Skip to Content

The State of the University, 1998

President John T. Casteen III
March 23, 1998

Although this report deals briefly with recent developments, it addresses four specific planning issues involving academic programs rather than trying to survey the year's work in its entirety, and it contemplates the future rather than past. In effect, it proposes that we consider the state of the University as it will be in the next decade, and work together now to effect constructive change.

Times have been good to the University in ways no one predicted in 1990 when Virginia began an historic process of decreasing tax support for its public colleges and transferring costs from taxpayers to others, most notably to students and their families. The University has grown in national regard even as it has learned to live without the tax support it received in prior times. For four consecutive years now, U.S. News & World Report has named the University the top public institution in the nation. Our schools and departments have retained their individual high rankings in various other annual assessments, or advanced: Law, Darden, the McIntire School, Architecture, Religious Studies, and Environmental Sciences are notable examples. Creative writing, in the English department, has received high praise recently, as have art history, and physiology in the School of Medicine. There are many other examples.

New programs and facilities have helped create and maintain this level of excellence. In the last year or so, the new facilities of the School of Law, the new Darden School, the Theresa A. Thomas Intensive Care Simulation Laboratory in the School of Nursing, and the Charles O. Strickler Transplant Center in the School of Medicine have all come into being. The Robertson Media Center is under construction in the Clemons Library, and the related academic program, which will be built around the Robertson Professorship in Modern Media Studies, is being finalized.

Student and faculty quality. Acknowledgment of the quality of the student body and the quality of the faculty recurs in the national assessments. At entry, our undergraduate students are among the top 5% - 10% who go to colleges nationwide. By comparison to students in other public colleges, they are especially strong. As students progress here, other measures come to matter. In recent years, some agreement about measuring cohort progression and graduation rates has finally emerged. By those standards, too, our students measure up very well.

The most important measures describe outcomes or achievements. Some are anecdotal. The numbers of Rhodes or Truman scholars are well known. They set the standard for public universities. Other measures are hard and quantitative. This year, as in past years, graduation rates for our African-American students are the highest in the country in any institution. Similar statements apply to students who participate in intercollegiate athletics, to fraternity members, and to most other subpopulations.

Faculty quality is harder to gauge, but our assessments indicate continued strength. The Faculty Senate, some of whose work I am using in this report, has shown strong leadership in benchmarking our work against the nation's best and setting ambitious new goals. Election to the various national academies is a useful, generally accurate measure of the faculty's overall stature. By that yardstick, the University has gained ground. In the course of the last year or so, Ed Starke, formerly the dean of the School of Engineering, was named to the National Academy of Engineering; Joe Miller, the T. Cary Johnson Professor of History, serves now as president of the American Historical Association; Matthew Holden, Henry L. and Grace M. Doherty Professor of Government and Foreign Affairs, was elected to lead the American Political Science Association.

Retaining faculty of national or international stature has been made easier by the Board of Visitors' decision to solicit and commit private funds to enhance the salary account. In addition, the legislature of Virginia took a cue from what the Board did and committed additional state tax dollars for salaries. As a result, we have seen a dramatic slowdown in the rate at which valued faculty members leave for better paying positions elsewhere. We have not finished the work of repairing the damage done to faculty in the early 1990s, but the evidence shows that the remedial strategies are working. Thoughtful department chairs, strong unit leaders within the departments, and an obviously dedicated group of deans are building a sound foundation in human terms for the next decade or two.

The Capital Campaign. The capital campaign has had a direct, positive impact on these issues. It has proven to be an extraordinary success. Total funds raised at this point, including gifts, pledges, and bequests, exceed $700 million. In February, the Board of Visitors increased the overall campaign goal to $1 billion. These numbers have symbolic and concrete value. In due course, we will reach and surpass this ambitious goal--itself an important measure of the seriousness of the campaign effort to reform the University's basic finances.

Perhaps because the campaign has been grounded in the University's academic values, alumni volunteers and others have been extraordinarily responsive. The willingness of persons who have supported athletics to wait until this point in the campaign to begin their own vigorous efforts is one reason for the success enjoyed by academic programs in garnering support early in the campaign. At this point, the rising tide is in fact lifting all of our ships.

The campaign's academic outcomes are extraordinary and tangible: about one-third of the endowed professorships that now exist; 367 new endowed scholarships for undergraduate students; 168 academic endowments; some $31 million in unrestricted endowment; 77 new endowed graduate fellowships.

