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Governor appoints five BOV members

McDonnell chooses Dragas for rector position

Gov. Bob McDonnell appointed five new members in July to the University's Board of Visitors in addition to naming Helen E. Dragas and Mark J. Kington rector and vice rector, respectively.

Allison Cryor DiNardo, Stephen Long, George Keith Martin, John Nau III and Tim Robertson formally took their seats next to the returning members at the annual summer retreat, which took place July 15 and 16.

The Board of Visitors is the governing board of the University, handling everything from tuition rates to personnel decisions. The Board has 16 members with each serving several different roles in the nine committees, making it "a very active, working board," Robertson said, adding that it was unusual compared to many other, especially private, universities with boards consisting of 30-40 members. The first of its four annual meetings will be held Sept. 15 and 16.

With a new Board composition, Dragas reassigned each member to a handful of committees and designated committee chairs.

"I'm focusing on learning about all parts of the University," DiNardo said as an incoming member to the Educational Policy, External Affairs and Student Affairs & Athletics committees.

DiNardo has spent many years with the school as an undergraduate and business student and as the managing director of the athletics capital campaign, a fundraising effort in the mid-1990s. After graduating from the University with a bachelor's degree in English and Masters of Business Administration from the Darden School, DiNardo "took a different path than most MBAs," and made her way to Washington as a member of the George H.W. Bush White House staff, she said.

Long's resume includes experience with a medical private practice. He is president and partner of Commonwealth Pain Specialists in Richmond and serves as an associate clinical professor of anesthesiology at Virginia Commonwealth University's School of Medicine. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees at Randolph-Macon College as a chairman of the Committee on Trustees and has served on the Board of Visitors at Virginia Commonwealth as well as the Virginia Commonwealth Health System Board of Directors.

Although he did not attend the University, Long said he has always had a strong affection for the University.

"I am extraordinarily humbled and honored that the governor asked me to serve on the Board of an institution which I have always held in high esteem," Long said. "Maybe I am getting my lifelong dream come true without receiving a formal U.Va. degree."

Martin returns to the University after graduating more than three decades ago.

"The University played a major role in my development, and I have always been willing to do what I can to say thank you for the experience the University afforded me," Martin said. Like Long, Martin has an extensive background in higher education, currently serving on the Board of Visitors at Regent University Law School and having served previously on the Board of Visitors at James Madison University, among other boards.

In addressing the challenges ahead, Martin said, "We need to keep the cost of college education affordable, while at the same time making key investments in the future of the University."

Nau graduated from the University with a Bachelor of Arts in History and is still involved with the school as Chairman of the Council Foundation and Vice Chairman of the U.Va. Capital Campaign. He and his wife were major contributors to the South Lawn, as recognized by Nau Hall, which opened last year.

Robertson returns to the University's Board after serving one term under former governor Jim Gilmore. With three children who have either already attended or are currently attending the University, Robertson expressed his excitement to serve on the Student Affairs & Athletics committee. He looks forward to studying student life - particularly as it relates to the honor system.

"It's a special nature that we have," he said in reference to the trust in the student community. "As an alumnus, I really appreciated the role of the honor system."

Serving on the University's Diversity Committee he likely will face the challenge of balancing McDonnell's desire for more Virginians to attend state institutions of higher education with the goal of promoting the University's status as an international university.

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