At its quarterly meeting held today, the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors further affirmed its support for the university’s $78.45 million Intelligent Infrastructure for Human-Centered Communities Destination Area initiative.

The board approved a resolution authorizing $6 million that will enable Virginia Tech to launch the planning and design phase for projects supporting the Intelligent Infrastructure for Human-Centered Communities Destination Area of strategic emphasis. The board also acknowledged five individuals who combined gave $25 million toward building needed facilities, allowing the university to accelerate the timetable for launching the project.

“The Intelligent Infrastructure project is essential to Virginia Tech’s effort to build research and teaching capacity by leveraging our leading programs in smart construction, autonomous vehicle, ubiquitous mobility, and smart energy systems,” said President Tim Sands at the Monday afternoon meeting. “These industries are developing at tremendous speed, and this generosity will make it possible for Virginia Tech to remain in the lead and advance even further.”

Read more about the initiative and the giving that is fueling it.

The board also approved a 2.9 percent increase in tuition and mandatory fees for resident undergraduate students for a second consecutive year, and a 3.5 percent increase for nonresident undergraduate students. Next year, tuition and mandatory fees for Virginia undergraduate students will increase $378, to $13,230 annually, and out-of-state students will pay an additional $1,039, totaling $31,014 annually.

Additional information on 2017-18 tuition and fees can be found on the Virginia Tech News website.

The board honored two College of Engineering faculty members, Dushan Boroyevich, the American Electric Power Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Marc Edwards, the Charles Lunsford Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, by appointing them University Distinguished Professors.

The University Distinguished Professorship is Virginia Tech’s pre-eminent faculty rank to recognize faculty whose teaching and research has attracted global recognition. Individual stories on Boroyevich and Edwards will be published in Virginia Tech News later this week.

In other news, the board approved a resolution to establish a bachelor of science degree in biomedical engineering, effective this fall. Students who complete this degree will be able to apply engineering analysis and design to clinical applications that will ultimately improve our quality of life.

A resolution calling for the creation of a School of Plant and Environmental Sciences within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences was also approved by the board. The new school will bring together the disciplines from the departments of crop and soil environmental sciences; plant pathology, physiology, and weed science; and horticulture into a single academic unit to increase the interdisciplinary impact of teaching, research, and extension programs in plant and environmental sciences.

An in-depth story on the proposed school will be published Friday in Virginia Tech News.

The board approved a resolution to establish compensation for graduate assistants for the 2017-18 academic year. Virginia Tech will advance the stipend scale by providing a base stipend increase of 2 percent. The university will also pay 88 percent of the annual premium cost of the basic health insurance plan.

On Monday afternoon, the board announced the selection of the 2017-18 student representatives. Seyi Olusina, of Beaverdam, Virginia, a junior majoring in human nutrition, food, and exercise science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, will be the undergraduate student representative. Brett Netto, of Roanoke, Virginia, a doctoral degree student in the Planning, Governance, and Globalization Program in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, will be the graduate student representative. Olusina and Netto will serve one-year terms beginning July 1.

During the full board meeting Monday afternoon, board members observed a moment of silence in memory of the 32 students and scholars who were taken from their families and the Virginia Tech community on April 16, 2007. Virginia Tech will observe its annual Day of Remembrance April 14-16; information on commemorative events can be found on the We Remember website.

In addition to the two University Distinguished Professor appointments, the board approved resolutions appointing five faculty members to endowed professorships, eight faculty members were honored with emeritus status. Individual stories on each of these appointments and honors will be published in Virginia Tech News beginning next week.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors will be June 4-5 in Blacksburg. More information on the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors may be found online.