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Strategic Plan Home

Strategic Plan Background

Goals and Principles | Governance | Modules | Final Report (PDF)


  • Clarify the School of Engineering institutional mission, vision and values and how the Engineering School will differentiate itself from other engineering programs
  • Define (3-6) areas of Research Excellence aligned with U.Va.
  • Define our academic goals for the undergraduate and graduate programs
  • Define a financial model aligned with our future vision
  • Align activities with Engineering School aspirations and provide the basis for resource allocation
  • Articulate the value proposition for the School of Engineering
  • Enhance development efforts for the School of Engineering and the University
  • Define an Engineering School culture supportive of our future vision and aspirations
  • Develop an effective implementation strategy OR Define an implementation and change management plan
Guiding Principles
  • An inclusive and transparent process
  • Ownership by University administration, deans, chairs, faculty and staff
  • Enhancement and leveraging of collaborations across the School of Engineering and U.Va.
  • Support for implementation of Commission on the Future of U.Va.
  • Impactful across stakeholders
  • Able to be implemented
  • Date driven and fact based
  • Balance of hard and soft elements
  • Timely
  • Effective


Steering Committee

The role of the steering committee is to oversee the progress of the overall project and various modules; provide guidance and ideas to the modules that will help them achieve their goals; review and approve all module deliverables prior to publication; serve as a clearinghouse for issues; and assure that the resulting School of Engineering Strategic Plan meets overall needs of stakeholders and the University.

  • James Aylor, dean and chair
  • Vince Derr, president of the School of Engineering Trustees
  • David Gee, member of the School of Engineering Trustees
  • Rich Myers, senior associate dean for planning for the School of Arts & Sciences
  • Margaret Shupnik, professor, School of Medicine
  • Tom Skalak, vice president for research
Leadership Council

The role of the leadership council is to serve as adjunct advisors to this project, to make suggestions and recommendations to the Steering Committee and to provide ongoing feedback to the Project Management Office. Members of the leadership council are viewed as key stakeholders; their understanding and acknowledgement of the project are critical for its success.

  • Robert Davis, professor and chair, Department of Chemical Engineering
  • Michael Demetsky, professor and chair, Department of Civil Engineering
  • Hossein Haj-Hariri, professor and chair, Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
  • Lloyd Harriott, professor and chair, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Barry Horowitz, professor and chair, Department of Systems & Information Engineering
  • Barry Johnson, professor and senior associate dean & associate dean for research
  • Deborah Johnson, professor and chair, Department of Science, Technology & Science
  • William Johnson, professor and chair, Department of Materials Science & Engineering
  • Michael Lawrence, professor and chair, Department of Biomedical Engineering
  • Mary Lou Soffa, professor and chair, Department of Computer Science
Project Management Office

The role of the project management office is to serve as a centralized management structure for this project to ensure standardization, reduce duplication and leverage resources such as people, technology, and communication. The major role of the PMO is to define and maintain process standards by providing a framework to establish standard performance measures based on the project’s goals and objectives, and providing tools and procedures to achieve this. This translates into three key areas: establishing project methodologies, project tracking and project support.

  • Mike King, lead
  • Eric Coleman, U.Va. human resources leadership development center
  • Jenny Gardiner, admin assistant
  • Jody Knowles, administrator
  • Josie Pipkin, communications
  • Zak Richards, communications
  • Jim Traub, project manager


Module team leadership and membership were selected to ensure diversity and practical representation of departments within the School of Engineering. The teams followed a common process of gathering data and ideas from key stakeholders from internal and external organizations and evaluating strengths and opportunities for improvement. The teams made their final recommendations by evaluating ideas against selection criteria and each idea’s ability to achieve excellence and to distinguish the School of Engineering and U.Va.

The Module Teams

Undergraduate programs
Ed Berger, associate dean for undergraduate programs, lead

Graduate programs
Marcel Utz, associate professor, mechanical and aerospace engineering, lead

Research distinctiveness
Robert Kelly, professor, material science and engineering, lead

William Johnson, professor and chair, materials science and engineering, co-lead
Lloyd Harriott, professor and chair, electrical and computer engineering, co-lead

Organizational alignment
Eric Coleman, senior organization/leadership development consultant, human resources, co-lead
Michael King, science, technology and society, co-lead