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Virginia Tech Board of Visitors approves 2012-13 university budget

BLACKSBURG, Va., June 4, 2012 – At its quarterly meeting held today in Blacksburg, the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors approved resolutions to set the 2012-13 university budget and to establish a new Bachelor of Arts degree program in religion and culture.

In the coming fiscal year, Virginia Tech will adopt an approximately $1.21 billion budget to carry out all of its programs.  This is 3.9 percent greater than the current year budget.

For the 2012-13 budget, the state has increased the university’s direct General Fund appropriation $7.48 million, although much of this funding is restricted and unavailable for the educational enterprise. The $7.48 million includes $6.53 million for the university’s Educational and General program and $950,000 for Agency 229. Virginia Tech also expects to receive Central Appropriation fund transfers during the fiscal year to support the state share of state assigned costs such as fringe benefit rate changes.  These amounts include both reinvestment of state support in higher education as well as adjustments and allocations to specific university programs which come with associated costs.

While this is welcome support, even with state reinvestment in higher education, total state support per Virginia student for 2012-13 is projected to be an estimated 33 percent below the funding of a decade ago.

Included in next year’s budget are funds to support the preliminary design of several university capital projects, including the construction of a new classroom building to be located at Perry Street and West Campus Drive in the Derring Hall parking lot, the construction of a new propulsion laboratory for the College of Engineering to be sited in near the Corporate Research Park, and rehabilitation of several academic buildings within the Agriculture Quad.

A resolution to create a Bachelor of Arts degree program in religion and culture was approved by the board. The new degree program will prepare students to analyze and respond to global phenomena, including the impact of religion and religious practices on politics, economics, the arts, and everyday life, as well as the impact of cultural shifts in moral and ethical practices, the arts, the dissemination of information and entertainment, and the influence of traditional values and attitudes today’s society. If approved by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, the degree program will be offered beginning next fall.

The board honored Y.A. Liu, the Frank C. Vilbrandt Professor of Chemical Engineering, by naming him an Alumni Distinguished Professor. The Alumni Distinguished Professorship is the pre-eminent appointment recognizing faculty who have made outstanding contributions to the instructional program of the university, and in so doing, have touched the lives of generations of Virginia Tech alumni. 

A complete story on Liu will appear in Virginia Tech News on Friday, June 8.

Several reports were presented to the board including those on the proposed athletic training facility and the university long range plan. In March 2011, President Charles W. Steger commissioned the Long-Range Planning Task Force to envision the future of Virginia Tech and underscore the importance of institutional planning. A draft of A Plan for a New Horizon: Envisioning Virginia Tech, 2012-2018 may be found online. Read the Final Report of the Athletic Practice Facility Site Evaluation Committee and the Biohabitats Inc., Forest Ecological Assessment report online.

Seven current faculty members were appointed or reappointed to endowed professorship or fellowships. Stories on each of these individuals, as well as eight individuals who were recognized with emeritus status, will appear in Virginia Tech News beginning Tuesday, June 5.

The next full Virginia Tech Board of Visitors meeting will be held Sept. 9 through 10, 2012, in Blacksburg. More information on the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors may be found online.