Board of Visitors


Code of Ethics

The Board of Visitors of Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (Virginia Tech) has adopted a Mission Statement that declares the discovery and dissemination of new knowledge to be central to our core mission as an institution of higher education. Since 1896, the official motto of Virginia Tech has been Ut Prosim, Latin for "That I May Serve."

As members of the university's governing body, the Board of Visitors (BOV) is committed to meeting the challenge of Virginia's Tech mission and motto by conducting business as a body and as individual members with the highest possible ethical standards. We expect all members of the university community to comply with all laws, regulations, policies, and ethical norms—and we expect no less from the membership of our own board. The leadership, behavior, and actions of the BOV members affect the reputation of Virginia Tech and the board. The board is expected to serve as a role model for the university community.


The BOV will understand and support Virginia Tech's mission, vision, and values as a land-grant university and its place as an institution of post-secondary-education in Virginia, the United States, and internationally.

The BOV shall act in good faith and in the best interests of Virginia Tech at all times and in a non-partisan and un-biased manner.

The BOV members shall participate regularly in events at Virginia Tech to ensure they are an active part of the university community.

The BOV members shall advocate for Virginia Tech but speak for the BOV or Virginia Tech only when authorized to do so by the BOV or the Rector.


The BOV shall make decisions and instruct the administration as a board and not as individuals.

The BOV shall refrain from requests of the president, faculty or staff for special consideration or personal prerogative, including admissions, employment, and contracts for business.

The BOV shall respect established channels to acquire information from or open communications with faculty, staff or students.

The BOV shall maintain confidentiality, as guided by the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.

The BOV shall respect the rights and dignity of one another and all members of the university community as defined in the Virginia Tech Principles of Community.


The BOV shall prepare diligently, attend faithfully and participate constructively in all board meetings, committee meetings, and related activities.

Individual BOV members shall speak openly during the board meetings, but after a vote is taken, will support a decision of the board.

The BOV will extend goodwill to one another, all members of the Virginia Tech community, and all educational bodies associated with the university.

Individual BOV members shall understand the role of the Board of Visitors as a policymaking and oversight body, and avoid unnecessary involvement in the administration of university policy.


The BOV shall abide by the Commonwealth of Virginia's State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act, avoiding both conflicts of interest as defined by law and the appearance of such conflicts, and shall report promptly to the Rector any potential conflicts. This includes the timely filing of the annual financial disclosure statement and any other required documents.

The BOV shall adhere to all applicable state and federal laws and regulations and BOV policies and bylaws, including the requirements of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.

Individual BOV members shall certify that they have read and understand this Code of Ethics by signing an acknowledgement form annually.

Individual BOV members have a duty to report their own potential or actual violations of the Code of Ethics or those of other BOV members to the Rector immediately upon realization or discovery.

Individual BOV members shall participate in all training required by law.

Consistent with provisions of the BOV by-laws regarding removal of board members, potential or actual violations of the BOV Code of Ethics shall be reviewed in the following manner:

  1. The Rector will consult with the board member in question and attempt to resolve the potential or actual noncompliance. If that consultation fails to resolve the matter, then
  2. The Rector shall convene the Executive Committee to meet with the board member in question and attempt to resolve the potential or actual noncompliance. If that consultation fails to resolve the matter, then
  3. The Rector shall convene the full board to determine corrective action, as appropriate. If the BOV determines by majority vote of the membership to recommend to the governor that a member be removed, then the applicable provisions of the bylaws relating to removal of a board member shall be invoked.

Approved June 03, 2013