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Provost's Update for Week of October 12-16

COVID-19 testing: Planning for Thanksgiving break and locations for students, employees in D.C. area

Students encouraged to get tested before Thanksgiving break

Virginia Tech is encouraging all students to participate in voluntary COVID-19 testing before leaving campus for Thanksgiving to help protect relatives, friends, and others who may be at a higher risk of contracting the virus.

Students will need to schedule an appointment by logging in with their VT PID and password to this form before 9 p.m. on Monday, October 26. The test is free, however students who schedule an appointment and do not show up at their time or do not cancel within 48 hours will be charged for the missed appointment.

The university expects to schedule testing options beginning on Saturday, November 14, and continue through Tuesday, November 24. Virginia Tech encourages all students to continue following public health guidelines as they complete their fall semester classes and prepare to travel home.

For more information, students should contact Student Affairs at 540-231-6272 or

D.C. area employees, students encouraged to register for testing

Virginia Tech will begin asymptomatic, surveillance testing for employees and students in the greater Washington, D.C. area starting Tuesday, October 20. This applies only to employees and students who are at the following locations:

  • Northern Virginia Center in Falls Church
  • Virginia Tech Research Center – Arlington
  • Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center in Alexandria
  • The Gallery student housing
  • Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center
  • Occoquan Watershed Monitoring Laboratory

Surveillance testing will be conducted by appointment only. Pop-up clinics will be located at three sites in the D.C. metro area: NVC-Falls Church, VTRC-Arlington, and WAAC-Alexandria. Appointments will be available every other week. Registration is required for testing at each location.

Ken Smith: New COO for Innovation Campus

Virginia Tech announced this week that Vice Provost for Academic Resource Management Ken Smith has been selected to serve as the first chief operating officer for the Innovation Campus. Beginning October 25, Ken will work directly with Vice President and Executive Director Lance Collins to help build the new campus from the ground up and coordinate its opening and operation.

“Throughout his tenure in the Provost’s Office, Ken has distinguished himself as a valued member of my leadership team and a committed advocate for our academic community. He has done a remarkable job of assessing and directing critical university resources to serve the needs of faculty and programs, and enhancing the educational opportunities and experiences we provide for our students. I am grateful for Ken’s dedicated service and leadership of our academic resource management division, and I look forward to continuing to work closely with him in this new role.” –- Executive Vice President and Provost Cyril Clarke.

Please join us in thanking Ken Smith for his service and congratulating him on this new chapter in his career at Virginia Tech.

Grant opportunity: CETL Instructional Grant proposals due November 1

The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) is offering multiple types of Instructional Grants for faculty and departments to engage in the development of instructional skills, the application of effective teaching strategies, and the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Four types of Instructional Grants are available: High-Impact Project Grant, Large Class Teaching Grant, Instructional Innovation Grant, and Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Grant.

The deadline for proposals for the spring 2021 semester is November 1.

More information is available on the Instructional Grant webpage. To submit a grant proposal, please complete the online submission form. If you have questions, please email

ICYMI: Survey on balancing caregiving and work responsibilities

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, a common theme that has emerged through a number of conversations with faculty and staff is that caregiving responsibilities are immensely challenging as we juggle work and family responsibilities. As a result, all faculty, staff, and graduate student employees are invited to share their perspectives and participate in an anonymous survey about balancing caregiving and work duties.

The survey, which is open through October 23, should take about 10-12 minutes to complete. Information about faculty and staff experiences are important for the university to make informed decisions about possible solutions and support.

Additional information about the survey can be found in this campus notice. Caregiving support and resources are available on the Virginia Tech Women’s Center website.

Recent resource and information updates

Please visit VT Ready and the Provost’s website frequently for new and updated university information. All members of the campus community should also read their VT Daily email for further important updates, notices, and resources.