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The University's full-time instructional/research faculty numbers approximately 1,800, most of whom conduct research and publish their findings on a regular basis. The University has established more than 383 endowed professorships for outstanding scholars, and the Shannon Center for Advanced Studies plays a major role in attracting and retaining scholars of national and international distinction.
In 1995, the prestigious National Research Council, which evaluates 274 institutions every ten years, placed our graduate programs in English, religious studies, German, Spanish and Portuguese, and physiology among the top ten programs in their fields; ratings based in large part on the quality of the faculty.
In its September 1997 issue, U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Virginia as the nation's top public institution for the third consecutive year, placing it 21st among 228 public and private colleges and universities. The graduate issue of U.S. News further ranked the School of Law as the second public law school in the country, ranking eighth overall. The magazine placed the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration tenth overall, and ranked its non-degree Executive Education Program sixth in the country. The University's Master of Architecture Program was also ranked sixth. In the Curry School of Education, the Special Education Program was ranked sixth, while the Curriculum and Instruction Program was ninth.
University faculty members overall have received many national and international awards during the past year. William A. Wulf, AT&T Professor of Engineering, received the 1997 Virginia Engineering Foundation's Achievement Award, and was also elected President of the National Academy of Engineering, which advises the federal government on issues of science and technology. Gene D. Block, Vice President for Research and Public Service and Alumni Council Thomas Jefferson Professor of Biology, and Irving J. Gottesman, the Sherrell J. Aston Professor of Psychology, were elected as Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, one of the country's oldest professional science associations. Joseph C. Miller, T. Cary Johnson, Jr. Professor of History, was named President-elect of the American Historical Association, the main professional organization of the country's historians. Anita K. Jones, University Professor in Engineering, was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers for her contributions to the development of computer software systems. Environmental Sciences Professor Alan D. Howard was elected a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. Howard has studied the effects of water on landscapes from Mars to Madison County. Janet S. Herman, Professor of Environmental Sciences, received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring at a White House ceremony. Environmental Sciences Professor Bruce Hayden was selected by the National Science Foundation to head its Division of Environmental Biology, one of four divisions in the Directorate for Biological Sciences; and Bennett I. Bertenthal, a Professor of Psychology, was named to a three-year term as Assistant Director of the National Science Foundation's Directorate of Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences. Matthew Holden, Jr., the Henry L. and Grace M. Doherty Professor of Government and Foreign Affairs, was named to the U.S. Department of Energy's Task Force on Electric System Reliability. University President John T. Casteen, III was elected President-elect of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the regional accreditation agency which serves eleven southern states from Virginia to Texas.
Despite the demands of research and writing, University faculty are remarkably attentive to the needs of their students. In addition to their teaching responsibilities, faculty members serve as academic advisors. Professors routinely post office hours, and students do not hesitate to use them. It's not unusual to encounter students clustered in the hall outside a professor's office, waiting for a chance to discuss papers or review classwork.
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