BOV discusses sexual misconduct, AccessUVA
Board puts McCormick Road Dorms' renovation approval on hold
The Board of Visitors convened Friday to review committee reports and welcome Meg Gould as its new student member of the Board.
Gould, a rising fourth year in the College, will fill the position previously held by Blake Blaze.
Gould said she looks forward to collaborating with both Board members and students to address pressing student concerns. She identified tuition increases and sexual misconduct as two major concerns University students hope to address.
“Students are anxious that tuition increases will negatively affect the diversity of the student body…[and] make more exclusive the privilege of attending U.Va.,” Gould said. She said students hope the Board will prioritize finding alternative sources of funding for programs such as AccessUVA, which provide financial aid to students.
Gould said she also believes in a shared University Board and student effort to reduce and eliminate sexual misconduct on Grounds — an issue she said the University is “working exhaustively to address.”
She cited a recent Student Council resolution, created in partnership with other student organizations, and a national conference held at the University in February to address sexual misconduct.
“I hope the University continues to lead a national conversation,” she said.
Rector George Martin said he also wants the Board to engage in a dialogue with students about the issue.
“I know [sexual misconduct] is a very important issue for students,” Martin said.
University President Teresa Sullivan followed Martin in her comments before the Board and took the opportunity to praise recent advances at the Health System, including a new Accountable Care Organization, a $4.8 million internal grant program and growing revenue. She also praised a hiring campaign, which has brought on more than 120 nurses and more than $160 million in gifts.
Board Member Timothy Robertson, chair of the Buildings and Grounds Committee, said University Architect David Neuman presented several design plans, which his committee reviewed. The plans included landscaping the Rotunda courtyards and surrounding area following extensive renovations to the building and the University/Emmet/Ivy planning study, which will address landscape design at five entry points into the University. Robertson said the committee will present additional recommendations to the University in September.
Concept and design guidelines for renovations of Gilmer Hall and the Chemistry Building, both built in the 1960s and currently housing the biology, psychology and chemistry departments, were approved by the committee, along with selection of Perkins & Will of Washington, D.C., as the architectural and engineering firm for the project.
The project is expected to renovate more than 300,000 square feet of instructional and research space through new teaching and research designs, along with replacing outdated infrastructure in the buildings.
Robertson said the committee voted to put plans for renovations of the McCormick Road residence hall renovations on hold. The five-phase renovation of the 10 residential buildings, which house more than 1,300 students, will include installation of air conditioning and elevators and replacement of outdated building systems, among other improvements.
Robertson said is he is hopeful the project will still commence by summer 2016.
Victoria Harker, chair of the Finance Committee, said the committee decided to defer approval of the McCormick Road residence hall renovations project until September to consider other options, including demolition and rebuilding. The project is estimated to cost between $85.8 million and $104.7 million.