The Board of Visitors will convene to vote on renaming Alderman Library as The Edgar Shannon Library, as well as set increases to both graduate and undergraduate tuition and fees, in its quarterly two-day conference beginning Thursday.
The Board, composed of 17 members elected by the governor of Virginia, is divided into seven committees and convenes four times a year. In addition to three standard full board sessions this year, the Board held three special meetings in October and November to discuss the external review of the Nov. 13, 2022 Culbreth shooting that left Lavel Davis Jr., D'Sean Perry, and Devin Chandler dead and two others injured.
The Buildings and Grounds Committee will vote to consider renaming Alderman Library to The Edgar Shannon Library in honor of the University’s fourth president, who oversaw the beginning of coeducation and racial integration at the University and vastly increased enrollment. The library’s current name has been a subject of debate at the University, drawing criticism for its namesake Edwin Alderman’s endorsement of eugenics.
An internal research group at U.Va. Libraries was created in 2019 to consider the library’s name, and University Dean of Libraries John Unsworth submitted a formal name change request to the University’s Naming and Memorial Committee in June 2021.
Additionally, the Buildings and Grounds Committee will vote to name the planned performing arts center on the Emmet-Ivy Corridor The Tessa and Richard Ader Performing Arts Center. The Committee will also vote on the proposed demolition of two apartment buildings and two commercial buildings on the Ivy Corridor. These demolitions, along with the three buildings that the Committee approved to be razed during their September meeting, are intended to clear space for construction of the Karsh Institute for Democracy building.
The University’s increased presence in the Ivy Corridor area has been the subject of controversy in the Charlottesville community. University architect Alice Raucher, along with other administrators, recently authored a letter opposing the proposal for a 10-story apartment building at 2117 Ivy Road that was approved by Charlottesville’s City Planning Commission. This statement was criticized by Charlottesville community members, who saw the letter as a move to reduce the University’s competition in the student housing market.
The University’s heightened involvement in the Ivy Corridor area, which includes the construction of the School of Data Science building and the U.Va. Hotel and Conference Center, has been criticized by Charlottesville community members as invasive and misaligned with the University’s goals for a productive relationship with the City.
The Finance Committee will convene to vote on proposed increases to graduate and undergraduate tuition, including an annual 3 percent tuition increase for both in-state and out-of-state undergraduates in the majority of the University’s schools for the 2024-2026 academic years.
One exception includes tuition for fourth-year Engineering students, with proposed increases of 7.7 percent next year and 7.3 percent the following year for in-state students. Out-of-state fourth-year Engineering students would see 4.8 percent and 4.7 percent increases, respectively, for the 2024-2025 and 2025-2026 academic years. Tuition was last raised for the 2023-2024 academic year, which saw an increase of 3.7% from the 2022-23 term.
Discussion items for the Academic and Student Life Committee include a presentation of the progress made on the University’s Pathways to Research Preeminence initiative, a subsect of the 2030 plan which is designed to advance research at the University. The 2030 plan is a set of strategic goals and relevant initiatives set by the University with the overarching goal of making the institution the best public university by 2030.
The full Board will convene Friday, where members will discuss Ryan’s priorities for the 2023-2024 academic year, including progress on the 2030 strategic plan and the advancement of the University’s philanthropic Honor the Future Campaign. This discussion will also include presentations from the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership and the Virginia Institute of Government.
The Advancement Committee will provide a fundraising report, as well as a discussion of a major donation to the University facilitated by University President Jim Ryan.
The Committee on The University of Virginia’s College at Wise will convene to hear a report from Chancellor Donna Price Henry, which will include topics such as enrollment demographics at Wise and the college’s search for a provost. Provost Trisha Folds-Bennett resigned over the summer, and Mark Clark, vice chancellor for academic affairs, currently serves as interim provost.