Board funds raises, seeks more for
Universitys budget for the coming fiscal year contains some
good news for state employees, and members of the Board
of Visitors are looking for ways to provide even better news
for teaching faculty.
May 31, the board approved a spending plan of $1.58 billion for
2003-04 that includes pay increases of 2.25 percent for state
employees. The raises go into effect Nov. 25.
increases became a political tetherball in the last session of
the General Assembly. Legislators initially floated the raises
but made them subject to meeting state targets. Gov. Mark Warner
criticized the contingency as election-year politicking and guaranteed
the increases regardless of revenues.
a meeting of the boards finance committee on May 30, Leonard
W. Sandridge, executive
vice president and chief operating officer, said that while
classified staff will see a uniform 2.25 percent increase in pay,
faculty raises will be based on merit. Deans will determine increases,
which will be administered from a pool of funds.
Medical Center has a
separate personnel system, he added. The state increase will not
apply directly to those employees, but there are plans for a salary
members expressed concern about salaries not keeping pace with
inflation or the cost of living in the area. Sandridge noted that
among teaching faculty the Universitys ranking among its
peers has dropped from the 36th percentile in 2001-02 to 27th
probably the best indication of what inflation has done to us,
State Council of Higher Education for Virginia has set the 60th
percentile as the benchmark, and board member Terence P. Ross
asked what it would take to achieve that standard.
off the cuff, budget officials initially said it would take $8
million to $10 million a year to bring faculty salaries to that
mark. Later, however, Melody Bianchetto, director of the budget,
said that the earlier calculations did not take into account the
drop during the current year, and a more accurate estimate would
be about $11.5 million a year to reach the 60th percentile as
calculated for 2002-03. Further, U.Va.s ranking could change
in 03-04 depending on the range of salary increases among
H. Goodwin Jr., chairman of the finance committee, said the committee
would hold a special meeting before the boards retreat in
July to look at ways to increase salaries for teaching faculty.
a complex subject, but its one I think we ought to wrestle
with, Goodwin said. Were dealing with the heart
of the University.
Hiring faculty in key areas
& Sciences dean Edward L. Ayers described creative stopgap
measures the College is taking to meet student demand for some
required courses during this time of budget stringency, but said
after the May 29 discussion with the Board of Visitors Educational
Policy Committee that the ultimate answer is hiring permanent
faculty in key areas.
board member Ross commented that economics professor Kenneth Elzinga
told him he taught an additional Economics 101 class of 500 students
this year, Ayers said, I think what that shows is how faculty
have rolled up their sleeves and are working harder right now.
departments have a serious need for more instructors to meet student
demand, he said, with economics, politics, psychology and religious
studies hurting the most. Besides some professors taking on a
heavier teaching load, adjunct faculty have been hired to teach
other business, the committee endorsed establishing the Carolyn
M. Barbour Professorship in Religious Studies, bringing the number
of endowed chairs at U.Va. to 421.
a great research university
does it take to make a great research
question was the first topic of the boards Saturday morning
session devoted to policy issues.
discussion itself was part of a new component, introduced by rector
Gordon F. Rainey Jr., that he hopes will help board members focus
on key University policy issues and engage them in a lively discussion
with University administrators.
kicked off deliberations on achieving greatness with an academic
lecture on the history of research at U.Va., laying out the Universitys
moved through its evolution from a predominantly teaching institution
founded to be a center of original scholarship
into a respected research university that has managed to
preserve excellence in teaching as its core.
currently is ranked No. 49 out of the top 100 universities in
federally financed research and development expenditures, which
Casteen said positions the University well for continued forward
pointed to Virginia 2020, the Universitys long-range planning
initiative and its ensuing reports, as critical in helping the
University lay out its vision and begin to target specific areas
for building excellence and establishing a reputation in science
a result of that process, the University began to zero in on a
handful of science and technology initiatives, including nanotechnology,
morphogenesis and regenerative medicine, cancer, and information
technology related to the humanities.
Block, vice president and provost, said that to achieve success
in any of these areas that the University immediately would need
to address two overarching issues: research space and faculty
noted that, according to SCHEV calculations, the University is
at least 50 percent short of adequate lab space for its current
operations. When compared with peer institutions, it is critically
short of science faculty.
members jumped into the discussion, peppering Casteen, Sandridge
and Block with questions regarding how to finance new science
buildings and labs, increase research funding and attract top-ranked
member Mark J. Kington said that Casteens opening comments
hit on a number of issues he had not previously considered, the
most important one being the history of North Carolinas
famed Research Triangle. When it was first envisioned, Casteen
said, many thought it little more than a pipe dream.
we begin now will have an impact on society in 40 to 50 years,
Kington said, encouraging the group to think big, and to at
least dream the dream. Think about what we do as something that
could guide the state and the nation.
board also discussed research in its Educational Policy Committee
National Institutes of Health fund nearly half of the Universitys
sponsored research, said Dr. Ariel Gomez, vice president for research
and graduate studies. Therefore, its a good idea to see
that U.Va. research areas match federal priorities.
for us, we have strengths in some of the areas of increasing importance,
such as diabetes and infectious diseases, said Gomez. Nanoscale
science and technology, an area the University targeted for excellence
in its recent Virginia 2020 plan, is also among top priorities
of not only NIH but also the National Science Foundation.
on aging also is a hot topic on the horizon. Gomez said that NIH
budget growth is slated to level off in coming years, while the
NSF budget will increase. NSFs 2004 budget will be just
shy of $5.5 billion.
Carol Wood and Anne Bromley