Youngkin announces $90 million in funding to launch “Virginia Research Triangle”

Governor Glenn Youngkin announced that Virginia will invest $90 million to launch the “Virginia Research Triangle.”

The one time funding will be split between the University of Virginia’s Manning Institute for Biotechnology, Virginia Tech’s Fralin Biomedical Research Institute, and Virginia Commonwealth University’s Medicines for All Institute.

The colleges will work together through the Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority to collaborate on commercialization and startup support.

The Authority will bring the colleges together to sign a memorandum of understanding between the parties.

Once this is completed, the funds will be dispersed with $50 million to UVA, $27 million to VT, and $13 million for VCU.

Governor Youngkin said, “Through this state commitment and private philanthropy, we are building Virginia’s research triangle and network, supporting our higher education institutions’ research endeavors, and expanding Virginia’s university research capacity that will enhance life-saving research development for generations to come.”

To view the full announcement, click here.

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JMU ranked in “Best Colleges for Future Leaders”

James Madison University was named to TIME magazine’s “Best Colleges for Future Leaders” rankings.

TIME and Statista analyzed the resumes of 2,000 leaders in the U.S. including politicians, CEOs, and Nobel prize winners across multiple sectors to determine the list.

The top 100 schools also included Ivy League members with top law and business programs, large research and state flagship universities.

UVA and William and Mary also represented the Commonwealth in the rankings.

JMU President Jonathan Alger said, “A hallmark at JMU has always been our keen focus on measurable student outcomes. The fact that this new ranking found JMU alumni to be among the nation’s top leaders across sectors provides solid evidence that our focus on results is paying dividends for our graduates and for society.”

To view TIME’s full rankings, click here.

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Virginia colleges reevaluate legacy admissions

Following the recent Supreme Court decision on affirmative action, colleges and universities in Virginia are reevaluating their policies on legacy admissions.

Virginia Tech became the second public institution in the country to announce they will no longer consider relationships to alumni as a deciding factor.

The University of Virginia is adjusting their application to allow prospective students the opportunity to write about their personal or historic connection to the school instead of simply checking a box regarding their relation to alumni.

Some institutions, like VCU, never took legacy into consideration.

Attorney General Jason Miyares recently pleaded to all state colleges to do away with legacy admissions, urging them to focus on the individual and their experiences.

Colorado became first state to ban legacy admissions at public universities in May of 2021.

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Nanotechnology company expands in Charlottesville

Governor Glenn Youngkin announced today that Laser Thermal will invest $2.9 million to expand in Charlottesville.

The Virginia-founded nanotechnology company aids manufacturers of semiconductors and other small electronics to innovate their product portfolio and improve quality control.

28 new jobs will be created by increasing the manufacturing, research and development at the facility.

The need for growth has come following the development of an innovative thermal metrology process and equipment that delivers thermal measurements quickly, reliably, and accurately at the nanoscale.

Governor Youngkin said, “Laser Thermal’s decision to expand its research and development generated from our world class universities like the University of Virginia and the innovation and talent they produce. The company’s success also showcases Virginia’s ongoing technology sector growth and we look forward to a continued partnership.” 

The announcement follows Governor Youngkin and Senator Mark Warner’s appearance together last week in support of bringing semiconductor businesses to the Commonwealth.

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Youngkin asks colleges to flatten tuition

Ten Commonwealth colleges have answered Governor Glenn Youngkin’s request to flatten tuition costs this fall.

This effort attempts to help students, parents, and families impacted by inflation.

So far, Virginia Commonwealth University, James Madison University and a few others have frozen their rates.

Some schools like Virginia Tech and the College of William and Mary were not planning a tuition increase this fall.

The University of Virginia is the lone institution that refused the request citing a potential loss of $7.5 million to which Youngkin pointed out the school’s $2 billion budget.

Some schools are already planning to raise fees and cost of room and board next year.

Another plan includes a one time scholarship for in-state students to cover increases for next year while out-of-state and graduate students will pay an increased rate.

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University of Virginia cancels May graduation amid pandemic

By Associated Press | Published Mar. 5, 2021 6:25 a.m.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — The University of Virginia is forgoing in-person graduation exercises for both the class of 2021 and 2020 because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, officials said.

In a statement on the school’s website, officials said the school is consulting with the current senior class about either holding events in the spring that involve only graduating students, or postponing a ceremony and other events to a future date when families and friends can join students.

Under either scenario, the school said it will confer the degrees to the candidates in each school virtually and produce a virtual celebration for students, friends and families this May.

“I know this is not the way you expected to end your time at UVA, nor is it the way we would like to celebrate your accomplishments,” UVa President Jim Ryan said. “Still, I remain confident we will be able to celebrate and honor your class in a way that will be both meaningful and memorable.”

In a separate message, Ryan told the class of 2020 that because of ongoing challenges of safe travel and gathering due to the pandemic, that class won’t get a large ceremony or event. The pandemic forced the school to hand out degrees to that class last May in a virtual celebration with plans to hold final, in-person exercises this May.

Now, Ryan said the school has postponed in-person activities for the class of 2020 until the summer of 2022.

″“This event, which will combine elements of Final Exercises and an early reunion, will provide an opportunity to walk the Lawn for those who wish to do so, as well as a chance to reconnect with classmates, friends, and faculty in meaningful ways,” Ryan wrote.

(All contents © copyright 2021 Associated Press. All rights reserved)

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