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Subject: Virginia 2020 News Brief

Chairs of the four Virginia 2020 planning commissions addressed the Board of Visitors last Friday. Bob Chapel, Brantly Womack, Rebecca Kneedler, and Anita Jones reported on their commissions’ work, begun this past January, to define excellence in: the fine and performing arts; international activities and programs; public service and outreach; and science and technology.

As part of benchmarking best practices at other institutions, each commission has sponsored or attended a conference or workshop this fall. The advice and perspective from experts beyond the University are enlarging internal discussions about the University’s long-range aspirations. Maintaining a focus on truly long-range goals (10 to 20 years away) continues to challenge each commission to think creatively and not to be bound by present limitations.

Conference and workshop activities this fall included:

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: "Models for Advancing Academic Excellence" workshop was held September 23-24. Representatives from prominent national institutions joined the commission and University officials for debate and collaboration about advancing research and education in science and technology.

THE FINE AND PERFORMING ARTS: A planning retreat October 8-9 brought together the commission and University faculty from art, drama, music, media studies, and museums with colleagues of other institutions known for strong programs in these areas.

INTERNATIONAL ACTIVITIES AND PROGRAMS: "Universalizing the University" conference took place October 14-15. Participants and speakers from the University and other leading institutions – among them the University of Georgia, Social Science Research Council, Stanford, Duke, Columbia, Cornell, and Uppsala University – examined new challenges and best practices for developing international strengths within and beyond the institution.

PUBLIC SERVICE AND OUTREACH: Several commission members joined colleagues from across the country at Pennsylvania State University from October 10-12 for a conference on "Best Practices in Outreach and Public Service."

VIRGINIA 2020: AGENDA FOR THE THIRD CENTURY is a long-range strategic planning initiative that will provide a blueprint for building on strengths in the above four areas and for elevating them to national prominence by 2020. The University will observe its bicentennial in 2019, thus the reference to the University’s third century. Further information about the initiative and each commission’s work is available at www.virginia.edu/virginia2020/.



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