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Top administrators of Old Dominion University (ODU) and Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Aug. 9, that will guide the development and implementation of joint programs and degrees.

Under the agreement, EVMS and ODU will establish a new Executive Committee to strengthen collaboration between the two institutions.

ODU President Roseann Runte and Harry T. Lester, president of EVMS, signed the memorandum Thursday in the Board of Visitors Conference Room at ODU's Webb Center. The document was also signed by the provosts of the two institutions, Thomas L. Isenhour of ODU, and Gerald J. Pepe of EVMS, who will head the new Executive Committee.

"This is great news," said Lester. "EVMS and ODU have worked together on various programs ever since EVMS was founded. But it was always on an ad hoc,
program by program basis. By formally establishing joint goals and creating an ongoing Executive Committee, the new MOU provides the organizational framework for a true partnership."

"This is an umbrella agreement that establishes general goals," Runte said. "With our signatures today, our two distinct institutions pledge to be singularly committed to excellence in fields where our cooperation is possible. We pledge to share hopes and dreams and to realize programmatic cooperation to serve better Hampton Roads and the Commonwealth."

Leadership at both institutions confirmed that the goal is partnership, not merger. The institutions already collaborate on joint programs and research in biomedical sciences, public health, clinical psychology, ophthalmic technology, and medical modeling and simulation. They also have an early acceptance program that guarantees admission to the EVMS M.D. program for high-performing students at ODU.

The Executive Committee will meet at least once every two months to administer the goals set forth in the MOU.

This article was posted on: August 10, 2007

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