Funding for fellowships for graduate students is critical to any faculty that intends to carry out important work nationally or globally, and it is difficult support to acquire. Our campaign experience points to several counterintuitive trends: first, that graduate fellowship funding is beginning to accumulate in significant amounts; and, second, that the primary source of funding is from individual gifts. By and large, these new fellowships do not represent corporate gifts. Instead, they represent endowment commitments made by individual donors to sustain programs that often they themselves did not attend. Moreover, in general, the donors who support these programs do not hold graduate degrees, or they have only tangential affiliations with a graduate school. Yet they elect to support graduate study in this way.

Planning for self-sufficiency. From this summary, we begin to see evidence of how University financing has changed. First, 59 percent of the money so far paid into the campaign comes from individual donors: alumni, parents, and people who make personal commitments. Another 33 percent comes from corporations and foundations. Usually these proportions are reversed. This is a sign of strength for the future, because individual donors are in general more available as sustaining donors after a campaign than are corporate or foundation donors who typically do not think about giving as an annual effort. The techniques our development officers have used to build this individual donor base are beginning to be acknowledged nationally as a model that our peers will surely emulate.

In an era when state support has declined to about eleven percent of the total budget, it is essential that every program make the most of external funding. A number of our individual schools have, after honest self-assessment, increased their campaign goals. Some are showing admirable initiative in developing their own resources. The College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Darden School, the Law School, the Nursing School, the McIntire School of Commerce, the department of athletics, all have, in the course of the last several months, revised their targets upwards in ways that are both aggressive and realistic.

All of these events indicate that we are approaching a level of self-sufficiency that will allow the University's Board of Visitors and its faculty to determine priorities, to set targets for the future, and to plan an institution that is something other than a reaction to state priorities. We now have the opportunity to proceed with an eye toward increasing the University's national and global significance.

Initiatives of this size require teamwork. We learned in planning nearly ten years ago that working in teams can be uncommonly challenging. The Plan for the Year 2000 itself may not live in history, but it taught us a great deal about the planning process. The hardest part of that plan was developing the separate sections having to do with individual schools and departments. We sometimes found it difficult to acknowledge that we had weaknesses, and it is hard to plan if one cannot acknowledge the need to improve. We found ourselves dealing with a set of planning assertions that always began with "We are excellent, and we intend to stay that way." This is, very frankly, not a good way to become something other and better than what we are.

Luckily, other plans and experiences intervened in helpful ways. One was the series of restructuring reports concerning the nonacademic components of the University, those that Leonard Sandridge and others produced to prepare us for refinancing the institution. Another was the set of restructuring reports that were mandated by a state government whose chief motive at the time seemed to be to close academic programs and to terminate faculty members. That we knew how to plan was an essential part of the success of those exercises. These undertakings gave us valuable perspective, and they have lived in our operation since they were first completed.

Perhaps the most important recent planning initiative is both the process and the product of the re-accreditation that the University received from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1996. Our self-study differs from most others of its kind in being broadly participatory. About 850 members of the community -- faculty, students, alumni, persons in the city, staff members, and many others -took part. These persons served on fifty or more major committees charged with preparing separate sections of the self-study. In the end, we rolled forward the Plan for the Year 2000, requalified for institutional accreditation, and attained a major goal of the earlier plans: a restructuring initiative with an affirmative agenda for the entire University, but one based on activities in individual departments and separate programs.

It is difficult to project what will happen to public support for the University. State commitments fluctuate, financial markets change, and capital campaigns sometimes stall for reasons that no one quite understands. All of that said, it seems certain that the value of planning in both dimensions, academically and financially, is something that the University has successfully demonstrated in the course of this decade. It is not so much that new money replaced the state money. Rather, in advancing beyond a difficult time, we developed a new paradigm of how to accomplish our purposes. We learned how to be responsible for and in charge of programs that previously did not have that oversight, and we discovered the benefits of self-sufficiency.

Implications for future planning. We study what our competitors do well and we benchmark ourselves against them. Duke University, for instance, while not a prefect analogue, has been a useful model. When the loss of state tax support constrained our progress, Duke, without substantial state money, moved forward in almost every assessment of what universities accomplish. Duke describes itself as a young university, and emphasizes the need to build maturity in its programs. It repeatedly asserts that it is not one of the old participants in the American higher education scene.

