with industry and business. We will continue to leverage our strengths across our research, teaching, and outreach missions. CALS will provide the research underlying policy development in areas of food and natural resource security; animal, human, and plant health and disease; environmental sustainability; and sustainable food systems, as well as support for rural health and economic and community development. The faculty is positioned to contribute to relevant outreach and service activities.


University Plan: Studying complex interactions among genomic, environmental, and behavioral factors will require methods that are grounded in high-performance computing and networks capable of moving, processing, and storing enormous volumes of data.

CALS Plan: CALS will continue to prioritize programs that focus on the genetic and environmental factors that regulate and affect human, animal, plant, and ecosystem health. CALS is already a major player in the management of genomic, proteinomic, and metabolomic data. CALS is currently involved in studying complex interactions in areas ranging from obesity research to crop drought resistance, to simulation modeling of water and pollutant transport within aquatic and terrestrial environments. The utilization of network analysis to study multivariate systems will become more important in the future.


University Plan: Virginia Tech will leverage existing and emerging strengths in the following areas: energy, materials, and technology; water science, policy, and management; transportation and communication infrastructures; natural resources, ecosystems, and environmental quality; informatics and policy; food and food systems; and sustainable international development. ... To ensure the continued success of our existing strengths, we will support growth in bioinformatics, nanotechnology, polymers, energy, transportation, and robotics research and scholarship.

CALS Plan: There are strong linkages to CALS in all of these areas, especially in energy (e.g., bioenergy and feedstock development); materials and polymers (e.g., biomaterials, value-added bioproducts and biopolymers); technology (e.g., genetic engineering); water science, policy, and management; natural resources, ecosystems, and environmental quality; informatics (bioinformatics); food and food systems; and sustainable international development (e.g., international US AID and FAO agriculture projects).


University Plan: The Networked University — students and faculty members will become increasingly international in orientation.

CALS Plan: CALS has recently appointed an international programs coordinator and is continuing to expand international opportunities for faculty and students in teaching, research, and extension areas. CALS is home to extensive international collaborations with researchers and institutions in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe.


University Plan: Pathways to Interdisciplinary Success — Virginia Tech will create and support environments for its educational and research programs that support innovative, high-quality, and high-impact outcomes. We will facilitate the development of new and innovative graduate programs that build on interdisciplinary strengths, both existing (e.g., the Genetics, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology Program) and emerging (e.g., health sciences).

CALS Plan: CALS faculty members currently lead or co-lead interdisciplinary graduate programs in translational plant science, the water interface, and translational obesity and in genetics, boinformatics, and computational biology. CALS will continue to lead interdisciplinary programs and to play a role in developing new and innovative transdisciplinary programs.


University Plan: Increase undergraduate involvement in meaningful research experiences and experiential learning opportunities by adopting a “hands-on, minds-on” philosophy that promotes the connection of real-life experience with academic concepts.

CALS Plan: Agriculture and the life sciences provide students a unique disciplinary framework for research and experiential learning, with opportunities for capstone experiences, internships, and undergraduate research projects. CALS’s vision statement stresses the importance of creating and sharing knowledge through experiential and hands-on applications. CALS will continue to build on this strength; thus, it is a common theme throughout the teaching and learning section of the CALS plan. CALS also plays a leading role in e-learning and distance learning including the online M.S. program in agriculture.


University Plan: We will also build on our initiatives in the field of resiliency with an emphasis on the interface between science, technology, and policy.

CALS Plan: The immediate future will include major challenges and opportunities. Climate variation, exploding and conflicting food and energy needs, and technological advances and threats will necessitate a holistic response. As a STEM-H college, CALS has a continuing commitment to collaborative, transdisciplinary agricultural and life sciences research, teaching, and outreach, including stakeholder involvement, real-world engagement, and integrative problem-solving necessary for resilience and sustainability. CALS will increase its focus on the resiliency of agricultural and other managed ecosystems in the face of climate and land-use changes.

University Plan: Build on our strengths as a comprehensive public research university and land-grant institution; our goal is to establish a distinctive and globally recognized profile that emphasizes translational research and scholarship and builds on our existing and emerging strengths.

CALS Plan: The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is an integral component of the Virginia Tech research and outreach enterprise. The college is committed to developing and implementing research and extension programs that address society’s needs and expectations. CALS is committed to the integration of scholarship across the land-grant missions of teaching, research, and extension. The strengths of the college as one of the nation’s premier programs in agriculture and life sciences is realized as “translational” and aligns well with the university’s plan to meet state and federal commitments for higher education and research.


University Plan: We are poised to grow our undergraduate enrollment when appropriate and will pursue significant and strategic growth in graduate enrollment. Focusing on growth in graduate enrollment in science, technology, engineering, computational sciences, health sciences, and business- and policy-oriented subjects. ... This growth will also facilitate the pursuit of our mission to address significant science, technology, economic, and social issues.

