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 Virginia 2020: Agenda for the Third Century
December 13, 1999 Senior Leadership Workshop
Public Service & Outreach Commission Report
Rebecca Kneedler rdk@virginia.edu 804-924-6749




I. University and Commission Actions Completed or Underway


II. Spring 2000 Commission Tasks Informing Recommendations


III. Emerging Action Recommendations and Implementation Tasks


IV. Supporting Documents (In Separate Attachments)

A. Most Recent Draft Reports of Three Exploratory Groups

B. Top Ten Benchmark Findings

C. October 1999 Kneedler BOV Talking Points


VISION: In 2020, the information technologies will have transformed the roles of institutions of higher learning. All top research universities will be distinguished, not for the discovery and transmission of scholarship, but for the application of that scholarship to serve public needs. The University of Virginia will be well equipped and positioned for this transformation.

MISSION: The 1999-2000 University of Virginia Statement of Purpose and Goals includes five specific goals of public service in its central mission.


University and Commission Actions Completed or Underway

  1. Centralized University office for public service created with establishment of vice presidency for research and public service in 1998 and appointment of coordinator for public service in 1999.
  2. Public service defined by Commission as "the application of scholarly knowledge and professional or academic expertise to the economic, health, and educational needs of the public."
  3. University inventory of public service programs compiled for Commission and maintained by Office of Vice President for Research and Public Service.
  4. "Public Service & Outreach" added to the University of Virginia's Web Home Page with list of links to programs or offices with public service initiatives.
  5. Public service web gateway being developed featuring databases of the University's service and outreach programs. Database searchable by geographic regions served, type of program, and special audiences.
  6. Bachelors degree program for part-time adult students established in Continuing Education in 1999.
  7. Number of Off-Grounds degree, certificate, and enrichment programs increasing each semester in underserved areas of the Commonwealth to meet educational and medical needs.
  8. Continuing Education faculty represented in faculty governance.
  9. Undergraduate and Graduate Records revised for 1999–2000 to include section on public service and outreach.


Spring 2000 Commission Tasks Informing Recommendations

  1. Continue meetings with local and statewide citizens, legislators, alumni, faculty, students, administrators, Board of Visitors members, and staff (additional work with development, technology, and communications staff) to modify recommendations and implementation strategies based on constituent needs and University expertise.
  2. Continue in-depth study of benchmark institutions with visits planned for 2-4.
  3. Complete plan for evaluation of quality and impact of public service achievements. Measures are needed to assess individual service quality as well as programs competing for resources.
  4. Complete plan for statewide communications campaign to inform Virginia citizens about UVA outreach services.


Emerging Action Recommendations and Implementation Tasks



1. Recognize the Central Mission of Public Service.

  • The application of scholarship intersects and infuses research and teaching. It is not a separate entity.
  • Deans and department chairs will be expected to report public service achievements for their units annually. Particular value will be placed on interdisciplinary efforts that invariably require greater work demands.
  • Faculty achievements in public service will be recognized in ways similar to those in research and teaching (merit raises, endowed chairs, awards, sabbaticals, annual performance reviews, etc.).
  • Areas of University distinction and priorities will be identified and strengthened (health & medicine; government & law; economic development & business; education, especially K-12; and instructional & informational technology).


2. Create University Policies for Distance Education.

  • With the rapidly evolving educational technologies, the University of Virginia must create the fee, instructional, and assessment structures required to make selected courses and programs accessible on-line immediately.


3.     Provide a Fourth Credit Option to all Undergraduate Students

  • This will allow undergraduates to add an academically based service learning component to selected courses

4. Increase the Scope of the Office of the Vice President for Research and
        Public Service

  • Appoint an Associate Vice President for Public Service at comparable level of current Associate Vice President for Research.
  • Within each school, an "External Relations" (also called "Communications") person will report public service activities to this office.
  • Faculty annual reporting will collect public service data, which will be electronically compiled in this office.
  • This office will charge a university-wide advisory committee to determine priority areas for new or threatened public service programs. Special funding will be administered in disciplines that are typically not eligible for external funding and contracted public service.


5. Launch a University-Wide Marketing and Communications Plan to Inform
        Virginia Citizens about UVA Outreach Services.

  • Continue high quality targeted media efforts in Office of University Relations
  • Move aggressively into mass media communication using tools such as PBS, NPR, newspapers, video streaming, etc.


6. Support and Recognize Volunteer Service

  • The greatest volume of volunteer service to our local and regional community is performed by thousands of University of Virginia staff and students. The institution can strengthen its contributions as a good neighbor by providing greater coordination and awareness of these opportunities. University alumni who reside locally or in Virginia also perform public service as an arm of the University. Publicizing and honoring these efforts informs our public of available services.



Supporting Documents (In Separate Attachments)

  1. Most Recent Draft Reports of Three Exploratory Groups
  2. Top Ten Benchmark Findings
  3. October 1999 Kneedler BOV Talking Points


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