Characterizes diversity, fund-raising goals
President’s Commission on Diversity and Equity recommends
creation of chief officer for diversity and equity; Ca steen discusses $3 billion
initial campaign target
warnings that a tornado might be heading toward the University the afternoon
of June 11, President John T. Casteen III and members of the Board
of Visitors’ Special Committee on Diversity gave their complete attention — and
full support — to a plan to establish a chief officer for diversity
and equity and to develop bold initiatives that will quickly position
U.Va. as a leader among public institutions in these areas.
M. Davis and Michael J. Smith, co-chairs of the president’s Commission
on Diversity and Equity, presented the plan. Their report represented
the first public announcement of the commission’s findings, and
kicked off a lively discussion on the complex issues at hand.
his opening remarks, Smith said, “We believe that only by embracing
diversity in the global village of the 21st century can we hope to cultivate
and improve our minds; the alternative is an increasingly irrelevant
defensive crouch as the world moves on. We can and we must do better
than improve compliance with existing federal government regulations. … We
can lead in the study — and in the achievement — of genuine
diversity in all components of our collective life.”
have no wish to write another well-crafted, well-meaning report to be
added to the long history of such reports,” Davis stressed. Success
in diversity and equity requires that several key factors be in place,
including a “commitment to change and success at the highest levels
of University leadership,” which she said she believes exists in
the president’s office and within the Board of Visitors.
officer for diversity and equity
As both a reflection
of that commitment, and in support of it, the commission’s “overarching
recommendation” was the creation of a chief officer for diversity and
someone who wakes up thinking about this,” Smith said of the commission’s
rationale for recommending this position. “We need someone to ask, ‘Are
you doing it? Is it done?’”
to Launch Largest Campaign in Higher Education
D. Sweeney, senior vice president for development and public affairs,
came to the June 12 board meeting to lead a policy
discussion on philanthropy
and laid out his strategy and vision for the University’s next
He said that he hoped the campaign would help the University stake
its claim as not just a great public, but as one of the nation’s great
universities intent on creating a new model of education.
This campaign is now the largest campaign of any university at any time,” Sweeney
said, adding that because it was so ambitious, strategic planning on
how to achieve success needed to be equally ambitious.
To that end, Sweeney said he and his development colleagues recently
had completed a plan that included breaking down the campaign minute
The duration of the campaign will be eight years. … That’s
2,921 days; 70,104 hours; 4,206,240 minutes,” he said to the surprise
of board members. “It will require us to raise $1,027,045 a day.
That’s working 24-7, 365 days a year!”
Sweeney indicated that his staff of approximately 150 development
officers would have to make 10,400 solicitations over the next
eight years. “This
is serious business,” Sweeney said.
While the campaign, which began its quiet phase in January,
went public at the meeting, the official kickoff
date has not yet
been set. President
John T. Casteen III and Sweeney are looking at sometime in
Between now and the kickoff, University priorities are
being discussed and vetted. However, a number of
have been identified
and will be key in the campaign. They include: Virginia 2020
initiatives in the arts, sciences and technology, international
and athletics; the South Lawn and the Commerce Back to the
well as art facilities and the completion of the arena; a
cancer center; and a children’s medical center.
a decade ago, John Casteen committed that the University
of Virginia would be the finest public university in the
nation. We have fulfilled
that vision,” Sweeney said.
. . . this board and this president have laid out an even
more ambitious plan for the University’s
future. From today forward, the word ‘public’ simply
indicates our most precious core value and signifies
a mandate for action in service
to the people. No longer will the word be used as a crutch
to justify an imaginary dividing line between U.Va. and
the most important American institutions. These are unprecedented
will require unprecedented
performance. Clearly, philanthropy will be the X factor
in achieving our aspirations.”
his support for the idea, board member Terence P. Ross said the value of
hiring a chief officer for diversity and equity was not just in that person’s
ability to spearhead U.Va.’s diversity efforts, but also in that person’s
ability to serve as a sustainable “repository” of U.Va.’s
goals. “We need an institutional memory regarding diversity and equity” that
extends beyond the term limits of board members, or the appointments of
key administrators, he said.
