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UVI Board Increases Tuition; Celebrates Increase in Freshman Enrollment

University of the Virgin Islands President David Hall and Board of Trustees Chairman Henry Smock

In the regular session of its quarterly meeting on October 25, on the St. Thomas Campus, the University of the Virgin Islands Board of Trustees voted to increase tuition by five percent, set the alumni giving goal to 54.49 percent and set the annual fund goal to $2.5 million cash.

UVI President Dr. David Hall said the five percent tuition increase equates to an additional $110 per full-time resident student, per semester. It will become effective in the 2015 fall semester. “This is always an important and yet sensitive issue to the University,” Dr. Hall said. “We have attempted to keep our tuition low and not have increases every year,” Dr. Hall noted. He said the increase was necessary to keep up with expenses and to improve student services. The increase was given thoughtful analysis, Dr. Hall said. “We have to look at tuition increases on some type of regular basis,” he said. Even with the increase, noted Dr. Hall, UVI still remains competitive with other institutions that Virgin Islands students attend on the U.S. mainland.  The tuition increase of five percent will result in the following rates:

  • Part-time Undergraduate Residents – $147 per credit 
  • Full-time Undergraduate Residents –  $4,410 per year
  • Graduate Residents –  $368 per credit
  • Part-time Undergraduate Non-Residents –  $441 per credit
  • Full-time Undergraduate Non-Residents –  $13,230 per year
  • Graduate Non-Residents –  $735 per credit

The alumni giving goal for fiscal year 2014-2015 was set to 54.49 percent, which is two percent over the last fiscal year.

The Board voted to set the fiscal year 2014-2015 annual fund goal at $2.5 million cash, maintaining the total cash level raised in the previous fiscal year.

The Board also voted to dispose of two time-share properties that were previously gifted to UVI and were not being used but required payment of fees.

In his report to the Board, President Hall said that the institution had an overall 14 percent increase in freshman enrollment for the fall 2014 semester. The increase on St. Croix is 38 percent. “We are extremely excited about that growth and reversal,” Dr. Hall said. “We still have a ways to go to get back to where we were and beyond, but this is an important turnaround.”

Dr. Nicole Gibbs, Access and Enrollment Management Vice Provost and Dr. Xuri Allen, director of Admissions and Recruitment, accepted the award.
Dr. Nicole Gibbs, vice provost of Access and Enrollment Services  and Dr. Xuri Allen, director of Admissions and Recruitment, receive UVI President's Appreciation Award from UVI President Dr. David Hall (left).

UVI’s Vice Provost of Access and Enrollment Services Dr. Nicole Gibbs and her component were presented with the President’s Appreciation Award for their role in increasing freshman enrollment. “This achievement is attributable to numerous individuals and activities,” said Dr. Hall. “However, the unit that is primarily responsible for recruiting and admitting students deserves our recognition and thanks for reversing this unfortunate trend and putting us back on the path towards growth.” Dr. Gibbs and Dr. Xuri Allen, director of Admissions and Recruitment, accepted the award.

In his report President Hall also said that UVI was selected by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), UVI’s accrediting body, to be a model institution for its new standards. UVI will apply the new standards when the institution undergoes self-study for reaccreditation, a year before the new standards go into effect. “To be asked to participate in this sends a strong message about where the institution stands in the perspective of our accrediting body,” Dr. Hall said.

Dr. Hall also said that UVI is moving forward with the steps for construction of the School of Medicine. The Beck Group/Springline Architectural firms have been secured to design the facilities (classroom building and simulation center) and oversee the construction process.

President Hall announced the reorganization of his office. They include elimination of the chief of staff and executive assistant to the president positions and creation of the new position – director of presidential operations – which is filled by Una Dyer. Two new vice president positions were created: the vice president for business development and innovation and the vice president for Information Services and Institutional Assessment. Dr. Haldane Davies and Tina Koopmans were promoted to these positions, respectively. The positions of director of Campus Operations on the Albert A. Sheen Campus and Dean of Students on both campuses are now officially part of the president’s cabinet.

Trustee Edward Thomas, who also serves as chairman of the Research and Technology Park (RTP) Board, spoke on behalf of Executive Director David Zumwalt who was absent. Thomas said the RTP has overcome several challenges experienced over the past year. “The park is up and running and the park is doing very well,” Thomas said. 

                Actions taken by the Board in executive session include:

  • Approval of the list of nominees for honorary doctorate degrees
  • Approval of a list of commencement speakers
  • Approval of the next steps for the Eco-Research and Industrial Development Park
  • Change in commencement 2015 dates to:  Wednesday, May 13 and Thursday, May 14
  • Approval of the launch of the public phase of the Capital Campaign
  • Ratification of the Executive Committee’s action regarding the president’s performance
  • Approval of the presidential goals for 2015 

In executive session the Board also received updates on the School of Medicine, UVINext, and personnel and legal matters.