Oct. 21, 2003 – The University of the Virgin Islands board of trustees took a variety of actions at its quarterly meeting Saturday on St. Thomas. One was a decision to meet again in special session in November to consider how UVI will address the issue of financial sustainability in light of what are anticipated to be decreasing appropriation levels from the V.I. government.
Board member Roy D. Jackson, who chairs the Finance Committee, reported that UVI had received all of the money appropriated as its reduced Fiscal Year 2003 budget — nearly $27.6 million. Funding for FY 2004, which began Oct. 1, has yet to be determined by the Legislature.
In their FY 2004 budget hearing presentation before the Senate Finance Committee last summer, UVI officials asked for funding of $36.5 million. Gov. Charles W. Turnbull in his proposed executive branch budget submitted to the Senate at the end of August, calls for UVI to get $25.3 million.
Senate President David Jones said recently that he is holding meetings between lawmakers and budget "stakeholders" and expects to get a budget to the Senate floor around "mid-November." (See "Jones sees FY 2004 budget around mid-November".)
At Saturday's meeting, the UVI board also submitted its one-year evaluation of UVI President LaVerne Ragster, finding that she has done a "more than satisfactory job" since taking office on Aug. 1, 2002, as the institution's fourth chief executive.
It voted to confer tenure on three faculty members: Valerie Combie, associate professor of humanities (St. Croix); Stuart Ketchum, assistant professor of science (St. Croix); and Linda Thomas, associate professor of education (St. Thomas).
It voted to establish a Committee on Trustees to address internal governance and organizational matters.
It ratified a revised policy on the conferring of emeritus status on faculty. And it set annual rates for triple- and quadruple-occupancy dormitory rooms on the St. Croix campus at $1,800 and $1,400 per person, respectively. Both of these matters had been approved by the Executive Committee in August.
It received a report from the Buildings and Grounds Committee that the new dining pavilion and a new automated teller machine on the St. Thomas campus are in operation and that informational kiosks on both campuses are in place.
The special board meeting was set for Nov. 8, on St. Croix. The next regular meeting of the trustees is to take place in March.
Board members present for Saturday's meeting were Auguste Rimpel Jr., the chair; and Eustace Esdaille, Harry Daniel, Jackson, Andrea Keddo, Noreen Michael, Alexander Moorhead, Ragster, Henry Smock and Yvonne Thraen. Not present was Bernard Paiewonsky. The resignation of Ellen Murraine from the board on Friday leaves one vacancy; Turnbull recently nominated Audrey Thomas-Francis to succeed Murraine.
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