Virginia Commonwealth University

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Virginia Commonwealth University
Image:Virginia commonwealth university seal.gif
Established 1838
Type Public university
Endowment [1]
President Eugene P. Trani
Faculty 1,696 full-time, 975 adjunct
Students 30,381
Location Richmond, Virginia, United States
Campus Urban, Monroe Park Campus - 88.2 acres (35.7 ha), MCV Campus - 52.4 acres (21.2 ha).
Athletics 14 varsity teams, NCAA Division I, CAA
Colors Black and Gold
Mascot Rodney the Ram Image:Vcurams2.gif

Aerial view of the Monroe Park Campus looking eastward in the direction of downtown Richmond, Va.

Virginia Commonwealth University, or VCU, is a large public American research university with its main campuses located in downtown Richmond, Virginia. Particularly recognized for its nationally ranked art, social work, health administration, and medical degree programs, VCU is one of the largest universities in Virginia with more than 30,000 students at the beginning of 2006. It is one of four Virginia universities rated RU/H: Research Universities (high research activity) by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, signifying that at least 20 PhDs are awarded per year.

Formed by a merger between the Richmond Professional Institute (RPI) and the Medical College of Virginia (MCV) in 1968, VCU has a renowned medical school that is home to the nation’s oldest organ transplant program. VCU is also known for its diversity, with the highest percentage of minority students among Virginia public universities, and is host to the annual VCU French Film Festival, the largest French film festival in the United States. VCU is also the home of Blackbird the online journal of literature and the arts, a premier electronic journal.


[edit] Campuses

VCU has two main campuses in Richmond: the Monroe Park Campus and the Medical College of Virginia Campus. VCU also has a branch campus for its nationally ranked School of the Arts in Education City, Qatar, which is heavily subsidized by the Qatari government. Informally, the campuses are known respectively as the "academic campus," "medical campus," and "VCU-Qatar."

[edit] Monroe Park Campus

Home to most of VCU's general education facilities, the Monroe Park Campus is located at the eastern end of the Fan district, a historic neighborhood built adjacent to downtown Richmond in the early 20th century. The Monroe Park Campus begins at Monroe Park on North Belvidere Street and continues west to Harrison Street. Most buildings are located on or between West Broad Street and West Cary Street. Originally home to the Richmond Professional Institute and then the Academic Campus of VCU in 1968, the Monroe Park Campus took on its current name in June of 2004. VCU is constantly expanding with present ongoing projects such as the School of Buisness and Engineering Phase 2, a new School of Nursing, a "Residential College" and new parking deck, and the recently completed renovation of the Hibbs Buidling.

[edit] Student Demographics

VCU is classified as a "Selective" university by the US News and World Report 16% of the students were in top 10th of their graduating class and 44% in the top quarter. Sudents, alumni, faculty and staff hail from approximately 100 different countries around the world <ref></ref> with VCU currently enrolling more than 1,000 International Exchange students. As of the Fall of 2005 semester, 3,650 of the university's students are "out-of-state." <ref></ref>

VCU received 11,764 applications for Fall 2005 freshman admissions and enrolled 3,540 of those students. The average for all admitted freshmen was a 3.30 unweighted GPA. Average SAT Score (2005) 1190. Average Verbal SAT Score: 600 Average Math SAT Score: 590 <ref></ref>

[edit] Notable buildings

165 university buildings, 40 built prior to 1900

Many VCU buildings are named after influential people in the school's history or in Richmond history.
  • The Pollak Building, is named after Theresa Pollak, who founded the School of Art at VCU when it was the Richmond Professional Institute. Pollak was one of Virginia's more famous artists and who is often credited with bringing modern art to Richmond. </li>
  • The Ginter House at 901 West Franklin Street, the main administrative building on the Monroe Park Campus. It is named for cigarette magnate Major Lewis Ginter (1824-1897), one of Virginia’s wealthiest men who was responsible for developing Richmond’s Ginter Park neighborhood and commissioning the Jefferson Hotel.
  • University Student Commons
  • Stuart C. Siegel Center
  • Sports Medicine Building
  • James Branch Cabell Library
  • Engineering Building - School of Engineering
  • T. Edward Temple Building - General academics, mass communications
  • School of Business
  • Oliver Hall - School of Education, Physical Sciences
  • School of the Arts Building
  • Hibbs Hall - College of Humanities & Sciences
  • Shafer Court Dining Center
  • Pollak Building - School of the Arts
  • Trani Life Sciences Building

[edit] Housing

  • West Grace Street Honors Housing
  • Ackell Residence Center
  • RAMZ Hall
  • Brandt Hall
  • Rhoads Hall
  • Broad & Belvidere Apartments
  • Capital Garage Apartments
  • Johnson Hall
  • Gladding Residence Center

[edit] MCV Campus

The Medical College of Virginia Campus is home to the Health Sciences Division of VCU. This includes the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Allied Health, Nursing, a recently established School of Public Health, and the MCV Hospitals, which is the major component of the VCU Health System. The Campus is also home to the Massey Cancer Center (an NCI-designated Cancer Center). The MCV Campus is an integral part of Richmond, located adjacent to the city’s business and financial district near the state capitol.

