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Virginia Tech History Resources: Graduate School

This guide details resources intended to help those doing research on the history of Virginia Tech, including the use of Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries, and related resources.

About the Graduate School

About the Graduate School

The university introduced graduate work in 1891, and the first Dean of the Graduate Department was installed in 1907. In 1920, the dean of the graduate department was eliminated, and the role merged into the Dean of the College. In 1923, a Committee on Graduate Programs and Degrees was formed with a chair (renamed director in 1936). The office of the Vice-President assumed the duties of the Director of Graduate Studies in 1949; then in 1963, the title was changed to Vice-President and Dean of Graduate School. The Dean of the Graduate School became a full-time position in 1965. From 1983 to 2001, the Research Division and Graduate School were combined into the Office of Research and Graduate Studies. The head of the Graduate School was known as the Vice Provost and Dean for Graduate Studies from 2002 until 2008, when it became the Vice President and Dean of Graduate Education.

About the Dean of the College

In 1919, the president reorganized the college. Part of the reorganization was the elimination of the deanships of the general faculty, the graduate department, the academic department, and the applied science department. To replace the deanships, the position of Dean of the College was established. The position was abolished in 1949.

About the Office of the Vice-President

In the fall of 1945, the State Legislature authorized the Board of Visitors to create the Office of Vice-President. The office was combined with the the Director of Graduate Studies from 1949 through 1965. A reorganization in 1966 eliminated the office of Vice-President and created two offices from the one, Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Vice-President for Administration.

About the Office of Research and Innovation

The Virginia General Assembly established a University-wide Research Division in 1966. The Division combined the activities of the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Engineering Experiment Station. From 1983 to 2001, the Research Division and Graduate School were combined into the Office of Research and Graduate Studies. The Division was renamed the Office of Research and Innovation in 2016.

Online Resources



Record groups may include posters, flyers, photos, organizational records, and more. Materials are divided into assigned Record Groups based on the office, division, or unit and designated by the prefix, RG. For example, materials relating to the Graduate School are identified as RG 22/x, the Office of the Vice-President as RG 3/x, the Dean of the College as RG 11/x, and the Office of Research and Innovation as RG 25/x.

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Virginia Tech's Land Acknowledgement & Labor Recognition

Virginia Tech acknowledges that we live and work on the Tutelo / Monacan People’s homeland, and we recognize their continued relationships with their lands and waterways. We further acknowledge that the Morrill Land-Grant College Act (1862) enabled the commonwealth of Virginia to finance and found Virginia Tech through the forced removal of Native Nations from their lands in western territories. We understand that honoring Native Peoples without explicit material commitments falls short of our institutional responsibilities. Through sustained, transparent, and meaningful engagement with the Tutelo / Monacan Peoples, and other Native Nations, we commit to changing the trajectory of Virginia Tech's history by increasing Indigenous student, staff, and faculty recruitment and retention, diversifying course offerings, and meeting the growing needs of all Virginia tribes and supporting their sovereignty.

Virginia Tech acknowledges that its Blacksburg campus sits partly on land that was previously the site of the Smithfield and Solitude Plantations, owned by members of the Preston family. Between the 1770s and the 1860s, the Prestons and other local White families that owned parcels of what became Virginia Tech also owned hundreds of enslaved people. We acknowledge that enslaved Black people generated wealth that financed the predecessor institution to Virginia Tech, the Preston and Olin Institute, and they also worked on construction of its building. Not until 1953, however, was the first Black student permitted to enroll. Through InclusiveVT, the institutional and individual commitment to Ut Prosim (that I may serve) in the spirit of community, diversity, and excellence, we commit to advancing a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community.

Full and short version of the acknowledgement can be found on InclusiveVT's website.