Virginia Tech is a public land-grant university, committed to teaching, research, and outreach to the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world. Building on its motto of Ut Prosim (that I may serve), Virginia Tech is dedicated to InclusiveVT—serving in the spirit of community, diversity, and excellence. We seek candidates who adopt and practice the Principles of Community, which are fundamental to our ongoing efforts to increase access and inclusion, and to create a community that nurtures learning and growth. Virginia Tech actively seeks a broad spectrum of candidates to join our community in preparing leaders for the world.

The Position

Responsibilities of the Position

Reporting to the assistant vice president for student affairs (Health and Wellness), the director of services for students with disabilities will provide vision, leadership, and management for a comprehensive department that is responsible for the delivery of mandated services to students with documented disabilities. The director, as a member of the leadership team, assists the Division of Student Affairs in fulfilling its mission to foster a welcoming environment for all by leading the university’s efforts to develop programs and services responsive to the needs of students. While providing visionary leadership and strategic direction to the department, this position articulates departmental mission and goals and establishes an inclusive, team-oriented work environment. The position oversees a budget of $650K and thirteen staff members. The director develops and initiates outreach programs in disability issues and personal development, provides venues for staff development, and manages the daily operations of the department. The director participates as a member of the emergency on-call crisis intervention team. The individual in this position is responsible for developing responsive, efficient, and effective client services; establishing effective monitoring systems to help ensure the highest quality care; developing innovative and responsive programs/services; and evaluating the utilization, effectiveness, and impact of those programs and services. The position engages actively with the student affairs leadership team to address emerging student trends, campus climate issues, and the needs of a variety of student communities. As a strong partner, the director coordinates and collaborates with key university and external constituencies, including but not limited to the five units within Health and Wellness, Legal Counsel, various other Division of Student Affairs departments, and academic faculty to build strong relationships.

Characteristics of the Successful Candidate

Applicants must have a master’s degree in counseling, clinical psychology, social work, rehabilitation counseling, counselor education, or related field; successful candidates will have demonstrated experience supervising staff that provide counseling services and assistive technology to students with disabilities; demonstrated experience working with students with disabilities in a higher education setting, including health sciences programs; demonstrated experience conducting intake interviews and interpreting psycho-educational tests to determine accommodations and services; a full understanding of federal regulations, including Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, and an ability to translate these regulations for a lay audience; must be skilled at communicating effectively with students, staff, faculty, parents, and the community; possess demonstrated experience working with a wide array of disability categories and a strong working knowledge of Interpreter and C-Print Captioning services/qualifications needed in a higher education setting; demonstrated experience in developing a systematic approach to assessing student learning outcomes and program effectiveness; demonstrated experience with fiscal budget management and best business practices with the ability to provide written justifications to support the need for staffing and program needs; demonstrated experience in general and crisis intervention counseling; demonstrated sensitivity, knowledge, and understanding of students of differing academic, socioeconomic, gender, cultural, disability, and ethnic backgrounds and sexual orientation.

History of the Position

The former director was Susan P. Angle, PhD, who worked in Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) for nearly 22 years. Deborah Smith and Michael Brown have co-managed the office since Susan’s retirement at the end of June.


Likely Opportunities, Priorities, and Challenges of the Position

In addition to the above-stated qualifications and characteristics, Virginia Tech stakeholders identified the following characteristics as important to the director (in no particular order):

  • Strong collaboration skills coupled with a commitment to helping students be successful.
  • Deep understanding of national trends of providing quality service to students with disabilities.
  • Strong supervisory skills and an ability to lead people toward a common goal.
  • A deep commitment to social justice and inclusion.
  • A willingness to listen to students and hear their concerns regarding their academic experience.
  • Strong interest in growing staff professionally.
  • A willingness to use data as a rubric for decision that define and grow the organization.
  • Foster personal growth for all students.
  • Demonstrated experience working with all campus partners to provide the best experience for students.

Measures of Success for the Position

At an appropriate interval after joining Virginia Tech, the following items will initially define success for the new director. The new director will have:

  • assessed the department and worked with staff to establish a strategic plan for moving forward;
  • built trust amongst staff members and students;
  • worked to ensure students are heard and a vision for the future is established;
  • found effective ways to advocate for students and their needs;
  • evaluated the testing process and worked to improve the services provided to students;
  • worked with all faculty members to orient them to the services provided in the department;
  • collaborated with Chris Wise to provide strong leadership within the division; and
  • became a credible leader on Virginia Tech’s campus.

