Oct. 26-Nov. 1, 2001
Back Issues
IN THIS ISSUE
Time to replace New Cabell Hall, Board of Visitors says
Sen. Emily Couric — a friend of the University, an advocate for education
Berne's discovery improved lives of heart patients

Holiday sharing drive

Center pursues multidisciplinary approach to global health issues
Future doctors to get sex education
Faculty Actions -- from the October BOV meeting
Notable -- awards and achievements of faculty and staff
African-American Affairs celebrates
Hot Links -- lists of books that shed light on terror attacks
Inaugural symposium to look at the American college
Attention: book lovers
Campaign helps employees make a difference
U.Va. hosts nanotech workshop
Research awards to be showcased
Rebecca Arrington
The Board of Visitors approved a plan last week to raze New Cabell Hall (above and right), built 50 years ago to accommodate the post-World War II boom in students, and replace it with a 160,000-square-foot new building with classroom and office space.

Time to replace New Cabell Hall, Board of Visitors says
Plan would recreate humanities area at south end of Lawn

Staff Report

New Cabell Hall will be demolished and replaced with a new structure under a plan adopted Oct. 18 by the Board of Visitors’ Buildings and Grounds Committee.

Under the proposed plan, one architectural firm will be hired to design both the replacement for New Cabell Hall and a new College of Arts & Sciences building, to be constructed in the B-1 parking lot. A 400- to 500-car parking garage will be included in the project, as well as renovations to Cocke and Rouss halls.

The estimated cost is $126.7 million, of which $61.1 million is slated to come from private funding, $61.1 million from a combination of Universsity and state money, and $4.5 million from U.Va.’s Department of Parking and Transportation.

The University’s share will be determined after the state decides its contribution, said Colette Sheehy, vice president for management and budget.

The state will probably view the replacement of New Cabell Hall the same as a renovation, since the University is replacing one 160,000-square-foot building with another, Sheehy said.

The timetable adopted by the board calls for the parking garage to be built by December 2003, the new Arts & Sciences building by December 2004, the completion of Cocke and Rouss renovations by 2005 and completion of New Cabell Hall’s replacement by 2006. Classes would be moved from New Cabell Hall to the new building across Jefferson Park Avenue while the replacement building is being constructed.

Under the resolution adopted by the board, Rector John P. Ackerly will appoint a steering committee drawn from the Board of Visitors, the College Foundation and the administration to oversee the project.

At the Oct. 18-19 meeting, the Board of Visitors also:

• Heard students’ views on ethical investing

• Reviewed budget amendments sent to the state

• Were briefed on Virginia 2020 goals

University Architect Samuel A. “Pete” Anderson III applauded the board’s actions, saying that it showed board members are thinking of the south end of the Lawn as a unified entity. It is important that the two new buildings be considered together. “It’s our back door,” Anderson said.

“This is the most important step the University has taken in my time,” he said. New Cabell Hall opened in 1951 — the same year Anderson started school here.

Students on Unocal investments

A presentation by Abby Fifer, the Student Council president, and Andrew Price, president of the Free Burma Coalition, loomed as a possibly controversial entry on the Board of Visitors’ agenda Oct. 19. For months, the student groups had lobbied the board and University administration, urging the University to divest its financial stake in Unocal, an oil company whose business practices in Burma are under fire from many human rights groups.

On Oct. 12, the University announced that it had sold its shares of Unocal stock, and though the previously scheduled appearance by Fifer and Price remained on the agenda, it ended up being far more cordial than confrontational.

Fifer opened with a “goodwill gesture,” passing around a cup full of Student Council pens. She gave a thorough-but-quick rundown of Student Council activities, then took up the Unocal matter. Fifer and Price asked the board to consider adopting an ethical investment policy, perhaps to include an advisory panel of students, faculty and administrators. They suggested that the board establish a code of conduct for the University’s outside investment firms, and said that if the University chose not to divest its interests in companies engaging in ethically questionable practices, it could support shareholder resolutions that addressed the conduct.

Several board members — many of them businessmen — were effusive in their praise for the students’ efforts.

Terrence Ross, an Alexandria lawyer, lauded the student groups’ “reasoned and civil discourse,” noting that the students had eschewed confrontational tactics in favor of research and persuasion. “I think Mr. Jefferson would be really proud,” he said. “I applaud you. I think this is a great success for you.”

Financial picture

The University’s endowment weathered the consequences to the market from the Sept. 11 terrorist attack without great losses, University treasurer Alice Handy told the finance committee.

