April 13-19, 2001
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Board of Visitors balks at athletics recommendations
Award winners' ideas challenge their students
Q&A -- Holt explores strategies for fostering diversity at U.Va.

Extending Jefferson's vision

Clarifications
Hot Links -- undergraduate report
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Boomerang experts to throw at U.Va. April 21
Faculty Senate focuses on grad student funding, ensuring intellectual diversity

Board of Visitors balks at athletics recommendations

Staff Report

The Board of Visitors resolved to “receive” rather than “accept” a report from the Virginia 2020 athletics task force that recommends placing the University’s 24 varsity sports in a tiered system that champions the strongest programs and reduces support for less prominent ones. On April 7, the board passed a resolution charging the Student Affairs and Athletics and Finance committees with reviewing the report’s recommendations.

The board also passed a resolution to accept the other four Virginia 2020 commission reports, charging U.Va. President John T. Casteen III with developing strategic plans to meet their goals.

The board also passed one of the task force’s recommendations — a one-year $50 fee to help support athletics. Board members also approved 2001-02 tuition and fees for students, maintaining the tuition freeze for in-state students and increasing out-of-state tuition by 4.8 percent.

Proposed changes to athletics

Board members expressed concern that men’s sports were being unduly penalized in order to address fiscal problems and comply with federal Title IX requirements of equal opportunity for female athletes. The task force made its recommendations so the athletics department could avoid a possible multi-million-dollar deficit in the next decade, as well as to bring the University closer to compliance with Title IX.

The report recommends that the third tier, which receives some scholarship money and a minimal operating budget, consist entirely of women’s sports, while the fourth tier, with only need-based aid and very limited staff and travel resources, would comprise low-profile men’s sports.

“It’s a death knell for fourth-tier sports; they won’t be able to play in the [Atlantic Coast Conference],” said board member Terence P. Ross.

Varsity sports are already tiered, explained U.Va. Director of Athletics Terry Holland. “They don’t have the same facilities, the same number of coaches, the same scholarship funding, etc. … We want to create a different model, one that encourages students [interested in third- and fourth-tier sports] to compete locally,” rather than in the ACC.

Curry School professor Carolyn M. Callahan, chair of the 17-member athletics task force and U.Va.’s faculty athletics representative to the ACC, said “we’re operating under current law,” in making the recommendations. “And personally speaking, I believe very strongly that we have a moral obligation to make opportunities for women students here equitable with those for men.”
Board member Thomas J. Bliley Jr. pointed to the need to “create a strong endowment for athletics so we’re not in the red.”

To that end, the board’s finance committee and student affairs and athletics committee resolved to consult with the Virginia Student Aid Foundation and report back to the board at the next meeting in June. The board drew up guidelines for the committees to follow, including looking for ways to cut or contain costs and to keep all teams competitive with U.Va.’s peers. The resolution also states that “the University should strive to comply with the practical intent of Title IX.”

Board sets next year’s tuition

At the Finance Committee meeting, the board weighed the impact of increased fees and tuition on students, as well as the impact of increased enrollment on the physical plant.

The board approved a 4.8 percent undergraduate tuition increase for out-of-state students and a 7.8 percent hike in undergraduate fees. The increase will bring out-of-state tuition to $18,268 from $17,370 and leave in-state tuition, frozen by Gov. Jim Gilmore three years ago, at $3,144, not including fees.

Both categories of students will see fees increase $76, to a total of $1,053. The increases in fees contain the one-year $50 hike to go to the athletics department.

The board also hiked tuition at Darden and the Law School, with current Darden students looking at an 8.2 percent increase to $20,689 for in-state students and 6.5 percent increase to $25,689 for out-of-state students. Law students will see a 6.9 percent tuition jump, pushing in-state rates to $16,187, while out-of-state students will pay $25,243. Incoming Darden students will be charged $22,189 and starting students at the Law School, $18,017.

Medical students will see increases ranging from 5.6 to 6.1 percent, depending on their year. Students who entered the system in 1998 will pay $13,305 while students who started in 1999 and 2000 will pay $14,305 a year. New students will have to pay $15,305.

The fee hikes were included in a review of tuition and fee increases and dining contract costs presented by Colette Sheehy, vice president for management and budget.

Sheehy said that the University will be offering first-year undergraduates with demonstrated need 100 percent of financial aid and soon hoped to replace loans with grants.

Board members expressed concern that increases in out-of-state tuition would price U.Va. out of the market.

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Leonard W. Sandridge acknowledged “this is an area we have to be sensitive to from year to year,” but noted that applications have been steady, indicating that the increased tuition is not yet a problem.

