Landrum L. Cross, vice president for student affairs at Virginia Tech for the past nine years, will retire from the university, effective June 30, 2005.

"Lanny’s commitment to the university, and particularly to the Division of Student Affairs, will be missed," said Mark McNamee, vice president for academic affairs and university provost, in making the announcement. "Under his leadership, the division has instituted a number of initiatives that will benefit our students—and the university—for years to come. I know this was a difficult decision for him to make and wish him the best when he begins this next phase of his life."

Cross, 65, said "the division has established several highly regarded programs and services, is functionally stable, and is well positioned for exciting new opportunities ahead. The timing is right for the university to consider new divisional leadership to pursue these opportunities." In addition to timing, he said he has personal reasons for stepping down: "I would like to have a slower-paced lifestyle. This position takes a lot of time and energy, and I would like to give more attention to my family."

A 1977 Virginia Tech alumnus with a doctorate of education in counseling and student personnel, Cross returned to his alma mater in 1983 as assistant vice president for student affairs under the university’s first woman vice president, Sandra Sullivan, who then headed the division. He was promoted to associate vice president in 1989 and vice president in 1995. Before working on his doctorate, he was a counselor for student services and programs and coordinator for residence management at the university. He also has been assistant dean of students and head resident at Guilford College, dean of students at Belmont Abbey College, and associate director and director of residence life at North Carolina State University.

Under his leadership, Tech’s Division of Student Affairs, which now includes seven departments with 600 employees and a budget of $54 million, developed the Residential Leadership Community, a residential theme community for first- and second-year students designed to develop socially responsible student leaders; began documenting the effect of participation in the division’s programs on student academic achievement; was the first division in the university to develop a diversity plan; established a program review process that became a model for the academic department program review process; garnered national awards for student dining services; and moved online both administrative and program functions, some of which have been recognized nationally. New residential and student activity buildings added to his purview during the past nine years include Peddrew-Yates, New Residence Hall East, Harper, McComas, and Career Services. In 2003, in the face of state budget cuts, he led a reorganization of the division that creates opportunities for cross-training and shared planning between departments with similar missions.

In addition to earning his doctorate at Virginia Tech, Cross has a master's degree from North Carolina State University, a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina, and an associate's degree from Mars Hill College.

Before Cross leaves the university, McNamee will appoint a transition team to study options and issues and to make recommendations for the future of the division.