BREAKING: Senators Petersen and Surovell Invoke Gilmore Rule At UVA

Democratic State Senators Chap Petersen and Scott Surovell have issued the following press statement regarding the $2.3 billion UVA Slush Fund, demanding a strict tuition freeze at the University of Virginia (the “Gilmore Rule”) until an appropriate investigation can be conducted.

The killer line?  Comes from Petersen himself:

“Let’s not hide this as a ‘personnel matter,'” Petersen said, “this goes to the fundamental purpose of the university.”

Ouch — and this officially makes the concern both deeply felt and intrinsically bi-partisan in Richmond.

Senators: Freeze Tuition at UVA Until We Can Figure Out What’s Going On

RICHMOND, Va. – Senators Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax City) and Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax) are calling for an immediate freeze in tuition at the University of Virginia (UVA) after disclosures that the university has accumulated a $2.3 billion operating surplus, now titled a “Strategic Investment Fund,” that is significantly larger than the Commonwealth’s own cash reserves.

Both senators agree the money, which the university admitted arises from its operating accounts, should be returned to Virginia students and families through lower tuition.

“It is incumbent upon the board [of visitors] to place a moratorium on tuition and fee increases, effective January 1, 2017, until such time it can determine a plan to appropriately reduce the unauthorized surplus in public funds,” the senators wrote in their letter to UVA Rector William H. Goodwin Jr.

“We need to, a minimum, freeze tuition until we can figure out what’s going on with this $2.3 billion dollars,” Senator Petersen said from his office in Fairfax City. “There is no reason to have a surplus of operating funds, at least of that size, unless you are systematically overcharging for services.”

“The most appropriate policy would be freezing or reducing tuition at all of the university’s schools including graduate programs until this reserve is reduced to a more appropriate level,” Senator Surovell stated in the letter.

The senators also stated that UVA should discuss the $2.3 billion surplus, and any changes to tuition or fees, in an open and public manner: “Let’s not hide this as a ‘personnel matter,'” Petersen said, “this goes to the fundamental purpose of the university.”

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  • Glad my daughter is going to Virginia Tech and Mrs. Bearing Drift and I graduated from ODU. Y’all at “Mr. Jefferson’s” university have issues.

  • CVLiberty

    Missouri’s model for tuition caps appears to a be a good model and should be considered…especially when schools are sitting on billions

    • MD Russ

      That is a remarkably stupid comment. It is like saying that income taxes should be capped when the Federal government is “sitting on” billions.

      • CVLiberty

        I said “especially” as an additive, did you even check Missouris model before commenting or did your false analogy just prove to be too tempting? With the federal government pumping money into the system, caps are going to be one of several essential aspects to major reform

        • MD Russ

          You didn’t learn a damned thing from Nixon’s wage and price controls, did you?

          Price caps do not reduce demand. Your idea of reform is essentially that of Bernie Sanders–a free lunch that nobody has to pay for.

          • CVLiberty

            Again, I said one of several aspects….reducing demand via student loan reform wouldn’t hurt, but that’s a federal rather than state issue. Sorry, but student loan issues and tuition concerns aren’t inherently socialist Bernie issues just because he got to them first…

          • MD Russ

            Oh, but they are. Free college is no different from free health care, free home lodging, free food, and free clothing. It is just a matter of degree. And someone has to pay.

          • CVLiberty

            No one advocated for free college here…

          • MD Russ

            First Bernie Sanders did and now Hillary is advocating for the same thing. “Student debt” is the newest liberal canard that is supplementing “equal pay.”

            If you don’t want to have student debt, then don’t borrow money to go to college. If you want equal pay, then don’t take a couple of years off from your career to have kids. That seems to be pretty simple to understand.

          • CVLiberty

            1) Just because Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton recognize an issue and provide an awful solution doesnt mean there isnt a problem
            2) Equal pay argument is irrelevant to this issue.

  • Turbocohen

    The nations modern best case business model for a university is found at Stanford.

    • MD Russ

      Really? Stanford’s endowment is $22.2B. It is about three times UVa’s endowment of $7.5B. And yet UVa accepts about one-third of all applicants compared to the 4.7% of applicants to Stanford, not including the children of the privileged like Chelsea Clinton. Meanwhile, tuition at Stanford is about $62,000 per year if you are an in-state student. UVa is about $15,000.

      Tell us again, Turbo, why Stanford is the best business case for a university? I had no idea that you were such an elitist.

    • CVLiberty

      Stanford is private so not really a fair comparison

      • Turbocohen

        Stanford is well run, UVA should run at least half as well.

  • Your latest attempt to make Jim Gilmore relevant again did not go unnoticed.

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