Base Adequacy Funding: Last year
the General Assembly provided the first installment of base adequacy funding to
colleges and universities. This infusion of funds was essential to stabilizing
tuition rates and higher education budgets. Currently, Virginia Commonwealth
Universityís state funding shortfall is approximately $50 million per year. VCU
received $22 million for the biennium. We will continue to work with state
decision-makers to follow through with additional base adequacy funding as
preparations begin in 2005 for the 2006-2008 budget.
Indigent Care Funding: Senior
staff from Virginia Commonwealth University and the VCU Health System have
worked diligently in recent years with state and federal officials to identify a
consistent revenue stream for health services for indigent and underinsured
patients. At present, the VCU Health System should receive 100% of costs for
serving these patients over the next two years. Staff will continue to identify
long-term funding solutions.
Faculty and Staff Salaries:
Compensation for faculty and staff continues to be a high priority among
Virginiaís colleges and universities. In order to improve morale, retain
valuable employees and attract high quality personnel to VCUís workforce, annual
salary increases and benefits are critical. The Governor has proposed a 3%
increase for 2005. We hope that the General Assembly will consider providing
additional funding to regain competitive salaries with our peer institutions.
Maintenance Reserve: The
Governorís proposed budget provides approximately $26 million for system-wide
maintenance reserve needs for FY 2006. This is a positive step to address the
renovation needs of countless buildings on both the Monroe Park and Medical
Campuses. VCU will continue to bring attention to the maintenance reserve needs
of our aging infrastructure to state decision-makers.
Financial Aid: Additional funding
has been provided in the Governorís 2005 budget for financial aid, including
financial aid for graduate students. The Governorís endorsement of this
critical funding need will assist Virginia students to receive an education
regardless of financial impediments. Should additional funds be available, we
will work with the General Assembly to maximize VCUís share.
Charter University Proposal:
Virginia Commonwealth University will be actively involved in the discussions
and ultimate proposals that evolve from the Charter University debate. We will
ensure that VCU is positioned to take advantage of any reasonable flexibility
from central agency oversight and reporting requirements.
Please urge your state representatives to support these key legislative priorities for VCU and the VCU Health System. If you have questions, contact Don Gehring (email@example.com) or Mark Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org). Our office phone number is: 804-828-1235.