Although U.Va. didn’t make money in the last quarter, it didn’t lose much either, Handy said, and the endowment’s performance continues to rank in the top 25 percent of the University’s peer group. As of Sept. 30, the endowment total was slightly under $1.7 billion.

William H. Goodwin Jr., who chairs the finance committee and the University of Virginia Investment Management Company’s board, said that only 5 percent of the endowment is available to be reinvested at any given time, because most of it has to stay in the same place for at least a year, with some private equities up to seven years.

Ross asked if UVIMCO gives specific guidance to its money managers regarding the ethical business practices of the companies they invest in. Goodwin replied that beyond broad policies on ethics and practices, trying to influence the managers on individual stocks wouldn’t be good for working relationships.

The board also approved the University’s 2002-04 state budget requests that went to Richmond this week, and the University’s intent to issue bonds for several capital projects. Gov. Jim Gilmore’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Higher Education recommended last year that university and college boards review their administrations’ budgets before they are submitted to the state.

Among the University’s new requests are $7 million for graduate student aid, $11.3 million for infrastructure needs, $11.7 million for Virginia 2020 initiatives, and $13.2 million to be added to the University’s base budget over the biennium ($4.4 million in 2002 and $8.8 million in 2003).

Although the board doesn’t set the tuition prices until April, Colette Sheehy, vice president for management and budget, gave a preview of policies and said the board will have to decide what to do about “the serious issue of being able to provide a good package to get the best graduate students.”

In an effort to provide some relief for the debt that law students face when they graduate, the Law School will initiate a new loan forgiveness program for graduates who enter public service or practice anywhere in Virginia, said Law School dean John C. Jeffries. For those earning $35,000 or less, the Law School will forgive student loans as payments come due. For those earning between $35,000 and $60,000, loan payments will be reduced on a sliding scale, according to income.

Athletics funding

Continuing a dialogue that began almost a year ago, newly promoted Director of Athletics Craig Littlepage presented the board with a five-year plan for improving the overall sports program while maintaining academic excellence, fiscal prudence and compliance with NCAA and federal regulations.

The five-year plan calls for $8.3 million in additional operating support by the 2006 fiscal year ($13.1 million when adjusted for the anticipated inflation). Of the $13.1 million figure, $3.8 million would be needed just to maintain the current level of operations. Another $6.3 million would go toward program improvements, with $3 million to establish a contingency and capital fund.

The bulk of the additional money would come from increased student fees ($3.7 million) and private support ($7.2 million). The latter figure includes $3.6 million in income from a $100 million endowment the department hopes will be in place by 2006, Littlepage said.

The plan’s priorities include maintaining at least the current level of performance, then providing additional support for academic advising, sports medicine, the strength and conditioning program, and budget increases for individual sports.

Health System update

The committee received its first look at the current fiscal year’s financial report, with two-month figures available through Aug. 31. Overall, revenue was $96 million, expenses were $94 million, leaving a $2 million operating margin, which is approximately 3 percent below budget. Operating expenses are on track.
Much-needed staff are filling the ranks of nurses and other health care workers, allowing the Medical Center to open 30 additional beds.

The committee also heard a report on the Health System’s new leadership development program, which builds upon techniques developed by General Electric. The U.Va. Health System is among the first academic medical centers to implement the program, which uses statistically rigorous techniques for analyzing and improving complex systems and processes.

The initial areas of focus include emergency department wait times, radiology MRI film management, orthopedics appointment scheduling and the discharge cycle. For example, the Medical Center is attempting to reduce the discharge cycle by three hours on pilot units, which could result in a net reimbursement increase of $507,060.

Other educational policy matters

• In response to the board’s request for more information on financial aid, Vice President for Finance Yoke San Reynolds presented figures on what portions of financial aid come from grants and loans. Replacing almost $8 million in federal student loans with grants would require setting up an endowment of $157 million, she said.

• Research funding from all sources rose at the University from $209 million in fiscal year 2000 to $224 million in fiscal year 2001, an increase of 7 percent from year to year and a 59 percent increase since 1996, according to Vice President and Provost Gene D. Block. The Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institutes of Health provided the lion’s share of this funding.

• Block presented goals for the 2001-02 academic year. They include the implementation of the Virginia 2020 Commission recommendations relating to integrated strategic planning, improvements in graduate programs, improvements in recruitment and retention of women and minorities, international program planning, and the initiation of a review of the undergraduate curriculum.

• Carl Zeithaml, dean of the McIntire School of Commerce, noted some of the high points of his five-year plan, which include working to become the best undergraduate business program in the world, improvement of graduate and non-degree programs, and boosting the school’s contribution to business knowledge and innovation.


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