April 27-May 3, 2001
Back Issues
Casteen rallies U.Va. community to work toward future excellence
In Tune -- Dave Matthews Band Concert photo
Faculty Senate lectured on book-buying economics

Economics professor designs auction to reduce irrigation

General Faculty 2001-02 Council
Characteristics of the University in 2020
In Memoriam
Area code 434 starts June 1
Notable -- awards and achievements of faculty and staff
Hot Links -- Finals Weekend schedule
Important academic dates

Systems engineering students analyze Charlottesville's voting procedures

Characteristics of the University in 2020

As 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.

Interdisciplinary. Boundaries between our disciplines, barriers to collaboration — whether they
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.

Entrepreneurial. 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.

Accountable. 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 aren’t 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.

Aspiring. 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 imagined.

Open. 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 — that’s the vision of the village.

Self-sufficient and self-governing. We learned self-sufficiency with a vengeance in the
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.

Highly 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.

We 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 Jefferson’s assertion that this institution would become the bulwark of the human mind in this hemisphere.

—Excerpted from President Casteen’s
State of the University address


© Copyright 2001 by the Rector and Visitors
of the University of Virginia

UVa Home Page UVa Events Calendar Top News UVa Home Page