While we cannot claim that we are a young institution, there is great value in acknowledging the need for growth in certain areas. Duke's history parallels our own history in the period when we became a national research enterprise. At the time of the Rotunda fire, we were essentially an undergraduate college with a law school and a fledgling school of medicine. Then, beginning with Andrew Carnegie's and others' generosity in the 1920s -- the birth-period of the modern research university -- we started to develop real strength in a broad range of disciplines.

Our modern development came late -- after World War II, with the beginning of full co-education in 1970, the development of a genuinely diverse student body in the 1980s, and the current drive to achieve diversity in the faculty. Because we have not achieved all of our goals, especially with regard to the faculty, the University might be seen as a semi-mature institution -- mature enough to have made hard choices and dramatic progress, yet young enough to show weaknesses and potential for growth.

We need to direct change, to weather adversity, to set the University's course rather than having it set by state planning agencies or federal priorities. We need to work aggressively to build and sustain the resources that sustain programs of genuine excellence.

The effects of deregulation and changes in state funding. The University has been largely deregulated by the state, but it is critical to remember just how recent those changes are. We have had significant success in persuading legislators to rein in regulation and in making common cause with governors who had very different political perspectives but who understood the value of self-sufficiency. That success is an important building block for any future we imagine.

The University's current financial structure reflects changes that have occurred very recently as well. The public phase of this capital campaign is less than three years old. A few numbers provide the context in which we find ourselves today.

State appropriations in 1989-90 totaled $133 million out of a total budget of $690 million. This past year, the state tax appropriation was $118 million, and the University's total budget was $1 billion. In short, we grew as state tax support declined. This growth was tied to three factors: first, for three or four years of this period, there were steep increases in tuition. Moderate tuition increases continue for out-of-state students, but the state's decision to cap the in-state increases -- increases caused by the decrease in tax support -- has constrained the overall rate of increase in recent years. Second, external funding for faculty research and development work has grown, especially in the School of Medicine. That growth outstrips all national indicators. It reflects the increasing national stature of basic science departments that have grown excellent in competition with others in a time of restraints in federal funds. Third, and perhaps most important, we have attracted funds from private sources.

The components of last year's actual revenue budget tell the story in another way. In 1996-97, student tuition and fees produced about $153 million, or just fewer than 15 percent of the total budget. Federal grants and contracts contributed about $160 million. Private gifts, grants, contracts, and endowment income in the same period equaled $133 million. Each of these components exceeds the state tax appropriation. Together, they are several times the state tax appropriation. To place these figures in broader context: last year's entire state tax appropriation for higher education, even before being adjusted for inflation, was not significantly larger than the 1989-90 appropriation.

The state has continued to grant relief from state regulation, and this has benefited the University in some obvious, and some not so obvious, ways. The dollars we have saved because of the deregulation flow over into departmental budgets. Those dollars account, in part, for the very limited damage done to academic programs.

The most important legislation in this area to date is "codified autonomy." In 1996, codified autonomy was enacted for the Medical Center. The Law School and the Darden School were moved into a limited form of codified autonomy some years earlier. This hybrid structure-a blend of self- and state regulation-has not finished evolving. We cannot claim to know where it will go, but the conclusion that concessions in the state's intent to regulate have been beneficial to us is undeniable. We see at least partial proof of this in three very significant and much-improved components of the University: Law, Darden, and the Medical Center.

Progress in building and restoring buildings demonstrates the value of deregulation. During the early 1990s, we carried out one of the most vigorous and successful programs of plant renewal of any major American university. Some $340 million was spent on new construction and on renovation projects. Yet, the bulk of this work has not been financed by the state. Until this year, the state simply has not had adequate funds. Of the component that was financed by the state (about 16 percent of the total), the lion's share was financed by the state's voters through the 1992 General Obligation Bond bill.

The University provided its own funds through faculty effort, through fundraising, through student and user fees, and through other means, to finance the remainder. In addition, we have used, when appropriate, several kinds of bond financing, taking advantage of having the highest bond ratings available to a public institution. The Darden School, the Law School and the reconstruction of its surroundings, the Aquatic and Fitness Center, Bryan Hall, and other structures show that this new system has worked.

We also have seen the positive effects of deregulation in the academic enterprise. The state's regulatory bureaucracy exercises somewhat less oversight today than it did in 1990. The schools and departments have greater freedom to innovate and experiment than they had before. The hard judgments about programs are made where they should be -- in faculty deliberations.

