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Trustees Approve Tuition Increase, Hotel and Tourism Bachelor's Degree Program

The University of the Virgin Islands Board of Trustees approved a Fall 2011 increase in tuition and fees, and approved the establishment of a Bachelor of Business Administration degree program in Hotel and Tourism Management at its quarterly meeting on Saturday, October 30 on the St. Thomas campus.

Beginning with the Fall 2011 semester, UVI tuition will increase 6 percent or $120 per semester for full-time undergraduate resident students, while the room rate will increase 12 percent, or $149 per semester. The campus meal plan will increase 8 percent, or $150 per semester. The Board of Trustees also approved a deferred tuition payment plan reinstatement fee of $100 per instance, effective with the Fall Semester 2011.

UVI President David Hall told the Board that the proposal to raise tuition and fees was submitted after "vigorous" discussions in open sessions with students on both campuses. Dr. Hall said students expressed "deep concerns" about the possibility of increases and said they want improvements.

"Even with this increase we still remain one of the lowest tuition institutions in the nation," Dr. Hall said. "We have to begin to bring in more revenue to cover the costs. We have to make visible changes that our students can see when they come into the cafeterias and the dormitories."

The proposal to increase tuition and fees was approved by a vote of 13 in favor and 2 opposed.
Trustees unanimously approved the establishment of a Bachelor of Business Administration program in Hotel and Tourism Management within the UVI School of Business. The program, which has been supported by Virgin Islands tourism industry partners, will provide the opportunity for students to obtain academic and practical knowledge to manage various levels of tourism in the Virgin Islands, as well as other markets. The design of the program is based on the recommendations of local industry partners, tourism professionals, and course requirements from successful hospitality bachelor's degree programs in the U.S. mainland.

"We want to make sure that when employers are looking to hire, that UVI will be first on their screen," UVI School of Business Dean Charles Williams said.

The Board of Trustees unanimously granted former Board Chair Auguste E. Rimpel, Jr. the status of Board Chair Emeritus and granted Trustee Emeritus status to Roy Jackson and Dr. Bernard Paiewosky.

Provost Karl Wright presented the Key Performance Indicators for Fall 2010. UVI increased its enrollment 5 percent over Fall 2009 to 2,733 students. Undergraduate and graduate male enrollment increased 10 percent and the University's development area exceeded its $1.1 million goal by attracting $1.5 million in gifts.

As part of his report to the Board, Dr. Hall noted the accomplishments of his first full year as President. The searches for individuals to fill four executive level positions - Provost Karl S. Wright, Vice President for Institutional Advancement Dionne V. Jackson and Campus Executive Administrators Claude Steele and Dianne Piper - have concluded. Additionally, Charles Williams and P. Rudy Mattai have joined the University as Deans of the Schools of Business and Education, respectively.

Additionally, Bettina Miller was appointed Director of Human Resources and Roderick Pullen is Chief of Security. Stacey Chados, the new Internal Auditor, will begin her tenure on Tuesday.

President Hall introduced the newest members of the Board of Trustees, student representative Elizabeth Pichardo and faculty representative Aletha Baumann.

The next meeting of the Board of Trustees will take place in March 2011 on the St. Croix campus.