Oct. 11-24, 2002
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IN THIS ISSUE

NEWS BRIEFS
‘Genius Grant’ winner to speak at Convocation
Family Weekend packed with activities
If you “cannot live without books”
U.Va. changes banks
Town-gown solutions forum
Faculty invited to minority career day talk
Board establishes professorships
Board names buildings
G’day, art lovers
Virginia gets ‘B’ in nat’l report
See with a writer’s eye
For he’s a jolly good fellow
Benefits open enrollment
Another bridge over technology divide
Back to his roots
‘Brain Food:’ Students serve up a most excellent lunch
Who’s minding grandma?
Your right to safety
Hot Link: Faculty experts guide
Exhibits highlight Chinese, European art
College goes to ‘Net for advising, registration processes
New INS rules snare international students
‘The Secret Museum’ to explore pornography
Non-profit fair set for Nov. 13
Student-faculty dinners begin Oct. 17
Michelango‘s art explored on Oct. 24
In Memoriam

Budget cuts implemented
Biggest gift ever
Tuition increases vital
Digest/Daily news about U.Va.
Headlines @ U.Va.

Making every drop count

LBT group offers compromise
15th annual Virginia Festival of Film
A voice for Africa
To our readers -- redesign of IUVA print version
Wylie’s ‘Stillwater’ runs through Oct. 27
Basketball ticket lottery
‘Waltzing the Reaper’
Infrastructure not glamorous but a vital part of bond package

Michael J. Smith Tuition increase vital
BOV hears from Smith

By Carol Wood

Michael Smith came to the Board of Visitors Saturday morning as chairman of the Faculty Senate to report on the Senate’s agenda for the coming year.

What BOV members got instead was an impassioned speech on the state’s inability to support higher education, an inside look at faculty thinking and an urgent plea to raise tuition to a level that will adequately fund the core mission of the University while keeping it in the game with the likes of other top public universities, including Michigan and North Carolina.

Treating the board to an academic lecture filled with facts, arguments, rhetorical questions and a strong closing summary, Smith hammered home the need for U.Va. to take decisive action regarding a tuition increase that he believes could help stave off catastrophe.

Board OKs midyear student surcharge

“I recognize that this means a significant rise in tuition – well beyond the one-time surcharge you are considering,” Smith said, adding that he hoped it would be larger than the $200 figure that has been discussed. As a parent of a first-year student, Smith said that he willingly would pay the increase “with the recognition that it’s fair, it’s necessary – no, it’s more than necessary, it’s vital.”

“Ed Ayers and others have laid out a vision in which we phase in a tuition rise that brings us to levels comparable to those at Michigan,” Smith said. “As long as we build in additional financial aid … this seems to me, and I believe to the majority of faculty, the only way we can control our own destiny.”

He said that in the 1970s, according to former University of Michigan President James Duderstadt, Michigan decided that the state wouldn’t support a first-tier university, so the institution decided to build one by itself.

Due to past state-mandated tuition rollbacks and consecutive years of tuition freezes, U.Va.’s in-state undergraduate tuition this year is $3,321 (no fees included) – more than $500 less than it was in 1995. With fees, U.Va.’s tuition comes to $4,556, and when compared with Michigan’s $7,000-plus annual tuition, it is no wonder that U.Va. tuition does not come close to helping in this time of state fiscal crisis, Smith said. Despite Michigan’s plan, the state continues its support, investing $17,082 per student versus Virginia’s general fund appropriation of $12,695 per student.

Smith said he was not suggesting walking away from state funding, but that reliance on it was not enough, as the Michigan model has shown. “And while we are enormously grateful for the financial support of our donors, we know that even historically high levels of private support cannot make up for the cuts we are sustaining.”

The greatest danger, Smith said, lies in losing good faculty and graduate students to other institutions and the inability to recruit and hire new faculty who will keep the academic atmosphere fresh and energetic.

“Our faculty believe that a hiring freeze is more damaging than a salary freeze, because they know that a competitive university needs to … integrate into its life the talented researchers and teachers of the next generation.”


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