U.Va. President Announces Actions University
Will Take on Recent Athletics Task Force Report
May 4, 2001--
University of Virginia President
John T. Casteen III today announced plans to address the recent
recommendations of the Strategic Planning Task Force on Athletics
in a meeting with U.Va. coaches and senior athletics
divided the recommendations into two groups -- academic and financial.
He assigned those related to athletes' academic success to Peter
W. Low, the University's provost and chief academic officer, and
to Carolyn M. Callahan, the University's veteran NCAA faculty representative
who chaired the athletics task force. These recommendations include
strategies for (1) improving communication among athletics, academic,
and admissions personnel; (2) improving academic advising and support
services; and (3) enrolling more incoming student-athletes in the
University's summer transition program.
task force sought to improve the student-athletes' academic experience
so we could provide an education within the context of our commitment
to sustaining excellence in learning and teaching, and to teaching
students the University's value system, including the student-run
honor system," Casteen said. "Over the years, deans, faculty members,
and certainly our students have worked hard to build extraordinarily
high graduation rates. We admire that accomplishment and intend
to sustain it. That goal requires exactly the diligence and commitment
the task force recommended."
and Leonard Sandridge, executive vice president and chief operating
officer, will work together on the recommendations for financing
varsity athletics to ensure students have the best and broadest
range of competitive sports from which to choose. Issues include
the base adequacy of the athletics budget, available economies in
operating the program, and strategies to comply with NCAA regulations
as well as with applicable law, including Title IX.
said many of the task force's recommendations concern program management
rather than Board of Visitors policy. He and Sandridge consult regularly
with University Rector John P. Ackerly III of Richmond and the board's
committee on student affairs and athletics on such matters.
recommendations on the future financing of varsity athletics point
us toward many options, including increasing revenue through fundraising
and raising fees," Casteen said. "We will examine all of the options
presented by the task force and will consult widely with officials
facing similar problems at other schools. We're not in the kind
of crisis that has driven others to act precipitously or to make
behind-the-scene changes. Our programs' current finances are sound.
But we have seen the signs of significant future distress and do
not want that. We want to sustain the good aspects of our current
programs and support our people.
will analyze every option and explore every avenue," Casteen said.
"In the end, we will do what is best for the University and for
our students. Changes will not come overnight. We will continue
to consult with persons affected by any changes that will have to
come if new revenues are not found. Donors and boosters who can
mobilize resources to sustain programs will alleviate many of the
harshest prospects by helping us build the endowments necessary
to operate sports that cannot pay their own way.
task force focused everyone's attention on hard choices, but it
also pointed us toward new options. Academics, athletics, and sound
management function here hand in hand and not at cross-purposes.
The goal is to keep that happening."
Louise Dudley, (804) 924-1400