Impact of COVID-19 pandemic continues to inform Board of Visitors meetings
During its two-day meeting held Sunday and today, the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors approved a resolution authorizing the university to adjust its 2020-21 operating budget to reflect the financial impact of COVID-19.
The current fiscal-year budget will be amended to reflect a $29 million restoration of the E&G revenue and expense budget and a decrease in the auxiliary enterprises revenue budget by $77.4 million and the expense budget by $16.8 million. A detailed story on the budget adjustment resolution can be found on Virginia Tech News.
In other actions, board members received a comprehensive report outlining the recommendations for the university’s updated Climate Action Commitment detailing the next level of proposed climate and sustainability standards for the university to implement. Delivering on the November 2019 charge from President Tim Sands to renew and revise the 2013 Climate Action Commitment, the recommendations are the culmination of a year-long collaborative effort led by a working group headed by Professor Emeritus John Randolph and 20 faculty, students, and community members appointed by Senior Vice President and Chief Business Officer Dwayne Pinkney.
With board encouragement of the proposed Climate Action Commitment, a financial model will be developed to determine the financial feasibility and extent of the financial resources needed for the implementation of the commitment. Those two elements will be presented to the board for its approval at its next meeting, to be held March 21-22, 2021.
The board approved a resolution to formally adopt the Virginia Tech Crisis and Emergency Management Plan and Addendum to include all-hazards plans and procedures for disasters. The Code of Virginia requires that each public institution of higher education develop, adopt, and keep current a written crisis and emergency management plan and conduct a comprehensive review and revision of its crisis and emergency management plan to ensure the plan remains current every four years.
Board members also received a design review for the Corps Leadership and Military Science Building, a $52 million project funded with nongeneral funds scheduled to be completed in 2023.
Located in the Northeast and Upper Quad District along Old Turner Street, the 75,460-gross-square-foot building will serve as a central location for Corps of Cadets administration and military science staff, bringing together corps and ROTC functions that are currently dispersed across campus, and accommodate growth of the programs. The Rice Center for Leadership Development, Integrated Security Education Research Center black box space, a military museum, and corps and ROTC support and training spaces will also be accommodated in the new facility.
The board also approved a resolution to authorize a $7 million supplement to adjust the total project authorization for the New Upper Quad Residence Hall project to $40 million required to complete the project.
Board members also passed a resolution authorizing the university to participate in the Virginia College Building Authority’s Debt Restructuring Program. Under this state initiative, the university will be able to restructure approximately $21.0 million of the university’s pooled VCBA bonds for debt service relief.
During the two-day meeting, board members received reports on a variety of topics, including an update on the progress toward goals outlined in the university’s Strategic Plan; transdisciplinary learning and discovery; the Innovation Campus; Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistic Act Report; activities conducted by the offices of Audit, Risk, and Compliance and University Ombuds; university financial support for student financial aid; and the impact of the pandemic on human resources programs and activities.
On Sunday, board members toured the university’s power plant.
The board also approved resolutions honoring 10 emerita or emeritus faculty members and appointed seven faculty members to endowed professorships and fellowships. Individual stories on each person will appear in Virginia Tech News.
Included in all board sessions was the latest information on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on campus programs and operations. The latest university information related to the pandemic may be found at the university’s Ready website.
The next full Virginia Tech Board of Visitors meeting will be held March 21-22, 2021, in Blacksburg. More information on the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors may be found online.