Gazette Virginian [Online], Wednesday, November 22, 2006. retrieved [by Google] Nov 24, 2006 http://www.gazettevirginian.com/news1.htm see: http://www.google.com/custom?q=cache:Ke4gk...us&ct=clnk&cd=2 Founders College Officials Answer Questions Halifax County Supervisors and town councilmen got their opportunity to ask questions and receive information on the proposed new college seeking to locate at Berry Hill during their joint meeting Monday. Founders College CEO Dr. Gary Hull and Chief Strategy Officer Tamra Fuller made presentations and fielded questions from members of the three governing bodies. According to Hull, the college’s financing is a traditional commercial loan, but they are not allowed to name the principals due to a confidentiality clause. “It’s very traditional financing,” Hull said, noting the financing is coming from an institution with its name on a skyscraper. “It’s a complicated transaction.” The CEO also said that Founders plans to be an integral part of the South Boston community. “We plan on doing tons with the community,” Hull said, noting the community and the history of Berry Hill were major draws to the area. “One of the reasons we love the property is its history.” Cultural events Founders plans will be open to the public, Hull told the boards. “When we bring in musical groups and lecturers the events will be open to the public,” he said. “The grounds will also be open to the public.” Hull was asked why the group switched from a non-profit business model to a for-profit business. “We liked the for-profit model,” Hull said. “It’s a lot cleaner from a business standpoint.” Being a for-profit entity allows the college to offer employees bonuses and stock options that would not be available under non-profit status, Hull said. The college will not offer its instructors tenure, Hull explained, but rather ownership options in the college itself, which will give the instructors a vested interest in the institution’s long-term success. Halifax Mayor Leon Plaster asked Hull how many employees the college initially expects to employ. Hull said the college, in its first year, expects to employ roughly 40 people, with that number expected to rise to about 350 by year five, based on their projections. South Boston Councilman Bill Snead asked Hull if the college will have any links to objectivism or other philosophies. Hull said the curriculum will be liberal arts and business oriented with the college planing to add an engineering and pre-med. program in a couple of years. Hull told the board that the instructors’ job at Founders College would be to teach a core body of knowledge that every student should possess, not to advocate ideologies. “The focus will be on high-quality undergraduate teaching,” he said, noting he has worked on the curriculum for nearly eight years. “Many students are graduating (from universities) with bachelors degrees, but are inarticulate.” According to Hull, that’s one of the draws attracting faculty members. They are tired of the ideological bent at their universities, he said. Hull also said that there would be opportunities for local students to be part of Founders College. He said he has met with Southside and Danville community college presidents and they are planning on how best to share resources and facilities as much as possible. Students will also be able to transfer seamlessly from the community colleges to Founders, Hull said. Area students will also be eligible for “Berry Hill scholarships” that will be $4,000 a year off the institution’s proposed tuition of $22,000 a year. Fuller addressed the governing bodies on the real estate portion of the college’s blueprint. There are two components to the development, Fuller said. Berry Hill’s conference capabilities will be expanded upon with access to a hotel and the stability and culture of a four-year college, Fuller said. The second component of development is a residential community for retirees. “South Boston is the ideal place to retire,” Fuller said. Founders College with its developments will be a powerful economic engine for the area, Fuller continued. She said that other similar four-year colleges pumped $40 million into the local economy and Founders College could well surpass that. “Colleges make great neighbors,” Fuller said, noting they offer continuing educational opportunities, cultural events and serve as a draw to the area. FYI & so forth.