Members of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors voted Monday to approve reorganizing the colleges of architecture and urban studies, engineering, and liberal arts and human sciences and to approve renaming the College of Architecture and Urban Studies as the College of Architecture, Arts, and Design to reflect the disciplines included in the new organization.
These changes will become effective upon approval by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.
The reorganization will include the transfer of the Myers-Lawson School of Construction to the College of Engineering; the School of Public and International Affairs to the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, and the School of Performing Arts to the College of Architecture and Urban Studies.
In addition, the restructured College of Architecture and Urban Studies will include the School of Architecture, the School of Performing Arts, the School of Visual Arts, and the School of Design.
None of the proposed school transfers affect existing degree plans, and all degrees will be transferred with their existing schools. All faculty will transfer in their current schools to new colleges with their current rank and tenure status. All proposed changes are cost-neutral because budgetary and staff resources will follow each school to its proposed college location.
Since its inception in 2006 as a school shared by the colleges of architecture and urban studies and engineering, the Myers-Lawson School of Construction has been one of only three schools of construction in the United States that offer both engineering and non-engineering construction degrees.
The proposed transfer of the school entirely to the College of Engineering will achieve administrative efficiencies, better facilitate research and instructional collaboration among faculty across building construction and civil engineering disciplines, and offer students additional opportunities to pursue transdisciplinary undergraduate research and industry internships across these related disciplines.
Currently housed in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, the School of Performing Arts, with its programs in theater arts/cinema and music, has modes of instruction and creative activities that closely align with those that prevail in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies.
Many performing arts faculty regularly collaborate with faculty in the School of Visual Arts on multi-faceted artistic productions and research. The proposed realignment will strengthen these ties for both faculty and students. The administrative efficiencies to be gained reflect the shared spaces for the visual and performing arts embedded in the university’s Master Plan for the Creativity and Innovation District.
For more than 50 years, programs in the School of Public and International Affairs, including government and international affairs, urban affairs and planning, and public administration and policy, have established strong national reputations and highly productive collaborations with faculty in liberal arts and human sciences.
The current organization of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies has been in place since 2003.