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President's announcements cover range of university subjects

By John Ashby

Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 06 - October 3, 1996

President Paul Torgersen has announced several items of interest to the university community recently, both programmatically and in the personnel area.

In a recent memo, Torgersen announced that Earv Blythe, vice president for information systems, will report directly to the president effective immediately. In his memo, Torgersen said, "The university plan update, which has recently been distributed across the campus, addresses the signal importance and central role that information technology will increasingly assume at Virginia Tech. Given the critical importance of information systems to the future of the university, I have concluded after much thought, and with the full support of the provost and executive vice president, that I would like to assume both increased responsibility and involvement with this area."

Blythe "will of course, continue to work closely with the provost, executive vice president, deans, and other university officials. Our strategic emphasis on information technology in the university plan is central to achieving our academic and administrative goals and to realizing our vision for Virginia Tech in the new century. I look forward to working closely with him and his staff, and am confident that this change will benefit the entire university as we move further into the information age," Torgersen wrote.

At his address last week, Torgersen touched on a number of subjects. He said that the good funding news is that revenue collections in the state are up for the first two months of the fiscal year. The bad news, he said, is that funding for higher education in the last budget came from one-time sources. But legislators "are very supportive of Virginia Tech and higher education," Torgersen said. He said higher education's two priority items for legislative support this year would be salary increases and greater support for financial aid.

Torgersen noted the success of the capital campaign, (see September 26 issue of Spectrum) and successful strategies pursued in Admissions in efforts to bring more students, and better-qualified students to the university.

Torgersen announced that a program called "Steeples of Excellence" would identify "two or three" successful academic programs at the university which would be given "modest additional support."

Torgersen said the strategic self study was under way and its progress would be chronicled in Spectrum (please see September 19 issue and today's page 4).

Regarding athletics, Torgersen said the good news was the success of the various teams on a national level and the bad news was "some of the publicity we have been getting." He said the investigation of a recent altercation allegedly involving football players was being investigated by the Blacksburg Police Department. The investigation could result in criminal proceedings, or campus judicial proceedings, Torgersen said.