Board of Visitors meets at university locations in Hampton Roads, extends president’s contract through 2027
During its quarterly full-board meeting held today in Newport News, the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors voted unanimously to extend the contract of university President Tim Sands through the end of the academic year in 2027.
As Virginia Tech’s 16th president since 2014, Sands, has successfully advanced Virginia Tech’s role as a leading global land-grant institution, focusing the teaching, research, and outreach mission to solve the most challenging problems facing the commonwealth, the nation, and the world.
“Tim Sands continues to be the thoughtful, strategic, and visionary leader this university and the commonwealth needs,” said Letitia “Tish” Long '82, rector of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors and board chair of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance. “With a remarkable record of consensus building, partnerships, and success, Tim has proven his ability to align the university’s land-grant mission and our institutional commitment of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) with emerging opportunities found in today’s rapidly changing world.
“But we cannot stop, we need to continue to build on our progress, and Tim’s experience of meeting challenges, combined with his ability to build strong relationships and his understanding of our students' needs and pressures, is needed now more than ever. We are committed to providing an affordable, accessible education for Virginians, and we are confident Tim will guide us to that goal.”
“My commitment to Virginia Tech remains steadfast and I am deeply honored to continue to serve Virginia Tech and the commonwealth,” said Sands. “During my tenure here, our students and faculty have repeatedly demonstrated their commitment to improving the human condition. Their commitment has led to an increased demand for a Virginia Tech education and unprecedented support and engagement from our alumni and friends. This work is not complete, and I appreciate the opportunity afforded to me by the board to further engage our faculty, students, staff, alumni, partners, and friends to build on our momentum as we advance the mission of Virginia Tech.”
Under Sands’ leadership, Virginia Tech’s reputation as a leader in research and innovation continues to grow with more than $500 million in annual expenditures. The establishment of the Innovation Campus in the greater Washington, D.C., metro area is the centerpiece of a technology education and innovation strategy that helped bring Amazon’s East Coast headquarters to Arlington. Sands remains actively engaged in enhancing the student experience; expanding access to student, faculty, and staff talent; and increasing the impact of the research and innovation enterprise.
The three-day meeting was the first for three new board members appointed earlier this summer: David Calhoun '79 of Sunapee, New Hampshire, president and CEO of The Boeing Company; Sandy Cupp Davis of Blacksburg, Virginia, retired owner of BCR Real Estate and Property Management; and Charles “Brad” Hobbs '90 of Virginia Beach, Virginia, president and CEO of the commercial and industrial HVAC contracting firm Hobbs & Associates and managing director and chair of the commercial HVAC network Insight Partners. Each begin a four-year term.
Following an orientation session Sunday morning, board members engaged in a retreat to discuss current issues facing Virginia Tech and higher education in general. Topics included freedom of speech and academic freedom, access and affordability, and the current landscape for intercollegiate athletics. Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner Jim Phillips joined board members for that discussion.
During the three day meeting, board members toured university facilities in the Hampton Roads area, including the Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Virginia Beach; the new Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Hampton; the Seafood Economic Analysis and Marketing Research program and the Center for Coastal Studies, also in Hampton; and the Virginia Tech Newport News Center located at Tech Center Research Park.
Virginia Tech’s significant presence in Newport News was the topic of a column written by Sands in Sunday’s edition of the Daily Press.
During the Academic, Research and Student Affairs Committee held Monday, Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Frances Keene led a panel discussion on “Student Well-Being and Mental Health Initiatives.” The conversation covered current issues affecting student well-being at Virginia Tech and some of the efforts and initiatives the university has launched or will begin this fall to provide support and assistance to students.
After receiving an overview and update of the Beyond Boundaries 2047: Campus Master Plan, the Buildings and Grounds Committee received and approved a design review for the Life, Health, Safety, Accessibility, and Code Compliance Project, which will create a new accessible route on an existing primary pedestrian corridor and will support equal access to many facilities in the North Academic District. It is anticipated that construction on this approximately $5 million project will begin later this year and to be completed by the end of 2023.
The board also approved a resolution for a capital project authorization for $47.2 million to complete improvements on the building envelopes on several campus facilities.
During his remarks to the board on Tuesday, Sands presented three resolutions of appreciation to honor each board members who completed their term on the board June 30. The resolutions honored Mehul Sanghani, Horacio Valeiras, and Preston White for their years of dedicated service to the board and the university
The board also approved resolutions honoring nine emerita or emeritus faculty members and appointed four faculty members to an endowed fellowship, professorship, or chair. Individual stories on each person will appear in VTx in September.
The next full Virginia Tech Board of Visitors meeting will be held Nov. 13-14 in Blacksburg. More information on the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors may be found online.