Primary Resource

University of Virginia Board of Visitors Minutes (July 5–6, 1865)

At its meeting of July 5–6, 1865, the University of Virginia board of visitors discusses a number of issues related to the administration of the university following the end of the American Civil War (1861–1865).

Transcription from Original

University of Virginia  July 5th 1865

A Commission was issued on the 12th day of June 1865 by Governor Pierpoint appointing a new Board of Visitors consisting of the following gentlemen viz—

Alexander Rives of Albemarle

Jno: R. Woods of Albemarle

Marmaduke Johnson Richmond City
R. W. Hughes Abingdon
T. J. Pretlow Southampton
Chas. L Mosby Lynchburg
I. H. Lewis Rockingham
Thos. C. Tabb Norfolk
B. J. Barbour Orange

Under a call from the Chairman of the Faculty the Board assembled today—Present Messrs Rives, Woods, Johnson, Pretlow, and Barbour.

On motion of Mr. Johnson, Alex Rives was chosen Rector and B. J. Barbour appointed President pro: tem: & requested to act as Secretary pro: tem:

Reports were received from the Chairman of the Faculty the Proctor & Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds and placed on file for reference and future consideration.

Messrs Pretlow and Woods were appointed a Committee on Finance, and Messrs Johnson and Barbour on Inspection of Buildings and Grounds—

Ordered That for the present it is not deemed advisable to place any restrictions on the amount of Fees to be received by the Professors and the Maximum of Compensation is therefore abolished.

Resolved That the existing arrangement which reduces the Schools of Law and An: Languages to one Professor each be continued with the condition that in the School of An: Languages if a Student takes both tickets at the same session he shall only pay $15 for each.

Resolved that the Chair of Mathematics is deemed and hereby declared vacant in consequence of the protracted absence of Professor A. T. Bledsoe from the country without formal and proper leave.

Resolved that a Committee of three be appointed to memorialize the Legislature on the subject of the annual appropriation of $15000—Messrs Mosby, Johnson and Barbour—Committee.

Resolved That the Chairman of the Faculty be instructed to have all buildings now occupied by persons not connected with the University vacated at the earliest possible moment—and Ordered that for the future no building of the University shall be occupied by persons not connected directly with the Institute.

Resolved That to prevent any misapprehension as to the Status of the present Professors it is hereby declared that Messrs Maupin, Schele De Vere, Smith, Holmes, McGuffeyGildersleeve, Minor, Howard, Cabell and Davis are hereby appointed and confirmed in their respective Professorships.

Adjourned until 9 o'clock tomorrow morning.

Alex Rives, Rector &c.

B. J. Barbour Secretary pro tem.

University of Virginia 

July 6th 1865

The Board of Visitors met pursuant to adjournment—

Present as yesterday—

Dr. Woods presented a Report from the Committee on Finance regretting the short time allowed prevented their forming any reliable opinions or useful suggestions—but urging in general that the University cannot avoid ruinous embarrassment without the zealous aid of its friends, the restoration of its Annuity, and severe retrenchment and economy in every branch of expenditures.

Mr. Johnson from Committee on Buildings reported that much of the roofing was in bad condition especially in Dawson's Row—that the Sky-Light of the Rotunda required immediate attention—as did the Pavilions, Mess Halls and Dormitories—The Report was received and the Executive Committee instructed to have necessary repairs made as promptly as practicable.

Ordered That the Executive Committee meet as often as practicable during the recess and that they are hereby clothed with full discretionary powers in all matters usually pertaining to their office—such as the letting of Hotels and contracts for Labor and fuel &c—their action to be subject to the decision of the Board.

A petition was received from Professor Gildersleeve asking that he might permanently occupy Prof. Bledsoe's Pavilion. Petition granted and Secretary instructed to notify Prof. Gildersleeve thereof—

Ordered that the Chairman of the Faculty be instructed to have the buildings of the University put in thorough order and that until further notice Students will be required to occupy rooms and to board within the precincts of the University unless in special cases for good cause to be determined by the Faculty.

Resolved That the Chairman of the Faculty be authorized to establish a Tariff of charges for room-rent (Dormitories) at an average of $15 to each student and that the Fee for Matriculation, use of Library and Publick-Rooms be $25 instead of $20 as heretofore.

Resolved That the Faculty be authorized to employ a Secretary at $50 per annum—a Janitor at the rate of not exceeding $200 per annum, and a Librarian at a cost not exceeding $150 per annum a part of whose duty shall be to continue and if possible complete, the Catalogue commenced by the former Librarian—and a Demonstrator of Anatomy with a fee of $10 from each Student—

Ordered That a Dormitory or some room in an unoccupied Hotel be set aside for a Post-office.

Ordered That the Executive Committee be instructed to employ a Secretary for the Board of Visitors with proper compensation.

The Board then proceeded to a careful consideration of the reforms and retrenchments proposed by the Faculty, and in conclusion adopted the following resolution.

Resolved that for ecomomical reasons the salary of the Chairman of the Faculty is reduced to $200 and the Offices of Proctor, Superintendent of Public Buildings and Grounds, and Auditor of Accounts, are suspended for the present, and these duties are imposed on the Chairman with the gratuitous aid of such members of the Faculty as he may call to his assistance and with permission to employ help from time to time if rendered necessary either by increase of Students or unavoidable circumstances.

Ordered That hereafter a Student shall pay for the usual Diploma or Certificate of Proficiency $5 and for each additiona[l] one at the same session $2.50 for Diplomas of Medicine, L.B. and A. B., $15 and for A.M. $20.

Resolved That in consequence of insufficient notice the election of a Professor of Mathematics be postponed until Wednesday the 16th day of August at which time a full meeting of the Board is earnestly requested and that the Chairman of the Faculty be instructed to advertize these facts, and invite applications for said Professorships.

A letter was received from Mr. Maupin desiring to be relieved from the duties of Char of the Faculty but on motion it was Ordered That the Secretary be instructed to inform Mr. Maupin that in view of his great experience, and the present exigencies of the Institution the Board insists upon his retention of the position for another year.

The Secretary was also instructed to inform Messrs Prentis and Pratt that their respective Offices have been suspended for the present.

The Board subsequently modified their action in reference to the Proctor so as to delay final decision in the matter of his occupation of a house until their next meeting—If their first action is adhered to, the house now occupied by the Proctor will be turned over to the Professor of Mathematics.

The following Resolutions were offered by the Rector Mr. Alex: Rives and unanimously adopted—

Resolved That in consideration of the privations endured and the sacrifices incurred by the Faculty in remaining at their posts during the late War—Maintaining the University in operation during its whole continuance and thus keeping it in position for immediate usefulness on the return of Peace, the Board of Visitors cannot with[h]old their tribute of praise for this fidelity and constancy, in the part of the Professors, and the expression of their earnest hope that they will find their reward in the success and number of students of the next term.

2. That the Chairman through the medium of circulars and advertisements, reciting the past maintenance of the institution in spite of late adverse circumstances, and its thorough preparation at present with a full corps of Instructors to offer the same advantages of education as at any previous period of its most succes[s]ful career, solicite the aid and cooperation of its friends in filling its Halls, and thus restoring it to its former usefulness and prosperity.

Alex: Rives, Rector &c

B. J. Barbour, Secretary Pro: Tem: