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2009-2014 Strategic Plan Goal 2:Gain a National Reputation through Key Academic Programs & Scholarship

Strategically advance our nationally recognized academic programs.

Reallocate resources to programs that have or could attain national prominence as measured by faculty reputation and successful graduates, including modeling and simulation, physics, bio-electrics and bioengineering, education leadership and counseling programs, ocean sciences and engineering, among others. Support programs that successfully meet demonstrated local and regional needs, such as health sciences, nursing, economic forecasting, creative writing, and science, technology and mathematics (STEM) education. Increase efforts to attract high-achieving students, promote the scholarly achievements of our faculty, strategically increase the number of full-time faculty in prominent or promising programs, emphasize interdisciplinary opportunities, and affirm our identity as a graduate institution through concentrated attention to graduate student recruitment and support.

Rationale: We have many programs, some quite new, others more established, that have been recognized in national ratings or that hold promise to have significant national impact. We want those programs to continue to draw positive attention, even climb in the rankings, or else generate further grant money, good publicity, and/or interest to attract top quality students and faculty. Therefore, it is important to direct resources to those areas without at the same time undermining the value of other programs that, by virtue of their steady or increasing enrollment, importance to General Education or other core programs, significance to college mission, or other signs of vitality, deserve continued strong support. This will mean making hard choices about continuing support for programs that show steadily declining enrollments, inability to hire strong faculty, or failure to support college or university core missions.


Identify and enhance funding for programs of special prominence or that are deserving of continuing support; identify programs that need significant change to be viable, or discontinue.

Undertake regular and systematic program reviews to identify programs of special prominence, or the potential for such prominence, and those that deserve continuing support. Appoint review committees in each college to determine criteria for prominence. Use this process to identify programs in need of major revitalization or that should be discontinued. Develop metrics to assess and optimize business and administrative costs for each program. Reallocate resources and include at least 40 new faculty positions toward the support of promising programs and develop action plans for reform or discontinuance of underperforming programs. Revisit each program every five years to ensure that resources are properly directed to prominent and core programs.

Responsible Parties Provost, Deans, Associate Deans, Department Chairs, Institutional Research and Assessment, Graduate Studies, Faculty Senate, Faculty Committees.
Measures of Success
  1. By fall 2010, each college identifies prominent or promising programs, and programs that should be discontinued or need change to be viable.
  2. By fall 2011, each academic college will undertake first annual review of prominent, potentially prominent, and weak programs. Re
  3. source requests and allocations provide evidence that appropriate follow up is implemented and that resources are appropriately allocated to existing and emerging programs of prominence.

Coordinate and enhance promotional and recruiting activities.

Increase support for promotional and reputational strategies that will enhance the national and international visibility of the University and its academic programs. Appoint recruiting committees or recruiting officers to work with Colleges, Admissions, and Marketing, as well as other units where relevant, to assist in developing attractive and up-to-date promotional and recruiting materials and an inviting web presence that will attract top quality undergraduate and graduate students.

Responsible Parties Media Relations/Marketing, Enrollment Management, Admissions, Provost, Deans, Continuing Education Units, Community Relations, Institutional Research and Assessment
Measures of Success
  1. Increased mention of ODU in national and international media.
  2. Increased national rankings of programs by 2013.
  3. Increased availability, dissemination, and web use of recruitment materials from surveys of newly enrolled students.
  4. Increased % of top quality freshman and transfer undergraduate students and graduate students enrolled, as measured by SAT's, GPA's, class rank, etc.
  5. Using 2008-2009 as a baseline, increased alumni activities and involvement, private donations, annual giving, and number of donors.

Attract and retain quality graduate students

Increase accountability for graduate student success at College and Departmental level.
Allocate funding for graduate student recruitment toward targeted areas within programs that are identified as high priority, and support graduate program development in critically needed areas. Offer competitive graduate support packages. Assist programs to track graduate student progress, improve program completion rates, and track professional or academic placement of graduates.

Responsible Parties Deans, Associate Deans, Graduate Studies, Graduate Admissions, Graduate Program Directors, Faculty Senate, Alumni Relations, Enrollment Management, Media Relations/Marketing, Institutional Research and Assessment
Measures of Success
  1. Increased retention of graduate students in first two years of program, by College and Department.
  2. Decreased average time to degree completion by College and increase in number of PhDs awarded.
  3. Increased number and percentage of graduate degree recipients providing job and/or academic placement information.

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