Jan. 30-Feb. 12, 2004
Vol. 34, Issue 2
Back Issues
Darden to run ethics institute
Faculty Senate talks athletics, other business
First Lady of Virginia, Lisa Collis, a leader in public service
Facilities focus of BOV’s Student Affairs meeting
Headlines @ U.Va.
Undergrad wins Mitchell Scholarship
Online COMPASS makes room reservations easy
Humans began altering global climate thousands of years ago
Xiaoming ‘Peter’ Yu
Revisiting Racial Diversity
2004 Black History Month Calendar of Events
Stem-cell researcher finds unusual ally in GOP leader
Can the spam: E-mail filter weeds out those unwanted messages
Collage glues together numerous pespectives
What’s a Didjeridu?
Mini-med school accepting applications until Feb. 27
Students drive real estate market

Faculty Senate talks athletics, other business

By Matt Kelly

Director of Athletics Craig K. Littlepage assured the Faculty Senate Jan. 20 that he was moving his department toward a 100 percent graduation rate for athletes who complete their eligibility at U.Va.

Littlepage also said the athletic department wants to win championships, increase its endowment, build the highest-quality facilities, improve recruitment and meet all gender-equity requirements.

U.Va. student-athletes posted an 82 percent graduation rate in the recent National Collegiate Athletic Association survey, compared to the national average of 63 percent. Littlepage cautioned the faculty that the U.Va. rate was deceptive because the NCAA graduation rates are based solely on students who matriculate at a university, receive some form of grant or aid, remain for their entire four years at the same university and then graduate. Thus, athletes who start at U.Va., transfer to other schools in good academic standing and graduate from those institutions are counted as non-graduates in U.Va.’s graduation numbers.

“That other 18 percent are not academic casualties,” he said, adding that only 1 to 2 percent of entering student-athletes failed to graduate from somewhere.

About 230 of the University’s 650 athletes are on the Atlantic Coast Conference Honor Roll, which requires a grade-point average of 3.0 or above — an accomplishment that is second only to Duke University. Littlepage wants to increase the number of Virginia athletes on the honor roll to 40 or 50 percent of all student-athletes.

Recent highly publicized incidents have made for a difficult time for sports on the national stage, Littlepage said, with some coaches and administrators getting caught up in “unfortunate activities.” Athletic departments were being held accountable, which is a good thing, he said, because athletic departments must articulate the values of their universities.

“We must operate with integrity,” he said.

Littlepage called for more focus on how sports contribute to the mission of the University. Individual divisions of the University cannot be successful by themselves, he stressed. They are all part of one University, with mutually beneficial goals.

University President John T. Casteen III reminded faculty members that the Athletic Department’s Virginia 2020 task force proposed de-emphasizing some lower-profile sports. The Board of Visitors rejected that proposal, Casteen said, and called for full funding of scholarships for all 25 varsity teams (12 for men and 13 for women).

Casteen said many sports donors become academic donors, though very few go from sports to academics and back again.

The Faculty Senate also heard a report from Casteen on the agenda of the General Assembly, currently in session in Richmond. He described the budget situation as very fluid, with most of the education emphasis focused on primary and secondary schools. He said there were several bills being introduced that could affect higher education, but what is proposed now may never be acted on.

“It can all turn around and bills can disappear,” he said.

In other business before the Faculty Senate, University Librarian Karin Wittenborg and Diane H. Walker, associate University librarian for user services, discussed reduced acquisitions due to budget cuts. Walker said while the collections budget, which absorbed an 8 percent cut last year, held steady this year, the price of publications and books was increasing, so the library’s buying power has decreased. In some cases where there are electronic and paper editions of the same journal, the library has opted to subscribe to the electronic edition.

Private funding of library acquisitions has increased from 9 percent in 2000 to 14 percent in 2003, Wittenborg said.

The Senate also approved a merger of the existing graduate program in the history of art and the existing Ph.D. program in architectural history to form a joint graduate program in the history of art and architecture. This proposal still has to be approved by the Board of Visitors.



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