Please click here for the SIF Guiding Principles.
UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA STRATEGIC INVESTMENT
- Types of Investments
- Review Process
- Review Guidelines
- Post Award Monitoring
- Annual Public Report
Purpose. The primary purpose of the University of Virginia Strategic Investment Fund (the “Investment Fund”) is to serve as a source of funding for initiatives that have the potential to transform a critical area of knowledge or operation. As the University embarks upon its third century, it is intended that the Investment Fund be utilized by the Board of Visitors (“BOV”) and the President of the University to position strategically the University as one of the world’s leading institutions of higher learning.
Types of Investments. Illustrative investments include, but are not limited to: (1) advancing the research capability of the University with a preference for multidisciplinary or multi-school initiatives, (2) transforming the University’s infrastructure, (3) access and affordability initiatives, and (4) enhancing the student experience. Should the University revise or replace the current strategic plan (Cornerstone Plan), deference shall be given in the awards process to the revised plan and to the President’s priorities as expressed therein.
Limitations. It is expressly intended that the Investment Fund proceeds not be used to supplement the ongoing operations of the University within the scope of the annual budgeting process. However, it is acknowledged that the Investment Fund consists of reserves originally set aside for debt service, Health System emergency working capital, building maintenance, and other potential operating and capital needs. It is the explicit intent of the Board that no funds be withdrawn and used for such reserve purposes or for any operational needs unless the Administration has exhausted all other practical avenues for payment of such operating and capital needs. Although reserve funds held within the Investment Fund will continue to be accounted for based upon their original sources, any intended use of the Investment Fund operating reserves should be presented in the annual budget process as an intended source of funds. Any unplanned use of reserves must be consistent with the University’s liquidity policy and shall be reported to the Rector and Vice Rector.
Administration. The Investment Fund will be administered by the following committees:
- Administrative Committee: A committee comprised of the Rector, the Vice Rector, the President, the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, the Executive Vice President and Provost, the Executive Vice President for Health Affairs, and 2 at-large members designated by the BOV, collectively, shall comprise the Strategic Investment Administrative Committee (“Administrative Committee”) to manage all aspects of the Investment Fund (except as provided herein) including, but not limited to,
- developing a process and schedule for soliciting proposals from the University community for Investment Fund grants;
- developing criteria for evaluating proposals seeking Investment Fund grants and for evaluating the success of an Investment Fund grant;
- developing reporting requirements for a proposal’s progress in meeting designated milestones to qualify for future grant allocations;
- selecting faculty and other advisors to evaluate and rank Investment Fund grant proposals seeking funding;
- making recommendations to the BOV for the awarding of Investment Fund grants; and
- otherwise taking such action (including the expenditure of monies solely for administrative purposes) as appropriate to carry out the intended purpose for the Investment Fund. The President shall serve as Chair of the Administrative Committee.
- Evaluation Committee: The Administrative Committee shall establish a Strategic Investment Evaluation Committee (“Evaluation Committee”) comprised of at least five (5) faculty members or advisors to evaluate proposals seeking Investment Fund grants. The Evaluation Committee members will serve limited terms, subject to renewal, and their terms will be staggered. The Evaluation Committee selects its own chair. No member of senior management of the University shall serve on the Evaluation Committee.
Members of the Evaluation Committee shall be selected from among the faculty by the President and appointed after consultation with the other members of the Administrative Committee. In the nomination of new members, the President shall consider the intellectual breadth of the Evaluation Committee, the demonstrated competence and judgment of the nominees, and their willingness to serve. The President shall seek nominations from the deans, the relevant vice presidents, and members of the Administrative Committee.
The Evaluation Committee shall have primary responsibility for evaluating all proposals for Investment Fund grants and shall provide its analysis and rankings of the proposals (with appropriate classifications and written explanations of the basis for the rankings) to the Administrative Committee. The Evaluation Committee shall be compensated on a basis determined by the Administrative Committee and shall be provided appropriate staffing and resources to carry out its responsibilities.
The Administrative Committee may, from time to time, require the Evaluation Committee to amend its evaluation processes and procedures. For example, the Administrative Committee may require that applications be acted upon on a different timetable, that the application process be streamlined or modified, or that the details or analysis in the Evaluation Committee’s report be revised.
- Student Advisory Committee: The President of Student Council shall work with the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs to appoint a Student Advisory Committee (“Student Committee”), with members that represent both undergraduate and graduate students who hold leadership positions as well as represent the student body at large. The Student Member of the Board of Visitors and the President of Student Council shall chair the Student Committee. The members shall serve terms of one year. The Student Committee, in coordination with the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, may provide guidance to students wishing to develop a proposal in order to facilitate the submission of strong proposals. The Student Committee may also provide input to the Evaluation Committee for proposals related to the student experience.