An Overview of the Division or Department

Institution & Location

Institutional Background

Virginia Tech pushes the boundaries of knowledge by taking a hands-on, transdisciplinary approach to preparing students to be leaders and problem-solvers. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers about 280 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 34,000 students and manages a research portfolio of more than $521 million. The university fulfills its role as a land-grant institution by fostering a collaborative environment that integrates technology into all disciplines so that the Virginia Tech community can serve as a force for positive change around the commonwealth, the country, and the world. Through experiential learning, future-focused research, and an inclusive, spirited culture, Virginia Tech strives to accomplish the charge of its motto Ut Prosim (That I May Serve).

Founded in 1872, Virginia Tech has a 2,600-acre main campus, educational and research facilities across the state, a study-abroad site in Switzerland, and a 1,800-acre agriculture research farm near the main campus. The campus proper is located in the town of Blacksburg in Montgomery County in the New River Valley and is 38 miles southwest of Roanoke.

Blacksburg, VA

Blacksburg, some 12,000 acres nestled on a plateau between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny mountains, is special. Home to about 42,600 local residents, the town is considered small by most any standard, but don’t let its size or location fool you. Because of its award-winning services, reasonable cost of living, safety, moderate climate, and abundant leisure activities, Blacksburg is consistently ranked among the country’s best places to live and has earned a reputation nationwide as a well-managed, stable, and forward-looking community. Established in 1798 and now Virginia’s largest town, Blacksburg lies within Montgomery County, which has a population of some 95,000.  Vibrant and engaging, Blacksburg’s downtown offers unique stores, art galleries, and eclectic restaurants. The area’s wide red-brick sidewalks, Victorian street lamps, and park benches encourage foot traffic and make meeting folks easy.

Quick Facts

  • In 2012,, a real estate site, ranked Blacksburg No. 1 on its “Top 10 Cities to Raise a Family” listing, citing the presence of Virginia Tech and numerous economic opportunities.
  • In 2011, Bloomberg Businessweek named Blacksburg the best place in the United States to raise children.
  • A high-tech, professional environment, Blacksburg is one of the most “wired” communities on the planet.
  • In the National Citizens Survey, Blacksburg residents gave the highest ratings to their town’s appearance, openness, and acceptance, as well as its many cultural opportunities, safety, and low crime rate.
  • Blacksburg has been ranked among the nation’s best places to live by Blue Ridge Country magazine, Men’s Journal, The 50 Best Small Southern Towns, The Sporting News, and Retirement Places Rated.
  • Outside magazine ranked Blacksburg a top-10 “dream town” for outdoors enthusiasts because of its proximity to the Appalachian Trail and the Washington-Jefferson National Forest. The area’s natural resources for hiking, biking, whitewater rafting, and climbing are phenomenal.
  • The nationally accredited Virginia Tech Police Department operates 24 hours a day and provides full police service to the university community.
  • Blacksburg, along with Christiansburg and Radford and including Giles, Montgomery, and Pulaski counties, is considered a Metropolitan Statistical Area by the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Virginia Tech’s Corporate Research Center hosts more than 100 technology-based companies, as well as the Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine, contributing to Blacksburg’s high-tech, professional environment.
  • The award-winning Blacksburg Transit provides town-wide public transportation at a reasonable cost and a game day shuttle for football and basketball games.

Mission Statement

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University is a public land-grant university serving the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world community. The discovery and dissemination of new knowledge are central to its mission. Through its focus on teaching and learning, research and discovery, and outreach and engagement, the university creates, conveys, and applies knowledge to expand personal growth and opportunity, advance social and community development, foster economic competitiveness, and improve the quality of life.

Strategic Plan

2012-2018 Strategic Plan


Timothy D. Sands, President

Timothy D. Sands became the 16th president of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in June of 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 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 initiative, called “Beyond Boundaries,” seeks to define Virginia Tech’s role a generation into the future and align the educational experience with the needs and opportunities that will be created by changing world economies and the evolving landscape of higher education.

In collaboration with the provost and academic leadership, he has championed the development of Destination Areas, thematic focus areas that leverage the university’s signature strengths to attract talent and generate creative energy that extends across the disciplines. The development of these areas involves reimagining Virginia Tech’s Blacksburg residential campus, catalyzing the economic development of the Blacksburg-Roanoke region with a growing health science and technology center of excellence, and developing the experiential learning and research potential in the National Capital Region. He has prioritized building new and enhancing existing partnerships and collaborations to use resources and expertise in a focused and efficient way across the country and the globe.

