College Profile: University of Mary Washington

Nina Mikhalevsky is the university’s new provost.

serve a different need than the main cam- pus, Paino says. They offer post-graduate programs to people in the middle of their working lives. The programs also are essential to UMW’s value in the regional economy. The presence of major military installations in the area means there are thousands of military personnel and defense-contractor employees looking to advance their careers.

‘Entrepreneurial enterprises’ With its three campuses, the univer-

UMW community — students, faculty and staff. So far, about 2,000 domains have been created. The service is free to students during the time they’re enrolled. When used as intended, domains can serve as students’ digital presence no matter their career paths. “When students graduate, they can take that domain name with them. It’s their work,” McClurken says. The DoOO project is a creation of

the Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies, which works out of the Hurley Convergence Center, an “aca- demic commons” building that opened in 2014. It is named for Richard V. Hurley, UMW’s previous president who retired last year after 16 years at the school serving in several senior administrative positions. He was UMW’s president for six years. The convergence center is at the

heart of an effort to mesh traditional liberal arts and the fast-changing digital environment. Squeezed into the hillier west end of the campus, the building has 77,000 square feet of space devoted to technology. It has, for example, an advanced media productions studio, a multimedia editing lab and the Digital Knowledge Center, where students can get peer tutoring for class projects or personal pursuits. “Part of what we’re trying to do is

develop what I think of as a curriculum and a digital fluency,” McClurken says. That curricula will be integrated into the first-year seminars that new students

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attend. Faculty members also are being trained to integrate digital skills in their courses. The Hurley center has five “instructional technologists” who work with faculty, McClurken says. Two years ago the university created

a new major, communication and digital studies. “It’s absolutely the fastest-growing” major at UMW, with 100 to 120 students pursuing that course of study. The major includes a lot of areas of study, but in gen- eral it concerns “developing a mindset on how we analyze and present information in the digital age,” McClurken says.

New administrators With a new president, the university

also has a number of new faces. In July, Nina Mikhalevsky became its new provost, the chief academic officer. She holds a tenured position as a philosophy professor at UMW. Starting this fall, Kimberly Young will be the new director of Continuing and Professional Studies. She headed executive education and executive MBA programs at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Young’s work at UMW’s campus in

Stafford County is part of Paino’s effort to expand the university’s footprint in the region’s business community. At the Dahlgren campus, the Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program offers online and video-interactive teleconfer- ence courses in 12 disciplines. The cam- pus also offers undergraduate classes. These satellite campus programs

sity already has a sizeable footprint in the region, and Paino says that will grow in the coming years. The University of Mary Washington Foundation has assets under management of nearly $200 million, mostly in “entrepreneurial enterprises,” says Jeff Rountree, the foundation’s CEO. The foundation’s investments are

intended to produce “substantial revenue” for the university’s operations, Rountree says. “We’re talking about millions of dol- lars in annual revenue, once we get some of our major debt packages paid down over the next 15 to 20 years.” The foundation owns and operates

11 real estate companies. In 2007, for example, it bought a shopping center next to the campus, along with a pair of adjacent properties, and created Eagle Village, a 23-acre, mixed-used project that includes a Hyatt Place hotel, office space and apartments. In 2002 the foundation bought a

six-acre property directly across the street from the main campus. Its 125 garden- style apartments currently house 350 students. Paino says the school is working on plans to tear down those apartments and build residential space for students along with some mixed-use development. The property is on William Street in downtown Fredericksburg, which is a main corridor for the city. Paino says a real estate project like

that can be good for the city and the school, in terms of revenue. “We have over the past 15 years gotten less and less state support” and that trend will continue, he says. That financial pressure is turning schools like UMW into real estate devel- opers, he says. “I think the schools that can do this and do it successfully are the ones that are going to thrive in the 21st century.”

Photo by Mark Rhodes

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