The University of Virginia has received state clearance for its data science school.
The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia last week gave final approval to the creation of UVA’s School of Data Science, eight months after the Charlottesville university received a $120 million donation for the creation for the school.
“I am delighted that the School of Data Science has cleared its final hurdle and can officially move forward,” said UVA President Jim Ryan in a statement. “I want to thank the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia for sharing our excitement in this proposal, and Phil Bourne and his team at the Data Science Institute for their hard work.”
The university announced in January plans to open a School of Data Science in what will be UVA’s first new school since 2007 and its 12th in total. The majority of the funding is coming from a $120 million donation from the Charlottesville-based Quantitative Foundation, the largest private gift in UVA history.
“This is a historic moment for the University of Virginia and for the field of data science,” said Provost Elizabeth Magill. “The school is coming online at a time when the amount of available data in the world is more than doubling every two years, and there is soaring demand for qualified data scientists who can analyze and interpret vast amounts of data.”
Magill added: “A new school will catalyze research on daunting societal challenges and point the way toward their solutions. It will also allow us to prepare students to become responsible and creative leaders who are capable of using data science in a wide range of fields.”
Data Science Institute Director Philip E. Bourne has been appointed dean of the school.
UVA said in January that it plans for the new school to have a Ph.D. program, undergraduate programs in data science and data science certificates. The university also plans to expand its existing on-campus and online master’s program in data science.
“We envision the new School of Data Science at UVA as a ‘school without walls,’” Bourne said. “In its very structure and foundation, we will build collaborative and interdisciplinary opportunities through partnerships and physical spaces for shared research and education programs. The new school will combine a focus on research, education and service to build bridges across academic, geographic, commercial and cultural boundaries using responsible, open data science.”
The university will celebrate the official launch of the school at 4 p.m. Tuesday at the Dell 1 building on Central Grounds.