A resolution to create a Faculty of Health Sciences was among those approved by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors during its quarterly meeting held in Blacksburg today. 

The creation of a Faculty of Health Sciences supports the university’s 2012-18 Plan for a New Horizon which calls for, among other initiatives, growth in graduate enrollment and post-doctoral positions in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and health sciences. Those who join to the Faculty of Health Sciences will maintain their primary appointment but will hold a secondary appointment in the Faculty of Health Sciences based upon research, teaching, outreach, and/or administrative contributions to Virginia Tech’s biomedical and/or health sciences initiatives.

A more in-depth story on the creation of the Faculty of Health Sciences will be published in Thursday’s edition of Virginia Tech News.

The board also approved a resolution to sell approximately 26 acres of land to the Virginia Tech/Montgomery Regional Airport Authority for $9.4 million. The sale of the land will allow plans to expand the airport located near the Corporate Research Park to continue. Proceeds from the sale will be used to partially fund the relocation of the current dairy science facilities, which are located in the footprint of the proposed airport expansion, to Kentland Farms.

The board approved the expenditure of an additional $800,000 for grading and site work necessary to build the Marching Virginians Practice Facility. In September, the board approved the expenditure of $400,000 to plan the project. The project, which will include an approximately 4,300-gross-square-foot building, a minimum 3,500-gross-square-foot outdoor covered pavilion attached to the main building, and, a soccer-size artificial turf field with lighting, is scheduled to be completed in 2015.

The board also approved a resolution to change the degree name of bachelor of science in forestry and wildlife to bachelor of science in forest resources and environmental conservation effective fall of 2014. The new name will better reflect the current majors within the existing program, including forestry, environmental resource management, and natural resource conservation.

At Sunday’s open information session, the full board received and update on the Campus Master Plan, a progress report on the University Strategic Plan, and a briefing on the progress of the presidential search.

Also on Sunday, Paul Estabrooks, professor of human nutrition, foods, and exercise in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, provided an overview of the Fralin Translational Obesity Research Center.

Over the course of the two-day meeting, board members also received reports on university’s inclusion and diversity initiatives from William Lewis, vice president for diversity and inclusion; the international faculty development program from Guru Ghosh, vice president for outreach and international affairs; and the campus residential and dining programs from representatives from the Division of Student Affairs.

Members of the Buildings and Grounds Committee reviewed design concepts for the Upper Quad residential facilities and the Route 460/Southgate Interchange project. Construction on a residence hall to replace Rasche Hall will begin this spring and the Virginia Department of Transportation expects the Route 460/Southgate Interchange project to begin in 2015.

During the full board meeting Monday afternoon, a resolution honoring outgoing Virginia Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum was approved.

The board honored six faculty members with endowed professorships. In addition, two others were honored with emeritus status. Stories on each of these eight people will appear in Virginia Tech News beginning Wednesday, Nov. 20.

The next full Virginia Tech Board of Visitors meeting will be held March 23 and 24 in Blacksburg. More information on this meeting and other board-related business may be found on the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors website.