Monday, November 7, 2011

Tech Adds Degrees in Nuclear Engineering

At its quarterly meeting held on campus today, the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors approved resolutions on new master’s and doctoral degree programs in nuclear engineering.

If approved by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, the new degrees will be offered beginning spring term of 2013. A complete story on the College of Engineering's nuclear engineering program and the new degrees will appear Thursday in Virginia Tech News.

In other business, the board continued its conversation on strategic planning issues. On Sunday, board members received a report on progress made on the University Strategic Plan 2006-2012 and a report on the ongoing development of the Long Range Plan<. Among the topics included in the long term plan discussion were university governance, admissions considerations for both undergraduate and graduate students, instructional space needs and costs, and capital projects.

Also on Sunday, the board received a report on compliance and finances in the Athletic Department which has an overall annual operating budget of $38.6 million. It also received an update on Grow by Degrees, an initiative started by the Virginia Business Higher Education Council in 2009 to build broad-based, bipartisan support for Virginia’s colleges and universities.

Following the full-board information session on Sunday, the Research Committee met and received an extensive report on the many energy-related research initiatives occurring at Virginia Tech. Currently, university researchers are engaged in projects involving coal, nuclear, bioenergy, and solar energy, as well as others related to building energy efficiency and energy use in transportation.

On Monday, the Finance and Audit Committee received an annual report on the university’s student financial aid program. Though state support for higher education as steadily declined over the past decade, Virginia Tech continues to increase the total amount of aid available to students. In the past two years, financial aid for students has grown from $342.2 million in Fiscal Year 2008-2009 to $390 million in Fiscal Year 2010-2011. The amount of aid coming from grants, scholarships, and waivers has grown from $134.2 million to $174.2 million over the same period of time.

Finance and Audit also received a report on overall administrative costs of the university which indicated Virginia Tech’s costs are below average as compared to peer institutions, other Virginia schools, or national research universities. A full story on this report will appear Wednesday in Virginia Tech News.


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