June 19, 2004 – The University of the Virgin Islands has seen a 20 percent increase in enrollment since 2000, Deborah Fontaine, special assistant to UVI President LaVerne Ragster told the board of trustees Saturday. Enrollment for the fall semester is about 2,700. UVI's first year retention has also increased, 67 percent in 2003, up from 53 percent in 1999.
Fontaine reported to the board on the second day of its two-day session this weekend.
"The bottom line is that the news is good," UVI Provost Gwen-Marie Moolenaar said, adding that the university's goal is to have 3,000 students by the end of 2005.
Most of the students enrolled at UVI are female, about 78 percent, and are generally residents of the territory.
The university recently completed memorandums of agreements with the St. Kitts College and with the Dominica State College, both associate-degree granting institutions, for their students to finish four-year degrees at UVI.
The board also took action on several resolutions. A resolution to institute a Reserved Officer Training Corp. program for the St. Croix campus was approved.
A resolution to approve a compensation rate of $1,500 per credit for teaching during summer sessions and a resolution to establish a Conflict of Interest and Disclosure Policy to govern the management of conflicts of interest for UVI employees were also approved by the board.
Henry Smith, vice president of research and public service, said many agencies would not award grants if a Conflict of Interest policy were not in place.
"This is a significant document, and a new plus for the university," said Ragster of the policy.
The board received a report on wind energy, an energy savings initiative that the UVI Capital Projects division has been pursuing. The windmill turbine is expected to reduce fossil fuel consumption by approximately 1,000 barrels of oil per year.
The goals of the program are to:
– Showcase the university as a pioneer in the Caribbean as the first institution of higher learning to adopt wind energy as a reliable source of renewable energy.
– Reduce the university's dependency on local utility power generated from fossil fuels.
– Reduce UVI's utility expenditure.
"UVI is moving in the right direction," Ragster said.
Board members in attendance at the meeting were: Chair Auguste Rimpel Jr., vice chair Alex Moorhead, Ragster, Eustace Esdaille, Roy Jackson, Noreen Michael, Bernard Paiewonsky, Henry Smock, Yvonne Thraen, Audrey Thomas and Juanita Woods. Thomas and Woods were recently added to the board.
Student trustee Andrea Keddo and trustee Harry Daniel were absent.
The board moved into executive session to discuss the target appropriation from the government for FY 2005 and other matters.
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