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Grzeika joins UMW Board of Visitors

Joe Grzeika has been appointed by Governor Bob McDonnell to the University of  Mary Washington Board of Visitors.

McDonnell announced the appointment last week on July 8. Grzeika, chairman of the King George County Board of Supervisors, was one of three new appointees given a spot on the 12-member Board of Visitors of the University of Mary Washington.

Grzeika has been a member of the Board of Supervisors since 1996. He has been a King George resident since 1977. He’s self-employed as a business consultant and is a retired past president of a defense contracting business which he co-founded.

Grzeika and his spouse, Anita, have two married daughters and four grandchildren. Grzeika is an alumna of Mary Washington. He told the Journal, “I am really excited by this opportunity.” 


“I am honored and privileged to have been appointed to the board of visitors, I want to thank Speaker (Bill) Howell, Senator (Richard) Stuart and Congressman (Rob) Wittman for their support and endorsements,” he said. “As a Mary Washington alumnus, I look forward to serving and helping guide the university as we move forward.”

Grzeika has also been instrumental in getting a post-graduate facility project in the county that is resulting in construction of the University of Mary Washington’s Dahlgren Campus Center for Education and Research on U.S. 301 near the Dahlgren Naval base.

Grzeika said he has been working on it over the last several years with a small group, including Ted Hontz, Vaughn Mahaffey and Cord Sterling. Grzeika took a hard-hat tour of the facility last Thursday, saying it is about 70 percent complete. The facility is slated to open in 2012.

The new facility’s mission includes offering traditional science and engineering programs delivered on-site by Virginia universities and the Naval Postgraduate School. Educational partners are Virginia Tech, University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Old Dominion University and George Mason University, with participation by Rappahannock Community College and Germanna Community College. Another element of its mission is to contribute to long-term regional economic growth and development.

Grzeika talked about furthering those goals, saying, “I will look to ensure the new Dahlgren Campus reaches its full potential on two fronts. First, as a graduate-level center collaborating with the Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program schools to provide the availability of graduate programs for the workforce at Dahlgren to erase any perceived weakness as was cited during the last BRAC (base realignment and closing). And secondly, to maximize the economic development potential for the region by capitalizing on the opportunity to transfer the technology developed in support of the Defense Department to the non-defense commercial sector. We need to ensure we get the maximum transfer to get the biggest bang for our tax dollars, no pun intended.”

The University of Mary Washington is a public corporation that by statute is governed by the Board of Visitors, one member of which is elected every two years to serve as rector. It is empowered to establish the mission and purpose of the university and to promote the general welfare of the institution. Some of the specific responsibilities include appointing the president, determining institutional policies, setting faculty salaries, fixing tuition and fees, awarding degrees, approving changes to the curriculum and the Honor System, and overseeing the nternal Audit office. Each member serves a term of four years and may be eligible for reappointment to one successive term.

Grzeika’s first duties as a member of the UMW’s Board of Visitors begin on July 15 with attendance at the annual organizational meeting over three days this coming weekend in Williamsburg. The meeting and training opportunity is part of a yearly retreat that begins with a day-long orientation for new members and also covers wide-ranging board business meetings over the rest of weekend.

“I thank my wife for her understanding and patience, since these commitments do take up a lot of time,” Grzeika told The Journal.

The Board of Visitors generally holds three-day weekend meetings in September, November, February and April, in addition to any special meetings set as needed over the course of the year.

 

Phyllis Cook

 

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