John T. Casteen III (at podium) thanked the alumni, students
and faculty who participated in the conference, and said he
agreed with Bert Ellis about having another e-summit.
Academical Village in the Internet Age
pressing questions from moderator Ed Ayers and the audience, no
one on the panel of the e-summit's final session worried that
Thomas Jefferson's Academical Village, as a physical place, would
become obsolete and be replaced by Internet-based instruction.
II participants (clockwise)
E. Brownfeld, fourth-year student in Arts & Sciences
William A. Wulf, AT&T Professor of Engineering and
Applied Science, on leave to serve as president of the National
Academy of Engineering
John M. Unsworth, director of the Institute for Advanced
Technology in the Humanities and associate professor of
Bertram Ellis Jr. (Col '75, Darden '79), chair and CEO
of iXL Enterprises Panel moderator: Edward L. Ayers, the
Hugh P. Kelly Professor of History
Mark B. Templeton (Darden '78), president and CEO
of Citrix Systems Inc.
Jeffrey D. Nuechterlein (Col '79, Law '86) managing
director of the National Gypsum Company, a major financial
backer of Internet ventures
R. Jahan Ramazani (Col '81), English professor
Brandi S. Hughes, third-year student in Arts & Sciences
universities need to be part of the sea change that's occurring
due to technological advances, they agreed, and a virtual Academical
Village needn't have serpentine or any other kind of walls.
alumni panelists, who are succeeding in the Internet industry,
stressed that students need to understand technology and how to
use it to be prepared for what hasn't even been imagined yet.
still be able to add their imaginations to that future with a
liberal arts education from U.Va. that teaches them how to think
creatively and write persuasively and concisely.
I do is affected by the way this University treated me,"
said Ellis, referring specifically to what he learned from living
with the Honor System. Because of it, he said his relationships
with partners, employees and investors are based on trust -- unless
something happens to give him reason to think otherwise. He lso
urged students to participate in self-governance through the many
organizations on Grounds.
matter how much technology changes the University or anything
else in life, "there's no substitute at the end of the day
to getting people together in the same room," Ellis said,
adding he can't convey his style of leadership through a computer.
"We need to get to know each other."
is music to my ears,"exclaimed English professor Jahan Ramazani,
who called for the use of technology balanced with what the University
does well -- teaching students in small-group settings and face-to-face
encounters. We shouldn't forget the virtue of pondering things
such as a work of art or a home, he said.
[University's] physical space has an extraordinary affect on people,"
and Jeff Nuechterlein agreed, saying the Academical Village as
a learning environment, as Jefferson intended it, should be extended
more to lifelong learners, especially alumni. "I'd love to
come back here to take a course, and so would my father,"
Templeton said that students should have more opportunities to
take risks in their courses, which encourages creativity. He advocated
using the case method, as Darden and a few other schools do, in
all disciplines to have students analyze real problems and come
up with original solutions that they have to present before a
jury. "Teach creativity first, then applications," he
Students need to learn not just how to use technology, but because
specific parts of hardware and software become obsolete so fast,
they need to understand what it can do and how it's transforming
our lives, said Bill Wulf.
Incorporating technology, however, should be a given, the panelists
said. Distance learning could bring more to U.Va. students on
Grounds, as well as broadcasting U.Va. courses to students at
other locations. Professionals, such as entrepreneurs and lawyers,
could teach without leaving the office through distance learning,
suggested Nuechterlein. Ramazani and others also agreed that some
courses, especially with great lecturers, should be offered online.
And every course should have a Web page to get basic information.
"When you put course materials on the Web, you have many
more readers than just the students in the class. It's good outreach,"
said John Unsworth, adding that mentoring could also be extended
current drawback is adding another layer of learning to what's
already required in class. Although both student panelists, Brandi
Hughes and Peter Brownfeld, are involved in Web-based research,
they mentioned that it's difficult to find enough time to do in-depth
research and learn the computing necessary to put it on the Web.
Templeton said that should get easier as the software is redesigned.
"Please don't waste your time learning html!" he said.
biggest change universities need to make now, according to Wulf,
is breaking down barriers between engineering and the humanities.
"What is it that identifies humans? The use of tools. For
that reason, perhaps engineering is the most human of studies.
... Maybe we should teach engineering as a liberal art, and maybe
a piece of every literate person's experience should be to create
a useful artifact that improves life, including something as important
as communication," he said.
Money for resources shouldn't be a problem, the alumni panelists
said, if the University continues to develop ongoing relationships
with, and communicates a clear vision to, its supporters -- especially
alumni like them. There may be hard choices to make, however,
in determining priorities and leveraging resources. The panelists
agreed that when it comes to technology, the "haves"
should help the "have-nots."
"It's a privilege to live in connected times, and this brings
an opportunity and an obligation," said Casteen. Restoring
and exploring knowledge are two important missions of higher education
that technology is enhancing in phenomenal ways that should enable
everyone to become part of the global community. "We also
live in more democratic times," he said. "More people
'own' this culture, if you will." Increasing and improving
access to the Internet will be an important academic focus of
the next 50 to 100 years, he predicted.
and wealth creation
art and entertainment
and regulatory issues