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Virginia Tech Board of Visitors approves two degree programs

November 7, 2016

Fall on the Blacksburg campus
Virginia Tech's Board of Visitors held its fall meeting on the Blacksburg campus.

During its quarterly meeting held in Blacksburg today, the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors approved resolutions to create a new master of arts degree program in nonprofit and nongovernmental organizational management and a new doctor of philosophy degree program in security governance.

The master’s degree program will be offered by the School of Public and International Affairs in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies and administered in the National Capital Region. It will prepare students for careers in professional leadership and management positions in the nonprofit sector, such as community-based, volunteer-based, advocacy, and social movement organizations. The program will be available online.

The new doctoral degree program from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences will help meet the rapidly growing need for expertise in strategic security analysis and risk assessment at all levels of governance. Offered by the Department of Political Science, it will be the only degree program in Virginia to specialize in security-related dimensions of governance aimed at securing and fostering healthy, safe, strong, and resilient communities.

Pending approval from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, both degree programs will begin in the fall of 2017.

The board also voted to discontinue two degree programs — the doctor of philosophy in hospitality and tourism management, effective in 2022, and the master of science in hospitality and tourism management degree, effective in 2018. Elements of these two programs will be incorporated into existing master’s degree and Ph.D. programs in business.

The Buildings and Grounds Committee approved design reviews for renovation and expansion of the English Field at Union Park baseball facilities, a project that was  approved by board at the August meeting. The existing press box and concession building and grandstand seating will be demolished and a new 34,956-gross-square-foot facility will be constructed.

Buildings and grounds also approved design reviews for the renovation of Rector Field House, also given the go-ahead by the board at the August meeting. That project will consist of an addition to the north and east sides of the field house totaling more than 42,000 gross square feet.

Board members also approved a resolution to designate the Virginia Tech Research Center in Arlington as a Virginia Tech extended campus location for instructional use. The Arlington location opened in 2011 to advance the university’s research mission, and the new designation will expand the amount of instructional space in Northern Virginia, allowing for greater access to educational programs.

The board also passed a resolution requiring all entering students to complete noncredit online pre-enrollment courses on the legal, responsible use of alcohol; preventing sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking; and the Principles of Community, InclusiveVT, and skills for building community before the completion of the student’s first semester.

During the Academic Affairs Committee meeting, board members received an update on Virginia Tech’s undergraduate degree programs in microbiology and water.

The Finance and Audit Committee received its annual report on student financial aid, covering university efforts to increase student aid funds. Total institutional support for student financial aid has grown from $26.3 million in 2007-08 to $45.3 million this current academic year.

On Sunday, board members received several reports, including one on the possible impact of the recently announced state budget shortfall over the next two years. Last week, President Tim Sands wrote the Virginia Tech community on that topic.

In addition, Menah Pratt-Clarke, vice president for strategic affairs and vice provost for inclusion and diversity, led a discussion on university efforts to recruit and retain diverse students and faculty. During the full board meeting on Monday, President Sands added that Virginia Tech intends to double the number of students and faculty from traditionally underrepresented groups by 2022.

Muhammad Hajj was appointed the J. Maupin Professor of Engineering and nine faculty members were honored with emeritus status. Stories on each of these individuals will be published in Virginia Tech News beginning Thursday, Nov. 10.

The next full meeting of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors will be held April 2-3, 2017, in Blacksburg. More information on the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors may be found online.

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