Friday, December 6, 2013

Virginia Tech Names 16th School President

By Justin Cates

Virginia Tech announced today that its Board of Visitors appointed Timothy D. Sands as the 16th President in University history effective June 1, 2014.

Sands will succeed Charles Steger who is retiring after 13 years as President.

Dr. Sands comes to Blacksburg from Purdue University where he was the executive vice president for academic affairs and provost. He also served as acting president in the fall of 2012. 

Sands holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering physics (1980) and master’s degree and Ph.D. in materials science and engineering, all from the University of California, Berkeley.

“I am delighted and honored to serve this great university,” said Sands. “There is so much here that Virginia and the nation needs. Virginia Tech truly embodies the 21st century land-grant university role. I’m excited to have the opportunity to serve a university that’s been on an upward trajectory over the last decade or more and is well positioned for even greater success. I share in the board’s optimism for the future.”

He sounds like a pretty terrific hire and personally, I like having an outside individual with fresh, new ideas coming into the fold.

Dr. Steger has done a tremendous job getting Virginia Tech in a great position as a top research institution and Dr. Sands seems like a great fit to continue the process. 

Now let's be irrational and take a look at how this affects sports.

Current athletic director Jim Weaver retires December 31 and the university wants to have a new AD in place by the end of February.

Steger has said he'll consult with Dr. Sands as they make a selection.

As Andy Bitter nicely summarized, from his comments today Sands sounds like he values athletics but not at the expense of academics. He appreciates Tech's rather unique position of running an athletic department that is solvent and not subsidized by the University budget.

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