Dec. 6, 2002-Jan. 16, 2002
Back Issues
IN THIS ISSUE
Health plan stretches to cover rising costs
Dudley steps down from PR post
Correction -- full name and title of Thomas F. Gallagher
Digest -- Daily news about U.Va.

Headlines @ U.Va.

School Reports -- Education, Architecture
NEH awards
Washington work opens intern’s eyes
Superfund sites
Tips for holiday survival
Madison House broadens scope of sharing program
Holiday open house
“A Beautiful Mind” Author to Speak
Lewis & Clark bicentennial

School Reports

Throughout the academic year, deans make annual reports to their staff and faculty, laying out the goals, aspirations - and challenges - for the upcoming year. In this issue, we begin an occasional series that takes a look at the state of the University one piece at a time.

EDUCATION

David Breneman
Photo by Stephanie Gross
Dean David Breneman

By Anne Bromley

Education Dean David Breneman said the theme of his back-to-school faculty meeting was reminiscent of Charles Dickens’ opening to A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times …”

On the one hand, the Curry School’s total operating budget has been slashed by slightly more than $1 million, or 9.7 percent, including last year’s and this year’s cuts. The hiring freeze continues, and he and his staff are whittling away at non-personnel funds.s

“Those cuts are not enough to reach the target, and we are now exploring a one-year, short-term response,” said Breneman, who has been dean since 1995, overseeing 111 full-time faculty members and 21 part-time.

On the other hand, Breneman and his faculty have just completed a successful planning process, focusing on identifying the defining areas that make the school stand out from other teacher training colleges.

At curry, there is an “overarching concept of leadership. We produce leaders as teachers, administrators and counselors.”

David Breneman
Dean, Curry School of Education

One thing that will help the effort is a recent $5 million grant awarded jointly to the Curry School and the College of Arts & Sciences. The Carnegie Corporation, with support from other foundations, chose U.Va. and four other universities around the nation to implement a new program called “Teaching for a New Era,” which aims to improve teacher training.

In addition, the school maintained its high U.S. News & World Report ranking at 19th this year, and it has several programs in the top 10, including special education (fourth), secondary teacher education (seventh), and elementary teacher education (eighth).

In the planning process, Curry members targeted children at risk as one of three top priorities in which the school already has major strength. The other two areas are providing the highest quality of teacher education and promoting integration of educational technologies into the classroom.

These themes also should serve to unite the disparate programs in the Curry School, Breneman said. Its 21 academic areas range from teacher preparation to education policy to more scientific research in communication disorders and kinesiology, which includes sports medicine and related topics.

The school’s challenge, according to the planning process summary, is “striving to balance and integrate its role as a research-based graduate school with its mission as a professional school that trains future educators.”

Looking ahead, the Curry School will celebrate its centennial in 2005.


ARCHITECTURE

Dean Karen Van Lengen
xxDean Karen Van Lengen

By Jane Ford

The School of Architecture welcomed 356 students to its undergraduate programs and 166 students in five graduate programs this year.

The undergraduates hail from places as far as Kuwait, Sri Lanka, Kenya and Bolivia. The graduate students have diverse academic backgrounds, including prior work in design, philosophy, international relations and equine science.

The school is in the process of allocating its limited resources, caused by the recent budget cuts. The school has returned to the commonwealth $620,000 — $370,000 this year, coupled with last year’s cut of $250,000.

In light of these cuts, dean Karen Van Lengen said, “We have placed the highest priority on maintaining staff and faculty positions and protecting the core mission of our school.”

The Board of Visitors approved the south building and landscape additions, designed by professors William Sherman and Warren Byrd with Richmond-based SMBW Architects. “This marks a significant achievement toward our goal for a new and renovated Campbell Hall,” Van Lengen said.

The east building and landscape additions, designed by professors W. G. Clark and Warren Byrd with SMBW Architects, are in the schematic phase.

“The goal is to provide every student ... an opportunity to participate in a traveling studio.”

Karen Van Lengen
Dean, School of Architecture

Numerous students returned from summer travel abroad — with professors Yunsheng Huang and Craig Barton in the China program and with professors Charlie Menefee and Judith Kinnard in the program in Vincenza, Italy.

This fall, 10 undergraduates are studying in Copenhagen and 16 students, from architecture, landscape architecture, architectural history and planning,are studying in the graduate program in Venice, directed by Sherman, the first Valmarana Professor.

The school also is hosting four German exchange students from the Technical University in Cottbus who are studying in the architecture and planning departments.

Other students traveled no farther than Crozet this summer to finish construction of the collaborative entry in the Department of Energy’s first Solar Decathlon in Washington this fall. In competition with 13 other schools from across the country, U.Va.’s team, made up of architecture and engineering students, built a climate-responsive home run totally on solar energy. They won first place in the design and livability portion of the contest and took second place overall.

“I am especially proud of this project for its contribution to the academic mission of this school, its interdisciplinary process and its contribution to the built environment,” said Van Lengen.


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