Blacksburg, April 23. -- Virginia Polytechnic Institute should have a full-time commandant for a strengthened corps of cadets "within six weeks to two months," Dr. Walter S. Newman, president of the school, said here today.
He expressed confidence that the appointment of such a man, coupled with other organizational changes within the corps, will give the school a "positive" program to bring about a closer co-operation between both the civilian and military student bodies at VPI.
The school's board of visitors, meeting at Radford yesterday, reaffirmed its determination that the full-time cadet program will continue to be an integral part of the institute, despite a recent campaign for its abolition. In a prepared statement, the board noted that:
"Considerable dissension and unrest has recently been caused at VPI and among the alumni by unauthorized to the alumni by over publicized meetings of small groups of students and by follow-up press releases, all indicating that the board of visitors was considering the abolition of the corps of cadets and would vote on this abolition at its scheduled April meeting."
The statement also referred to "criticism of the administration in its failure to gain complete cooperation between the various groups at VPI."
To end the discord, the board directed the administration to employ as a full-time commandant for the corps a qualified man, who "shall have had military experience and demonstrated ability directing young men in educational and military programs."
Vernon Eberwine, of Suffolk, chairman of the board's military committee, said that consideration already had been given to selecting for the post a VPI graduate who shortly will be eligible for retirement from the Army as a general officer.
Dr. Newman said today that he anticipated no difficulty in obtaining a well-qualified commandant.
Currently, the VPI corps of cadets is commanded by an officer assigned through the Army's ROTC program.