Fine and Performing Arts Planning Commission
March 22, 1999
Robert Chapel, Planning Commission Chair
I. Definition of Scope
The Arts Commission is focusing on the major arts programs currently in place at the
University of Virginia -- Art History and Studio Art; the academic areas of Music as well
as music performance; Drama; the Bayly Art Museum; and other programs such as those in the
School of Architecture, the media arts, and the English Departments Creative Writing
program. The Music and Fine Arts Libraries will also be included in this overall
examination of the arts programs as well as the new Media Studies program, the Virginia
Film Festival, and the Heritage Repertory Theatre. The central purpose of this study is to
evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the current programs, especially Art, Drama, and
Music, to cite benchmark programs to which we wish to aspire, and to determine the
resources needed to realize these goals.
At this writing, the Arts Commission has had three meetings the first centered
around a general discussion of some of the major topics the Commission members felt were
important to discuss in the ensuing months. These included expanded arts program
collaboration and interdisciplinary interaction across Grounds; an examination of how to
better involve more UVA students in the arts and to make them more aware as to what is
being produced in the arts; examine how we might better promote our programs to the
University, the local community, the Commonwealth, and the nation; and, examine the
traditional split between theory and performance in all of the arts programs. The second
meeting centered around President Casteens address to the Commission followed by
questions to him from members of the Commission; The third meeting centered around the
current ongoing discussion of the specific programs with Music leading off. Art, Studio
Art, and Drama will follow as will the Bayly, Architecture, Media Arts, and
Creative Writing. I anticipate that these discussions will take up most of the scheduled
meeting times for the rest of the Spring, 1999 semester. The goal by the end of this
semester is to clearly identify the strengths of these programs as well as their
As these discussions progress, certain small task forces are also being formed which
will bring additional information to the Commission. At this time a student task force,
co-chaired by the two Commission student representatives, is being formed to identify
major student issues in regards to the arts; an alumni task force, chaired by Wayne
Cozart, will be formed to extract opinions and engender interest from our alumni in
regards to past and present UVA arts programs; a task force will be formed to help
identify benchmark programs; and finally, another task force will be formed to research
how the arts may be more thoroughly integrated with other programs at the University.
In addition, the possibility and cost of a publication such as the University of
Michigan School of Music produces twice a year centering on all of its arts programs will
be examined. This publication would serve three functions to bring what we are
actually doing here in the arts to the rest of the world, to connect with our alumni, and
as a device for fundraising. This publication would be sent to our alumni as well as to
arts programs throughout the nation. Bill Sublette, who is on the Commission, will be
asked to research the possibility of developing this sort of publication.
The local community of Charlottesville will also become informally involved. Beth
Sutton, the Commissions community representative, and I will be meeting with various
members of our community in an effort to get their opinions in regards to the
communitys arts needs and the type of programming they would hope to have presented
at the University that is not currently offered. We hope to create excitement for the
future of the arts at UVA as well as keep them informed as to our future plans which
involve the proposed arts center. Beth is coordinating her efforts in concert with Bob
Sweeney and Charly Fitzgerald. In addition, the Development Office has hired Peter Kellogg
as a consultant whose task it is to locate potential benefactors for the proposed arts
center. Much is happening at once. Our hope is that a clear report about our strengths and
what makes our programs unique, as well as our limitations, and a clear definition of what
else we would want to do, will evolve from these numerous studies. A plan to improve what
we are doing will be the final part of this report.
II. Identification of Aspiration Group
Concurrently, during this time that the various programs strengths and
limitations are being examined, each program is being asked to cite outside programs or
aspects of outside programs which they might use as benchmarks for excellence. It is hoped
that a short list of these programs will be created and the heads of these programs be
invited to Charlottesville for an October, 1999 retreat with members of the Commission.
This retreat will encompass two days and should prove to be highly beneficial in
determining what changes we need to make to reach our goals and what resources will need
to be found to accomplish these changes. I anticipate having this list of aspiration
groups completed by May 1 with invitations for the retreat going out soon after that.
III. Metrics of Aspiration Group
It is most important that each arts program clearly define what it is that it aspires
to do and objectively assess if it is indeed accomplishing its goals. If it is not, what
characteristics of other successful programs are lacking that are causing the UVA arts
program not to reach its fundamental goals? These characteristics, as cited in Polley
McClures model, might be funding, faculty, or facilities or all of these, together.
It also might be an unclear or unrealistic vision of what a program should and can aspire
to be. A specific programs clarity of vision, I feel, is the most important
characteristic to examine of all. This "characteristics identification" will be
the primary goal for the Arts Commission during the Fall, 1999.
IV. Metrics of the University of Virginia
Once the "characteristics identification" has been completed, a comparison
between the benchmark programs central characteristics and those in the arts
programs at UVA will be made, also during the Fall, 1999.