Funding. The funds for the Investment Fund shall be designated in a fund or funds managed by the University of Virginia Investment Management Company (“UVIMCO”). Such funds shall be managed by UVIMCO in the same way as other University endowment funds.
Eligibility. Any faculty, student or staff member of the University community, which includes the Academic Division, the Medical Center and UVa-Wise, is welcome to develop ideas that could form the basis for a proposal for consideration for an Investment Fund grant. Any such University community member shall work in concert with the appropriate dean, vice president or other executive leader. Any such proposal for an Investment Fund grant shall be submitted by a dean, vice president, or other executive leader to the Evaluation Committee for consideration and ranking in accordance with a schedule and process developed by such committee. Investment Fund awards will not be made to University-related foundations or to any other entities that are not part of the state agencies that comprise UVA. If the Investment Fund awards a sum of money intended to provide “challenge grants” to attract philanthropy, both such Investment Fund grants and the philanthropy raised must be held in the Rector & Visitors of the University of Virginia endowment.
Review Process. As part of its evaluation, the Evaluation Committee may meet with proposal sponsors to gather additional information and offer refinements and improvements. The Evaluation Committee shall provide to the Administrative Committee written evaluations of proposals recommended for consideration, which may include amendments designed to enhance a proposal’s viability. In the course of considering the analysis of the Evaluation Committee, the Administrative Committee may also meet with the sponsor of any proposal and may suggest amendments to enhance such proposal or provide a basis for evaluating the proposal during its funding. The Administrative Committee may also consider input from the Student Committee for proposals related to the student experience. Upon completion of the analysis of the Evaluation Committee and the Administrative Committee, the Administrative Committee shall make recommendations to the BOV. All projects must be approved by the BOV to receive Investment Fund grants.
Review Guidelines. The following guidelines shall be used during review of Investment Fund proposals:
- Investment Fund grants for specific schools are expected to align with the strategic priorities of that school. As such, these commitments will be considered as part of the funding committed in the dean’s contract and/or startup package.
- The Investment Fund is not intended to replace the normal budget process or traditional methods for financing capital projects. For projects that involve long-term capital commitments, Investment Funds may be awarded to cover the initial three years of debt service while other sources of capital, such as philanthropy, are being secured.
- Larger scale projects should minimize execution risk when possible through a phased or incremental approach. This could take the form of pilots, feasibility studies, and the like. Once success is demonstrated, the requester may apply for consequent funding.
- Schools and units are encouraged to collaborate and, where possible, identify areas of synergy that will yield incremental returns or efficiencies.
- Proposals should strive to leverage external funds (philanthropy, federal grants, etc.) and internal school/departmental funds. Where grant request is for matching funds, the ideal match will be 2:1 ($2 from other sources for every $1 Investment Fund grant).
Awards. The BOV shall award Investment Fund grants after considering the recommendations of the Administrative Committee and the analysis of the Evaluation Committee. The BOV may make awards constituting all or only a portion of the funds available for Investment Fund grants in any given year. Such awards may be for one or more years in duration not to exceed three (3) years unless there is a compelling business reason for a longer duration. For those projects that will continue beyond three years, there must be a plan for sustainable funding after Investment Fund grants are expended. All projects must align with the University’s Cornerstone Plan, Health System Strategic Plan, or UVA-Wise Strategic Plan.
Approved proposals will contain metrics for measuring the success of the project, and all proposers must expect to provide periodic progress reports. For multiyear projects, funding in years two and three will be contingent upon satisfactory progress.
The amount of funds available from the Investment Fund for Investment Fund grants in any given award period shall be determined by the BOV on a preliminary basis at the commencement of the solicitation process for grant proposals and may be increased by the BOV in the event the grant proposals warrant additional funds in any given award period.
Post Award Monitoring. The University’s Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer shall establish a Post-award Assessment Committee (“PAC”) to support the Administrative Committee in evaluating the success and progress of Investment Fund projects. The PAC will engage with projects and project owners once their projects have been approved by the BOV. The PAC is comprised of members appointed by the Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer. The PAC members will serve three-year terms that may be extended or staggered in the interest of the committee. The PAC will utilize the expertise of its members and, as needed, call upon subject matter experts in assessing projects.
The PAC develops criteria for evaluating the progress of Investment Fund projects, provides feedback and guidance to projects to improve their chances of success, and reports project progress to the Administrative Committee on an annual basis. The PAC will monitor the progress of Investment Fund grants, evaluate and make recommendations related to future grant allocations and provide feedback to support decision making with regard to future funding. From time to time the PAC may share feedback, based upon data derived from its work, with the Evaluation Committee for the purpose of improving the granting process.
The PAC will use a risk-based approach to assess projects. Project progress will be assessed based upon certain risk factors with each category of projects receiving a different level of assessment. Risk factors may include, but are not limited to, resources committed, milestone achievement, engagement of key personnel, and alignment with the Investment Fund mission.
