standoff forces hiring, spending, building freezes
effects of the ongoing budget impasse in Richmond are buffeting
Grounds, and political observers say the situation may not get any
state Senate and House of Delegates, locking horns over Gov. Jim
Gilmore's proposed phase-out of the car tax, were unable to agree
on a compromise set of amendments to the current and coming fiscal
year budgets before their Feb. 24 adjournment. As a result, the
two-year, $50 billion budget passed in the 2000 General Assembly
remains in force.
Revenue growth anticipated in that budget has not met projections,
and state law requires that the budget be balanced. Minutes after
the legislature adjourned, Gilmore issued an executive order mandating
$421 million in spending cuts over the remainder of the two-year
budget cycle, including $189 million during the last four months
of the current fiscal year.
To achieve those cuts, Gilmore ordered an immediate statewide freeze
on hiring and discretionary spending, and directed state agencies
not to enter into new contracts for capital projects. Hiring offers
made before the freeze will continue to be honored, University officials
said, and positions not supported by state funds are not affected
by the freeze. Full
Senate approves master's program in digital humanities
establishment of a new master's degree in digital humanities was
announced at the Feb. 21 Faculty Senate meeting. The degree will
be offered through the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences'
interdisciplinary Media Studies Program, pending approval from U.Va.'s
Board of Visitors and the state.
new degree will provide students with experience in recognizing
and solving problems in humanities computing, as well as hands-on
experience in designing and creating digital media, according to
John Unsworth, associate professor of English and director of the
Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities. Students who
complete this degree might go on to further graduate work, a Ph.D.
in a traditional humanities discipline for example, or they might
seek employment in publishing, communications, commerce or cultural
have become an integral part of the teaching of literature, history,
religious studies and other disciplines, and the next generation
of scholarly editions of major American authors will be electronic
editions, the senate's Academic Affairs Committee wrote in endorsing
the new degree. Full story.