V. Gap and Opportunity Analysis
It is anticipated that in the Spring, 2000, short trips to outside programs will be
taken by various members of the Arts Commission. These visits will be used to help more
clearly identify strengths of these "aspiration programs" as well as to look
more closely at arts facilities which would be used as examples of eventual facilities to
be constructed at the University. The Commission has agreed that not only our benchmark
programs should be visited, but also those programs which are considered "the
best," such as in Dramas case it might be the Yale School of Drama. In
Musics case, from the point of view of Ph.D. programs it might be Harvard. It
should be stated, once again, that none of our programs are necessarily attempting to
become "just like" one of the top ranked programs in, for instance, U.S. New and
World Report. We all believe we offer certain unique aspects to our students and to the
University, and we wish to capitalize on our strengths, decide on what changes or
additions need to be made to our programs to make them truly excellent, and clearly define
the resources needed to make these changes or additions. Aspiring to equal what U.S. New
and World Report ranks as "The Best" will not necessarily be the best for the
University of Virginias arts programs or for our students. But it is important that
we know what those programs considered "the best" include as a frame of
reference, if nothing more.
VI. Strategies for Improvement
It is anticipated that a national conference will be held in the Fall, 2000.
The exact topic is yet to be determined. Bob Rosenzweig, consultant to the Arts
Commission from Stanford University, has suggested the following: "The Arts in the
University and the University in the Arts" with central issues being "1)
education in the arts for increasingly career oriented students; 2) reconciling different,
and often conflicting, ideas of now to evaluate performance and quality for arts faculty;
3) the role of the community in university arts programs; 4) is it necessary, in order to
have strong programs in the arts, to have separate schools organized around them?; and so
forth. The second part of such a program would focus on the fact that universities have
become key players in national arts enterprise, offering employment for large numbers of
artists, training and education for many more, and providing important venues for
performance among other things. Does this matter? Does anyone care?"
The suggested conference topic cited above has not as yet been discussed by the Arts
Commission but will be soon as we proceed to plan this national conference. It is very
important that the major thrust of the conference be something which will enable us to
further define and achieve our goals. The questions posed and suggestions for topics for
discussion made by Bob Rosenzweig are central issues that many arts faculties face.
We will use the Fall, 2000 to begin to synthesize all that we have learned and our
"strategies for improvement" should follow. It is anticipated that a final
report will be completed by May, 2001 for submission to the President, the Project
Management team, and the University.
Science & Technology Planning Commission
March 22, 1999
Anita Jones, Planning Commission Chair
The objective of the Science and Technology Planning Commission is to develop a set of
strategies that will, if executed, guide the University to greater excellence in education
and research in science and technology. Our purview spans the natural, physical and life
sciences as well as engineering and technology across the University. This Commission has
a scope that naturally overlaps to some extent with all the other Planning Commissions.
We will consider academic programs, research activity, and public outreach (especially
technology transfer) in the many areas. Organizationally, the Commission will consider the
science departments in the College of Arts & Sciences, all departments in the School
of Engineering and Applied Science, and the basic science departments in the School of
Medicine. However, it is not useful to draw a strong organization-based definition of the
purview of the Commission. Today, there are fruitful science and engineering research
activities that involve the clinical medical departments, and many other departments that
are not listed as the classical science and engineering departments.
To a great extent, it is the individual faculty or groups of faculty who pursue a
vision that attain the kind of excellence in education and research that Virginia 2020
seeks. The scope of our endeavor is to find strategies, opportunities and structures that
empower and nurture faculty, as well as the central administrative leadership as they seek
increased excellence in science and technology.
II. Models of Excellence
The Commission will explore a number of strategies or models for attaining excellence.
We will review programs at other institutions that embody these models. We will also
review such programs inside the University. Models include, for example, opportunistic
pursuit of a scientific topic "whose time is right", a model used by the Center
for Biological Timing, and the integration of scientific discovery with planned spin-off
of patented technologies and products, a model used by the Center for Recombinant Gamete
Contraceptive Vaccinogens. We will seek models that support the special strengths and
objectives of Mr. Jeffersons University.
A list of case studies of programs with potentially interesting models for excellence
has been compiled. A sub-group of the Commission will explore some of these case studies,
preparing them for the entire Commission to study. We anticipate some visits to sites here
and at other institutions in order to understand in detail the experience of those
executing a model program. We anticipate inviting speakers to the University to discuss
their models and programs.
Science and engineering endeavors typically require laboratories and extensive
experimentation. For both research and education programs, each model will include a plan
for financial sustainability over its lifetime. Funding sources outside the University
must be forthcoming in almost all cases.
