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State of the University, 2006

President John T. Casteen III
April 21, 2006


  • Ladies and gentleman, welcome and thank you for coming.
  • Several years ago, we began using a fact book, which has become the most widely reprinted of all U publications, as a means to provide factual information and free time in this annual report for discussion of large topics. You should have received one as you entered. Intended as a desk or pocket reference, this booklet contains the information normally treated in an annual report.
  • In addition, we publish two annual reports, bound together as one volume—my report on the year's academic progress, and Mr. Sandridge's report on the U's financial condition. The current iteration of this report and the last 11 previous reports are available on the web.
  • The discursive part of this year's report covers our condition today, as well as issues to be addressed in the future.

Introduction: A New Revolution

  • The term revolution gets used in various ways these days.
  • Persons working with Mr. Sandridge on the devolution of management functions covered in the restructuring legislation passed last year by the General Assembly and more recently by the enabling legislation or charter itself (the management agreement recently enacted by both houses of the General Assembly) use it to describe changes that are momentous in many respects, and indeed touch almost every aspect of the University's capacity to plan and direct its own future except matters involving classified employees, whom the General Assembly elected to retain as state employees—a matter not unrelated to our ongoing discussion of what is called here the living wage issue.
  • Persons working with Mr. Block or with the deans on endowment proposals to be used in the capital campaign in which we have been engaged for the last 2 1/2 years and will be engaged for approximately the next 5 – 6 years use it to describe the effects on academic programs; on new degrees and perhaps even schools; on financial aid for students and competitive compensation for employees of the campaign's eventual product: the most stable revenue stream the University has known in modern times, revenue that has already raised faculty salaries to competitive levels for the first time since Gov. Wilder cut budgets and salaries in 1990; on buildings, several already under construction; for new and proposed programs; and on core support for students and faculty members and staff salaries. These proposals, and the progress toward academic excellence and excellence in clinical medicine that they promise, are the future's building blocks for the schools, departments, and centers, and especially so for those in fields where we have not historically had the means to compete on even terms with our strongest peers—in the experimental sciences, in the fine and performing arts, in translational medical research, in ventures that cut across the disciplines such as the Miller Center, the Center for Biological Timing, Larry Sabato's Center for Politics—each (like others) carrying scholarship and service beyond the norms and into new territory.
  • Persons engaged with the issues raised by the living wage campaign have used the terms in recent days to describe a proposal that is both revolutionary as it relates to how one calculates the wage standard for the lowest-paid employees, and (as several have remarked during the last several days) in its intent to move responsibility for addressing social evils, including poverty, from government, which clearly fails to meets its obligations in many related areas—including determining minimum wages and providing affordable access to higher education—to employers. This is a proposition more sweeping, as one labor economist observed to me yesterday in advice about our local issues, in its implications than anyone has yet acknowledged or perhaps understood, and yet one so revolutionary in its implications that it deserves to be understood and debated by every citizen, because it both reduces government's accountability for its historical commitments, at least those beginning with the Roosevelt era, and relocates those responsibilities elsewhere in our economy and society—specifically in the list of employers' obligations, a list not now grounded in the Constitution or in law, at least in this state.
  • Revolution, or at least contemplation of it, ought to be a constant prospect in this place. Dialogue, implying fair hearings of all views in the University's open forum, is the American university's life's blood. In a time of controversy, it may be hard to find common ground with the mass emailers who promise to take me first when they starttheir revolution, but our own revolution grows in different soil. In its beginnings, as in its reinvention by way of academic reforms, in the new relationship with the state, in the ongoing discussion of our most basic national issues during this year of ferment and debate (issues including the rights of minority students to be secure and respected for their accomplishments in this village of learners and teachers; women's rights to enjoy freedom and the security of their persons and rights in remarkably analogous ways, the rights guaranteed by the 14th Amendment to all persons in these United States; the roles of art and the sciences and indeed (in a national symposium to be held next month in Philadelphia, one that began here in an evening discussion among faculty members at Carr's Hill) the humanities as they exist in what some now (once again) call the post-modern university; and (if those who advocate the living wage agenda can make their case with the public and with lawmakers, as I think they may in time) some new methodology for determining entry-level wages and some new allocation of responsibilities between government and employers of all kinds.
  • In its beginnings, this university was a departure from conventional notions of what a university ought to be. It was not sectarian. It was not "a mere local academy." On the other hand, in addition to being the child of a genius it was a creature of its time and place. Free enquiry was a bold and new idea in a land where education had belonged to the pious, the rich, and the lucky. The presence and contributions of enslaved persons here were brutally opposite to the concepts of freedom that found their verbal forms in discussions of this place and its purposes. Reconciling these opposed concepts and empoweringby knowledge those who come to drink the cup of knowledge here is thus a complex and constant challenge. Here of all institutions of American higher education the inclusive principles of the 14th Amendment belong and apply: They define what this place must be in reality as it struggles to reach the aspirations that first defined it.
  • I don't especially like the metaphor or the paradigm shift, not least because in language, the field whose study I suppose I know best, a shifted paradigm is a broken one. It communicates not truth but chaos. And yet, the metaphor deserves consideration as we contemplate and create these revolutions that have been so much in our minds and work this year. We live now within the structure of a new paradigm because public higher education is finding a new identity here, at Virginia Tech, at the College of William and Mary, an identity still forming—an identity as full as aspiration as a scientist on the verge of discovery, a student activist looking for new definitions of public morality, a newly-minted Ph.D. or about-to-graduate and aspiring actress; as venerable and fraught with contradictions as the Republic whose origins are our origins; and as improbable as the achievement of consensus among lawmakers from all sides, of planners and donors and financial managers with no common bond other than their dedication to this place, of dreamers and makers and doers who imagined a new paradigm then built it, point by painful point (the legislation that just passed is no less than 160 pages redefining all but one fundamental point of the relationship between the public university and the state that has so jealously controlled it heretofore.)
  • Many people here have devoted much time and effort to last year's restructuring legislation and now to the second component that embodies the charter stipulations, but special recognition should be given to the Rector, Mr. Farrell (who could not be here today, but to whom we are very grateful), to our Board generally, to Leonard Sandridge, and to Colette Sheehy, who worked line-by-line with members and with legislative staff to craft the final bill. Their accomplishments are the result of diligent, often brilliant work. We are all in their debt.

