April 21-27, 2000
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BOV approves 2000 tuition, Med Center salary increases

From staff reports

Stephanie Gross
Three new board members took their seats at the April 13-15 meetings. From left, Gordon F. Rainey Jr., U.S. Rep. Thomas J. Bliley Jr. and Charles L. Glazer were appointed by Gov. Jim Gilmore.

University Rector John P. Ackerly III opened the April 13 through 15 Board of Visitors meeting by welcoming four new members. The entire board then took up an agenda that included tuition and fee increases, raises for Medical Center employees and a glowing report on the continuing Campaign for the University.

The new members -- U.S. Rep. Thomas J. Bliley Jr., Boston investment firm head Charles L. Glazer, Richmond lawyer Gordon F. Rainey Jr., and non-voting student representative Stephen Phelan -- took seats near both ends of the long, oval table, as is the tradition. (Ackerly noted that Bliley received an especially plum placement, seated next to long-time board secretary Alexander "Sandy" Gilliam and closest to the adjacent room containing the board members' food.)

They then got down to business. The meeting's highlights:

Tuition increased

With little public discussion, the board approved tuition, mandatory fee, and room-and-board increases that will raise the total cost of education for out-of-state, undergraduate students by 4.7 percent, to $22,139 per year. Fee and room-and-board increases for in-state undergraduates will up their total cost by 2.4 percent, to $8,890.

The state ordered an in-state, undergraduate tuition freeze in 1996, and rolled back in-state tuition by 20 percent last year. The effect has been to bring U.Va.'s in-state tuition closer in line with that of public schools in its national peer group; in 1999-2000, U.Va.'s tuition was only $164 higher than its peers, versus $1,022 higher in 1998-99.

The in-state freeze has led to steady increases in out-of-state tuition, with non-Virginians now paying nearly $4,600 more than their out-of-state counterparts at peer public institutions.

Among Virginia's 15 public colleges and universities, U.Va. has the third-highest in-state tuition and fees, behind Virginia Military Institute and the College of William & Mary, and is the most expensive for out-of-state students, having eclipsed William & Mary this year.

Out-of-state tuition and required education and general fees will rise by $806 next year, to a total of $17,370.

All undergraduates will pay an additional $30 in fees to support auxiliary services, for a total of $977.

Graduate students will also see larger bills. In-state, grad-student tuition and fees will increase by 2.2 percent, to $4,984. Out-of-state graduate students will see a 4.9 percent increase, to $17,370, mirroring the increase for their undergraduate counterparts.

The professional schools -- Law, Darden and Medicine -- continued their recent efforts toward financial self-sufficiency.

Tuition and fees for returning, in-state Darden School students will increase by 6.3 percent, to $17,908. Incoming in-state students will pay a higher rate, $19,114. Out-of-state Darden students will pay $24,114, or 6.8 percent higher than this year.

In the Law School, in-state tuition and fees increase by 3.2 percent to $15,730. Out-of-state students will pay an additional 9.1 percent, for a total of $23,611.

In the School of Medicine, out-of-state tuition and fees will increase by 4.9 percent, to $26,221. A tuition hike is being phased in by class for Virginians, who will pay between $11,541 (fourth-years) to $13,541 (for this fall's first- and second-year students).

Summer session fees will remain at $109 per semester hour for in-state undergraduates. Non-Virginians will pay $571, a 5 percent increase.

Contract dining rates were also increased, between 3.6 and 4.1 percent per contract plan. The board increased housing rates at its February meeting.

One cost is going down, pending action by the General Assembly. In his veto package, Gov. Jim Gilmore included $2 million in state funds to renovate Peabody Hall for the Office of Admission, to replace a $20 increase in application fees imposed to finance the project. If the legislators go along in their one-day veto override session, the application fee will drop from $60 to $40.

Medical Center salary increases approved

Employees of the Medical Center will receive an average, merit-based pay increase of 4 percent on July 1 under a pay plan approved by the Finance Committee. Additionally, the Medical Center will create a pool equivalent to 2 percent of current salaries to compete for "critical personnel" in fields where labor is in short supply, including nurses.

