University of Tal Varisa
The University of Tal Varisa is the oldest seat of learning within the Distant Fringe, founded at the beginning of the 24th century and rivalled only by the University of Selasia. It has a particularly distinguished Astronomy department, which runs the Deep Sky Program.
- The official journal of the university is the Astra.
Motto: Cultura Veritas et Sapientia
- (Culture Truth and Wisdom)
- 1 Welcome to the University
- 2 Governing structure
- 3 Faculties Of The University
- 3.1 Faculty of Astronomy and Astrophysics
- 3.2 Faculty of Biological Sciences
- 3.3 College of Engineering and Technology
- 3.4 Faculty of Sophontological Studies
- 3.5 Faculty of Physical Sciences
- 3.6 College of Political Studies, Economics and Law
- 3.7 Free Houses
- 4 Non-School Institutions
- 5 Extra-curricular Activities
- 6 Traditions
- 7 Worlds & Sectors
- 8 References & Contributors (Sources)
Welcome to the University
The University was founded around 2300AD, as part of a formal plan for the settlement of Tal Varisa, and was allocated substantial territory and holdings. The first University buildings were constructed soon afterwards, eventually becoming the Old Main of the faculty. Over the centuries many additonal Schools, Halls, and Administrative Centers have been added, though the university still retains a large amount of undeveloped territory on the world.
The main Schools of the University of Tal Varisa are still located on Tal Varisa The University also maintains campuses on many of the member worlds of the Firstworlds and on a number of other worlds located within the coreward half of Far Home Sector.
The University of Tal Varisa is diverse and cosmopolitan, with members drawn from a wide range of social, ethnic and racial backgrounds.
The estimated total population of the University is approximately 65,000. This includes undergraduate and graduate students, teaching staff and members of the faculties, administrative staff, variously retained individuals, and individuals engaged in research, expeditions, industrial associations or military ventures. The vast majority of these students are humans, largely originating from within Far Home Sector. There are notable communities of Edur, Temelik and Hoppers within the university, and smaller groups of Meroquan and far-flung Esaran.
- Anglish is the official language of the University of Tal Varisa. It is the main language of the Firstworlds. Courses in basic Anglish are freely available to all students.
- A significant number of students originate from the High Senate, in Halcyon Sector, and speak Teramil as their first language.
- A substantial percentage of the students are refugees (or the children of refugees) fleeing the Protectorate of Leset or the Worlds of The Leader – the former worlds of the Empire. Their first language is Orometi.
Students attend lectures and classes under the tutelage of academic staff and complete projects, assignments and research to fulfill the criteria of their academic commitment in order to earn their degree. This may take place entirely within the precincts of the University or it may involve working 'in the field'. External studies are often done in conjunction with an outside group such as a business or an industrial concern, as part of a charity or a project, with governmental authorities and agencies, with the military, or more rarely by taking part in an expedition.
Throughout the course of their studies and academic activities, students are expected to produce a body of work and to be able to express a degree of understanding of their chosen subject. Their progress is continually monitored, assessed and evaluated by their tutors. Guidance and advice is provided when required.
When students complete their studies they receive an academic degree and become Graduates of the University. Graduation Day includes a procession of the academic staff and candidates, the granting of academic titles to the graduate, and a valediction. It is traditional to wear academic dress at formal ceremonies. Post-graduation celebrations usually involve class pictures and throwing caps into the air, a formal banquet with toasts and speeches that acknowledge particular achievements, and a great deal of intoxicated partying.
Alumni of the University share a particular fondness for their "alma mater". There are class reunions, an annual event during which alumni from all over the Distant Fringe return to their House and their School to reconnect with old friends, meet new ones and sample intellectual fare. The alumni are grateful to the University, and generally wish to give back to the institution so that more people will benefit from it: a large majority provide direct financial support, with very substantial gifts made during the reunions.