[edit] Notable buildings

[edit] Housing

  • Cabaniss Hall
  • Bear Hall
  • McRae Hall
  • Warner Hall
  • Rudd Hall

[edit] Academics

[edit] Degrees

A complete degree inventory is available from the Web site of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. [2]

[edit] Programs

Over 40 of VCU's programs are unique to Virginia, such as the Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness major in the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, as well as the Real Estate and Urban Land Development degree in VCU's School of Business. The university also offers a wide range of study options with more than 170 certificate, undergraduate, graduate, professional and doctoral degrees in the arts, sciences and humanities in fifteen different schools of discipline.

In addition to its undergraduate and graduate degree programs, as well as its honors program, VCU now hosts the Illustration Academy, a program taught by nationally renowned illustrators. The program is open to all applicants, from students to professionals, and features demonstrations from the artists, classes, and lectures on the business side of the industry.

The university's medical campus provides students with several opportunities for postgraduate study at VCU. This has led to the development of "guaranteed admission programs," whereunder select incoming undergraduates are guaranteed a spot in a variety of professional schools so long as a high academic standard is maintained throughout their undergraduate studies. Schools with such a program include medicine, physical therapy, dentistry, pharmacy and others.

In addition, an accelerated program in the School of Education offers a combined undergraduate, teaching certificate and master's degree in five years.

[edit] Rankings

VCU holds a number of prominent national rankings. The most notable being the school’s top-ranked graduate programs by US News & World Report, which include:

  • 1st - Sculpture
  • 1st - Nurse Anesthesia
  • 4th - Graphic Design
  • 5th - Health Services Administration
  • 6th - Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
  • 10th - Painting and Drawing
  • 13th - Dentistry
  • 14th - Social Work
  • 15th - Occupational Therapy
  • 18th - Community Health
  • 20th - Rehabilitation Counseling
  • 21st - Pharmacy
  • 25th - Physical Therapy
  • 39th - Secondary education
  • 48th - Nursing
  • 50th - Creative Writing
  • 53rd - Education
  • 62nd - Medical School (Research)
  • 65th - Public Affairs
  • 68th - Clinical Psychology

In addition, the VCU Adcenter, the School of Mass Communication’s graduate program in advertising, has also been ranked 1st in the nation by Creativity Magazine. VCU’s Masters of Health Administration program ranked No. 2 by Modern Healthcare, VCU Health System earned national Magnet nursing designation (American Nurses Credentialing Center), A top American research university by Lombardi Program on Measuring University Performance, A top-100 research university by the National Science Foundation, Twice named one of the Solucient Top 100 Hospitals in the U.S. by Solucient Corporation, and A top-10 of the most diverse student bodies by [].[3]

According to the Academic Ranking of World Universities conducted in 2005 by the Institute of Higher Education at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, VCU ranks in the top 100 universities in North & Latin America and one of the top 200 universities in the world. [4]

[edit] Faculty

Notable faculty members include analytical chemist Dr. John Fenn, who in 2002 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his contributions to the field of mass spectrometry, and Religious Studies professor Amina Wadud, who caused controversy in 2005 by leading an Islamic prayer service of men and women.

In the medical field, VCU has had four professors elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences' Institute of Medicine, most recently Dr. Steven Woolf in 2001. [5] Historically, notable faculty members include Charles-Édouard Brown-Séquard, M.D., for whom Brown-Sequard syndrome is named. Hunter McGuire was the Confederate surgeon for General Thomas J. Jackson before he founded the University College of Medicine which later merged with MCV where he became the Chairman of Surgery. The Hunter Holmes McGuire Veterans Administration Medical Center is named in his honor.

[edit] Schools

[edit] Athletics

VCU Rams logo
VCU Varsity logo

VCU currently sponsors nine varsity teams in NCAA Division I play through the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). These teams include basketball, baseball, volleyball, soccer, tennis, golf, field hockey, track and field, and cross country. VCU's mascot is Rodney the Ram, and the teams as well as students are called VCU Rams.