Board member Terence Ross asked hospital officials to further clarify which positions would be deemed "critical personnel" before the Medical Center's final budget comes before the board in June.

Nursing shortage reviewed

William E. "Nick" Carter Jr., senior associate vice president for operations for the Health System, told the Health Affairs Committee that the system was down 150 full-time employees, 85 of them nurses.

"People are stretched pretty thin and tired," he said. "They're frustrated that they can't be the caregivers that they want to be.

"We would hire health care providers if we could get them," he said, adding that the hospital is considering several recruiting options, including looking overseas.

Carter also reported on the progress of the Performance Improvement Project. The estimated savings through streamlining efforts so far is $9.9 million, he said. Computer Sciences Corporation, the consultant hired to assist with this initiative, predicts that the Health System can save a total of between $13.9 million and $34.3 million.

Carter stressed that patient care would not be compromised. "There is physician involvement in this re-engineering," he said. "We're being very careful."

Dr. Robert W. Cantrell, vice president and provost of the Health System, reported that a new child care center would open soon at a site near the hospital. The new, 15,000-square-foot center will accommodate 170 children, 60 more than the old facility at Blue Ridge Hospital, will have a sick room and will offer a summer day camp.

Cantrell also reported that the School of Medicine had received $92 million in research dollars this year, $7 million ahead of last year's record pace, and that another research building, in addition to the one currently being built, would be needed to meet research space demands. He estimated the cost at $50 million.

Beyond a billion

Despite surpassing its $1 billion goal in December, the Campaign for the University has not yet hit the expected plateau, said Vice President for Development Robert D. Sweeney.

"I honestly believe we're going to blow the doors off [the goal] at the finish line," he said. The current total stands at approximately $1.1 billion, and he estimated that it could reach $1.3 billion by the campaign's scheduled end date of October.

Since January, Sweeney's office has begun five solicitations of gifts worth at least $20 million apiece, and expects to close on at least three of them and possibly all five, he reported.

Continuing efforts are focusing on funding the recommendations of the Virginia 2020 commissions. "If it can't be funded, it can't happen, Sweeney said.

The campaign is now working closely with younger alumni -- its future donor base -- to thank them for their donations and solicit their visions for the University in the future. One part of that effort is to hold regional "e-summits," like the one held at Cabell Hall last fall, in seven technological hot spots: Seattle, Boston, New York, Washington, Atlanta, California's Silicon Valley and Austin, Tex.

Board to review Blue Ribbon report

To be sure that board members are aware of recommendations of the Governor's Blue Ribbon Commission that apply to all state boards of visitors, Ackerly appointed a five-member committee to study the commission's report in detail before the June meeting.

Headed by Educational Policy Committee chair T. Keister Greer, the group also includes Elizabeth A. Twohy, former chair of Educational Policy; Timothy B. Robertson and Gordon F. Rainey Jr., board members who also served on the Blue Ribbon Commission; and Elsie Holland, the board's liaison with SCHEV.

"There are some suggestions [in the report] that surprised me and that I think will surprise the board," Greer said, pointing to six of the commission's 73 recommendations, mostly in the section aimed at assuring educational quality.

The report, presented in February, calls for governing boards to pay particular attention to the general education curriculum, admission standards, grade inflation, and tenure and post-tenure review processes.

Robertson highlighted another area of the commission's work, the report's framework for six-year institutional performance agreements. "It will be up to us to develop our unique agreement," including performance measures and a commitment to enroll Virginia students, he said, and then negotiate it with the governor and the legislature.

Calling the report "an excellent piece of work . . . easily the best of such reports over the past 25 years," Casteen said that discussing the issues raised "will be an exciting exercise that may help to open everyone's understanding of where the points of accountability are."

He noted that in most of the areas covered by the report, accrediting bodies already set standards of quality that the board endorsed during the most recent self-study for reaccreditation.

As for areas not addressed by the commission, he pointed out that one-third of the University's enrollment (its graduate and professional students) and the largest source of revenue in the academic division (sponsored research grants) are not included in the report.

