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Sullivan Releases Report that Looks Back on UVA in 2012 - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Sullivan Releases Report that Looks Back on UVA in 2012

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A report released this week at the University of Virginia highlights a need to attract new, talented faculty as veterans retire during the next decade.

It's part of the groundwork of a much broader strategic plan for the university, which should be revealed this summer.

UVA President Teresa Sullivan releases a sort of "state of the university" report every year, taking a look at accomplishments from the past year, and what's next for UVA. But this report is different, as it echoes many of the themes we expect to see several weeks from now in UVA's much anticipated strategic plan.

"Times change, and we should always be asking, are we teaching and helping our students to learn about the right things?" said UVA Senior Vice Provost Milton Adams.

Answering that question requires a look back. UVA had a good year in 2012, maintaining high rankings among public universities and best-value institutions. But moving forward, the university wants to do more than maintain its standing.

"We have a lot of strengths to build on, but there is certainly room for improvement," said UVA Faculty Senate Chair George Cohen. 

Sullivan's 2012 report highlights areas of focus: rethinking the undergraduate curriculum, bolstering research and attracting new faculty as veteran professors retire. 

"There is going to be a big turnover in the faculty in the next decade or so, and we really need to recruit the top people to replace the faculty that we have," Cohen said. 

That includes salary increases for faculty, backed by both Sullivan and the board of visitors, to make compensation more competitive. The goals echo similar concepts in UVA's strategic plan. 

"Engaging our students in learning inside the classroom, outside the classroom, in their laboratories, in the hospital, wherever it may be," Adams said.

But the plan is a work in progress. Workgroups expect to have a first draft completed by the end of the summer.

"So there are a lot of different things we're looking at to try to move us forward into the next century. Those are the important questions we will be addressing over the next few months," Cohen said.

A major focus of this report, and of the strategic plan, is expanding learning beyond the classroom - using technology and real-world experiences to deepen students' learning experiences.

The board of visitors will review the latest details at its meeting in May.

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