VCU also has many student run club teams. These sports not sponsored by the university include men's[20] and women's[21] rugby, ice hockey[22], ultimate frisbee[23] and men's and women's lacrosse. Previous club sports have also included rowing, wrestling, tennis, and cycling. VCU does not support a football team. The current university president, Eugene P. Trani, has been quoted as saying that he will not allow football to come to VCU under his watch due to the extra incurred cost.[24] VCU does not currently have a stadium that would be suitable for hosting football-related events.

[edit] Facilities

  • The Diamond
    • Baseball
  • Alltel Pavilion at the Stuart C. Siegel Center
    • Basketball
    • Volleyball
    • Cheerleading
  • Sports Backers Stadium
    • Soccer
    • Track and Field
  • Cary Street Field
    • Field Hockey
  • Thalhimer Tennis Center
  • Leigh Street Field
    • Men's and Women's Rugby

[edit] Championship teams

[edit] Men's basketball

The VCU men's basketball team defeated George Mason to win the 2004 CAA championship and received an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. The Rams were seeded #13 in the East Rutherford Region and faced #4 Wake Forest in the first round in Raleigh, N.C. VCU led for much of the second half before the Demon Deacons prevailed 79-78. VCU was 19-13 in the 2005 season and finished second in the CAA with a 13-5 conference record and received a bid to the NIT where they lost to Davidson. During the 2005 and 2006 seasons, the Rams lost in an exhibition game to Division II powerhouse, Virginia Union University. In 2006, the Rams did not make a post-season appearance.

In 1985, VCU received an invitation to the NCAA men's basketball tournament as a #2 seed in its region, the highest seeding that the team has ever earned. However, it was upset in the second round of the tournament by #7 seed Alabama.

Until 2006 the team was coached by Jeff Capel, who at the time of his promotion to head coach in 2002 was the youngest coach in Division I NCAA basketball at 27 years old. During his time with VCU, Capel compiled a 79-41 record (.658), and in his first year earned VCU 18 wins, the most ever for a first-year coach at the school. In April 2006, Capel announced his decision to coach the University of Oklahoma basketball team, reneging on a six-year contract he had signed with VCU one month prior. He was replaced by Anthony Grant [25], formerly an assistant head coach with the 2006 NCAA champions, the University of Florida.

[edit] Men's Track & Field

The VCU men's track team won the 2006 CAA Confrence Championship after placing second in the CAA's in the prevous 2 years. the team was lead by Davion Lambert and James Frerson who were named the Field MVP and Track MVP respectfully. The team is looking to be lead to another CAA victory with some old and new faces at the CAA Championships this year.

[edit] Other varsity sports

The VCU men's tennis team was ranked 14th pre-season by the International Tennis Federation (ITA) in 2005, and has been nationally ranked in the top 50 since 1993. The Rams have had 13 straight NCAA tournament appearances and had won nine consecutive Colonial Athletic Association tournament crowns until being dethroned in the 2005 CAA tournament final by William and Mary. In 2000, the men's team reached the NCAA Finals after defeating Illinois (Quarterfinals) and Tennessee (Semifinals) respectively. In the finals, Stanford rallied to win the doubles and swept Virginia Commonwealth in the singles to claim its 17th NCAA men's tennis title 4-0.

The nationally ranked men's and women's soccer teams have both won CAA championships, having then advanced to national finals as well. In 2004, the VCU Men's soccer team went to the Quarterfinals and lost to NCAA runners up, the UCSB Gauchos.

The Men's and Women's Track & Field Teams have also enjoyed success, having won multiple conference titles. The men's team won three consecutive outdoor track & field conference titles from 1994-1996 and an indoor track & field conference title in 1995. The first two conference titles came as a member of the Metro Conference and the third was won in the Colonial Athletic Association. VCU moved from the Metro Conference to the CAA in 1995 when the Metro was dissolved and many of the teams merged to form Conference USA. VCU's mens track & field team also won the 2006 Outdoor CAA Championships.

[edit] Club sports

The VCU Men's Rugby team took the 2005 Virginia Rugby Union and the Mid-Atlantic Rugby Football Union Division III Collegiate Championships and received a bid to play in the East Coast Chapionship which was hosted by VCU April 22-24 of 2006. The team took fourth at the East Coast Championship tournament. Following their Division III success, they accepted an invitation to move to Division II in the Fall of 2006.

