Ours to Shape

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As the University enters its third century, we invite you to help shape our forward direction by providing thoughts on the following questions:


How do we create an unparalleled residential experience for students, in and out of the classroom? How do we strengthen the sense of community on Grounds, with the greater Charlottesville region, and with our alumni?


How do we best enable faculty to discover new knowledge? How do we best enable students to learn about the past, themselves, and the world around them?


How do we provide the most valuable service to the Commonwealth? How do we prepare our students for a lifetime of service, regardless of their chosen fields?

What people are saying

Day of Service
I believe it would be helpful to have dedicated days on the calendar where everyone at UVA does a service project. For busy students, time can get away from them, so building dates into the calendar would help make it a priority. To determine the most valuable service to the Commonwealth, start with asking the residents of Charlottesville what they need to take their life to the next level, as decided by them. Make service a habit and students will continue to seek it out after graduation.
Alumna/us & Parent
I would love to see art and and a physical environment on Grounds that reflect the diversity the University claims to seek and value. The oppressively omnipresent columns, statues, and portraits (and Greek houses) that to some represent "tradition," to others signal "you don't belong here and never did." We're a global, modern, public university; let's bring that alive on the physical campus (yes, campus) students walk each day. Let's see statues, portraits, murals, poetry and more celebrating women and men of color, and people of all genders, ethnicities and backgrounds who make UVA what it is. Ditch the dusty past for the vibrant present/future.
One way to help students learn about the world around them is to involve alumni in such things as career information, planning, etc. I have participated in panels which discussed the legal profession with undergraduates and believe that the students -- and the panelists -- learned a lot, and it also provided a sense of community among us all, young and old.
A University founded (and built) by presidents, UVA is in a unique position to educate students and the public on the critical challenges facing our democracy. For students to feel a connection to Charlottesville, they must participate in meaningful service to the local community. All students should be encouraged to volunteer in the local community, including being a part of the political process. Programs designed to expose students to the political process and teach them how to engage with diverse communities will strengthen the civic life both on and off Grounds.
Staff & Community Member
There is no more powerful way to learn than by doing. Whether building a set at Culbreth or recombining DNA in the Chemistry Building, providing students with experiences that apply what they have studied is crucial. Internships, research opportunities, performances, and leadership roles are but a handful of the ways that Jefferson's vision of an educated citizenry can be achieved. In fact, the faculty have long known that this is true as it is the essence of academic research. Providing more opportunity for them and students, and the two groups together, is worth the investment.
We should create and heavily promote events that empower students to develop new ideas and pursue those ideas, whether it be through research, entrepreneurship or some other form. Creativity is a habit we must encourage, and support the skills to turn creative thinking into real outputs that improve the world. Separate but interrelated, the University should invest heavily in creating and promoting events that encourage social engagement and collaboration among all ethnicities, nationalities, genders and interests. As much as UVA can do to encourage students and the community at large from drifting into homogenous subgroups, the better the University will accomplish its mission.
Alderman at Dusk
A decent, competitive library collection with large numbers of browsable print volumes is crucial to growing and sustaining UVA as an attractive and stimulating place for graduate research in the humanities.
I think to best further new knowledge we need to support the arts further with a new building. So much of the art is in storage and the space we have isn't suitable for the collections in storage, at both the Kluge Ruhe and at the Fralin! I really want to see a better museum building in the future with more exhibition space and the space for permanent exhibitions. Please renovate the Fralin and the Kluge Ruhe and give them a larger building!
With respect to Grounds, the secret society symbols (graffiti) that appear on the Madison Hall steps, the Rotunda steps, and many other places, project a closed and exclusive society rather than an open and welcoming community. They have no place on the property of a university, especially a public university. They are symbols of secrecy, exclusion, elitism, and privilege that are encountered daily by students, faculty, staff, and community members. They should be removed by University building services as soon as possible. I can't think of a single principled justification for keeping them.
Final Exercises
Avoid identity politics. Keep teaching critical analysis/thinking. Treasure First Amendment, bravely. Bring in more Co-op opportunities for students. Remain superb.
Community Member
UVA has transitioned to a national and global source of education. I know the University wants to reach all the ends of the globe but I worry at the expense of not educating enough citizens of the Commonwealth who return to their homes and localities to serve their neighbors. I understand the desire to be "global" but not at the expense of supporting education in Virginia for Virginians. Think globally but act locally. Celebrate concepts that foster programs and internships throughout our borders. I am not discounting the global philosophy but I see a trend that will leave a void in Virginia. This void will be filled by other Commonwealth schools but at what expense?
Alumna/us & Parent

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