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Task Forces, Committees and Working Groups

Current Initiatives

Virginia Tech Advantage

President Sands launched the Virginia Tech Advantage in fall 2022 to improve access and affordability for Virginia students. Access and affordability are integral to the university's land-grant mission, and the initiative aims to ensure all students can access a Virginia Tech education, regardless of income. The initiative is led by Menah Pratt, vice president for diversity, inclusion, and strategic affairs, and Matt Holt, professor and head of the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics. Pratt and Holt will engage stakeholders across the university to determine financial feasibility, strategies to support affordability goals, and ways to enhance aspects of the student experience to improve access and student success.


Sexual Violence Prevention Initiative

Sexual violence and misconduct are unacceptable and defy the core values that guide the university's strategic vision. Virginia Tech’s Sexual Violence Prevention Initiative grew out of early work to address sexual violence, enhance preventative programming, and advance a framework for sustainable climate and cultural transformation that establishes sexual violence as a shared responsibility of the entire campus community. The intiative is led by Kelly Oaks, associate vice president for Equity & Accessibility, and engages community stakeholders and partners. 

Past Initiatives

Climate Action Commitment

In 2019, President Tim Sands called for the renewal and revision of Virginia Tech’s Climate Action Commitment to ensure the university implements the most stringent climate and sustainability standards as Virginia Tech continues to grow and seeks to be a leader in environmental stewardship. The 2020 Climate Action Commitment builds upon a decade of university sustainability efforts and was approved by the Board of Visitors in March 2021.  

Task Force on the Future of Student Governance

Established by President Sands in fall 2020, the Task Force on the Future of Student Governance was charged with assessing the structure of undergraduate student governance at Virginia Tech. The group, consisting of undergraduate student leaders, faculty, and staff, worked in consultation with the President’s Committee on Governance to propose recommendations to increase effectiveness, participation, and inclusion among the university’s student governing bodies.

Based on the task force’s recommendations, Virginia Tech phased out the Student Government Association (SGA) and transitioned to an Undergraduate Student Senate (USS). The move aligns student governance with the university’s integrated governance model and increases undergraduate participation and accessibility in university decision-making. 

President’s Committee on Governance

Established in spring 2019, President Sands charged the President’s Committee on Governance with creating a set of guiding principles for effective and equitable governance and outlining any changes to the existing system to put these principles into effect. In June 2022, the Board of Visitors approved a resolution to revise the system of shared governance and a new University Council constitution and bylaws.

Title IX Policy Work Group

In May 2020, the U.S. Department of Education released new regulations governing how educational institutions are required to handle reports of sexual harassment and misconduct under Title IX. In response, President Sands established the Title IX Policy Work Group to review the regulations and propose recommendations consistent with new federal rules.

Comprising multiple campus stakeholders, including representatives from student and employee leadership organizations, the group worked diligently over the summer to develop a plan to bring the university into compliance in a way that aligned with Virginia Tech’s Principles of Community. The Executive Committee of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors adopted the work group’s recommendations during a special session on August 13, 2020.