Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 72.78
Liaison Dennis Cochrane
Submission Date Feb. 18, 2021

STARS v2.2

Virginia Tech
PA-3: Inclusive and Participatory Governance

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Kim O'Rourke
Vice President for Policy and Governance
Office of the Vice President for Policy and Governance
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have formal participatory or shared governance bodies through which the following stakeholders can regularly participate in the governance of the institution?:
Yes or No
Students Yes
Academic staff Yes
Non-academic staff Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal participatory or shared governance bodies:

For students:
The Student Government Association (undergraduate students) and the Graduate Student
Assembly (graduate students)
SGA: https://www.sga.vt.edu/
GSA: https://www.gsa.vt.edu/
The Virginia Tech Board of Visitors selects an undergraduate student representative and a
graduate student representative to the Board of Visitors each year.

For academic staff:
The Faculty Senate President is also the Faculty Representative to the Board of Visitors by
virtue of their position. The position as the Faculty Senate President is voted on by the
Faculty Senate members.
Teaching and Research Faculty’s representative body:
Faculty Senate: https://governance.vt.edu/bylaws.html
Teaching and Research Faculty’s elected representative:
Faculty Senate President: https://www.facultysenate.vt.edu/

For non-academic staff:
The Staff Senate President is also the Staff Representative to the Board of Visitors by
virtue of their position. The position as the Staff Senate President is voted on by the Staff
Senate members.
Staff members representative body:
Staff Senate: https://governance.vt.edu/bylaws.html
Non-supervisory staff members engaged in governance:
Staff Senate President: https://www.staffsenate.vt.edu/
On February 17, 2020, approval was received by the President of the University and by
University Council on the establishment of an Administrative and Professional (A/P)
Faculty Senate. https://governance.vt.edu/assets/CAPFA_resolution_2019-20B.pdf
The A/P Faculty Senate Constitution and By-laws will be implemented after Board of
Visitors’ approval in the academic year 2020-2021.

Total number of individuals on the institution’s highest governing body:

Number of students representing their peers as official members of the institution’s highest governing body:

Number of academic staff representing their peers as official members of the institution’s highest governing body:

Number of non-academic staff representing their peers as official members of the institution’s highest governing body:

Number of women serving as official members of the institution’s highest governing body:

Percentage of official members of the highest governing body that are women:

Website URL where information about the institution’s highest governing body may be found:
Does the institution host or support one or more formal bodies through which external stakeholders have a regular voice in institutional decisions that affect them?:

A brief description of the campus-community council or equivalent body that gives external stakeholders a regular voice in institutional decisions that affect them:

The Virginia Tech Administration holds several regularly scheduled meetings (monthly or bi-monthly) with various representatives from the local government and the broader community. Examples include the Town-Gown Administrator Meetings (see attached document in the optional fields section), the Town-Gown Community Presentations, Forums, Local Montgomery County Liaison Group, and K-12 School Leadership. Town Gown Community Relations is a committee co-chaired by town and university staff. The committee's planning group consists of approximately 25 representatives who actively participate year-round. Students and residents are invited to attend and contribute their expertise and life learning. More information on the Town Gown relationship can be found here: https://www.blacksburg.gov/departments/departments-a-k/housing-and-neighborhood-services/town-gown

Several of our Colleges, and some of our individual academic departments have Advisory Boards make up of individuals from the private sector, government agencies, and NGOs who help provide strategic direction for their programs. Two examples are described in the following websites, though there are many more distributed throughout the institution:
• Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM) Advisory Board - https://www.htm.pamplin.vt.edu/industry-relations/advisory-board.html - The HTM Advisory Board consists of senior industry executives from all over the US. The Board meets on campus twice a year and engage in consultation with administrators, faculty, and students. Members provide advice to administrators about curriculum, share the latest trends with faculty, and mentor students about career potential.
• The Mechanical Engineering Advisory Board - http://www.me.vt.edu/people/advisory-board/ - The Mechanical Engineering Advisory Board was formed in February 1997. The purpose of this group of alumni and friends of the department is to: support the department on existing and proposed educational and academic programs and other activities; provide guidance strategies and assistance to the department in maintaining effective liaisons with the university and the external community; and assist the department in developing and communicating a national reputation in scholarship and research.

Virginia Tech participates in a number of Codified governing bodies with membership from the university, the Town of Blacksburg, Montgomery County and the greater New River Valley in Southwest Virginia. All of these governing bodies determine which and how services will be provided to the community stakeholders. In addition to having an appointed representative from each participating locality with voting rights, all of these organizations are subject to public notice, Virginia open public meeting law, and FOIA, so community members have ample opportunity to engage and provide input. The following is a list of bodies and mechanisms through which external stakeholders are directly engaged in institutional governance type activities that directly impact Virginia Tech:

1. New River Valley Emergency Communications Regional Authority
The mission of the New River Valley Emergency Communications Regional Authority is to provide quality and reliable 911 dispatch and emergency communication services to the community and agencies we serve. The Authority services the Towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg, Montgomery County and Virginia Tech. Our partnership will promote interoperability, collaboration and convey the highest level of professionalism. Our commitment to excellence in public safety will foster a safe environment and promptly respond to the needs of our citizens.
Virginia Tech's Vice President for Operations is the Chair of the Board of Directors.

