Virginia Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Cluster Gets $52.9 Million in Grants from Build Back Better Regional Challenge

Virginia’s advanced pharmaceutical manufacturing (APM) cluster will receive $52.9 million in grants as one of 21 winners in the federal Build Back Regional Challenge, according to the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA).

“After meeting with the Virginia Biotechnology Research Partnership and pushing the Department of Commerce to support this project, I am thrilled to see the Advanced Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Cluster Growth Hub named one of the American Rescue Plan Build Back Better Regional Challenge winners,” Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia) said in a September 2 press release. “This support will continue to strengthen the foundation and accelerate the growth of pharmaceutical manufacturing in the United States. As a proud supporter of the American Rescue plan, I am glad to see that Virginia continues to reap the benefits through job creation and economic growth.”

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VCU Falls Prey to Alleged Nigerian Email Scam

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) had $469,819.49 stolen in an alleged Nigerian email scam, according to a Department of Justice court document and an FBI Richmond press release that announced the extradition to the U.S. of three Nigerian nationals alleged to have participated in a multimillion-dollar fraud scheme that also targeted a North Carolina university, a Texas college, local Texas governments, and Texas construction companies.

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Youngkin Approval at 49 Percent, Majority Support Failed Gas Tax Suspension in VCU Poll

Governor Glenn Youngkin hit 49 percent job approval and 38 percent disapproval in a new poll from the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). The poll included questions focused on key budget policy debates, and reports 58 percent support a three-month gas tax suspension.

“The responses in the poll suggest what I have always stated: The people are always ahead of the leaders,” former Governor Doug Wilder said in a press release. “The grocery tax proposal is very receptive; gas tax suspension and/or stipend is greeted positively, which can be viewed as a direct response to rising inflation.”

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The University of Virginia Will Not Say If 4.7 Percent Tuition Increase Will Be Reversed

All but one public university in Virginia are taking steps to address students’ tuition burden after a call to action from the governor. 

Earlier this year, Glenn Youngkin requested that the commonwealth’s public universities reverse their planned tuition increases, citing inflation.

The University of Virginia (UVA) is the only public university not to announce a plan to reverse its tuition increase. NBC29 reports that UVA students will see a 4.7% tuition and fee increase, raising rates for first-year in-state students to $14,878 and $50,348 for out-of-state students. 

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Virginia Commonwealth University Will Raise Tuition in 2022-2023 Academic Year

As consumer prices and inflation soar, a public university in Virginia has decided to raise the cost of tuition before the next academic year. 

“The Virginia Commonwealth University Board of Visitors voted Friday to set tuition and fees for the 2022-23 academic year. Tuition will increase by 3%, the first tuition increase for undergraduate students since the 2018-19 academic year,” Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) said in a Friday statement. “The increase is necessary to cover VCU’s share of anticipated salary increases for faculty, staff and adjuncts; to increase student support; and to address the higher costs of maintenance and utilities.”

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Virginia Public Universities Rescind Vaccine Mandates Following Youngkin’s Order

Some of Virginia’s public universities have rescinded their vaccine mandates after Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) took office this week and signed a flurry of executive orders on his first day. 

One of those orders banned vaccine mandates by employers. 

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Polls: Virginia Gubernatorial Race Nearly Tied

New polls in Virginia’s elections continue to show a tight race. A poll of likely voters from Emerson College/Nexstar Media reports a tie, 48.1 percent for GOP gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin, and 47.9 percent for Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe. A poll of likely voters from USA Today/ Suffolk University found a near tie, with 45.60 percent for McAuliffe and 45.20 percent support for Youngkin. A poll of likely voters from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) found 41 percent support for McAuliffe, with 38 percent support for Youngkin.

Based on that, Real Clear Politics reports McAuliffe’s lead at an average 1.5 points.

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Former President Barack Obama Stumps for Gubernatorial Hopeful Terry McAuliffe in Richmond

Former President Barack Obama joined Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe in Virginia’s capital on Saturday. From the steps of a library in the center of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), McAuliffe, Obama, and other top Virginia Democrats reminded the young crowd of key Democratic victories, including expanded abortion access, felon voting rights restoration, Medicaid expansion, and legalizing gay marriage. Threatening that progress, they said, is GOP gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin.

McAuliffe said he would work for Virginians in a bipartisan way.

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Virginia Commonwealth University Threatens to Fire Unvaccinated Staff

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is ramping up its punishments for faculty, staff, and students who refuse to take the COVID-19 vaccine. 

According to one report, those faculty, staff and students will be removed from campus completely if they do not take the vaccine or submit to regular COVID-19 testing. The stricter policies come after VCU’s American Association of University Professors (AAUP) chapter wrote a letter to the school demanding that the administration take a stronger stance against the unvaccinated. 

