Jan. 14-20, 2000
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Visions of the University's future
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King celebration to feature Derrick Bell Jan. 22

Visions of the University's future

Last month, we asked the U.Va. community the following question: What is your vision, your wildest dream for the University of Virginia in the next century, the new millennium? Here are several of the responses we've received so far, but we're still looking for a variety of possibilities. Add your voice. Send your dream, in 100 words or less, by Jan. 17 to insideuva@virginia.edu, and we'll publish more ideas as space allows in the next issue or two.

My grandest dream would be that our communities of alumni, faculty, staff, students and local citizens work together for the common purpose of enriching our lives through the development, growth and increased appreciation of the arts, including the creation and/or expansion of the buildings which will house our future studio artists, musicians, composers, actors, directors, designers, playwrights, architects, arts historians and others interested in simply studying various aspects of the arts. And that when the University of Virginia is mentioned in the future, the arts are thought of as being one of its strongest components.

Robert Chapel
Drama professor and Chair, Virginia 2020 Planning Commission for the Arts

I would like to see U. Va. go solar, with the roofs of most buildings fitted with photovoltaics to generate electricity for the University, and for the surrounding area when demand is low and supply is high. I'd also like to see bike paths separate from automobile and pedestrian paths covering the Grounds; toilets designed for most efficient water use; parking lots moved underground; and $60 million gifts designated for scholarships for those less fortunate, as well as for raising janitorial and secretarial salaries.

I would also like to see academic departments abolished, in recognition of the essential unity of knowledge, and tenure awarded for excellence in teaching as well as "scholarship."

Stephen Bach
ITC software technician

I dream of every member of our University community being able to travel around Grounds, free from inhibition and fear. I dream of a community where safety and freedom have no price.

Tammy L. Barboza
Director of Alumni Affairs & Annual Giving, School of Nursing

When William Faulkner said that "the past is not dead -- it is not even past,˛ he was describing, without intention, the University of Virginia. Thomas Jefferson saw education as the mechanism to produce men capable of civil leadership -- a major achievement. But until this century, the academy remained a place for privileged Euro-American men to teach privileged Euro-American men, supported by an invisible population of servant labor. Not only women, but men of color, were -- and still often feel themselves to be -- intruders, imposters, always in drag. Before a vision for the future is even imaginable at this or any university, we must acknowledge the progress achieved but how little has been accomplished. A vision of a utopian future begins now with decisive, immediate, genuine action -- because THE ROAD IS FOR THE JOURNEY, NOT THE DESTINATION.

Ann J. Lane
Director, Studies in Women and Gender, history professor

My vision would be of workers at the University being treated equally. Working together without pretension, without patronage, without hierarchy. Earning a decent wage, enough to hold up one's head in the community and enough to be loyal to the job. That the atmosphere will change and workers will be free to contribute to the general planning and everyday business of the university. (My definition of a worker: anyone on state payroll.)

Thanks for asking.

Sylvia New Strawn
Administrative Assistant, art department

What I predict for the next century is that everyone will speak Spanish. Quit whining and get used to it! If you don't know it by now, start practicando -- el espaņol es el futuro. David T. Gies Commonwealth Professor of Spanish and Chair, Faculty Senate The success of the Campaign has established a private funding structure that positions us to pilot the University's future. This foundation allows us to aspire to pre-eminence in American higher education, and to fulfill Jefferson's vision of U.Va. as "the bulwark of the human mind in this hemisphere." I see the University capitalizing on its strengths to foster a unique experience: an intimate undergraduate learning and living environment, talented scholars providing a rich research base, and a grounding in Jeffersonian principles which allows us to create knowledge, and to be at the forefront of the technological revolution, with a foundation in basic human values.

Robert D. Sweeney
Vice President for Development


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