BLACKSBURG, Va. – Virginia Tech President Tim Sands gave the State of the University address on Wednesday.
Each year the university’s president has a chance to talk about the hopes and future of the school while also talking about the progress made.
Throughout his speech, Sands referred to the Beyond Boundaries strategic plan. Sands said the university has made significant progress in terms of the strategic plan.
The direction of the university has two primary emerging aspirations. The first is to become a top-100 global research university. The second is making the university more h accessible and affordable for students whose families do not have the income or wealth to support their students without sacrifices that diminish the value of the Virginia Tech experience.
“While we have been successful in increasing access, with over 40% of our entering undergraduate class identifying as first-generation, low-income, veteran, or underrepresented minority, we know that many students among these populations do not have the full experience of being a Hokie,” Sands said.
The ultimate goal is to give every student the opportunity to perhaps be a part of an internship, study abroad or become a leader of an organization without it becoming a financial burden on the family or student.
O’Brian Martin is in the class of 2026. He also serves on the Undergraduate Student Senate as Vice President for Equity and Inclusion.
“I’m glad we’re moving in a direction to change the narrative. Now instead of saying you can only come here if you can pay for it, instead we’re saying you can come here because you deserve to be here,” Martin said.
One of the issues the university is facing currently is capacity. More and more students are looking at Virginia Tech as their next home but the university doesn’t have enough room for them. In turn, it’s affecting the acceptance rate.
“Our historical 70% acceptance rate has dropped to 57% and it’s likely to drop even further…unless we find ways to accommodate more students,” Sands said.
Sands said the university is working towards replacing older residence halls in cooperation with the Town of Blacksburg.
You can watch the full State of the University address by clicking here.