West Virginia University’s Board of Governors got a general overview Friday (Feb. 5) of some of the ways WVU is addressing the 2011 budget.
Vice President for Administration and Finance Narvel Weese said WVU’s budget has shifted over recent years to a more entrepreneurial model with tuition and fees and grants and contracts accounting for a larger share of the University’s overall revenues. WVU’s state allocation has remained unchanged in terms of real dollars since 2002.
With the capacity for increased revenues from enrollment growth limited due to challenging economic times as well as available space and faculty capacity—and the realization that mandated costs such as PEIA premiums and other post employee benefits will continue to increase—the University is continuing to look for ways to reduce costs through purchasing contracts, energy savings and other means, he said.
University officials remain hopeful that any freeze on tuition—requested by the governor—would be covered by federal stimulus dollars, he added.
In his report to the Board, WVU President James P. Clements addressed fan behavior, saying WVU issued an apology to the University of Pittsburgh for the “appalling and inappropriate behavior” exhibited by some fans at Wednesday’s men’s basketball game.
He said steps are being discussed and implemented for future games, including surveillance cameras, increased security, a text messaging line and increased communication of sanctions and enforcement.
“As a University, we are taking this issue very seriously,” Clements said. “We need to do everything we can to make sure our fans are acting appropriately.”
On a positive note, he called the joint groundbreaking of two premier facilities—White Hall for the nationally recognized Department of Physics and the Indoor Practice Facility for the nationally ranked men’s and women’s basketball teams—an “historic” event. Both facilities—and the faculty, students, coaches and student-athletes who make these programs what they are—enhance the academic, research and athletic profiles of the University.
Sporting a red tie he wore to acknowledge “Go Red for Women Day” to raise awareness of heart disease, Clements said WVU’s new $3 million Heart Institute, which opened this week, serves to expand and consolidate the WVU Health Sciences Center’s outpatient services to meet the growing demand for heart care.
Dale Hunt, vice president for investments at the WVU Foundation, gave a report which indicated that Foundation investment management assets totaled $777 million as of Dec. 31. That includes the endowed investment pool which saw a positive return of 9.3 percent for the first six months of FY10 (July-Dec., 2009) The value of the endowed investment pool stood at $339 million as of Dec. 31, Hunt added.
She also reported that unrestricted funds invested by the Foundation on behalf of the University under Senate Bill 603 saw a positive return of 16.3 percent for the 12 months ending Oct. 31, 2009.
The Foundation acts as an investment agent for WVU and WVU Hospitals.
In other action, the Board approved:
– $105,246 in new Research Trust Fund contributions for submission to the vice chancellor of science and research for matching funds from the state. With this request, private and state dollars will bring WVU’s total to $7.188 million in investments in key research areas.
– An increase of $3 million to the budget and scope of work for the White Hall renovation, bringing it to $33 million. The former computing lab will be made into a large general purpose lecture hall and the upper floor will be devoted to an astrophysics lab.
– Phase 3 of a performance-based contract with Siemens Building Systems to reduce the amount of energy and water consumed on the campuses. This phase will include upgrades at the Health Sciences Campus by spring 2011 at a cost of $7.25 million. The annual savings is estimated at $586,311 over approximately 12 years.
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