The Board of Visitors’ Committee on the University of Virginia’s College at Wise reviewed Wise’s recently-approved out-of-state tuition plan and a breakdown of fall 2023 enrollment demographics in a meeting Friday. The Committee also discussed the College at Wise’s search for a new provost, as well as its implementation of a new data analytics curriculum.
The tuition rates — which will see all tuition and charges for undergraduate students at Wise remain at their current level for the 2024-25 and 2025-26 school years — were approved by the Board’s Finance Committee earlier the same day. Tuition for out-of-state undergraduates at Wise was previously reduced by 17.3 percent for the 2023-2024 academic year.
“We feel like we’re a little bit outpriced in our total out-of-state tuition,” Chancellor Donna Price Henry said. “SCHEV is looking at a policy that some of our state institutions may have the ability to charge [reduced] out-of-state rates.”
Henry said that Wise has seen an increase in applications and enrollments across the board, particularly among out-of-state first-time freshmen, with out-of-state applications increasing from 39 in fall 2019 to 880 in fall 2023.
Enrollment among admitted in-state students has trended between 25 and 35 percent in recent years. Although that percentage was down to 16 percent in fall 2023, far more in-state students applied and were admitted than in previous years, resulting in increased enrollment overall.
The Committee also heard an update from Henry on the status of the College at Wise’s search for a new provost, also known as the vice chancellor for academic affairs. Henry said that the nationwide search has yielded almost 100 potential candidates, and that the provost application is due Dec. 11.
“We have invited [University Provost] Ian Baucom to help us once the Committee narrows the candidates down,” Henry said. “That process will move fairly quickly in January and February, with an offer made so that we can have our provost on board next summer.”
Dean of Faculty Affairs Mark Clark currently serves as the interim provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, assuming the role after former Provost Trisha Folds-Bennett resigned over the summer.
Henry’s report also included a breakdown of fall 2023 enrollment statistics at the College at Wise. This year’s first-year class comprises 35 percent first-generation students, 9 percent Black students and 6 percent Asian students. Within the 491 fall 2023 first-year, transfer and Year in Wise program students enrolled, 247 are Pell Grant recipients. The Pell Grant Program is the largest federal financial aid program available to undergraduates, and it grants need-based awards of close to $7,000.
Additionally, Business Analytics Prof. Gurkan Akalin, who also serves as executive director of the Institute of Applied Data Analytics and Department of Business and Economics chair at Wise, announced the creation of the Technology Management and Data Analytics master’s degree program, which is set to begin in fall 2025.
“At the master’s level, especially in our corner, there’s [an] untapped market,” Akalin said. “The target audience [is] working individuals who are looking to supplement their career with artificial intelligence, data analytics and technology management.”
Faculty Consulting Member Jinny Turman also presented updates to the Committee on student programs and research offered at the College at Wise.
The Committee will meet again when the Board of Visitors reconvenes in February.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated that the projected date for the data analytics master's program is spring 2024. The actual projected date is fall 2025. The article also stated that the program is set to be the second master’s program in education at the College at Wise. However, the master's program is in data analytics. The article has been updated to reflect these changes.