Frank Batten dies at 82

Frank Batten, the media magnate who created the immensely profitable Weather Channel, gave UVA its biggest donation, and whose fortune helped build and then prop up the Charlottesville Ice Park, has died after a long struggle with voice-robbing throat cancer.

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Mr. Batten's gift to the University has allowed at least one department to thrive even in face of a job freeze in many areas of the U, and more cuts from the state.

The Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy will be conducting several faculty searches this academic year.

The following are current open faculty positions posted at Jobs@UVA.

Politics and Public Policy (Tenure Track, Open Rank)

Leadership and Public Policy (Tenure Track, Open Rank)

A purlitzer prize --what an impressive legacy as publisher of the Virginian-Pilot !

from the obit in today's NYT:

"The nation, and Norfolk, were caught up in the civil rights struggle during Mr. Batten’s early years as publisher. In September 1958, Gov. J. Lindsay Almond Jr. of Virginia ordered six Norfolk secondary schools shut down to block the court-ordered admission of black students. Mr. Batten arranged for a full-page advertisement in The Virginian-Pilot, signed by dozens of Norfolk’s community leaders, calling for the schools to reopen; they were the following February. The next year, the newspaper’s editorials about the issue received a Pulitzer Prize."

Sad to think Frank Batten may have never fully comprehended the wild use of his money by The Batten Institute, a self-styled "think tank" he funded and largely left alone at the Darden School, where wasteful spending and arrogant ignorance are a way of life among that small-minded business crowd.

A great and kind man......such a different culture than Mr. Minor.....I don't believe Mr. Batten ever blamed other people and thus had a wonderful, loyal, group of family and friends. How we will miss the "class" people who toiled hard, made money and then knew how to share it.

At the very least, something should be done to improve U.Va.'s deplorable ranking as a university, and "leadership studies" really isn't going to do it:

Wait, someone actually has to have the notion that fundamental scientific research at advanced level is more intellectual sophisticated than non-academic pursuits such as entrepreneurial and leadership studies?

Now, that's "hoolarious."

Frank Batten sounds like a good man, but wouldn't that money have been better served by improving U.Va.'s research science departments rather than creating entrepreneurial and leadership centers?

WestBerkeleyFlats, that's a nice rhetorical question, but if you THINK someone else's money would have been better spent on research science, why don't you actually MAKE that argument, with, you know, like reasons, and maybe evidence too, to support it? Instead of, you know, like, just insinuating that there's something wrong with establishing entrepreneurial and leadership centers? cuz right now, it's kind of, I don't know, "lame" maybe is the word for what you've got here.