Gov. McDonnell, Cisco’s John Chambers and Virginia University Presidents Highlight New Technology Sharing Initiatives for Higher Education

On November 3, Gov. Bob McDonnell, Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers, NVTC Board Members George Mason University President Alan Merten and Virginia Tech President Charles Steger, as well as university presidents Linwood Rose of James Madison University and Teresa Sullivan of University of Virginia gathered together via Cisco TelePresence to discuss instructional and resource sharing among Virginia’s higher education institutions, including the progress of the 4-VA initiative.

The 4-VA consortium of four Virginia universities was established to launch a pilot program using Cisco TelePresence, an immersive video technology, to establish a shared infrastructure to improve access to and the quality and affordability of higher education. 4-VA will use emerging technologies to increase access, reduce time to graduation and reduce costs, while maintaining and enhancing quality. Instructional talent across the four institutions will be leveraged in the delivery of programs in foreign languages, science, technology, engineering and mathematics to further prepare students for jobs in the global economy. The program will eventually be offered to all Virginia higher education institutions.

The 4-VA was initiated in response to Gov. McDonnell's Commission on Higher Education Reform, Innovation and Investment, which called for the reforms outlined in legislation passed in the 2011 Top Jobs of the 21st Century Higher Education Initiative. NVTC President and CEO Bobbie Kilberg testified in support of the legislation before the Senate Finance Committee's Subcommittee on Education this past February.

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