U.Va-Wise working on $14.8 million proposal for new academic programs, enrollment growth

Proposal follows election of Ralph Northam, who said he wanted to expand U.Va.-Wise as a way to help boost rural economies


The $14.8 million proposal would spur the growth of enrollment and academic programs at the College, located in the southwest part of the state.

Courtesy University of Virginia at Wise

The College Board at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise met last Friday in order to discuss and further structure a $14.8 million proposal to spur the growth of enrollment and academic programs at the College, located in the southwest part of the state. 

If approved and successfully implemented, the proposal would include reducing tuition, increasing student recruitment and hiring an additional 110 faculty and staff. The proposal also includes plans to implement two new undergraduate programs and achieve accreditation for the College’s existing business program, as well as plans to offer graduate programs in social work, teaching and computer science. 

Kathy Still, director of news and media relations at U.Va-Wise, told The Cavalier Daily that the proposal was developed by the College’s senior staff and is directly linked to the College’s six-year Envisioning 2020 strategic plan, which was created to create clarity for the future of the College and implement strategic and successful development efforts. 

“The proposal was developed by the senior staff, which includes Chancellor [Donna] Henry, her vice chancellors and some of her staff,” Still said. “The proposal includes ideas that are in the College’s six year Envisioning 2020 strategic plan for growth and development.”

Still expressed that the proposal would cultivate further growth within an already strong relationship between the University and U.Va.-Wise.

“The University, President [Teresa] Sullivan and the Board of Visitors have been supportive of the College at Wise in countless ways over the years,” Still said. “The proposal could strengthen the already strong relationship. If we move toward graduate programs, I’m sure we will rely on the University for guidance.”

The proposal must be approved by the University’s Board of Visitors, as well as the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, according to a release from U.Va-Wise. 

The detailed proposal comes shortly after the election of Virginia Governor-Elect Ralph Northam (D), who campaigned on a $15 million plan to expand the academic programs at U.Va.-Wise as a way to help strengthen the economies of rural parts of the state.  

“Chancellor Henry is sending Gov-Elect Northam a letter this week outlining the proposal,” Still said. “We remain pleased that he has promised support that will help grow our College.” 

related stories