UVa Remaining a Public University Despite Talks of Privatization

September 12, 2013

The University of Virginia recently brought up the idea of cutting ties to the state. Talks of becoming a private university are also floating around, but UVa officials say that will not happen.

UVa is one of the most prestigious public schools in the nation, with a rich history of being an institution for all students. Talks of becoming a private university have floated around UVa’s grounds for years.

A recent work session discussed what changes were needed so that the university would not have to go down that route.

“The strategic plan is designed to try to identify areas where UVa can really differentiate itself from our peers in competition,” says McGregor McCance, spokesman for UVa.

McCance explained that members of the work session were given a question: "What does it mean to be a public university in the 21st century?"

The public work session really reaffirms our commitment to being a public university,” says McCance. “It reaffirms that we are here to serve the students and the residents of the commonwealth and the nation and it reaffirms that we are not interested in trying to redefine the relationship that UVa currently has with the state.”

Senator Creigh Deeds believes that UVa should remain a public institution and that when times get tough state funding tends to be cut from education.

“We should try to figure out how to fix state funding,” says Senator Deeds. “We need to focus on how to increase the funding stream for higher education.”

“This is a place where people across Virginia can come and receive a quality education and that can be affordable for middle class Virginians and those that aren't middle class,” says Delegate Rob Bell.

The work session in April led to new public university principles that be looked over by the Board of Visitors in November. Some of the changes include a larger focus on research as well as a new approach to student advising. They are also working on a five year plan to help bring in more Va. students.

“There are a number of other changes that the university has set forth to try to help us move forward and be as strong as we can be in the future years,” says McCance.

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