May 12-18, 2000
Back Issues
Casteen outlines new arts precinct plan in annual speech
Lampkin to focus on future of student life
White House calls on library

In Memoriam

P&T to replace motor pool with rental cars
Correction - parking rate for T4 lot
U.Va. researcher shares benefits of exercise for people with MS
Faculty Senate awards Teaching Initiative grants
McIntire helped launch art, music and commerce at U.Va.
Applications being accepted for University's Administrative Internship Program
Engineering collaborates on semiconductor manufacturing
IBM is a long-time supporter of U.Va.
El Nino was active during last ice age
University takes top award in Internet contest
Education students show high rate of volunteerism
Cavalier Inn books conferences
Hot Links
Graduation weekend May 20-21

Q&A session

During the question-and-answer session that followed his address, Casteen fielded questions from students.

One 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 recruitment incentives.

Casteen 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?'"

Casteen 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.


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