Virginia Tech Magazine

Volume 13, Number 1
Fall 1990


Interim VP named

Charles W. Steger, dean of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, has been named interim vice president for public service at Virginia Tech.

The university will postpone its search for a permanent vice president until Virginia's budget problems have been eased.

University President James McComas said the appointment of Steger will allow Virginia Tech to move more quickly in meeting its public-service mission.

"Dean Steger is an experienced planner who can help define the focus of our public service activities as they relate to the development of the university's role in the state," said McComas.

Steger said that in defining that focus he will consider community development in rural areas, the direction and control of urbanized areas of the state, and the significant resources Virginia Tech can contribute to a public-service effort.

"It is important that the university join forces with communities across Virginia," Steger said. "A balance must be achieved between sustaining economic growth to provide jobs and opportunities for the future and the need to protect the environment and quality of life we enjoy. This is a difficult but not impossible task."

Steger, who holds degrees from Virginia Tech in architecture, urban design, and engineering, is a member of the Governor's Commission on Population Growth and Development and the university's Planning Task Force.

Extension director selected

James F. Johnson has been named director of Virginia Cooperative Extension at Virginia Tech, having served as acting director since the spring of 1989.

He succeeds Mitchell Geasler, who resigned to take a leave of absence to pursue research opportunities on the future role of the Cooperative Extension Service on behalf of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Johnson, who joined Virginia Cooperative Extension in 1961, has worked at all levels, from a local agent to district director, and in central administration, said James R. Nichols, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Johnson earned a master's degree from Virginia Tech in 1966 and a doctorate from North Carolina State in 1976.

Virginia Cooperative Extension is a three-part organization with components at the federal level in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, at the state level with faculty members of Virginia Tech and Virginia State, and at the local level with offices and agents in every county and most independent cities in Virginia.

In October 1989, President McComas placed administration of Virginia Cooperative Extension under the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, where it had been until the mid-1960s when it was placed under the university provost.

Book royalties to fund scholarship

Royalties from a new book by Jean Haskell Speer, director of Virginia Tech's Appalachian Studies Program, will fund scholarships that will benefit students from Appalachia who attend the university.

The Appalachian Photographs of Earl Palmer, published by The University Press of Kentucky, features the works of Palmer, a photographer and keeper of Appalachian traditions who has donated to Virginia Tech a number of his photographs and artifacts collected during his 50 years of photographing mountain life.

The book was a four-year project for Speer, who studied Palmer's works and interviewed him extensively.

Many of his works are on display in the Special Collections room of the Newman Library.

Veterinary college receives grant

The Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine has been awarded a $200,000 grant from the Pew Memorial Trusts of Philadelphia to strengthen its educational programs in veterinary public practice and help support the development of a national training center for veterinary students seeking careers in government and corporate practice.

The grant was the largest of eight single-institution grants awarded by Pew as part of the Pew National Veterinary Education Program, a five-year program intended to assist the profession of veterinary medicine in meeting society's needs in the 21st century.

Using the Pew grant as start-up funds, administrators of the college plan to establish a Center for Government and Corporate Veterinary Medicine, which will provide support in information technologies, career counseling, and administrative coordination for students wanting to conduct three- to 12-week "clerkships" with participating private and public agencies.

Students from the regional college and from veterinary colleges across the nation will enroll in the center to prepare for careers in public health, preventive medicine, environmental health, food safety, biotechnology, biomedical research, academia, laboratory animal medicine, wildlife medicine, zoological medicine, and other fields, according to Peter Eyre, dean of the regional college.

Virginia Tech Magazine Volume 12, Number 2 Fall 1990