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Virginia Tech to host Engagement Academy for University Leaders


BLACKSBURG, Va., Dec. 5, 2007 – The increasing need for colleges and universities to be deeply engaged in their communities, regions, the nation, and the world has prompted Virginia Tech to create a unique executive development program designed for higher education leaders.

Virginia Tech’s Center for Organizational and Technological Advancement will be hosting the Engagement Academy for University Leaders June 9-13, 2008 at The Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center in Roanoke, Va.

The academy will provide training for academic administrators who are leading strategic institutional engagement. Engagement is a term that refers to a two-way involvement in which colleges and universities work in partnership with communities to respond to their goals and needs, basing new research and scholarship on real-world priorities.

Lorilee Sandmann, associate professor at the University of Georgia in the College of Education’s Department of Lifelong Education, Administration, and Policy, is a national leader in engagement and led the program development. Sandmann and Judith Ramaley, president of Winona State University, will lead the academy.

Other core faculty include Emily Stover DeRocco, assistant secretary of the Employment and Training Administration in the U.S. Department of Labor; C. Peter Magrath, president emeritus of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges (NASULGC); and Suzanne Morse, president of the Pew Partnership for Civic Change, and center Fellow whose work with the Virginia Tech center focuses on building leadership capacity in communities and universities for civic change.

The academy has been endorsed by three major national associations: the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges (NASULGC), the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, and the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities. It will combine classroom experiences with hands-on project work to benefit participants’ own institutions and spheres of work.

A day trip to Virginia Tech’s Institute for Advanced Learning and Research, the focus of NASULGC’s recent C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Award, will provide an orientation to Virginia Tech’s unique example of university engagement in action.

As a land-grant university, a central part of Virginia Tech’s mission is applying university expertise for the benefit of society. Virginia Tech uses the engagement model for relationships with its community partners and has earned the Carnegie Foundation designation as an “engaged university.”

“This is a unique opportunity for institutions committed to engaging partners in communities around the world to solve both local and global issues,” explains center director Jeri Childers. “Together, we will be building capacity in our institutions and communities, as well as preparing the next generation of university leaders.”

Registration for the academy is limited to 35 individuals who are nominated by their institution’s president. Nominations of individuals from diverse institutional types are encouraged and are due Dec. 17, 2007, but will be continuously accepted. Upon nomination, all nominees will be notified by Virginia Tech and must complete a program application by Jan. 22, 2008. Accepted participants will be notified in February 2008.

For more information on the Engagement Academy for University Leaders, contact center director Jeri Childers at 540/231-9497.

Virginia Tech's Center for Organizational and Technological Advancement plays an important role in developing educational conferences and programs that match university expertise to outside audiences. The center was established in 1994 to foster economic and workforce development with special emphasis on executive education initiatives that connect university research to the needs of Virginia's leaders, organizations, and communities through conferences, workshops, and seminars.