- Many of the Houses and Schools include annexes and wings provided for by past alumni: these are generally named for the benefactor. Occasionally, an existing structure is donated, which typically becomes a new stand-alone extension to an existing House. Rarely, a property may be redeveloped as an extension for one of the Schools.
The leadership is responsible for the strategic vision for the University.
The President and Fellows of Tal Varisa University
The President and Fellows of Tal Varisa University forms the smaller of the University's two governing boards, the other being its Board of Overseers. The membership of the Association of Fellows is made up of twelve leading academics and experts, but who are not involved in the University's daily life. It meets periodically to consult with the President of the University, whom it appoints, on important issues and affairs. The Association is self-perpetuating, appointing new members to fill its own vacancies as they arise.
Office of the President
The President of the University of Tal Varisa is the chief administrator of the institution. The incumbent is appointed by the Association of Fellows and is responsible to the other members of that body. The University is extremely decentralized, and is noted for the independence of its various constituent faculties. The President acts as the visible figurehead of the University and the role includes attending large numbers of civic events and social functions.
- The Shell is a name given to the various offices and members of staff who support the President. It includes the Offices of the Executive Secretary, made up of the Press Office and the main office of Campus Security. It also includes a number of permanent and temporary executive advisers.
Office of the Academic Vice President
The Academic Vice President is a senior academic figure appointed by the Board of Overseers. The role involves being a visionary, and, when necessary, the Vice President is required to defend lofty principles in the face of academic disapproval and financial restrictions. The Vice President's central responsibility is to make sure the institution stays true to its mission of examination, exploration, research and study. The Office of Vice President works very closely with the Office of the Provost, and the two share many overlapping duties and areas of responsibility. Though disputes may arise, they are usually resolved amicably.
- The First Office supports the Executive Vice President. It includes the Administration Department (which includes the Department of Rolls, a repository of records) and Sophont Resources. It also includes both permanent and temporary executive advisers.
Board of Overseers
The Board of Overseers is the larger of the two boards, the other being the Assembly of Fellows of the University. It comprises fourty elected members, as well as the President and the Treasurer of the University. The Board exerts broad influence over the University’s strategic directions, provides counsel to the University leadership on priorities and plans, and has the power of consent to certain actions. It is made up of worthy individuals, dignitaries, public figures, experts and high-ranking officials. Membership is for life: when a seat on the board becomes available a new incumbent is elected by the alumni of the University from an approved shortlist.
Office of the Provost
The Provost is the senior academic officer of the University and has responsibility for the University's academic and financial affairs. The Provost collaborates with the President in setting overall academic priorities for the University and allocates funds to carry these priorities forward. It fosters collaboration across the University and manages changes in policies and practices that affect academic life as a whole. It includes the Audit Office, The Office of Legal Affairs, the Secretariat of Finance (headed by the Treasurer), and the Department of Works. The Office of the Provost works very closely with the Office of the Vice President, and the two share many overlapping duties and areas of responsibility. Though disputes may arise, they are usually resolved amicably.
Office of the General Counsel
The OGC is responsible for all the legal work arising from the activities of the University's Faculties and departments. Their mission is to render advice and guidance on the broad range of legal issues that the University, its faculty, and administrators may confront.
Public Affairs & Communications
UTV Public Affairs and Communications manages and facilitates the University's relationships with neighboring communities; planetary and state government; the media; and the general public. UTVPAC advances information and communications related to the University's mission in teaching, learning, and research through a variety of managed channels and other means including the University's media, the Astra, and the Universitys Information Center.
Faculties Of The University
The University of Tal Varisa has a number of different Faculties, large schools where different topics are studied and researched. No matter what the official title of a Faculty or its various internal departments, they are referred to on a casual basis as Schools. There is both a great deal of collaboration and a huge amount of rivalry between different various Faculties, Departments and Houses.
Faculty of Astronomy and Astrophysics
- The Institute of Astrophysics
- The Saito Center for Astronomy
- The Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics
- Valeriya Egorov Institute of Advanced Mathematics
- Chamber of Theoretical Astrophysics and Cosmology.
