James R. Bohland, vice president and executive director of Virginia Tech National Capital Region Operations since 2002, will step down from that position, effective Jan. 1, 2012. Bohland will return to the faculty until mid-March when he will retire after a 31-year career at the university.
In his current post, Bohland works with the university’s president and provost to develop and implement new strategic directions for Virginia Tech in the National Capital Region. He and his team are also responsible for helping to coordinate services and program initiatives for the university's six sites in the region.
"Dr. Bohland has been an outstanding faculty member and administrator at Virginia Tech for more than three decades. His calm demeanor belies his dynamic vision and leadership, which have been especially important in helping us enhance our programs and presence in the National Capital Region," said University President Charles W. Steger.
"Even before he took over our National Capital Region programs, he served as interim provost in 2000-01, playing a pivotal role in the development of our strategic plan. His strong leadership and wise counsel will be greatly missed by all who have worked with him in his illustrious career at Virginia Tech, but we know he will be as successful in his future endeavors and offer him our best," Steger said.
The most important accomplishment in the National Capital Region during Bohland’s tenure is the opening of the Virginia Tech Research Center — Arlington in June 2011, an effort he spearheaded from inception to completion.
“Jim Bohland's commitment to the university has been steadfast. He has made significant contributions to all the program areas and special projects he has served during his many years with Virginia Tech," said Senior Vice President and Provost Mark McNamee. "His vision, perseverance, and leadership were essential in opening Virginia Tech’s new research center in Arlington to expand our research mission in the National Capital Region. The university will reap the benefits of his work for years to come. We thank him and wish him all the best as he moves to the next chapter of his life.”
Bohland joined Virginia Tech in 1980 as associate professor and chairman of the Urban Affairs and Planning program. He was named professor in 1984 and subsequently served as founding director of the School of Public and International Affairs and as interim provost for the university from 2000 to 2001. During his year as provost Bohland helped develop the School of Biomedical Engineering, a joint program with Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C.; approved the initial concept for the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science; and worked with the president on the university’s strategic plan.
In addition to his administrative responsibilities in the National Capital Region, Bohland continued to serve as director of the Institute for Community Health at Virginia Tech from 1999 to 2008. From 2001 to 2005 he was a senior Fellow for biomedical, biomedical engineering, and health projects, responsible for developing and implementing research and graduate degree programs in these areas and managing collaborative agreements with selected medical schools. Bohland was also a Center for Organizational and Technological Advancement Fellow for Health at Virginia Tech from 2002 to 2004.
“My years at Virginia Tech have enabled me to grow personally and professionally in ways I could not have imagined. That growth was made possible by the students, faculty, and staff I have met and worked with since joining the university in 1980,” said Bohland.
After earning a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Georgia, Bohland was on the faculty at the University of Oklahoma, where he stayed until he joined Virginia Tech. He served as chairman of the geography department during the last two years of his tenure at Oklahoma.
With principal research interests in community health planning, GIS applications in public health and human services, rural health issues, and social aspects of information technology, Bohland has authored more than 75 refereed articles, book chapters, and technical reports on topics ranging from community health, digital divide, and community technology centers. He also edited the SUNY Albany series on urban and housing policy. He has received grants from numerous organizations, including National Science Foundation, Exxon, National Telecommunications and Information Agency, National Institutes of Health, Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments, National Cancer Institute, and the Virginia Department for Health.
In 1995, Bohland founded Health Services Research Inc., a company specializing in planning and data analysis services for organizations in the health and social service fields, and served as president until 2003. He is past president and current member of the Board of Trustees for Columbia-Montgomery Regional Hospital. He also serves on the Panel of Data Quality for the Virginia Hospital Association and on the Science Advisory Board of the Prevention Research Center at the University of Kentucky.
Bohland resides in Blacksburg with his wife Sally. He has two sons, Jay and Jon, and a granddaughter, Isabella.