The Public Agenda

  • As we meet, the "oldest continuous deliberative body in the western hemisphere" has for the third time in its history adjourned without adopting a budget—the third time it has done so in the last 5 years.
  • I have confidence, as I hope you do, that the General Assembly and the Governor will resolve this impasse and conduct the public business, but no one should underestimate the scale of the potential crisis if they do not. This is not, as the first of these impasses was, a controversy over a short-Session or amendment budget. This impasse has to do with the expiration of one biennial budget and the requirement in law that a new budget replace it. It has to do with the capacity of every entity of government to function after this budget expires—of local school districts to issue contracts to teachers, of state agencies to meet their payroll obligations, of every kind of public transaction to be conducted.
  • A.E. Dick Howard and others here and elsewhere, experts on Virginia's Constitution and Code, are seeking an extraordinary interim resolution against the prospect that midnight on June 30 comes and goes with no budget enacted and signed by the Governor. It is at this point not clear that sufficient emergency powers exist for more than a few weeks. There is no strategy for July 1 and after.
  • The matters that are at issue between the General Assembly's two houses are substantial. No one who follows the issues pretends that they are not. They are not likely to disappear suddenly and clear the way for a sudden resolution of the differences between the houses.
  • Perhaps most ironically from our perspective, the debate has little or nothing to do with the University or with public higher education generally. It has implications for future state support. It certainly puts everything, including our science and research initiatives and even salary increases, especially for state classified employees, at risk because when resolved, it will consume money, possibly money now allotted in the budgets adopted separately by both houses to our issues and needs. But the dispute is about something else entirely—about how to pay for 16 years of neglecting highways, about how to finance public construction, about how to restart work on public obligations let go 16 years ago.


