|Environments for Excellence
Nearly every school at the University has set goals for renovating, expanding, or adding to its facilities. Our deans recognize that if they are to continue to attract the best students and faculty in the nation, they must provide environments that support education and research at the highest level.
The University lacks the laboratory space to fulfill its potential as a research institution, and many existing classrooms are poorly configured and ill equipped to support faculty efforts to incorporate new technology into their teaching.
The School of Law and the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration have completed efforts to transform their facilities, including the superb conference space in Darden's new Abbott Center. Other schools are following their example. Their plans include the South Lawn Project and the Arts Grounds Project for the College, a new information technology building for Engineering, a new research building for Medicine, the renovation and expansion of Rouss Hall for Commerce, and additions to the Nursing, Architecture, and Education buildings.
New partnerships among schools are already showing their value. The School of Law is working with faculty in the McIntire School and the Darden School to launch its Law and Business Program, a curricular innovation designed for graduates heading into business practice. The program gives law students MBA-level instruction in accounting and finance, providing a sound foundation for advanced courses in corporations, securities regulation, and bankruptcy. The Darden School and the Curry School have forged a new partnership to provide executive education for school and school-system administrators, who oversee enterprises as complex as any business. In these and many other instances, we are seeing a culture of collaboration emerge throughout the University.
As compared with other public research institutions, the University is relatively small. One way to yield the greatest return on our intellectual and physical capital is to encourage interdisciplinary and inter-institutional collaboration, a theme that occurs in many of the schools' plans. The Curry School's plan calls for "linking faculty with one another, drawing on their
collective expertise and perspectives." The Engineering School is building partnerships in research and education to establish new strengths in four areas: bioengineering, computer and information science and engineering, nanotechnology, and societal and environmental systems.
The theme of collaboration rings clearly in the University Health System's Decade Plan, which points the way toward significant improvements in patient care, medical research, community outreach, and education. The linchpin of the plan's success will be an unprecedented level of coordination among the School of Medicine, the School of Nursing, the University Medical Center, and other areas of the Health System. Their willingness to share risks as well as rewards will increase our capacity to translate research discoveries into new treatments, to make our services more accessible and more convenient for our patients, to provide the best training possible for health professionals, to serve the community, and to meet the demands of an aging population.
Achieving Financial Self-Sufficiency
The key to realizing the visionary goals of the University and its schools is to achieve a greater level of financial self-sufficiency. We have models in the Law School and the Darden School, which
as of the 2003-2004 academic year no longer depend on state funds for their operations. While remaining fully under University governance, the Law School and the Darden School are able to set tuition in line with their peers, and through the loyal support of their alumni, friends, and corporate donors, they can look to private sources for a substantial portion of their revenues. Such an arrangement frees institutional resources for the University's other schools and programs and enables Law and Darden to compete with the best professional schools in the world.