Scholar named dean at UVA’s Batten School

Harry Harding

China scholar Harry Harding will become the first dean of the University of Virginia’s Frank Batten Sr. School of Leadership and Public Policy.

In his first year as dean, Harding will be expected, among other things, to review the school’s public policy degree programs and recruit the first class of students for the school’s two-year master’s in public policy program.

“The University of Virginia is fortunate to have attracted a dean of Harry Harding’s caliber to become the founding dean of the Batten School,” University of Virginia John T. Casteen III said. “He brings with him a record of great accomplishment as well as an outstanding track record as a scholar, teacher and administrator who embraces a global view of the world and who understands the critical issues our students will face when they leave us to become global citizen-leaders.”

Harding begins his term July 1.


UVA Appoints New Dean of Admission

The University of Virginia today named Greg W. Roberts dean of admission.

Roberts joined the University’s admission staff as an associate dean in August 2003 and was named senior associate dean in May. UVa officials say he played a critical role in leading the office during the illness of Dean John A. Blackburn, who died Jan. 20.

“Greg Roberts learned his profession from the best,” University President John T. Casteen III said in a press release. “He is seasoned, thoughtful, respected by colleagues here and nationally - a logical choice who will lead the Office of Admission effectively now and well into the future.”

Blackburn, who had planned to retire in June, supported Roberts’ candidacy in a letter to the search committee: “This position carries with it a fair amount of stress and it requires that the person in the position be able to handle the pressures and still maintain a positive attitude. It requires flexibility and a clear sense of University priorities. All of us know that the University of Virginia is unique among American universities, and I think understanding what is unique about it is essential if one is to be successful in this role. Greg’s six years as my associate dean have prepared him to take on this role.”


UVA Receives a Record 21,511 Applications for Class of 2013

The numbers are still preliminary, but indications are that Jack Blackburn’s last entering class at the University of Virginia will be a fitting tribute to his work.

With some still trickling in, UVA has received a record 21,511 applications for 3,170 places in the fall’s entering undergraduate class, an increase of at least 16 percent over last year’s applicant pool.

This year’s applicants include 22 percent more African-American students, 56 percent more Hispanic students, 50 percent more international students and 100 percent more Native American students — a diversity that was no doubt exciting to John A. “Jack” Blackburn, UVA’s longtime dean of admission, who died Tuesday of cancer. Blackburn, renowned for his efforts to increase the diversity of UVA’s student body, was in his office until the week before Christmas, as the applications began rolling in.

Editor’s Note: The final number of applications was 21,837, of which 13,761 were out-of-state and 9,076 were in-state.


Dave Leitao Steps Down As UVA’s Men’s Head Basketball Coach

The Dave Leitao era at the University of Virginia ended abruptly Monday, little more than two years after he was named ACC men’s basketball coach of the year.

As recently as a week ago, signs pointed toward Leitao’s returning for a fifth season. But the Cavaliers’ performance at the ACC tournament, coupled with concerns about Leitao’s demeanor with his players, convinced school officials that an immediate change was warranted.

At a meeting with UVA Athletic Director Craig Littlepage yesterday, Leitao agreed to resign, effective immediately. The university, in a release, said Leitao “determined it was in the best interests of the program to step down.”

In four seasons under Leitao, the Cavaliers posted a 63-60 overall record. They were 27-37 in ACC regular-season games and advanced to the NCAA tournament once, in 2006-07.


In National Headlines: Obama Picks EPA Veteran to Be Deputy Administrator

Showing a continued focus on climate change issues, President Obama yesterday named U.S. EPA veteran Jon Cannon to be the agency’s new deputy administrator.

Cannon, a member of Obama’s EPA transition team and a University of Virginia law professor, authored a controversial, six-page memo on greenhouse gas regulation while serving as general counsel for EPA during the Clinton administration.

Known as the Cannon memo, it prompted a little-known Washington nonprofit to petition EPA to use its Clean Air Act authority to regulate greenhouse gases—a request that Bush administration officials would later deny, leading the case to the Supreme Court.

“Naming Professor Cannon to be deputy administrator is further evidence the stars are lining up in the Obama administration to take quick action under the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gases,” said Roger Martella, who served as EPA general counsel under President George W. Bush.