  • In this new financial environment, and in the context now of repeated impasses as to what the state budget will be, our dependence on the endowment grows greater each month.
  • As of March 31, the market value of the consolidated endowment, including funds held by the Rector and Visitors, who are the corporation that is the University, and endowment funds managed by the University of Virginia Endowment Management Corporation (UVIMCO, a creation of the Rector and Visitors) for the related foundations, is $3.4 billion and change, or almost eight times what it was in 1990 when we recognized that state support was leaving and that state leaders intended not to restore it.
  • The value of non-state money in sustaining the University is apparent in several ways. During the last fiscal year 2005, private giving of all kinds totaled some $183.4 million.
  • Of this $183.4 million, $101 million came to the University, and $82.4 million came to the University's related foundations.
  • The $101 million in gifts to the U breaks down this way:

    • Gifts in kind: $2.4M
    • Gifts for endowment: $10.4M
    • Gifts for capital projects: $15.2M
    • Private grants: $41.7M
    • Other gifts: $31.3M
  • The endowment last year earned some $288 million. Under spending policies that are common to all large endowments, some $90 million was made available for operations, and $198 million was reinvested to build endowment for the future. Note that endowment gifts are restricted by the donor to purposes they stipulate and are not available for the U's general expenses, including salaries.
  • In the same year, new pledges totalled $104 million, of which almost 3/4 was designated for school and unit foundations. This continues the policy, developed in the campaign that ended in December 2000, of directing most new money into academic programs as a means to protect them against future reductions in state funding as well as the lingering effects of underfunding from the state since 1990.

Tuition / AccessUVa / VCCS Agreement

  • In this new relationship with the state, we are more dependent than ever on tuition, which will rise at a measured pace calculated and previously disclosed for some six future years to sustain operating costs, including the core cost of most salaries in the Academic Division. The increases in total tuition and fee charges to students average about 8% for in-state students, and somewhat less for out-of-state students whose total costs rose dramatically in prior years when charges to in-state students were held at relatively constant rates or even dropped owing to state manipulation of General Fund appropriations—a manipulation that came home with a vengeance in 2002 when the Governor and General Assembly took some $52 million out of our base budget and ordered us to make up the loss by raising tuition.
  • As most know, AccessUVa is the Board's strategy to keep education here affordable for all students and to limit need-driven student debt after four years of study.
  • Prior to the development of this program, which is described fully on the web, and is linked from the home page, enrollment of students from the lowest-income families had dropped to alarmingly low numbers—a trend among all major universities, but one exacerbated here by the progressive disappearance from Virginia's least adequately funded school districts (those in the Southside and in SW Virginia, for example) of AP courses and of similar fast-track courses that resemble the courses that have made schools in Fairfax County and neighboring localities such powerhouses.
  • The turn-around has occurred in a single year with the implementation of this program. 749 students in the Class of '09 are covered by AccessUVa. 202 low-income students (defined as those with family incomes of less than 200% of the federal poverty level) are receiving a loan-free education: their family incomes qualify them for full scholarship support. The remaining 547 students received a combination of loans, grants and work-study packages to help keep debt below the loan cap. Assuming historical trends continue, we estimate that 173 middle-income students (out of the 547 students receiving a combination of aid) will qualify for the loan cap (the equivalent of 25% of four years' costs for an in-state student) before the end of four years of study, and that will be the total sum they will have to borrow. Scholarships will cover their remaining costs. 374 students received a combination of loans, grants, and work-study packages to help keep debt below the loan cap. In addition, the program was opened in its first year to transfers from the VCCS—a step taken two years earlier than originally planned.
  • As Governor Warner proposed, we have developed a new agreement with VCCS that guarantees admission, based on a series of requirements, to graduates of Virginia's 23 community colleges. This program does not change standards. In fact, it closely resembles the state-wide articulation agreement developed in 1983 under the Adams Plan and subsequently abandoned by the state, in that it spells out the existing lower-division course and grade requirements for each of our transfer admission pools. Itdoes differ from prior practice in that, at the state's request, it promises preference to students who actually graduate with AA degrees from their community colleges. This change is probably neutral so far as we are concerned: Our studies show no particular gain or advantage for students who enter with AA degrees, but also no loss or disadvantage. State officials wanted this stipulation because the cost to the state of a year's study in a community college is lower than the cost to the state of a year's study in a four-year public college. In any event, we will not discriminate against students who apply without having completed the AA.
  • Coupled with AccessUVa, this new agreement should attract students who thought that they could not qualify for admission or that they could not afford to attend. Together, the programs remove barriers, and that in the end is our purpose.

Economic Development in SW and Southside Virginia

  • Support for economic development in distressed regions has historically been a function of Land Grant universities, which receive federal and state funds for the purpose. We do not receive these funds, but crisis conditions (local unemployment as high as 14% in the first quarter) in these two regions have led us to undertake work of this kind, and state officials now want to make our commitments there permanent. We are now working with the College at Wise to assist with economic development in that region. SEAS is the first major participant by way of its agreement to supply bridge support (faculty and other) for the new software engineering program in the College at Wise.
  • We are collaborating with Longwood University and Virginia Tech on a similar initiative in the Southside, but with a different structure. Private UVa donors have paid part of the cost of two major conferences on redevelopment strategies there. In the first conference, Robert Hull explained the fundamentals of nanoscale manufacturing for economic development officials in that region. In the second, to be held next fall, three venture capital investors with successful experience in redeveloping distressed economies have agreed to run a UVa workshop for Southside participants on how and why they do what they do. In the meantime, faculty members from Longwood are working with the UVa Foundation and faculty members here, and with counterparts at Virginia Tech, on how they can attract new research funding to their home region.
  • Finding new employers after traditional employers have left or declared bankruptcy is a particular challenge in these two regions. In November 2005, Governor Warner announced a Northrop Grumman initiative in Southwest and Central Virginia—a 10-year, $2 billion contract that promises to bring 433 new high-tech jobs to Southwest Virginia and 631 jobs to Chesterfield County.
  • Northrupp Grumman's investment will include a new $22.8 million facility at Lebanon in Russell County. About 90% of the workers in that plant will come from Wise, Russell, Tazewell, Washington, Buchanan, and Dickenson counties.
  • The new undergraduate degree program in software engineering at the College at Wise is the first new academic venture to support an undertaking of this kind. Others will have to follow if redevelopment is to occur. The one at Wise is unique in my own experience of higher education in VA. Localities are required to pay for certain parts of community colleges, but Wise County is the only locality ever to contribute voluntarily ($250,000 for this new program) to a program in a four-year public college.

The Year's Progress

  • Most of us know the basic indicators from prior experience.
  • In 2006,US News & World Report placed us second among public universities and 23rd (tying with Georgetown) among all institutions. We ranked second among publics in the best-value category, which is a kind of back-handed compliment that means that we are by some ways of reasoning underpricing our product. To raise the overall ranking, we need to improve overall financing and to improve our stature in the sciences among similar universities. These two conditions derive from one cause: the sciences are our most expensive disciplines, and state support for science here has never reached even average. Prior to the research funding now hanging in the state budget impasse, we have seen no meaningful contributions for science since the late 1980s, and indeed the state until this year created disincentives to enrolling out-of-state graduate students. This year's proposals improve notably on a bad situation, but the budget has to be enacted before they come to pass.
  • Graduation rates:

    • Six-year graduation rate for students who entered in Fall 1999 is 92.5%.
    • For the 12th consecutive year, the U has the highest graduation rate for African-American students among major public institutions. Six-year graduation rate for these students who entered in Fall 1999 is 86.3%.

