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Institute for Distance and Distributed Learning

First proposed in 1997, the institute was officially created in March 1999 to provide leadership, coordination, management, and support to Virginia Tech's growing distance and distributed learning activities and initiatives. The central coordinating entity for eLearning at the university, it provides leadership in the development of distance learning policies and procedures, working with colleges and departments to identify and cultivate new distance learning opportunities, providing technical support for students and faculty, and charting the university’s direction in distance and distributed learning. The university began offering degrees through distance learning in 1983. Today, it provides 40 master’s degrees, certificates, and professional studies course series and nearly 800 credit and non-credit courses per year in a totally distance or distributed learning format. More than 93 percent of Virginia Tech’s academic departments have delivered distance-learning courses since the institute’s inception, resulting in approximately 130,000 enrollments. The institute manages the IDDL Enterprise Fund, a unique instructional enterprise to grow and maintain distance learning at Virginia Tech. It also manages VTOnline, the on-line catalogue and virtual gateway to the university’s eLearning courses, and VTalumnNet, the virtual gateway to lifelong learning for Virginia Tech alumni. The institute reported to the vice provost for outreach until 2000, when it was moved directly under the purview of the provost. In 2002 it began reporting to the vice provost for academic affairs (title changed to vice president and dean for undergraduate education in 2008). Before its creation, distance learning was operated by the Office of Distance Education, which reported to Information Systems and, before then, to the Learning Resources Center.