Aug. 9-29, 2002
Vol. 32, Issue 24
Back Issues
U.Va. freezes state-funded jobs, braces for more budget cuts
American icon still shakes up students of music and culture
Moving in: Clark Hall addition opens
Local officials to meet
Publication notice

Art conservation plays a key role

Students use research grants to examine University traditions and history
Father of chemical genetics to start new program here
Researchers identify gene involved in autoimmune disease
Hot Links -- Athletics Department’s Web site
Protecting endangered species
Actor Ethan Hawke share his artistic talents with U.Va.
Students study abroad in Africa

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U.Va. freezes state-funded jobs, braces for more budget cuts

Staff report

Facing bleak financial news from the state and the prospect of additional budget cuts, the University’s administration has fine-tuned the guidelines of a hiring freeze announced July 25 and asked vice presidents and deans to prepare plans for the equivalent of a 7 percent reduction in their spending.

“We fully expect to be asked by the governor to make additional reductions to our operating budgets in this fiscal year and next, although at this time we do not know the magnitude of those reductions,” wrote Yoke San L. Reynolds, vice president for finance, and Colette Sheehy, vice president for management and budget, in a memo distributed Aug. 1. “We believe at this time that planning for a 7 percent reduction will adequately cover what we might be asked to do.”

The University anticipated receiving about $141.5 million from the state in the 2003 fiscal year, which began July 1. That accounts for about 17 percent of the academic division’s budget.

The freeze on state-funded hiring and discretionary spending came in response to a request on July 23 from Gov. Mark R. Warner for immediate action from state agency heads in light of a $237 million shortfall in revenue. Warner also asked his staff to reassess the revenue picture and said he plans to announce the revisions on Aug. 19. Full story.

American icon still shakes up students of music and culture

Stephan Prock

Photo by Rebecca Arrington
“Elvis Presley is a lens through which we can look at large musical and cultural forces,” says music professor and composer Stephan Prock, who teaches a course on the late, great entertainer, dead 25 years come Aug. 16.

By Lee Graves

Twenty-five years after his death, Elvis Presley still projects a riveting presence on the stage of American culture. Whether in tabloid headlines, sequined impersonators or recycled hits, the King commands attention.

“In an image-laden culture, he’s the quintessential American image,” says Stephan Prock, a lecturer and composer at U.Va.

Prock teaches a course on the King called “All Shook Up: Elvis in American Culture.” It examines the life, times, music and legacy of Presley and how they provide insights into the national character.

The 25th anniversary of Presley’s death on Aug. 16 gives Prock’s course special meaning and appeal this year. “I have a lot of kids signed up, the most ever for a summer course.”

The drawing power of Presley also is being felt on the music charts this summer. According to Billboard magazine, “A Little Less Conversation,” a refurbished Elvis song, became the No. 1 single in the United States on its sales charts in early July. The same tune had been No. 1 in England for weeks.

Prock suspects some students enrolled in his course thinking it would be no more demanding than a pop quiz. But “All Shook Up” takes an in-depth look at the conflicts that existed in the 1950s and how Presley embodied and exposed them. The country was yearning for a sense of stability in the wake of World War II, but the racial and sexual tensions that simmered in society bubbled to the surface in Presley’s performances and recordings. Full story.


© Copyright 2002 by the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia

News Publications Editor
Dan Heuchert

News Graphics Editor
Rebecca Arrington

Senior Editor
Anne Bromley

Director, News Services
Carol Wood

Robert Brickhouse
Charlotte Crystal
Jane Ford
Lee Graves
Matt Kelly
Elizabeth Kiem
Fariss Samarrai

Web Editor
Karen Asher

Send questions or story suggestions to Dan Heuchert or Carol Wood or call (434) 924-7116.

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