September 20, 2010 — John T. Casteen III, widely recognized for transforming the University of Virginia into an institution of world standing, is joining in leadership of Virginia Intermont College in Bristol, Va.
Casteen has been elected to the Virginia Intermont Board of Trustees, his first appointment to the governing board of a college or university.
He retired as president of U.Va. July 31 after a 20-year tenure, capping one of the longest and most successful leadership terms of higher education in modern history. A financial restructuring of the institution, and striking improvements in the quality of academics, students' qualifications and diversity, and in campus facilities marked his leadership.
Virginia Intermont's new president, Dr. E. Clorisa Phillips, asked Casteen to serve as a trustee, and the entire Board of Trustees unanimously endorsed him.
"With Dr. Casteen's knowledge and expertise, I know he will make an invaluable contribution toward the future of Virginia Intermont as we seek to grow and strengthen our institution," said Wayne Kennedy, chairman of the board. "We are extremely delighted to have him join in vital service to the college."
Casteen said he is flattered to be asked and it will be a privilege to serve.
"In Virginia's rich collection of colleges large and small, two-year and four-year, public and private, local and regional and national, Virginia Intermont stands out for its determined success in serving its region and attracting strong faculty members and students from across the country," he said. "Virginia's regions and the state and nation benefit when colleges exist and thrive because their communities commit to them as Virginia Intermont's has."
He said several trustees are personal friends whom he admires, and he also looks forward to working with Phillips, who is a former longtime U.Va. administrator. Casteen recommended Phillips as a presidential candidate for Virginia Intermont.
"Her work on quality assurance, faculty development and other issues has made U.Va. stronger," he said. "Her commitment to serving students, staff and the community will serve Virginia Intermont College well. I look forward to doing my part."
Casteen led U.Va. in one of its largest capital funds campaigns and is a former chairman and president of the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. In addition, he also formerly chaired the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the Association of American Universities. In addition, he served as Virginia's secretary of education from 1982 to 1985.
At his retirement from U.Va., he was appointed president emeritus, and continues to be a professor of English.