President Teresa Sullivan recently outlined a number of goals for the University, one of which will be “to get money aligned with the mission.”
“It’s not to create winners and losers, or to have the arts pitted against humanities,” said COO Michael Strine. “It aligns the academic capital of this institution with resources, so it’s coordinated planning that pursues the research, teaching and patient care that we do together.”
The University is implementing a new internal financial model to increase transparency and give individual academic units incentives to become more efficient in utilizing resources and developing programs. Increasing efficiency while cutting costs will be important for UVA to flourish in a period when enrollment is expanding. To meet initiatives outlined by Gov. Bob McDonnell’s Commission on Higher Education, of which Sullivan is a member, University leaders plan to
- increase students in the STEM fields—science, technology, engineering and mathematics;
- develop a “3+1 program,” in which students with advanced placement credits could earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees in four years;
- hire more faculty, not only to accommodate more students but also to replace large numbers of faculty expected to retire; and
- continue the University’s focus on philanthropy.
One action not contemplated is laying off employees. Budget constraints have caused staff to be reduced, but only through attrition. As the Health System gets more patients, as University research expands and student enrollment increases, Strine said, “We won’t be thinking about layoffs, we’ll be thinking about growth and improving quality. Often that comes with adding people.”