the question-and-answer session that followed his address, Casteen
fielded questions from students.
asked if the University would be offering insurance to graduate
students, who are required to carry health insurance but don't
qualify for coverage under U.Va.'s current plan. The questioner
said it is a huge out-of-pocket expense for graduate students,
and that peer institutions offer such benefits to students as
said this was an "important issue" that requires collecting
data to show what other institutions are providing their students.
To offer benefits to graduate students will require state action,
which will take time, he said. But he asked all students with
supporting documentation on the subject to see Vice
President and Provost Peter W. Low. A fourth-year College
student asked how the University planned to foster intellectual
community. "Among undergrads, we often ask ourselves, 'Where
is this interaction taking place?'"
responded that the initiative is a Faculty Senate one, started
about three years ago. "What I see is more formal, like funding
programs such as the Forum on Contemporary Thought." As for
the lack of informal faculty-student interaction, "the problem
I see is in the faculty [not] reaching first-years. Dorms aren't
that welcoming to middle-aged faculty with families." However,
he cited the café in Alderman Library and the Aquatic and Fitness
Center as good examples of places where such interactions occur.
He also said that he will add funds to sustain the component of
the Cavalier Card program that enables faculty and students to
meet one-on-one for lunch in the Garden Room.
Responding to another student's inquiry concerning the Center
for Equal Opportunity, the group that is challenging the University's
admissions policy, Casteen said, "We've never used quantitative
methods for choosing students here." He said that U.Va. will
abide by the law, and that it is "awaiting the resolution
of the University of Michigan case," whose admissions policy
has come under legal attack -- a decision he expects in two to
three years. U.Va.'s board has continued to support the current,
successful admissions policies, said Casteen, who believes most
students do, too.