Summary Report to Faculty Senate - September 2021 BOV Meeting

Joel W. Hockensmith, Faculty Representative to the BOV –2021
BOV Meeting dates: September 23 and 24 – Student Health and Wellness Center & Rotunda

The BOV met "in person”. The agenda was very full starting with a half day of Health System Board business, progressing into various committee reports and finally closing with a Full Board meeting on the afternoon of the second day.

Here are items of possible interest to Senate members:

Day One: September 23rd

Thursday began with an "Open Session” of the Health System Board. Many comments were already in the public domain. Two items highlighted were:

UVA was ranked 5th in nation for COVID outcomes with patient deaths at only 66% of the expected rate. Nursing turnover at UVA Health System was at 19% over the past year which is consistent with the reported national average turnover of 18.6%.

Subsequent to the Health System Board "Closed Session”, the "Audit, Compliance, and Risk"; committee identified the following "Risks” for UVA Students: Advising; Cybersecurity & data governance; Cultural & ethics compliance; COVID 19; Climate change.

The building and grounds committee then presented a number of items:

  1. A Food & Beverage rooftop amenity will be added to the UVA hotel and conference center.

  2. The Institute of Democracy will be located at Emmet/Ivy with concept site & design guidelines in progress.

  3. Name approvals included:

    1. Karsh Institute of Democracy

    2. Shumway Hall for the McIntire School of Commerce

  4. Planning for the renovation & expansion of the rehabilitation hospital at Fontaine (to be added to the Capital Campaign)

  5. Capital campaign overview – 54 projects. This amount of activity roughly aligns with a survey of 25 other institutions.

  6. The "Sustainability” report highlighted UVA compliance with the elimination of single use plastics.

The "Finance Committee” report noted that the state of VA requires a 6-year financial plan due on October 1st in addition to the biennial budget. Both of these were approved as well as a financial plan for the Contemplative Sciences Center/Commons. Of course, the granting of Comprehensive Cancer Center status to UVA was heralded and it brings $11 million to the institution. With regard to Endowment Spending Policy, it was reported that the required return is being lowered from 3-5% from 4-6% in the name of preserving intergenerational equity. In a note of good news for the faculty, the "Strategic Investment Fund” (SIF) is being reset from the $65 million to which it had dropped back to $100 million for the next 3 years. The BOV also will extend the 2019 guidelines for use of SIF funds for the "Great and Good” plan through 2025. That is, 30% SIF to strengthening foundation, 20% to vibrant community, 30% to discovery and 20% to service. There is a new operating procedure for setting tuition wherein undergraduate tuition and fees will be established in December on a two-year basis starting with even numbered years. In the odd numbered years contextual information will be collected. UVIMCO reports $14.5 billion under management with the endowment between $10 & 11 billion. Long-term pool is expected to net 6.5%. New debt issuance was recently closed at $400 million with $100 million @ 2.180 % tax exempt and $300 million @ 2584 % taxable. The "Financial Strategic Transformation” has a target date from implementation of "Workday Financials of July 1, 2022. This will include procurement, updated chart of accounts, planning module(s) and strengthened controls.

From the "Advancement Committee”, the campaign is approaching $3.8 billion. Philanthropic cash received in FY2021 was $428.1 million which is up from $223.9 million in 2014. There are approximately 50 events per month and over the last year, registration for such events increased 153% as they went virtual. The Bicentennial Scholarship Fund for undergraduates is $315 million with a $220 million match from SIF. The gift for the Performing Arts Center with an 1100 seat auditorium was reiterated.

During the full BOV meeting, President Ryan noted that UVA is ranked 9th in the nation for veterans and the opening of the Veteran’s Student Center in Newcomb Hall should cement if not advance this standing. He noted the challenge of Public Safety concerns and brought attention to the "Guardian” app for personal security. He also posted a one page list of his priorities for the upcoming year which can be reviewed in the public recording of the session. The Rector of the BOV highlighted that the BOV is charged with the oversight of the Honor System at UVA although that does not preclude student referendums. The student representative (Sarita Mehta) presented comments about coming back to the physical classroom and the importance of fundamentals and resilience in the mental game. She also highlighted safety concerns, institutional support and student self-govenance. Dr. Susan Kirk reported from the Faculty Senate noting that COVID and Free Speech were on the mind of faculty last year but this year seems to be bringing joy with the return to the classroom. She also noted that the "Financial Model” is obsolete and brought attention to the loss of women faculty as well as faculty of color.