Federal funding means more to us now than it used to. One hundred and sixty million dollars-the portion of the budget attributed to sponsored programs-is a major component of our financial picture. Faculty members are largely responsible for this growth. The bulk of the increase has been in the School of Medicine, but that is not the only place where we have seen success. The dramatic success in medicine is, in a sense, a kind of indicator of what is possible, rather than an indicator of failure somewhere else.

A final critical element is the performance of the endowment since the early 1990s. The Rector and Visitors' component of the endowment has grown from about $400 million in 1990 to about $1.1 billion today. The total endowment, including the foundation endowments, has grown to about $1.4 billion. About $250 million represents the incoming money from the capital campaign. The rest represents success in managing the asset.

Before this campaign, the endowment was contributing about $16 million a year to the operating budget. This year the endowment contributed something over $50 million. That one very fundamental aspect of the total budget is largely responsible for the differences in the University between then and now. The bulk of those dollars went to three core activities: restricted funds available to the Board to deal with new programs or changing conditions; the faculty salary account; and programs that benefit students directly, especially the financial aid programs.

There are tangible ways to measure this progress. An important one is the faculty resource measure that is used nationally to determine whether we can afford to pay for the work we do. After five or six disastrous years, the faculty resource measure put us 62nd in the country this past year among the major universities. However, in the current year, with the new money that was devoted to faculty salaries and several other changes, we have moved to 51st. We have a long way to go, because that ranking does not comport with an overall ranking of 21st and with academic program rankings in the area of 10th or 12th. Among all public Association of American Universities members, we have moved up to fourth in total faculty compensation per faculty member. Those ahead of us are Rutgers (which has benefited by a dramatic build-up in the sciences), the University of California at Berkeley, and UCLA. That is not at all a bad neighborhood in which to function. If we intend to compete directly with them in the future, however, we still have some way to go with regard to faculty resources.

To summarize, we can predict that the state's contribution probably will not return to old funding levels. The only way to provoke that event would be to give up our national student body, and there is no significant constituency within the University that supports doing that. Most of us believe that the national student body, including a broad population of minority students, has tangible and immediate academic value within the University.

We need to develop new programs that provide direct benefit to the state of Virginia. Regardless of the budget, much of our interest in new developments in research, in the Division of Continuing Education, and in new public service outreach programs is driven by the conviction that the University's value to the state has to be demonstrated repeatedly. The state's willingness to fund future activities is driven in large part by the public's perception of the value of what we do -- not simply here in Charlottesville, but also throughout the state.

The planning commissions. The issue we must consider today is this: If our intention is to build on the existing base to become the nation's premiere public institution in every sense (not simply in the senses measured by U.S. News), then we can begin to define the work of the next three or four years. But we cannot, in this process, be afraid to acknowledge our areas of weakness. Indeed, one of the reasons we attract so much funding for academic programs is that we are not, at this point, afraid to demonstrate the quality of what is good nor to acknowledge deficiency. The two aspects together are the real story.

As we begin this planning, we must understand three principles: it takes time to plan -- we can't expect to do everything at once; it takes time to build resources; and it takes time to reallocate resources. We know this: we accomplish things today that we could not imagine in 1990.

It takes some time to build resources and to appraise or account for what we do with them. Resource allocation has to be nimble. A very hard discipline goes with being first rate. We must be able to direct resources toward areas of real need, and sometimes away from areas that are in decline. We have learned the hard way how to do the tough things. Now we move into the period when we can begin to make hard decisions because we intend to support excellence and not because we are forced to by a state that is in retreat.

It is critical that there be a clear structure for the work we are about to undertake, and so, in the coming months, we will form a group of planning entities. I will appoint a planning commission comprising faculty members, students, and some members of our Board of Visitors who have actively supported our programs. This planning commission will oversee a series of planning efforts run through sub-commissions. Four of these will be directed at specific disciplinary issues. A fifth sub-commission will make sure that we do not miss new issues or opportunities that may emerge in the course of the next three years.

Basic sciences. The first sub-commission will focus on the sciences, broadly conceived. We have an unusual number of excellent science programs including physiology, the National Science Foundation's Center for Biological Timing, and environmental sciences. The National Research Council's ratings and other such indicators, however, suggest that we have a substantial way to go if we intend to support science departments that rank not in the third or second tier, but in the first tier in the nation.

