Minnis Ridenour, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Virginia Tech, will be stepping down from his position during summer 2004.

"It is hard to convey the tremendous impact Minnis has had on Virginia Tech and all of Virginia higher education. With very good reason, he is highly respected by state officials and his colleagues throughout the country. We are very sorry to see Minnis begin his trek toward retirement, but our students can access his wealth of knowledge from within the classroom for some time in the future," said President Charles Steger.

Ridenour plans to continue teaching at the graduate and undergraduate levels in financial management for governmental and non-profit organizations during the academic year 2004-05. He will also handle resource development and special projects as requested by the administration.

"Minnis is well known throughout the nation's higher education community and within the halls of Virginia state government. His financial acumen and understanding of public finance has earned plaudits from a generation of state leaders. He has been the university point person in Richmond for several decades," said Paul Torgersen, former university president. "Beyond these and other contributions he made regarding the financial well-being of the institution, he was very helpful to me in my adjustment to the myriad issues facing a president," added Torgersen.

Ridenour was an architect of the maintenance reserve fund that ensures a consistent revenue stream to maintain campus buildings. He was also instrumental in the establishment of the Higher Education Equipment Trust Fund, which provides scientific and computing equipment for institutions across the state.

"Minnis Ridenour has been a key player in the development of statewide higher education funding policies for nearly three decades," said Leonard Sandridge, executive vice president and chief operating officer for the University of Virginia. "Funding guidelines in the 1980s, the unified amendment for higher education in the 1990s, and now base-adequacy funding guidelines that provide an objective assessment of the needs of higher education--Minnis has been in the middle of all of these activities, and higher education in Virginia would be poorer if it were not for his efforts. Minnis has been an extraordinary professional colleague and a special friend. I have the utmost respect for his intellect, integrity and commitment to making Virginia's system of higher education the best it can be."

High among Ridenour's many accomplishments stands the renovation of the Hotel Roanoke and the development of its conference center in cooperation with the City of Roanoke. Long an advocate of closer ties between Virginia Tech and Roanoke, Ridenour was also instrumental in the creation of the Carilion Biomedical Institute.

"Minnis was one of the first to see the connection between an old hotel and the university's continuing education function. He was the driving force behind the Hotel Roanoke Conference Center project and with Ray Smoot, made a very difficult project become reality. To some extent, even our current athletic success stems from his management oversight. He led the integration of athletics into the university system and added significant financial stability," added Steger.

Important Virginia Tech initiatives in which Ridenour played a key role, both in the financial planning and securing funding, include the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine and the Corporate Research Center. In recognition of his many contributions to Virginia Tech and higher education, in 2001 Ridenour was presented the most prestigious award of the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), the Distinguished Business Officer Award.

"I have enjoyed a very special relationship with Minnis operating as a team to advance the university. His wonderful work for the university has positioned us to move forward with confidence and great expectation," said Mark McNamee, provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Ridenour commented, "This has been a most satisfying career. I hope and feel that I've made a contribution to advancing Virginia Tech and to helping people experience the power of education. Those of us with careers in education know the satisfaction that comes from working with students and I am very pleased that I can now devote some time to the classroom."

Ridenour's career at Virginia Tech spans three decades, beginning in 1974 as the university's Budget Director and Chief Business Officer, later serving as Vice President for Finance until his promotion in 1987 as Executive Vice President. In 2001 he was promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. He serves as Executive Vice President of the Virginia Tech Foundation and serves on the boards of other university-related corporations.

Ridenour currently serves on the Virginia United Methodist Homes Board, the Hollins University Board of Trustees, the board of directors for the Carilion Biomedical Institute, the Carilion Foundation Board, the Western Virginia Foundation for the Arts and Sciences Board and the board of the Blacksburg Partnership.

Ridenour has served on the executive committee, board of directors, large universities committee and Research Universities Council of NACUBO. He has served as president and member of the board of directors of the Eastern Association of College and University Business Officers (EACUBO), as past member of the Business Affairs Executive Committee of the National Association of State Universities and Land-grant Colleges, and on the board of directors for the Science Museum of Western Virginia. Ridenour also served on the Board of Petroleum Marketers, Inc. (PMI) and as chairman of the board for Rocco, Inc.

The university has begun the search for a replacement.