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President's Report: 2004-2005 University of Virginia
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University of Virginia
Securing Our Future, Fulfilling Our Mandate

ore than at any time since its founding, the University of Virginia is prepared to fulfill Thomas Jefferson's intention to create the "bulwark of the human mind in this hemisphere." It stands ready to demonstrate that a public institution can take its place in the front rank of all universities, public and private. Institution-wide, it is looking The University takes bold measures to achieve Jefferson’s vision in our time. at what it will need in the way of improved programs, expanded facilities, and additional resources to realize Jefferson's vision in the twenty-first century.

At the same time, the University is taking steps to achieve greater self-sufficiency and to build an enduring foundation of support. With its increasing reliance on private philanthropy and other nonstate funding, the University is creating a new model for how a public institution sustains itself. Remaining faithful to the intentions of its founder, Mr. Jefferson's University will continue to serve the public interest, but from a position of strength upheld by a diversity of revenue sources.

Placing the University on a sound and stable financial footing will depend on three critical and interrelated factors:

  1. establishing a new relationship with the Commonwealth of Virginia
  2. maintaining an adequate and consistent revenue stream from tuition while ensuring affordability and access for all qualified students
  3. raising the level of support from alumni, parents, friends, and other benefactors

Catching a Star(Fish)

Catching a Star(Fish), 2005. Intaglio simultaneous printing. Akemi Ohira, McIntire Department of Art.
This past year, the University made significant progress toward achieving all three of these goals.

The Restructuring Legislation

Virginia is home to some of the finest public colleges and universities in the nation, but in recent years the Commonwealth has struggled to provide adequate funding for these institutions. Responding to a proposal developed jointly by the University of Virginia, the College of William and Mary, and Virginia Tech, the General Assembly passed legislation in 2005 that promises to make all of the state's colleges and universities more efficient, more accountable, and better able to plan for the future with confidence.

Known as the Restructured Higher Education Financial and Administrative Operations Act, the landmark bill was signed into law by Governor Mark Warner. It offers every state school the opportunity to obtain one of three levels of administrative autonomy, depending on its financial strength and ability to manage day-to-day operations. The University is seeking the highest level of autonomy under the new law, and in accordance with the measure, has submitted a management agreement and a six-year academic plan detailing how it will fulfill its public mission. These documents, as well as more information on the Restructuring Act, are available on the University's Web site at www.virginia.edu/restructuring/.

The Restructuring Act affirms the Board of Visitors' authority to set tuition rates, which have gone through wide swings over the past decade as the state imposed tuition freezes and later rescinded them to address shortfalls in revenues. In the future, tuition charges will continue to go up, but at a measured and more predictable pace. At the same time, the University is ensuring that cost poses no barrier to qualified students. AccessUVa, the innovative financial aid program introduced in 2004, was expanded this past year. Students whose family incomes are at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level will have their need met entirely by grants.

2005 UVa GraduatesIn fall 2005, the number of entering students who qualified for loan-free support under AccessUVa rose 187 percent, to a total of 233. The University also extended AccessUVa benefits to students transferring from the Virginia Community College System. In fall 2005, thirty-two transfer students qualified for full support.

A Window on the Future

The University's commitment to maintaining access and affordability figures prominently in the six-year plan submitted to the Commonwealth, which also outlines the University's strategic direction in the areas of academic quality and effectiveness and public engagement with the state and its citizens. The plan shows how current and future initiatives, such as those emerging from the Virginia 2020 long-range planning process, will raise the University's stature as one of the nation's preeminent institutions of higher learning. These include efforts to strengthen programs in science, engineering, and biomedicine; to expand opportunities for international study and outreach; to find new and more effective ways to serve the public good; and to achieve excellence in the fine and performing arts. The University is moving forward in all of these areas.

Other highlights of the six-year plan include the following:

Meeting Society's Needs. The University will put greater emphasis on five-year programs that give undergraduates the opportunity to complete both a bachelor's degree and a master's degree. One successful model is the five-year bachelor of arts and master of teaching program offered by the Curry School of Education and the College of Arts and Sciences. Plans call for expanding the program to meet the need for more teachers, particularly in the fields of math and science. Likewise, the School of Nursing will do its part to address a shortage of qualified nurses in the state and the nation.

Fostering Economic Development. The state's economy will benefit from expanded research activities on Grounds and from initiatives such as Virginia Gateway, which promotes commercialization of new technologies emerging from the University's laboratories. A new master's of professional studies program, which the School of Continuing and Professional Studies hopes to introduce in 2008, will enhance the state's workforce.

Increasing Enrollment. In response to projected increases in the number of college-age students in Virginia, the University has committed to expanding its enrollment by 1,500 over the next ten years. This figure includes 1,100 undergraduates, with about 700 in the sciences, 200 in engineering, and 200 spread among undergraduate business, undergraduate nursing, and the fine and performing arts.

Supporting a Diverse Community. The University will continue efforts to create a safer and more nurturing atmosphere for all students, staff, and faculty, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, or socio-economic status. Following the recommendations of the President's Commission on Diversity and Equity, which issued its report in fall 2004, the University will engage more students in programs such as Sustained Dialogue, an effective catalyst for opening lines of communication among racial groups. It also will bolster peer mentorship programs and provide opportunities for student and faculty exchanges with historically black colleges and universities.

