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Watch: Spring Faculty Assembly

Apr. 9, 2010, 10:22 AM

Vanderbilt will create a $100 million fund to support graduate education and is in the planning stages for the next phase of College Halls at Vanderbilt and new facilities for engineering, the social sciences and humanities, Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos announced during the 2010 Spring Faculty Assembly.

“Collectively, we are paying off our debts, and for the first time in more than a decade, are reducing out ’family mortgage,’” Zeppos said April 8 at the Student Life Center.

“Because of our prudence and planning, we are able to see important new investments made and – just as important – old ones sustained.”

Zeppos said that a $100 million endowment to support graduate education would be created over the next five years. None of the money will be used until the full amount is accrued, he said.

“In these very hard times, our top public and private universities are making deep cuts in Ph.D. funding and positions,” Zeppos said. “It is time for Vanderbilt, with our relatively secure resources, to step up and offer the assistance to the graduate students whose contributions will form the backbone of our nation’s future competitiveness, enlightenment and productivity.”

Other financial priorities include the medical center, in particular care and research to help sick children at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Zeppos said.

“A new Life Science and Engineering Center must be a priority,” he said. “Calhoun and Benson Science can no longer meet the needs of the English, history, politics, economics and other departments. A new building for these fields is essential.”

The next priority for College Halls at Vanderbilt will be realized at Kissam Quad, he said.

Zeppos said his “One Vanderbilt” philosophy drives all his decisions, and should be a guide to the whole community.

“In each decision we make, we must always ask whether we are serving Vanderbilt as a whole and remember that we are one university, intellectually as well as financially. We depend on each other for success in fulfilling our mission and must strive to put no port of the university in financial jeopardy.”

The chancellor addresses Vanderbilt faculty twice a year, in the spring and fall semesters. He was introduced by Cynthia Paschal, associate professor of biomedical engineering and chair of the Faculty Senate.

Peter Buerhaus, Valere Potter Professor of Nursing, opened the assembly with a presentation on the need to draw more young people into careers as doctors and nurses, because a critical shortage in both professions is looming as baby boomers retire.

Contact: Jim Patterson, (615) 322-NEWS