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Previewing the Board of Visitors’ June meeting

The Board will approve the University’s 2024-2025 operating budget and will hear updates from the Task Force on Religious Diversity and Belonging

<p>The Board will also hear updates from the Building and Grounds Committee on the development of the new U.Va. Center for the Arts and approve its location and design guidelines.&nbsp;</p>

The Board will also hear updates from the Building and Grounds Committee on the development of the new U.Va. Center for the Arts and approve its location and design guidelines. 

The Board of Visitors will meet tomorrow and Friday, during which they will review and approve the operating budget for the upcoming academic year. Additionally, the Academic and Student Life committee will hear updates from the Task Force on Religious Diversity and Belonging, which was created to develop a better understanding of the experiences of Jewish, Muslim and other religious students. The Board’s summer session will also include updates on the development of the new U.Va. Arts site and a discussion of the pan university entrepreneurship initiative — a strategic initiative launched in 2023 with the intention of facilitating entrepreneurial ventures at the University. 

The Board, composed of 17 voting members appointed by the governor, one non-voting faculty representative and one non-voting student member, typically convenes for regular meetings four times per year. Lisa Kopelnik, student member of the Board and fourth-year College student, was selected to be the new student member in March, and will participate in her first full board meeting this week. Alongside the Board, there are seven standing committees that oversee topics relevant to life at the University, including Finance and Academic and Student Life.

During this week’s session, the Finance Committee will approve the operating budget — finances allotted for expenditure over a set period — for the upcoming fiscal year. The proposed $5.8 billion operating budget is split into three categories with $2.4 billion allocated to the academic division, $3.28 billion allocated to the medical center and $75.5 million allocated to the College at Wise. 

According to the current proposed budget, the three divisions will all see increased spending compared to the previous fiscal year. The proposal outlines that the academic division’s operating budget will increase by 6.8 percent, the medical center by 8.3 percent and the College at Wise by 5.1 percent. 

The full Board will meet twice over the two day period, once for a discussion focused on leadership and then again for a discussion on business, after which they will vote to confirm action items approved by the committees, which will meet prior to and between the full Board meetings.

The Board’s Academic and Student Life Committee will convene for updates from the University’s Task Force on Religious Diversity and Belonging. The Task Force was formed to promote the inclusion of all religious groups on Grounds, as concerns surrounding antisemitism and islamophobia in the wake of Oct. 7 became increasingly prevalent. 

This will be the first report from the Task Force since the University forcefully dispersed a pro-Palestine encampment May 4 in a manner that prompted Oludamini Ogunnaike, associate professor of African Religious Thought and Democracy, to resign from his position on the Task Force. The report will be delivered by Christa Acampora, dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, though what she will talk about has not been announced.

The Board will also hear updates from the Building and Grounds Committee on the development of the new U.Va. Center for the Arts and approve its location and design guidelines. The new Center for the Arts — which Board documents have placed near the Karsh Institute of Democracy and the newly opened School of Data Science building —  is part of a larger vision for the redevelopment of the Ivy Road corridor, which Board documents refer to as the Creativity Nexus. 

According to Board documents, the Creativity Nexus is aimed to encourage democracy, discovery, creativity and experimental arts, and will provide space for several artistic events including a 1,100-seat concert hall, an experimental arts space and several practice and recital rooms for musicians. 

The redevelopment of the Corridor will also bring a focus on entrepreneurship, with a new Futures Institute and Center for Entrepreneurism dedicated to supporting entrepreneurial ideas among and across the University’s schools. The currently proposed site places the building next to the School of Data Science, and is the subject of an ongoing planning process.

The space, which will entail a partnership with the Provost’s Office, the Vice President for research and the School of Data Science, is part of the larger Pan-University Entrepreneurship Initiative announced in October 2023. Both the space and the program as a whole seek to advance the University’s 2030 plan, which aims to improve the University in a variety of ways as it enters its third century. 

Over the course of the two-day session, several other committees — including the Advancement Committee and the Audit, Compliance and Risk Committee — will discuss future plans, ideas and obstacles pertaining to their respective jurisdictions. 

The Advancement Committee will review fundraising progress and discuss the impact of the Clark Scholars program, a scholarship program in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Additionally, the Audit, Compliance and Risk Committee will approve an audit plan for the 2025-26 fiscal year and the full Board will review significant gifts and grants received by the University. 

The full meeting schedule can be found here. Open sessions of the meetings can be viewed via livestream online


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