May 25-June 7, 2001
Back Issues
Paul E. Norris Jr. to head U.Va. police
More nurses coming, hospital will reopen beds
Nursing receives $1 million for McLeod expansion

Search committees for key posts named

Probing the mental wounds of ethnic conflict
Graduation festivities
Hot Links -- graduation special edition
Second Hot Links -- hospital centennial
Shenandoah Shakespeare Express coming to Charlottesville June 28
U.Va.'s 'Chicken Run'
In Memoriam
Memorial efforts for Meloy
Rebecca Arrington
Rick Turner, with his wife, Tamyra

Turner wins Sullivan Award

Staff Report

"Integrity and commitment to others are words often used to describe Rick Turner,” said Nursing School professor Sharon Utz in presenting U.Va.’s Dean of African-American Affairs with this year’s Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award at Valediction Exercises May 19. “Students note that his unwavering belief in them is a source of never-ending strength,” Utz said. “A moral conscience for us all … he challenges the status quo and enriches the University community.

One of the longest-serving deans at U.Va., Turner heads the Office of African-American Affairs, charged with “the creation of a community supportive of African-American students’ full participation in University life,” according to its mission statement. Its services include personal counseling and peer advising, collaboration with black student organizations, encouragement of communication among students, faculty and administration and programming that involves African-American alumni and parents.

Turner also serves as special adviser on minority affairs to U.Va. President John T. Casteen III.

Thanks largely to Turner’s efforts, U.Va.’s six-year graduation rate for African-American undergraduates entering in 1993 was 84.6 percent, the highest among public institutions in the country, and the highest among any school — public or private — participating in the Association for American Universities’ annual survey last year. That number has come a long way; African-American students entering in the fall of 1976, the year the OAAA was founded, graduated at only a 66.1 percent rate.

For 10 years before coming here, Turner directed the tutorial assistance program at the University of California at Irvine. He also developed the Saturday Academy, an innovative multi-cultural education program for minority children in third to eighth grades in Orange County, Calif. He launched a similar program in Charlottesville.

Turner has worked for more than 30 years in higher education, in posts including assistant director of admissions at Stanford University and assistant director of the Veterans Upward Bound program at Monterey Community College. He has also taught courses on school administration, sociology, psychology and African-American history at these and other institutions.

A 1963 graduate of Linfield College, Turner earned a master’s degree at the University of Connecticut in 1968 and a Ph.D. in higher education administration and policy at Stanford in 1978. His doctoral dissertation on the academic achievement and retention of black students in predominately white institutions continues to be a relevant topic.

The University bestows three Sullivan Awards annually to a faculty member and a female and a male member of the graduating class in recognition of their excellence of character and service to humanity.

“It’s more than an honor for me personally,” said Turner, of being selected this year’s faculty recipient. “It’s a reflection of the work of the Office of African-American Affairs and the three deans that have preceded me,” he said, adding, “No other institution of higher education in this country has had this long-standing of a commitment to the recruitment, enrollment, admission, retention and graduation of African-American students.”

Student recipients of the 2001 award are Bridget J. Kuczkowski and Kevin P. Whelan. An article featuring them is accessible online at http://www.Virginia.EDU/insideuva/humanity.html


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

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