Sept. 27-Oct. 10, 2002
Back Issues
$6 million fund to bridge gaps
U.Va. attacking water crisis
Board approves preliminary plans for arena
Med Center board gets construction report

Bonds will help build on aspirations

Presidential Accolades
Africa Consortium to broaden health, humanities projects
Time form, earnings statement show off new look
To the point with Ann Hamrick
Off the Shelf -- recently published books by U.Va. faculty and staff
Blackford planning graceful exit as Quarterly editor
U.S. News ranks U.Va. No. 1 in “Best Values”
Women’s Center is recipient of the PIE award
Academic integrity topic of conference
Indigenous in black-and-white
Library offers rare glimpse into American history

Board of Visitors, University departments chip in
$6 million fund to bridge gaps

By Anne Bromley

Using creativity and efficiency, U.Va. administrators have rounded up $6 million to retain faculty and support graduate students, President John T. Casteen III told Faculty Senate members at their annual fall retreat Sept. 13.

In addition to the Board of Visitors’ commitment of $4 million from the unrestricted endowment, several self-supporting units of the University will chip in to address academic needs in these tough financial times.

Casteen said Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Leonard W. Sandridge “took up a collection” from auxiliary services. The housing division, the University Bookstore, the athletics and intramural recreation departments, Parking & Transportation and Student Health came up with a combined $1 million to soften the effects of the state’s budget reductions. In addition, the University Real Estate Foundation is chipping in a $1 million surplus from its earnings.

The Faculty Senate passed the following resolution at its retreat Sept. 13:

“The University of Virginia Faculty Senate joins its colleagues in the Faculty Senate of Virginia, representing all the institutions of higher learning in the Commonwealth, to urge passage of the higher education bond issue in the November election. This measure is a crucial step in helping to fund the pressing needs faced by all Virginia colleges and universities. These institutions face integrating an additional 32,000 students over the next eight years, in facilities that in many cases are already inadequate to meet needs. The bond issue will provide desperately needed funds for renovation and expansion. We urge all faculty to take an active role in promoting a positive vote on this measure.”

“The $6 million will go to core programs,” Casteen said — to protect undergraduate teaching, course offerings and sections, to aid in retaining faculty and to provide ways to start new programs that are essential to U.Va.’s mission. The president said he would like to be able to reward extraordinary faculty efforts, as had been done before with a donation from late David A. Harrison III, for example. “I would like to go back to that model,” Casteen said.

The College of Arts & Sciences will be the fund’s main beneficiary because that it is the most dependent on state funds for operations, he said.

“We are all grateful for the dedication and ingenuity of our administration, both in anticipating this round of state cuts and in doing as much as possible to soften their damage,” Faculty Senate chair Michael J. Smith said after the meeting.

Faculty reaction was “tempered,” however, because of the uncertain cuts to come, he said. “It’s hard at this point to breathe a sigh of relief about the ‘found money,’ even at the significant level the president announced.”

U.Va. will fall behind its peers in faculty resources and in other areas if something isn’t done, Casteen said. The $6 million “will help offset what is happening and mitigate somewhat whatever may happen,” he addesd.

“It would take probably another 10 years of raising money … [at our recent pace] to reach the point where we could build with internal resources the kind of protection year after year against what the state does to balance its books,” said Casteen, explaining what it would take for the University to wean itself from the state’s dwindling contribution to its budget.

“The progress we have made toward [getting] other funding is at something like the beginning. It’s nothing like the end.”

Arts & Sciences Dean Edward L. Ayers, speaking to the senate in the afternoon, noted that virtually all of the Arts & Sciences shortfall could be made up if U.Va. tuition were set at the level of the University of Michigan’s.

“Faculty understand that if state dollars are not forthcoming, tuition fees will have to be more sensitive to our ‘market’ of public university competitors,” added Smith. U.Va.’s low rates operate in effect as a subsidy for upper-middle-class families in Virginia, who could afford to pay higher tuition rates.

Casteen advised the faculty leaders on how to exercise leadership in this period of economic recession, saying they should follow the same principles the administration does: to sustain educational quality and to allow minimal damage or none at all.

It will take the state six months to a year to know how bad the budget picture really is and what it’ll take to recover, Casteen estimated, and perhaps another two or three years to make that recovery.

The state recently recalculated its budget forecast and found that the budget shortfall probably will plunge to $1.5 billion for the 2002-’04 biennium. Gov. Warner asked all agencies to submit budget-cutting plans of 7 percent, 11 percent and 15 percent by Sept. 20. University officials expect to learn what cuts will be chosen in mid- to late October.


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