the University transformed: Casteen seeks comment on 2020 reports
an estimated 25,000 person-hours -- many spent in biweekly meetings
beginning as early as 7:30 a.m., and many more spent late at night
basking in the glow of computer monitors -- the 122 members of
the four Virginia 2020 planning commissions have released their
it's your turn. The four reports, on Science and Technology, the
Fine and Performing Arts, Public Service and International Activities,
are published at http://www.virginia.edu/virginia2020.
The next step is a period of review and comment open to the entire
University community -- faculty, staff, alumni and students.
planning commissions begin meeting
of Continuing and Professional Studies offers U.Va.'s
first international full-credit, distance-learning course,
"Technology and Human Development," taught by
professor Mark Shields to students in Turkey
& October 1999
Commissions attend workshops with representatives from other
universities on benchmarking best practices in their respective
General Assembly approves funding for construction of studio
art building and for planning renovation of Fayerweather
A new language house, to be built on Monroe Lane and completed
by fall 2002, approved
Institutional and private funding support feasibility study
of Carr's Hill Arts Grounds
$1 million Venture Fund for Excellence in Science and Technology
An international residential college will be housed in Sprigg
Lane dormitories by next fall
William B. Quandt appointed vice provost for international
SCOLA, which brings in international television broadcasts
via satellite, reconnected at U.Va.
New undergraduate language study program started in Lyon,
Engineering School wins $5 million grant from the National
Science Foundation to establish a new Center for Nanoscopic
New independent foundation for biomedical research created
Virginia" Web site for U.Va.'s public service launched
Publication of Arts Magazine and departmental newsletters
for art, music and drama
recommendations are exciting. A thriving arts precinct. Undergraduate
students regularly taking "fifth years" abroad. Interdisciplinary
centers pushing the envelope of information technology. New ways
to share the University's knowledge with the world.
They are also expensive. The cost of the capital projects identified
in the Fine and Performing Arts report alone is nearly $192 million,
plus nearly $3 million in additional annual support and $60 million
in new endowments. The Science and Technology plans are even costlier,
with a total estimated price tag of $800 million.
this far has been a long but deliberate process. University President
John T. Casteen III first proposed the planning effort in his
March 1998 "State of the University" address, and the
Board of Visitors endorsed the concept later that year.
After much preliminary work, the commissions began meeting in
January 1999. Their charge was nothing less than envisioning the
University transformed in 2020, with areas of current relative
weakness as newfound strengths.
"All of us owe debts of gratitude to the commission chairs
and members," Casteen said. "Their hard work over many
months gives us something few universities have ever had -- comprehensive
visions not bound to individual disciplines or departments of
what the University can hope to become as it adapts, works outside
the customary limits, and grows accustomed to working at the leading
edge in fields that have historically never had quite the means
to be the nation's best."
and chief planning officer Laurie Kelsh will gather comments this
fall through several sources, including online forms at the Virginia
2020 Web site that will be available throughout the fall semester.
reports will also be discussed at separate retreats for deans
and vice presidents this month, and again in November at a gathering
of young alumni and at Casteen's All-University retreat. Finally,
all four reports will be discussed at the Board of Visitors meeting
What will eventually emerge are implementation plans, funding
plans and timetables for program enhancement, facilities, support
operations and fund raising.
we do our jobs well and honestly in the next several months, if
we analyze strategies and calculate ways and means, and seek out
consensus on genuinely hard issues, we can hope to see transformations
of many kinds," Casteen said.
"These reports are a grand beginning toward the goal of finding
new areas of strength, new centers of excellence, even as we sustain
and build excellence where it already exists."
Fine and Performing Arts
"By 2020, our goal is to have the arts at the University
of Virginia thought of immediately as one of the great strengths
of the institution," said Robert Chapel, drama professor
and chair of the Commission on the Fine and Performing Arts. "We
also want students who wish to study the arts, both at the graduate
and undergraduate levels, to automatically think of the University
as a top choice among schools."
there is much activity surrounding the commission's recommendations
with the arts precinct on Carr's Hill, planned as a hub of creative
life, on the way to becoming a reality. A $9 million appropriation
from the General Assembly for construction of a new Studio Arts
building as well as funding to plan the renovation of Fayerweather
Hall, has allowed these first two projects to proceed. With funding
from both institutional and private sources, architectural firms
are working on feasibility studies for a new music building, a
new comprehensive library to serve all the arts, an addition to
the drama building, an addition to the School of Architecture
and a new University Art Museum. In addition, a performing arts
building is being planned for a nearby site across University
Avenue near Memorial Gym and Alderman Library.
major recommendations include: greater emphasis on recruiting
undergraduate student artists; expanding existing programs, establishing
honors programs, and creating new graduate programs in the arts;
building an undergraduate program in dance and movement; developing
collaborative arts projects and interdisciplinary courses to strengthen
the University's recognition of the arts as a key component of
a liberal arts education.
promote the University's art image as well as its programs, one
of the recommendations was to develop publications targeted to
key student and alumni audiences. One-time funding for an arts
magazine and newsletters for each of the departments -- art, music
and drama -- has pushed these publications forward.