for bold initiatives and quick action
While board member
John O. “Dubby” Wynne supported the creation of a chief diversity
officer, he challenged the commission to think even bolder. He said experience
has taught him that change in the areas of diversity and equity need to come
quickly. “Slow and steady progress can often lead to frustration. You
need to develop a couple of highly visible initiatives that people can get
up with that kind of bold initiative in financial aid,” he said in
reference to Access UVa, the $16 million plan approved by the board in February
to keep the cost of higher education affordable to all students. “How
do we encourage change here?”
Warren M. Thompson,
chairman of the Special Committee on Diversity, also favored quick, decisive
movement. Without a dedicated chief officer driving the process, Thompson
predicted, “Two years from now, we’ll still be where we are now.”
noting that money had been set aside in the budget to fund the position.
of diversity and equity initiatives
their presentation, Davis and Smith highlighted a few specific initiatives — for
example, regular student and faculty exchanges between U.Va. and historically
black colleges and universities — that were part of a “whole
raft of ideas” they said had been generated by the commission’s
four subcommittees and that they believed would “give this officer … a
The next morning,
the board passed a unanimous resolution praising Casteen for his leadership
on diversity issues thanking the commission for its work, and stating that
it looked forward to receiving the commission’s final report this fall
and to working toward the implementation of the recommendations.
receives formal approval
The $1.73 billion
budget for fiscal year 2004-2005 was formally approved at the June meeting.
The budget not
only includes a state-authorized 3 percent raise that will take effect Nov.
25, but a 2 percent, merit-based salary
increase for teaching and administrative faculty, a $250,000 salary pool to “address
critical market and retention needs,” and $200,000 for bonuses and other
supplemental increases are part of a four-year effort to raise compensation
for faculty and staff. A year ago, board members identified compensation
as one of the key issues facing U.Va., and launched the plan to increase
compensation levels among all University employees, including bringing faculty
salaries up to nationally competitive levels.
the board supplemented the state’s 2.25 percent salary increases with
an additional 1.75 percent — again, targeted, merit-based increases — for
teaching faculty, plus a pool of funds for classified staff salary adjustments.
As a result, U.Va. jumped from No. 30 to No. 24 in faculty salaries among
its national peer schools in the American Association of Universities’ rankings.
During its May
work session, the Finance Committee approved a resolution targeting an AAU
ranking of between 15 and 19 by 2006-2007 — approximately the same
ranking the University held in 1989-1990, before vigorous state budget cuts.
Besides the salary
initiatives, the spending plan also provides support for the innovative Access
UVa financial aid program and the continuing implementation of the Health
System’s Decade Plan.
The overall budget’s
$1.73 billion price tag represents a 7.5 percent increase over the current
spending plan. It takes effect July 1, the beginning of the fiscal year.
a good budget,” declared Leonard W. Sandridge, executive vice president
and chief operating officer. “We’re building and investing in
ways to further this institution.”
Other board business
• The board
established two new endowed chairs: the Samuel Braley Gray Professorship
in Mathematical Education, to be held in the Curry School of Education, in
honor of the memory of A. Vincent Shea, and the United Technologies Corp.
Professorship in Business Administration in the Darden School. These actions
bring the total of endowed chairs to 435.
• In response
to a few violent incidents involving a small number of students this past
academic year, the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs will
put new programs and training into place to help prevent future episodes
from occurring. Students participating in this summer’s Leadership
2004 program, for example, will attend a session on conflict management.
• The Honor
Committee has set three goals: greater outreach to international students;
strengthening its fall education program to include discussions of student
accountability; and working closely with faculty members to explore the role
of the Honor System.
designs for a proposed studio arts building were approved. Current projected
cost: $16.7 million.
• $7 million
budget for Fayerweather Hall renovations also approved.