Purdue's Sands named Virginia Tech president

December 6, 2013  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Board of Visitors of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) on Friday (Dec. 6) named Purdue University's Tim Sands as its next president. The appointment takes effect June 1.

Sands, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost, will remain at Purdue through the spring semester. At Virginia Tech, he will succeed Charles W. Steger, who has been president since 2000. Virginia Tech is Virginia's largest research university and its senior land-grant institution with an enrollment of 31,000 students and an annual operating budget of $1.2 billion.

President Mitch Daniels shared the news of Sands' departure in an email to campus early this afternoon.

Daniels noted that Purdue's last two provosts also became leaders of top research universities: Sally Mason, who was named president of the University of Iowa in 2007, and Randy Woodson, who was named chancellor of North Carolina State University in 2010.

"Purdue has been known as the cradle of astronauts and quarterbacks, but I think we also can say the Purdue is the cradle of great university presidents," Daniels said.

Sands has served as provost since April 2010 and was acting president from June 2012 to January 2013, prior to Daniels becoming Purdue's 12th president. He joined the Purdue faculty in 2002 as the Basil S. Turner Professor of Engineering in the schools of materials engineering and electrical and computer engineering. Prior to becoming provost, he served as the Mary Jo and Robert L. Kirk Director of the Birck Nanotechnology Center in Purdue's Discovery Park.

"My time at Purdue has been exhilarating," Sands said. "I have learned more than I could have imagined, I have worked with incredibly talented people each and every day, and I am extremely honored to have been a part of this outstanding institution. I would not leave Purdue except for this extraordinary opportunity, and I know that what I have experienced at Purdue will help me in the years ahead."

Sands 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. From 1993-2002, Sands was a professor of materials science and engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and, before that, he performed research and directed research groups at Bellcore, a New Jersey-based research company now known as Telcordia.

Sands has published more than 250 refereed papers and conference proceedings and has been granted 16 patents in electronic and optoelectronic materials and devices. He is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Materials Research Society (MRS) and the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).

Media contact: Shelley Triol, assistant vice president for external relations, 765-496-2644, striol@purdue.edu

Related websites:
Letter from President Mitch Daniels: http://www.purdue.edu/president/email/2013/131206-med-message.html
Virginia Tech announcement: http://www.vtnews.vt.edu/articles/2013/12/120613-president-timothysands.html

Note to Journalists: A webcast of Virginia Tech's announcement will be available later today at http://www.unirel.vt.edu/audio_video/2013/12/120613-newpresident.html

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