Characteristics of the University
we envision the University in the year 2020, said President John
T. Casteen III, it will have the following characteristics, which
he credited Chief Planning Officer Laurie Kelsh with identifying.
Boundaries between our disciplines, barriers to collaboration
are physical, financial, organizational, or indeed philosophical
have to be broken down, and they have to be broken down
in fundamental ways if the University is going to lead in an era
of increasingly diffuse or altered distinctions among people and
among its environments.
We have become entrepreneurial in a way that has been extraordinarily
healthy for the academic enterprise. Innovations in our programs
are driven in part by competition. The competition has to do with
ideas that are judged on their merits and the competition is in
part informed by failures. Raising $1.43 billion happened because
Bob Sweeney [senior vice president for development and public
affairs] and others brought to us this vision of an entrepreneurial
way of developing the institution, in which the academic core
became the fundamental selling point.
I think one of the hardest parts of the four commission reports
was the realiza-
tion that to measure ourselves against others [meant] acknowledging
certain weaknesses. The test of accountability is not the discovery
that we arent as good as somebody else at something, but
instead, the capacity to act and to do it decisively, in time
to address the issues. One of my reasons for including those remarks
about faculty work already in progress on the commissions was
simply to show ways in which people have already begun to act
because of the realization that weaknesses imply opportunities.
We always have to have a long-range vision in front of us. We
intend to take our place
among the top universities in the world. We are very close to
that at this point but we are not there. We intend to attract,
to develop, to sustain world-class faculty and students, and in
the process to take them away from other institutions of equal
or similar strength. We intend to design and construct facilities
and landscapes to reflect the highest and best use of resources.
We intend this place to be the Academical Village that its founder
In this institution, barriers that are financial or physical or
based on gender, ethnicity, or race
do not fit. The University has an obligation to sustain full participation
in its programs. Let our Grounds be filled with persons of diverse
talents, opinions, and cultures, living and learning together
thats the vision of the village.
and self-governing. We learned self-sufficiency with a vengeance
middle part of the 90s. We need to be capable of developing
a course and willing to sustain that course. We need to use change
as a means of reinvigorating the life of the mind. We need to
possess the capacity to generate resources sufficient to weather
difficult times without compromising our standards. And we need
to see to it that access to those resources is fairly and equitably
distributed. We need to see to it that plans and expressed public
purposes justify the expenditures that we make.
ranked. The goal is to see to it that in the year 2020, the
University is and remains the top
public institution in the country and that it ranks within the
top 10 or 15 overall in all the country.
will cultivate, within the confines of the larger institution,
areas of unparalleled eminence. That is, we intend to dominate
in fields that are selected as being our key fields. We intend
to remain relatively small by comparison to other major institutions
and residential, because we believe that in the life of students
on these Grounds lies part of the essential value of education
here. And we will in the end, if we succeed, fulfill Jeffersons
assertion that this institution would become the bulwark of the
human mind in this hemisphere.
from President Casteens
State of the University address