By Justice Miller
Virginia Union hosted the State Council for Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) on campus May 15-16, as the group met across two days to consider recent initiatives, proposals, and other academic business.
The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) is the Commonwealth of Virginia's coordinating agency for higher education. SCHEV makes higher education public policy recommendations to the governor and General Assembly. As an entity of the Commonwealth of Virginia government, SCHEV meets six times a year to serve the public interest and assist the state's higher education system. ( Virginia State Council of Higher Education, VA).
The delegation visited the University's campus and had various sessions for the Council's Academic Affairs, Resources, and Planning committees in the Claude G. Perkins Living and Learning Center. Topics included actions on a proposed degree program at a public institution and designated institutions' progress regarding performance standards.
Day one consisted of a discussion on evaluating duplicative proposed programs and the enrollment projection process. Dr. Allia Carter, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer greeted SCHEV and delivered a presentation on the goals of the University as a whole.
"VUU's mission is to ensure our students here can access education. We aim to build an educational-based pipeline that gets into a continuum starting with K-12 experience up to their doctoral degree," she said.
Carter took the Council through the University's strategy for attracting and retaining new students and projects, including collaborations with the city, other local groups, and VUU's National Research Institution. She then opened the floor for questions and introduced VUU President and CEO Dr. Hakim J. Lucas for a brief statement.
"My primary goal is to compel the students that come to VUU access to generational wealth. They understand it is more than just obtaining a degree or a piece of paper. It is about inspiring their and their children's lives so that they can reflect what is greatest in all of us."
After that, the Council received an update on the higher education budget from the 2023 General Assembly, evaluated Pell Initiative ideas, and discussed the 2023 Six-Year Plan process.
The full Council convened its meeting at 9:00 am on May 16, and Dr. Lucas presented remarks.
"Today, I have the great privilege not just to welcome you to VUU but to borrow your mind and spirit as we take you on a journey back to our origin story," he shared. " History is a lesson to us of the richness of place; history is the gift of the struggles and trials of the people who led before, not to be dismissed. But, when it comes to our institutions, as HBCUs of the 103 that remain, our origin stories bind us," Lucas added.
Dr. Raymond Pierre Hylton followed with a presentation on the history of VUU. Hylton moved to Richmond and fell in love with the Black tradition. He taught history at VUU and authored several books about the University, including VUU Campus History, Richmond's First African Baptist Church, and The Richmond 34 and the Civil Rights Movement.
After his presentation, the meeting concluded with the Council discussing priority objectives for the Commonwealth's higher education strategic plan, Pathways to Opportunity. Cardinal Education (previously the Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program) also briefed the Council on their program.