Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia, he bequeathed
to succeeding generations the ideal of higher education in America.
His Academical Village is as much a model of the way we create
and share knowledge as it is an assemblage of beautifully proportioned
and instructive buildings. Even today, we are just beginning to
understand the full power of his conception, and we have raised
our aspirations accordingly. We now understand that a university
based on Jefferson's vision, with the proper resources and
leadership, has the potential to take its place among the finest
universities, public and private, in the United States and abroad.
As it does, it will enrich the educational experience it offers
its students while expanding its capacity to make contributions
to scholarship and to improve the quality of life of the citizens
Invigorated by its progress over the past decade and the success
of its recent capital campaign, the University has been engaged
in a long-range planning process known as Virginia 2020. Its aim
is to establish strengths in new areas as the University enters
its third century in 2019. Thanks to these efforts, students in
the entering class of 2020 will arrive at a University as strong
in the sciences and engineering as it is in the humanities, and
one in which the arts are an integral part of our intellectual
life. It will be a University that serves as a prominent agent
of enlightenment in the global community, and an institution adept
at marshaling its resources and its expertise to serve the common
good. Student-athletes arriving in 2020 will take part in a winning
athletics program that maintains the highest standards of integrity
and fiscal responsibility, and all students will be shaped by
the core values that define the student experience in our time
and in future generations.
At its annual retreat in July, the Board of Visitors approved
in principle the reports issued by the Virginia 2020 planning
commissions on science and technology, international activities,
public service and outreach, and the fine and performing arts.
Now comes the process of setting priorities for achieving these
goals, the product of more than two years of research and deliberation.
The approval of the Virginia 2020 reports represents an important
milestone in the history of planning at the University, a history
that extends to the bold aspirations of our founder. The board's
action reflects the sober realization that the University must
address its areas of relative weakness if it is to advance to
the top tier among all universities.
Broadening Our Horizons
The University is beginning to act on the commissions' recommendations,
and these efforts are already touching the lives of our students
and faculty. In the international sphere, we are forming new alliances
with universities around the world while creating programs here
that will attract scholars from abroad.
Big Breakthroughs In A Small World
materials science and engineering professor Robert Hull
talks about the fine points of his research, it's
more than a figure of speech. The unit of measurement
in his field is the nanometer, that is, one-billionth
of a meter. At this scale, he is working on materials
just a few atoms or molecules at a time.
If scientists like Mr. Hull can learn how to manipulate
atoms and molecules with precision, they can begin to
understand the relationship between the nanoscale structure
of a substance and its macroscale properties. This may
enable engineers to create special characteristics in
steels, plastics, and virtually any other material. They
can also learn how to make nanoscale structures that are
virtually perfect, a breakthrough that can help satisfy
the demand for ever smaller and more powerful devices
for telecommunications and computing. "If we can
control nanoscale structure and defects in electronic
devices, we can vastly increase their power and efficiency,"
Last year, Mr. Hull assembled a team of researchers from
the University and other institutions who won a five-year,
$5 million grant from the National Science Foundation
to establish the Center for Nanoscopic Materials Design.
As Mr. Hull sees it, "Nanotechnology is the intellectual
prize of the twenty-first century. It will define the
leading research universities, it will distinguish the
preparation we provide our students, and it will be the
driving force in economic development. Our goal is to
make sure it happens in Virginia."
this new emphasis at the University, the International Residential
College opened in the fall of 2001 with Brad Brown, associate
professor at the McIntire School of Commerce, as its principal.
Housed in the Munford, Gwathmey, Lewis, and Hoxton dormitories
on Sprigg Lane, the college is a community of 323 American and
international students seeking new opportunities to expand their
Ambitious international activities are being coordinated across
the Grounds and around the world. William B. Quandt, an authority
on the Middle East who occupies the recently created position
of vice provost for international affairs, is establishing multidisciplinary
academic centers in Lyon, France, and St. Petersburg, Russia.
The School of Architecture, which has long emphasized study abroad,
has created a new exchange program with the Brandenburg University
of Technology-Cotbus in the former East Germany, and the School
of Nursing has inaugurated a new exchange program with the University
of Ballarat in Australia.
Faculty members in the Global Environmental Exchange Program in
the Department of Environmental Sciences have been working with
their counterparts at a number of universities in southern Africa.
The result: a live, interactive course delivered over the Internet
in fall 2001 is being attended by U.S. and African students simultaneously.
