At the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors meeting held today at the Virginia Tech Research Center — Arlington, members reviewed designs of three proposed agricultural buildings that will support research and animal instruction programs within the dairy and animal science programs.

The first of the three buildings will be a two-story, 10,900-gross-square foot metabolic research laboratory adjacent to the new dairy science complex at Kentland Farm. The second is a 4,500-gross-square foot building to be used as an applied reproduction facility to be located near the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine complex. The third, an 8,600 gross-square foot bovine Extension, teaching, and research facility, will be built on Plantation Road to provide classrooms and animal holding space supporting animal science instruction and research.

A comprehensive story on these three new facilities will be published next Tuesday in Virginia Tech News.

In other business, the board approved a resolution to expand the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute Data Center. The $5.9 million project will provide building and infrastructure upgrades to establish a new high-performance data center within the institute. Currently, the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute’s two existing data centers are operating at full capacity and cannot support the additional computing requirements necessary to expand the institute’s sponsored research activity.

The board also authorized the university to submit several budget initiatives for inclusion in the state’s 2016-18 executive budget proposal. Among the initiatives included are those to support access for Virginia undergraduate residents, to enhance STEM-H degree production, support faculty startup packages, enhance student advising, and increase graduate enrollment in strategic areas.

The board also approved the 2016-2022 Capital Outlay Plan which identifies more than $1 billion in university capital building project priorities over the next six years.

The Academic Affairs Committee received an update on the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) fifth-year interim report. Thanassis Rikakis, who became the university’s executive vice president and provost earlier in the month, met with and reported to the committee for the first time since coming to Virginia Tech.

Eight individuals were honored with emerita or emeritus status, and three faculty members received endowed professorships or fellowships. Stories on each person will appear in Virginia Tech News beginning Wednesday, Sept. 9.

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

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