At its quarterly meeting held in Blacksburg today, the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors received a design preview for two major university projects — the construction of the Upper Quad Residential Facilities and the Agriculture Programs Relocation, Phase 1 Dairy Barn. 

The Upper Quad project involves replacing two residence halls, Rasche and Brodie halls, with new structures with almost twice the total square footage. The agriculture programs relocation project involves the replacement of the existing dairy complex on Southgate Drive with new, state-of-the-art facilities at nearby Kentland Farm, a move that ensures the long-term success of the university’s award-winning dairy science program.

A more detailed report on the first phase of the agriculture facilities relocation project will be published in Tuesday’s edition of Virginia Tech News.

In addition, the board approved the location of a new Indoor Athletics Practice Facility. The new facility will be located where existing outdoor practice fields are now, located between Lane Stadium and the Jamerson Athletic Center and adjacent to the area referred to as Stadium Woods. Earlier site studies were presented to the board at the June 4 meeting, and the proposed location was reviewed and endorsed by the Virginia Tech Arboretum Committee on Aug. 9.

Jacqueline Bixler, professor and chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, was honored by the board who reappointed her as an Alumni Distinguished Professor. The alumni distinguished professorship recognizes extraordinary academic citizenship and distinguished service within the Virginia Tech community and awarded for a period of 10 years.

A complete story on Bixler’s reappointment will be published in Friday’s edition of Virginia Tech News.

The board also approved a resolution authorizing university administrators to submit several new budget initiatives for inclusion in the 2014-16 Executive Budget proposal. Among the initiatives sought by the university are those to advance strategic research programs; increase Virginia undergraduate enrollment; increase graduate enrollments, expand STEM-H degree production; support the creation of faculty for the health science and translational biology, medicine, and health degree program; and position the university for growth in online, distance, and e-learning environments.

The board approved a resolution that formally established the winter session, which will allow students the opportunity to take for-credit classes offered by a variety of departments in a variety of colleges between the fall and spring semester. Virginia Tech will offer its first winter session in January 2014.

A resolution to accept revisions to the 2013-14 Faculty Handbook was also approved by the board. Revisions to the handbook included updates to policies necessary to support the winter session and other minor editorial updates.

The board reviewed the position description of the university president written by the Presidential Search Committee chaired by former Rector George Nolen. Board members were also updated on the outcomes of the presidential search input sessions held for various university stakeholder groups held in August and early September.

On Sunday, the Research Committee received reports on the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute and the Office of the Vice President for Research annual report. A summary of the annual report will be published in Tuesday’s edition of Virginia Tech News.

Also during the two-day meeting, board members received reports on campus sustainability initiatives, the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Recreational Sports, and Innovate!, the new entrepreneurial living-learning community on campus.

The board honored Dean Robert Sumichrast by naming him the first recipient of the Richard E. Sorensen Dean's Chair in the Pamplin College of Business. The board also honored three additional faculty members with endowed fellowships. Nine teaching and research faculty members and three university librarians were honored with emeritus status.

Stories on each of these individuals will appear in Virginia Tech News beginning Wednesday, Sept. 11.

Resolutions honoring the many contributions of three former board members: Shelley Duke, George Nolen, and Paul Rogers were read and approved during the full board meeting on Monday.

The next full Virginia Tech Board of Visitors meeting will be held Nov. 17 and 18 in Blacksburg. More information on the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors may be found online.

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