Newcomb director eager to build
on students learning experience
Ashby, who took his post as director of Newcomb Hall a month ago,
likes to think hes offering students another avenue to get
a well-rounded college education.
of the attractions that lured this Southern Californian east
besides the history and reputation of U.Va. was the emphasis
on student self-governance here. Formerly the director of business
services at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis
Obispo for six years, Ashby said he enjoys direct, daily interaction
with students and student leaders.
of his job involves advising the many student groups housed in
Newcomb, as well as student employees. The skills students can
learn as they lead or participate in their organizations complement
and enhance the learning experience, he said. He sees his role
as going hand-in-hand with that of academic faculty and their
with running Newcomb Hall, Ashby will be instrumental in helping
plan U.Va.s future student center, having worked on similar
construction projects at Cal Poly. Students need more informal,
multi-use gathering space, and groups need larger areas for activities,
such as performances, he said. The many a cappella groups at U.Va.
dont have enough rehearsal rooms, for instance.
the project in the beginning phase, the next steps will be doing
a feasibility study and deciding whether to build an addition
or a separate building, said Ashby, who added that hes looking
forward to getting student input.
Council conducted research that found that the amount of space
available to students has not kept pace with the increase in the
number of students on Grounds. Last year, the council created
a special committee to work on a new student center initiative.