Houses of Residence
- Celestine Hall, notable for its huge ground-based optical observatory dating from the Dark Age.
- Chelston House.
- Amarada House, noted as a particular meeting point for mathematicians.
Faculty of Biological Sciences
- School of Biological Sciences
- Department of Biochemistry
- Department of Genetics
- Alavar Institute of Xenobiology
- Department of Flora Research
- Center for Psychological Studies
- Neuroscience Institute
- Geliger Institute of Psionic Research
- Department of Medical Sciences
- School of Comparative Anatomy
- Center for Developmental Biology
- Center for Epidemiology and Toxicology
- Department of Developmental Biology
- School of Physiology
- College of Diagnostic Sophontology
- Department of Zoology
- Center for Paleozoology
- Institute of Marine Biology
Houses of Residence
- Essens House.
- The Calabel Project.
College of Engineering and Technology
- School of Architecture
- Department of Civil Engineering
- Urban and Regional Planning Studies Group
- Center for Applied Physics Research
- Institute of Jump Technology
- Department of Applied Chemistry
- Biotechnology Research Group
- Department of Electrical Engineering
- Department of Information Technology
- Department of Computer Science & Application
- Department of Computer Science and Engineering
- School of Instrumentation and Electronics Engineering
- School of Applied Mathematics
- Department of Mechanical Engineering
Houses of Residence
- Sheldon House.
- The Accelerator Farm.
- The Crater (since rebuilt): a former testing center used by the Experimental Fusion Research Group.
Faculty of Sophontological Studies
- Department of Archaeology
- Center for Maritime and Exotic Atmosphere Archaeology
- Department of Architectural Analytics
- Department of Experimental Archaeology
- School of Paleosophontology
- Association of Confederation-Era Studies
- Scybrian Wars Research Center
- Tal Varisa Center for Dark Age and Renaissance Studies
- Institute for Early Modern Trailing History
- School of Languages and Linguistics
- Trafford Ling Foundation for Ancient Languages
- School of the Performing Arts
- School of Musicology
- College of Traditional and Contemporary Dance
- Miller Theater
- Institute of Philosophical Studies
- College of Contemporary Theology
- School of Theology and Religion
- Classical and Modern Art Department
Houses of Residence
- Laurent House (named for Admiral Patience Laurent, the commander of the Last Armada).
- The Towers of Zin, a collection of buildings known for their bizarre shapes and vibrant colours.
Faculty of Physical Sciences
- School of Chemistry
- Department of Organic, Biological and Environmental Chemistry
- Inorganic chemistry Research Group
- College of Physical Chemistry
- Applied Chemistry Group
- Department of Planetary Sciences
- Department of Atmospherics, Meterology and Climatology
- Geodynamics, Seismology and Vulcanology
- Geology and Lithosphere Studies
- Hydrology and Hydrodynamics
- Office of Geography and Cartography
- Moloku College of Materials Science
- Newton-Bland School of Theoretical Mathematics
- Center for Applied Physics
- College of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
- Gravitics Institute
- Forces and Fields Research Group
Houses of Residence
- Langstrom House, named for the former alumnus and jump-drive visionary Dr Julia Langstrom.
- Parathena Hall.
College of Political Studies, Economics and Law
- Department of Politics.
- Ermin Kazz School of Comparative Politics
- College of Political Philosophy and Theory
- Political Economics Research Group
- Unity of Sed Research Group
- College of Public Administration
- Anzib Chenn Institute of Interstellar relations
- Kazardin Institute of Law
- College of Economics
- William Long School of Macroeconomics
- Ansell School of Microeconomics
- Department of Interstellar Economics
- Hearst-Speil School of Economic Theory and History
- Tal Varisa School of Business
Houses of Residence
- Solomon Grange Hall.
- Cibol Tiranon House.
- Length of the Hill.
A number of Houses of Residence are not associated with any particular Faculty, School or College.