The process is intended to provide an early warning system in the event a proposal is not going to achieve its expected outcomes in the timelines suggested, and allows the PAC to focus its efforts on interacting with the teams in greatest need of support.
Projects achieving their milestones are not expected to require active involvement or remediation efforts by the Administrative Committee. Projects deemed to be at risk may require more thorough assessments and meetings with the Administrative Committee, which will allow the Administrative Committee to consider progress to date and determine whether continued funding is warranted. The PAC Charter can be found in Appendix A to these Guiding Principles.
Annual Public Report. In order to provide ongoing external visibility into the Investment Fund’s strategic and financial progress, the Chief Operating Officer will produce an annual public report which will contain two important sections.
The first section is intended to provide highlights on the progress of selected projects. The second section is intended to provide annual reporting on the Investment Fund's financial position, to include: carry forward of Investment Fund balance from prior year end (to include details of any operating reserves used), Investment Fund earnings for the full fiscal year, and administrative expenses. This analysis shall be coupled with a schedule of approved Investment Fund commitments over future years.
Amendment. Amendments to these guiding principles (“Guiding Principles”) for the Investment Fund shall be effected by a majority vote of the members of the BOV assuming a quorum is present. It is understood that management and operation of the Investment Fund will evolve as experience will inform and refine the process.
The Administrative Committee shall advise the Executive Committee of the BOV on an annual basis of any changes to the Guiding Principles deemed necessary or appropriate.
Such amendments and the process developed by the Administrative Committee for soliciting grant proposals as well as the criteria utilized to evaluate the grant proposals shall upon approval by the BOV become part of the Guiding Principles of the Investment Fund (with the process and criteria being appended to these Guiding Principles) and shall be communicated to the University community to ensure awareness of the potential for Investment Fund grants, and to promote interest in seeking such grants.
Post-Award Assessment Committee Charter
Name: Post-award Assessment Committee (“PAC”)
The University’s Rector and Chief Operating Officer commissioned the PAC to assess the progress of investments made under the University’s Strategic Investment Fund (“SIF”). The University intends to make significant investments in the areas of research, infrastructure, access and affordability, and the student experience and the PAC plays a key role in assuring the success of these investments. The PAC reviews and assesses the progress of SIF investments to help assure that the University is realizing the benefits envisioned under the SIF program. The PAC reports on that progress to the SIF Administrative Committee.
The primary role of the PAC is to enable the success of SIF-funded projects and oversee the value derived from SIF investments. The PAC’s focus is to support the overarching goal of the SIF program
to strategically position the University as one of the world’s leading institutions of higher education.
Scope and Objectives:
The PAC functions to support the SIF Administrative Committee in evaluating the success and progress of SIF projects. The PAC will engage with projects and project owners once their projects have been approved by the BOV.
The PAC shall assess the progress and success of projects while they are receiving SIF funding. The PAC may provide guidance once the SIF funding period for any project is completed. This guidance may be to support continued success of a project or be in conjunction with any success-based extension. From time to time, the PAC will share feedback, based upon data derived from its work, with the SIF Evaluation Committee for the purpose of improving the SIF granting process.
The process is intended to provide an early warning system in the event a proposal appears it may not achieve its expected outcomes in the timelines suggested, and allow the PAC focus its efforts on interacting with the teams in greatest need of support.
The PAC has developed criteria for evaluating the progress of SIF projects. At least annually the PAC will report proposal progress to the SIF Administrative Committee. The PAC will measure the progress of Investment Fund grants, evaluate, and make recommendations to the SIF Administrative Committee related to future grant allocations to improve decision making with regard to future funding.
The PAC will use a risk-based approach to assess projects. Risk factors may include, but are not limited to, resources committed, funding category (e.g., research, student experience), milestone achievement, key personnel, and alignment with the SIF mission.
Each SIF Project owner will submit a periodic progress report to the PAC. The PAC shall provide project reporting information, progress evaluations, and future grant allocation recommendations.
Members are appointed by the SIF Administrative Committee or its designee(s). Inaugural members are:
Jim Matteo (Chair) – Office of the Treasurer
Urmila Bajaj – Office of Sponsored Programs
Jeff Keller – Medical Center
Archie Holmes – Office of the EVP & Provost
Pace Lochte – Office of Strategic Initiatives
Melur Ramasubramanian – Office of the VP for Research
Michael Straightiff – Licensing & Ventures Group
Patrick Tolan – Curry School of Education
Term of Service: The PAC members will serve three-year terms that may be extended or staggered as deemed to be in the best interests of the PAC.
Charter Review: This charter should be reviewed and if necessary updated annually to assure that the PAC is properly organized to facilitate the SIF Post-award Process.