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UVI Board of Trustees Approves Sexual Misconduct Policy

The University of the Virgin Islands Board of Trustees approved a new sexual misconduct policy for the university at its quarterly meeting on Saturday. The policy was last updated in 2011, UVI officials said in a statement about the meeting.

The new policy encompasses a broader scope of issues regarding sexual misconduct to meet national standards. It puts the burden of consent on the alleged perpetrator, rather than the victim, according to UVI.

UVI President David Hall thanked Sen. Sammuel Sanes at Saturday’s meeting, for allowing the university to complete the revision of its policy. UVI had already begun to draft a new sexual misconduct policy when Sanes contacted the university to discuss it and similar legislation the senator was drafting.

Hall said the new policy represents “a wonderful example of a collaborative effort to move the university and the territory forward” and he thanked Sanes for his support and for creating a model for “how the Legislature and the university can work closely together."

To drive home the new policy, UVI will launch an awareness campaign in the fall of 2015.

The board reelected Henry Smock as chairman and Alexander Moorhead vice chairman. It also approved a tuition and fee payment policy, which will become effective in fall 2015.

This policy requires students to pay tuition and fees before classes start or to select and meet the terms of several pre-set payment plans.

Previously students were allowed to take classes and had until the census date, which is six weeks into the semester, to pay for classes. The problem that the previous system created is that it allowed students to stay in class for six weeks, if not longer, and take up space that other paying students could have utilized to take the class, Hall said.

According to UVI, the policy offers several tuition and fees payment options.

Students can pay tuition and fees:
– in full for the academic year in August, with a 2 percent discount;
– in two installments, with the first due prior to the student entering classes in August and the second due prior to entering classes in January. Students paying pursuant to this option will receive no discount;
– in four installments prior to students completing enrollment and entering classes in August. The other installments, due in October, January and March, include a 2 percent interest rate;
– in five installments, with the first installment of 20 percent due prior to the student entering classes in August. The remaining 80 percent is due in four equal installments on dates in October, December, February and April. There is an interest rate of 3 percent charged on the last four installments.

Students who do not conform to one of the four options will be regarded as not enrolled and not allowed to attend classes, live on campus or use student services, according to the university.

The board also voted in favor of extending the deadline of the university’s strategic plan for one year. This extension will allow UVI to synchronize its Middle States Commission on Higher Education reaccreditation efforts and its efforts to create a new strategic plan. The extra time will let feedback from the self-study required during the accreditation process be used for the strategic plan.

While in executive session, the board granted tenure to associate professor of management Glenn Metts, associate professor of English Rosalyn Rossignol and visiting associate professor of education Nancy Morgan. The board also granted professor emeritus status to Gilbert Sprauve, former UVI professor of modern languages.

In executive session, the board received a report and update on the university’s school of medicine, an update on legal issues and personnel matters, approved 14 recommendations made by Hall on the UVI Next Program report, and a memorandum of understanding with Northeast Maritime Institute.

The next UVI Board of Trustees meeting is scheduled for Oct. 24 on the Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix.

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