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Speech Archives

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Copies of older speeches by John T. Casteen III, president of the University of Virginia can be requested by writing: Office of the President, P.O. Box 400224, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia 22904–4224.

What Does HB 1897 Mean for Athletics?

July/August 2016 | Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges

We asked John Casteen, president emeritus of the University of Virginia and a former director of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, about recently signed legislation in Virginia that impacts the athletics fees colleges and universities are able to charge students. The law may be a harbinger of things to come for other states and higher education across the board.
Full Article.

Governing Boards and University-Affiliated Organizations: Risks and Rewards

Winter 2014 | Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges

Does your institution have a medical center? Who appoints and supervises your foundation heads? How do you make sure that outside contractors—food service and so forth—provide the services you expect and charge fair and justified fees?
Read More.

Governance and Institutional Transformation: Some Lessons Yet to Be Learned

Summer 2013 | Association of American College and Universities

This has been a jarring year for governance and, more generally, for the concept of personal responsibility in US colleges and universities, with two starkly visible cases that trustees and others everywhere would like to understand.
Read More.

Governance and Intercollegiate Athletics: Boards Must Know the Score

November/December 2012 | Trusteeship

Two events of the late summer and early fall have underscored how rapidly intercollegiate athletics change in our time: first, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) action to ban the Pennsylvania State University football team from postseason play for four seasons, vacate many of its previous wins, and fine it $60 million; second, The University of Notre Dame’s decision to join the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).
Read More.

Financial Self-Sufficiency and the Public University

Summer 2011 | Trusteeship

The reductions in state tax support for public universities that began around 1990 and continue today are progressively redefining relations between government and public higher education. The reasons for the drop in appropriations per student vary from state to state and include aging electorates, voter fervor for tax cuts, and mandated restrictions on public spending. Such trends, along with competing claims for tax support, have largely fragmented what was once a public consensus that education was the states' first obligation.
Read More (PDF)

So Long, Old Friends (a final message from President Casteen)

Summer 2010

If my memory is correct, my first report to alumni, students' families, and staff and faculty must have gone out in mid-fall 1990. In those days, I sent letters that took shape over several weeks in typewriters and later on word processors. Over time, the letters, then reports, and now pages in U.Va. Magazine and sometimes email reports have become for me important (and thoroughly pleasant) chances to share what I am thinking about and seeing in our University, and requests for advice, which has come back regularly and proved to be very useful. Thank you for that. These responses and other advice or cautions offered in alumni and parents' meetings and in sessions with students, staff members, and faculty members have move the University aggressively—confidently—into a new century.
Read More.

Message from President Casteen: Celebrating the Class of 2010

May 28, 2010

Students of the Class of 2010 and their families gathered in Charlottesville last weekend to celebrate the University's most joyful occasion, when we award degrees and honor the achievements of our graduating students. The threat of rain that lasted most of the weekend gave way to sunny skies just as we began the 181st Final Exercises on Sunday morning. This link will open a slide show ( of images from this year's graduation.
Read More.

John T. Casteen III Finals Address

May 23, 2010

This is in a sense a daunting moment for me, because I am accustomed to sitting behind speakers and listening to what speakers say to our students at Final Exercises. Reflecting on what I might say that might be of some benefit to you today and going forth, I have realized that I really do need to talk directly to our graduates. I want to talk a bit about habits of the modern mind — how we think, how we convert ideas or thoughts to action. And I want to talk a bit about outcomes — where you go from here, what you do with regard to good and evil in the world, what you do to see to it that the places to which you go are better because of your presence there.
Read More.

An Open Letter to Parents From U.Va. President John T. Casteen III

May 7, 2010

Early Monday morning, Yeardley Love, a fourth-year student from Cockeysville, Md., died in her off-campus apartment here in Charlottesville. The police have charged George Huguely, a fourth-year student from Chevy Chase, Md., with first-degree murder. He is currently in custody at the Charlottesville/Albemarle jail. This week we have watched our students struggle to comprehend what has happened. Since Monday we have been working steadily to meet their (and our own) needs to grieve in appropriate ways and to understand how such a death could have occurred in a community of young people.
Read More.

President Casteen's Remarks at the Candlelight Vigil for Yeardley Love

May 5, 2010

There are some profound ironies in our gathering here tonight for this purpose. This is the spring time. It's the time of year for renewal, for new beginnings. And yet we have come to grieve the ending of a young life, of Yeardley Love's life, one full of promise and high prospects—and one not unlike yours.
Read More.

Statement from President Casteen: Police Investigate Yeardley Love's Death

May 3, 2010

Earlier today, we released a statement about a Charlottesville Police investigation of an apparent homicide in which the victim is a University of Virginia student. A just-released update of an earlier Charlottesville Police statement about this investigation identifies the victim as Yeardley Love, a fourth-year student from Cockeysville, Maryland, and a Varsity lacrosse player.
Read More.

Statement from President Casteen: Police Investigate Student Death

May 3, 2010

We have learned this morning about the death of a University student, apparently late Sunday night or early this morning, in an apartment on 14th Street. Statements from University Police Chief Michael Gibson and the Charlottesville Police Department appear below. Read More.

An Open Letter to Students From U.Va. President John T. Casteen III

April 23, 2010

Early Thursday morning, April 15, two women students walking on the Corner were victims of verbal abuse by one of three male students who were walking behind them. In the course of this abuse, one of the male students used the term "nigger" to insult and abuse one of the female students. A merchant’s protective surveillance camera recorded this incident. Read More.

Statement from President Casteen: No Mandatory Furlough For UVA Employees

April 1, 2010

As you may recall, in September when then-Governor Kaine announced his plans to address the state's growing budget shortfall, he included a mandatory one-day furlough for all state employees. Read More.

Finals Weekend 2010: A Message from President John T. Casteen III

March 29, 2010

To Members of the Graduating Class:

As you near the end of your studies, I write to congratulate you and to provide information about Finals weekend, May 22 and 23. Read More.

Statement from President Casteen: Governor's Executive Directive Clarifies Nondiscrimination Policy

March 10, 2010

I am including a copy of Governor McDonnell's Executive Directive One, which was issued this afternoon. You may receive this document directly from the Governor later tonight. This directive prohibits discrimination against any person (including students and employees) within the public colleges and universities, and grounds this prohibition in Constitutional protections that belong to all of us. News Release.

President Casteen Delivers His Final State of the University Address

February 9, 2010

Retiring University of Virginia President John T. Casteen III used the occasion of his final State of the University speech Tuesday to take a sweeping look back at his 20-year tenure – outlining both the challenges the University has faced and the transformations it has undergone. News Release.

State of the University Address

February 9, 2010

This is the 20th State of the University report that I have delivered and of course it will be the last one that I deliver. These special circumstances make today's remarks a bit different from prior years. News Release.

Letter from the President

January 15, 2010

All of us are alarmed and saddened by the disaster unfolding in Haiti after this week's catastrophic earthquake. Read More.