Since this is our first Insights message in 2015, I hope everyone had a nice holiday season and that the new year and spring semester are off to a great start. Many thanks to those who were able to join the recent Deans’ Open Forum. The Open Forum is an opportunity for the college community to hear general updates, highlights and, information from our academic, research, Extension, and international programs offices in the college. If you were not able to join us in Fralin Auditorium or online for the Forum, you can listen to the recorded session. Many thanks to Carl Estes in CALS-IT for assisting with the WebEx presentation.
I encourage everyone to take some time to review the 86 diversity initiatives that are posted on the InclusiveVT site. These 86 initiatives have been developed by colleges and other senior management areas of the university. Four of these initiatives were submitted from CALS and are being implemented by various groups in the college. Many will have opportunities to become engaged in the activities and discussion that result from these. The CALS Diversity Council and CALS Communications and Marketing will also be helping.
Many people from the college and university attended the Virginia Agribusiness Council’s Annual Legislative Banquet in January. Several of us also attended the Virginia Tech annual legislative breakfast with President Sands in Richmond. These events provided us an opportunity to become more acquainted with our legislators and industry stakeholders, and to thank them. We also learned more about legislative issues impacting higher education, VCE, VAES, and the industry. We are hopeful that our legislators are doing everything they can during the 2015 General Assembly Session to protect Agencies 208 and 229 from further budget reductions. We were pleased with the announcement that Ed Jones (VCE Director) and Jennifer Gagnon (Forest Res & Environ Conserv, CNRE) were recipients of the Agribusiness Council’s Land-Grant Award. The awards will be presented to them later this year. Congratulations Ed and Jennifer!
Best wishes for a safe and successful 2015!