Faculty Accomplishments, mentioning only a sampling

  • You will find the full list in your fact book. I will mention a few:
    • Barry Marshall, research professor in Medicine, was awarded the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for work done here. Barry now lives in his hometown, Perth.
    • Terry Belanger, founder and director of the Rare Book School, received a "genius grant" from the MacArthur Foundation, the third such award given to a member of this faculty. So far as I can determine, no university's faculty has more such awards.
    • Two of our faculty were among 15 recipients of the 2006 Outstanding Faculty Awards, the top honor for faculty at Virginia's colleges and universities:John D. Arras, Porterfield Professor of Biomedical Ethics and professor of philosophy, andJose D. Fuentes, the Cavaliers' Distinguished Teaching Professor and associate professor of environmental sciences.
    • Ann Beattie, the Edgar Allan Poe Professor of English and Creative Writing, received the annual Rea Award for the Short Story.
    • Michael J. Klarman, the James Monroe Distinguished Professor of Law, received the Bancroft Prize forFrom Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality.
  • Jefferson Science Associates LLC, the operating entity of J-Lab, which I chair and which faculty members here nurtured in its beginning, last week prevailed in the competition for the contract to run the Thomas Jefferson National Laboratory/Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Newport News. The contract is for a 5-year base period, and its value is $500 million, with the prospect of extension for up to 15 additional years based on the Lab's performance, bringing the total contract value to $2 billion over some 20 years. This information comes directly from the Department of Energy's press release on this award, and it is accessible on line at SURA, the Southeastern Universities Research Association, also created by U.Va. Physics faculty members, incidentally, now has some 60 member universities scattered across the southeast from Delaware to Texas, plus Massachusetts. JSA is a joint venture of the J-Lab and Computer Sciences Corporation, created specifically for the purpose of winning the contract and maintaining the quality of facilities and research at what has been the nation's and perhaps the world's most productive high-energy research facility since it began in the mid-1980s. J-Lab began as a product of UVa research in physics.
  • In addition, I have the pleasure to announce thatJulian Bond will continue as professor of history next year and will accept an appointment in the Carter Woodson Institute as well as a fellowship in the Shannon Center for Advanced Studies. Professor Bond's work in these new capacities will have to do with building the base for future excellence in scholarship related to African-American culture, history, and similar topics.

Student Honors, mentioning only a few—several are yet to come

  • Edward Ross Baird, a third-year student in the political honors program--a 2006 Truman Schola
  • Aaron M. Kurman (College '05) andMargaret M. Brennan (College '02)--among 12 national recipients of the 2006–07 Mitchell Scholarship. (Fourth consecutive year that a U student or graduate has been named a Mitchell Scholar.)
  • Ryan Almstead (Law '06)--second U student to receive the Virginia State Bar Association's Oliver W. Hill Law Student Pro Bono Award.
  • Our incoming students resemble their recent predecessors in that they bring with them excellent credentials. In early April, we offered admission to 4,876 students (in addition to 953 who were admitted early-decision in December).
  • Despite longstanding efforts to hold down the number of apps from students who are not qualified or not seriously interested, received some 16,280 applications for roughly 3,100 spots in the Class of 2010, a 2% increase over last year and 12% increase since 2000.
  • The number of African-American applications was up by 12% to 1,159; applications from Hispanic students increased by 18% to 675; and from international students by 17% to 976.

Excellence in Diversity

  • The trend toward greater diversity at the U continues. 54% of our students are women, and 23% of our total undergraduates are African American, Native American, Asian, or Hispanic.
  • William Harvey, a national expert on diversity in higher education, came as our first vice president and chief officer for diversity and equity in November 2005. Mr. Harvey will guide the U's efforts toward greater diversity. He has worked so far this year on student issues, including security in and around the University, on faculty recruitment issues, and on related issues. He has emerged as a significant leader in a short time, and we applaud him for what he has already accomplished and for what he will accomplish.

Public Service

  • For the fourth year in a row, the U ranks No. 1 among medium-sized colleges/universities in the number of alumni who currently serve as Peace Corps volunteers.
  • During fall semester, we accommodated 140 students displaced from their New Orleans institutions by Hurricane Katrina. About 15 U doctors and nurses traveled to New Orleans to assist victims. As part of a J-term course in the College, two dozen students traveled to New Orleans to help the city rebuild, then returned here to conduct research on their experiences and to lead symposia and similar events related to disaster recovery there.


  • I offer a few examples and refer you to the fact book for a full accounting:

    • During 2004–05, U teams or individuals representing 19 sports participated in postseason competition.
    • We had some 232 student-athletes named to 2004–05 ACC Honor Roll. (Recognizes student-athletes who participate in a varsity-level sport and earn a GPA of 3.0 or better.)
    • We ranked 13th in the final 2004–05 Directors' Cup standings. This ties for our second highest finish in the 12-year history of the Directors' Cup, which is the standard measure of excellence in athletics departments.


