by James A. Bacon
Responding to a Youngkin administration request for Virginia’s public colleges and universities to curb tuition increases, the University of Virginia Board of Visitors voted this morning to reduce a scheduled 3.7% tuition hike next year to 3.0%.
As explained by Chief Operating Officer J.J. Davis, the shaving of $5.5 million from the budget represents a “good faith” effort to comply with the administration’s request. But in response to a question, she acknowledged that it only “partially” complied.
“This is very late in the budgetary cycle,” which closes June 30, said former Rector and the board’s financial guru James Murray. “We’re supposed to have a budget number in March. It’s very difficult in this point the year to say, ‘Go find millions of dollars.'” He described the partial rollback as “a concession to political reality.”
In other business, the Board also approved a $5.4 billion operating budget for Fiscal 2023-24, which begins July 1. The budget encompasses the academic divisions of the University of Virginia main campus, the campus in Wise, and the UVa Health System. The UVa main-campus operating budget amounts to $2.3 billion.
To an outside observer, the proceedings were remarkable — for the lack of oversight. Board input into what is arguably the most important vote of the year was inconsequential. Aside from praise for the UVa financial staff and a few requests for clarifications, board members had little to say. They offered no substantive questions. They provided zero pushback. Continue reading
From left, UVa President Jim Ryan, Governor Glenn Youngkin, Paul Manning, UVA Health CEO Dr. K. Craig Kent and University Rector Whitt Clement. Photo credit: UVA Today
by James A. Bacon
Entrepreneur-philanthropist Paul Manning and his wife Diane have donated $100 million to create a biotechnology institute that will focus on cellular therapy, gene therapy, nanotechnology and drug delivery to counter diseases that have so far eluded treatment. In making the announcement Friday, Virginia officials say the new institute could become an important economic driver for Virginia, attracting biotech and pharmaceutical companies to the state and potentially generating thousands of direct and indirect jobs.
The Mannings’ gift will be matched by a $50 million investment from the Commonwealth of Virginia and $150 million from the University of Virginia itself, according to UVA Today.
“We live in an incredibly exciting time of discovery in medicine – and the Manning Institute will ensure UVA remains at the forefront of research and patient care,” UVa President Jim Ryan said. “Paul and Diane Manning’s extraordinary gift will mean new treatments and therapies for the patients who need them most, and I’m immensely grateful for their generosity and vision.” Continue reading
by James A. Bacon
You’d think James Socas would know better. As an employee of the Blackstone Group, he invests in technology companies. He knows what it takes to run successful business enterprises. He has even served two terms on UVa’s alumni association board. But he’s willing to cut Virginia public universities plenty of slack when it comes to the way they run their enterprises.
In an op-ed he wrote for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Socas calls for greater state funding for Virginia’s public colleges and universities — with no strings attached and no calls for accountability. He should know better.