The General Assembly session is now in full swing, and we’ve been spending time meeting with legislators and other stakeholders to relay the importance of, and need for, our educational and research funding. We are also relaying the positive developments in Virginia Cooperative Extension throughout the commonwealth, and the successes of the groundbreaking work being done on campus and at our agricultural research and extension centers.
Through our interactions, it is clear that the study of life sciences and agriculture, and the thriving agriculture industry in Virginia, are top priorities for many members in the General Assembly. As the session moves forward, we are optimistic that Extension and the Agriculture Experiment Station will receive some additional funding to support critical staffing needs.
The first three College strategic planning working groups met in December and will continue their work this semester to begin the process of drafting our six-year strategic plan. Three working groups, each aligned with a strategic goal in the plan (Teaching and Learning, Research, and Extension) are comprised of 10 individuals representing a broad spectrum of our programs, departments, and units in the College. Jay Williams of HNFE is heading the Teaching and Learning group, George Davis from AAEC is heading the Research group, and Joyce Lattimer, HORT, is leading the Extension working group.
In the coming weeks, we will announce the dates and times of two Adobe Connect listening sessions where we will seek input for the plan. Feedback from those sessions will inform the first draft of what will ultimately become the final plan. At that time, we will announce the URL for a new CALS Strategic Planning website that will update the CALS community and our stakeholders about the strategic planning process and will provide additional opportunities for comment from those unable to attend the listening sessions or those who want to provide additional feedback. The feedback section will be available for approximately two weeks.
Responses to feedback questions will be sent to the appropriate team so that they can interpret the answers and incorporate this input into their drafts.
Working groups, each of which will include a strategic planning writing team, will finalize drafts based on comments and input. Each working group will write their sub-plan document and a writing team will compile the sub-plans into a single document.
We expect the process to continue through the spring semester with the final plan completed by early summer.