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President's Report: 2004-2005 University of Virginia
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Reaching Out, Making an Impact

As Thomas Jefferson intended, the University has become an "immortal boon" to our country. Members of the faculty, often in A creative and enterprising faculty uses its talents to meet the challenges of our time. partnership with their students, are continually finding imaginative ways to advance their disciplines and to use their expertise to help the citizens of a global society, from children in our schools to victims of international crises.

This obligation to serve the public good was well understood by the University’s first president, Edwin A. Alderman, a champion of education as a means of economic revitalization and the fulfillment of human potential. One of his many legacies on Grounds is the Curry School of Education, created exactly a century ago with a $100,000 gift from John D. Rockefeller. Today, U.S. News & World Report ranks Curry among the top twenty-five of the nation’s 1,200 education schools.

Members of the Curry faculty routinely tackle problems of national significance. This past year, Dewey G. Cornell, the Curry

Dewey Cornell and Peter Sheras

Curry School professors Dewey Cornell and Peter Sheras developed new guidelines for dealing with threats of violence in schools.
Memorial Professor of Education, and colleague Peter L. Sheras published a new set of guidelines for how schools should deal with threats of violence from students. After field-testing recommendations made by the FBI and the U.S. Secret Service, the two clinical psychologists developed a step-by-step decision tree for making assessments of student threats. It includes investigating the threat, determining how serious it is, and then, if necessary, bringing together school administrators, law enforcement officials, and mental health professionals to take action.

Another area of national concern is the decline in the number of students entering the sciences. Thirty years ago, the United States ranked third in the number of undergraduates who received science degrees. Today, according to a report from the National Science Board, it ranks seventeenth. Robert H. Tai, assistant professor of science education at the Curry School, is using a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation to learn what inspires students in the sciences to make the leap from learner to discoverer. By identifying the experiences that lead to this transition, he hopes to strengthen teaching in the sciences, from grade school through the graduate level.

Outside the classroom, how students behave can be linked to their popularity, according to a study led by Joseph P. Allen of the

rMaM

rMaM, 1998. Mixed media on paper. Megan Marlatt, McIntire Department of Art.
Department of Psychology. His research, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, found that being a popular teenager can be risky business. Popular teens’ ability to get along well with others makes them particularly susceptible to following friends into such activities as shoplifting or smoking marijuana. There is a silver lining, however. This behavior is typically short-lived, and the same traits that lead kids to be popular with their peers also lead them to ask for guidance from their parents.

There in Times of Crisis

In the School of Medicine, the Critical Incident Analysis Group, or CIAG, brings scholars and practitioners together to improve our response to events that can threaten not only the public well-being but also the public trust. This "think network" has focused attention on some of the worst catastrophes in recent memory, including the Oklahoma City bombing and the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Members of CIAG were quietly called into action this past year when Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko suddenly developed symptoms that disfigured his appearance. Dr. Gregory Saathoff, a professor of psychiatric medicine and head of CIAG, assembled an expert medical team for a confidential mission that would diagnose the Ukrainian leader as suffering from acute dioxin poisoning.

The nation’s effort to prevent critical incidents has been the subject of research by Timothy Naftali, director of the Presidential Recordings Program and the Kremlin Decision-Making Project at the Miller Center of Public Affairs. He is the author of Blind Spot: The Secret History of American Counterterrorism, a widely reviewed work that traces the development of U.S. counterterrorism policy since the end of World War II. He attributes America’s inability to anticipate the 9/11 attacks as much to policy failures as to specific intelligence miscues.

Partners in Outreach

University faculty routinely invite students to become partners in their efforts to meet the public’s needs. In the School of Architecture, Craig Barton

Craig Barton

Craig Barton: history meets design
and his fourth-year students worked together to develop design strategies for preserving the Greensville County Training School, an educational landmark for African-Americans in and around Emporia, Virginia. By touring the site and by gathering the first-hand experiences of alumni and others associated with the school, Prof. Barton and his students were able to connect design ideas to the history of the school and its importance to the African- American community.

Faculty also collaborate with each other in their outreach efforts. In November 2004, Rob Cross of the McIntire School of


What Gardens Teach Us

Reuben M. Rainey and Rebecca Frischkorn

For twenty-seven years, landscape architect Reuben M. Rainey has helped students at the University recognize the power of gardens to transform lives. Now he is sharing this message with the broader public. The William Stone Weedon Professor of Asian Architecture, Mr. Rainey is collaborating with Charlottesville landscape designer Rebecca Frischkorn to produce a thirteen-part PBS series titled GardenStory. Among the first episodes is "The Garden as Classroom," which focuses on the pavilion gardens at the University. William Reifenberger, a member of the media studies faculty, directs the programs. Prof. Rainey and Ms. Frischkorn also are co-authors of Half My World: The Gardens of Anne Spencer, which received a 2004 Medal of Honor from the American Society of Landscape Architects. Anne Spencer’s gardens are the subject of one of the GardenStory episodes.