The VCU Club Baseball team began in Fall 2005 and began play in Spring 2006. They only won one game in their first season against a struggling William & Mary. The team is now a part of the National Cub Baseball Association in the Mid Atlantic South conference facing other teams including Radford University, University of Virginia, Washington & Lee University, James Madison University, Virginia Tech University, and University of Richmond.

[edit] Organizations

VCU has numerous student organizations, including the Black Awakening Choir which won first place in the 2005 Baptist Student Union National Choir Competition in Atlanta, GA. In addition, VCU boasts a well-established net of ethnic and cultural organizations such as the African Student Union, Latino Student Association and the Vietnamese Student Association, among many others. Similarly, VCU offers a variety of religious organizations, such as the Muslim Student Association, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Catholic Campus Ministry, Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship house, BSU, Hillel @ VCU, and Lotus Buddhist Group.

VCU's Greek system has grown particularly rapidly in the last few years, with expansions within the Interfraternity Council and among multicultural organizations. Sigma Beta Rho, Delta Phi Omega, Lambda Upsilon Lambda, Kappa Phi Gamma, Sigma Lambda Upsilon and alpha Kappa Delta Phi have all chartered on campus since 2002.

[edit] Student Government Associations

There are two student government associations at VCU, one for each campus. [26] According to the Monroe Park Camups SGA Web site, it "serves as the unifying voice for all students to members of Virginia Commonwealth University administration, faculty, staff, and the Board of Visitors as well as to the City of Richmond." It is the stated goal of the SGA "to represent the concerns and interests of all students to the various groups that have an influence on student life," and it "oversees more than 200 student organizations." [27]

[edit] History

Though officially created with the merger of the Richmond Professional Institute (RPI) and Medical College of Virginia (MCV) in 1968, VCU's history stretches back to 1838, when MCV first opened its doors as the medical department of Hampden-Sydney College. VCU recognizes the latter date on its official seal and promotional materials. RPI traces its roots back to 1917, when it began as the Richmond School of Social Work.

[edit] Timeline

  • 1838 - The Medical Department of Hampden-Sydney College opens in Richmond
  • 1844 - The Medical Department moves into its first permanent home, the Egyptian Building
  • 1854 - The Medical Department of Hampden-Sydney College receives an independent charter from the Virginia General Assembly and becomes the Medical College of Virginia (MCV)
  • 1860 - In return for a $30,000 appropriation MCV conveys all its property to the Commonwealth of Virginia and becomes a state institution
  • 1893 - College of Physicians and Surgeons, later University College of Medicine, was established by Dr. Hunter Holmes McGuire just three blocks away from MCV
  • 1912 - McGuire Hall opens as the new home of the University College of Medicine
  • 1913 - MCV and UCM merged through the efforts of Dr. George Ben Johnston and Dr. Stuart McGuire. MCV acquired the Memorial Hospital as a result of the merger
  • 1917 - Richmond School of Social Work and Public Health established
  • 1925 - Richmond School of Social Work and Public Health becomes the Richmond division of the College of William and Mary
  • 1939 - Richmond division of William and Mary becomes the "Richmond Professional Institute of the College of William and Mary" (RPI)
  • 1947 - MCV Foundation is incorporated.
  • 1962 - RPI separates from William and Mary to become an independent state institution.
  • 1968 - The first heart transplant at the Medical College of Virginia is performed by Dr. Richard R. Lower. This was only the 9th such operation performed in the United States, and the 16th in the world.
  • 1968 - State legislation merges MCV and RPI to become Virginia Commonwealth University. MCV retains the right to use its name.
  • 2000 - VCU Health System authority is established.
  • 2004 - The name VCU Medical Center is adopted to refer to MCV Hospitals and VCU's medical schools, and the VCU Academic Campus is renamed the VCU Monroe Park Campus.

[edit] Expansion

More recently the university has focused on what it calls life sciences as an avenue of future expansion, with the 2001 opening of the Lois E. and Eugene P. Trani Life Sciences Building. Construction has begun on a Monroe Park Campus Extension, which will include the second phase of the School of Engineering building and a new home for the School of Business. There will also be a new dorm facility along with retail development.

VCU has developed a strategic plan for the future dubbed "VCU 2020." Among its major goals are the creation of a collegiate community promoting student engagement and the campus environment. On the Monroe Park Campus, in addition to the expansion east of Belvidere St, this long range plan includes the renovation and expansion of Cabell Library, dubbed the "Information Commons," academic expansions along Linden St. and on the Business Building lawn, parking facilities near Grace and Belvidere, Greek housing along W. Grace St, improvements to Monroe Park, and numerous other projects. The Medical Campus can expect a new School of Allied Health Professions, School of Medicine, School of Nursing, VCUHS Bed Tower, and other projects.

