Casteen reflects on the Universitys
achievements and the national tragedy in his annual message
President John T. Casteen III on the steps of Madison Hall
common experience of Sept. 11 and events since have made this
one of the most difficult annual letters to compose in the past
12 years. I have been tempted to write primarily about how the
University community reacted in the aftermath. But thinking about
what I owe you by way of an accounting of the years work
and our Universitys condition, I have realized that the
debt is something more than a summary of the most recent months.
So let me begin by outlining developments that involve the University
generally, and say that by any standard, this has been a red-letter
This is an excerpt from U.Va. President John T. Casteen IIIs
annual letter to alumni.
2000 saw the formal end of the capital campaign that enabled the
University to build new and already well-recognized academic strengths
despite the state budget cuts of the early 90s. One of the
largest and most successful efforts of its kind undertaken in
any American university, this campaign generated substantial sums
for improvements in academic programs, buildings, endowments and
scholarships. The final total exceeded $1.43 billion. This alone
is great news. What may prove even more valuable is the discovery
of a vast network of women and men volunteers who are alumni,
friends, faculty members, and students and their parents
who are now taking responsibility for envisioning, planning and
building the University of the future.
wealth of evidence demonstrates the Universitys and the
hospital and clinics continuing excellence. This year, U.S.
News & World Report ranks us second among public universities
behind California at Berkeley, with which we have played tag for
several years. In separate national assessments, both the Medical
Center as a whole and eight of its departments were ranked
among the nations top 100.
This has been a banner year for recognition of the quality of
faculty work. Funded research now exceeds $225 million, eloquent
evidence of the high esteem of the national selection committees
and review boards that award research support. Brooks Pate, a
young faculty member in chemistry and a 1987 alumnus of the College,
won a MacArthur Foundation genius award in October
an award that matters both for what it says about Brooks
pioneering work in sub-molecular structures and for what it says
about the quality of scientists among the faculty.
round out this summary of the years high points: In collaboration
with the College Foundation, the Board
of Visitors recently committed to replacing New Cabell Hall
on its current site, and to developing a major new College building
(and affiliated parking garage) to be built across Jefferson Park
Avenue from the eventual new New Cabell Hall. At the same time,
the Board approved the renovation of Cocke and Rouss halls.
new arena project, which will replace University Hall, continues
to move forward on time and on track. With two commitments of
$20 million each and a growing number of other gifts of support,
the facility is in the middle stages of design.
major projects in advanced planning or construction include research
and teaching facilities for the Medical School, major Engineering
buildings related to the VA 2020 science and technology initiatives,
a rebuilt baseball stadium, buildings for the VA 2020 fine and
performing arts initiatives, and new buildings in both the North
Fork and the Fontaine research parks. Most of these projects have
been privately financed, but several have attracted state support.
These include the Small Library and the Harrison Institute, which
comprise the new special collections library (financed by mixed
funding); a new student dining hall to replace Observatory Hill
(student fees); a five-story addition to the School
of Nursings McLeod Hall (mixed funding); and the final
phase of expansion of Clark Hall for Environmental Sciences and
an expanded science-technology library (mixed funding).
previous letters have included general summaries of faculty achievements,
and this year there are many to report. It seemed to me, however,
that in light of Sept. 11, you may have special interest in current
faculty work that has figured in the national response to terrorism.
names are well known for their work as consultants for governmental
agencies, commentators for the media and faculty members engaged
on a daily basis with students. Others are known for having taken
significant roles in protecting the national information infrastructure
against cyber-terrorism, in providing expert medical and scientific
advice as the government has moved to counter bio-terrorism, and
in interpreting the complex cultural, religious and ethnic challenges
that confront shapers of diplomacy and military strategy.