The University is one of eighteen institutions in Universitas
21, an international consortium that is working with Thomson Learning
to develop degree programs over the Internet, initially in Asia.
Law Professor Peter Low, former vice president and provost, is
spearheading the University's participation in this new venture
in distance learning.
Commitment to the Common Good
Forming alliances with organizations that can benefit from our
expertise and intellectual capital is also a strategy the University
is pursuing in its public service initiatives. The University
has joined forces with the Virginia Piedmont Technology Council
and a broad cross section of local high-tech businesses to open
the Connected Community Technology Center. The center hosts the
Computer4Kids program and the Biotechnology Training Center, a
partnership combining the resources of the University with those
of Piedmont Virginia Community College and the City of Charlottesville
to ensure the availability of a well-trained workforce.
In systems engineering, students in the executive master's
degree program worked with the City of Charlottesville to analyze
its voting systems in the wake of the disputed presidential election.
Charlottesville uses the same Votomatic punch-card system that
caused so much controversy in Florida. The city has already adopted
the students' recommendation for using optiscan technology
and is in the process of purchasing new equipment.
A much broader study of the electoral process was conducted by
the National Commission on Federal Election Reform, convened by
the University's Miller Center of Public Affairs and the
Century Foundation. The commission issued recommendations aimed
at improving voter participation and at establishing uniform standards
of equipment and procedures that will help to achieve fair election
results. President Bush endorsed the key principles drawn from
the report and recommended them to Congress.
The University is collaborating with schools and schoolteachers
across the state to strengthen K-12 education. Information on
these and similar initiatives can be found on OutreachVirginia,
a searchable Web database that offers information on more than
300 University programs that are available to the public. The
site can be found at www.virginia.edu/outreachvirginia/.
New Environment For The Arts
The Virginia 2020 Fine and Performing Arts Commission urged
the University to move forward with the Arts Grounds, a
proposed complex of new and expanded facilities that will
bring all arts programs to the area around Carr's Hill.
Opportunities for Discovery
In science and technology, the Virginia 2020 commission offered
an action plan for across-the-board improvement while also urging
the University to focus attention and resources on three multidisciplinary
areas: biodifferentiation, computer and information science and
engineering, and quantum and nanoscale science and engineering.
Significant funding already has been awarded to researchers in
one of these fields. University faculty, competing against some
of the leading researchers in the country, received a $5 million
grant from the National Science Foundation to establish the Center
for Nanoscopic Materials Design. The center will occupy a materials
science and engineering building to be financed in large part
by a generous gift from Gregory Olsen (Engineering '71).
Where the Arts Will Thrive
In the fine and performing arts, the University has completed
the master plan for the Arts Grounds, a complex of new and expanded
facilities on and around Carr's Hill. In addition to helping
artists and scholars on the arts faculties to do their best work,
these structures will allow more students to make the arts a prominent
part of their college careers. A new studio art building already
has entered the design phase. Feasibility studies have been completed
for a new home for the University of Virginia Art Museum as well
as for a new music building, a new performing arts center, and
a new comprehensive arts library, additions to the drama and architecture
buildings, and restoration of Fayerweather Hall, which will be
devoted to the art history program.
The Diseases Of Poverty
In the developing world, which accounts for more than 80
percent of the population on the globe, gastrointestinal
and parasitic diseases kill millions of people annually
and prevent hundreds of millions of others from achieving
their potential. In other words, they weaken those who live
in the weakest societies. To improve health and health education
in these regions, Dr. Richard Guerrant, center, and colleagues
in the University's international medicine program
have formed the Center for Global Health. Clockwise from
the right of Dr. Guerrant are program members Alex Dwusu-Oifori,
M.D., of Ghana; Gerly Anne Brito, M.D., Ph.D., of Brazil;
Cirle Alcantiara, M.D., of the Philippines; Zhang Hong,
a postdoctoral fellow from China; and Patrick Ayeh-Kumi,
M.Phil., of Ghana.
the Student Experience
The Virginia 2020 Student Experience Task Force, led by Patricia
M. Lampkin, interim vice president for student affairs, is envisioning
future student academic and extracurricular life on the Grounds.
She and her colleagues will recommend ways to enhance the student
experience by building on four core values: academic rigor, honor,
self-governance, and public service.
The task force, which is on track to complete its report this
fall, is considering a number of improvements, including a better
structure for academic advising, a more coherent and open facilities
use policy, and expansion of the Harrison Undergraduate Research
Awards program to involve more students in the process of scholarly
inquiry. Additional reports on honor, student organizations and
programming, student self-governance, academic advising, and student
services will be forthcoming during the next year.