CALS Plan: CALS will be a major contributor to the growth in both undergraduate and graduate enrollment at the university over the next six years. CALS is one of a select few land-grant institutions able to offer a comprehensive agricultural and life science education in both the traditional disciplines and in emerging areas of interdisciplinary scholarship. Undergraduate enrollment will increase from 2,600 to 3,000. Graduate student enrollment will increase from 500 to 850 in areas cutting across science (STEM-H), technology (biotechnology, nanotechnology, and bioinformatics), economics (agricultural economics, agribusiness, and financial planning) and the social sciences — all of which are components of CALS’s strategies for future growth.


University Plan: The integration of business with programs in science, engineering, and medicine creates the opportunity for radical innovation. In the spirit of our mission, we will contribute to business-, industry-, and policy-relevant research with a focus on multiple dimensions of security, resilience, health, and sustainability. These themes will also underpin much of our outreach activities and service learning.

CALS Plan: CALS will build on its strengths and strong history of collaboration with industry and business. We will continue to leverage our strengths across our research, teaching, and outreach missions. CALS will provide the research underlying policy development in areas of food and natural resource security; animal, human, and plant health and disease; environmental sustainability; and sustainable food systems, as well as support for rural health and economic and community development. The faculty is positioned to contribute to relevant outreach and service activities.


University Plan: Studying complex interactions among genomic, environmental, and behavioral factors will require methods that are grounded in high-performance computing and networks capable of moving, processing, and storing enormous volumes of data.

CALS Plan: CALS will continue to prioritize programs that focus on the genetic and environmental factors that regulate and affect human, animal, plant, and ecosystem health. CALS is already a major player in the management of genomic, proteinomic, and metabolomic data. CALS is currently involved in studying complex interactions in areas ranging from obesity research to crop drought resistance, to simulation modeling of water and pollutant transport within aquatic and terrestrial environments. The utilization of network analysis to study multivariate systems will become more important in the future.


University Plan: Virginia Tech will leverage existing and emerging strengths in the following areas: energy, materials, and technology; water science, policy, and management; transportation and communication infrastructures; natural resources, ecosystems, and environmental quality; informatics and policy; food and food systems; and sustainable international development. ... To ensure the continued success of our existing strengths, we will support growth in bioinformatics, nanotechnology, polymers, energy, transportation, and robotics research and scholarship.

CALS Plan: There are strong linkages to CALS in all of these areas, especially in energy (e.g., bioenergy and feedstock development); materials and polymers (e.g., biomaterials, value-added bioproducts and biopolymers); technology (e.g., genetic engineering); water science, policy, and management; natural resources, ecosystems, and environmental quality; informatics (bioinformatics); food and food systems; and sustainable international development (e.g., international US AID and FAO agriculture projects).


University Plan: The Networked University — students and faculty members will become increasingly international in orientation.

CALS Plan: CALS has recently appointed an international programs coordinator and is continuing to expand international opportunities for faculty and students in teaching, research, and extension areas. CALS is home to extensive international collaborations with researchers and institutions in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe.


University Plan: Pathways to Interdisciplinary Success — Virginia Tech will create and support environments for its educational and research programs that support innovative, high-quality, and high-impact outcomes. We will facilitate the development of new and innovative graduate programs that build on interdisciplinary strengths, both existing (e.g., the Genetics, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology Program) and emerging (e.g., health sciences).

CALS Plan: CALS faculty members currently lead or co-lead interdisciplinary graduate programs in translational plant science, the water interface, and translational obesity and in genetics, boinformatics, and computational biology. CALS will continue to lead interdisciplinary programs and to play a role in developing new and innovative transdisciplinary programs.


University Plan: Increase undergraduate involvement in meaningful research experiences and experiential learning opportunities by adopting a “hands-on, minds-on” philosophy that promotes the connection of real-life experience with academic concepts.

CALS Plan: Agriculture and the life sciences provide students a unique disciplinary framework for research and experiential learning, with opportunities for capstone experiences, internships, and undergraduate research projects. CALS’s vision statement stresses the importance of creating and sharing knowledge through experiential and hands-on applications. CALS will continue to build on this strength; thus, it is a common theme throughout the teaching and learning section of the CALS plan. CALS also plays a leading role in e-learning and distance learning including the online M.S. program in agriculture.


University Plan: We will also build on our initiatives in the field of resiliency with an emphasis on the interface between science, technology, and policy.

CALS Plan: The immediate future will include major challenges and opportunities. Climate variation, exploding and conflicting food and energy needs, and technological advances and threats will necessitate a holistic response. As a STEM-H college, CALS has a continuing commitment to collaborative, transdisciplinary agricultural and life sciences research, teaching, and outreach, including stakeholder involvement, real-world engagement, and integrative problem-solving necessary for resilience and sustainability. CALS will increase its focus on the resiliency of agricultural and other managed ecosystems in the face of climate and land-use changes.