Group examines Cavalier sports

Education professor Carolyn Callahan, U.Va.'s faculty representative to the National Collegiate Athletic Association, briefed the board on the athletics task force that has been meeting since December as part of the Virginia 2020 planning initiative.

Members of the task force, which includes faculty, students, administrators, and alumni, have been researching aspirations for the athletic department in three areas: programs and facilities, academics and student life, and finances and fund-raising.

"The issue is how we can stay competitive and, at the same time, constrain expenses and increase revenue" to avoid deficits, athletics director Terry Holland said.

Callahan said the task force hopes to present a draft report to the board at its July 15 retreat.

Contractors hail changes

Construction contractors who once complained about bureaucratic inefficiencies and delays in dealing with U.Va. projects are changing their tune, thanks to procedural changes, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Leonard W. Sandridge told the Audit Committee.

Sandridge cited anecdotal evidence in his dealings with contractors, some of whom had previously declined to bid on U.Va. projects, but have now changed their minds. The number of bids received for each project is increasing, he reported, which should drive costs down.

The University's goal in dealing with contractors is to be "tough, but fair," Sandridge said.

He called the stadium expansion effort "the best capital project I have ever been associated with," noting that it is well within budget, and that the parking garage, previously projected to open in October, may be ready for the first football game in early September.

Board members expressed continuing concern with the cost of construction projects, which is routinely higher than those undertaken in the private sector, due to state regulations and procedures. Chief Facilities Officer Robert Dillman suggested a better comparison would be with projects undertaken by other public institutions. "Our costs are comparable or better," he said.

News from Wise

Chancellor L. Jay Lemons reported that the College at Wise's athletics program has been accepted as a provisional member of the NCAA's Division II and has begun a two-year period of compliance education.

"The college is a unique franchise that we're proud of," said Ross, recommending that sufficient resources be devoted to the compliance function there.

Lemons and George Culbertson, the college's provost and senior vice chancellor, proudly shared the results of a national student satisfaction survey in which students at the college gave academic advising the maximum number of points on all six measures and ratings nearly as high on instructional effectiveness. "Campus life has the most room for improvement," Lemons said. "The new student center will help a lot."

Culbertson also described a new Center for Teaching Excellence, in partnership with 16 public school systems in southwest Virginia and other colleges in the area. The new center's first project will be a reading workshop taught by faculty from the college and the Curry School of Education.

In other news ...

  • Even as stock prices plunged April 14, Treasurer Alice Handy reported that the University's endowment had risen in value to almost $1.7 billion as of March 31. Quick action on the part of Handy, board members, and the offices of the governor and state attorney general during a recent market downturn allowed the University to save $100 million in potential exposure, board member William H. Goodwin Jr. reported.

  • The Buildings and Grounds Committee gave tentative approval to the design of a new language house at the corner of Jefferson Park Avenue and Monroe Lane, where the Gildersleeve Apartments will be razed. The 80-bed, four-story facility will mostly serve Asian language students. The committee also heard a report on plans to reseal the Rotunda terrace over the next four summers, preventing water damage to the offices below. In addition, a ramp will be installed to provide handicapped access to the upper Lawn, and the Lawn's sprinkler system will be replaced.

  • Health System Associate Vice President for Finance Larry Fitzgerald reported that the Medical Center's operating margin fell short of budget in February but recovered in March.

  • The board approved the creation of Spinner Technologies Inc., a for-profit business venture of the U.Va. Patent Foundation. The company will help University faculty form their own private firms to commercialize their inventions, and will retain a small stake in those start-up firms. It is hoped that the faculty start-ups will eventually provide local jobs and help fill University-owned research parks.

  • Marc J. Kettmann was introduced as the new executive director of the Health Services Foundation.

  • Board member Walter F. Walker missed the meeting, remaining at his Seattle home with his wife Linda and their newly arrived third child, Mary Louise Walker, born April 11. Faculty Actions will be published in an upcoming issue.



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