New Structures and New Leaders
Instituting the changes emerging from Virginia 2020 will require
considerable leadership and coordination. In 20012002, we
will create a University Planning Council, chaired by the provost
and reporting to the president.
Its primary task will be to establish the guidelines for building
school-based strategic plans that cover academic programs, resource
needs, fund-raising goals, and joint ventures with other schools.
In carrying out the recommendations of the Virginia 2020 commissions,
the University will be relying on the energy, enthusiasm, and
experience of a number of new leaders.
Edward L. Ayers has been appointed the new dean of the College
and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Mr. Ayers is an award-winning
teacher, a nationally acclaimed expert on the history of the South,
and a pioneer in the use of technology in humanities research
John C. Jeffries, Jr., became the tenth dean of the Law School
in time for its 175th anniversary celebration in fall 2001. An
authority on criminal law, constitutional law, federal courts,
and civil rights, Mr. Jeffries is the former academic associate
dean of the Law School.
Robert S. Harris, a faculty member in the Darden Graduate School
of Business Administration since 1988 and chief learning officer
for United Technologies Corp. since 1998, is the new dean of the
Darden School. He was Darden's associate dean for faculty
from 1990 to 1993.
Steven Kaplan, former dean of the College of Liberal Arts and
Sciences at Butler University in Indianapolis, was named chancellor
of the University of Virginia's College at Wise.
Other leaders have moved into posts of greater responsibility.
Gene D. Block, former vice president for research and public service
and an internationally respected biologist known for his research
on biological rhythms, was named vice president and provost, the
University's chief academic officer.
Dr. Robert E. Reynolds, former vice provost for health sciences
and a noted authority on health information systems, has assumed
the post of vice president and chief information officer of the
Craig Littlepage, senior associate director of athletics and a
member of the athletics administration since 1990, has been appointed
director of athletics.
Dr. R. Ariel Gomez, professor of pediatrics, was appointed interim
vice president for research and public service.
Robert D. Sweeney, vice president for development since 1991,
now has a broader portfolio of responsibilities as senior vice
president for development and public affairs.
William W. Harmon, vice president for student affairs since 1994,
has become senior vice president and is a key member of the team
planning a new basketball and special events facility.
The Challenges Ahead
Thanks to the leadership of the Board of Visitors and the support
of alumni and friends, the University has made great strides during
the past decade in increasing its self-sufficiency. Nonetheless,
significant challenges lie before us. As a public institution
dedicated to serving the needs of the Commonwealth of Virginia,
the University still relies on state appropriations and tuition
dollars for its core support. We can anticipate no significant
growth in either of these sources of funding. The success of the
recently completed campaign demonstrates what can be achieved
if we have well-defined goals and the determination to pursue
them. Despite the recent contraction of the economy, the University
must continue to find new means to support the people, programs,
and facilities needed to reach its full potential.
PALS For Young Readers
PALS team, from left: Jenni Ballow, Amie Sullivan,
Heather Partridge, Joanne Meier, and Marcia Invernizzi
As they envisioned new ways to serve the Commonwealth and
the nation, the Virginia 2020 planners cited K-12 education
as an area in which the University can make significant contributions
to the public good. The University is already benefiting schools
and schoolchildren with a wide range of programs, but few
touch as many young students as PALS, or Phonological Awareness
Developed by Marcia Invernizzi, Joanne Meier, and Connie Juel
in the Curry School of Education, PALS is part of a statewide
effort to address reading problems through early intervention.
PALS is based on proven measures of children's reading
skills, such as the ability to recognize beginning sounds,
rhyme, letters and letter sounds, and full words. With support
from the Virginia Department of Education, children in kindergarten
through third grade now undergo PALS screening, and soon preschool
programs such as Head Start will be included.
PALS makes effective use of the Internet, providing interactive
Web pages where a teacher can submit scores and receive immediate
analysis and where a principal can obtain a summary of his
or her school's performance. This technology allowed
the PALS team to process the scores of 213,500 students in
128 school districts during the 20002001 academic year.
The PALS Web site also offers more than 100 instructional
suggestions for helping children overcome their reading difficulties.
For more information on PALS and other public service activities
at the University, visit OutreachVirginia, a new interactive
Web site with links to some 300 programs around the Grounds.
The address is www.virginia.edu/outreachvirginia/.