  • Reaffirmation of our general or regional accreditation is now underway with SACS—a two-part process. Timeline as follows:

    • September '06: U's compliance report due to SACS. Earl Dudley of the Law School chairs the committee for this report.
    • November '06: SACS off-site committee will review U.Va. report.
    • February '07: Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) due to SACS. Mr. Block has not yet named a chair for this committee.
    • March '07: SACS on-site committee will visit U.
    • December '07: U's re-accreditation status will be decided.
  • The following accreditations of schools and programs have occurred in the past year or are under way now.
    • Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology has re-accredited SEAS, through 2011.
    • American Psychological Association has re-accredited the Clinical Psychologist program, through 2011.
    • The American Society of Landscape Architects has re-accredited our master's program in landscape architecture, through 2011.
    • Teacher Education Accreditation Council's re-accreditation of the Teacher Education program in Curry School is nearly complete.
    • The Liaison Committee on Medical Education has begun re-accreditation of School of Medicine. (Site visit in Oct. 2006; complete in early 2007.)

Retirement Trends

  • We have many retirements on the horizon among faculty and among classified staff.
  • 51% of our tenure-track faculty are between the ages of 50 and 69.
  • Between 1985 and 2005, percentage of our tenure-track faculty over 55 rose from about 21% to about 39%. During same period, percentage of tenure-track faculty under 40 fell from about 36% to about 17%. This shift reflects national trends, and it poses both challenges (such as to recruit and support the very best in our fields of emphasis) and opportunities (such as the same). Time for hard planning and hard work. Time that poses unprecedented opportunities for change and improvement and redirection.
  • Among faculty retirees this year, we are losing leaders in medicine, law, physics, engineering, mathematics, landscape architecture, and other fields.
  • Trends are similar among classified employees. 38% of our classified staff are between the ages of 50 and 69.
  • Between 1985 and 2005, percentage of our classified staff over 55 rose from about 9% to about 22%. During the same period, percentage of classified staff under 40 fell from about 68% to about 33%.
  • Among classified retirees, we have lost employees in leadership positions in the College, School of Medicine, the Chief Information Officer's office, and other areas.
  • The challenges and potential gains are similar when one looks at the trends for classified employees. The conditions under which we hire and promote are more constrained because these employees remain state employees, but the trend itself implies at least two things: that we need solutions to the problems described by the living wage organizations, and that opportunities for advancement will come early and often for those who qualify for the jobs that will open during the next decade or so.

Student Conduct

  • Most students conduct themselves well. Some do not. The number of serious, violent student altercations seems to be up this year, and the trends are challenging.
  • Alcohol remains a problem, but a subtle one. Almost every serious incident of physical assault, sexual assault and property destruction among students involves alcohol.
  • On the other hand, there is good news also. The social marketing approach appears to work. We now have a 5-year downward trend in alcohol-related incidents, with between 25% and 50% drops in injuries, fights, and police involvement. But these smaller numbers of incidents are characterized by the physicians, police officers, counselors, and deans who provide first responses as more serious.
  • Emergency Room visits by students have increased. In one respect this is good news, because it indicates that students are trying to ensure safety of their friends who are in trouble.
  • And a new hazard has appeared here and in other universities with a kind of vengeance. Google "facebook" and murder, or "facebook" and rape, or "facebook" and suicide, or do the same with other sites on which students publish the most intimate details of their thoughts and lives, disclose the most personal and confidential information, and make contact with strangers who may present themselves as fellow students and good people, and then recall the murder of a student at VCU, more than one suicide in Virginia colleges, and uncounted numbers of contacts with predators. We are in discussions about this threat to students with their parents, both in organized groups and in personal contacts with parents who see what is on the sites and grow concerned, with the Attorney General, with police officials, who watch these sites closely for what they may disclose about criminal threats—including in one recent news report a high school student elsewhere who has been charged with using one of these sites to make threats to murder other students , and with officials at other universities. We are testing strategies to inform newcomers, to use some device to alert users of IT systems that postings on these sites can be dangerous to those who do the posting, and other approaches. The coming year will see a national effort to find a solution before more die.

'Destinies of High Promise'

  • Success during these revolutionary times will call for great effort and wise planning. Jefferson wanted his students to rise "to destinies of high promise …" Our goal is to create programs equal to the nation's best.