The university has expanded rapidly in recent years, with construction focused mainly along the Broad Street corridor. The school is approximately 70 percent off-campus resident and 30 percent on-campus resident, with new residence hall Brandt Hall having opened in August 2005. RAMZ Hall opened in mid-January 2005, seven months behind schedule after a fire destroyed most of the still-under-construction building in March of 2004. The Shafer Court Dining Center and Phase III construction and renovation of the University Student Commons were completed in 2004. A complete renovation of Hibbs Hall, the oldest of the major academic buildings and former dining hall, was completed in Fall 2006. The Ackell Residence Center (formerly known as West Broad Street Student Apartments) was opened in 2001 across the street from the West Broad Parking Deck, e2 (pronounced "e-squared") Bookstore and VCU Welcome Center that were completed in 1998. 1998 also saw the opening of a new School of the Arts Building, also on Broad Street.

West Grace Street Student Housing is home to the University Honors Program and honors housing with single one-person rooms. Formerly the Capital Medical Center, the university purchased and converted the building in 1998. The building was once also home VCU OccuHealth Alliance, part of the VCU Health System.

[edit] Student-teacher ratio problems

VCU has also seen a significant growth in student enrollment over the past few years, with each successive freshman class being the largest in the university's history. Because the university offers such a wide variety of degrees with relatively sparse classroom space, some have complained that there are not enough course offerings to meet demand.

An increase in non-tenure track "teaching collateral," or adjunct, faculty has yet to catch up with increased student enrollment. The loss of senior, tenured faculty through early retirement buy-outs has also yet to be offset. In 1993, for instance, a much smaller VCU had 1,009 tenure-eligible faculty; by the Fall of 2003 this number had decreased to 879.[citation needed] With the last five years seeing a 20 percent growth in enrollment, some classes formerly taught in sections of 30-40 students are now taught in sections of 100-300.

Especially in upper division offerings, some classes are offered on a rotating basis by semester, sometimes forcing students to take longer than the normal four years to complete their degree. The University has responded to the challenges, in part, by funding the Center for Teaching Excellence, or CTE.

[edit] VCU/MCV naming controversy

A policy statement by the VCU administration in 2004 caused some confusion and controversy over the MCV name. A separate institution before 1968 and located across town from the Monroe Park Campus, MCV retains much of its separate identity, and students and alumni have voiced protest over a policy statement by the administration promoting the name "VCU Medical Center" over MCV.

The new name caused some confusion over when which name applied. In a 2004 internal e-mail, a Venn diagram showed the name "VCU Medical Center" applying only to the School of Medicine and MCV Hospitals, while the rest of MCV facilities were referred to as the VCU Health System. The campus retains the MCV name, with signs on buildings and around campus reading "VCU Medical Center" with "MCV Campus" posted in smaller type below. The MCV Foundation and almuni organizations have also retained the MCV name.

The Act of General Assembly for creating VCU, H 125, §23-50.7, 1 March 1968, allowed for the retention of the MCV name and would only pass if it was amended to read, “The colleges, schools, and divisions heretofore existing as The Medical College of Virginia shall, as of July 1, 1968, be designated The Medical College of Virginia, Health Sciences Division of Virginia Commonwealth University.” As recently as 2005 (Res. No. 72) the campus was referred to by the Virginia General Assembly as "The Medical College of Virginia Health Sciences Division of Virginia Commonwealth University."

In general, the current administration led by President Eugene P. Trani has pursued a policy of promoting the VCU name as a unified identity to the outside world. This policy has included requesting faculty and staff to use the VCU name instead of MCV in any official meetings or correspondence. One reason for the name change cited in the 2004 e-mail was a 2003 front-page USA Today article which incorrectly referred to MCV as the "Virginia Medical College, a teaching arm of the University of Virginia."

In 2005 the Medical Society of Virginia passed a resolution requesting an explanation of VCU's statutory authority to change the name.<ref></ref> The policy of promoting the name "VCU Medical Center," however, has received no response from the General Assembly to date.

[edit] Notable alumni

[edit] In Health

[edit] In the media

[edit] In Sports

[edit] Artists

[edit] Other

  • Grace Harris - Civil rights activist and one of the first three African American faculty members hired by VCU.
  • Ron Tillett - Former Treasurer of Virginia, Secretary of Finance for Virginia.

[edit] References

<references />

[edit] External links

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