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The Blue & Gray Press | August 19, 2017

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BOV convenes to discuss budget and welcome ITCC

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By NEPHTHALIE LAUTURE

The University of Mary Washington’s Board of Visitors met last week to discuss and plan for further cuts in state funding for the university, as well as officially dedicate the ITCC building on Sept. 18 in a ribbon cutting ceremony.

At the Friday, Sept. 19 meeting, the board received a report on a reduction plan for the university’s budget. The University plans to cut five percent this fiscal year,  totaling around $1.1 million in savings, due to the Virginia state budget shortfall that resulted in major funding cuts to higher education.

The University plans to make savings from a wide range of areas, including $110,000 from delaying software purchases, $100,000 from altering phone service, $470,000 from hiring freezes, $2,000 from reducing student work and $550,000 from the Dahlgren campus general fund.

Despite the drastic cuts to funding, the BOV said that the University is making all attempts to maintain their priorities: academics and student life

On Thursday, Sept. 18 the BOV, administration, faculty and students attended the outdoor dedication ceremony for the recently completed ITCC.

“I knew Mike Evans for 25 years at least. And the reason I am calling him out is because he worked with the architectural team that designed this building,” President Rick Hurley said at the ceremony. “I remember talking about it and where we were going to put it and I was like how in the world can he put something on this spot that’s going to look halfway decent? But, Mike, I’ve got to give it to you, you did it. And you did it well. It’s a handsome building, and we’re proud of it.”

The dedication was held outside the ribbon-clad doors of the ITCC. Students who did not formally RSVP could watch as Jonathan Levin, UMW provost, and Jeff McClurken, the special assistant to the provost for technology, shared a word on the journey of the ITCC building.

“A center for technology for not only the student who may major in computer science, but for everyone. To impact the lives of the English major or the French major just as much as someone majoring in one of the STEM fields,” said Levin

Many of the board members were very excited about the new opportunities the buildings allowed for current UMW students.

“I’m proud of this board, which always looks to the future and supports innovation,” BOV Rector Holly Cuellar said.

On Friday, the board met beginning at 8:30 a.m. to discuss several pressing matters pertaining to the university. The board discussed student affairs, the honor system, finances and facilities, academic affairs and closed with reports from president and the rector.

Comments

  1. Sam Jensen

    I spend a lot of time sitting in front of Lee hall and the Information Technology Convergence Center, frequently talking with students, potential students, families, faculty and staff. I give directions, chat about the university, and observe the comings and goings of college life at UMW.

    After reading Andrew Delbanco’s book College: What it was, is, and should be, I had a minor epiphany. The spaces outside of Lee Hall and the ITCC work beautifully as a metaphor for what college was in the past and what it is becoming to the current generation of students.

    Both buildings are hubs for student life at UMW.

    Lee is an older building that has been renovated. Campus walk passes directly in front of the building, with the grass expanse of Ball circle on the other side. Squirrels gather pecans in the nut trees out front. Students play sports, rest on the benches, chat and watch people going about their day. The attitude is often thoughtful. People slow down and talk to each other naturally. It is collegial in the best sense of the word, as people from different majors and departments mix and share ideas.

    The ITCC is exposed concrete, metal and glass under its brick skirts. Outside is mostly hardscape and minimal vegetation. On the other side of campus walk, a retaining wall and the access road for the library and fine arts facilities hulk in the foreground. Few people feel inclined to stop and talk about what they have learned in class on the benches outside, but many people rush in to get coffee or walk and talk on their way to class or collaborative meetings inside the ITCC. The pace is faster, more competitive, goal oriented. People are here to get the information, solve the problem, and get the job done.

    Both identities are crucial to UMW’s continued success in the modern world.

    And the spinning chairs look like fun.

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