Expanding Education in Virginia

President Steven Knapp, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and Dean of the School of Nursing Jean Johnson. Photo by Michaele White.
January 23, 2011

GW President Steven Knapp supports higher education bill at Virginia state Capitol.

With the Loudoun County-based Virginia Science and Technology Campus and multiple graduate education centers in Alexandria and Arlington, as well as the Hamptons Roads Center in Newport News and the Advanced Technology Center in Virginia Beach, it is only logical that GW would support a new bill by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), which proposes to help 100,000 more Virginians earn degrees over the next 15 years.

But President Steven Knapp did not just express his support for Preparing for the Top Jobs for the 21st Century: The Virginia Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2011 from afar. He was on hand at both the state Senate and House in Richmond on Jan. 20.

Dr. Knapp—along with College of Professional Studies Dean Kathleen Burke, School of Nursing Dean Jean Johnson and Craig Linebaugh, associate vice president for academic planning and chief academic operating officer of the Virginia Science and Technology Campus—urged lawmakers to keep incentive programs and research opportunities open to private universities.

GW is one of the largest private providers of graduate education in Virginia. Dr. Knapp said the university’s programs in research, STEM education, health care and online learning could be expanded with the help of the governor’s proposed legislation.

After meeting with about two dozen lawmakers, the GW administrators visited the state Capitol. The group stood in the Senate and House chambers’ upper level as Del. Tag Greason (R- Loudoun) and Sen. Mark Herring (D-Loudoun) introduced the group, recognizing GW’s growth in Virginia in recent years and highlighting the 20th anniversary of the Virginia Science and Technology Campus. When the group was announced, lawmakers applauded.

“I am gratified by Governor McDonnell’s support for the role of private colleges and universities in his higher education reform efforts,” said Dr. Knapp in a release. “As we continue to grow our research and teaching in the Commonwealth, we share the governor's goal of broadening educational opportunities for all Virginians.”

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