The College’s Six-Year Institutional Plan, submitted to the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV) Sept. 27, focuses on maintaining prior high faculty standards, having a diverse student body, keeping the student body small and keeping the College affordable.
p. Changes proposed in the projection include enhancing research productivity, boosting quality and increasing external funding and revenue. In order to meet these goals, the College has created a financial plan that aims to increase external funding for the main campus by 5 percent, from roughly $23 million to $37.5 million, by 2014.
p. The Restructured Higher Education Financial and Administrative Act of 2005 requires that every two years public colleges and universities in Virginia submit a six-year plan including an academic plan, financial plan and six-year enrollment projections. The College first submitted a plan in 2005 and has made progress in fundamental state goals regarding access, enrollment, affordability and student retention.
p. Its goals include enhancing science programs and research, along with building new arts, business and education facilities.
These changes are being made in the hopes of enhancing faculty and student research productivity.
p. In order to meet these goals, the College set up a number of objectives, including meeting research space needs for the physics department and the School of Education.
p. “As budget deficits in Washington get larger, colleges are getting more aggressive, and more people are chasing fewer dollars,” Vice President of Finance Sam Jones said.
p. To increase support for research, the College will place emphasis on augmenting research start up funds. Applied science, computer science and neuroscience gain the most attention from the plan because the College has determined that they have insufficient faculty and research space to be competitive for federal grants.
p. In addition to increasing external funding, the plan hints at a successor campaign to the $500 million Campaign for William and Mary. Jones said that a future campaign is several years away, and would involve reviewing the campaign for some guidance with regard to immediate fundraising needs.
p. The financial plan is critical for the implementation of many of the College’s other goals, including raising faculty and staff salary and maintaining heavy need-based financial support for students.
The College’s goal of attracting and retaining a high-quality faculty and staff has led to a plan to raise the average faculty salary over time to a nationally competitive level.
p. The plan stressed maintaining the College’s high student standards and retention rate. Projected enrollment rates show that the College has no intention of increasing its size and aims to increase its total enrollment by only 1 percent over the next six years.
p. “We are committed to the size of the College. It is very important to maintaining undergraduate research and opportunity,” Jones said.
p. While enrollment numbers may not change, the source of students may. One of the goals of the plan is to increase the number of students admitted from community colleges.
p. Additionally, the plan named supporting low-income students as one of its highest priorities over the next six years. The College hopes to enroll more than 600 students of lower socioeconomic status by the end of the six-year planning period.
p. Future tuition numbers were absent from the plan due to the difficulty involved in predicting the tuition increases over the next six years.
p. “Projected tuition is completely based on whether there is state support or not. We have to plan for both conditions,” Jones said.
Jones pointed out that most of the plan is based on the state’s fundamental expectations for the College, including a commitment to the growth of teacher education and physical, mathematical and biological sciences — areas of “critical need” for the commonwealth.
p. The College has promised to maintain close collaborative relationships with public elementary and secondary schools
“[In the plan] there are not many new ideas or priorities; it’s just focusing our resources,” Jones said.