In order to continue to focus on President Hurley’s goal of aspiring to be the best liberal arts and sciences university in the nation, UMW is embarking on an examination of its programs and current expenditures. This will help establish a roadmap for the future. We will be asking such questions as:
- Are we allocating our resources in the best possible manner?
- How might we do things better?
- In what areas can Mary Washington be recognized as truly distinctive?
- How might we further enhance our strengths?
- In an increasingly competitive environment, which new program proposals coming from our faculty might we support?
- Which of our existing programs might we want to expand?
The reality for state-supported institutions like Mary Washington is that state dollars are severely limited and no longer provide funds for meaningful growth in either size or programs. Currently, state appropriations constitute only 20 percent of our operating budget. In addition, all colleges and universities face increasing pressures to keep tuition costs to students and families as low as possible.
It is for this reason that such examinations are becoming commonplace in universities. At Mary Washington, we plan to conduct a broad-based consultative process involving many faculty members. It is imperative that decisions about our future are made with significant faculty involvement, and not imposed from the top down. Again, through this process, we will not only identify future priorities, but also strengthen our unique niche among Virginia’s public universities.
We will be assisted in this endeavor by an external consulting firm that has expertise in developing consultative faculty decision-making processes. The goal of the exercise is to study all academic and non-academic activities, and to conclude where we might want to invest or reallocate resources. With such a blueprint, making those decisions as we progress forward will be buttressed by widespread input from all constituencies.
The process, which will take several months, is funded by President Hurley’s Fund For the Future, which is supported by the UMW Foundation. As the study progresses, you will be hearing more about it.