Oct. 8-14, 1999
IN THIS ISSUE
Harrison grants to fund undergrad research
Workshop attendees look at potential growth avenues for science & technology
Music videos are not just for MTV

Equal opportunity in U.Va. admissions

Film Festival to immerse filmgoers in technology
From the desk of ... Robert D. Sweeney
Hot Links - Equal Opportunity Programs Office
Scholarship reminder, new phone number
Meridian presents art & literature series at the Bayly museum
Save the date
e-summit@virginia
TOP NEWS

Harrison grants to fund undergrad research

Senate backs admissions resolution

By Dan Heuchert

Forty faculty members and a handful of reporters and photographers showed up in the Rotunda's Dome Room for the Oct. 4 Faculty Senate meeting, anticipating that President John T. Casteen III might make additional comments on the current debate over admissions policies.

But Casteen chose to largely pass by the issue in his remarks, referring to his Sept. 30 written statement -- in which he termed the current policies "legally defensible" and lauded their role in broadening the University's culture -- and offered to answer any questions. Though the Senate later endorsed a resolution backing the University's current admissions policies, previously released from its executive committee, the attention shifted to other issues.

The biggest splash came from the announcement that this year's David A. Harrison III teaching awards would go toward encouraging undergraduate research projects.

The Harrison fund provides $100,000 annually to encourage undergraduate instruction. In the program's first two years, the funds went entirely to faculty members, but this year's grants are expected to provide $3,000 apiece to 25 undergraduate students and $1,000 each to their faculty advisers, to support research conducted either in the spring or summer of 2000.

Many details are still to be worked out, but applications will likely be due by Dec. 1, with awards to be announced by mid-January.

"The topic addresses one of the Faculty Senate's main thrusts of this year, and that is teaching, research and the creation of knowledge," said Senate chair David T. Gies, Commonwealth Professor of Spanish.

In his remarks, Casteen hinted that University administrators will present an ambitious plan to the Board of Visitors in their Oct. 15-16 meeting to propel U.Va. into the top 10 of all national universities. In the most recent U.S. News rankings, Virginia was 24th overall and second among public institutions.

"I think this is the time to be optimistic and aggressive" in planning for the future, Casteen said, after informing the senators that gifts to the Campaign for the University totaled almost $957 million through Aug. 30.

Casteen offered to take questions on the admissions debate, but fielded only one, discussing the current, murky legal climate surrounding affirmative action measures. The Board of Visitors, he said, hopes that pending cases from Michigan or Georgia might provide clarification, but seems unwilling to provoke a test case of its own. After his remarks, Casteen took a front-row seat as the Senate took up its resolution backing the admissions policies, which allow the consideration of race as one of many factors in admissions decisions.

The Senate also approved a new major in computer engineering, which seeks to meld elements of existing majors in computer science and electrical engineering into a program that examines the interaction between computer hardware and software.

Faculty Senate resolution on admissions policy

Faculty Senate resolution on admissions policy 'The Faculty Senate recognizes the value of diversity in the classroom and throughout the University and underscores the importance of maintaining that diversity. We also recognize U.Va.'s history of minority recruitment, retention and graduation. Equal opportunity must be one of the stated goals of higher education. The consideration of race, as one of many factors for admission to the University, is both appropriate and justified. The University policies which have led to these achievements have created a rich and diverse educational environment absent from the one-gender, one-race classrooms of the past. Consequently, we endorse the educational goals of equal opportunity and diversity."

 


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