Sept. 17-23, 1999
IN THIS ISSUE
"Slow Dance" almost halts U.Va. e-mail
Qatar effort may spin off new opportunities
Continuing Ed. preparing Va. teachers for SOL curricula
Property Accounting helps U.Va. stay eligible for grants

Ethicist urges hospitals to learn from their errors

Correction- wrong URL
U.Va. garners EPA's top national award
Take Our Advice/
e-mail spam
"Notable" - faculty & staff
Architect Peter Waldman wins Rome Prize
Hot Links - Oracle of Bacon

Writer Wendell Berry to visit Sept. 22-25

Talk on Rehnquist Court to initiate lectures honoring Abraham

TOP NEWS

Qatar effort may spin off new opportunities

By Dan Heuchert

The effort to place a U.Va. branch in the Middle Eastern nation of Qatar may have ended, but it could spin off several ideas that would have an impact on the University in the years to come, University President John T. Casteen III said last week.

Citing accreditation concerns, the University last month opted not to pursue an agreement with the Qatar Foundation for Science, Education and Community Development to establish a branch campus.

Casteen elaborated further in a meeting with local reporters Sept. 10. Any agreement, he said, would have had to be acceptable to a variety of interests: the University, the Qatar Foundation, state and federal laws, and the University's accrediting agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Ultimately, he and Vice President and Provost Peter W. Low decided that all of those interests could not be satisfied.

They have since introduced Qatar Foundation representatives to other U.S. universities that might be better suited to the project, Casteen said.

He added that the University will continue to seek opportunities to develop new international programs. For example, he and several other U.S. university presidents will soon resume an on-again, off-again discussion with Chinese officials about establishing graduate study programs there. U.Va. is seeking to establish a studio arts center somewhere in Europe, Casteen said, and will also seek to reinvigorate its relationship with Downing College at Cambridge.

"There are a lot of pieces out there," he said.

The Qatar effort raised awareness of issues closer to home, Casteen said. One of the programs U.Va. hoped to explore in Qatar was a natural gas extraction project that could have significant economic impact in both Qatar and Southwest Virginia. U.Va. may seek to continue that effort, perhaps in concert with Virginia Tech, and has had "very, very preliminary conversations" with officials in Blacksburg, he said.

And as a result of considering the natural gas process, the University has become more aware of the needs of Southwestern Virginia in general, including access to advanced health care and economic development issues, Casteen said.

U.Va. will continue to have a high profile in the Middle East, Casteen said, thanks to the work of several current and former faculty members with ties to the region, including R.K. Ramazani, Nathaniel Howell, Vamik Volkan, John Norton Moore and several physicians. Some professors involved in the Qatar negotiations may also pursue research opportunities there as well, he said.


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