Vision | The Faculty
| The Students
Bricks & Mortar | Health
to our vision
institution has achieved what it has today because those who cared
about the University thought boldly about its future -- and because
they showed the ingenuity, commitment, and courage to adhere to
this vision even through difficult economic times. Today it is our
turn. We are extending this legacy by envisioning and building a
University for the year 2020.
have made impressive strides toward meeting the goals outlined in
the Virginia 2020 planning process, and at the same time we have
conducted a complementary planning initiative called Envision. Its
purpose, in part, has been to see where the goals of our schools
and programs dovetail with larger institutional efforts arising
from Virginia 2020. When we began our long-range planning process,
the economy was flourishing, and our campaign was in high gear.
The picture today is different, but it has not deterred us from
staying true to our vision.
new studio art building
is under design.
2020: From Planning to Action
Virginia 2020 plans have provided a clear course of action for adding
new centers of excellence to the University's traditional strengths.
Soon after the Virginia 2020 recommendations were accepted by the
Board of Visitors in 2001, the University began to take decisive
strides toward improving its programs in the fine and performing
arts, science and technology, international activities, and public
service and outreach.
and Performing Arts: Building a Creative Environment
member William Sherman goes over plans for expanding the School
Arts Grounds on Carr's Hill entered its formative stages this year.
Feasibility studies and a landscape framework for all nine new,
expanded, or renovated structures planned for the Arts Grounds have
been completed, and the first project the new studio art building
is in the design phase. Financed with a combination of state funding
and a gift from the Peter B. and Adeline W. Ruffin Foundation, construction
of the building could begin as early as 2003. Funding for the restoration
of Fayerweather Hall, which will house the history of art program,
is included in the general obligation bond measure that Virginia
voters approved this fall. A new music building, which will contain
flexible and acoustically isolated performance and teaching spaces,
has begun to attract donor support, including $3.5 million from
Kenneth L. Bazzle (College '53) of Atlanta, a member of the University's
Council for the Arts and the College Board of Trustees, and $1.1
million from Anne and Alec Levin of Washington, D.C.
Board of Visitors has approved plans to add a four-story wing of
faculty offices and other improvements to Campbell Hall, home of
the School of Architecture. The addition will provide space for
thirty-six faculty members and administrators, a seminar room, an
improved woodworking shop, and two conference rooms. Members of
the architecture and landscape architecture faculties are collaborating
with SMBW Architects of Richmond on the design of the school's expansion
and renovation plans, which include systems for capturing solar
energy. Construction is scheduled to begin in spring 2004.
and other efforts to provide new and expanded facilities for the
arts will be advanced by the $5 million Arts Grounds Challenge Fund,
a gift from an anonymous donor. The fund will match other gifts
of up to $1 million aimed at either launching or completing projects
in the new arts district.
progress in the arts includes the accreditation of the University
of Virginia Art Museum by the American Association of Museums, the
highest honor a museum can earn. Accreditation certifies that a
museum operates according to standards set forth by the museum profession,
manages its collections responsibly, and provides quality service
to the public. Of the 8,000 museums nationwide, only about 750 are
accredited. Accreditation will greatly facilitate the museum's ability
to borrow works of art from other museums and individual collectors
and to attract major traveling exhibitions.
Department of Drama has received accreditation from the National
Association of Schools of Theatre and is one of only thirty-six
departments accorded membership in the University/Resident Theatre
Association, which builds connections between graduate programs
in drama and theatre professionals.
Fulfilling Our Potential
University's Funding Excellence in Science and Technology (FEST)
program is one of the first and one of the most productive offspring
of Virginia 2020. Financed initially with $1 million from the president's
office, FEST provides seed money to multidisciplinary research efforts
that promise to yield groundbreaking results and that are likely
to attract substantial grant support from external funding agencies.
In 2001-2002, fourteen FEST grants were awarded to projects around
the University, each with the potential to solve a major scientific
or technological problem.
has advanced the work of Thomas Skalak in biomedical engineering.
FEST initiative has already borne impressive fruit. Thomas Skalak,
chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, received $100,000
for research using computer simulations and other techniques to
understand the gene circuitry that controls tissue development and
function. Thanks to work made possible by his FEST grant, Professor
Skalak and a multi-disciplinary team of University researchers were
able to attract a $3.6 million grant from the National Institutes
of Health to investigate the growth of blood vessels and neural
tissue and the development of blood vessels in the kidneys. This
represents a thirty-six-to-one return on the University's investment.
