VT Board of Visitors sets 2021-22 budget; President Sands confirms COVID-19 vaccinations required for students

New River Valley News

BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) – Virginia Tech’s Board of Visitors has approved a $1.74 billion university budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

The board also approved a resolution to delegate authority to the university president to implement necessary health and safety measures based on institutional needs and the health and safety of students, faculty, staff and the surrounding community during the current and any future public health emergencies.

Virginia Tech President Tim Sands has confirmed that vaccinations will be required for all students attending Virginia Tech this fall, with exemptions for medical reasons and sincerely-held religious beliefs.

“During the past two semesters, we weathered significant surges in COVID-19 cases in Blacksburg. We did this through robust testing, self-quarantine, masking, and physical distancing.  We must do everything possible to avoid repeating the challenges of the last 14 months, and to ensure that students who cannot be vaccinated are able to participate in campus life and in-person learning. It is essential that every student who can be vaccinated, is vaccinated.”

Tim Sands, Virginia Tech President

View the full letter from President Sands that was released to faculty, staff and students on Tuesday, June 8 by clicking here.

The 2021-22 budget is the largest in the history of the university.

The Education and General portion of the budget, which includes the University Division and Virginia Cooperative Extension, totals $974 million, a 3.7 percent increase from last year.

In total, approximately 19-percent of the overall university budget is funded by the state.

Next year’s budget includes an increase in student financial aid, a five-percent merit and distinction compensation program for teaching/research faculty and administrative/professional faculty, a five-percent university staff merit compensation program, a five-percent classified staff compensation program and a five-percent stipend increase for graduate assistantships.

Also approved, was a resolution to create a new School of Environmental Security within the College of Natural Resources and Environment, pending approval from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

The new school will draw upon multiple academic disciplines and professions to address threats to human safety and prosperity from global population growth, resource availability and access and environmental shifts – including climate change.

A resolution to approve a new Bachelor of Science degree program in plant science and concurrently discontinuing Bachelor of Science degree programs in environmental sciences and horticulture was also approved by the board – pending SCHEV approval.

The university says the changes to these degree programs will better serve students by providing a unified, integrated curriculum with a wide breadth of subject material to better prepare students for careers in government agencies, agribusiness firms and biotechnology companies.

For more information about the Board of Visitors, click here.

Get breaking news, weather, and sports delivered to your smartphone with the WFXR News app available on Apple and Android.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

News tips

Do you have a news tip or breaking news to share with WFXR?  Submit your tip here.

Latest News

More News

News Tip Form

Senior Send Off