Timeline: The Commission subgroup will be created by Spring 1999.
The first collection of case studies and model definitions will be compiled by Fall
The Commission will review existing programs both inside and outside the University. We
are in the process of compiling quantitative metrics that characterize some of the
dimensions of the University activity today. The document is referred to as Vital
Statistics. These descriptions describe activities in terms of level of funding, source of
funding, degrees granted annually (undergraduate and graduate), course hours taught
annually, staffing (academic, research, technical and administrative), organizational
structure, physical space, technology transfer achievements, research publications, and
department rankings. Our first draft of this material has been compiled with the
assistance of the Office of the Vice President and Provost, the Office of Institutional
Assessment and Studies and the Office of Sponsored Programs.
Similarly, we will develop a Vital Statistics description for selected peers and
competitors. These Vital Statistics packages will document both the comprehensive science
and engineering activities of selected institutions, as well as some specific case study
activities that are using a model for excellence that may be of interest in developing our
Timeline: Vital Statistics for the University of Virginia Science and Technology
activities will be completed by Spring 1999.
Vital Statistics for outside institutions will be developed by Fall 1999.
Research opportunities arise in science and engineering areas for a number of reasons.
The time may be ripe in a single discipline area, or in a multi-discipline area, in which
the precursor research has been accomplished and a concentrated research effort can yield
rich results. Opportunities can likewise arise because the University or sets of
individuals in the University are poised to achieve greatness. This can be in research or
Opportunity can arise because of external influences, such the opportunity for
attaining special relationships with industry. There is a particular opportunity today for
information technology; it is materially changing how research is performed in some areas,
and how knowledge is packaged and communicated to students.
Timeline: Fall 1999
Strategies for Excellence
The Commission will define a set of models and strategies fundamental principles
that will define how the Commission believes that the University should take action
and make strategic investments in science and technology in the near and far term. It is
very clear that there are myriad opportunities and choices will have to be made. Not all
opportunities can be pursued.
While we will identify specific opportunities in terms of specific research and
education areas, we expect that there will be multiple ways to implement the strategy.
Decision-making will require a process and a dialog that involves all the stakeholders:
the faculty, students, Board of Visitors, alumni, and central administration. We will
jointly craft that process with the administration and involve ourselves in its execution.
Recall that much of what is excellent in the University is created by individuals,
particularly faculty; often it is not directed from the central administration. Strategic
choices for the University of Virginia need to be made in some disciplined way that is
broadly inclusive of all the stakeholders. This Commission can be a lubricating and
constructive part of that process.
Timeline: The Commission will create a written strategy statement by Fall 1999.
Decision-making will follow.
Virginia 2020 needs to be a process that includes on-going dialog among all the
stakeholders. We will use the various new media of the University to communicate from time
to time with the various stakeholders. In the early stages (Spring 99) periodic articles
that describe Virginia 2020 activity have been published. This has been orchestrated by
the University Public Relations Office.
Our dynamic web-site contains a variety of information about the Commissions
activity. It is updated on an on-going basis.
The Chair has met with, or addressed, several groups of faculty who focus on science
and technology. They include the College Science Department Chairs, the ad hoc Faculty
Form, the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) faculty as a whole, and the
SEAS Research Advisory Council. This outreach activity will continue.
During the summer, we will develop several articles to be place in the University news
publications in the Fall. When written products are developed we will have some town-hall
discussion sessions and will organize other forums for discussion of our results.
Note: This plan was developed by Anita Jones and has not been approved by the
Commission, so it is subject to change.
International Activities Planning Commission
March 22, 1999
Brantly Womack, Planning Commission Chair
The International Activities Planning Commission had its first plenary meeting on 21
January. Currently it is exploring the five dimensions of international activities
outlined at the Senior Leadership meeting of 14 December. Task groups have been formed for
each of the dimensions, and they will make their first reports at the third plenary
meeting on 25 March. By the end of the year the International Commission hopes to prepare
a statement of principles concerning international activities. It also expects to have
completed the arrangements for a conference to be held in October and to have specified
research tasks related to metrics for each of the task groups. Research will proceed over
Progress and Plans
Commission members were identified in the fall, and the first meeting was held early
this semester. Because a considerable amount of work will be done at the task group level,
plenary meetings are planned for once a month. The calendar and location are available on
our website. In the two meetings thus far, we have discussed the overall structuring of
international activities and of the International Commission, and we have organized task
groups with convenors.
Separate from the ongoing meetings, we have been planning a two-day conference in
October entitled, "Universalizing the University: New Challenges and Best
Practices." Also, a survey of international activities was carried out in
collaboration with Development, but the results have not yet been analyzed.
Our meeting this Thursday should show major progress on the part of the task groups.
Most of the meeting will be devoted to their reports. At the same time, progress is being
made on the conference.
