Casteen to retire
UVA President John Casteen today announced his retirement from the university he's headed since 1990. At a meeting of the Board of Visitors, Casteen announced his plans to step down on August 1, 2010.
"These years have been all but magical for my family and me," Casteen said in an official release. "We have had the pleasure of living and working among students, staff members, faculty members, alumni, other backers of the University, and the women and men of a community that we see as America's best. These have been years of working with legislators, board members, and others who care about the roles of universities in promoting and sustaining the common good, and of imagining with them how to cultivate a University capable of making Virginia's and the Republic's future worthy of their past."
Rarely smiling and attired in an orange tie in the Dome Room of the Rotunda, Casteen received a standing ovation from the Board of Visitors and those gathered there for the announcement.
During his tenure, Casteen has increased the university's endowment and its diversity, and he cites AccessUVA, the financial aid program that assures low-income students the means to attend the university without having to take out loans, as one of the accomplishments of which he's most proud.
Presidents of the top 50 schools hold their jobs on average six years. Casteen, 65, has spent most of his adult life at the University of Virginia, starting with his enrollment there in 1961 as a 17-year old.
"John Casteen will be remembered as the person who understood Jefferson's vision of this place and catapulted it into the 21st century. He will leave an indelible mark and will be remembered as the father of our modern University," said University Rector W. Heywood Fralin.
Fralin said that a "community-wide commemorative celebration" is being planned for Casteen to recognize his accomplishments. Fralin also said that Casteen will serve as a consultant for a year for the new president, and then return as a faculty member after a sabbatical leave once he steps down next August, when he becomes president emeritus. Fralin says the search for a new president will begin in late July.