About 4-VA

4-VA began in 2010 as an intiative of four universities: George Mason University, James Madison University, the University of Virginia, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.  The presidents of these universities organized 4-VA in order to meet the needs identified by the Governor's Higher Education Commission and his Commission on Economic Development & Job Creation.

4-VA's Mission:

4-VA's mission is to promote inter-university collaborations that leverage the strengths of each partner university in order to accomplish much more than any individual university could achieve alone.

4-VA strives to:

  1. Define instructional models, including the clear definition of instructional costs,
  2. Significantly expand access for all Virginians to programs preparing them for rewarding careers,
  3. Increase research competitiveness, and
  4. Increase opportunities and enhance the success of students in STEM courses and programs.  It will be valuable for 4-VA as a collective, as well as individual institutions, to think about how 4-VA campus activities align with 4-VA goals.

Each university contributed funding to establish the 4-VA Office and hire staff. Mr. John Chambers, CEO of Cisco Systems, Inc., supported the presidents’ vision and sponsored a great deal of technology to seed the early projects. Virginia’s legislature provided project funding.

Management Board:

4-VA's direction is set by the management board, which consists of the four university presidents, Virginia's Secretary of Education, the Executive Director of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV), and Cisco's Senior Vice President.

Annual Report:

The Management Board met on Monday, December 2, 2013 and approved the 2012-2013 annual report, a copy of which is available here.

How 4-VA Works:

Each 4-VA university reallocated physical facilities and technical staff to work with Cisco to implement two TelePresence rooms (a total of eight across the four universities). This has enabled the universities' presidents, provosts, vice presidents of information technology, and various research and instructional faculty to meet frequently in a collaborative virtual environment in order to evaluate proposals and select those best suited to facilitate 4-VA making progress on the goals of the Governor's commissions, particularly the "Top Jobs" initiative.