Followups - March 2015

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Tobacco Commission rescinds grant for medical school

The Virginia To­­bacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission has rescinded the remaining $19 million of a grant originally made in 2009 to help in starting a medical school in Southwest Virginia.

The Bristol Herald Courier reported in January that the organization currently overseeing the project, the Alliance for Rural Health, has been invited to reapply for funding at a later date.

The original $25 million grant was made in 2009 to help Bristol, Tenn.-based King University establish a medical school in Abingdon. Plans for a medical school, however, later were dropped and the project focused instead on creating a health training center in Abingdon.

The Alliance for Rural Health has brought together a group of institutions to educate physicians and other health-care professionals. Its partners include the Virginia Community College System, Emory & Henry College, East Tennessee State University’s Quillen College of Medicine, the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine and Mountain State Health Alliance.

As the project changed, the $25 million grant was reduced to $20 million with $1 million available to pay for startup costs.
Virginia Business looked at the evolution of the project in the Southwest Virginia regional report in the January issue.

Virginia Tech to give stipends to its athletes

Virginia Tech announced in January that it will give stipends to its athletes on 22 teams to help pay the full cost of attending college.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that Tech was one of the first universities in the country to make such a move since the NCAA voted 79-1 to expand athletic scholarships to cover incidental expenses in addition to room, board, books and tuition.

Tech will provide a $2,500 stipend for each full scholarship under the plan, which is expected to cost the school $850,000 to $900,000 next year. The school expects about 400 athletes to receive stipends.

The magazine examined the growing debate about compensation of college athletes in a story in the June 2014 issue.

Liberty’s economic impact in Lynchburg

A study commissioned by Liberty University found that it had an economic impact of $1 billion in the Lynchburg area during the 2013-14 fiscal year. 

The News & Advance in Lynchburg reported that the study found that the school was responsible for supporting 1 in 5 jobs in the area.

Virginia Business looked at the influence of the university on the Lynchburg region’s economy in a January community profile.

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