Purdue University Provost Tim Sands is leaving to become the next president of Virginia Tech.
The Virginia Tech Board of Visitors selected Sands as the university’s next president at a meeting Friday afternoon. He will replace current president Charles Steger, who is stepping down as president after 14 years. Sands’ start date is June 1, 2014.
Sands says Virginia Tech’s motto, “That I Serve,” is one of the things that drew him to the university.
“It’s not a dusty relic of a motto here,” says Sands. “It’s very clear to me that this is something that’s deeply ingrained in the institution. It’s something that I personally feel very strongly about. I think Virginia Tech is the best example of an institution that takes that to heart.”
Sands has been Purdue provost since 2010. Before that, he spent more than four years as director of the Birck Nanotechnology Center. He holds an endowed chair in engineering and served as acting president during the fall 2012 before former governor Mitch Daniels took up the post.