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Public Service and Outreach Planning Commission
Meeting Minutes
March 24, 1999


Rebecca Kneedler (chair), Gene Block, Harold Burbach, John Casteen, Richard DeMong, John Echeverri-Gent, Caroline Engelhard, Doris Glick, Robert Hull, James Kennan, Dennis Kernahan, Edmund Kitch, Marcus Martin, Anne Oplinger, Mark Reisler, Kenneth Schwartz, Maunank Shah, John Thomas, Kathryn Thornton, Anda Webb (for Sondra Stallard), Leslie Williams, Karin Wittenborg, Ben Boggs, Virginia Collins, Laura Hawthorne, Dee Irwin, Denise Karaoli, Nancy Nicoletto Rivers


President Casteen attended the meeting to discuss with the commission their work and priorities for improving the University’s public service and outreach efforts. He began by reviewing his visit the day before to Blandy Farm, a University research facility that is also the State Arboretum of Virginia. He explained that Blandy is part of an existing system of front-line contact with the public. Other sites include Mountain Lake, the Eastern Shore, the Florida Bay, and the soon-to-be-developed branch in Qatar. Part of the challenge for this commission, he said, is to examine the University’s culture and the various ways, including language, in which the University presents itself to the public – especially within the Commonwealth of Virginia. He cited several examples where the University’s relationship with the state could be improved. He also mentioned the need for a service orientation in our work, perhaps looking to the Office of Information Technologies as a model. The successful efforts of other institutions, among them Duke, the University of Georgia, and Virginia Tech, might be informative for the commission. As for defining public service and outreach, he confirmed that voluntary service, such as that performed by students with Madison House, should be within the commission’s "field of vision." Regarding outcomes of the commission’s work, he said he would hope for: 1) an understanding of public service, where it is performed, and its importance, and 2) perhaps a set of published guidelines for how we go about providing public service and outreach. He encouraged the commission to offer their ideas about a fifth planning commission that could address new issues or needs that arise within the other four commissions.

Actions to be taken:

  • Laura Hawthorne will continue to contact commission members for information related to the inventory of public service programs and activities.
  • Members should read the commission’s work plan drafted by Rebecca Kneedler and available on the web at http://www.virginia.edu/virginia2020/public/public-docs2-workplan3299.htm
  • Members should bring packets received at first meeting to next meeting.

Next meeting:

  • Wednesday, April 7, 8:30 – 10:00 a.m., Newcomb Hall Room 389.


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