The original buildings of the University of Tal Varisa, located on Tal Varisa itself. Originally they comprised the whole of the University, save for a few small outlying complexes housing specialised groups such as the Experimental Fusion and Practical Antimatter Team. Today the buildings and their surrounding grounds form the picturesque heart of the University. Much of the Old Main consists of an open House where students and staff reside. The Old Main also includes a number of other institutions:
- Museum of Terra
- The Grand Hall, capable of seating over 6000, where graduation ceremonies and state events are held
- The First Pantheon, a multi-faith center of religious study and worship
- Hall of the Performing Arts
- Main offices of the Student Union
- Raika Independent House for Women
- Connaught Independent House for Men
- The Lodge
- The colorful, eclectic buildings of the Artists Quarter.
The University of Tal Varisa includes a number of non-school Institutions.
Tal Varisa University Press
Tal Varisa University Press is the publishing business of the University of Tal Varisa. Its purpose is to further the University's objective of advancing knowledge, education, learning, and research. Its extensive peer-reviewed publishing lists comprise more than 250,000 titles covering academic research, professional development, over 3500 research journals, and a large raft of academic and educational titles. It distributes its products to nearly every world in the Distant Fringe.
Nabile Deep Space Fuel Cache
The Department of Early History funds the Nabile Deep Space Fuel Cache, a Calibration Point located in interstellar hex 1536 of Bourne Sector. The NDSFC provides access to the worlds of the Cauldron Cluster, lying beyond the Abbot Spur in Bourne Sector, where various Faculties and Departments conduct studies and research. The NDSFC project was initiated in 5575AD and was operational by the beginning of 5583AD.
- The Dillard-Purcell Expedition of the late 53rd century. It sought to reach the Cauldron Nebula in Cauldron Sector but encountered the savage and bloodthirsty Lords of the High Realm en route. This alien and unwelcoming realm was a Lost Settlement, descended from vessels originally part of the Last Armada. A few survivors of the expedition staggered back to the Distant Fringe years later with wild tales of millennia-old starships, theocratic overlords and enslaved worlds, fantastic treasures and blood sacrifices to their dark deities.
- The Jannasta Expedition of the mid-55th century. A private expedition under the tyrannical but efficient leadership of Commander Sebastian Jannasta, a former intelligence officer of the Tal Varisan navy who had access to star charts of great antiquity. These indicated that a thriving interstellar society, a Lost Colony descended from ships of the Last Armada, existed to coreward, within the Intersect Cluster. Jannasta was able to raise funding and support for an expedition and set off amid much media attention: it returned to the Distant Fringe more than a decade later, a long enough time for it to have been declared officially lost. It had indeed discovered a large interstellar society, but all that remained were ruins and desolation. Jannasta named the extinct states the Dominion of Ruins and the Bone Worlds. The expedition brought back a wealth of survey data from the systems it explored as well as artifacts from their dead civilisations.
- The Jannasta Survey Data is today considered unreliable. While much of its physical astrography remains sound (it was later verified by the Deep Sky Program), his analysis of the region's surviving technology and infrastructure is extremely doubtful.
A huge number of extra-curricular activities are available within the University. These are divided into Clubs (generally involving sporting, physical or social activities) and Societies (generally involving intellectual or cultural activities). There are known to be secret societies, open only to the privileged or exceptionally talented.
There is an active Student Union within the University. It is involved in all aspects of University life and organises and promotes a wide range of social events.
The University maintains extensive NOTC and ROTC programs. These are run in conjunction with the Navy and the Armed Forces of both the Firstworlds and other allied polities, most significantly the High Senate. Graduates automatically receive a commission as an officer in the appropriate service.
The University of Tal Varisa is known to have a radical, active Mantlerist movement.
The university has rich and varied traditions.
Worlds & Sectors
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- Author & Contributor: Lord (Marquis) and Master Scout Emeritus Adie Alegoric Stewart of the IISS
- Author & Contributor: Lord (Marquis) and Master of Sophontology Maksim-Smelchak of the Ministry of Science