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Old Dominion University (ODU) and the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) officials signed a milestone education and research agreement that will foster greater collaboration between the two universities, increase access to higher education for naval personnel, advance scientific and engineering capabilities of the Navy, and be a catalyst for the development of new Navy technologies.

ODU President Roseann Runte joined Vice Adm. John C. Harvey, chief of naval personnel and deputy chief of naval operations for manpower, personnel, training and education and Julie Filizetti, NPS associate provost for academic affairs, at the signing ceremony Feb. 12 in Washington, D.C. The agreement strengthens an initial relationship that was established several years ago when ODU launched its Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center (VMASC) in Suffolk, Va.

"We have had a good working relationship with Old Dominion on informal joint projects such as dissertation committee service and standards bodies", notes Dr. Rudy Darken, director of the Modeling, Virtual Environments and Simulation (MOVES) Institute at NPS. There is already an ongoing shared project in joint battle management language and we now want to take this collaboration to a new level to include expanded joint research programs."

VMASC Executive Director Mike McGinnis concurs. "This is a strategically important relationship between two nationally recognized centers of excellence in higher education. The agreement will certainly further the body of knowledge in technical areas vital to the security of our nation" said McGinnis, a retired Army brigadier general.

"Higher education enables our people to think critically," Harvey noted. "The Navy needs future leaders who are capable of leading and directing a global organization, working with other services and other nations in an environment characterized by uncertainty, risk and a wide range of cultural sensitivities," Harvey said.

He added that the Navy is now looking for more mission-related degrees and this partnership will bring together exceptionally talented and experienced faculty from both universities to deliver relevant education to officers on the waterfront and at sea.

"Old Dominion University is one of the nation's most progressive universities supporting the military," remarked ODU's Runte. "Our distributed education deliveries to deployed Navy vessels on and below the ocean's surface, cutting-edge research in high-interest fields such as modeling and simulation, systems of systems engineering and oceanography, enhanced by our Norfolk location in a Navy Fleet Concentration Area, will certainly increase individual and collective mission performance by both institutions."

Meanwhile, NPS has been a pioneer in developing innovative education programs to address Navy requirements, offering resident masters and doctoral programs at its Monterey, California campus; degree and certificate programs via distributed learning; and executive and professional short courses for military and civilian naval leaders around the world. Currently, nearly 900 Navy and Marine Corps officers are studying in Monterey while more than 230 are enrolled in non-resident, distributed learning degree programs.

NPS is also leading a national initiative called Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation to develop a 21st Century workforce of qualified civilian scientists and engineers for technical jobs in Navy labs. The institution's research has enabled the U.S. to respond quickly to rapidly emerging international security issues and humanitarian crises, including Hurricane Katrina and the Indian Ocean tsunami.

"We can help our nation address security issues ranging from global terrorism to regional conflict and civil-military relations," stated Dr. Leonard Ferrari, acting president and provost of NPS. "This new partnership with Old Dominion University will enable us to enhance our academic programs and deliver more mission-relevant courses to the Navy."

This article was posted on: February 12, 2007

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