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SCHEV approves School of Data Science at U.Va.

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Print this page By Robert Powell | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia has approved the creation of the University of Virginia’s School of Data Science, U.Va.’s 12th school.

Launching this academic year, the school will be funded in part by a $120 million gift announced in January from the Quantitative Foundation, which is operated by a Charlottesville couple, Jaffray and Merrill Woodriff, who are U.Va. alums. Jaffray Woodriff, 50, is CEO and co-founder of Quantitative Investment Management, a $3 billion hedge fund based in Charlottesville. 

The Woodriffs’ gift is the largest private donation in U.Va.’s history. 

Philip E. Bourne has been named dean of the new school. He had been director of U.Va.’s Data Science Institute, which was begun in 2013 and has offered master’s degree programs in data science as well as dual master’s degree programs.

With the new school, U.Va. hopes to expand these offerings to students in undergraduate, doctoral and professional programs in upcoming years and also plans to fill 10 endowed chairs and hire an associate dean, staff and research and teaching faculty.

"We envision the new School of Data Science at U.Va. as a 'school without walls,'" Bourne said in a statement. "The new school will combine a focus on research, education and service to build bridges across academic, geographic, commercial and cultural boundaries using responsible, open data science." 

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