The recent state budget cuts have imperiled funding for FEST, which
has prompted an initiative to seek private support for the project.
The goal is to raise $500,000 a year for the program in the near
term with the longer-range target of amassing a FEST endowment.
Extending Our Global Reach
year the University raised its international profile in significant
ways, increasing its presence in Europe, Asia, and most notably,
southern Africa, where University faculty members have been conducting
environmental research for more than twenty-five years. In recent
months, the University has formalized this relationship by joining
four universities in southern Africa to launch a research and education
consortium called SAVANA, for Southern Africa-Virginia Networks
SAVANA consortium affords opportunities for study
abroad as well as research. U.Va. students taking part in
the program pose before the Great Escarpment in South Africa.
academic partnership, which comprises the University of Eduardo
Mondlane in Mozambique, the University of Botswana, and the University
of Venda and the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa, is
moving forward on a variety of fronts. It has placed a priority
on upgrading existing field stations in critical ecosystems and
on forming regional networks dedicated to environmental research.
Through on-site instruction and distance-learning technology, it
is linking the University to classrooms in the region, offering
courses in environmental sciences and professional development programs
for policy makers.
University is mustering impressive technological and educational
resources for this effort. Environmental Sciences Professor Stephen
Macko and Research Assistant Professor Bob Swap created a class
that was team taught in real time with colleagues in Mozambique
and South Africa and that afforded live interaction among students
on both continents. Bob Hutchison, chief telecommunications engineer
for the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, and Gene
Sullivan, director of telemedicine at the School of Medicine, devised
an elaborate system to link all three schools. The signal coming
from Mozambique, for example, was sent by satellite to the World
Bank in Washington, D.C. From there it was transferred by an ISDN
telephone line to Continuing and Professional Studies in Zehmer
Hall, which in turn sent the signal over a local phone line to the
Office of Telemedicine, which put the broadcast on the Internet
so it could be received at Clark Hall 147.
the University of Virginia has long ranked among the top twenty-five
institutions in the United States, it is less well known on foreign
shores. This is about to change. One of the purposes of the new
International Center for American Studies is to raise the University's
visibility as a world-class institution. Launched this year under
the leadership of Stephen Cushman, the Robert C. Taylor Professor
of American Literature, the center will tap into the University's
extraordinary strengths in the study of American history, literature,
art, politics, law, religion, business, and other fields, as well
as its innovative use of digital technology in the humanities and
its incomparable collections of rare American texts, documents,
and manuscripts. Combining these assets with the University's Jeffersonian
heritage and its proximity to the nation's capital, the center will
establish the University as a global hub of teaching and scholarship
on all things American. In May, the center convened distinguished
scholars from China, Turkey, Israel, Mexico, England, France, Italy,
and Germany to discuss its programs, and it has begun making the
University's digital resources more accessible to American studies
Service and Outreach:
A Model for a New Era
University's commitment to serving the common good manifests itself
in many ways, from our programs for adult learners to the health
care we provide the state and the nation to the thousands of hours
of volunteer time contributed by our students. Our dedication to
public service is also evident in our ongoing efforts to strengthen
K-12 education. This is one reason the Carnegie Corporation has
selected the University as one of four sites for an ambitious new
teacher education program known as Teachers for a New Era.
the next five years, the University will receive $5 million through
the New Era initiative to develop an innovative model of teacher
preparation that includes coursework and mentoring at the University
and during a teacher's first two years of service. Funded collaboratively
by Carnegie, the Ford Foundation, the Annenburg Foundation, and
the Rockefeller Foundation, New Era will be a cooperative effort
involving the Office of the Vice President and Provost, the Curry
School of Education, the College of Arts and Sciences, and area
school districts, where teachers will put these new concepts to
work. University researchers will evaluate the effectiveness of
the program with the aim of creating a series of evidence-based
best practices that can be adopted by other major institutions that
have teacher training programs.
Where We Are and Where We Intend to Be
the heels of the Virginia 2020 planning process, we have launched
Envision, a complementary planning exercise engaging faculty, students,
alumni, and administrators in each of our schools, as well as the
University Library and the Miller Center of Public Affairs. We have
also held Envision sessions on the student experience and on our
progress in achieving diversity in the University community. Led
by Vice President and Provost Gene Block and Senior Vice President
for Development and Public Affairs Robert Sweeney, this program
has produced vision statements for each area. It also has helped
University leaders see where the individual schools' core purposes
and goals mesh with each other and with the priorities emerging
from Virginia 2020.
of common themes have emerged from the sessions that point to the
University's distinctive strengths, among them the paramount importance
of the student experience, the faculty's desire to engage their
students in intellectual exploration both within and outside the
classroom, the integration of honor and ethical values into all
aspects of University life, and the unique sense of place at the
helping us understand where we are and where we intend to be, Envision
will shape the way we set our priorities and the way we represent
the University to prospective students, parents, alumni and friends,
and the many other citizens we serve.
