Feb. 15-21, 2002
Back Issues
Employees form union
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways
Weekend doubleheader to open transformed baseball stadium

Off the Shelf -- recently published books by U.Va. faculty and staff

Correction -- Thermometers supplied for free
Debbie Ryan looms as a giant in women’s basketball
Hunter to head science, engineering libraries
Notable -- awards and achievements of faculty and staff
Scholarship applications for faculty and staff children now available
Hot Links -- Newcomb Hall’s Web site
Engineering annual open house Feb. 23

Letters Feb. 6, 2002

Dear Provost Gene Block and School of Engineering and Applied Science Colleagues,

We are all painfully aware of the difficult financial times the University of Virginia is facing as a result of the state’s budgetary problems. I believe our administration is doing its best to cope with the challenges in fair ways, with sensitivity to the various needs of the students, the faculty and the staff. Ours is a deservedly internationally recognized institution, with great Schools and a great College and, consequently, many demands. The challenges facing our administration are daunting and they have our sympathy but, more importantly, they also have our cooperation and support.

While money is short we have other capital we should use wisely in these difficult times. We have ourselves, a comity of scholars with a deep regard for the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge. More than ever we should share generously one with the other. Intellectual discussion and open, collegial debate on all matters of concern should be encouraged. We must make sure to continue to look after the advancement of our younger faculty, who joined our University to succeed professionally. Let us emphasize our leadership roles in good communication and mentoring.

We have our students, the most precious resource we possess. Their education in our classrooms and labs, the uncovering of new knowledge in their company, their liberal education and the advancement of their professional careers, should remain our top priority. In the current climate of preoccupations, let us not forget to attend to them.

Consider the staff that makes our activities possible, from lab technicians to cleaning staff, persons who work to make the place functional and look good, in spite of the difficult times. Let us continue to appreciate them.

But at the same time, let us continue to respectfully remind our administration that, like every other School and the College, SEAS has its set of special needs. I believe we can survive a temporary lack of salary increases. I seriously doubt our research programs can survive a significant, protracted decrease in qualified graduate students. Unattended, this problem will precipitate a loss of precious, hard-earned programs, and of distinguished faculty associated with them. In particular, the tuition differential for out-of-state students continues to be problematic. I urge the University administration, especially Provost Gene Block, to continue to search for an acceptable, fair and timely solution; one that will allow SEAS to continue to enroll the numbers of qualified graduate students it needs to maintain its national eminence in research.



Joseph A.C. Humphrey
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


NOTE: The SEAS Faculty Council also sent a letter to U.Va. President John T. Casteen III last week on the urgency of offering the tuition differential to attract new graduate students


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