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2008 Speeches

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Carnegie Corporation: Leading Public Educators Issue Open Letter

Winter 2008

Calling America's institutions of higher education uniquely capable of producing "the people, ideas, tools, solutions, and knowledge infrastructure our economy needs to regain its momentum and to set a new trajectory," a group of public higher education leaders have issued an open letter to President-elect Obama and his incoming administration urging them to invest in higher education in general and in public higher education in particular, along with their sister private higher education institutions. Download PDF of Letter.

Message from President Casteen on How the Current Global Economic Crisis Affects the University of Virginia

Winter 2008

The current global economic crisis affects the University of Virginia in many ways—from state budget shortfalls and future reductions to substantial losses in the University’s endowment. I write to share with you our ongoing effort to address these challenges. Over the coming weeks and months, I hope that you will rely on this site as a resource. Full Text.

Doing Our Share

Winter 2008

Thomas Jefferson's identities as statesman, author, architect and founder of our Republic and our University lead many to overlook his lifetime preoccupation with the environment as a naturalist, botanist, horticulturist and incessantly inquisitive student of nature. In 1790, he wrote to his daughter Martha Jefferson Randolph, "There is not a sprig of grass that shoots uninteresting to me." Full Text.

Impact of State Budget Cuts on U.Va.

Fall 2008

The overall reduction for the University of Virginia is $10.6 million, which equates to 7 percent of our General Funds. In addition, the state's Equipment Trust Fund has been frozen, which means the University is unable to spend its $10 million allocation for the purchase of equipment needed largely for research. Full Text.

Letter on the Economy's Impact on the University

Fall 2008

All of us are feeling the effects of the global economic crisis. I write to let you know how this crisis is affecting the University and how we are working to protect and sustain our operations. Because press (and blog) speculations about what the crisis is doing to universities, including us, have been both numerous and generally mistaken, I want also to respond to a few misstatements about the impact of the financial meltdown on our endowment. Full Text.

Tomorrow Takes Shape

Fall 2008

This fall is a season of change in leadership here at the University. Retirements, departures for senior positions elsewhere and other transitions have created conditions for a remarkable transformation, and one whose scale and swiftness may be unprecedented in our history. The changes provide useful insights into where we are going, and how. Full Text.

Surrounded by History

Summer 2008

One of the pleasures of living and working in the University and the surrounding community is daily engagement with buildings whose rich histories are sewn into the University's and our nation's fiber. That engagement is both as physical as touching bricks and timbers, and as visceral as seeing newfound subtleties of shape or shadow that make these buildings such powerful images for all of us. Full Text.

The Second Half

Spring 2008

One day in November 2007, total pledges and gifts to the Knowledge is Power capital campaign passed $1.6 billion. Owing to the customary flow of business and the pressures of fall travel for Bob Sweeney and his staff, that day came and went without notice, but the day and the number mark milestones that point the way to our University's future. Full Text.

Response to U.S. Senate Committee on Finance

February 22, 2008

In January 2008, the University of Virginia received a letter from Senators Max Baucus and Charles Grassley, chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the United States Senate Finance Committee. The letter, which was sent to 136 universities, included 11 questions relating to financial aid and endowment management. On February 22, U.Va. President John T. Casteen III responded to the senators with a letter and documentation that comprehensively addressed these questions. PDF of letter (200 KB). PDF of responses (244 KB).

State of the University Address

February 6, 2008

President John Casteen delivered the annual State of the University Address on February 6, 2008. Read UVA Today's news article about the event, and listen to an audio stream of the address. Click on audio link in feature column.