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Panel Discussion April 9 to Focus on Higher Education in Virginia

University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan will participate in a Virginia21 panel discussion on higher education in Virginia at Newcomb Hall Ballroom on Tuesday, starting at 2 p.m.

Sullivan will be joined on the panel by Frank Friedman, president of Piedmont Virginia Community College; Del. David Toscano, D-Charlottesville; and Del. Steven Landes, R-Weyers Cave.

Brendan Wynn, a U.Va. undergraduate student, former PVCC student and current president of the U.Va. Chapter at Virginia21, will moderate the panel, which is free and open to the public and sponsored by the U.Va. Virginia21 chapter. Seating is limited, so attendees should plan to arrive early. Students, faculty and staff may sign up here to receive priority. Unclaimed seats may also go to the public just after the event begins.

Virginia21 is a nonpartisan organization, whose members are between the ages of 18 and 26, that focuses on higher education, economic development and good government.

“This panel discussion is a rare opportunity for students to have a frank discussion with President Sullivan and the legislators that represent the University and surrounding areas,” Wynn said. “The event focuses on higher education policy and other issues that concern students, including financial aid, tuition, faculty recruitment and retention, state funding, student life on Grounds and broader questions about Virginia education including the VCCS,” or Virginia Community College System.

Students from the University and from PVCC will be able to pose questions about the University, the VCCS and state government in higher education policies, including faculty recruitment and retention, student debt, the future of financial aid, state budget, sequestration and concerns about student experience.

Students, faculty and staff, and invited guests from Virginia’s government and educational policy fields will gather at 2 p.m. to participate in moderated roundtable discussions, of six to eight participants each, to facilitate the development of pertinent questions to pose to the panel. Wynn and Virginia21 Deputy Director Austin Mill will work with the groups and guide as necessary.   

At 2:30 p.m., the participating panelists will be welcomed by Tom Kramer, Virginia21’s executive director, and the panelists will be asked one or two questions from each group. The event is scheduled to end by 3:30 p.m.

“At the event, students can enjoy a free lunch and conversation with their fellow students, including Virginia21 students who will help moderate the discussions with their knowledge of University and state policies,” Wynn said.

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