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A non-profit publication of the Office of the University Relations of Virginia Tech,
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Finance and Audit Committee

By Liz Crumbley

Spectrum Volume 20 Issue 03 - September 11, 1997

During the August 25 meeting of the Finance and Audit Committee of the Board of Visitors, Vice President for Finance and Treasurer Ray Smoot reported that the total assets managed by the Virginia Tech Foundation as of June 30 were $432.6 million and the total value of university endowments had reached $283.5 million.

The year-to-date financial performance report presented to the committee by Budget and Financial Planning Director Dwight Shelton showed a net revenue for the university totaling $16.9 million, which is $15.1 million more in revenue than anticipated in the 1996-97 fiscal year budget. Shelton explained that the increased revenues came from higher-than-expected enrollment, dormitory occupancy, and dining-hall revenues; a surplus in federal and continuing-education program funds; and improved billings and collections by the Office of Sponsored Programs.

The committee approved the Virginia Tech Intercollegiate Sports Plan for 1997-2001. This plan is a follow-up to the Women's Intercollegiate Sports Expansion Plan issued in 1994. Executive Vice President Minnis Ridenour reported to the committee that the goals of the 1994 plan were met, as women achieved equity in sports through increased participation and scholarship opportunities offered by the university. (A survey conducted earlier this year by the Chronicle of Higher Education found that Virginia Tech ranked ninth among U.S. universities for having a high proportion of women athletes. At Tech, 41 percent of all students and 40 percent of all athletes are women.)

The goal of the plan for the next four years is to maintain gender equity in sports. Each year, the Athletic Department will review the proportion of women participating in sports to ensure that the percentage remains close to 41 percent. Beginning this semester, scholarship opportunities in women's sports will be awarded at the full NCAA limit. The plan also allows consideration of increases in opportunities for men as they increase for women.

The 1998-2000 state appropriations request presented to the committee by Dwight Shelton addressed three major areas of university funding needs: Support for areas of program strengths and emphasis, critical operating issues, and continuation and expansion of current state initiatives.

Program areas emphasized in the request are technology-based teaching and learning; traditional sciences, engineering, and land-grant disciplines; instructional and research support for economic development; and renovations and construction of new facilities, including Upper Quad conversion and technology upgrades to classrooms. Among the funding needs highlighted in the report are competitive salaries for faculty members.

Critical operating issues outlined in the report include a solution to the "year-2000 computer problem," which is estimated to cost $29.7 million, and the need for funds to address basic operating costs such as supplies, materials and utilities. The university also will request more than $22.7 million from the state General Fund for educational and general programs and $6 million for auxiliary activities, and about $15 million from the Equipment Trust Fund to replace obsolete scientific and laboratory equipment.