The Virginia Tech Board of Visitors approved the school’s largest ever budget last week at $1.74 billion for the 2021-22 fiscal year.
The education and general portion of the budget, which includes the University Division and Virginia Cooperative Extension, totals $974 million, a 3.7 percent increase from a year before, according to a university news release.
In total, approximately 19 percent of the overall budget is funded by the state.
The budget includes increases in student financial aid, a 5 percent merit and distinction compensation program for teaching/research faculty and administrative/professional faculty, a 5 percent university staff merit compensation program, a 5 percent classified staff compensation program, and a 5 percent stipend in- crease for graduate assistantships.
Also during its meeting, the board approved a resolution to create a new School of Environmental Security within the College of Natural Resources and Environment, pending approval from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. The new school will draw upon multiple academic disciplines and professions to address threats to human safety and prosperity from global population growth, resource availability and access, and environmental shifts, including climate change, according to the release.
A resolution to approve a new bachelor of science degree program in plant science and concurrently discontinuing bachelor of science degree programs in environmental sciences and horticulture was also approved by the board, pending SCHEV approval. The changes to these degree programs will better serve students by providing a unified, integrated curriculum with a wide breadth of subject material to better prepare students for careers in government agencies, agribusiness firms, and biotechnology companies, according to the release.