Casteen, Grossman report to senate
Focus on fund-raising goals, international initiatives and athletics
File photo/Dan Addison
File photo/Peggy Harrison
|Of the money raised so far, Casteen said that $1 billion would be directed to capital projects, $1 billion to faculty and student support and the remainder assigned to unrestricted endowment.
||Grossman wants U.Va. to be recognized as a global university.
In that pursuit, she wants:
• to make study abroad more accessible
• to increase the breadth and depth of international courses
• more diversity in the overseas programs, with more of an effort to get students to broaden their experience.
By Matt Kelly
The University is staying “ahead of the curve” in its $3 billion capital campaign, President John T. Casteen III told the Faculty Senate on Friday, Dec. 9.
About $826.3 million has been raised during the “silent” portion of the campaign, which precedes the officiall kickoff on Sept. 30, 2006. It is standard to have about one third of the money raised before the official launch, Casteen said, and the University is staying ahead of its target.
Casteen told the senate that meetings with previous donors were drawing more people talking about larger gifts.
“People are interested in the first $1 billion, and there is usually a surge as you near that goal,” he said.
As one example, he pointed to tremendous interest among alumni in Hong Kong and Singapore, and he said these alumni are working with parents of current students from these regions. Donors, he said, are concerned about the curriculum and U.S. aptitude in technology. He added that there is an increasing interest in supporting health sciences.
Of the money raised so far, Casteen said, $1 billion would be directed to capital projects, $1 billion to faculty and student support and the remainder assigned to unrestricted endowment.
The donations also may be matched by state money for high-tech research, recently announced by Gov. Mark Warner. Casteen said the initiative, billed as a $554 million effort, contains about $299 million in private matching funds.
The state moved away from funding research in 1990, Casteen said, but there is now a new emphasis on research that will aid the state economy, replacing the pillars of the old economy — textiles and agriculture. Twenty-one counties in Southside Virginia have been in recession for 10 years, he said, with unemployment rates in many of these areas above 10 percent, compared to a 4.5 percent statewide average. New jobs are being created in this region through small, high-tech firms, he said, and research would help these industries. Without firm economic steps, Casteen said, Southside would continue to lose younger residents.
In other business, Vice Provost for International Affairs Leigh B. Grossman unveiled her vision for the University’s international education initiatives.
Grossman said she wants U.Va. to be recognized as a global university, make study abroad more accessible and increase the breadth and depth of international courses. There are currently 85 exchange programs in 27 countries, as well as foreign study programs in the summer term and two-week January term.
She wants more diversity in the overseas programs, with more of an effort to get students to broaden their experience. Currently, she said, many students travel to the countries of their ethnic origin, instead of experiencing a totally foreign environment. She also suggested a “semester at sea,” where the participating students would travel by ship and visit many different countries.
U.Va. is popular among foreign students from, in descending order, South Korea, China, India, Canada and Turkey, with China and India supplying the most foreign graduate students. Grossman said she wants more international diversity among the faculty and the on-Grounds course offerings. She also promoted University programs aimed at diplomatic and foreign-service careers.
In a discussion about funding existing centers focusing on international issues, Casteen said there was some foundation support available for events, such as the 2003 “Re-imagining Ireland” conference. There is also federal money available, Casteen said, but the University had stopped applying for it years ago.
The senate briefly discussed funding faculty members who wished to travel abroad.
Athletic Director Craig K. Littlepage outlined heightened academic requirements of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, which sets standards and monitors progress for student athletes.
“U.Va. has exceeded its threshold in each of our 25 sports,” Littlepage said.
According to Littlepage, the National Collegiate Scouting Association — in factoring academic excellence, strength of athletic programs and student-athlete graduation rate — ranked U.Va. ninth nationally, behind schools such as Princeton, Notre Dame and Yale. He said Newsweek had ranked U.Va. among the top 25 percent for fitness, with about 94 percent of the students using the school’s athletic facilities.
Littlepage also said that the athletic department was taking steps to increase safety at football games, after a torrent of fans spilled onto the field following a U.Va. home victory this fall.
After his report, the senate thanked Littlepage for the athletic department’s contribution to the Dissertation Year Fellowship Program.
In other business, the senate set Jan. 27 from noon to 4 p.m. for its annual retreat.