Former U.Va. Rector to Chair Governor's Higher Education Commission

June 1, 2010 — Thomas Farrell, the former rector of the University of Virginia, will chair Gov. Bob McDonnell's Commission on Higher Education Reform, Innovation and Investment, McDonnell announced May 28.

The commission's ranks also include the presidents of eight Virginia colleges and universities, as well as a number of business, education policy and government officials.

Commissioners with U.Va. ties include Farrell, the chairman, president and CEO of Dominion Resources, and Board of Visitors member W. Heywood Fralin, CEO of Medical Facilities of America Inc. and also a former U.Va. rector.

The commission was created by the Governor's Executive Order Number Nine. It will first meet in early July, and is expected to submit its final recommendations by Nov. 30. 

"This commission will play a pivotal role in the effort to make Virginia a more highly educated state where businesses seek to locate and good jobs are available to our citizens in the communities they call home," McDonnell said. "We must make higher education more affordable and accessible for Virginians, and expand pathways to earning a college degree. Our institutions of higher learning are known worldwide for their innovation, research and quality. Here in Virginia they are job-creators and economic drivers. We must ensure they continue to operate at the highest levels, while remaining accessible to Virginia students."

"The governor has consistently demonstrated his commitment to Virginia's higher education system and its tremendous impact on job creation and the overall economy," Farrell said. "I am honored to chair this important effort and look forward to working with the governor and his commission to develop bold initiatives to increase access and affordability for Virginia's students while focusing our universities on programs designed to improve the career readiness of our graduates."

The commission members are:

•    William Barr, former U.S. Attorney General
•    Bill Bosher, executive director, Commonwealth Policy Institute and Distinguished Professor of Public Policy and Education, Virginia Commonwealth University
•    John Broderick, president, Old Dominion University
•    Del. Kirk Cox, Colonial Heights
•    Del. Rosalyn Dance, Petersburg
•    JoAnn DiGenarro, president, Center for Excellence in Education
•    Mark Dreyfus, president and CEO, ECPI Colleges
•    Jerry Falwell Jr., chancellor, Liberty University
•    Heywood Fralin, CEO of Medical Facilities of America Inc.
•    Rachel Fowlkes, executive director, Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center
•    William Harvey, president, Hampton University
•    Bob Holsworth, founder and president, Virginia Tomorrow
•    Sen. Edd Houck, Spotsylvania
•    Robert Lindgren, president, Randolph-Macon College
•    Del. Scott Lingamfelter, Prince William
•    Thomas Loehr, executive vice president, Crosspointe Operations, Rolls Royce
•    Mirta Martin, interim dean, School of Business and professor of management, Virginia State University
•    G. Gilmer Minor, chairman, Owens and Minor Inc.
•    Pamela Moran, superintendent, Albemarle County Public Schools
•    Raj Narasimhan, site director, Micron Technology Virginia
•    Paul Nardo, chief of staff, Speaker William J. Howell
•    Sen. Steve Newman, Lynchburg
•    Leslie Peterson, director of operations, Chmura Economics and Analytics
•    B. Carlyle Ramsey, president, Danville Community College
•    Linwood Rose, president, James Madison University
•    Del. Tom Rust, Herndon
•    Charles Steger, president, Virginia Tech
•    Sen. Walter Stosch, Glen Allen
•    Todd Stottlemyer, executive vice president, Inova Health System
•    Robin Sullenberger, CEO, Shenandoah Valley Partnership
•    Paul Trible Jr., president, Christopher Newport University
•    Sen. William Wampler, Bristol
•    Charlie Whitaker, senior vice president of human resources and compliance, Altria Client Services Inc.