10-Year Plan

  • Messrs Block and Sandridge are working on a 10-Year analytical project for the BOV, using the 6-year plan from the management agreement as foundation. The goal is to develop and test metrics to gauge the results of the capital campaign now under way.
  • This project addresses U-wide priorities and strategies, drawing from school-based planning, Virginia 2020, and emerging initiatives and interests across Grounds.
  • Mr. Block has met with deans to review and revise early drafts of the proposal. The draft is now being discussed within the faculty.
  • Deans will submit results of faculty discussions to Mr. Block by end of May.
  • A working group will then begin using these metrics to develop what has sometimes been called a plan, although the term can be misleading. This is an effort to determine how to know when and to what extent other plans have worked—an effort to define what the Rector has termed the view from 10,000 feet.
  • A draft will go to the Board in mid-summer.

Undergrad Curriculum

  • Several factors signal that colleges and universities should evaluate their undergraduate curricula now:

    • The U.S. is losing its competitive advantage in science and technology.
    • Economy and democracy depend on global connections.
  • Those factors and others prompted Harvard to examine its undergraduate curriculum for first time since 1978.
  • Harvard's curriculum review report, issued in 2004, recommended:
    • more study abroad;
    • more courses in the sciences;
    • more interdisciplinary courses;
    • fewer course requirements;
    • better academic advising;
    • a January Term; and,
    • smaller classes.
    • At the U, we are introducing many new programs for undergraduates. They echo some of Harvard's recommendations.


  • We introduced a J-Term in 2005. Number of J-Term courses more than doubled from 2005 to 2006.
  • 30 courses, including 4 study-abroad programs (Spain, Nicaragua, Italy, and Ireland), were offered in J-Term 2006.
  • 404 students enrolled in non-study abroad courses in J-Term 2006, an increase of 100% from 2005.
  • 97 students participated in J-Term 2006 study-abroad, increase of 33% from 2005.
  • We plan to offer 8 study abroad courses during the 2007 J-Term.

Study Abroad

  • Last fall, over 230 students participated in study abroad. This spring, that number rose to over 330.
  • Last summer, more than 700 students were involved in study abroad, and we anticipate that number will be higher in 2006.

Semester at Sea

  • The partnership with the Institute for Shipboard Education, which Mr. Block developed, begins this summer. The U provides academic oversight, and Mr. Block and others continuing work on this relationship. David Gies, formerly chair of Spanish, has been named the first dean for this program.
  • Roughly 670 students (from various colleges and universities) will choose from 70 courses per semester.
  • Students will visit places like Venezuela, Brazil, South Africa, Kenya, India, Myanmar, Vietnam, China and Japan.

Undergraduate Research Experiences

  • Nearly half of undergrads engage in research. We want to increase this number.
  • Harrison Awards support undergrad research projects. Over 180 students submitted Harrison projects this spring (80% increase; 101 submitted last year), 45 of which will be funded.

Science Scholars Program

  • CLAS has launched the College Science Scholars Program to attract more students to the sciences as a major. Program now in its third year, with nearly 50 students enrolled.
  • Students in this program begin working in labs upon arrival and meet weekly with our most prominent research faculty in a first-year science seminar.

Integrating Service and Learning

  • Students benefit when we blend classroom experience with community experience.
  • Students in architecture and engineering, for example, are designing and building environmentally sustainable houses.
  • The first of these houses is now complete and occupied in Fifeville. The production facility is at the old UVa airport at Milton, east of Monticello.


  • Pre-major advising is a crucial part of the education we provide.
  • Dean Ayers and his colleagues have been focusing special attention in this area for the last two years, and deans in other schools have their own programs.
  • With a grant from the Parents' Program Fund in the Alumni Association, CLAS launched a College Advising Fellows program in 2004 that now serves more than 1600 first- and second-year students.

Capital Projects—a short summary of highlights

  • Fayerweather Hall: New home for Art History being renovated. Work should be completed May '06.