University of Virginia hopes to come from behind its peer institutions
in supporting international activities with new initiatives stemming
from the Virginia 2020 Commission on International Activities.
are many exciting activities already under way, especially faculty
research projects abroad, including Richard Guerrant's international
medicine program in Brazil and the architecture program in Italy.
Yet when it comes to foreign language study abroad, only about
16 percent of U.Va. students study overseas at some point in their
college careers, less than half of the 44 percent of Duke University
students who participate.
One of the primary goals of the international commission is to
boost student participation in foreign study programs to 80 percent
of the student body by 2020, according to William Quandt, the
recently appointed vice provost of international affairs.
"We need to help identify and create these programs and make
information easily available to students," Quandt said. "Over
the next several years, we'd like to increase the proportion of
students studying abroad to close to 30 percent. We realize a
lot of work must be done to make this possible."
its goals, the commission proposes to internationalize the curriculum,
host more foreign students and scholars, foster international
liaisons and exchanges and sponsor international activities.
The commission also found that U.Va. needs to beef up the infrastructure
that supports foreign students and scholars studying here as well
as for the U.Va. students who study abroad, but recommendations
did not include a suggested budget. For comparison, Bruce Kuniholm,
vice provost for international affairs at Duke University, said
his institution has earmarked $20 million in the current capital
campaign to fund international initiatives.
Another recommendation calls for establishing three centers: a
Center for International Medicine that will build on U.Va.'s existing
strengths in that area, an International Institute of American
Studies, extending U.Va.'s strengths in faculty and library collections
in the field, and an Institute of American Language and Culture
to promote the teaching of English as a second language.
Public Service and Outreach
During its study, the Commission on Public Service and Outreach
learned that every school at U.Va. is engaged in outreach activities,
and every city and county in the Commonwealth benefits from U.Va.'s
a nationally ranked public research institution, U.Va. is well-positioned
to make a difference in its local community, the Commonwealth,
the nation and the world, the commission members conclude in their
final report. Thus it is critical to let constituents know that
the University is their partner in meeting the challenges facing
made the case over the last 15 months that we continue to uncover
more and more outreach efforts [made by faculty and staff]. What's
missing is the administrative staffing to make those efforts more
visible to the public and better coordinated within the University,"
said education professor Rebecca Kneedler, who chaired the commission.
its purposes, the commission focused primarily on academic service,
defining it as "the application of scholarly knowledge and
professional expertise to the health, economic, educational, civic
and environmental needs of the public."
Based on its review, the commission found University programs
strong in the following five areas: civic engagement and public
policy; economic and business development; education, both K-12
and lifelong learning; the environment, both planned and natural;
University should institute ways to support and reward academic
faculty for their contributions, like other schools do, Kneedler
said. The commission found models of such programs at other universitites,
including Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill.
achieve excellence in outreach by 2020," the report says,
"U.Va. must focus and apply its expertise to issues of public
concern, work in partnership with the public on these issues,
demonstrate its commitment to public service and outreach, and
increase the visibility of its many contributions to public life."
Science and Technology Planning Commission has developed seven
strategic recommendations designed to advance the University in
coming years as a national leader in selected areas of the sciences
and technology, and to broadly enhance all related disciplines.
The commission notes that technology is enabling changes from
stem to stern and is proposing that the University substantially
strengthen its science and engineering programs across the board.
The expected cost over the next 20 years, if funded fully, is
recommendations focus on new initiatives: to establish a University-wide
Information Initiative with goals to build international leadership
in computer and information science and engineering, by creating
multidisciplinary bridge programs in these areas and developing
related world-class education programs; to establish an Institute
for Quantum and Nanoscale Science and Engineering; and to create
an interdisciplinary Institute for Biodifferentiation. The latter
area is an emerging field of biomedicine which seeks greater understanding
of how cells, tissues and organs acquire form and function, and
of the cell processes that lead to disease conditions such as
cancer and diabetes.
long-term recommendations include: supporting strategic new faculty
appointments with stable, long-lived resources to fund start-up
costs; devoting resources to improve the quality of graduate education
and to attract the nation's best graduate students; and establishing
a long-lived Fund for Excellence in Science and Technology. The
University also should strengthen central leadership for a broadly
based strategy for improving science and engineering, and empower
this leadership with resources to implement strategically important
"Our intent is to dramatically strengthen science and technology
across the board in medicine, in [Arts & Sciences], and in engineering,
and to move several disciplines into the top ranks nationally,"
said computer science professor Anita Jones, chair of the Science
and Technology Planning Commission. "By 2020, we want to
see five programs in the National Research Council's top 10 percentile
and 10 programs in the top 20 percentile ranking."