BOV talks finance, mascot

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February 6, 2009

2:02 AM

College of William and Mary President Taylor Reveley announced that the commonwealth awarded the College funding for planning the third and final stage of construction of the Integrated Science Center at the Board of Visitors meeting yesterday in Blow Memorial Hall.

“It looks like we might get $5 million in planning money for the Integrated Science Center: Phase Three,” Reveley said.

Reveley also said he believed that if the legislature will provide money to plan the third phase of the ISC, the College will likely receive funds from the state to begin construction.

Reveley described his recent lobbying trip to Richmond during the Committee on Financial Affairs. This Sunday, the Virginia legislature will vote on whether or not to approve Virginia Governor Timothy M. Kaine’s budget proposal.

“I have spent an unholy amount of time trolling the halls of the General Assembly,” Reveley said. “We are at the point where you express gratitude whether you feel it or not. There is also talk of changing the number of out-of-state students. The ratio, frankly, must be held.”

Vice President for Finance Sam Jones also discussed how Kaine’s operating budget amendments would affect the College’s Eminent Scholar Program, which provides salary supplements to outstanding state college faculty.
In 1964, the GA established the Eminent Scholars Program to attract talented professionals to state schools. Each year, eligible faculty members receive additional money from an endowment funded by private donors.
The commonwealth promised to match the interest earned on endowments created at Virginia state universities after June 30, 1964.

In his budget proposal, Kaine has recommended the full elimination of the program. If the program is cut, the College will absorb $1,271,933 that the commonwealth said it would pay.

“This is hypocrisy to the height,” BOV member Charles Banks III said. “We need to inform the donors that they are not going to get the money the state promised them. If that happened to me, I’d be bitching like hell.”
Reveley echoed Bank’s sentiments.

“What is going on right now is classic triage,” Reveley said. “But right now we should concentrate on areas where we are most likely to make progress, like in-state, out-of-state ratios.”

Jones then discussed measures other higher education institutions are currently taking to deal with budget cuts. He also noted that the College would have to absorb the operating costs of the new business school. The BOV, however, seemed hopeful that the College could handle the additional costs.

“We are doing the right things in order to run the College efficiently, and we are doing some bench work to prove this,” Vice President of the BOV Henry Wolf ’64, J.D. ’66 said.

In the afternoon, the BOV Committee on athletics met to discuss the search for a new mascot. The BOV placed Susan Evans in charge of the project and hopes to create an open, inclusive search process. Reveley will choose from 10 or fewer finalists that make it through the selection committee.

The College should expect a formal launch of the mascot project by the end of the month, and the BOV hopes to have a mascot by fall 2009.

“We want something that people like, that’s fun, something we can put on a T-shirt,” Reveley said. “It would be a real drag if [the mascot] turned out to be a sex worker.”

The next BOV meeting will be held from April 16-17.

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