In the regular session of its quarterly meeting on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023, via Zoom, the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve a Fiscal Year 2023-2024 Operating Budget of $51.1 million, the University’s 2024 Fundraising Goal of $4.5 million and an Alumni Giving Rate of 20 percent.
The Board also unanimously approved the drawdown of $3 million from the proceeds from the HBCU Capital Financing Program Loan to fund capital improvements to Quarters B, located near the upper campus parking lot, the MacLean Marine Center, and for furniture, fixtures and equipment for the Medical Research and Training Center on the Orville E. Kean Campus.
During the President’s Report, UVI President Dr. David Hall lauded the successes of UVI students, faculty, and alumni as well as University initiatives and degree programs. Recent achievements included the selection of two UVI students, Jackeima Flemming and Michael Bell (‘23), into the 2023 HBCU White House Scholars cohort. In September, Flemming and Bell traveled to the 2023 Annual National HBCU Week Conference in Virginia and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland to make presentations. They also served as ambassadors to the White House Initiative on HBCUs. In addition, Dr. Hall recognized three UVI students who are participating in Boston University’s (BU) Early Medical School Selection Program and will continue their studies at BU during their senior year; three marine biology students who presented research at an international mangrove conference in Cartagena, Colombia in July; and 12 UVI students who conducted STEM- related this summer at Michigan State University, University of Iowa, Old Dominion University and Baylor University.
During his report to the Board, Dr. Hall applauded the career and educational achievements of numerous UVI alumni including Michael Rosario (‘17) who passed his dissertation defense at Boston University School of Medicine in cognitive neuroscience, Shenee Martin (‘14) who recently earned her doctorate in neuroscience from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Lashonette Schjang (MSW 2022), who passed the Association of Social Work Board (ASWB) licensing exam in June 2023.
Dr. Hall also praised faculty members saying, “I want to applaud our faculty not only for teaching but also for their conference presentations and publications which continue to demonstrate their level of productivity.”
During the Board meeting, Dr. Hall presented the quarterly President’s Appreciation Award to Dr. Kimarie Engerman, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences for her leadership resulting in the full accreditation of UVI’s Master of Social Work program by the Council on Social Work Education's (CSWE) Board of Accreditation through June 2031. “I am very proud of the faculty members under the leadership of Dean Kimarie Engerman who have not only been able to build this program but to have it accredited which is a major institutional achievement. Dr. Engerman has been there from the very beginning,” noted Dr. Hall. The Master of Social Work program has already graduated seven students.
Accepting the award, Dr. Engerman thanked numerous faculty, staff and administrators for their work as well as highlighting the vision of former Senator Kurt Vialet who challenged UVI to develop the program which was funded by the VI Legislature. Dr. Engerman asked everyone to join in the recruitment efforts for both full-time and part-time students, saying the program “is poised to make a difference in the territory and beyond.”
Also, during Saturday’s meeting, the Board voted unanimously to establish the UVI Teacher Insurance and Annuity Association-College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA) Retirement Program Investment Committee that is authorized to choose and monitor plan investment menu options, and in this capacity serve as a designated fiduciary in accordance with the investment policy statement.
While in executive session, the Board completed the following:
- Approved executive session minutes
- Approved candidates for honorary degrees for 2024
- Approved making the University’s wellness policy permanent
- Approved Commencement speaker list for 2024
- Received updates on personnel matters
- Received updates on legal matters
The next scheduled meeting of the Board of Trustees will be on Saturday, March 9, 2023. A complete list of Board meetings is available on the Board of Trustees page of the UVI website www.uvi.edu and from this direct link.