At its quarterly meeting held today, the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors unanimously approved tuition and fees for the 2019-20 academic year.

Board members voted to keep tuition for resident undergraduate students at $11,420 annually for next year. Complete information on 2019-20 tuition and fees can be found on the Virginia Tech News website.

The board also approved three new University Distinguished Professor appointments and one Alumni Distinguished Professor appointment.

In other actions, the board approved a resolution allowing for the demolition of the north wing of Holden Hall. Built in 1940, the north wing is a Hokie Stone and concrete structure with a partial basement in need of renovation, and demolition for future replacement at a higher density is proposed. Last year, the board reviewed design plans for the approximately 101,000-gross-square-foot renovation and new construction of Holden Hall to support the College of Engineering and its departments of materials science and engineering and mining and minerals engineering.

In addition, the board approved a resolution to create a new Ph.D. degree program in neuroscience in the College of Science’s School of Neuroscience. The new degree program will prepare students to specialize in interdisciplinary research in molecular and computational neuroscience to understand and inform how the human brain functions, to develop treatment strategies and interventions for human neurological disease, and to develop neuroscience technologies to benefit society.

Pending approval from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, the new Ph.D program in neuroscience will be offered starting in the fall of 2020.

Dwayne Pinkney (left) and Cyril Clarke talk during Sunday's meeting of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors
Dwayne Pinkney, senior vice president for operations and administration (left), talks with Cyril Clarke, executive vice president and provost.

Board members also approved a resolution allowing the university to acquire the University of Virginia’s entire interest in the Virginia Tech/University of Virginia Northern Virginia Center in Falls Church, and to acquire the fee simple title interest in the 5.33-acre parcel currently leased from and owned by the City of Falls Church, Virginia. Total cost for these transactions will be approximately $11 million. Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia opened the Northern Virginia Center in 1996 to deliver graduate education instruction in several academic degree programs.

The board also approved a resolution on compensation for graduate assistants for the 2019-20 academic year. Virginia Tech will advance the stipend scale for graduate assistants by providing a base stipend increase of 3 percent, effective Aug. 10, 2019. Graduate assistants also receive tuition remission, and the university pays 88 percent of the annual premium cost of the basic health insurance plan.

On Monday, the Academic, Research, and Student Affairs Committee received the final recommendation report from the Virginia Tech Mental Health Task Force. In addition, Graduate School Dean Karen DePauw provided board members with an overview of university’s graduate education program and Richard Blythe, dean of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, shared an update on his college.

Also on Monday, the Buildings and Grounds Committee received reports on early site work for the Creativity and Innovation District Living-Learning Community and the Virginia Tech Rescue Squad.

Members of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors meet on Monday.
Members of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors meet on Monday.

At Sunday’s full-board information session, John Provo, director of Virginia Tech’s Office of Economic Development, provided an overview of the Rural Virginia Initiative, a collaboration between Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the University of Virginia ,and other universities to analyze problems facing rural Virginia and develop specific recommendations for improvements. Collaborators are working to align and strengthen existing programs and efforts and discover new perspectives on existing issues in order to recommend new approaches for solutions.

Also on Sunday, Menah Pratt-Clarke, vice president of diversity, inclusion, and strategic affairs, gave members an update on the university’s strategic plan. Brandi Salmon, associate vice president for innovation and partnerships and founding managing director of the Innovation Campus, gave board members an update on the Innovation Campus, and Charles Clancy, Bradley Distinguished Professor in Cybersecurity and director of the Ted and Karyn Hume Center for National Security, provided an update on the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative. Several university administrators spoke on student sexual misconduct and potential impact of proposed changes to federal guidelines.

At the full board session Monday, the board announced the selection of the 2019-20 student representatives. Madelynn Todd, a junior majoring in animal and poultry science in the College of Agriculture and Life Science, will be the undergraduate student representative. D. Ryan King, a doctoral student studying translational biology, medicine, and health, an interdisciplinary graduate program based in the Graduate School, will be the graduate student representative.

Todd and King will serve one-year terms beginning July 1. An article introducing the new student representatives will run in Virginia Tech Daily later this week.

The board approved resolutions appointing four faculty members to endowed professorships or fellowships, and 18 individuals were honored with emerita or emeritus status. Stories on each of these appointments and honors will be published in Virginia Tech Daily beginning later this week.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors will be June 2-3 in Blacksburg. More information on the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors may be found online.