What is Restructuring?
On July 1, 2005, Virginia’s public system of higher education formally entered the new era created by the Restructuring Act, which grants all public colleges and universities including the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) greater financial and administrative autonomy in exchange for their commitment to meet specific statewide goals, which include:
- providing access;
- maintaining affordability;
- offering a broad range of academic programs (undergraduate & graduate);
- maintaining high academic standards;
- improving student retention and ensure timely graduation;
- developing articulation agreements with the VCCS;
- stimulating economic development efforts;
- increasing expenditures for research and numbers of patents, and licenses;
- establishing programs with K-12 schools to improve student achievement and teacher skills, and strengthen leadership capabilities of administrators;
- developing a Six-Year Plan;
- meeting certain financial and administrative standards;
- ensuring student safety and security.
Annually, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) will assess and evaluate the progress each institution is making to meet the targets for each goal. If certified by SCHEV as having met the institutional performance standards, an institution is eligible to receive certain financial incentives provided for in the Act.
The Act also created a three-tiered system. All institutions, after their respective boards committed to meet the statewide goals included in the Act, achieved Level I status. With certain restrictions, institutions may also enter into memoranda of understanding (Level II) or negotiate management agreements (Level III) with the Governor for additional autonomy in certain functional areas.
In 2006, the General Assembly approved the management agreement negotiated by the University with the Governor, which reaffirmed U.Va.'s authority to set its own tuition and authorized the University to more independently manage operations in six core functional areas: finance and accounting, capital construction, leasing, information technology, procurement, and human resources. Restructuring provides a framework for better long-term planning, which will allow U.Va. to further streamline processes; implement best practices and policies in various operational aspects; and improve recruitment, retention, and compensation of faculty and staff.
In many important ways, the University remains the same. Among these are:
- U.Va. remains a state agency and employees remain state employees.
- U.Va. is bound by the provisions, guidelines, and regulations of the state's Grievance Policy for classified staff.
- Employees may participate in the Virginia Retirement System.
- Employees and retirees under age 65 will continue to participate in the University of Virginia Health Plan.
- Retirees 65 and older will continue to have the option of participating in the state's Medicare Supplement Plan, and the Retiree Health Care Credit will continue.