Spring 1999: further progress on task definition, finish organizing the
conference; write a statement of principles for international activities.
Summer 1999: research on aspiration targets and metrics
Fall 1999: conference 15-16 October; beginning of practical activity of task groups
stressing greater involvement of University community.
Spring 2000: Completion of task group activities; coordination of plans and
Summer 2000 and beyond: Further work as needed.
Information-based planning and the International Commission
At first glance, the task of the International Commission is to cope with a remarkably
diffuse array of activities that permeate the entire fabric of the University. However,
the fundamental mission is actually quite focussed, though no less challenging. It is to
accomplish an intellectual and organizational repositioning of the University in its
relationship to the world. Hitherto, the Universitys international activities have
been at the fringe of its "normal" activities. Since the University is a quite
active place its global periphery is quite extensive, and so its international activities
appear to be everywhereon a 3600 circumferencebut unorganized and at a
distance from the Universitys core activities and its core identity.
This is a perfectly natural perspective. But it is not a very scientific one, nor is it
appropriate for a major university on the edge of a new millennium. It is a Ptolemaic view
of the universe of the University: how the world appears to us rather than how it actually
is. In fact, the world does not revolve around Charlottesville, just as Copernicus
cautiously observed about the solar system. While this may be an unsettling observation,
it does explain the booming, buzzing confusion of international activities on the
Universitys periphery. If we adjust to being part of the world rather than the
center of our own world, then the current confusion on the periphery can become
intelligible parts of our trajectory.
The question then becomes one of how to organize the planning of international
activities. We have come up with five dimensions of international activities and have
organized corresponding task groups. There are four substantive dimensions and one
- Encouragement of international activities of UVA students and scholars. This includes
study abroad programs and research programs, but also encouragement of individual
- Enriching international education at UVA. This should involve not only the improvement
of programs with an explicit international orientation, such as foreign languages, but a
consideration of how international content can be enhanced and coordinated more generally.
- Support for foreign students and scholars. Not only does Southern hospitality require
proper attention to the needs of foreign students and scholars, but reciprocity of our own
external activities requires it. There are many facets of support, and they differ for
undergraduate students, graduate students, and visiting scholars.
- Developing programs and policies for international institutional contacts and projects.
The most spectacular current project of this sort is of course Qatar, but there are many
other levels and venues of international institutional cooperation to be considered.
- Creation of an appropriate institutional framework for the coordination and
encouragement of international activities.
These dimensions can be compared to four fingers and a thumb: The first four are the
essential broad categories of international activities. The fifth confronts the
organizational question of how the University of Virginia needs to reshape itself in order
to acknowledge its identity as part of the world and to encourage its international
activities. The organizational thumb and the active fingers need each other. Without a
central, encouraging organization, increased international activities mean increased
confusion and headaches for the University, and unremitting frustrations for the scholars
errant. But organization is not everything. Without serious attention to what actually
does and can go on at the University, any organizational reform is likely to create a
The task of the International Commission, therefore, is to conceptualize and to begin
the process of folding the existing international activities into the Universitys
core identity and institutions, and thereby giving further encouragement and structure to
our global reality.
We have not yet arrived at a definite cluster of five universities that might compose
our aspiration group. The task groups have been asked to identify potential members, but
they do not report until 25 March.
In any case, however, I expect that the question of aspiration groups will remain
complex. This is not due to fuzziness or to fact-anxiety, but to the following
methodological problem. There are three categories of the performance of other
universities that should attract our attention: best universities (places with top overall
reputations in international activities); best practices (concrete activities and
accomplishments that might be copied); and feasible models (universities with comparable
ecologies who are doing better than we are). These categories will certainly overlap, but
they are not identical.
All three should play important roles in our thinking. If we dont consider the
best universities then we are not aiming for second rank but for third. If we focus
entirely on whole-institution situations then the thumb will prosper while the fingers
wither. The problem is not how to be mistaken for a global university but how to be one.
Lastly, if we ignore the specific constraints and responsibilities of being a state
university then we will have a place to go but no place to start, and our plans will head
toward the shelf. There will be places with a triple match, and I hope there are five of
them. But we have not found them yet, and there is still much to be learned from a broader
variety of institutions.
The identification of metrics for the aspiration referents and for University of
Virginia will be a complicated and difficult process. The task groups are wrestling with
this question now, and one of the major tasks over the summer will be to research these
Gap and Opportunity analysis
I hope that the October conference will make a major contribution to everyones
sense of gaps and opportunities. This will be reinforced by empirical metrics and by the
more extensive interaction between the International Commission and the University
community planned for next year.
Strategies for improvement
These are the culmination of the planning process, and we expect to produce a
comprehensive set of such plans by the end of next year.