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Board of Visitors approves resolution to support construction of $3.5 million propulsion laboratory


BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 10, 2012 – At its quarterly meeting held today in Blacksburg, the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors approved a resolution that will enable the university and the Virginia Tech Foundation to begin development of an approximately $3.5 million propulsion laboratory in Phase 2 of the Corporate Research Center.

The proposed 8,100-square-foot facility, operated by the College of Engineering, will support propulsion research, including next generation fighter and commercial aircraft engine technology and power generation gas turbine technology focused on the energy industry. The combination of this specialized facility and equipment will distinguish Virginia Tech as a leader for this type of research.

The board also approved a resolution to allow the university to enter into leases with the Virginia Tech Foundation for space in the soon-to-be-completed Turner Street facility. The plan calls for the university to enter into long-term leases for 80 percent of the office building and 100 percent of the parking structure.

The board approved a resolution to establish a new Virginia Tech extended campus site in Newport News. The new campus location, which will be operated by staff at the Virginia Tech Hampton Roads Center, will serve as a location for customized contract training courses for business, military, and defense contractors, professional development, meeting planning and conference management.

In response to a State Council of Higher Education for Virginia request, the board approved a resolution on an update of the six year plan previously approved by the board last year.

A resolution was approved to ratify Faculty Handbook revisions for 2012-13. The handbook is annually revised to incorporate new or amended policies, editorial updates, and to correct errors.

At the Buildings and Grounds Committee, Vice President for Administrative Services Sherwood Wilson provided an update on the future location of the proposed Multi Modal Transit Facility. After extensive analysis and community conversation, Wilson recommended that the proposed transportation facility not be located in the parking lot directly behind Derring Hall. He went on to report that a steering committee has been formed to assist with the development of a precinct plan for that lot as well as the area north of Perry Street.

The Academic Affairs Committee received reports on current and forthcoming academic and research initiatives taking place overseas from the Office of International Affairs, future faculty development programs, new initiatives taking place at University Libraries, and the successful Summer Academy program launched this past summer.

A full story on the Summer Academy program will appear in Virginia Tech News on Thursday, Sept. 13.

The Buildings and Grounds Committee received the 2012 Sustainability annual report, and the Students Affairs and Athletics Committee received updates on new student programs, Hokie Campus and Hokie Hi.

On Sunday, the Research Committee received the 2012 Office of the Vice President for Research annual report.

The College of Engineering’s Brian Kleiner was reappointed as the Ralph H. Bogle, Jr. Professor Fellow in Industrial Systems Engineering; a story on his reappointment will be published Wednesday, Sept. 12 in Virginia Tech News. In addition, five individuals were honored with emeritus status. Their stories will appear in Virginia Tech News beginning Sept. 12.

The next full meeting of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors will be held Nov. 4 through 5 in Blacksburg. More information on the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors may be found online.