VA 2020 Science and
Technology Planning Commission to hold workshop Sept. 23-25
The Virginia 2020 Science and Technology
Planning Commis- sion will hold a workshop for members and invited
guests Sept. 23 and 24 to evaluate how other leading universities
have created programs and initiatives to perform outstanding scientific
and technological research and education.
speakers from 12 universities are scheduled to discuss with commission
members and invitees the ways in which their institutions achieved
success in building strong programs in science and technology.
The commission will meet the morning after the conference, Sept.
25, to evaluate what its members learned and to begin defining
recommendations. Eventually, the commission will create opportunities
to discuss alternatives and emerging recommendations with the
U.Va. community. The ultimate goal is to develop strategies that
will advance the University in coming years as a national leader
in selected areas of the natural and life sciences and engineering.
"The two-day workshop will allow commission members to ask
questions and brainstorm with our guests about ways in which a
university may strengthen itself," said Anita Jones, chair
of the Science and Technology Planning Commission. ³This is part
of our planning process. We will see how others have done it,
so we can look for ways to do it even better. We will seek strategies
that are particularly appropriate to U.Va.
work of Virginia 2020 is very special in that this university
is actively and seriously thinking through alternatives for the
future, rather than passively letting good ideas slowly bubble
up from the bottom. Our objective is for U.Va. to be among the
very best universities in the world in science and technology,"
Jones' commission invited representatives to participate in the
conference from several schools, including Baylor, Rutgers, Stanford,
U.C.-San Diego, the universities of Rochester, Florida, Illinois,
Pennsylvania, Penn State, Cornell, N. C. State and Virginia Tech.
The workshop will be organized into sessions based on five themes:
"Pinnacles of Excellence Within a State University";
"Industry/University Cooperation in the 21st Century";
"Cross-School Initiatives to Promote Excellence in a Broad
Research Area"; "Building Strengths in Focused Core
Disciplines"; and ³Interdisciplinary Centers and Institutes
to Focus Resources on Critical Research Areas."
are bringing in some of the nation's leading experts and innovators
to provide a detailed and personal view of how their institutions
have tackled the complexities of managing and creating programs
in major theme areas," Jones said.
first session, "Pinnacles of Excellence," will be led
by U.Va. President John T. Casteen III and President Paul E. Torgersen
of Virginia Tech, and moderated by Donald Kennedy, president emeritus
of Stanford, who is serving as a consultant to all four Virginia
2020 commissions. Workshop participants will discuss the roles
of the faculty and the administration in defining and selecting
science and technology areas to pursue, in creating organizational
structures of excellence, and in nurturing such structures.
the second session, "Industry/University Cooperation,"
participants will examine how industry and universities can best
cooperate and collaborate, in light of a state university' responsibility
to citizens of the state. They will consider how to take advantage
of the opportunities that might arise due to the ever shorter
process time involved for research projects to make their way
as products into the marketplace. Dean Robert Conn from U.C.-San
Diego and Charlie Moreland, vice chancellor for research at N.C.
State, will discuss how their institutions have succeeded in collaborating
Initiatives," the third session, will center on ways to best
accomplish multi-disciplinary research between not only traditional
departments, but across schools as well. Kennedy; Dan Huttenlocher,
professor of computer science at Cornell; and Nina Fedoroff, director
of the Life Sciences Consortium and Biotechnology Institute at
Penn State, will discuss innovative cross-school enterprises at
The fourth session, "Building Strength in Focused Core Areas,"
will challenge participants to look for ways to achieve excellence
within the department structure by selecting specific areas to
strengthen. Bill Brinkley, vice president and dean of the graduate
school at Baylor College of Medicine, will discuss infrastructure
and support programs to attract outstanding graduate students.
Willard Har-rison, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
at Florida, and Felix Browder, professor of mathematics at Rutgers,
will discuss ways to strengthen a university within the departmental
"Interdisciplinary Centers and Institutes," the fifth
session, will provide participants with an opportunity to look
at several examples of university organizations formed to focus
on very specific research objectives. Peter Davies, professor
of pathology and laboratory medicine at Penn, will discuss the
Institute of Medicine and Engineering that he directs. Jiri Jonas,
professor in the Center for Advanced Study at Illinois, will discuss
the Beckman Institute. Dennis Hall, William F. May Professor at
the U. of R., will discuss Rochesterıs Institute for Optics.
Virginia 2020 Science and Technology Planning Commission is one
of four commissions created last year by President Casteen to
look for ways to create excellence at the University well into
the next century. The other three commissions are the Fine and
Performing Arts Planning Commission, the International Activities
Planning Commission, and the Public Service and Outreach Planning