Old Dominion University
In the upcoming year, I think higher education will have to continue to formulate new solutions and ideas to balance access and affordability with economic realities. From President Obama to government at the state and local levels, there is an important conversation happening about tuition costs and student debt.
At Old Dominion University, we have focused on this issue for many years because of the uniqueness and diversity of our student population. Our tuition continues to be the lowest of the state's doctoral institutions and we have initiated programs to provide our students campus employment opportunities and financial literacy skills.
Gov. Bob McDonnell and the General Assembly have recognized our efforts and supported them with additional funding, but state resources are not limitless. Therefore, finding the right balance to ensure everyone has access to higher education is a conversation that must be ongoing.
In 2013, Old Dominion will be expanding our programs and degrees awarded in the important areas of science, technology, engineering, math and health, STEM-H. Old Dominion is currently third in the commonwealth in awarding STEM-H degrees. There is a national shortage of STEM-H graduates in the country and these degrees lead to high-paying jobs, both of which are important components to growing the Hampton Roads and Virginia economies. Obviously, our athletics moving to Conference USA is another development, as well as strengthening our joint efforts with Eastern Virginia Medical School in public health.
Modeling and simulation continues to be a major influence in the Hampton Roads economy. When the Joint Forces Command was disbanded, there was considerable worry. But Old Dominion and the region's M&S industry have for the past decade been focused on diversifying modeling and simulation research away from its beginning domain of military applications into a host of multidisciplinary fields - from transportation to health care to emergency preparedness.
With more than 10 years of collaboration already in place between researchers from ODU and EVMS, leading to numerous innovations such as the virtual operating room and virtual pathology stethoscope, this region is poised to play a significant role in the introduction of even more modeling and simulation innovations into the $2.7 trillion annually that the United States spends on health care.