With new leadership comes new opportunity. Virginians have resoundingly voiced their support for Republicans running for statewide offices, and it will be Governor-elect Bob McDonnell who leads us forward through what is going to be one of the more difficult fiscal crises of recent memory. We wish the newly elected leaders the best of luck and fortitude.
During his time in office, McDonnell needs first to reverse the trend of cutting funding for higher education; Virginia’s universities have already suffered enough. Since 2008, Richmond has reduced funds for the College of William and Mary’s operating budget by just about one-third. This cut rate is simply unsustainable if this state aims to continue to retain a top-tier education system.
While campaigning, McDonnell declared higher education essential to the “future of Virginia as a thriving community, a growing economy, and a place where people from diverse regions and backgrounds, with varied interests and abilities, can live fulfilling, prosperous lives.” It’s hard not to like the sound of that, but this was a campaign promise. Now that McDonnell will be in the Governor’s Mansion, he will have the opportunity to either realize or preclude the Virginia he describes here. For the sake of our future economic viability, let’s hope he chooses wisely.