Former University of Virginia Rector Helen Dragas Accuses The University Of Virginia Of Creating '$2.3 billion slush fund'


Former Rector of University of Virginia, and a real estate developer Helen Dragas accused UVA of maintaining "a $2.3 billion slush fund" for pet projects, in which money according to her, it should have been used to reduce tuition.

 Dragas, who  worked for eight years in the university on the UVA board of visitors, resigned on June 30. Since she is one of the Washington Post contributors, she used her column to take a farewell shot to the university's administration. 

In her column, which was published online on Wednesday, July 6, the former rector compared the frustration over the U.S. student debt  "to those vented across the Atlantic in the recent Brexit vote."   

Dragas said in her column, in June, the board found out that surpluses and earnings has been hidden. She said the administration is "hoarding" the funds, and she cited a recent proposal for "a $50 million program for self-care training, which includes journaling, meditation and yoga for nursing students." 

For upcoming academic year, UVAs tuition has increased by 1.5%, however, Dragas claimed that since 2009, the university has raised in-state tuition by 74 percent. In an email, she clarified that her percentage comparison is based on tuition alone, excluding the mandatory fees. 

UVA spokesman Anthony P. de Bruyn  released a statement in response to Dragas accusation, however, the statement did not directly address to the former rector. de Bruyn said on Thursday, June 7,  the university's innovative Affordable Excellence model assures that U.Va. education will remain affordable to all Virginians, Richmond reported.

The spokesman added to his statement that the funds for the Cornerstone Plan allows strategic investments in UVA faculty, academic programs, research infrastructure, clinical enterprise, and physical space needs. These investments will continue to benefit future generations of students. 

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