Looking forward to 2015

With the completion of the six-year plan, the Board of Visitors has begun to look even farther into the future. It has convened a Special Committee on Planning to develop a ten-year financial and strategic plan with the following objectives:

  • Improving the University's position in national rankings
  • Focusing academic priorities on areas of excellence, strength, and potential
  • Differentiating the University from its peers, both public and private

As part of the planning process, the committee will work with the administration to conduct a gap analysis to determine the resources needed to move the University from the nation's top twenty-five institutions, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report, to the top fifteen. A concurrent situation analysis will identify the threats and opportunities likely to affect the University's progress and will assess how the University is perceived by its constituents and competitors. To identify academic priorities, the committee will rely on the work of faculty and administrative committees, as well as the board's Educational Policy Committee, which recently began a yearlong examination of the undergraduate experience.

Launching a New Campaign

One of the principal goals of the board's planning process is to ensure that the ten-year financial outlook is in harmony with the priorities for the University's new fund-raising campaign, scheduled for its public launch in September 2006. The campaign is well into its nucleus phase, which began in January 2004. By the end of 2005, it had raised some $850 million toward what is expected to be a $3 billion goal.

As it pursues this ambitious target, the University will benefit from seasoned leadership. Gordon F. Rainey, Jr. (College '62, Law '67), of Richmond, who stepped down as the rector of the University on June 30, has agreed to serve as national chair of the campaign and as chair of the Campaign Executive Committee. Everette L. Doffermyre (College '70, Law '73) of Atlanta and John L. Nau III (College '68) of Houston will serve as vice chairs.

Chairman of the law firm of Hunton & Williams, Mr. Rainey is a past president of the Alumni Association's Board of Managers. He has been a member of the Board of Visitors since 2000 and was elected rector of the University in 2003. Having played a prominent role in advancing such innovations as AccessUVa, new investments in research, and the Restructuring Act passed this year, he views the campaign as the means not only to achieve self-determination, but to secure the University's place as one of the finest institutions in the world.

Gordon Rainey
Everette Doffermyre
John Nau

Outgoing Rector of the University Gordon Rainey (left) leads the new campaign. Veteran volunteer leaders Everette Doffermyre (center) and John Nau will serve as campaign vice chairs.

Like Mr. Rainey, Mr. Doffermyre is a past president of the Alumni Association. He is managing partner of the law firm of Doffermyre, Shields, Canfield, Knowles & Devine, LLC, and was active in the University's last campaign, which concluded in 2000. In addition to serving as vice chair of the Campaign Executive Committee, he heads the National Committee on University Resources, or NCOUR, a network of campaign volunteers. He described these alumni, parents, and friends as ambassadors for the University and champions of the campaign in their communities.

Mr. Nau is president of the College Foundation and leads the Council of Chairs, which comprises representatives from the boards of the University's schools and programs and their related foundations. Chairman, president, and CEO of Silver Eagle Distributors, the nation's second largest distributor of Anheuser Busch products, he was chairman of the Campaign for Arts and Sciences and a member of the Campaign Executive Committee in the University's last major fund-raising effort. He also served on the Alumni Association's Board of Managers. Mr. Nau believes better coordination, cooperation, and communication among the University's schools and programs will be critical to the success of the new campaign.

U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT RANKINGS

• The University ranks second among public universities and twenty-third among all national universities.

• Four schools at the University are ranked in the top twenty:

Architecture    6th
Law    8th
Commerce    9th
Darden    14th

• The University rose in the ranking of "Best Values," moving up from twenty-first to seventeenth.

• The University's College at Wise maintains its number-one ranking among 200 national liberal arts colleges whose graduates complete their degrees while incurring the least amount of student debt. In the recent

rankings, the College at Wise continues to be listed among the nation's top public liberal arts colleges.

• The following medical specialties at the University were ranked by U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Hospitals Guide," published July 2005:

Hormonal disorders    6th
Ear, nose, and throat    20th
Urology    22nd
Cancer    32nd
Gynecology    34th
Digestive disorders    37th
Neurology and neurosurgery    48th

OTHER RANKINGS

In 2004, BusinessWeek released its biennial survey of America's top business schools and ranked the University's Darden Graduate School of Business Administration twelfth in the nation.

Forbes magazine ranked the Darden School eighth in the nation in 2005. The magazine's ranking is based on "return on investment," which is determined by compensation five years after graduation minus tuition and the forgone salary during school.

The University of Virginia Medical Center is the only Virginia hospital ranked in Solucient's "100 Top Hospitals: National Benchmarks for Success" study. It was one of only fifteen major teaching hospitals to receive the distinction in 2004. This is the sixth year the U.Va. Medical Center has received the honor.

U.VA. AT A GLANCE

ENROLLMENT, FALL 2005

Undergraduate    13,401
Graduate    4,699
Law and Medicine    1,694
On-Grounds Continuing Education    605
Total    20,399
 
FACULTY AND STAFF, 2005-2006
 
Full-time instructional and research faculty    2,053
Full-time other staff    9,806

More University statistics are available on the Web site for the Office of Institutional Assessment and Studies at www.web.virginia.edu/iaas/. Information also is available at www.virginia.edu/Facts/.

 

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Last Modified: Tuesday, 17-Aug-2010 12:38:09 EDT
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