Funding the University's
billion-dollar campaign has launched U.Va. into a higher level
of excellence, but "where do we go from here?" asked
Robert D. Sweeney, vice president for development,
during the most recent Board
of Visitors meeting.
the Campaign for the University has reached its $1 billion goal,
there is most of the year left before the formal end, and it's
important to look at the University's needs "beyond a billion,"
office is currently concentrating on showing donors and the University
community what their gifts have made possible. For example, a
series of ads highlights the people who are benefitting from gifts
that established endowed chairs, fellowships and institutes. The
ads are being placed in Alumni News, student publications, and
at halftime during televised U.Va. games.
University is planning gatherings with alumni and friends to get
them involved in thinking about what's needed for the next five
years and beyond, he said.
the board meeting, Leonard W. Sandridge, executive
vice president and chief operating officer, outlined some
possibilities. The University must decide whether to be satisfied
reaching for and maintaining the spot as the top public university
(U.S. News and World Report ranked it as the No. 2 public and
No. 22 overall last fall) or aspire to be among the 15 or so institutions.
going to have to run pretty hard to remain the top public university.
... It's not practical to think we can be in the top tier in five
years," said Sandridge, with the exception of the Darden
and Law schools.
the deans have high aspirations and are trying to improve. ...
None is satisfied with maintaining the status quo," he added.
is "no perfect way to measure an institution," Sandridge
acknowledged, but the rankings can help with some checkpoints
for comparison and factors that can be addressed. When it comes
to U.S. News, "a lot of future students pay attention to
it," he said, so it can't be ignored.
Top universities in that ranking are also among the best in the
National Research Council's rankings of graduate programs, which
come out every 10 years. He noted that while the strongest universities
average 16 programs in the NRC's top 10, in 1995 U.Va. had only
five programs at that level. They were in only two of the five
disciplinary categories, with none in physical sciences, engineering
or social and behavioral sciences.
Targeting improvements to science and engineering programs is
key to boosting U.Va.'s academic reputation, Sandridge said. "This
is a direct reason the president set up the [Virginia 2020] Science
and Technology Commission."
schools including Duke, Johns Hopkins and Yale, have recently
announced major campaigns to strengthen their science programs
Projecting the comparison between U.Va. and its peers five years
from now, it looks like U.Va. will continue to have a lower educational
expenditure per student and lower state support for in-state students,
Sandridge said. U.Va. is currently experiencing a greater drop
in graduate enrollment than the national trend (not including
U.Va.'s professional schools) and is constrained by a serious
lack of research space.
The greatest room for improvement is in educational expenditure
per student, he said. If the needed resources can be raised, that
would allow for improvements in the University's academic reputation,
faculty compensation, hiring of full-time faculty, class size
and student/faculty ratio.
projected gap in spending per student between U.Va. and other
top public schools in 2004-05 is $174 million annually, a figure
that swells to $402 million when the comparison is to the top
tier of all schools. The University's annual giving has grown
to more than $130 million, and the Development Office estimates
it could double that amount as an attainable fundraising goal.
achievable to get to $260 million per year over the next five
years, Sandridge and Sweeney said. Less than half of that, however,
would likely go toward educational expenditures. Funds for scholarships
and building projects are not included in that group.
is a revenue-driven model," pointed out Laurie Kelsh, who
recently took the helm of a new central planning and assessment
unit in the president's office. "We will also look at expenditures
and how we discipline our spending. We think we're pretty lean