They also stressed that Darden and the Law School are seeking to become self-sufficient in their tuition and fees.

The committee also reviewed the University’s meals costs. U.Va. contracts with Aramark food service to provide meals to approximately 6,400 students under a variety of meal plans. The proposed contract carries increases ranging from 2.9 percent to 6 percent.

Sandridge said U.Va.’s room and board costs would remain $253 below the state average.

When discussing enrollment projections, Ross objected to the State Council of Higher Education’s request that the school increase enrollment by 100 undergraduates from 2006 to 2008, saying while the state had been pushing higher enrollment figures, it had not funded any capital improvements to accommodate the additional students.

“I think we need to cut back on enrollment increases to benefit the current students,” Ross said. “This is a question of fairness and I don’t think we are doing right by our students.”

The board approved the enrollment projections.

Nurses needed

The board’s Health Affairs Committee heard reports on the Medical Center’s financial condition and the steps being taken to alleviate its nursing shortage.

Chief Clinical Officer Pamela F. Cipriano updated the board on efforts to recruit, retain and recognize nurses. From this spring’s crop of graduates, U.Va. has hired 43 new RNs, she said, including 15 from U.Va.’s School of Nursing and nine from Piedmont Virginia Community College. This will allow 30 beds to be reopened in the next few months, she said. The beds had been closed due to staffing shortages.

We’d like to hire about 150 more nurses” to bring the Medical Center to full staff.
Cipriano also told the board that the Medical Center has initiated a wage pool that pays nurses a higher hourly salary for working night and weekend shifts, but they don’t get benefits. In addition, the Medical Center hires travel nurses through agencies to meet staffing needs. “We also have a program to reindoctrinate nurses who’ve been out of the profession for a while and we have an in-house program to train and certify nursing assistants,” she said.

“U.Va. needs to become the wage winner in the area” to attract and retain nurses, Cipriano said. Right now, “we’re on par with Martha Jefferson Hospital.”

The Medical Center’s operating expenses, excluding bad debt, were $337.4 million, which is slightly above budget due to over-time wages and escalating pharmaceutical costs, explained William E. “Nick” Carter, senior associate vice president for operations. The Medical Center operating margin, set to meet a 4.7 percent target, is currently 3.8 percent.

The Health System has taken measures to ensure that Medical Center costs and operating margin stay within budget, Carter said in presenting details on the HS Performance Improvement Project. To date, teams have generated more than $15 million in quantified cost savings and revenue enhancement ideas toward the $28.1 million target, he said. Since October, the project has focused on implementing plans to streamline administration; standardize the use of pharmaceuticals; expand participation in indigent care drug reimbursement programs (expected to save some $3.7 million annually); and adjust charges currently below payment rates of local insurers (expecting $2.5 million in net revenues).

In other business, the board:

• approved the creation of a new degree, a Master’s in Digital Humanities, the first to be offered in Virginia.

• established two endowed professorships, bringing the University’s total number to 455: the William Parson Visiting Professorship in Teaching Excellence in the School of Medicine and the Merrill D. Peterson Professorship in the School of Architecture.

• accepted an endowment report from Alice W. Handy, president of the U.Va. Investment Management Co., and praised her for her work keeping the endowment money active and producing.

• approved changes in the structure of loans for stadiums at U.Va. and the College at Wise.

• received from Student Council a 30-page report requesting that the University divest from Unocal because of its business interests in Burma, which has oppressive government. Bliley said he’d review the report, meet with student council members, U.Va. administrators and the board’s finance committee, and report back to the board.

• approved Commerce School dean Carl Zeithaml and his family as the next residents of Pavilion X for five years (at the Building and Grounds Committee’s March meeting). Retiring Ernest H. Ern, who most recently held the post of senior vice president, will be moving out in May.

2001-02 tuition for undergraduates
Regular session full-time
VIRGINIAN
$ %  
Change Change 2001-02
Tuition $0 0.0% $3,046
E&G Fees $0 0.0% $98
Tuition & E&G Fees $0 0.0% $3,144
Student Activity Fee $0 0.0% $39
Auxiliary Fees $76 7.85 $1,053
Tuition & Fees $76 1.8% $4,236

 

NON-VIRGINIAN
$ %
Change Change 2001-02
Tuition $783 4.8% $17,078
E&G Fees $0 0.0% $98
Tuition & E&G Fees $783 4.8% $17,176
Student Activity Fee $0 0.0% $39
Auxiliary Fees $76 7.8% $1,053
Tuition & Fees $859 4.9% $18,268
Figures do not include specific school activity fees.


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