Education

National Spotlight on UVI Students as Enrollment Rises

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The Board of Trustees at the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) has unanimously approved a Fiscal Year 2023-2024 Operating Budget of $51.1 million in their recent Saturday meeting. Additionally, a fundraising goal of $4.5 million for 2024 has been set alongside an Alumni Giving Rate target of 20 percent.

Moreover, a $3 million allocation, sourced from the HBCU Capital Financing Program Loan, received approval for capital improvements targeted at Quarters B, the MacLean Marine Center, and necessary provisions for furniture, fixtures, and essential equipment at the Medical Research and Training Center on the Orville E. Kean Campus.

UVI President Dr. David Hall, during the President’s Report, highlighted the remarkable accomplishments of UVI students, faculty, and alumni. Special recognition was given to UVI students Jackeima Flemming and Michael Bell, who earned a spot in the distinguished 2023 HBCU White House Scholars cohort. Their representation at the 2023 Annual National HBCU Week Conference and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland on behalf of the White House Initiative on HBCUs was particularly noted.

Furthermore, Dr. Hall acknowledged the academic progress of three students enrolled in the Early Medical School Selection Program at Boston University, three marine biology students who presented their research on an international stage, and 12 students who participated in STEM-related programs at prestigious institutions.

The session also celebrated UVI alumni achievements. Among the honored were Michael Rosario for his exemplary defense at Boston University’s School of Medicine, Shenee Martin for earning her doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Lashonette Schjang for excelling in the Association of Social Work Board licensing exam.

Dr. Hall also commended UVI’s faculty, stating, “Our faculty deserve applause not only for their teaching prowess but also for their active engagement in conferences and publications, showcasing their productivity.”

The quarterly President’s Appreciation Award was presented to Dr. Kimarie Engerman, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, whose efforts led to the full accreditation of UVI’s Master of Social Work program, now accredited through June 2031. Dr. Hall mentioned the program’s seven graduates and commended Dr. Engerman’s ongoing dedication.

In her response, Dr. Engerman thanked the UVI team and highlighted the program’s vision, which has roots in the ideas of former Senator Kurt Vialet and funding from the VI Legislature. She also emphasized the program’s potential to make a significant impact both in the territory and beyond.

The board also unanimously agreed to establish the UVI Teacher Insurance and Annuity Association-College Retirement Equities Fund Retirement Program Investment Committee, which will oversee plan investment options in alignment with the investment policy statement.

In the executive session, various topics were discussed including the confirmation of honorary degrees for 2024, endorsement of the University’s wellness policy, approval of the 2024 Commencement speaker list, and updates on personnel and legal matters.

The next UVI Board of Trustees meeting is scheduled for Saturday, March 9, 2023.

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