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Strategic Planning

CALS Strategic Plan 2019

Crafting a vision for the next 10 years

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The future of CALS

The CALS Strategic Plan will chart the course for our future direction and will outline our initial steps toward achieving measurable and sustainable objectives that move the college forward. We have identified four strategic priorities to guide our process that align with Virginia Tech's Beyond Boundaries vision: Advance our regional, national, and global impact; Elevate the Ut Prosim difference; Become a destination for talent; Ensure institutional excellence.

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Virginia Tech's Strategic Plan

Advancing Beyond Boundaries

Advancing Beyond Boundaries was developed in collaboration with faculty, staff, students, and alumni across Virginia Tech's colleges, institutes, offices, and campuses, and shaped by partners and employers.

Read the plan »

A Global Land Grant

Helping communities thrive — in Virginia and around the world.
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From drug discovery research that fights infectious diseases to community outreach programs to battle the opioid epidemic, we are working in Virginia and around the world to find and share ways to increase the health of our communities.


The goal of helping economies thrive has been at the core of our mission since our founding nearly 150 years ago. We empower communities by growing future leaders through our 4-H and FFA programs, and building a workforce in our undergraduate and graduate programs. The knowledge that originates in Blacksburg is shared around the world through Virginia Cooperative Extension and our Agricultural Research and Extension Centers so that local economies can prosper.


Farmers are the original stewards of the land, and this is a mantle we will continue for generations to come. That’s why we are developing predictive environmental solutions that will empower everyone to be more resilient to changing climates, as well as leading projects to ensure everyone—from homeowners to Chesapeake Bay fishermen —have a steady supply of fresh, clean water.


With the world’s population swelling to 9 billion by 2050, building a reliable food system is more important than ever. This means growing and raising food in a safe and productive manner that reaches people the world over and allows them to remain healthy throughout their lifespan.

Nov. 20 CALS Town Hall

Working groups

We have constituted four working groups to respectively focus on ways the college can advance these individual priorities. In collaboration with the Steering Committee, these groups will cooperatively draft the CALS Strategic Plan.

Priority 1

Advance regional, national, and global impact

We will be globally recognized for our research strengths, world-class faculty, and ability to integrate our learning, discovery, and engagement missions.

  • Patricia Donovan
    School of Plant and Environmental Sciences
  • Alan Ealy
    Animal and Poultry Sciences
  • Zach Easton
    Biological Systems Engineering
  • Haibo Huang
    Food Science and Technology
  • Kiho Lee
    Animal and Poultry Sciences
  • Janet Rinehart
    Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise
  • Jayesh Samtani
    Hampton Roads AREC
  • Daniel Slade
  • Christy Teets
    Dairy Science
  • Zhijian (Jake) Tu
  • Kang Xia
    School of Plant and Environmental Sciences
  • Megan O'Rourke
    Working Group Chair
  • Saied Mostaghimi
    CALS Associate dean
    Liaison to Steering Committee

Priority 2

Elevate the Ut Prosim Difference.

We recognize the integral connection between our land grant responsibility of access and opportunity, and our mission of service to humanity.

  • Rebecca Cockrum
    Dairy Science
  • Janet Donahue
  • Tim Kring
  • Tom Martin
    Agricultural Technology
  • John McDowell
    School of Plant and Environmental Sciences
  • Kim Niewolny
    Agricultural, Leadership and Community Education
  • Mark Reiter
    Eastern Shore AREC
  • Janet Spencer
    VCE Southeast District
  • Jonathan van Senten
    Virginia Seafood AREC
  • Katie White
    Agricultural and Applied Economics
  • Molly Wilson
  • Olga Massa
    Agricultural and Applied Economics
    Working Group Chair
  • Susan Sumner
    CALS Associate dean
    Liaison to Steering Committee

Priority 3

Be a Destination for Talent.

We will attract bold and dynamic faculty, staff, and students to a diverse and inclusive community to be a force for positive change.

  • Jonathan Auguste
  • Stephanie Brown
  • Helene Doughty
    Eastern Shore AREC
  • Mark Estienne
    Tidewater AREC
  • Erin Ling
    Biological Systems and Engineering
  • Diana McHenry
    Alson H. Smith, Jr. AREC
  • Kathryn Payne
    Southern Piedmont AREC
  • Tracy Rutherford
    Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education
  • Hannah Scherer
    Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education
  • Mike Schwarz
    Virginia Seafood AREC
  • John Thompson
    VCE Northern District
  • Rob Williams
    Food Science and Technology
    Working Group Chair
  • Matt Hulver
    Assistant Dean
    Liaison to Steering Committee

Priority 4

Ensure Institutional Excellence.

We will create opportunities to solicit and explore innovative ideas, inform resource allocation, and engage the university's systm of shared governance.

  • Susan Duncan
    Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station
  • Ben Grove
    CALS Global
  • Stephanie Hedrick
    Agricultural and Applied Economics
  • Patrick Hilt
    CALS Research
  • Joseph Oakes
    Eastern Virginia AREC
  • Scott Salom
  • Elena Serrano
    Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise
  • Sherif Sherif
    Alson H. Smith, Jr. AREC
  • Crystal Wall
    CALS Fiscal Technician
  • Kim Waterman
    Food Science and Technology
  • Tony Wolf
    Alson H. Smith, Jr. AREC
  • Neal Vines
    CALS Director of IT and Distance Education
    Working Group Chair
  • Ed Jones
    CALS Associate dean
    Liaison to Steering Committee

Town Hall Digital Post-It Notes

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