board hears grim budget news
Housing rates hiked, grad. student support wanting,
Med. Ctr. margin off-target
matters dominated last weekends meeting of the Board
of Visitors, as members set housing rates, heard a disappointing
financial report from the U.Va. Health
System, expressed concern over support for graduate students
and learned of the possible impact of Gov. Mark Warners
budget-cutting proposals on University operations. (See Warners
plan would cut deep.)
works to stabilize finances
Health Affairs Committee on Thursday reviewed the Health Systems
budget woes and the steps being taken to correct them.
by Trisha Morrow
of the Medical Center, which is $4.4 million over budget on expenses
and well under its admissions target through the first six months
of the fiscal year, outlined steps to reduce expenses and increase
Fitzgerald, associate vice president of finance, presented the
committee with tables indicating that patient admissions are down
284 from last year and 635 below budget, which he said represents
$10 million in lost revenue at a time when the Medical Center
is facing increased operating expenses. Labor costs are 4.9 percent
over budget, Fitzgerald said.
The Woodrow Wilson Department of Government and Foreign
Affairs was renamed the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics.
Construction of a five-story, 1,180-space parking garage,
located between Ivy Road and the railroad tracks just west
of the Cavalier Inn, is expected to begin in May.
E. Nick Carter, vice president of operations, said
in response, the administration is reviewing every hiring decision,
filling only mission-critical positions. The use of
temporary nurses has been reduced by half, planned raises have
been deferred and turnover has slowed to about 15 percent.
center must strike a delicate balance, Carter said, noting that
while it is still seeking new patients and promoting the hospital,
there are days when it is full.
Dr. Thomas Massaro, chief of staff, outlined how changing hospital
discharge times, from between 3 and 4 p.m. to late morning or
noon, opens beds sooner for new patients, allowing for earlier
tests and diagnostic work-ups.
on a pilot project, Massaro estimated that earlier admissions
would allow for 210 new admissions annually throughout the hospital,
bringing in $2.6 million in revenue.
Medical Center is trying to maximize its resources through steps
such as centralizing bed control and adopting new inventory systems
that Carter said would keep better track of billable expenses
and reduce pharmaceutical costs. More Saturday and evening operations
are being scheduled to optimize use of the surgical facilities.
of the admissions drop reflects better diagnostic procedures and
more outpatient work, Fitzgerald said. For instance, technology
advances have led to 600 fewer emergency-room coronary patients
being admitted for observation, said Dr. George Beller, chief
of the cardiovascular division, adding that insurance companies
are now beginning to balk at being asked to pay for observation
admissions. He also noted that not admitting coronary observation
patients opens beds for referrals and more serious cases.
morale has dipped since the announcement of pay freezes, Carter
acknowledged, as many employees had been looking for at least
a cost-of-living adjustment. Pam Cipriano, the chief clinical
officer, said there have been meetings with staff to vent grievances,
but the current state budget situation, which has scotched raises
for state employees elsewhere at the University, has lent credence
to the hospitals steps.
rates going up
speed up the accumulation of funds needed to renovate student
dorms, board members on Friday doubled the $50 fee added to housing
rates last year for that purpose, increasing the cost of housing
by 8.4 percent.
board raised housing rates for the 2002-03 academic year by 4
percent, or $91, from an average $2,260 to $2,351, plus the $100
fee, for a total average of $2,451. Even with the increase, U.Va.s
housing and dining rates will stay well below the state average
of $2,920, which has been the boards longtime policy.
W. Sandridge, executive
vice president and chief operating officer, said the additional
money would allow the University to accelerate some projects.
In line for refurbishing are Lambeth Field Apartments, the Alderman
Road first-year dorms and Bice House.
spends about $3 million to $4 million a year on housing maintenance,
according to Yoke San Reynolds, vice
president for finance. The 4 percent increase in the housing
rates covers the rising costs of services such as utilities, trash
collection and insurance. The additional $100 fee will add $620,000
to the reserve fund, Reynolds said, which stood at $5.7 million
as of June 30, 2001.
Funds for top-quality grad. students
Keister Greer, chair of the Educational Policy Committee, led
off Fridays meeting with a brief discussion of the need
to address the predicament of our graduate students.
He and fellow board member Benjamin P.A. Warthen recently met
with representatives of the University administration to express
concern about the lack of funding needed to attract top-quality
graduate students, especially in the humanities.
a brief discussion, fellow board member Terence P. Ross suggested
that Vice President
and Provost Gene Block prepare a statistical report for the
April board meeting comparing the Universitys situation
with some peer institutions.
who said this was an issue already on his priority list and one
that he has begun working to remedy, agreed that such a report
would prove useful.
introduced a name change for one of the Arts
& Sciences departments. After much departmental discussion,
he said, the College has approved renaming the Woodrow Wilson
Department of Government
and Foreign Affairs as the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics.
change, Block said, is being made to more accurately
reflect the mission, teaching and research interests of the department.
discussion followed, with department chair Robert Fatton explaining
that the new name reflects the evolution of the department and
the facultys desire to recognize the unified nature of the
discipline. We believe that we have certain analytical tools
that can be used to understand any political system, at home or
abroad. The name change suggests our common goal.
department will continue to offer two undergraduate tracks
government and foreign affairs with diverse offerings available
in political theory, international relations and comparative politics.
The board approved the transfer of 7.2 acres along Ivy Road from
the University Real Estate Foundation to U.Va. for construction
of a five-story parking garage. The Valentine-Massie plot, between
Ivy Road and the railroad tracks, just west of the Cavalier Inn,
will be the site of 1,180 additional parking spaces. Construction
is expected to begin in May.
The board approved a $1.2 million purchase of property at 120
11th Street in Charlottesville, the site of the present Max-Trax
building, from Word Merchants Ltd. The building will be razed
so that the land .4250 acres can be used as a construction
staging area for Medical Center expansion to begin in the spring.
In the long term, the property will help address future space
needs of the center.
University Treasurer and U.Va. Investment Management Company President
Alice W. Handy reported that the Universitys endowment made
a modest gain of $6.4 million, and with $58.2 million in gifts,
totaled almost $1.77 billion as of Dec. 31.
The board established the Virginia Microelectronics Consortium
Professorship in Engineering, bringing the total number of endowed
chairs to 463.
The board also approved the 2002-04 legislative capital budget
amendments for the academic division and the Medical Center, stating
that they endorsed and supported the legislative budget
A resolution was passed memorializing the three people murdered
Jan. 16 at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy. Those killed
included the schools dean, a faculty member, and a student.
Board member Joseph E. Wolfe co-founded the law school.
A second resolution was passed to both commend and thank Debbie
Ryan for her leadership and success as she celebrates her 25th
year as head coach of U.Va. womens basketball team.
Herbert Timothy Lovelace Jr., a third-year student in the College,
was appointed the new student member of the board.
The board approved a new pilot program that would make loans available
to fraternities and sororities seeking to renovate their existing
housing or that wish to consider on-Grounds housing. The $3 million
loan program is to be established and administered by Sandridge
in consultation with Patricia M. Lampkin, interim vice president
for student affairs, and general counsel Paul Forch.
be eligible, fraternities and sororities will be required to abide
by a list of performance standards laid out by the University,
including management of social activities, compliance with University
policies, oversight of business operations and care of houses
and furnishings that is acceptable to the University.