U.Va. forwards 2001
budget request list to Richmond
2000-02 biennial budget took effect just three months ago, and
the 2001 session of the Virginia
General Assembly does not convene until January. But state
agencies are now submitting their priority lists for budget changes
they would like to see.
Board of Visitors met
by telephone Oct. 2 to approve the University's budget amendment
requests, which were subsequently forwarded to Richmond. Among
the top priorities were a proposal to allow the Medical Center
to keep $4.4 million in interest, generated mainly by patient
revenue, rather than turn it over to the state treasury; and $4
million in support for the Integrated Systems Project.
requests fall into two general categories: those to be supported
from state coffers, or the "general fund"; and "non-general
fund" projects, paid for through other revenue streams. Many
capital projects, to be funded through anticipated revenue or
by donors, fall under the non-general fund heading, but the University
still must receive state approval for the expenditures.
"Typically, we have a pretty good track record there,"
said Nancy Rivers, director of the Office
of State Governmental Relations.
the $45.8 million worth of proposed academic-side projects to
be paid for entirely by non-general funds: renovations to Garrett
Hall, improvements to the Lambeth Field student apartments and
the neurosurgery department's offices, additions to Campbell Hall
and Monroe Hall, construction of a new vivarium facility at the
University Research Farm on Route 20 south of Charlottesville,
another 600-space parking garage for the Medical Center, an addition
to the Aquatics and Fitness Center, and a $200,000 increase in
endowment spending for the Eminent Scholars program.
Medical Center is requesting almost $20.5 million in non-general
funds for capital projects, including improvements to the surgery
and neurosurgery clinics and intensive care units on the third,
fourth and fifth levels of the University Hospital; establishment
of a Breast Health Center; creation of a transitional nursery
to train parents in the specialized care of their newborns as
they leave the pediatric and neonatal intensive care units; an
addition to the Northridge clinical facility to house a cosmetic
surgery center; a planning authorization for future hospital expansion;
and acquisition of medical facilities in the Short Pump area of
Goochland County and a radiation therapy center in Augusta County.
projects to be paid for with general funds face far more competition
for a limited amount of state funds.
University's top legislative priority is the proposal to allow
the Health System to retain
interest generated from patient revenue. Currently, patient revenues
technically go through the state treasury before they are returned
to the University; while the University keeps those revenues,
the state keeps the interest income generated, Rivers said.
approved, the estimated $4.4 million that this proposal would
generate for the University -- and drain from state coffers --
could amount to about 20 percent of the Health System's target
operating margin. The Medical College of Virginia in Richmond
received similar authorization in 1997.
On the academic side, U.Va. will request just over $71 million
for general-fund projects. The two biggest-ticket items are $25
million to construct "MR-6," a proposed medical research
building (to be supplemented by $21 million in non-general funds),
and $12.5 million for an Engineering Information Technology Building
(to be matched with a similar amount of non-general funds).
1999 General Assembly had authorized $11 million in non-general
funds to construct a Materials Research and Science Engineering
Center. In the wake of receiving a National Science Foundation
grant to establish a center for nanotechnology, the University
is seeking to increase that authorization to $14 million, of which
$7 million would come from general funds.
The University is also seeking $4 million in continued support
for the Integrated Systems Project, which will replace its various
record-keeping and financial software programs with an interlocking
Oracle software suite, and an identical amount to establish a
scientific research investment fund, to attract new world-class
faculty in science and engineering.
is also asking for $210,000 to fund a summer program for eighth-
and ninth-graders from disadvantaged and underrepresented backgrounds.
amendments also include requests for general-fund capital projects,
including a replacement for the Campbell Hall chiller that would
support the planned arts precinct, renovation of Fayerweather
Hall, a storm-water management plan for the planned arts precinct
and basketball arena, $5 million to renovate Cocke Hall; and $500,000
to renovate classrooms with information technology and provide
for its support.
University is seeking nearly $900,000 to maintain new facilities
that are expected to come online within the budget year and $1.1
million to reduce the current maintenance backlog.
addition, U.Va. is requesting $2 million in continued funding
to recoup the cost of indigent care at the hospital, to be applied
to undergraduate medical education; $250,000 for four more Nursing
School faculty members; and $300,000 for unexpected insurance
premium increases due to a change in how state agencies are charged.
Gov. Jim Gilmore is expected to announced his budget amendment
proposals in December. It is unclear how much funding the General
Assembly will have to work with when it meets in January. A state
Department of Finance spokesperson said a projected revenue forecast
will not be completed until mid-November.