In the very near future, the University will feel the impact of two forces—significantly more students and more departures by existing faculty who are reaching retirement age.
With hundreds of new Hoos headed to Grounds, the University’s challenge will be to keep up with the next wave of growth. The overall student population is anticipated to grow by as many as 1,500 students during the next five years, pending a commensurate increase in state support. The College of Arts & Sciences alone, whose undergraduate enrollment totaled 10,342 in fall 2011, expects to add as many as half of those additional students. During the same period, many of its long-time faculty members probably will retire or depart.
Many of those departing teachers have been with the University since 1970, when a surge in admission spurred by the baby boom generation and full coeducation at UVA required additional faculty.
“Over the next seven to eight years, we may have to hire as many as 200 Arts & Sciences faculty members to replace retirements and other departures, accommodate enrollment growth and pursue strategic strategies,” says Meredith Jung-En Woo, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences.
“We already have adequate residence halls, dining halls and recreational facilities to accommodate these students. We don’t have adequate faculty and staff,” says President Teresa Sullivan. However, she adds, “We may be able to, in fact, improve the undergraduate experience in some parts of the University where we haven’t been able to hire faculty for a while.”
Those areas of improvement will likely expand the College’s current offerings, and add a few new focuses to the fold. A $2.9 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will allow UVA to hire 10 interdisciplinary scholars for a new Institute of Humanities and Global Cultures. Other hires may find their way to the STEM disciplines—science, technology, engineering and mathematics.