At the quarterly meeting of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors held Sunday and today, board members approved a resolution setting compensation for graduate and teaching assistants, and approved a resolution authorizing $5.85 million to develop plans for the proposed Upper Quad Precinct residential project.

During the 2013-14 academic year, Virginia Tech will advance the stipend scale by providing a base stipend increase of 3 percent. In addition, graduate and teaching assistants will continue to receive an academic year supplement of $300 to offset the cost of mandatory university fees. Virginia Tech will continue to pay 90 percent of the annual premium cost of the basic health insurance plan.

To improve residential facilities for the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets, the board approved a $5.85 million for planning two new residence halls in the Upper Quad that would house approximately 1,100 students as well as the demolition of the four existing Upper Quad residence halls -- Rasche, Brodie, Thomas, and Monteith halls.

A complete story on the Upper Quad residential project will appear later this week in Virginia Tech News.

In other business, the board announced the selection of the 2013-14 student representatives. Erica Wood of Cumming, Ga., a junior majoring in international studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, was named the undergraduate student representative. Nick Warrington of Wellston, Ohio, a master's degree student in higher education administration program in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, will be the graduate student representative. Both will serve a one-year term beginning July 1, 2013.

A full story on the new student representatives will appear in Virginia Tech News early next week.

During the two-day meeting, board members received numerous reports from university officials on topics ranging from issues facing higher education, to future campus development plans, to how the university’s curriculum responds to societal change.

At the Academic Affairs Committee meeting held earlier today, Senior Vice President and Provost Mark McNamee provided an overview of the university’s curriculum and degree development process. Several new undergraduate and graduate degree programs are under review or have been launched in recent years as faculty respond to changing needs of society.

Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs Jack Finney provided an overview of the promotion and tenure process, as well as a report of the current state of faculty compensation relative to peer institutions. Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion William Lewis reviewed the recently adopted Diversity Strategic Plan 2013-2018.

Jason Soileau, assistant vice president of university planning, provided the Buildings and Grounds Committee with a report on the design and planned construction of the new 460 bypass interchange, which will relocate Southgate Drive and provide a new vehicular entrance to campus. 

In addition, Soileau gave a report on a study underway to determine the future development of the "North Campus Precinct" — the area of campus bounded by Prices Fork Road and Perry Street north to south, and Stanger Street and West Campus Drive, east to west.

Individual stories on these two projects will be reported in Virginia Tech News next week.

The Building and Grounds Committee also received a report on existing plans to convert Southgate Center into a public safety building. Offices currently housed in Southgate will be relocating to the new North End Center this spring and early summer, allowing for Virginia Tech Police and the Office of Emergency Management to occupy the space. The facility will be renovated over the next several years after the new occupants have moved in.

Also on Monday, the Student Affairs and Athletics Committee heard a comprehensive report by Vice President for Student Affairs Patty Perrillo and her staff on how the university supports students in need. In addition, Dean of Students Tom Brown led a discussion on the university’s Care Team.

On Sunday, the Research Committee received reports on the university’s new Center for Drug Discovery and the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute.

Eight faculty in the Pamplin College of Business were appointed to endowed professorships or fellowships, and five faculty members were honored with emeritus status. Individual stories on each of these appointments and honors will be published in Virginia Tech News beginning Tuesday, March 26.

An additional meeting of the board to consider tuition and fees for the 2013-14 academic year will be held in April. The specific date has not yet been determined.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors will be held June 2 and 3 in Blacksburg. More information on the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors may be found online.

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