Virginia Tech introduced Timothy Sands as its new president at a press conference Friday afternoon. Colleague Tonia Moxley has everything you want to know about him becoming the school’s 16th president.
Sands came from Purdue, where he was a provost. His press conference was streamed online Friday, and here were his general thoughts about athletics at Virginia Tech:
“In terms of athletics, while it’s a really important part of the campus life, it inspires everybody. It inspires the students. I really enjoyed, especially when I was acting [Purdue] president, working with the student-athletes, because they’re the most inspiring individuals. First of all, academically they do well. And I’ve heard that at Virginia Tech. Very impressive. But they manage their time in a way that I’ve never learned to manage my time. So they’re just wonderful individuals.
“And some of the future leaders will come out of intercollegiate athletics. There’s no doubt about that. That’s one of the big advantages, I think, of Title IX is we’re going to have a new generation of women leaders who have that experience of coming up through rigorous intercollegiate athletics, while balancing the need to be a student. But it is a very important part of the campus and it requires that one is assured of institutional control. I can elaborate, but I think you know what that means. And I’m every impressed by what I’ve seen so far at Virginia Tech.
“I’m also impressed by the financial situation at Virginia Tech, in terms of athletics. You don’t want to be in a situation where you have to subsidize intercollegiate athletics to a great degree. And kudos to the board of visitors, the president, the athletic director for developing a program that’s both strong and financially solvent, financially stable. And it reflects well on the institution.”
Sands does not start until June 1, which will be well after the Feb. 1 target the school has to replace retiring athletic director Jim Weaver, whose final day is Dec. 31. Outgoing president Charles Steger said last month that he will consult with the new president as a final decision is made.
“It is exceedingly important that the president and the AD have the right chemistry or it doesn’t work,” Steger said shortly after Weaver announced his pending retirement.
Virginia Tech has a search committee that will be vetting candidates, in addition to the search firm Collegiate Sports Associates, which has aided AD searches at Clemson, Florida State and Richmond.
At the press conference, Sands was informed for that Virginia Tech’s football team enters the field to “Enter Sandman,” opening the opportunity for a variety of puns with his name.
“I was not aware of that” he said, amid laughs in the crowd. “No one informed me of that. I look forward to it. You’ll have to explain that to me afterward. That’s part of my six-month education.”