Envision process has also identified some ongoing, University-wide
challenges that limit our ability to grow and improve. These include
inadequate support for graduate students, the lifeblood of our research
efforts and key partners in the educational process; insufficient
and substandard facilities for many of our teaching and research
programs; real and perceived administrative barriers to interdisciplinary
teaching and scholarship; and the difficulty of recruiting and retaining
faculty in a time of shrinking state resources. Summaries of the
Envision sessions may be found on the Web at www.virginia.edu/provost/envision.
Consensus and Support
the last twenty years, hardheaded planning, determined leadership,
and the enthusiastic support of alumni and friends have transformed
the University. But as our Virginia 2020 and Envision planning processes
have revealed, there is still a great deal to accomplish. At the
same time, the bar is continually being raised. The University's
peers, with whom we vie for students, faculty, and resources, are
continuing to invest in their academic programs. We must do the
realize our vision, we will turn to our supporters, who made the
recent campaign such an unprecedented success. We have analyzed
our planning documents, we have tested the assumptions that underlie
them, and we have begun to develop funding goals. With the help
of our volunteers and benefactors, we will craft a strategy that
continues to fulfill Jefferson's vision of the University as it
enters its third century in 2020.
strengthening its programs in the fine and performing arts,
the University will attract more students like Sarah Drew
(College '02). While still a fourth-year student, she received
rave reviews from the New York Times and Variety
for her performance as Juliet in a production of Romeo
and Juliet at the celebrated McCarter Theatre in Princeton.
Soon thereafter, she was flying around the country auditioning
for parts in major movies with stars such as Michael Douglas,
Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Annette Benning.
Drew in the Drama Department's XTC: Pursuing Lady Macbeth.
past summer, she landed a role in Radio with Ed Harris
and Cuba Gooding, Jr. She will play Ed Harris's daughter in
the feature-length film.
Drew, who grew up in the New York City area, has been acting
since elementary school. Encouraged to audition for the part
of Juliet by members of the drama faculty, she won the role
at the price of missing the first five weeks of her final
year at the University. She agreed to chronicle her experience
in a journal as part of her requirements for the major. "Even
when we were recruiting, we knew she was going to be someone
special," said Robert Chapel, chair of the Department
of Drama. "In our productions, she continued to amaze
us." One of her teachers, Betsy Tucker, described her
as "fearless as an actress, willing to try anything."
After her success and the opportunities it brought, Ms. Drew
could easily have left the University to pursue a professional
career, but she decided to return and graduate. Her decision
to complete her degree was typical, said Ms. Tucker. "For
Sarah, it's about the work, not about the stardom."
of the principal science and technology goals set by Virginia
2020 is to capitalize on the University's exceptional capabilities
in the field of morphogenesis-
study of how tissues and organs take on their form and function,
and in some cases, how they remake themselves. The
University obtained an eminent leader for this effort when
it recruited Barry M. Gumbiner, a cell biologist formerly
with the Sloan-Kettering Institute in New York.
arriving on Grounds this past summer, Dr. Gumbiner has made
significant headway in organizing the University's new Morphogenesis
and Regenerative Medicine Institute, which draws together
faculty strengths in biology, cell biology, developmental
biology, chemistry, biomedical engineering, materials engineering,
pediatrics, and other basic medical sciences.
Collectively, the institute's members have the potential to
build nothing less than the best program of its kind in the
world, says Dr. Gumbiner, whose own research focuses on chemical
signals that regulate how cells adhere to each other to form
an organ, and in the case of cancer cells, how they release
and reattach themselves to spread the disease.
on morphogenesis is highly multidisciplinary, requiring continuous
interactions and collaborations among scientists in many different
areas," he explains. "The physical proximity of the three
principal schools involved in the institute-Arts and Sciences,
Engineering, and Medicine-gives us a significant competitive
potential rewards of this work are staggering, he adds. "Knowledge
gained from the basic science of morphogenesis will help us
prevent birth defects, control cancerous tissue growth, slow
the deterioration and aging of tissues, facilitate their repair
and replacement, and in the long run, allow us to generate
replacement tissues and organs outside the body, which has
tremendous potential for the development of new medical materials