The year-long campaign by Gov. James S. Gilmore III (R) to make Virginia's public colleges more accountable is splashing over the celebrated College of William and Mary, whose president wants a four-year contract that would pay him more than $234,000 a year.
College President Timothy J. Sullivan, who is seeking the pay package, has been a thorn in the administration's side for months, having warned in August that there would be an "educational Armageddon" if the state didn't pump more money into its 15 public universities.
The more conservative members of the college's board, some of them Gilmore appointees, are grousing about the proposed length of Sullivan's package. He currently makes about $227,000 a year and has never had a multiyear contract.
For months, Gilmore and college presidents such as Sullivan have had an uneasy conversation about how to make state schools more accountable, with the governor asking blunt questions about their finances and secretive foundations and securing a 20 percent tuition cut this year that some schools are circumventing with nonacademic fee increases.
Trustees of William and Mary planned a June 17 meeting to resolve Sullivan's pay package.
Champion of Civil Rights to Get High Honor
Sen. Charles S. Robb (D) had a happy duty in Richmond recently, when he announced that local lawyer and civil rights champion Oliver W. Hill will be awarded the Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, by the president.
Hill, 92, is one of the last surviving members of a generation of persevering lawyers, which included his Howard University classmate Thurgood Marshall, the late U.S. Supreme Court justice.
They and others filed the crucial civil rights lawsuits to kill Jim Crow laws in Virginia and other segregationist states of that era.
Robb hailed Hill as the "last lion" of that movement as the NAACP inaugurated its first annual Freedom Fighter Award in Hill's honor. The award, naturally, went to Hill.
Moran Plans to Become a PAC Man
Rep. James P. Moran Jr., the lone Democrat in Northern Virginia's congressional delegation, plans to create a nonfederal political action committee to raise money for legislative candidates this fall, competing with neighboring Republican Thomas M. Davis III, who is helping GOP campaigns.
"Soft money" PACs, which operate outside the "hard" limits of federal election laws, are controversial but increasingly popular among members of Congress because they can accept larger sums of cash with fewer restrictions, including unlimited donations from both individuals and corporations.
Federal law limits contributions to $1,000 an election for an individual.
"We're going to have to set up a soft-money PAC," said Moran, who represents Alexandria, Arlington and parts of Fairfax County. "I've been reluctant to do it, but the party says it needs it. If Tom's doing it, I suppose we're going to have to do it."
Moran, who recently mailed a $25,000 check to the House Democratic Caucus in Richmond, said he hoped to raise $100,000 in unrestricted contributions with the help of Alexandria constituent and former lieutenant governor Donald S. Beyer Jr. Other Democrats are also rushing to compete in the money race for the General Assembly.
Sen. Charles S. Robb Jr. will appear in Richmond on June 19 for the state party at the home of Del. A. Donald McEachin (Richmond). He also has asked national Democrats to send $30,000 in "soft money" to state candidates, money that Robb has helped raise, as part of a $100,000 goal for the fall.
Alexandria technology investor Mark R. Warner, the 1996 Democratic Senate nominee, said he will host fund-raising events, including one in June solely for challengers and open-seat candidates.
Finish Line Near for Primaries
The 11 primary election races throughout Virginia are heating up, but none faster than the big-bucks contest for a House of Delegates seat in Richmond.
Gov. James S. Gilmore III (R), putting some of his clout on the line, has endorsed Ruble A. Hord III against fellow Republican Anne G. "Panny" Rhodes, the incumbent. Both have TV and radio ads.
On June 8, Republicans have two primaries for the state Senate, five for House seats. Democrats have the remaining four.
Five of the primaries are in Northern Virginia. Three Republican races are the 27th Senate District, which includes part of Fauquier County; the 29th, centered in Prince William County; and the 32nd House District in Prince William.
Two Democratic primaries are for House seats in McLean and Woodbridge.
Family Rings Up Seventh Va. Tech Grad
Carolyn Mack admits she felt some sibling pressure to enroll at Virginia Tech.
"It was definitely encouraged," the 22-year-old recalled with a laugh.
She might have gotten the nudge from her brother James, who graduated from Tech in 1987; or brother David, who followed in 1988; or sister Margaret, Class of 1989; or sister Kathryn, Class of 1993; or sister Anita and brother Richard, both 1994 graduates.
Carolyn Mack upheld the family tradition last weekend, becoming the seventh and last Mack sibling to earn a bachelor's degree from the university in Blacksburg.
Bob and Mary Mack can't quite explain their children's penchant for Tech.
"Everyone had a choice about where they wanted to go," Mary Mack said. "Well . . . everyone except Carolyn, I guess."
An eighth Mack sibling, Elizabeth Mack Taylor, got her diploma at the College of William and Mary, subjecting herself to family ribbing. Had Elizabeth gone to Tech, the Mack family would have broken a school record.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.