New chancellor installed
By Jane Meade-Dean
host of state officials and delegates from dozens of colleges
and universities gathered Sept. 6 at U.Va.s College
at Wise for the formal inauguration of Chancellor Steven H.
outdoor ceremony included remarks from state Secretary of Education
Belle S. Wheelan and a keynote address by Nikki Giovanni, the
acclaimed poet, activist, and University Distinguished Professor
at Virginia Tech.
colleges fifth chancellor, Kaplan, 48, has been on the job
in Wise since July 2001. The former dean of the College of Liberal
Arts and Sciences at Butler University in Indianapolis, Kaplan
was selected to lead U.Va.-Wise following a six-month national
his inaugural address, Kaplan focused on the themes of accessibility,
civic-mindedness and boldness, and paid homage to the local leaders
who helped create the college in 1954.
founders of this college, by placing it in one of the most economically
challenged parts of the Commonwealth, were honoring Thomas Jeffersons
conviction that public education should play a fundamental role
in sustaining a truly democratic society, Kaplan said. Through
the generosity of the citizens of this region, this college has
been able for almost five decades to prepare the regions
youth to become responsible and active members of a democratic
am humbled, yet thrilled, by the opportunity to carry on the work
of the many dedicated and visionary individuals who have brought
this college to its current level of success, Kaplan concluded.
Like Sam Crockett, (the colleges first director) I
cannot imagine a more invigorating, inspiring or gratifying opportunity.
John T. Casteen III commended the new chancellor for his wide
and deep experience and wonderful kind of enthusiasm.
I wish for you hard challenges because hard challenges are essential
to making progress, Casteen said. To this college
and community, I wish the great future you richly deserve.
addition to his administrative responsibilities at U.Va.-Wise,
Kaplan is professor of English, and is currently team-teaching
a course on leadership. He is also the author of a book on American
translations of the famed German poet Rainer Maria Rilke and numerous
articles on American and German literature. Kaplan has also written
Understanding Tim OBrien, a book about the critically acclaimed
Vietnam novelists fiction, and is the co-editor of Between
the Lines: International Short Stories of War, an anthology of
international war stories.
Chicago native, Kaplan received a bachelors degree in history
from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1976. He completed
his graduate studies in comparative literature at Eberhard-Karls
Universitat Tübingen in Germany, earning a masters
degree in 1982 and a Ph.D. in 1988. In 1997, he earned a diploma
from Harvard Universitys Management Development Program.
becoming chancellor at U.Va.-Wise, Kaplan held deanships at Butler
and the School of Arts and Humanities at the State University
of New York College at Buffalo.
and his wife, Anemone Schweizer-Kaplan, have four children: Aljoscha,
Silia (a student at U.Va.), Noemi (a student at U.Va.-Wise), and