Commerce and Timothy M. Laseter of the Darden School of Business joined forces to organize a national conference on the internal social networks that can play a critical role in a company’s success or failure. These groups do not appear on organizational charts, and their meetings are more likely to occur in the coffee room than the conference room, but social networks can be a source of energy that improves performance or a source of negativity that can stall progress, according to Prof. Cross, co-author of The Hidden Power of Social Networks.

Excellence Rewarded

The prestigious awards and honors won by University faculty this year attest the talent and intellectual leadership of our teachers and scholars. Some examples

Michael J. Klarman, the James Monroe Distinguished Professor of Law, received a Bancroft Prize for his book From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality. Columbia University gives three Bancroft Prizes annually for outstanding books on American history, biography, and diplomacy.

Edward L. Ayers, the Hugh P. Kelly Professor of History and dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, won the Bancroft Prize in 2004 for his book In the Presence of Mine Enemies: War in the Heart of America, 1859–1863. This year he received the American Historical Association’s Albert J. Beveridge Award, which recognizes the best English-language book written on American history from 1492 to the present.

• The American Philosophical Association, through its Committee on Philosophy and Computers, awarded Deborah Johnson its Barwise Prize in recognition of her contributions to philosophy and computing. Ms. Johnson is the Anne Shirley Carter Olsson Professor of Applied Ethics and chair of the Engineering School’s Department of Science, Technology, and Society.

• University President John T. Casteen III received the Architecture Medal for Virginia Service from the Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects. He was honored for his success in balancing the needs of a growing institution with the historical importance of Jefferson’s design legacy.

William Wylie, assistant professor of art, and Mark Edmundson, the Daniels Family Distinguished Teaching Professor of English, were among 186 recipients of Guggenheim Fellowships for 2005. A photographer known for in-depth explorations of

Mark Edmundson William Wylie Deborah Johnson

From left, Guggenheim winners Mark Edmundson (English) and William Wylie (Studio Art) and Barwise Prize winner Deborah Johnson (Engineering)
landscapes, such as the Cache la Poudre River in Colorado, Prof. Wylie will continue projects in both still photography and film and will explore digital printing techniques. Prof. Edmundson is using the grant to research the death of Sigmund Freud. He won national attention this past year for his book Why Read?, an examination of the value of literature, which he regards as the major cultural source of vital options for those whose lives fall short of their hopes.

William A. Wulf, the AT&T Professor of Computer Science, won the American Society of Mechanical Engineering’s Ralph Coats Roe Medal for his outstanding contribution toward a better understanding of the engineer’s worth to society. Prof. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering.

Nataly Gattegno and Jason Johnson, assistant professors in the School of Architecture, were awarded second prize in the ideas competition for the design of the Seoul Performing Arts Center. Their colleague Phoebe Crisman received the Virginia Design Medal from Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas + Company, a design firm headquartered in Norfolk.

building for our future

Varsity Hall

Placed on wheels, Varsity Hall was rolled 185 feet down an eight-degree slope of packed gravel to its new location on Hospital Drive.
UNDER CONSTRUCTION

The McIntire School of Commerce has broken ground for its Back to the Lawn project. The 156,000-square-foot complex integrates the renovation of the Stanford White-designed Rouss Hall (McIntire’s former home) with the construction of a 125,000-square-foot adjoining building designed by Hartman-Cox Architects. Two classrooms in Rouss Hall will be shared with the College of Arts and Sciences. Scheduled completion date is fall 2007. Varsity Hall, built in the 1850s as the University’s infirmary, was moved to make way for the addition. Across the Lawn, Cocke Hall, another Stanford White structure, is undergoing a $9 million renovation for Arts and Sciences.

IN DESIGN

To consolidate its activities, the Curry School of Education is raising funds to construct a new building beside Ruffner Hall that will house faculty offices, clinical facilities, and research space. Ruffner Hall, completed in 1973, will be renovated to improve and expand classrooms and to provide additional offices for graduate students. In the fall of 2004, Boston-based businessman Daniel Meyers provided the lead gift for the $37.2 million building. Pending Board of Visitors approval, it will be named in memory of Massachusetts educator Anthony D. "Wally" Bavaro.

Design work continues on the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences’ South Lawn Project, which will extend the Academical Village across Jefferson Park Avenue. Encompassing 250,000 square feet of new and renovated space, the South Lawn Project will accommodate 12,000 student visits per day and provide homes for eight departments and one interdisciplinary program. Common areas will become a crossroads for students and faculty from across the University.

 

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