Sweeney: U.Va. creating ‘new model’
Senate sponsoring five $20,000 dissertation-year fellowships
By Matt Kelly
U.Va. is creating “a new model” for public education in America, Robert D. Sweeney, senior vice president for development and public affairs, told the Faculty Senate on Feb. 9.
This model includes changes in U.Va.’s relationship with the state, increased access for lower- and middle-income students and private funding.
The $3 billion capital campaign supports one element of the model, Sweeney said. Its success would allow U.Va. — a privately funded public university — to mirror Cornell University — a publicly funded private university in New York with a reputation for excellence.
The change to a new financing model has been years in the making. President John T. Casteen III said the state budget cuts in 1991 and 1992 greatly reduced the money the commonwealth contributed to U.Va. and showed the University that it needed to raise money on its own.
U.Va. is comparing itself with Duke University, Stanford University, Vanderbilt University and the University of Pennsylvania as peer institutions in this campaign, Sweeney said.
The ambitious campaign already has broken fund-raising tradition by publicly announcing its goal prior to the campaign’s public kickoff, Sweeney said. Campaigns usually are launched quietly, without a cited goal. Sweeney said that only Harvard was more ambitious than U.Va. with its launch of a $6 billion capital campaign.
The development office has worked closely with deans and with Gene D. Block, vice president and provost, Sweeney said, because to meet U.Va.’s $3 billion goal by Dec. 31, 2010 — the last day of the campaign — $1.9 billion needs to be raised by the schools; $625 million from units, such as athletics, the libraries and the various centers; and another $670 million for research.
There also needs to be pan-University support for the capital campaign to raise $200 million for graduate students and to make major investment in faculty recruiting. Sweeney said 20 percent to 25 percent of the Arts & Sciences faculty is more than 60 years old, and the college will need to attract younger faculty members. There also needs to be a greater financial commitment to science and technology, he added.
Sweeney said the development office had reached an agreement with the Alumni Association to transfer some of its work to U.Va. to allow a greater alumni campaign presence.
U.Va. is on target with its goal of $220 million for fiscal year 2005, closing out December with $111 million in gifts so far. Sweeney said $180 million was raised in fiscal year 2004, but that in some years, giving has reached $260 million.
Casteen summarized the legislature’s actions on a variety of initiatives, including the budget and charter initiative.
Senators approved a statement focusing on the senate’s four areas of concern with the charter change issue, including that the University stay committed to public higher education, economic diversity and the quality of the student body; employment conditions; the quality of the staff; and active faculty participation in governance changes.
Marcia D. Childress, head of the senate, noted that the academic affairs committee would continue studying the Honor System and had sought to survey faculty members. Since honor is a student-run system, the committee has sought student permission to survey the faculty on
Childress announced that the senate would sponsor five dissertation-year fellowships, at $20,000 apiece. Deadline for application is Feb. 25.