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Capital projects highlight spring meeting of Virginia Tech Board of Visitors


BLACKSBURG, Va., March 22, 2010 – At their regularly scheduled meeting today, Virginia Tech's Board of Visitors approved the design plans for several capital building projects, including those for the university's $89 million, 130,000-square-foot Center for the Arts complex and Phase IV of the Oak Lane Community Project.

The $23.5 million Oak Lane Project will include the construction of five new special purposes houses (housing for fraternities and sororities) adjacent to the campus golf course.

The board also approved resolutions to move forward on other capital projects, including an 32,300-square-foot instructional building for the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine; a new Academic and Student Affairs Building, a 91,200-square-foot-building that will include a new dining facility, academic instruction areas, and other student space to be located next to Randolph Hall; and a renovation and addition project for the university’s motor pool.

The board also approved a resolution setting the compensation for graduate assistants in 2010-2011. To remain competitive in attracting the very best graduate assistants, next year’s compensation package will include increases to health insurance coverage, including increases in prescription coverage and preventative care. The university will increase its support for the graduate health insurance program to a level of 87.5 percent, up from the current 82.5 percent.

At Sunday’s general information session, the board received an update on the university's 2006-2012 strategic plan from President Charles W. Steger and Senior Vice President and Provost Mark McNamee. In addition, Interim Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Karen Eley Sanders provided board members with an update to the university’s Diversity Strategic Plan. Sanders reviewed the goals related to four dimensions of inclusive excellence, including access and success, campus climate and intergroup relations, education and scholarship, and institutional infrastructure.

On Monday, the Academic Affairs Committee received a report from Vice President and Dean for Undergraduate Education Daniel Wubah on the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) accreditation process, which included an on-site visit March 16-18. Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine Dean Cynda Johnson provided an overview of the new school’s admission process.

The board also approved a resolution to create the Virginia Tech Research Corporation Inc. The university-related corporation will provide administrative, research, and development services supporting innovative applications of science and technology and technical assistance to enhance competitiveness. This corporation will seek and manage research and services contracts for assistance to governmental agencies and corporations. The corporation will receive oversight from a board of directors composed of both university and external members. The vice president for research will serve as chair of the board and the chief operating officer of the Virginia Tech Foundation will serve as its secretary-treasurer. The corporation’s relationship to the university will be governed by an affiliation agreement.

The board honored J.W. “Wally” Grant as the first Kevin P. Granata Faculty Fellow. The fellowship was created by the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics in memory of the former professor who died during the tragic shooting at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007.

In addition the board honored Dr. David Panciera with the Anne Hunter Professorship of Veterinary Medicine, and Walid Thabet was named the William Jamerson Professor of Building Construction. Gregory Troy was continued as the Dr. And Mrs. Dorsey Taylor Mahin Professor; Martin Furr was continued as the Adelaide C. Riggs Chair in Equine Medicine; Michael Leib was continued as the C.R. Roberts Professor in Clinical Veterinary Medicine; and Fred D’Aguiar was continued as the Gloria D. Smith Professor of Africana Studies.

Eleven individuals were honored with emeritus status.

The next full Virginia Tech Board of Visitors meeting will be held June 6-7 on the Blacksburg campus. More information on the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors may be found online.