U.Va. Presidential Search Committee Announced

July 21, 2009 — A special committee of the Board of Visitors of the University of Virginia will meet in August to begin its search for a successor to President John T. Casteen III.

Casteen announced on June 12 that he will retire on Aug. 1, 2010, when he completes 20 years in office. He is among the longest-serving university presidents in the nation.

The board's manual calls for the rector to appoint a Special Committee on the Nomination of a President to "seek and recommend to the board a person to fill the vacancy."

"It's the board's responsibility – and its most important task – to find the best person to lead this University," said John O. "Dubby" Wynne, University rector and chairman of the search committee, who today announced the makeup of the committee.

"During John Casteen's tenure, we have been fortunate to have exceptional leadership at the University," Wynne said. "As a result, we are well-positioned to attract the very best candidates to assume the presidency. I am confident we will find the right individual to continue the work of further distinguishing the University in its contributions and innovations."

The special committee comprises nine members of the Board of Visitors, six faculty members, two former rectors and two students. Of the 19 members, 11 are alumni.

"This committee has extraordinary depth and breadth and a deep understanding of the University's traditions, culture, strengths and opportunities," Wynne said.

He said the committee will seek advice and nominations from members of the University and higher education communities. Open forums regarding the search will be scheduled for Aug. 25 and Sept. 1. Times and locations will be announced.

Correspondence regarding the search can be sent to the Board of Visitors c/o President Search, P.O. Box 400222, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4222 or presidentsearch@virginia.edu.

The University has retained the firm of R. William Funk & Associates of Dallas to assist in the presidential search. The firm has conducted more than 300 searches for presidents and chancellors. Among its clients are more than half of all public institutions in the American Association of Universities, a nonprofit association of 60 U.S. and two Canadian preeminent public and private research universities.

Members of the Special Committee on the Nomination of a President are:

• John O. Wynne (Law '71), rector, Board of Visitors of the University of Virginia

• W. Heywood Fralin (College '62), immediate past rector, Board of Visitors

• Daniel R. Abramson (College '70), vice rector, Board of Visitors

• A. Macdonald Caputo (College '63, Law '66), Board of Visitors

• Susan Y. Dorsey (Architecture '82, Darden '87), Board of Visitors

• Helen E. Dragas (College '84, Darden '88), Board of Visitors

• Austin Ligon, Board of Visitors

• Vincent J. Mastracco Jr. (College '61), Board of Visitors

• Warren M. Thompson (Darden '83), Board of Visitors

• Robert Fatton Jr., Julia A. Cooper Professor of Government and Foreign Affairs in the Department of Politics and associate dean of graduate programs in the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. He joined the U.Va. faculty in 1981 and served as chairman of the Department of Politics from 1997 to 2004.

• James N. Galloway, Sidman P. Poole Professor of Environmental Sciences and associate dean for the sciences in the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. He joined the U.Va. faculty in 1976 and served from 1996 to 2001 as chairman of the Department of Environmental Sciences.

• Ann B. Hamric, professor in the School of Nursing and chair of the Faculty Senate. She joined the U.Va. faculty in 1999.

• John C. Jeffries Jr. (Law '73), David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law. He joined the faculty in 1975, and served from 2001 to 2008 as dean of the School of Law.

• Deborah E. McDowell, director of the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African American and African Studies and Alice Griffin Professor of Literary Studies. She joined U.Va.'s English Department faculty in 1987.

• Dr. Peyton T. Taylor, Crockett Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the School of Medicine, founding director of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology and associate medical director of the U.Va. Cancer Center. He joined the U.Va. faculty in 1981.

• Thomas F. Farrell II (College '76, Law '79), former rector and current member of the board of the University's College at Wise

• Gordon F. Rainey (College '62, Law '67), former rector and current chairman of the University's $3 billion capital campaign

• John A. Nelson, president of Student Council and rising fourth-year College student majoring in government and foreign affairs and economics

• Jenifer S. Warner, Ph.D. candidate in materials science and engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science

Leonard W. Sandridge, executive vice president and chief operating officer, will serve as secretary to the committee.