In the regular session of its quarterly meeting, the University of the Virgin Islands Board of Trustees approved a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Information Systems and Technology, the fiscal year 2014 Operating Budget, a new Parking Policy and Traffic Regulation and funding for Reichhold Center renovations.
The Board approved a Bachelor of Business Administration in Information Systems and Technology degree with courses slated to begin in Spring 2014. The new degree is expected to produce graduates able to meet the information technology needs of the territory. Graduates of the program will leave UVI with technology certification and a portfolio of practical experience – senior year courses, Project Management I and II, will require students to provide technological solutions to local entities. Trustee Jennifer Nugent-Hill said the degree will cause “a big shift in the economic development strategy of this territory.”
The Board approved an operating budget for fiscal year 2014 consisting of revenues of $45,860,235, and expenditures and transfers of $45,456,354. The budget does not include the restoration of the eight percent salary cut, which went into law in 2011 and is set to expire in July. “Everything in this budget is contingent on what the central government does in regard to our appropriation,” said UVI President David Hall.
The new Parking Policy and Traffic regulation approved by the Board is expected to improve campus security, increase parking space efficiency and bring UVI in line with best practices at universities throughout the nation. Along with having designated parking for students, employees and visitors, the plan also calls for increased lighting and emergency “blue phones” in parking lots.
The Board also approved a resolution authorizing the use of $750,000 from the UVI Plant Fund to fund the Reichhold Center Renovation Project. The University matched $750,000 in funds already committed by the Reichhold Center Foundation to conduct urgent repairs identified in an assessment of the center in December.
The Board also approved:
- A resolution to transfer the Quasi-Endowment, National Guard Tuition Assistance Fund, Veterans Tuition Fund and seven annual scholarships to the Foundation for the University of the Virgin Islands for management and investment.
- A resolution to adopt changes to the University’s TIAA-CREF retirement plan to enhance opportunities for participating employees.
- An Acceptable Use Policy that: ensures the University and its stakeholders are protected from illegal or damaging actions by individuals through the use of the University’s electronic resources, and makes UVI stakeholders responsible for using electronic resources in an ethical and efficient way consistent with University policies and contracts, and territorial and federal laws.
- A list of institutional peers and aspirational peers.
- A resolution setting undergraduate and graduate tuition rates for St. Kitts and Nevis students under the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding at 1.75 times the UVI resident rate.
The Board also ratified action taken by the Board’s Executive Committee to approve easements for the Virgin Islands Next Generation Network on both campuses. Chairman Alexander A. Moorhead and Vice Chairman Henry C. Smock were reelected to another term. UVI’s Key Performance Indicators were also presented.
- The Board set its goals for fiscal year 2013-2014 to:
- Create a mechanism for presentation by internal stakeholders at the University (students, faculty and staff) to the Board at meetings of its standing committees in order to increase trustees’ knowledge of the institution, its programs, research and community service.
- Have a progress report on the Strategic Plan at each Board meeting.
- Review the scope of duties and name of the Committee on Trustees.
- Help find ways to resolve the financial challenges of the University.
- Update policies of the Board, such as the policy on the naming of buildings.
- Assess whether a change in the term of the trustees elected by the students and faculty should be recommended to the Legislature and research what is best practice on representation of institutions’ staff on the board of public colleges and universities.
- Assess the performance of individual trustees.
In the executive session’s Comprehensive Presidential Assessment, the Board commended UVI President David Hall for his exceptional service. “We gave a notice to the President that his service and his term of office to date have been exceptional,” said Chairman Moorhead. “We had a standing ovation for that,” Chairman Moorhead added.
In executive session the Board also:
- Granted tenure to Assistant Professor of Psychology Dr. Kimarie Engerman and Assistant Professor of Nursing Karen Cooper.
- Adopted a resolution to establish a Gift Acceptance Policy.
- Created a risk assessment priority list.
President’s Appreciation Awards
At every Board meeting Dr. Hall recognizes individuals or units that are going beyond the call of duty with the President’s Appreciation Awards. For the first time the awards were given to student groups – WUVI, the University’s student-run radio station, and UVI’s Voices of Inspiration Community Choir.
Dr. Hall chronicled the brief history of the St. Croix-based choir, directed by Josephine Thomas Lewis with help from Dean of Students Miriam Osborne Elliott and staff advisor Dr. Pricilla Williams. He noted how quickly the choir had developed, calling their Spring Concert one of the best performances he has ever attended. “What I experienced at the Spring Concert was something that was just breathtaking,” said President Hall. “It was one of the most fantastic performances not only have I seen here, but at any university that I have attended.”
Dr. Hall commended Assistant Professor of Communication Dr. Alexander Randall and UVI Communication students for fact that WUVI is now available via the Internet at http://wuvi.am/ and broadcasts the Tom Joyner Morning Show. “One of the things I feel has changed the culture of this University is the fact that we now have our own radio station,” said Dr. Hall. “What we did was create a canvas where our students could now perform and paint their masterpieces.”
The next meeting of the UVI Board of Trustees is scheduled for October 26, on UVI’s Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix.