Additional financial aid, new buildings, cancer research funding and more – VCU News

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The Governor and General Assembly approved Virginia’s biennial budget for 2022-2024 as well as several Virginia Commonwealth University-related projects. Highlights include financial assistance, a new regional computer center and the construction of a $181 million building for the VCU School of the Arts.

While VCU will face a $14 million budget shortfall, it was still a historic year for the university in terms of state investment and funded projects.

“The biggest lesson from this session of the General Assembly is not so much the individual projects or even the historic level of funding we have received; it is the underlying policy that has guided these decisions – a policy that differentiates VCU from all other institutions based on our mission and the people we serve,” said Matthew Conrad, Vice President of Government Relations and for VCU and VCU Health System. “We serve Virginians overwhelmingly and more of those Virginians are eligible for Pell than many of our sister institutions combined. It is a sign of the partnership between VCU and the Commonwealth that they are funding projects that will impact so many Virginians, whether students, patients or community members, here and beyond our campuses.

Here are some highlights of what to look for at VCU over the next few years.

Financial aid and operating funding to support students

Virginia has funded a significant portion of VCU’s operating budget to support financial aid, with more than $16 million in total over the next two years for financial aid for undergraduate and graduate students, including including deferred action for students at the onset of childhood. VCU has offered $18,887 per year on average to full-time undergraduate students seeking aid in 2020-21. Central operating funds of just over $17.5 million per year cover many areas of the university’s operations, including the salaries of employees who support VCU students.

A new space for the arts and innovation

The construction of the next VCU School of the Arts Arts and Innovation Building, at the southeast corner of West Broad and North Belvidere Streets, will be the largest publicly funded investment project in the VCU story with $181 million in funding. The new building will unite VCU’s arts innovation programs under one roof and will include flexible classrooms, interdisciplinary performance venues and creative spaces for partnerships across the arts, business, humanities and sciences , medicine and engineering.

A future without cancer

The state has provided a $25 million investment to the VCU Massey Cancer Center, with the bulk of that funding going towards research, as the Massey Cancer Center seeks full cancer center designation from the Institute. Cancer National. Over the past year, Massey has won several grants to further study cancer-related health inequalities, as well as a number of other studies that may impact the lives of people with cancer. . This is the first time Massey’s funding has met or exceeded the long-standing goal of $20 million a year.

Advancing Racial Equity and Social Justice

The Social Equity Research Institute at VCU’s L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, an institute that helped distribute the COVID-19 vaccine fairly in Virginia, among other efforts, will receive $3 million. dollars over the course of two years to continue efforts to advance racial equity to inform public policy, governance, and practice to improve conditions for marginalized voices in society.

Virginia also approved additional funding to VCU for:

  • The Commonwealth Center for Cloud Computing, a regional center of VCU’s College of Engineering, plays a leading role in creating student training to meet critical workforce needs in computing. in cloud.
  • The RTR Residency, a teacher residency program in partnership with the VCU School of Education that recruits, trains and supports teachers in schools deemed to be of high need as they earn their graduate degrees.
  • A building to house a new data center and replacement of technology services equipment, as the state plans to demolish the building containing its existing IT infrastructure.
  • Equipment of the STEM building.
  • Maintenance needs.
  • The state’s share of a 5% salary increase for employees, including adjunct faculty, each year.
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