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BOV discusses FY 2020-2021 audit, naming of Contemplative Sciences Center and construction

Utility work that is taking place at the intersection of Emmet Street and Ivy Road is almost complete

<p>The Board also approved renovation and expansion plans for the <a href=""><u>U.Va. Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital</u></a> at Fontaine Park, which will be finished sometime in 2026. &nbsp;</p>

The Board also approved renovation and expansion plans for the U.Va. Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital at Fontaine Park, which will be finished sometime in 2026.  

The Audit, Compliance and Risk Committee of the Board of Visitors met Thursday to review the fiscal year 2020-21 audit and provide the Enterprise Risk Management program report. Later that afternoon, the Building and Grounds Committee named the Contemplative Sciences Center building the Contemplative Commons and provided an update on construction.

The Board  continued to meet through Friday in-person with a live stream option for public viewing. 

Audit, Compliance and Risk Committee

Eric Sandridge and David Rasnic — both members of the Virginia Auditor of Public Accounts’ office — reported on the fiscal year 2020-21 audit after a brief introduction by Vice President for Finance Melody Bianchetto.

Sandridge reported an “unmodified opinion” for the University’s business-type activities — in auditing, an unmodified opinion means that financial statements and activities are presented fairly, without any major misstatements. 

Sandridge and Rasnic then delivered separate reports on the University’s internal control and compliance for the academic division, medical center and U.Va. Wise. 

“While we do have recommendations, [there are] no material weaknesses in internal control and compliance,” Sandridge said. “Material weakness is the most severe qualification.”

Some of these findings and recommendations included reviewing user access to sensitive technological information, returning $55,000 in unclaimed aid back to the Department of Education and improving security awareness training in the medical center. 

“There are no indications of fraudulent transactions or illegal acts,” Sandridge said. “There haven’t been any material changes in accounting systems … or any unusual transactions.” 

Sandridge noted that the University will continue current auditing activities and will distribute NCAA Agreed-Upon Procedures to the Board sometime in February — this report will detail and review Virginia Athletics’ revenues, expenses and capital. 

At the end of the meeting, the committee voted to approve the APA’s findings. 

Buildings and Grounds Committee

The Board then transitioned to the Building and Grounds Committee meeting. The first item on the group’s agenda was the naming of the Contemplative Science Center after brief remarks from Committee Chair Robert Hardie. 

The name Contemplative Commons was suggested by Paul Tudor and Sonia Klein Jones, lead donors for the University’s Contemplative Sciences Center. The center launched in 2012 and aims to help people “realize well-being by achieving deep states of health” physically, socially, emotionally, academically, cognitively and professionally. 

The Board increased the project’s budget by $9 million during its meeting in September, allotting for $49 million in gifts, $15 million in bond proceeds and $5 million in cash. Construction is expected to be completed in the summer of 2023.

The Board also approved renovation and expansion plans for the U.Va. Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital at Fontaine Park. Those renovations will be finished in 2026. The hospital helps patients with rehabilitation after serious illnesses or injuries, such as strokes, spinal cord injuries or neurological conditions. 

Colette Sheehy, senior vice president of operations, displayed the University’s progress towards meeting its 2030 U.Va. Sustainability Plan goals. 

“The big audacious goal is to be carbon neutral by 2030 and fossil fuel free by 2050,” Sheehy said of the plan.

Other goals under the Sustainability Plan include reducing its waste footprint to 30 percent and increasing sustainable food purchases to 30 percent. 

Since 2010, the University has reduced overall emissions by 44 percent, energy use intensity by 22 percent, water by 33 percent, waste footprint by 3 percent and nitrogen footprint by 26 percent. The University has also developed and implemented a single-use plastic reduction plan to eliminate all single-use plastics by the end of 2025, in accordance with Governor Ralph Northam’s Executive Order 77 to reduce single-use plastic use.

The meeting ended with Sheehy discussing progress on Ivy Corridor Projects, where the University is building the new School of Data Science. Sheehy said that work on the School of Data Science will begin in early January and be completed in the fall of 2023. Sheehy also said that the utility work at the intersection of Emmet Street and Ivy Road is almost done. 

Construction on the University Hotel and Conference Center will begin in spring 2022 and finish in the fall 2024. The structure will be located on the Ivy Road entrance corridor and will cost an estimated $130 million. The Board approved schematics for the design in March.


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