John T. Casteen III

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John T. Casteen III
7th President of the University of Virginia
In office
October 6, 1990 – August 1, 2010
Preceded by Robert M. O'Neil
Succeeded by Teresa A. Sullivan
11th President of the University of Connecticut
In office
August 1985 – October 1990
Preceded by John A. DiBiaggio
Succeeded by Harry J. Hartley
4th Virginia Secretary of Education
In office
January 16, 1982 – August 1985
Governor Chuck Robb
Preceded by J. Wade Gilley
Succeeded by Donald Finley
Personal details
Born (1943-12-11) December 11, 1943 (age 74)
Portsmouth, Virginia, USA
Nationality American
Spouse(s) Betsy Foote Casteen
Alma mater University of Virginia (B.A.)
University of Virginia (M.A.)
University of Virginia (Ph.D.)
Profession Professor, Academic Administrator
Salary $797,048[1] (2008)
Website Office of the President Emeritus

John Thomas Casteen III[2] (born December 11, 1943 in Portsmouth, Virginia[3]) is an American educator. He served as Professor of English[4] and President of the University of Virginia from 1990 through 2010.[5]

Early life and career[edit]

John Casteen earned his B.A. (1965), M.A. (1966) and Ph.D. (1970) degrees in English from the University of Virginia.[6] From 1968 to 1969, he wrote a column called "Soundings" for the student newspaper, The Cavalier Daily, in which he wrote about the administration of the University, conducting sympathetic interviews with deans and defending the policies of the administration.[7]

He began his professional career teaching English at the University of California, Berkeley, and later at the University of Virginia. From 1975 to 1982, he served as Dean of Admissions at the University of Virginia, resigning[8] to serve as Secretary of Education in the Cabinet of Virginia Governor Charles S. Robb from 1982 to 1985. From 1985 until 1990 he served as President of the University of Connecticut.[9]

President of the University of Virginia[edit]

As president of the University, Casteen advocated increasing UVA's enrollment of women, minority, and economically disadvantaged students. In 2003, he directed the creation of AccessUVA, the University's full-need financial aid program.

He also presided over substantial growth, both financial and physical, at the University. In addition to assuming numerous roles on the grounds of the University, ranging from liaison to the alumni board of relations to faculty advisor to the St. Anthony Hall Literary Society, Casteen led two financial campaigns for the University's endowment, one with a goal of $1 billion and another (ongoing) with a $3 billion goal.[10] During his tenure, major building projects on Grounds included Hereford College, Bryan Hall, the Robertson Hall expansion of Rouss Hall for the McIntire School of Commerce, the South Lawn Project, the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, the University Bookstore, the Aquatic and Fitness Center, and John Paul Jones Arena.

Casteen announced on June 12, 2009, that he would retire in 2010.[10] His 20-year tenure is the second longest of any University of Virginia president, after Edwin Alderman.

Business interests[edit]

Since 1986, Casteen has held numerous positions as a director in business organizations, including his first for the Connecticut Bank and Trust Company and Wachovia Corporation.[9] He is currently a director of Sage Publications, Jefferson Science Associates LLC and the Virginia University Research Partnership, and was elected a director of Altria on February 22, 2010.[11]

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Betsy Foote Casteen, and they have five children.[9]


  1. ^ "Highest Paid Presidents of Public Universities, 2007-2008: John T. Casteen III". BusinessWeek. 2008. Retrieved 2010-01-11. 
  2. ^ The Inauguration of John Thomas Casteen, III, As President of the University of Virginia. Saturday, the Sixth of October, Nineteen Hundred and Ninety. University of Virginia. 1990. 
  3. ^ "Biographical detail: John T. Casteen III". Notable Names Database. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  4. ^ "Board of Visitors Minutes, March 30, 1990". 1990-03-30. 
  5. ^ "Retirement announcement speech". Office of the President of the University of Virginia. Archived from the original on May 28, 2010. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  6. ^ "Board of Visitors Minutes, March 9, 1990". 1990-03-09. 
  7. ^ Casteen, John (1968-11-05). "Soundings: Ad Hoc Committee Pressures Board of Visitors". Cavalier Daily. Archived from the original on 2011-07-23. 
  8. ^ "Board of Visitors Minutes, Jan 30, 1982". 1982-01-30. Retrieved 2008-03-26. 
  9. ^ a b c University biography: Office of the President of the University of Virginia website. Retrieved on February 12, 2012.
  10. ^ a b "University President John T. Casteen III To Step Down in 2010". UVA Today. 2009-06-12. Archived from the original on 2012-12-13. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  11. ^ "UVa President Casteen named Altria director". Business Week. 2010-02-22. Retrieved 2010-10-04.