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Virginia Tech Historical Data Book, Section 4.1:
Academic Colleges and Schools


The first major administrative instructional divisions were established in the 1903-04 session when deans of four academic departments were appointed: Academic, Scientific, Engineering, and Agriculture. Ellison A. Smyth was appointed the first dean of the faculty in June 1903, but that post was more equivalent to an administrative vice president for academic affairs.

The first time the word "school" appeared in the catalog as an organizational unit of instruction was in the 1907-08 session, but the word did not have the same meaning as it did later. At that time, there was a School of Scientific Agriculture and a School of Agricultural Apprentices, but both were subordinate to the Department of Agriculture, which had its own dean. The first time "school" was used in the same sense as "college" is today was in the 1920-21 session when the School of Agriculture and the School of Engineering were listed along with a third division, The General Departments.

The word "college," denoting administrative instructional units, came into general use on July 1, 1964, superceding the term "school."

Undergraduate Colleges - Major changes in the undergraduate administrative structure since the first deans were appointed are listed below:

1903-07 - Four departments: Academic, Scientific, Engineering, Agriculture.
1907-12 - Three departments: Scientific, Engineering, Agriculture.
1912-13 - Two departments: Scientific, Agriculture.
1913-15 - Three departments: Applied Sciences, Agriculture, Engineering.
1915-20 - Four departments: Applied Sciences, Agriculture, Engineering, Academic.
1920-24 - Three schools: Agriculture, Engineering, General Departments.
1924-27 - Four schools: Agriculture, Engineering, General Departments, Business Administration.
1927-50 - Three schools: Agriculture, Engineering, The College.
1950-55 - Three schools: Agriculture, Engineering, Applied Science and Business Administration.
1955-60 - Three schools: Agriculture, Engineering and Architecture, Applied Science and Business Administration.
1960-61 - Four schools: Agriculture, Engineering and Architecture, Applied Science and Business Administration, Home Economics.
1961-63 - Five schools: Agriculture, Engineering and Architecture, Home Economics, Business, Science and General Studies.
1963-64 - Five schools: Agriculture, Engineering and Architecture, Home Economics, Business, Arts and Sciences.
1964 (January 1) - Six schools: Agriculture, Engineering, Home Economics, Business, Arts and Sciences, Architecture.
1964 (July 1) - Terminology changed from "schools" to "colleges"
1971 (July) - Seven colleges: Agriculture, Engineering, Home Economics, Business, Arts and Sciences, Architecture, Education.
1971 (August 16) - Agriculture changed name to Agriculture and Life Sciences.

The Graduate School - Graduate study was introduced by President John M. McBryde in 1891. The first graduate degree, master of science (in bacteriology), was granted in 1892. A Graduate Department was established in 1907 with William E. Barlow as the first dean and 13 graduate students pursuring the M.S.

A Committee on Graduate Programs and Degrees was established in 1928 to meet the demand for more systematic instruction. The office of the vice president assumed the duties of director of graduate studies in 1949. The title was changed to vice president and dean of the Graduate School in 1963. A full-time Graduate School dean was named in 1965 with Fred W. Bull in the post.

The first Doctor of Philosophy degree was awarded in 1942 (in chemistry). Other graduate degrees are listed in the section on "Degrees," following.

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Last Modified on: Tuesday, 25-Sep-2001 08:16:07 EDT