The University of Virginia Board of Visitors today unanimously approved the 2015 fiscal year budget, advancing institutional priorities that will help sustain the University’s excellence through the start of its third century.
The $2.79 billion budget reflects U.Va. strategic plan priorities: strengthening student advising and career services, bolstering faculty and staff compensation, ensuring quality health care and patient safety, and maintaining the commitment to provide high-achieving students access to the University without consideration of their ability to pay.
The budget is an increase of 3.7 percent compared to the current fiscal year, and funds operations at the Academic Division, University Medical Center and U.Va.’s College at Wise.
Overall, the Academic Division budget is increasing by less than 1 percent over 2013-14, to $1.47 billion, and supports undergraduate enrollment growth of 155 students, 70 percent of whom will be Virginia residents.
The budget provides support for financial aid, continuing the University’s longstanding commitment to meet 100 percent of students’ demonstrated financial need. The University is one of only two public institutions in the country to meet all demonstrated need of undergraduates.
The spending blueprint advances the University’s effort to provide more competitive faculty compensation, an imperative to maintaining academic excellence as a generation of faculty approaches retirement. The budget increases the faculty salary pool by 4.75 percent, with individual increases based on merit. U.Va.’s average faculty salary currently ranks No. 27 among its peers in the Association of American Universities, and the board-approved goal is to advance into the top 20 in the next four years.
The budget also provides for a 3 percent increase for University staff, also based on merit.
The Medical Center’s budget is increasing by 7.9 percent, to $1.28 billion, led by growth in outpatient services, the opening of the Battle Building for pediatric services and the implementation of an outreach strategy.
The budget of U.Va.’s College at Wise will increase by 4.3 percent, to $41.5 million.
The budget also supports additional components of a comprehensive system of academic and career counseling known as “Total Advising.” The 2014-15 budget will enable creation of a student leadership program, expand advising seminars and further develop opportunities for alumni to engage with students who are about to begin their careers.
Higher projected costs from several sources played a role in development of the budget, but the University also was able to moderate that pressure through savings. In addition to the higher compensation costs, U.Va. expects increased health care expenses and must also satisfy a significantly higher state-mandated contribution to the Virginia Retirement System.
The Academic Division budget benefits from a projected $11.5 million in operational savings through more efficient operations, including wellness programs, procurement and process efficiencies, and reallocation of existing resources.
The budget takes effect July 1, and is subject to revision pending final passage of a state budget for the next biennium.