Feb. 14-27, 2003
Back Issues
Petri seeks grant for biocontainment lab
Digest -- U.Va. news daily
Architect builds on race and culture in the urban fabric
‘Walk the talk’
What will it take to ‘walk the talk’ n diversity?

Housing fees hiked, bond issue OK’d

Faculty Actions from the February BOV meeting
Term is up
‘Patch’ Adams to give U.Va. dose of his healing humor Feb. 26
‘The Laramie Project’ examines Prejudice
Michaels: Global climate will not change markedly
Housing fees hiked, bond issue OK’d
Elizabeth A. Twohy (left to right), T. Keister Greer and Elsie G. Holland, whose terms on U.Va.’s board expire Feb. 28, took part in their last meeting on Saturday, along with Rector John P. Ackerly III.
Elizabeth A. Twohy (left to right), T. Keister Greer and Elsie G. Holland, whose terms on U.Va.’s board expire Feb. 28, took part in their last meeting on Saturday, along with Rector John P. Ackerly III. (See Term is up.) Gov. Mark Warner will likely appoint four new members to take their place before the next board meeting April 4 and 5.

Staff Report

In a flurry of activity, the University’s Board of Visitors raised a student housing fee, authorized issuing $200 million in bonds in March for new projects and debt refinancing, and heard a plea for more funds for graduate students.

The board’s deliberations during its meeting Jan. 31-Feb. 1 spanned a range of issues, from discussing the health of the Medical Center to approving a new master’s degree in public health.

In asking the board to increase the Housing Division’s facilities improvement fee by $150, Yoke San Reynolds, vice president for finance, pointed out that the average double room rate at U.Va. is $2,451, well below both the average of $3,050 among Virginia’s public institutions and $3,631 among peer institutions nationally.

At next meeting, April 4-5

• Four new board members are expected to be at the table, along with a new rector and vice rector

• Tuition to be set

With the increase, the average double room rate will go up next academic year to $2,711, a hike of 10.6 percent. The administration anticipates $150 increases over each of the next four fiscal years to pay for major housing repairs, replacement and renovations, with particular emphasis on the Alderman Road houses, which serve mostly first-year students.

The increase, which is expected to provide about $900,000 toward the facilities reserves, is part of a housing renovation and replacement plan that could cost $150 million to $200 million over the next 15-20 years.

The Finance Committee’s recommendation to issue $200 million in bonds includes $115 million for seven new projects and $85 million to refinance debt. The projects range from $32.1 million for the multipurpose arena to $5 million for the Cancer Center renovation.

Last meeting for rector, others

The meeting was the last for the current rector, John P. “Jack” Ackerly III, and three other members, whose terms expire Feb. 28: Elizabeth A. Twohy, T. Keister Greer and Elsie Goodwyn Holland.

Board members also decided to shorten the rector’s term from four years to two and to create a new position, vice rector, to ensure an orderly change of leadership.

The board deferred discussing tuition, which had been on the agenda, because “the state situation is uncertain,” said Leonard W. Sandridge, executive vice president and chief operating officer. Tuition is expected to be on the board’s agenda at its next meeting April 4 and 5.

Plea for graduate student funds

Faculty Senate President Michael J. Smith asked the board’s education committee for graduate student funding.

“Graduate programs are key to the success of the whole University, but we are handicapped by funding,” Smith said.

Graduate students assist professors with research and teaching, he said, and the quality of graduate students affects faculty recruiting.

The University competes nationwide for top graduate students, Smith said, and it is getting only one or two of every 10 interviewed. He said in some cases U.Va. is beaten by lesser schools that offer more generous packages.

“This is a problem that is not going away,” he said. “We need a long-term solution.”
The graduate student problem had been eased by providing health coverage, but Smith said more needs to be done.

Vice President and Provost Gene Block said there have been 12 retirements and resignations at the College of Arts & Sciences in 2002, a five-year low. There were 59 departures over the entire University in 2002, also a five-year low.

As tenured and tenure-track faculty have increased slightly over the past several years, from 524 in 1999 to 533 in 2002, the number of undergraduates has climbed steadily to 16,079, creating a student-faculty ratio of 15.9-to-1. Block said U.Va. is still competitive with other public universities, but the faculty is having to do more with less.

The board also created a Masters of Public Health, a new degree program to be established in the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. Graduates will receive a professional degree that focuses on health law and ethics as well as a core curriculum mixed with practical experience. The degree program must be approved by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

Medical Center status report

The Medical Center’s revenues are up while its costs have been held to budget levels.

The center received $263.1 million in revenues in the first five months of the fiscal year, exceeding its budget target by $10.6 million. At the same time, expenses stayed at the budgeted $243.7 million, Chief Financial Officer Larry Fitzgerald told the Medical Center Operations Board on Jan. 30.

The Medical Center is on target to reduce expenses by $28 million through cost control and personnel reduction. Salaries and benefits, which account for 46 percent of expenses, are running $800,000 below budget. The hospital has reduced its payroll by 181 full-time equivalencies, including 68 employees who were put into a reassignment program, said R. Edward Howell, vice president and chief executive officer.

The center’s operating margin, $19.4 million, which is 7.4 percent of revenue, is higher than budgeted, and Fitzgerald said he is “cautiously optimistic” about the rest of the fiscal year.

Dr. Edwin D. Vaughan Jr., chairman of the Medical Center Operating Board, said that Medicare reimbursements to doctors were declining about 4 percent a year. He said this had broad implications since managed care contracts are tied to Medicare rates.

“If Medicare goes down, then our book of business goes down,” he said.

Students honored

Following a lively report by second-year College student Maggie Samra on the importance of undergraduate research, board member Warren Thompson introduced a resolution to the board to support all students having a positive impact on the University community through their creative academic work. The resolution, agreed on by the board, is as follows:

RESOLVED, the Board of Visitors commends and supports the outstanding accomplishments of the students of the University of Virginia in the classroom, on the playing field, in research, in extramural academic competition and in service to the community around them. Further, the Board does not condone the unfortunate actions of a few students who have neglected the feelings of others with their thoughtless acts.

See Faculty Actions.


© Copyright 2003 by the Rector and Visitors
of the University of Virginia

UVa Home Page UVa Events Calendar Top News UVa Home Page