The University of the Virgin Islands board of trustees approved a budget for 2015 and elected two officers during a regularly scheduled meeting Saturday on university’s St. Croix campus.
The meeting began with the election of officers. After a slate of eight candidates was presented, trustees voted to have Chairman Alex Moorhead and Vice Chairman Henry Smock swap places. Smock becomes the new chairman and Moorhead, who has been chairman for more than five years, replaces Smock as vice chairman.
The board also voted to accept the 2015 operating budget, presented by Edward Thomas, chairman of the finance and budget committee. The projected bottom line is $46.9 in revenues as well as expenses and transfers. Thomas said $30 million was appropriated by the V.I. Legislature for 2015. The budget for 2014 was $45.8 million with expenditures of $45.5 million.
In other action, the board approved a career advancement policy for administrators, but not faculty. The resolution will include career development as part of the employee evaluation process.
President David Hall said the policy is part of the university’s strategic plan and will become “a fundamental part of the evaluation process” and provide a “plan for individuals to move forward.”
“We can’t just leave it up to the ad hoc process,” Hall said, in case all managers are not motivated to advance staff careers.
During his report, Hall talked about a $30 million gift from New Generation Power announced in April for a medical school. A dean has been hired to raise funds and oversee the project.
Hall also said that a $3 million grant for solar power conversion will allow the project to be completed on St. Croix at the end of August and shortly after on the St. Thomas campus.
“That will get us extremely close to being energy independent,” he said. One of the university’s goals is to get half of the energy it uses from renewable sources by 2015.
Hall also announced the school of business has been granted its initial accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs and the nursing school has been re-accredited until 2019.
The university has signed memorandums of understanding with two eastern Caribbean colleges, Hall reported, to allow students easier access to UVI and to facilitate joint research projects.
A discussion on key performance indicators was presented by Camille McKayle, interim provost, and Mitchell Neaves, director of major gifts. Goals included increased enrollment and the number of graduates and four new buildings by 2017.
The board adjourned into executive session before noon to discuss several items, including legal and personnel matters and a vacancy on the Research and Technical Park board.
Chairman Moorhead was given a plaque for his service and a birthday gift. The trustees and staff sang, “Happy Birthday,”
Two of the 14 trustees did not attend the meeting – Gwendolyn Adams Norton and Judge Patricia Steele.
Trustee Jennifer Nugent Hill pointed out the UVI board was one of only a few organizations who did not pay a stipend.
“We play to play,” she said.