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Casteen Taps Leaders to Plan UVAs Future

From
October 16, 1998

By Staff Report

A t the Faculty Senate meeting Oct. 8, President John T. Casteen III announced the faculty members who will lead three of four major planning initiatives for long-range strategies to elevate the arts, basic sciences, international activities and public outreach.

Robert Chapel, chair of the drama department, will lead the planning commission on the fine and performing arts. Anita Jones, professor of computer science, will head up the planning efforts focused on science and engineering. Overseeing the commission on public service and outreach will be Rebecca Kneedler, associate dean for academic affairs in the Curry School of Education. The chair of the fourth commission focusing on international activities will be announced in the next few weeks. A fifth commission will be readied a little later to take on any other concerns or opportunities that arise.

"I am grateful for these individuals' willingness to assume this important responsibility and to provide leadership in coordination with the provost, deans and others throughout the University community," said Casteen, noting that the planning will be a two- to three-year process. "The long-term benefits of their work will be more powerful teaching, better prepared graduates, greater impact on the communities we serve and greater value in all University degrees."

The four areas - fine and performing arts, international activities, public service and outreach, and science and engineering - have been identified for special attention because they have yet to achieve the distinction of U.Va.'s recognized centers of excellence. Planning commissions for each of the four areas will be charged with assessing current programs and establishing benchmarks for building excellence in the first part of the 21st investment in personnel, facilities and support services.

Progress reports on the commissions' work will be available on the Web at http://www.virginia.edu/pres/plan/

Anita Jones

Computer Science professor Anita Jones will chair the Planning Commission for Natural Science, Health and Engineering Research. Former chair of her department, she was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1994. From 1993 - 1997, while on leave from the University, she served at the Department of Defense where she was responsible for defense research and engineering.

"We have a strong statement from our president that we are to identify strategic actions that will bring about further excellence to the University. This is a great opportunity for the University as a whole, and I want to be a part of that," Jones said.

She plans to name her committee members and have them in operation by the end of the calendar year.


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