UVI Board Approves FY 2013 Budget; Gives Ok for Solar Power Purchase
In its quarterly meeting held on June 9, the University of the
Virgin Islands Board of Trustees passed resolutions that will have
significant and far-reaching impact on the University and the
Territory. The Board approved a new University strategic plan and
the Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 operating budget. The body also gave the
University the ok to move forward with a solar power purchase
UVI will purchase five megawatts of solar-generated power - three
megawatts on the St. Thomas campus and two megawatts on the Albert
A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix - from Caribbean Wind Energy and
System 3 through a 20-year power purchase agreement. The
University-wide Photovoltaic System Project will reduce UVI's
dependence on power supplied by the V.I. Water and Power Authority.
The project, whose design will include ground-mount and carport
systems, is expected to be completed by January 2013. UVI will not
incur any up-front costs for the project.
The Board approved a FY 2013 operating budget of $44,939,888, which
is several million less than the FY 2012 operating budget. UVI
anticipates $22.9 million in V.I. Government contributions for FY
2013, some $3.5 million less than the previous year, based on
correspondence from the V.I. Office of Management and Budget that
set a UVI expenditure ceiling. The University balanced the FY 2013
budget by reducing the operating budget of each University office,
component and school/college; eliminating vacant faculty and staff
positions; reducing travel expenses; and reducing food
"We are beyond the cutting of fat. We are getting to the bone," UVI
President Dr. David Hall, said at the meeting. "We are doing the
best we can to absorb that reduction."
The Board also approved "Strategic Plan 2017 - Pathways to
Greatness." The five-year strategic plan consists of six areas of
focus - Academic Quality and Excellence, Student Development and
Success, Community Engagement and Globalization, Modern and Safe
University Environment, Organizational and Human Development, and
Financial Sustainability and Growth. There are 50 performance goals
and 96 measurable objectives. Trustees praised the strategic plan
for responding to the needs of the community and positioning the
University for success.
"This University has the potential to be the main driver of the
resurrection that we (as a community) need," said Trustee Dr.
Wesley S. Williams, Jr. Trustee Jennifer Nugent-Hill said the
University needs the continued financial support of the government,
the private sector, individuals and all of its stakeholders to
improve the community.
In the President's Report, Dr. Hall recognized the success of the
50 for 50 Campaign, which aims to raise the alumni giving rate to
50 percent. Dr. Hall reported that UVI has increased its alumni
giving rate from six percent, two years ago, to 25 percent - in
what he called a "tremendous feat." He encouraged alumni who have
not given to make a contribution. "We are still committed to
reaching our goal," Dr. Hall said.
At the meeting, held on the Albert A. Sheen St. Croix Campus, Board
Chair Alexander A. Moorhead and Vice-Chair Henry C. Smock were
unanimously elected to serve another term.
The Board also approved the following:
• Amended Rules Governing Appeals to the Board, allowing for the
electronic filing of appeals.
• A revised Student Code of Conduct
• A new Board assessment tool
• The Periodic Review Report for UVI's accrediting body, the Middle
States Commission on Higher Education
• The issuance of tablet computers to Board of Trustees members in
order to replace the printing, collating, binding and distribution
of Board material
• Financial policies that will achieve best practices in the
University's standards of financial integrity and sound financial
• An amendment to the memorandum of understanding with the
University of St. Martin to eliminate the offering of fixed tuition
rates, which did not change as UVI rates changed, and instead offer
rates based on a percentage of UVI non-resident rates.
A review of UVI's capital projects indicated that the new residence
hall on the St. Thomas campus is on schedule for completion by Aug.
5 and the new Research and Technology Park Building on the Albert
A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix will be ready for tenants by March
During the meeting, the Board thanked outgoing Student Trustee
Charnele Burton and Faculty Trustee Dr. Teresa Turner for their
service. The Board also thanked UVI Provost Dr. Karl Wright, whose
resignation will become effective in July. A Presidential Award was
given to the UVI Golden Jubilee Committee and was accepted by
committee co-chairs Dr. Henry Smith and Dr. Simon B.
In executive session, the Board of Trustees approved faculty tenure
for Dr. Donna Nemeth and Dr. Paul Jobsis. Both are professors in
the College of Science and Mathematics. The Board also approved
Kiril Sokoloff as a member of the Foundation for the University of
the Virgin Islands Board of Directors.