In the regular session of its quarterly meeting on Saturday, Oct. 22, in the Administration and Conference Center Building, the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve a new Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree program in construction management.
“We essentially were charged by the territory to consider a construction management associate degree in large part based on the influx of financial resources that were coming into the territory on the heels of the post-hurricane era and also into the pandemic era,” said Kendra Harris, Ph.D., dean of the School of Business at UVI.
Opportunities were there for individuals to be contractors and subcontractors, but they were not properly equipped with the appropriate certifications to be able to take advantage of those opportunities, she said, adding that this program has been put in place to meet that need.
The Associate of Applied Science in Construction Management degree is designed to provide graduates with the skills and experience to be successful as project managers on building construction projects. Students will learn principles and techniques of construction, materials and building equipment, manual and computer-aided drafting, building contracting processes, legal considerations, and cost estimating and scheduling using the latest construction and project management software.
This degree program is intended to prepare students for positions such as construction supervisor, estimator, scheduler or project manager from start to finish. Before this program, students interested in pursuing professional careers in the construction industry would have had to leave the territory to earn a certificate or a degree in construction management.
The V.I. Legislature funded a feasibility study on the AAS in Construction Management and the university submitted the results of the feasibility study, which included a budget, to the Legislature.
When asked by Board Trustee Reginald Vigilant why an associate of applied science degree was proposed instead of a bachelor’s program, Dr. Harris said, “The data that we gathered is that associate degrees are growing in desirability by employers.” The feasibility study revealed that people were willing to commit one to two years.
In the fall of 2202, UVI launched its certification program for construction management. Students in the certificate program can easily switch to the AAS degree program.
“This is a very necessary program,” said Board Chair Henry Smock. “We look forward to great things from it.”
During the President’s Report, UVI President Dr. David Hall lauded the successes of UVI students, faculty and alumni as well as university initiatives. As is customary during board meetings, President Hall presented the President’s Award in recognition of the excellence and commitment of those UVI employees or units that have performed exceptionally within the last quarter.
This quarter’s award was presented to the Access and enrollment Service (ACES) Department under the leadership of Pamela Moolenaar-Wirsiy, Ph.D., interim vice president of enrollment management, and the department’s former leader, David Wuinee.
The department worked diligently to produce a two percent increase in total enrollment for the fall 2022 semester, including notable increases in new freshmen of more than 13 percent, reversing a previous trend of low enrollment. The ACES Department launched the most aggressive and comprehensive student outreach campaign to ensure that as few students as possible were purged from the university’s system due to payment-related issues and that as many students as possible received financial aid resources.
Thanking the entire team for their dedication and creativity, Hall said, “Your teamwork and your collective determination has placed the university on a growth path that we must continue.”
Additionally, the board of trustees unanimously approved a revised operating budget of $49.9 million for Fiscal Year 2023. “We are very delighted that we have been able to submit a balanced budget,” said Hall.
After hearing a presentation from the Development Committee, the board voted unanimously to set the Fiscal Year 2023 fundraising goal at $4.5 million and the Alumni Giving rate at 20 percent.
During the meeting, Chairman Smock welcomed Nashanta Lindsey-Farrell, who will serve as the student representative to the board, and Sharon Honore, Ph.D., who will serve as the new faculty representative on the board. Dr. Honore is an associate professor of communications at UVI. Chairman Smock also welcomed Dr. Dionne Wells-Hedrington, Ph.D., Department of Education commissioner.
While in executive session, the board completed the following:
Approved Executive Session Minutes of the June 18, 2022 Meeting of the Board
Received a report from the Board regarding the Vaccination Policy
Received a report from the Academic, Research and Student Affairs Committee
Received a report regarding a trustee committee
Received an update regarding personnel and legal matters
The next scheduled meeting of the UVI Board of Trustees will be on Saturday, March 4, 2023, on the Albert A. Sheen Campus. A complete list of board meetings is available on the UVI Board of Trustees page of the UVI website: www.uvi.edu and from this direct link: