State budget increases aid to College

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March 2, 2007

3:14 PM

In a Feb. 27 e-mail to students, College President Gene Nichol lauded the Virginia General Assembly for funding several priorities of the College in recent amendments to the state’s 2007-2008 budget.

p. The budget amendments include $5.35 million to continue development of the planned School of Education building, as well as money for 4 percent faculty and staff pay-raises. College officials say that Virginia Governor Timothy Kaine is expected to sign the amendments that will increase funding for the College.

p. “I wanted to share with you highlights from the General Assembly’s recently approved budget recommendations,” Gene Nichol said in his e-mail. “They include much good news for the College.”

p. The School of Education building was the top priority for the College. The new building is planned to be built at the former site of the Sentara Williamsburg Community Hospital, which sits adjacent to the school.

p. “There are few projects as important to the long-term mission of our College as our new education building and few people as important to us – as we were reminded this session — as our local advocates Sen. Tommy Norment (R-Williamsburg) and Del. Phil Hamilton (R-James City County),” Nichol said in William and Mary News.

p. Currently housed in Jones Hall, the School of Education was placed on probationary accredited status because of the poor facilities. With the plans for the new building, the school has regained full accreditation, according to Tom Ward, the Education School’s associate dean for academic programs.

p. “[The $5.35 million] will allow us to do several things,” Ward said. “It would allow us to continue the architectural planning, demolish the current hospital building, and recondition that area of the property. We would begin building in the next phase.”

p. Nichol said he was also gratified that the General Assembly included a 4 percent raise for faculty and staff.

p. “We were pleased to learn that staff and faculty raises come in at 4 percent,” he wrote in the e-mail. “When they take effect in November, the College will continue its slow climb toward a better ranking among our peers.”

p. Currently the College stands at the 38th percentile for faculty salaries among peers. The money will move the College into the mid-fortieth percentile range, according to a report prepared by the College’s Vice President for Finance Sam Jones.

p. Last year Provost Geoffrey Feiss told The Flat Hat that the College aims to eventually be in the 75th percentile.

p. The budget also includes additional funding for base operations, new facilities, student financial aid, the new Integrated Science Center and the College’s Virginia Institute for Marine Science.

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