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U.Va. President Casteen Announces Planning Task Force On Athletics To Set Long-Range Priorities

January 6, 2000 -- University of Virginia President John T. Casteen III has announced the formation of a Strategic Planning Task Force for Athletics to develop long-range priorities and aspirations for the Department of Athletics.

The task force has been charged with addressing three areas: programs and facilities; academic and student life; and finances and fund raising. It will focus on planning and goal setting, particularly in areas that have not yet achieved eminence.

This past year the athletics department was honored for the first time with a top 10 ranking in the Sears Directors’ Cup, a respected measure of achievement among the nation’s colleges and universities. Both in the classroom and on the playing field, U.Va.’s student athletes have long achieved at outstanding levels. But, like the rest of the University, athletics cannot afford to stand still, Casteen said.

In 1998, the University embarked on a long-term planning initiative -- Virginia 2020: The Agenda for the Third Century -- in order to remain competitive with its peers and to fully address the many facets of its educational mission. The process of setting long-range aspirations and priorities has focused thus far on four key areas -- the fine and performing arts, international activities, public service and outreach, and science and technology.

Casteen often describes the endeavor as part of the University’s "ongoing commitment to excellence."

"The Department of Athletics has emerged as an area deserving of attention," Casteen said. "Just as the University seeks excellence in its academic programs, it also seeks excellence in its athletic endeavors. Having achieved some measure of success during the course of the current capital fund-raising campaign, it is now necessary for athletics to undertake long-term planning and goal setting."

The task force will be asked to establish clear goals for the department for the next two decades; to build an appropriate budget for accomplishing those goals; to identify funding sources to support the goals, and to recommend a management structure to oversee these efforts.

"Our coaches and student-athletes have achieved one of our major goals -- top ten ranking for the whole athletic program," said M. Terry Holland, director of athletics. "Now it is time to plan for maintaining that excellence in a highly competitive environment. Our athletic program has benefited greatly from our academic excellence and our academic programs have benefited from our athletic excellence. Continued achievement in both areas makes a great University."

Leading the work of the athletics task force will be a group of 16 faculty members, administrators, students and alumni from across University disciplines. Carolyn M. Callahan, a professor at the Curry School of Education, will lead the effort. Callahan is the University’s faculty athletics representative, serving since 1997 as the liaison between the faculty and the athletics department. In that capacity, she also is the University’s faculty representative to the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Working with Callahan will be: Margaret Boutilier, alumna and former All-American in women's lacrosse and field hockey; Gordon C. Burris, special assistant to the president; Earl C. Dudley Jr., professor of law; Mark E. Fletcher, associate director of athletics; Henry B. Frazier III, alumnus; Harry Y. Gamble Jr., professor Religious Studies; Ahmad R. Hawkins, class of 2001; Paula D. McClain, professor of Government and Foreign Affairs; Jane Miller, associate athletic director; Mary Frances Scott, Class of 2000; V. Shamim Sisson, associate dean of students; M. Rick Turner, dean of African-American Affairs; Keith D. Vanderbeek, associate director of athletics; Andrew M. Virga, alumnus, and Carl P. Ziethaml, dean, McIntire School of Commerce. Ex-officio members include: Henry L. Valentine II, chair, Board of Visitors Committee on Student Affairs and Athletics; M. Terry Holland, director of athletics, and Amy D. Cronin, assistant to the president.

About Virginia 2020

The University of Virginia, founded in 1819, will enter its third century in 2020. Envisioning the University’s future and planning for the change and opportunities that lie ahead are the goals of Virginia 2020: Agenda for the Third Century, an initiative first announced by Casteen in March 1998.

Virginia 2020 is focused on four areas: the fine and performing arts, international activities, public service and outreach, and science and technology. Strengths exist in all four areas, but each area as a whole offers great potential for achieving higher standards of excellence. The success of Virginia 2020 will help ensure the University’s success as an institution dedicated to the fundamental principles of teaching, research, and service, and at the same time, devoted to the changing educational needs of people who will face unique challenges and questions of the 21st century.

A web site has been developed to disseminate information about Virginia 2020. The address is: www.virginia.edu/virginia2020.

Contact: Carol Wood, (804) 924-6189

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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