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Trustees Rename Divisions, Approve Master's in Psychology

The University of the Virgin Islands Board of Trustees approved name changes Saturday for each of the University's academic divisions, during the Board's quarterly meeting on the St. Thomas campus. The Board also approved a master's degree program in Psychology.

The Division of Business will be renamed the School of Business, the Division of Education will be renamed the School of Education, the Division of Humanities and Social Science will be renamed the College of Liberal Arts and Social Science, the Division of Science and Mathematics will be renamed the College of Science and Mathematics, and the Division of Nursing will be renamed the School of Nursing.

UVI President David Hall said the naming proposal, which was initially generated to assist the Business Division with its accreditation process, was expanded following a study conducted by the academic deans. The study revealed that the University was not in line with other academic institutions.

"It is clear that the proper designation, or the most common designation ... is that of a college or school," Dr. Hall said. He added that the label of school or college conveys a more serious message - that the University of the Virgin Islands is competitive with its peers.

The Board also approved the establishment of a Master of Arts in psychology, to prepare practitioners to provide mental health counseling services to children, adolescents, and families in the territory and beyond. The two-year program will enroll 30 students in the first year (15 on St. Thomas and 15 on St. Croix) beginning with the Fall 2010 semester.

Board Chair Alexander A. Moorhead welcomed five new Trustees to the Board. Present were Carol Fulp, senior vice president of Brand Management and Corporate Social Responsibility at John Hancock Financial; former part-time UVI instructor, translator, and St. Croix native Luz Suarez de Highfield, West Indian Company Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Edward Thomas; and retired Ivanna Eudora Kean High School Principal Sinclair Wilkinson. V.I. Superior Court Judge Patricia Steele, who notified the Board of a prior commitment, was welcomed in absentia.

In his remarks, Dr. Hall thanked faculty, staff and students for creating an inauguration and installation ceremony that he found personally moving. "I just feel very honored ... to be going through this experience," he said.

In his President's Report to the Board of Trustees, Dr. Hall provided updates on a number of initiatives, including the Male Initiative, whose members on St. Thomas have selected the name Brothers with a Cause (BWC). Through outreach to the community, as well as internal efforts, Dr. Hall said he believes BWC will have an impact on the recruitment of male students and on the retention of students who are already enrolled.

Dr. Hall said he has been tasked with assessing the University's facilities to determine needs and to identify possible funding sources to meet those needs. In the interest of shared governance, the University community has been asked to provide input in advance of a final recommendation that will be forwarded to the Board at a later date.

In other business, the Board approved a policy to govern how Trustee Emeritus status is granted by the UVI Board of Trustees, approved a recommendation to set the alumni giving rate at 7% and the fundraising goal at $1.1 million for fiscal year 2010, and approved the VISION 2012 Closeout Report for 2008/2009.

Dr. Mary Ann LaFleur, director of the UVI Office of Institutional Research and Planning, presented a mid-year summary of the Key Performance Indicators for 2010. The Spring 2010 headcount enrollment of 2,642 represented a 10 percent increase, Dr. La Fleur said. Male enrollment grew by 1 percent - representing 27 percent of undergraduate enrollment. The St. Croix undergraduate student population continues to grow and is presently 42 percent of UVI's total undergraduate student body. Development experienced a slow first quarter, due to the economy, but anticipates a better second quarter.

The next meeting of the Board of Trustees will take place on the St. Croix campus on Saturday, June 12, 2010.