Board of Directors

Board Member
Dr. Timothy D. Sands
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Tim Sands, the 16th president of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, joined the university in June 2014. A scientist, educator and inventor, he has dedicated much of his career to advancing the impact of research and innovation in public education. As president, he has engaged the university community in a visionary plan called "Beyond Boundaries" to advance Virginia Tech's role as a global land-grant institution, confronting the commonwealth's, the country's and the world's most challenging problems. The "Beyond Boundaries" initiative seeks to define Virginia Tech's role a generation into the future and align the educational experience with the needs and opportunities created by changing world economies and the evolving landscape of higher education.

He also launched and continues to lead InclusiveVT, an initiative to provide leadership, collaboration, guidance and resources to support and accelerate the implementation of inclusion and diversity goals throughout the university community InclusiveVT represents the university's institutional and individual commitment to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), in the spirit of community, diversity and excellence.

Before coming to Virginia Tech, President Sands served as executive vice president for academic affairs and provost of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. He served as acting president during the summer and fall of 2012.

He earned a bachelor's degree with highest honors in engineering physics and a master's degree and doctorate in materials science from the University of California, Berkeley. He joined the Purdue faculty in 2002 as a professor in the schools of Materials Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering, and served as the director of the Birck Nanotechnology Center starting in 2006.

From 1993 to 2002, President Sands was a professor of materials science and engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to that, he directed research groups at Bell Communications Research (Bellcore) in Red Bank, New Jersey.

He has published more than 250 refereed papers and conference proceedings and has been granted 20 patents in electronic and optoelectronic materials and devices. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Materials Research Society and the National Academy of Inventors.

President Sands is joined at Virginia Tech by his wife, Dr. Laura Sands, a professor of gerontology in the Department of Human Development at Virginia Tech. All four of their children graduated from Purdue and are proud members of the Virginia Tech community.

Follow President Sands on Twitter at @VTSandsman.