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A Note from the Student Member of the Board of Visitors

February 26, 2019
To: 
All Students
From: 
Brendan Nigro, Student Member of the Board of Visitors

Dear Students,

This week marks my final meeting as Student Member of the University’s Board of Visitors. I write today to alert you of the actions of the Board and to solicit your feedback on agenda items pertinent to students. I’m responsible for presenting the array of student opinions on issues before the Board in an advisory, non-voting capacity.

Preview of February Meeting
The Board will meet this coming Thursday, February 28, through Friday, March 1. Nearly all of the meetings are public, and the schedule for the meetings is posted. Some important items on the agenda include:

College of Arts and Sciences Upper Division Tuition Proposal
In our Finance Committee Meeting on Friday at 8:00 a.m., the Board will discuss and vote on an Upper Division tuition proposal for the College. The plan dictates a differential tuition increase for Third- and Fourth-Year undergraduate students in the College of $2,700 for both in-state and out-of-state students starting in the 2021-22 academic year (only applicable to Class of 2023 students and later). 

These increases are justified by the higher cost of instruction due to smaller class sizes, hiring and retaining experienced faculty, and increased emphasis on research and experiential learning. The additional revenue garnered by such a proposal would be invested in the following opportunities to enhance the quality of the undergraduate experience:

  • $3 million/year to create new courses in quantification, computation, and data analysis; world languages/global literacy; interactive learning; learning in Calculus, Chemistry, and Computation; add a Neuroscience major; improve instructional technology
  • $4 million/year to strengthen the faculty-student ratio and ensure intimate, interactive learning environments; offer competitive startup packages to recruit the best new faculty; and strengthen STEM faculty
  • $3 million/year to update, equip, and staff state-of-the-art 21st-century teaching labs for thousands of undergrads in Chemistry, Biology, Psychology, and Physics and to drive discovery in energy, environment, and neuroscience.
These proposed increases (along with all tuition increases) occur in concert with constant loan caps ($4,500 for in-state students and $7,000 for out-of-state students per year) and a continued commitment to meeting 100% of demonstrated need through AccessUVA.

As a reminder, the AccessUVA commitment ensures that Virginia families with an income of $80,000 and less with typical assets will receive free tuition and fees, while Virginia families with an income of $30,000 and less with typical assets will receive free tuition, fees, room, and board, and this will not change with the Upper Division proposal.

Discussion on Graduate PhD student Experience
In our Academic and Student Life meeting on Thursday at 4:15 p.m., Phil Trella, director of the Office of Graduate and Professional Programs, will facilitate a conversation with the Board on the Graduate PhD student experience. I would love to hear what students in our PhD programs have thought of their experience so I can represent that to the Board on Thursday.

I cannot do my job well without your help, so please provide your feedback in one of the following ways:

Fill out a Google form with your ideas
Please take a minute to provide feedback on any of the above listed agenda items or other ideas you would like me to represent to the Board.

Send me an email
I would love to hear from you by email at studentmember@virginia.edu. Feel free to send me a message about the February meeting agenda, your ideas for what the Board should be thinking about moving forward, or any questions you have about what the BOV does.

Thanks for your help!
Brendan Nigro
Student Member of the Board of Visitors | 2018-19


About the Board of Visitors
The Board of Visitors is composed of 17 voting members appointed by the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, subject to confirmation by the General Assembly, for terms of four years. In addition, the Board of Visitors appoints, for a one-year term, a full-time student and faculty member at the University of Virginia as non-voting members of the Board of Visitors. The Rector and Visitors serve as the corporate board for the University of Virginia, and are responsible for the long-term planning of the University. The Board approves the policies and budget for the University, and is entrusted with the preservation of the University's many traditions, including the Honor System. The Board maintains offices in the Northwest Wing of the Rotunda and meets four times per year.
View the Board of Visitors manual
[Revised to reflect changes through September 15, 2017].

See a full list of Board members.

Comments, questions, or concerns? Contact Brendan Nigro, the 2018-19 Student Member of the Board of Visitors.