2. Virginia Tech-Montgomery Regional Airport Authority
The Virginia Tech Montgomery Executive Airport is located on 248 acres adjacent to the university’s main campus on Research Center Drive in Blacksburg and is operated by the Virginia Tech/Montgomery Regional Airport Authority. It’s used by a wide variety of leisure and business travelers and facilitates a number of business activities, including aerial inspections, photography, surveying, agricultural spraying, career training, emergency medical aviation, and flight training. It also serves as a gateway for business and political leaders, law enforcement, public charters, recreational flying and parachuting, and search and rescue flights.
Airport Master Plan: http://www.vtmea.com/airport-master-plan/.
Virginia Tech Vice President for Operations Dr. Sherwood Wilson is a Board Member.

3. New River Valley Regional Water Authority:
http://nrvwater.org/ Home Page
Virginia Tech Vice President for Operations Sherwood Wilson in the Virginia Tech Board Member and Current Chair
The NRV Regional Water Authority’s mission is to provide a reliable source of water and safe drinking water to member water systems that include:
• The Town of Blacksburg
• The Town of Christiansburg
• Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)
• Areas of Montgomery County served by the Montgomery County PSA
The NRV Regional Water Authority’s source for water is the New River. Water is withdrawn from the New River and pumped to the water treatment plant for treatment and purification before it is sent to Authority member systems.
• Water treatment is the industrial-scale processes that makes water more acceptable for an end-use, which may be drinking, industry, or medicine. Water treatment should remove existing water contaminants or reduce their concentration that their water becomes fit for its desired end-use, which may be safely returning used water to the environment.
• Water purification is the removal of contaminants from untreated water to produce drinking water that is pure enough for the most critical of its intended uses, usually for human consumption. Substances that are removed during the process of drinking water treatment include suspended solids, bacteria, algae, viruses, fungi, minerals such as iron, manganese and sulfur, and other chemical pollutants such as fertilizers.
• Measures taken to ensure water quality not only relate to the treatment of the water, but to its conveyance and distribution after treatment as well. It is therefore common practice to have residual disinfectants in the treated water in order to kill any bacteriological contamination during distribution.
The Authority wholesales its treated/purified water to its members. The treated/purified water flows through each member’s storage and distribution system before it is delivered to industries, businesses and households in the region for its intended use.

4. Montgomery Regional Solid Waste Authority:
http://www.mrswa.com/ Home Page
http://www.mrswa.com/board-directors.html Board of Directors (Associate Vice President and Chief Facilities Officer Chris Kiwus is the Virginia Tech Board Member)
http://www.mrswa.com/services.html Services
The Montgomery Regional Solid Waste Authority (MRSWA) is leading the way in the solid waste management field. We are dedicated to helping our region flourish and our education programs promote these ideas to businesses, schools and the general public. We are determined to make recycling and other environmental practices habitual and have several programs in place to reach our goals in "Protecting Tomorrow's Environment Today." MRSWA provides the Region with the assurance of a fully integrated solid waste management plan; which includes closed landfill management, education, a transfer station, and recycling. The closed landfill property is carefully monitored and regulated to ensure safety. A public education program encourages conserving resources and saving landfill space through strong recycling programs for residents, businesses, and schools.

5. Blacksburg VPI Sanitation Authority

6. New River Valley Regional Commission:
https://nrvrc.org/ Home Page
https://nrvrc.org/about-us/commission/ Commission Members (Associate Vice President for Facilities and Chief Facilities Officer is the VT rep)
The New River Valley Regional Commission is an organization comprised of 12 local governments and two universities for the purpose of encouraging collaboration to address regionally significant issues and opportunities. Also known as PDC4, our organization encompasses the counties of Floyd, Giles, Montgomery, and Pulaski, and the City of Radford. The Regional Commission convenes community leaders to build relationships and capacity across the region; provides technical assistance to members; serves as a liaison between local, state and federal governments; and implements services when requested by members. The New River Valley Regional Commission works to promote a higher quality of life by supporting Economic Development, Community Development, Housing, and Transportation programs.

Number of people from underrepresented groups serving as official members of the institution’s highest governing body.:

Website URL where information about the institution’s governance structure is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Number of people from underrepresented groups (e.g., national, ethnic, religious, and linguistic minorities) serving as official members of the institution’s highest governing body)
- African American: 3
- Caucasian: 10
- Hispanic: 1
- Male: 7
- Female: 7
- LGBTQ+: 1

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.