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General Assembly Budget Update

William & Mary President Katherine A. Rowe sent the following message to the campus community Feb. 28, 2019. - Ed.

Dear William & Mary community,

Last weekend, the General Assembly voted to amend the Commonwealth’s 2018/2020 biennial budget. Overall, this budget is very positive for William & Mary and for public higher education in the Commonwealth. The budget reflects steady advocacy for higher education from the VA business community and many legislators.

Thanks to our colleagues in Finance & Administration and Strategic Initiatives & Public Affairs, who have prepared the short summary below, I write to share the headlines. As per their usual process, the General Assembly will reconvene in April to consider any amendments or vetoes the Governor makes. I will report back to campus with any updates or changes.

Best regards,


Katherine A. Rowe


Employee Salaries:

  • Beginning with the first paycheck in July, state employees, including all W&M staff (operational, classified, professional and hourly), will receive a base salary increase of 2.75%, and university faculty statewide will receive a 3% base salary increase.
  • For classified state employees only, an additional merit pool averaging 2.25% of base salary will be available for those with 3+ years of continuous state service.

Funding for Education and Research:

  • William & Mary received $570,000 in funding and three full-time faculty positions to support the newly approved data science major.
  • VIMS received almost $900,000 to support three priority programs: the Bay Grasses Survey Program, the Chincoteague Inlet Study and Commonwealth Coastal Research fellows.

Tech Talent Pipeline:

  • Recognizing the role of higher education in the Commonwealth to attract and retain exceptional talent, the General Assembly set aside $16.6M for the Tech Talent Pipeline operating pool and another $11M in a capital pool.
  • The legislature will also provide $500,000 for student internships.
  • These funds will be sought by institutions throughout Virginia. While we are still learning how they will be administered, William & Mary will be competitive in pursuing these opportunities.


  • The state will increase in-state, need-based student financial aid by almost $390,000 to help with accessibility.
  • The legislature also approved $1.45M for William & Mary if the university is able to maintain in-state, undergraduate tuition at current levels for next year.

Capital Projects:

  • Funding for furnishing and equipment for the fine and performing arts building will be available when the building comes on line. (Phase I of this project, the new music building, and Phase II, the PBK Hall renovation and addition, are both underway.)
  • VIMS received $19.8M in funding for the construction of the Acuff Center for Aquaculture.