ARCHITECTURE PROGRAM RANKED IN TOP 10
Virginia Tech's architecture program has once again been ranked among the very best in the U.S. In its 2005 rankings, DesignIntelligence, the only national college ranking survey focused exclusively on design, ranked the architecture program 10th nationwide. In addition, the graduate program in architecture was ranked among the top 10 in the South. The rankings reflect the results of a survey asking professionals to assess which, of the more than 100 National Architectural Accrediting Board-accredited programs, best prepared students for the practice of architecture. According to DesignIntelligence, the survey targets individuals in firms who have direct experience with the hiring and performance of graduates: design partners, managing principals, and human resource directors. More information about the 2005 DesignIntelligence report can be found at http://www.di.net.
BOARD SETS TUITION AND FEES FOR 2005-06
The Virginia Tech Board of Visitors has set tuition and fee rates for 2005-06 academic year. Total cost for Virginia students living on campus will rise from $10,062 to $10,834 annually, an increase of $772. Total annual cost for non-resident students will rise from $20,805 to $22,293, an increase of $1,448. "As most people know by now, Virginia higher education has faced a funding shortage for a long time," says President Charles Steger. "We raise fees reluctantly but do so in order to maintain the high quality level that our students expect. The infusion of new monies will enable us to increase faculty positions, rebuild budgets, and continue to address the major loss of funding that occurred earlier this decade." Accompanying the tuition hike will be another increase in financial aid, with as much as $2 million more to be made available. Last year, the university increased aid by almost $3.4 million. The total financial aid budget is about $195 million.
Despite the increases, Virginia Tech expects to remain financially competitive on many fronts. The university currently has the lowest overall attendance costs of any four-year public institution in Virginia and is expected to remain so. Tech currently ranks among the lowest of its national peer universities for in-state costs (22 of 23) and is expected to retain that ranking. The university also currently ranks 17 among its 23 peer universities in total undergraduate costs for out-of-state students and is expected to retain that ranking as well.
TECH FORMS COLLABORATION WITH KING ABDULAZIZ UNIVERSITY
An exchange of visits this month between Virginia Tech and Saudi Arabia's King Abdulaziz University (KAU) culminated in a memorandum of understanding, slated for signing later this spring. Ongoing discussions linking the two universities in the areas of distance and distributed learning and engineering were established by Sedki Riad, professor of electrical engineering and director of International Programs in Virginia Tech's College of Engineering, and Tom Wilkinson, director of Virginia Tech's Institute for Distance and Distributed Learning. Both faculty members traveled to Saudia Arabia for KAU's conference on reshaping higher education, attended by more than 2,000 people from countries in the Gulf region.
PROFESSOR AWARDED FULBRIGHT DISTINGUISHED CHAIR
France Belanger, associate professor of accounting and information systems in Virginia Tech's Pamplin College of Business, has been awarded a Fulbright Distinguished Chair, considered among the most prestigious appointments in the Fulbright Scholar Program. Recipients are generally senior scholars who have significant publication and teaching records. Belanger, who is an Alumni Research Fellow in her department and directs Pamplin College's Center for Global E-Commerce, will spend the summer of 2006 in Portugal, where she will teach a master's level class on strategic information systems and conduct doctoral seminars at the Technical University of Lisbon's School of Business and Economics.