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John T. Casteen IIIU.Va. President John Casteen Receives Regional Leadership Award

Dec. 20, 1999 -- University of Virginia President John T. Casteen III is the recipient of the first Distinguished Leadership Award given by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the regional accrediting commission for degree-granting institutions.

Casteen was presented the award earlier this month in Atlanta during the association’s annual meeting.

The award recognizes "visionary leadership and outstanding involvement in and support of the activities of the Commission on Colleges." It is the highest public recognition given by the commission and is reserved for "those exhibiting extraordinarily distinctive and effective leadership," according to the commission.

Nominations were solicited from educators involved in the accreditation activities of the commission, representing the 778 colleges and universities that are member institutions.

Casteen served for six years as an elected member on the Commission on Colleges, including three years as chair of the commission.

Casteen’s involvement in national affairs raised the stature of the commission. Among other accomplishments, he recently helped found the national Council on Higher Education Accreditation.

"In his variety of roles, he has proven to be a visionary leader and diligent worker in the causes of higher education and accreditation," said James T. Rogers, executive director of the Commission on Colleges. "During a time of particular challenge to the accrediting community, his unflagging support encouraged the membership and his courageous stands inspired us. He is a man of sound judgement, exemplary integrity, and compelling insight. He has indeed left an indelible mark of enhanced quality of the commission and its operations."

Casteen recently completed a term as president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and its board of trustees, and continues to be involved in commission activities by chairing visiting committees and serving as an informal consultant with commission staff.

The Commission on Colleges is the higher education arm of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, a non-governmental, voluntary agency, one of six regional accrediting organizations in the United States. The association’s membership consists of more than 12,000 accredited public and private institutions from university level down to the pre-kindergarten level. Founded in 1895 and headquartered in Decatur, Ga., the Southern Association works with schools and colleges in 11 Southern states from Virginia through Texas, in Mexico, the Caribbean, and in Central and South America.

Accreditation is a non-governmental and voluntary process concerned with improving educational quality and assuring the public that member institutions meet established standards.

For additional information James T. Rogers may be reached at (404) 679-4501, ext. 512.

Contact: Bob Brickhouse, (804) 924-6856

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: please contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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