VCU office of the provost

Message from the Provost

SACSCOC Reaccreditation
This week we host SACSCOC evaluators as part of the university’s ten-year reaccreditation process. This intense and multifaceted effort began a few years ago and I’m grateful to the many faculty and staff members who placed VCU in such a strong position to go through this examination. That’s especially true for those who helped develop and are now executing VCU’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), formally named Real-world Applications in Multidisciplinary and Project-based Studies (RAMPS). Hopefully by now you have heard about, or seen signs around campus, about our work to ensure that Every Ram’s a Researcher. This is one more way – and an important one at that – that we are ensuring that VCU’s uncommon on-campus experience lives up to promises that attract our students.

Academic Repositioning
This final week of February also marks the end of the listening tour of town hall meetings that we have been having across VCU’s Richmond campuses. I have been delighted with the conversations begun by the One VCU Academic Repositioning Task Force, some of which found its way into The Commonwealth Times. Since the semester began, more than 900 faculty and staff members have attended these sessions to share their perspectives. That’s in addition to the more than 27,000 engagements that the task force web portal has gotten, including more than 2,500 submitted comments by mid-February. I look forward to reviewing that feedback with President Rao and other senior leaders as we consider which recommendations to pursue for implementation. I look forward to continuing that conversation with faculty and staff members, hopefully before the end of March.

Celebrating VCU Faculty

Leadership Update

Current Initiatives

  • The Office of the Provost seeks faculty perspectives for the pending launch of VCU’s signature university-wide artificial intelligence initiative: Convergence Labs @ VCU for AI+. This initiative will position VCU with a special focus on applied AI for the public good, research and learning, as well as related course offerings/programs. We’re asking faculty members to take this brief survey to provide us with information to prepare for the launch and vision steps to move forward.
  • The Office of the Provost is seeking nominations for the VCU 2024 Distinguished Faculty Awards. The submission deadline is March 15, 2024.
  • The racial literacy work group is working with faculty on 15 new courses, which could bring the university’s offerings to a total of 17. If the total number of available seats across all course sections meets the requirement set last October, then VCU can implement the racial literacy requirement this coming fall.
  • VCU Community Engagement recently led the first of three regional workshops aimed at improving equity in research opportunities. The Building Corporate and Community Partnerships for Research in Central Virginia Workshop attendees included the VCU School of Education, Virginia State University, Activation Capital, and Longwood University. These workshops are part of VCU’s NSF GRANTED grant to build a regional research ecosystem among emerging and minority-serving universities and community partners.
  • VCU Community Engagement will be leading a university-wide effort to reaffirm VCU’s designation as a Carnegie Community Engaged Institution. VCU was among the first to earn the classification in 2005 and earned reclassification in 2015.
  • Congratulations to the faculty and staff members whose collaborations, as part of the VCU Libraries’ Open and Affordable Course Content initiative, have saved our students over $10 million in textbook costs, including $2.1 million in savings in the current academic year alone.
  • April marks Innovation Month at VCU. An interdisciplinary team of faculty and staff have been working together this academic year to highlight and celebrate  innovation, entrepreneurship, and research with exciting events throughout the month of April.
  • VCU has been named a Top Producing Institution for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs for the 2023-2024 academic year. The acknowledgement places VCU as one of the top universities in the country that excel at fostering global connections and providing support for students and recent alumni as they seek out prestigious international scholarship opportunities.

Quest 2028 Data Point

Did you know… VCU administers a First Destination Survey to collect information from recent graduates? The latest results show that nearly 90% of survey respondents who graduated in May 2023 are very or somewhat satisfied with their post-graduation plans. This data and other highlights are available on VCU’s First Destination Survey dashboard. Faculty and staff can access it by visiting VCU’s Data Portal and clicking the secure dashboards button.

Categories Monthly Academic Update
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