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Gene Block
Gene Block
When University leaders started the Envision process in the fall of 2001, I don't think any of us realized how fruitful these discussions ultimately would be. Working with Senior Vice President for Development and Public Affairs Bob Sweeney, I saw the purpose of these Envision sessions as an opportunity not only to consider each school's long-term goals for the future, but to gain a sense of how these aspirations would help to shape a vision for the University overall as it approaches 2020, the beginning of its third century.

In partnership with the deans of each school, we found the sessions to be frank, open, and productive exchanges about each school's strengths and needs, as well as its core mission and values. Not only did the sessions give me a chance to get to know better the dean and many of the faculty members of each school, they helped Bob and I get a clearer sense of where we should direct our energies and resources to enable the schools and the University to achieve their full potential.

Bob Sweeney & Gene Block
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There were a number of common themes that emerged from the sessions, including the emphasis on the student experience, the strong link between faculty and students, the integration of honor and ethical values into all aspects of University life, and the unique sense of place at the University. These defining elements of the University of Virginia experience will help us as we position the University with the public, prospective students, alumni and donors. We also identified some ongoing challenges that limit our ability to grow and improve, such as the need for graduate support and for new facilities, administrative barriers to interdisciplinary work, and issues with recruiting and retaining faculty, and we are looking at ways to address these.

The school Envision sessions have sparked several additional sessions that are helping us understand these areas of the University better - Envision Miller Center, Envision Student Experience, and Envision Diversity. We will incorporate the results of these sessions, as well, into our plans for the University's future.

I want to thank everyone who took part in the Envision process. I appreciate their creativity and candor, and I look forward to their continuing involvement as we work together to sustain and build the University of Virginia.


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Last Modified: Thursday, 16-Feb-2006 08:38:49 EST
Copyright 2003 by the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia


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