    • Total cost: $7.7M
    • Funding source: Entirely state bonds/cash
  • John Paul Jones Arena: 15,000-seat arena will include practice courts, weight rooms, offices, parking for 1,500 cars, and public plaza. It will host concerts, conventions, and public ceremonies, in addition to men's and women's basketball games. Completion scheduled for Summer '06, with events following within a few weeks.
    • Total cost: $129.8M, plus $12.9M project enhancements
    • Funding source: entirely gift
  • Wilsdorf Hall: This building will house Engineering's Materials Science Engineering Department and the Center for Nanoscopic Materials Design. Work scheduled for completion in Sept. '06. Named for faculty members Doris and Heinz Wilsdorf, the building was financed largely by a gift from Greg Olson of Princeton, NJ, their former student in Material Science.
    • Total cost: $43.4M
    • Funding sources: State bonds, $7M; Engineering funds, $36.4M
Cocke Hall and Rouss Hall: At south end of the Lawn, work on Cocke Hall and Rouss Hall continues. Cocke Hall renovation expected to be completed in December '06. Renovating Rouss Hall and constructing a new, 115,000-square-foot addition to the building. This project should be finished in February '08.
  • Cocke Hall total cost: $9.0M
  • Funding sources: State bonds, $6M; U funds, $2M; gifts, $1M
  • Rouse Hall total cost: $57M
  • Funding sources: gifts, $50.1M; U funds, $6.9M
  • Advanced Research and Technology (ART) Building: Under construction on last building site in Fontaine Research Park, ART will contain wet lab facilities and will house research programs for new faculty recruits. ART should be completed in Spring '08.
    • Total cost: $41.5M
    • Funding source: entirely U funds
  • Carter-Harrison Research Building: Began construction in March. This medical science building will house biomedicine research. Construction will take about 28 months.
    • Total cost: $41.5M
    • Funding source: entirely U funds
  • South Lawn Project: BOV has approved design of South Lawn Project. It will add over 100,000 square feet of academic space and be home to history, politics, and religious studies.
    • Total cost: $105M
    • Funding sources: gifts, $61.2MM; State, $15–$20M (pending final state budget); U funds, $23.8–$28.8M
  • Several more projects are in the design or planning stage. See fact book for detail.


  • Fundraising is an important part of our plan to finance operations in our new model for public higher education.
  • We are undertaking one of the most ambitious fundraising campaigns in higher education history, and it is succeeding.
    • Jan. 1, 2004: silent phase
    • Sept. 30, 2006: national kickoff
    • Dec. 31, 2011: campaign ends
  • We have a goal of ca. $3 billion:
    • 1B for capital projects;
    • $1B for people: faculty positions and student financial aid;
    • $1B for "unrestricted" general endowments.
  • Most recent report (3/31) indicates we have raised ca. $901 million toward goal.
  • As of 3/31, we have achieved 28.64% of goal with 28.11% of time elapsed. Slightly higher now.
  • We are behind in academic planning for the campaign, and are now involved in an effort to catch up in this area. Work related to the General Assembly Session and other academic planning activities have kept some planners from this work. In the days ahead we will need to focus on creating endowment proposals. Despite its brisk beginning, a campaign of this kind is a marathon, not a sprint, and planning for academic programs is its core.


  • From the front steps of this building you can see the site where 3 U.S. Presidents laid the cornerstone for an institution that they intended to become a great national university.
  • Together we have the opportunity to extend that vision and shape the U in our time and for the future. This is both an obligation and a privilege.
  • It is the obligation and privilege of every woman and man in the U family: classified employees, faculty members, librarians, health care providers, the people who cut grass, the people who prepare food in our cafeterias, and also our alumni and friends. We all have roles to play in this endeavor.

This is a human institution. It's imperfect. All, to my knowledge, are. At the same time, it's a work in progress. I have learned, I hope you have learned, in profound ways, from the arguments made by student protesters in the last semester or so. Their arguments are, frankly, vastly more advanced, vastly more usable than arguments made in prior years by anyone.

We need to understand whether there is to be a devolution of responsibility for controlling poverty from the government to individual employers. We need to understand the nature of the public mandate, the General Assembly needs to take positions; it needs to declare what the law is to be. As we do that, I urge you to see it, as I've come to see it see it, as a source of strength.. The demographics of our workforce — classified employees, faculty, and so on — tell a story about an opportunity. They say that the capacity to make dramatic differences in people's lives are out there and not far away.

The opportunities for advancement as employees take advantage of the educational programs that we offer; the opportunities for better and fair compensation; and the opportunities are impact on the world around us are larger at this point than at any time in my recollection or knowledge.. That's the job. That's what we do for the future.

Thank you.