The science sub-commission will start with programmatic reviews that are already underway. These reviews have included program assessments and setting the benchmarks essential for gauging progress over time. We will invite a group of distinguished senior scientists to examine these reviews and to help us conduct a new set of benchmarking exercises. They will help us define the various characteristics of departments and programs that have already achieved the kind of standing we seek and will establish an aspiration group for each of our basic science programs.

A next step will be to determine the priorities for investing the new resources necessary to build strength and to move toward the targets we set. The sub-commission will think in terms of a ten-year plan, but it will include three- to five-year cycles that will permit adapting to constantly changing indexes. We want to strengthen the traditional departments, but we also want to build on the collaborative and interdisciplinary strengths that have emerged in the sciences, medicine, and engineering. In ten vigorous years, with deliberate leadership, we can achieve the kind of results we want.

Fine and performing arts. The second planning sub-commission will work on the fine and performing arts. These programs are not as visible or as successful as they should be, largely because of poor facilities and incomplete planning. The dean and chairs in the College have already started to work on benchmarking the programmatic strengths and weaknesses in these disciplines, and we have recently begun a study that will develop a conceptual physical plan for the Carr's Hill Arts Precinct. It will incorporate the programmatic as well as the physical needs of the various areas within the fine and performing arts. The Carr's Hill Arts Precinct will be the largest construction project the University of Virginia has ever undertaken. We are working with prospective donors who could help to fund the project.

We intend to develop the arts departments around a completely rebuilt Fayerweather Hall and other new structures located near the Culbreth and Helms Theatre and the School of Architecture. The Bayly Museum, which is too small for our growing art collections and lacks the proper temperature and humidity controls, may revert to another use. The department of music will move from Old Cabell Hall. The music library will move also. We envision a substantially larger library building, adjacent to the current Fiske-Kimball Fine Arts Library and the School of Architecture library, that will serve the fine and performing arts all in one place. The department of drama needs expanded facilities, and the department of music, at present without adequate performance space, needs a 1,200-seat concert hall. A substantial parking garage must be erected in the vicinity of the theatres, the concert hall, and the museum. The cost of the Carr's Hill Arts Precinct will total $40 million or more.

This is a substantial project. The commitment to make the capital and programmatic expenditures to support performers, creators, producers, as well as those who study theory and history in the fine and performing arts, is a critical component of a mature university. The building project can be completed over the course of about two years, concurrent with the significant programmatic planning.

Public service and outreach. The third of the planning sub-commissions will look at public service and outreach. To put the matter very simply, we need broad and motivated public support based on widespread awareness of the value of faculty work. People in Tidewater or Northern Virginia or Southwest Virginia or Richmond believe that the University of Virginia lives within the Grounds in Charlottesville, that it does not make substantial commitments to their well being. This perception tells us that something is wrong. We need to continue our discussions and cooperation with Virginia Tech on new ways to adapt faculty research products to the state's needs.

I have asked the faculty and the provost to look at another, more difficult issue. We are distinctive among comprehensive institutions that belong to the AAU, and even more isolated among public universities, in the limited number of off-campus, part-time, and other adult degree programs that we offer. We do not offer a part-time, adult degree program even to older students living here in Charlottesville. We ought to have programs of that kind. We also ought to be creative and flexible in the delivery of our services, and we ought to find creative ways to meet the needs of non-traditional student populations. Other first-rate universities run highly successful programs of these kinds. I believe we can, also.

I have asked for a pilot project to be developed that will let us begin to understand what it will take to enroll part-time students in degree programs. I believe that we can develop an academically sound program in response to needs identified in this region, and then, over time, develop it in connection with our regional centers. This is an appropriate step toward meeting needs identified repeatedly by state leaders and other individuals who criticize our lack of engagement with the state.

This third sub-commission will look specifically at the relationship between research and public service, and research and outreach. It also will examine the long-range academic plans for the research parks to determine additional ways of making them attractive to clients who will work with faculty as consultants to industry.

This commitment, coupled with that of improving the sciences, leads to another: we have asked the Board of Visitors to appoint Gene Block to the position of Vice President for Research and Public Service. This is an important step. Mr. Block's leadership has been critical as we have thought through plans to develop a public service orientation built on a rapidly improving program in the sciences. Oddly, many of our most distinguished outreach programs are related to the department of government, to the Darden School, to other components of the University, and not to the sciences.