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Virginia Gubernatorial Update: Youngkin Spends on More Down-Ballot Races, Competing Ads on Crime, Two New Polls Released

Glenn Youngkin is touting third wave of funding from his down-ballot-focused Virginia Wins PAC, which has supported 73 candidates and disbursed almost $250,000, according to a Youngkin press release. The funding has gone to candidates for General Assembly, local boards of supervisors, city councils, and Commonwealth’s attorney.

“With Virginia Wins, we will bring an entire crop of leaders to take back our Commonwealth and support conservative solutions so that when I’m governor we can deliver strong results for the people of Virginia,” Youngkin said in the release. “Republicans in my beloved home state have been overwhelmed by outside money from George Soros and others backing left-liberal candidates. So now we’re fighting back and investing in building our team for the long haul. Together, we can elect a wave of Republicans, bring common-sense values back to our school boards and city councils, and begin the work of making Virginia the best place in America to live, work, and raise a family.”

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Virginia Health System Mandates Vaccines for Employees

Virginia Commonwealth University sign to University Student Commons

Despite the fact that many healthcare workers Butnationwide have taken to the streets to protest vaccine mandates, the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Health System has mandated that all of its employees must take the vaccine. 

“All VCU and VCU Health System employees will be required to report COVID-19 vaccinations,” the university announced. “If you have already reported your vaccination, there is no action required on your part. If applicable, you may submit a request for a medical or religious exemption. Additional information is forthcoming from the university and health system about the medical and religious exemption process.”

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Virginia Politician Pushes for Reparations Through Scholarships to Public Universities

Democratic Virginia Delegate David Reid has introduced legislation, passed by the House of Delegates, which would require some public universities to provide reparations to ancestors of slaves who worked at the universities.

The legislation, ”Enslaved Ancestors College Access Scholarship and Memorial Program,” now awaits a vote in the state senate.

It would require a number of universities to provide reparations. Those universities include Longwood University, the University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Military Institute and the College of William and Mary.

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Richmond, VCU to Co-Host 2021 Atlantic 10 Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament Because of COVID-19

The 2021 Atlantic 10 Conference men’s basketball tournament is coming to the city of Richmond this year.

Normally viewed as crosstown rivals, the University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) will serve as co-hosts for the annual championship tournament in order to accommodate for safety precautions in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference announced in a news release on Thursday.

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New Research Shows Excess of Non-COVID Deaths Increased Over Course of Pandemic

New research from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) shows that excess, non-COVID-19 deaths increased over the course of the pandemic. The authors theorized that the pandemic caused “disruptions” that led to these deaths.

Non-COVID deaths accounted for over thirty percent of the overall excess deaths. The most significant non-COVID causes of death were heart disease, Alzheimer disease, and dementia. 

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Progressive Activist Running For RVA Mayor Wants Equity

Alexsis Rodgers is running for mayor to bring equity to Richmond’s impoverished and minority communities, but she said that doesn’t leave behind other parts of the city.

“We all thrive and we all succeed when more of us are able to have access to economic opportunity, when more of us are able to be healthy, and lead healthy lives,” Rodgers told The Virginia Star.

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VCU To Students: Zoom Time – No In Person Classes

As the fall semester begins to enter its final weeks, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) announced Thursday that the spring 2021 term will look very similar with most classes online and schoolwide health and safety protocols still enforced.

VCU president Michael Rao published an online message to students Thursday providing an update for the upcoming semester and highlighting some of the changes being made.

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Virginia Colleges Enrollment Plummets

Enrollment in Virginia’s public and private nonprofit colleges and universities for the fall semester declined by 1.3 percent or 6,658 students, according to early enrollment estimates from the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV) released Tuesday.

The data used by SCHEV is directly provided by 64 colleges and universities located in the Commonwealth, including some of the state’s most prestigious and largest schools such as William and Mary, Virginia Tech, University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University and Washington and Lee University.

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VCU Faculty Are Considering Requiring Courses on Racism

Faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) are currently considering making a change to the university’s general education requirements by adding a courses on racism.

The classes would be required for all freshman and grouped under the subject diversities of human experiences, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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Governor and First Lady Northam Test Positive for COVID-19

Governor Ralph Northam announced Friday that he and his wife, First Lady Pamela Northam, have tested positive for COVID-19. The Northams received testing after learning that one of the governor’s staff members tested positive. 
Northam reports that he is asymptomatic; his wife is experiencing “mild symptoms.” The pair plan to isolate for ten days and then undergo another examination, according to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) guidelines.

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Severity of COVID-19 Impact at Richmond Colleges Unclear as University of Richmond Classes Resume Monday

As Richmond area colleges start the fall semester, the impact from COVID-19 exposure and cases remains unclear.

Both Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and the University of Richmond (UR) have implemented new policy and procedures which students, faculty and employees must strictly adhere to.

VCU residential students must complete a daily health survey and there are normal COVID-19 policies such as wearing a mask, social distancing as well as cleaning and disinfecting shared spaces.

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