William B. Quandt (Government
and Foreign Affairs), vice provost for international affairs,
formerly a member of the National Security Council and an active
figure in shaping the Camp David accords of 1978;
Ruhi K. Ramazani (Government and Foreign Affairs emeritus),
a widely recognized expert on Middle East politics who contributed
to the negotiations to release the U.S. hostages held in Iran
between November 1979 and January 1981, and who consults regularly
on U.S. policy in the Middle East and the U.S. interest in the
security of the Persian Gulf;
W. Nathaniel Howell (Institute
for Global Policy Research), the U.S. ambassador to Kuwait
who remained at his post in Kuwait City while it was under siege
during the Iraqi invasion that preceded Desert Storm in 1990;
Philip Zelikow (Miller
Center of Public Affairs and History), now serving on President
Bushs Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board;
John Norton Moore (Law and Center
for National Security Law), formerly board chair of the U.S.
Institute of Peace and principal U.N. advisor in the determination
of the post-war Kuwait-Iraqi border, and expert on the legal aspects
of foreign policy, national security, and war and treaty powers.
Anita Jones (University Professor and Computer
Science), an expert on the security of computer infrastructures
and former head of research and development at the Department
of Defense and current vice chair of the National Science Board
as well as a principal shaper of our own VA 2020 science
and technology initiatives;
Lawrence E. Adams (Critical Incident Analysis Group), an
expert on how religion and politics influence political responses
to national crises and research director of a consortium of scholars,
law enforcement officials and professionals who seek to analyze,
anticipate, prevent and mitigate critical incidents;
Yacov Y. Haimes (Systems
Engineering and Center for Risk Management of Engineering
Systems), who studies cyber-terrorism and the interconnectedness
and interdependency of infrastructures;
Abdulaziz Sachedina (Religious
Studies), an expert on Shiite Islam, Islamic extremists, the
concept of holy war, and on Middle Eastern politics;
Peter Sheras (Education),
a clinical psychologist whose adolescent stress index is a basic
tool for addressing the impact of violence on young people;
Robert I. Webb (McIntire
School), an expert on futures markets and a former financial
futures and options trader at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange
who has served as senior financial economist at the White House.
a group of faculty members whose work bears directly on steps
now being taken to build domestic security and improve preparedness.
Gabriel Laufer (Mechanical
and Aerospace Engineering), working with Avir, a local start-up
company, to develop a chemical weapons detector, the size of a
cell phone, to pick up traces of lethal nerve gases;
Pamela Norris (Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering), working
with Veridian Systems on biological warfare sensors, including
a smart aerogel to identify bacteria and viruses such
as anthrax and small pox;
Ronald Taylor (Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics in the
of Medicine), pursuing treatment of infectious diseases with
specially sensitized red blood cells with the goal of clearing
especially virulent pathogens from the bloodstream.
the attacks of that day none were spared grief for the
deaths of those unknown to us and those dear to us. Five alumni,
the parents of two current students, and friends and families
of many members of the University community died on Sept. 11.
So within the apparent continuity of life here, the mood is different,
and many display a powerful new sense of common purpose.
university like ours exists at the junction between the individual
and society where it shapes and serves both. In the hours and
days immediately following the attacks on the World Trade Center
and the Pentagon, faculty and students organized teach-ins on
many issues, including the Middle East. A particularly powerful
one occurred after dark on Sept. 12 at the foot of the Lawn, where
some 2,500 gathered. Like many other communities, we created a
memorial to those who had died. Students from the School of Architecture
designed a place near Memorial Gymnasium where we could attach
tributes to those who were lost.
stop me on my walks to say how fortunate and sometimes how innocent
they were prior to the attacks. They understand that no one, no
human being and no institution, can be fully prepared for so massive
and vicious an assault, but they understand with sudden clarity
Mr. Jeffersons intent to educate them to be strong, free
as the nation has begun to learn new habits of diligence, the
University, like America, is resuming its daily life. Other more
ordinary events have lately asserted pride of place in our attention.
The states budget crisis Virginia is experiencing
a $1 billion shortfall in state revenue collections has
added a note of financial uncertainty to the political uncertainty.
Still, our University, like our republic, was founded on optimistic
faith in the ability of free people and democratic institutions
to set things right. What we do here confirms the durability and
continuity of that faith.