Mr. Block has a two-part assignment. One part is to oversee the building in the science programs. The other is to find ways to ensure that we deliver products of tangible value to the state around us, and that we do that in a way that everybody understands and identifies with the University of Virginia.

International initiatives. The final sub-commission will develop a plan for international initiatives. We do a great deal abroad, but we do a poor job of using what is done abroad to build a stronger university here. There are exceptions. A number of excellent enterprises within the University have made ingenious uses of international activities. An example: the Latin-American work that the department of Spanish does that also benefits government and foreign affairs, economics, and other centers within the University.

We intend to find ways to support expanded faculty participation in international research projects. Models already exist: Theo van Groll's work in Denmark, Mario di Valmaranna's program in Italy, Bob Carey's research program in Brazil, Dr. Yugi Kawaguchi's program in Ghana, and other such programs. Each of those programs should be a component of the larger model to make the University of service internationally, and also to build academic strength here on the services that faculty members provide elsewhere. Each of these programs ought also to have a discrete link to undergraduate education.

In a move that should spur our efforts here, the Atlantic Coast Conference member institutions have agreed to build an academic consortium modeled on similar efforts in the Pacific Ten and Big Ten conferences. We are exploring international collaborations, networked libraries, and ways to share data sets for the purpose of benchmarking programmatic progress. The first activities of the group will be driven largely by the academic needs of the provosts of our universities. There is tremendous potential gain for the entire community of higher education in the region as we move in this collaborative direction. The ACC has agreed to provide the cost of staffing this enterprise and carrying it forward for the first several years.

As a model of success in international programs, the Darden School stands out. Twenty percent of that school's entering class is now international. Twelve percent of the faculty is foreign-born. The school runs about 100 executive programs a year, with participants from 57 countries. Exchange programs already exist with other institutions in Hong Kong, Belgium, Mexico, Canada, Sweden, Australia, and Japan. Nearly all of the Darden School's courses have an international component. Many of them are explicitly international in character. Darden School graduates are going into global careers, and the program recognizes that fact. The Darden School is not necessarily the model for all of our enterprises. But, it is an established center of excellence that has moved ahead quite vigorously in this area. The international program in progress in the McIntire School also seems to be well on its way to providing the same kind of international focus for undergraduate business students.

The fifth commission will doubtless find itself looking repeatedly at infrastructure issues, which are a common concern. The library is but one example. It has an extraordinarily broad mission, but its finances, both historically and currently, are inadequate. This kind of infrastructure constitutes the information spine of our mutual endeavors, and whether computer systems, the physical buildings, or any other aspect of infrastructure, it also involves recognition of another category of commitment: we are part of a statewide library network. We intend to move through the ACC collaboration to become part of a larger regional network that will be at least comparable to the Big Ten's network. However, we will join in the ACC collaboration with the firm determination to remain a great public institution.

The University's basic principles and mission. It is difficult to define the University of Virginia without beginning with an acknowledgement of certain basic principles. They are inscribed on the founder's tombstone. The sequence of issues that Thomas Jefferson saw as important is an adequate justification for a profound, enduring, and deliberate commitment to the public interest and to public status as one of the University's identifying characteristics.

Self-sufficiency, academic maturity conceived in a new way, an intention to achieve global eminence in a broad range of disciplines -- none of these goals interferes in any sense with the University's basic commitment to the state that gave it its beginnings. We intend to build something substantial on the foundations described in this new planning effort, something that will benefit not only our students, our faculty, and the University, but also the surrounding state and its communities.

We have a determination to understand and meet standards of excellence, to set benchmarks against the best that we can imagine, and to reach our goals within a decade. That is what our University intends to do. As we progress, we must be grateful for this opportunity to plan some portion of this institution's destiny, and we must welcome the demands to account for what we are doing. To better accomplish this, we will assess, measure, and understand how excellence functions in other places. Then, we will see to it that we achieve the conditions necessary to become first-rate in the sciences, to make culturally important contributions in the fine and performing arts, to build a reputation in the state that will demonstrate the value of a great public university, and to set a standard that will have global significance.

This is a rare and wonderful academic village. It is something different from the rhetorical formula that we all know. It is something that lives and breathes, and that changes over time. More important, it thinks with a unique kind of moral conviction.

We may not always get the answers right, but we must ask the rigorous question, find the hard answer, and change to achieve new kinds of excellence. That set of characteristics is a sound foundation for what comes next.