Aug. 31-Sept. 6, 2001
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IN THIS ISSUE
Littlepage is named new AD
U.Va. distance learning goes all the way to South Africa
'Second genetic code' discovered
Professor strives to define an emotion

University receives grant to address alcohol abuse

Familiar faces step up to lead the University
Summer students experience foreign languages, cultures
Icelandic student learns Latin
Grad's work a sign of success
Wall Street wiz advises on endowment
Hot Links -- Computer security
Alzheimer's researchers get grants
'New Art' at Fayerweather
Move-in day

Familiar faces step up to lead the University

Staff Report

Some key leadership positions have been filled over the summer — that of provost, Arts & Sciences dean, vice president for research and director of the University Press, as well as the athletics director. [See story on Craig Littlepage’s appointment.]

Gene Block
Gene Block

Gene D. Block, U.Va. vice president for research and public service and an internationally respected biologist known for his research on biological rhythms, has been named the University’s vice president and provost.

As the chief academic officer, Block is responsible for oversight of U.Va.’s 10 schools, as well as the University Library, the U.Va. Art Museum and the University’s three residential colleges. He took over July 1 from Peter W. Low, provost since 1994, who returned to teaching at the Law School.  

University history professor Edward L. Ayers has been named dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. He is a natioally acclaimed expert on the history of the South and a pioneer in the use of technology in humanities research and teaching.

Ayers, the Hugh P. Kelly Professor of History, succeeds Melvyn P. Leffler as the chief administrator of the liberal arts core of the University. With approximately 725 faculty members in 25 academic departments, a like number of academic and research centers and interdisciplinary programs, and more than 10,600 of U.Va.’s 18,550 undergraduate and graduate students, the College and Graduate School include approximately 20 programs ranked among the nation’s strongest as well as recognized leaders in every field of learning within the liberal arts.

Ed Ayers
Photo by Rebecca Arrington
Ed Ayers

Block and Ayers said they plan to continue teaching and conducting research. Enriching the undergraduate experience and moving forward Virginia 2020 plans top their agendas as they assume their new posts this semester, the two men told the Board of Visitors in June.

Cooperation with the rest of the University to “make all of us stronger” is one of the goals Ayers has set as dean of Arts & Sciences. He also told the board that he will request that more junior faculty be hired to teach the College’s largest classes. He plans to offer more graduate student fellowships as well, and to improve classroom and lab space “sooner rather than later.” He hopes to create new programs, based on students’ interests and wants students and faculty to have as much contact with him as possible. To this end, he will schedule weekly open office hours.

Block told the board that he will develop a timetable to carry forward the Virginia 2020 initiatives. He will also make “a concerted effort to bring more women and minorities to top leadership posts,” improve graduate student incentives to attract the brightest and best, maintain outstanding libraries, improve facilities and plan more exchange and study abroad programs to “internationalize” the University.

U.Va. distinguishes itself as offering a unique research experience for undergraduates,” he noted.

Ariel Gomez
Photo by Dan Heuchert
Dr. R. Ariel Gomez

Dr. Ariel Gomez

Dr. R. Ariel Gomez, professor of pediatrics at U.Va., has been named interim vice president for research and public service while a search is conducted to replace Gene Block. Gomez will head the office responsible for the development and support of faculty research as well as public service, federal and industrial relations and intellectual property. He has been actively involved as a special adviser to Block on a broad range of research issues and served on the Virginia 2020 Science and Technology Planning Commission.

Gomez, who also serves as director of the Center for Organogenesis and the NIH-supported Center of Excellence in Pediatric Nephrology, pursues fundamental research on the basic mechanisms of kidney development.

Penelope Kaiserlian
Penelope Kaiserlian

Penelope Kaiserlian

The University Press of Virginia has a new director: Penelope “Penny” J. Kaiserlian, who was the associate director and editorial director of the University of Chicago Press. Kaiserlian brings a wealth of management experience and editorial judgment to Charlottesville from the nation’s top academic publisher, which has annual book publishing income of more than $20 million.

Harmon, Lampkin get new posts

William W. Harmon, U.Va. vice president for student affairs since 1994, will become senior vice president this summer to work on athletics fund raising, among other duties. In his new role, Harmon will serve as a key member of the team spearheading plans for a new basketball and special-events facility.

Patricia M. Lampkin, associate vice president for student affairs, will serve as interim vice president while a search is conducted.


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