He also launched and led 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 supports the imperative of inclusion and diversity as key components of a university ecosystem rich in opportunities for experiential learning, cross-disciplinary engagement, and the development of cultural awareness and empathy.

President Sands’ vision for Virginia Tech embraces the university’s heritage of service and community and its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve). Virginia Tech students will graduate with disciplinary mastery, technology literacy, cultural competency, resilience, empathy for others, and the passions and strengths needed for a life and career of impactful service to humanity.

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 was acting president during the summer and fall of 2012, before Mitchell E. Daniels became the 12th president of Purdue.

President 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. 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.

From 1993 to 2002, President 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 Bell Communications Research (Bellcore) in Red Bank, New Jersey. Throughout his career, he has participated in and led research teams and academic programs that have been characterized by open collaboration across a wide array of disciplines.

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 holds faculty appointments in the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering in the College of Engineering, with research interests in microelectronics, optoelectronics, and nanotechnology. 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 and Family Science in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

All four of their children graduated from Purdue and are proud members of the Virginia Tech community.

The Academic Program

With more than 150 majors and options to choose from, students can be a part of academic programs that harmonize for an experience unlike any other. Not sure what you want to pursue? No problem. There are “undecided” designations in many areas, allowing students to explore the possibilities before naming a major.

Learn more about Virginia Tech’s offered majors by visiting

Enrollment (Fall 2017)

32,304 on-campus; 84 percent undergraduate; 16 percent graduate; 56.6 percent male; 43.4 percent female. Total enrollment on and off campus is 34,440 (78.9 undergraduate, 21.1 graduate).


Virginia Tech received a record 32,000 applications for the fall 2018 first-year class. Cumulative SAT reasoning test scores had a middle range of 1,160 to 1,340.

Full-Time Instructional Faculty

1,520; 57 percent are tenured.

Special Academic Programs

In the university’s Cooperative Education Program, sophomores and juniors can alternate semesters of study with semesters of professional work. The Honors College inspires and facilitates an extraordinary education for students of exceptional motivation and ability who seek to be active learners and who will apply their knowledge and skills to critical real-world problems. The Study Abroad Program consists of academic programs, tours, and independent travel, often conducted in conjunction with overseas universities and institutions. Students enrolled in the Corps of Cadets are eligible for the Army, Air Force, and Navy ROTC programs. Virginia Tech established its first residential college in fall 2011, and added a second in 2012.

The Student Body

Enrollment by Race

  Undergraduate Graduate Professional Total
American Indian or Alaska Native 39 8 1 48
Asian 2,666 161 27 2,854
Black or African American 1,079 174 17   1,270
Hispanics of any race 1,634 158 27   1,819
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 32 2 0        34
White 17,892 2,139 380 20,411
Two or more races 1,206 97 19   1,322
Not reported 795 47 21      863
Nonresident alien 1,797 1,877 9   3,683
Total           27,140     4,663             501 32,304

Enrollment by Gender

   Undergraduate         Graduate  Professional                Total
Men 15,403 2,753 140 18,296
Women 11,682 1,907 354 13,943
Not reported 55 3 7 65

Benefits Overview

From comprehensive insurance plans to tuition assistance, Virginia Tech offers employees a robust benefits program.

This full range of benefits, services, and perks is an integral part of the university’s total compensation package and just one of the many things that make Virginia Tech a great place to live, learn, and work


Virginia Tech employees have the opportunity to take advantage of a variety of health benefits to help meet their specific needs, as well as the needs of their family. This comprehensive coverage includes flexible spending accounts, medical and life insurance, and workers compensation.


To help promote work-life balance, Virginia Tech provides a generous leave program, which includes paid time off, holidays, and sick leave.

Retirement & Financial

It’s never too early or too late to invest in your future and the Department of Human Resources is here to help. The university’s retirement plans provide ample opportunities for employees to save for the future.

Hokie Perks

Working at Virginia Tech comes with many benefits, including a multitude of perks. Some of the many Hokie Perks employees enjoy include:

  • Discounts
  • Legal resources
  • Continuing education
  • Health and wellness programs


Application & Nomination

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Nominations for this position may be emailed to Jennifer N. Hiatt at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the Virginia Tech website at

Virginia Tech actively seeks a broad spectrum of qualified candidates to join its community in preparing leaders for the world and encourages women, minorities, veterans, and individuals with disabilities to apply.

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law.