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
Summer bountiful in some areas, dry in others
'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

Summer bountiful in some areas, dry in others

Staff Report

Several recent gifts — such as John Kluge’s land and $20 million given anonymously for an athletics arena — will enhance the University’s future, while uncertainties about the state’s budget keep some important capital projects, including buildings for arts and special collections, at a standstill.

Some familiar faces filling top leadership positions also will have an impact on Grounds.

Kluge gives estate to U.Va.

Billionaire businessman and philanthropist John W. Kluge announced in May that he was giving the University of Virginia Foundation his 7,378-acre Albemarle County estate. This includes historic Morven Farm, 10 working farms and more than two dozen houses and modernized farm buildings.

Valued in excess of $45 million, it is the second largest single gift in the University’s history, and more than doubles the land holdings of U.Va. and its related foundations.

Terms of the gift state that the U.Va. Foundation, which provides management of some of the University’s real estate holdings, must preserve in perpetuity approximately 749 acres of Morven Farm, designated as the core property, for educational uses. Kluge, a longtime University benefactor, will retain use of the core property, plus an adjacent 490 acres of farmland, throughout his lifetime.

The working farms not included in the core property are being leased. Proceeds from the eventual sale of these farms will be used to maintain and operate the remaining properties and to establish ongoing educational programs.

Over time, the University will develop a comprehensive plan to match its needs and aspirations with the Kluge facilities, said President John T. Casteen III. Initial possibilities include using the buildings for meetings and conferences, musical performances and art exhibitions, studios for visiting artists, and dining and catering facilities. Future plans could include renovation of barns into dormitory-style lodging for summer workshops, visiting fellows programs, and special residential master-writers’ programs.s

Athletics funding

The University will likely increase student fees and step up marketing and private fund-raising efforts to ensure the long-term financial stability of U.Va. athletics without tiering or eliminating any sports. “We’re not prepared to make recommendations about specific sports” yet, Leonard W. Sandridge, executive vice president and chief operating officer, told the Board of Visitors at its July 13 meeting in Richmond. However, “we do plan to get to that point.”

Conceptual drawing of the University’s proposed baseball stadium.

The conclusions reached, to date, based on a task force report and further analysis by the board’s Finance and Student Affairs and Athletics committees and University staff, are as follows: U.Va. athletics has not seen the financial crises experienced by many institutions; academic performance requires ongoing attention; NCAA compliance requires a consistent and continuing focus; U.Va. has the means to address resource needs; and sound financial management is essential.

The board asked Sandridge to proceed with analysis and produce a five-year plan for athletics that shows expenses, funding sources, key success factors and a balanced budget.

The University will receive $20 million to kick off its fund-raising campaign for a proposed athletic and special events arena on Massie Road. The anonymous gift represents about one-third of the core funding needed to begin the arena project, estimated to cost $125 million. The gift, the second largest gift ever for U.Va. athletics, will finance the planning of the project, slated for completion by fall 2006, Casteen said.

The Department of Athletics has received $2 million in gifts to launch a $4 million construction project to transform the baseball facility.

The gifts, also from anonymous donors, are designated to create “one of the best places to watch and play baseball in the Atlantic Coast Conference,” said head baseball coach Dennis Womack. Pending state approval, the University plans to break ground this summer and complete the first phase of the project by the beginning of the 2002 baseball season.

Governor funds few projects

As Gov. Jim Gilmore and other officials work on the state budget, the governor has approved $64.1 million in privately raised funds on several capital projects that had been frozen since he and state legislators were unable to resolve a state budget impasse: $43.3 million for eight academic division projects and $20.8 million for the Medical Center:

Gov. Jim Gilmore reviewed plans for the University Library’s new $26 million Special Collections building with President John T. Casteen III and other University officials on a visit Aug. 21, but left without freeing up the state’s $7 million portion of the construction project. He pledged to make a decision in 30 to 45 days on unfreezing the funds.

Settlement with fired employees

The University worked out a resolution between the Medical Center and five former employees who were suing U.Va. on the grounds that they were fired unjustly, officials announced Aug. 5.

Attorneys representing both sides had met several times in hopes of working out an agreement. As a result, the five plaintiffs will receive a lump sum payment of $22,000 — to be allocated among them — to help cover their expenses while looking for new employment. This is equal to approximately three months of severance pay per person.

The plaintiffs’ firings came after the alleged sexual assaults of two patients by a Medical Center employee who had been convicted of a drug-related felony prior to being hired by the Medical Center. In the aftermath of the allegations, the Medical Center took numerous steps to protect its patients, including a review of all temporary and probationary employees. It fired nine employees who had criminal records. Three were rehired.

The plaintiffs were suing for back pay and for the right to return to their former jobs or similar ones at the Medical Center.


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