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President's Corner: August 2017

A good university cannot stand still.

New fields of study emerge. New jobs need to be filled. That's why we must constantly update our curriculum.

So when our 24,600 students rejoin us in less than three weeks, we'll be introducing several new academic programs, along with the traditional ones you're familiar with in such areas as sciences, health sciences, liberal arts, engineering and education.

I'd like to highlight a few to keep you up to date on the changing face of academics at Old Dominion University and to reinforce how we are nimbly responding to the ever-fluctuating demands of the workforce.

n ODU is adding three majors to our growing cybersecurity emphasis - cybercrime, cyber operations and enterprise cybersecurity. The last one emerged from discussions with business leaders, who said we should be preparing students for jobs of the future. Our goal, as philosophy professor Dylan Wittkower puts it, is to define the curve, not just stay ahead of it.

  • To further expand our reach in one of our strongest programs, we will begin offering a certificate in entrepreneurship, open to all undergraduates who complete four courses in the subject, including a capstone project.
  • The Strome College of Business will launch a major in real estate, covering such subjects as real estate appraisal and management. One project will require students to submit a real estate proposal to a mock city council made up of local real estate and development leaders.
  • In one of our many partnerships with community colleges, we have started giving students at Tidewater Community College the chance to pursue an interdisciplinary bachelor's degree in leadership. For those transferring from TCC, this will be our first z-degree, meaning zero money spent on textbooks.

In addition, earlier this year, in partnership with George Mason University, Old Dominion launched the Online Virginia Network. That presents a new and convenient way to offer more than three dozen degree programs to Virginians who might find it difficult to take classes on campus.

One of the joys of the new school year is encountering eager faces, ready to jump into new experiences. We owe it to them - and to our community - to provide a range of academic choices to meet the needs of the future.

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