UVI Decreases Use of Fossil Fuel, Board Learns

The University of the Virgin Islands reduced its use of fossil fuels by 7.7. percent from 2013 to 2014, the school’s Board of Trustees learned during the regular session of its quarterly meeting Saturday at the campus on St. Croix.

In a news release issued Sunday, the school said the information about fuel use came during the board’s review of its key performance indicators, which include five areas: a modern and safe environment, going green, organizational and human development, financial indicators, research indicators and development.

The report also indicated that campus crime has continued to decrease consistently for the period of 2012 through 2014, though the news release did not specify what the crimes levels are.

In his report to the board, UVI President David Hall said the school has achieved "some significant national achievements.” The university is a "candidate school" for the School of Medicine’s accreditation, received a $1.3 million cybersecurity grant, and completed a memorandum of understanding with the Council of Community Colleges of Jamaica.

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Other accomplishments included:
– The endowment of the Foundation of the University of the Virgin Islands (FUVI), which was ranked number 37 among 832 United States colleges and university endowments and affiliated foundations, according to the 2014 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. For fiscal year 2014, FUVI’s endowment, earned net investment returns of 19.2 percent, compared to the reported average return of other endowments of 15.50 percent.

UVI’s endowment also ranked in the top ten highest among Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

– Increases in student enrollment. The school saw a two percent increase in overall enrollment and a 42 percent increase among new transfer students for spring.

Hall also recognized Dr. Valerie Combie, who has been selected as UVI’s first master professor. Combie is a professor in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and director of the Writing Center on the St. Croix campus.

Gillian Marcelle, the UVI Research and Technology Park’s newly hired executive director, gave her first report to the Board. she presented an overview of plans for the Research and Technology Park.

“We’ll be serving as a hub of an innovation ecosystem for the U.S. Virgin Islands,” said Marcelle. “We will be providing a series of services to the business sector, government and to the academic community as to how you grow technology-enabled businesses in the Virgin Islands.”

It was the first regular session meeting for two new ex-officio trustees, who serve by virtue of their positions – V.I. Department of Education Commissioner Sharon McCollum and V.I. Board of Education Chair Nandi Sekou.

As customary, Hall recognized a UVI employee or unit that has performed exceptionally with the President’s Appreciation Award. The UVI School of Education and Dean Linda Thomas, were honored for achieving accreditation status from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. They were also recognized because the School’s Elementary Education Program was certified by the Association for Childhood Education International – the national accrediting body that certifies elementary education programs.

“By attaining national accreditation, we demonstrate our commitment to meeting the highest standards of the education profession,” Hall said. “This extraordinary achievement is the result of the outstanding leadership and dedicated work of Dean Linda Thomas and all members of our School of Education.”  

In executive session, trustees received updates on the School of Medicine, risk assessment, personnel matters, legal matters, and revenue. During executive session the board was authorized to continue the discussion with Five Stone Capital on the proposed Eco Park. There were no action items for either session.

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