UVA Wise is laying the groundwork for its path forward in the new higher education landscape, Chancellor Donna P. Henry said at the State of the College address Friday as faculty and staff prepare to welcome students back to campus for the spring semester.

During the address, Chancellor Henry highlighted achievements that occurred during the College’s last strategic plan, Envisioning 2020.

“I think we as an institution have done an extraordinary job following through on our stated commitments and adjusting as needed,” Henry said.

Since E2020, UVA Wise invested in curricular foundations and sought national program accreditations. The College is now accredited in Chemistry, Music and Education. The College also maintained accreditation in Software Engineering, Computer Science and Nursing.

“In E2020, we said we would accelerate experiential learning opportunities, and we have done just that,” she said. “We have built an entire culture around experiential learning in undergraduate research, study abroad and internships and the College is a national stand-out for the unique opportunities and preparation that are available for our socioeconomically diverse student body.”

Other successes include faculty recruitment, moving to NCAA Division II, growing the College’s endowment from $47.8 million to $107 million, and maintaining affordable tuition and fees.

National rankings in affordability and accessibility are a particular source of pride for our institution. “We were founded on the principle of access. And in 65 years, we still hold true to this principle. Our new program Within Reach eliminates college tuition and fees for qualified students whose families earn $40,000 or less,” Henry said. “Well before this program, we were recognized for graduating students with low debt.”

The College will build on these achievements and will initiate a new strategic plan this spring. UVA has issued its strategic plan, “A Great and Good University – the 2030 Plan” which will serve as a reference point for the College’s process.

Henry plans to ask employees to volunteer to serve on the UVA Wise Strategic Plan Task Force.
“More than anyone, the foremost experts on UVA Wise are the faculty and staff who spend time on this campus day after day and year after year. Your input, perspectives and desires for the College are extremely valuable,” she said.

Chancellor Henry closed the State of the College by addressing questions on student success, graduate education, legislative updates and enrollment.