At its quarterly meeting held today in Blacksburg, the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors approved several resolutions that will establish the 2013-14 university budget.

In the coming fiscal year (July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2014), Virginia Tech will adopt an approximately $1.28 billion budget to carry out all of its programs, a $73.7 million increase over the current year budget.

Included in next year’s budget are state funds to support planning for the Academic Buildings Renewal project, construction funding for the Classroom Building, and preplanning funds for the Improve Kentland Facilities project, as well as $9.7 in state funding to support compensation adjustments.

The board honored both Patricia Dove, C.P. Miles Professor of Science in Geosciences, and X.J. Meng, professor of Molecular Virology in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology in the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, by naming them University Distinguished Professors. The university distinguished professorship is a pre-eminent faculty rank bestowed by the board upon members of the faculty whose scholarly attainments have attracted national and/or international recognition. The professorship is to be bestowed upon no more than one percent of the total full-time faculty at any time.

Complete stories on Patricia Dove and X.J. Meng will appear Tuesday’s edition of Virginia Tech News.

In other news, the board approved a resolution to create a new Doctor of Philosophy Degree in translational biology, medicine, and health. This new program, which will be the only degree program in Virginia to cover this range of biomedical and health-related subjects, will be the subject of a news story in Virginia Tech News later this week.

The board also approved resolutions to establish a new Master of Arts in Education Degree and a new Ph.D. in higher education. The existing master’s and doctoral degree programs in educational leadership and policy studies has two distinct tracks – educational leadership for K-12 educators and administrators, and higher education for student affairs practitioners in a collegiate setting. Because the two tracks share no coursework, faculty, or students, creating a separate degree in higher education will allow for meaningful and important system-level tracking of applications, enrollments, individual student progress and completions, and other information necessary for program evaluation and improvement.

Resolutions to establish three new Bachelor of Science Degree programs -- in sustainable biomaterials, packaging systems, and fish and wildlife conservation -- based in the College of Natural Resources and Environment were also approved. These degree programs respond to the growing complexity of sustainability issues and the growing need for professional who can effectively understand and address these issues for local, state and federal government agencies, non-profit groups, as well as the private sector.

The board also approved a resolution to discontinue the Bachelor of Arts degree in interdisciplinary studies effective in 2017.

The board approved resolutions to demolish Brodie and Rashe halls to pave the way to build new residence halls for students in the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets to be located where the existing halls currently stand. At the March board meeting, members received a report on the overall redesign of the Upper Quad area.

Members of the Buildings and Grounds committee received an update on the proposed Classroom Building Project to be located near the corner of West Campus Drive and Perry Street. The proposed 73,000 gross square foot, three story building would include combinations of dividable and flexible arrangement, medium size classrooms, large dividable classrooms, large size tiered and large size scale-up classrooms, multiple interdisciplinary science instructional labs, and multiple open and private study rooms. The project is part a broader plan to develop what is being referred to as the "North Precinct" where the parking garage and Signature Engineering Building are located. 

A more comprehensive story on the proposed classroom building the North Precinct development will be published in Virginia Tech News next week.

A resolution to revise the university’s Policy on Intellectual Property, which had not been substantially updated since 1991, was approved, as were resolutions authorizing modifications to the abusive conduct policy, the drug policy, and the unauthorized entry policy for the Student Code of Conduct.

On Sunday, the Research Committee received a report on the university's involvement on the National Science Foundation I-Corps Mid-Atlantic Regional Node which will help scientists and engineers to broaden the impact of federally funded research and bring discoveries to market. A report on the recent activities and future goals of the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology was also shared with board members.

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

The next full Virginia Tech Board of Visitors meeting will be held Sept. 8 through 9, 2013, in Blacksburg. More information on the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors may be found online.

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