Faculty – Brilliant, Agile, Connected
Innovation Campus faculty will pursue frontier, use-inspired sponsored research in collaboration with each other and with a committed and enduring engagement of the private sector (regional and national), federal agencies that use advanced technology, and any other externalities with overlapping interests with activities on the campus. This faculty expectation and practice will imbue the Innovation Campus with an outward-facing culture that emphasizes connectivity and integration with communities outside of traditional academic circles. This is not to minimize the importance of the academic community, but to expand its reach into the tech ecosystem to sustain mutually-beneficial research collaborations with the broader community.
Innovation Campus faculty will be selected based on their research and teaching, as with any campus; however, they will also engage deeply outside traditional academic circles. They will strive to translate their work into commercial applications, engage outside of the academy and collaborate with industry. The faculty will promote a purpose-driven, action-oriented culture that is distinctive and connected to the outside world. Virginia Tech faculty in Blacksburg and northern Virginia have expressed interest in joining the Innovation Campus. This initial faculty “nucleus” will help establish the research and educational programming, as well as assist in external faculty recruiting.
The following administrative appointments support the faculty.
Faculty Lead. The Vice President and Executive Director will appoint a tenured faculty member as Faculty Lead, who will represent the faculty to the senior administration of the campus. The Faculty Lead will organize regular faculty meetings and will serve as the defacto “head” of the faculty, but without the usual department affiliation associated with that title.
Instructional Lead. The Vice President and Executive Director, in collaboration with the Faculty Lead, will appoint a tenured faculty member as the Instructional Lead. The Instructional Lead will oversee the development and execution of instructional programs on the campus, including coursework (online and residential) and the project-based learning curriculum.
Diversity Lead. The Vice President and Executive Director, in collaboration with the Faculty Lead, will appoint a tenured faculty member as the Diversity Lead. The Diversity Lead will oversee all faculty searches with the goal of ensuring that best practices for achieving diversity are routine in all faculty searches. Further details of this role can be found here.
Technical Leads. The Vice President and Executive Director, in collaboration with the Faculty Lead, will appoint a tenured faculty member to lead each research theme on the campus. This individual will be responsible for hiring faculty to expand the effort, and for organizing the group to pursue centers and larger grants.
Upon completion of the first phase of this plan, the Innovation Campus will have up to 50 full-time equivalent faculty, the majority of whom are tenured or tenure track. Innovation Campus faculty will hold appointments in both the Innovation Campus and academic departments in Blacksburg. Appointments to the Innovation Campus will be made by the Vice President and Executive Director in cooperation with the collaborating colleges and departments. Tenure will be awarded and held in the academic disciplines with provisions for changes in association with the Innovation Campus. As faculty appointments are shared, outcomes for instruction, research and engagement will be counted toward both the Innovation Campus and the associated college and academic department.