As the University of Virginia embarks on its third century, it seeks an extraordinary leader to further the revolutionary ambition of its founders. There is only one university in America whose cornerstone was laid by three Presidents — Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe — and its mission was to serve as the “future bulwark of the human mind in this hemisphere.” Since its founding, the University has been motivated by that grand ambition. The next president must share this ambitious calling and possess the leadership talents to develop and execute a shared vision for the future.
As the nation’s first public university, the University was founded to sustain ingenuity so that the young nation could continue to lead the evolution of the modern world. Indeed, the University’s evolution has mirrored that of the nation — from its humble beginnings as a small school for privileged young men to a highly diverse global university. The Virginia community includes nearly 36,000 students, faculty, and staff and 224,000 active and loyal alumni. The faculty are innovative in teaching and entrepreneurial in seeking research partnerships worldwide; students are engaged in their work in the classroom and dedicated to public service outside of it; medical professionals provide the finest patient care and seek new ways to prevent, diagnose, treat, and cure disease; staff bring creativity and devotion to their work; and alumni play active roles in business, the arts, the sciences, and public life — and are uncommonly devoted to their alma mater.
It is widely believed that the next president should be a distinguished and inspiring leader who understands the academy, engages with students as a visible participant in the life of the University community, and translates Jefferson’s vision into 21st century realities. In addition, the next president must have a great passion for leading a public university. And be an effective spokesperson for the critical role of public institutions of higher education in society.
Above all else, the next president must embrace the culture and core values of the University — academic rigor, honor, civility and mutual respect, diversity, public service, and the student experience. Embracing University culture requires an understanding that we are as an institution striving to become a better version of our self rather than a better version of another institution.
The University of Virginia is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer strongly committed to diversity.