in the The Daily Progress / Wed., Jan. 28
was concerned to read some misleading information in the story headlined
"Schools to fight for charter status" in the Jan 11 edition
of The Daily Progress. The story, about three state universities
proposing a new partnership with the state, quoted a source as saying
that University of Virginia employees would suffer.
the statements that need clarifying are:
That employees could become "quasi-state employees," without
the same retirement and salary benefits as state workers.
That "cronyism" would prevail in procurement and the implication
that the university is not now fairly hiring painting contractors.
the proposed legislation, classified staff members employed prior
to adoption of the charter agreement would be able to continue in
both their current health-insurance plan and the Virginia Retirement
System. Each chartered university could continue its participation
in the VRS or establish one or more new retirement plans. The new
legislation also would grant boards of visitors the ability to implement
salary increases for classified employees independent of state policies.
While the proposal does not require compliance with the Virginia
Public Procurement Act, an institution's board of visitors would
be required to adopt regulations for the procurement of goods and
services based on competitive principles, including seeking maximum
competition. Additionally, U.Va. has two painting firms under contract,
both competitively procured.
long-term health and well-being of U.Va. depends on increased flexibility
and this new partnership with the commonwealth. It is the university's
intention to use it for the good of the university and the good
of the state. The university remains dedicated to continue to provide
the best possible working environment for all members of the U.Va.
Interim assistant vice president for University Relations