CHARLOTTESVILLE, OCT. 6 -- Former state secretary of education John Casteen III was inaugurated today as the University of Virginia's seventh president, and Gov. L. Douglas Wilder urged him to ensure that students and taxpayers "get what they have paid for."

Wilder, speaking before an estimated crowd of 6,500, said Virginia's $1.4 billion budget shortfall would create some tough choices in the years ahead, and he urged Casteen to set priorities.

"Across the board -- at every level of education, in every area of policy -- the hour has arrived to set priorities, to insist upon efficiency and to guarantee that students and taxpayers alike get what they have paid for," Wilder said.

Casteen, who was secretary of education under Gov. Charles S. Robb, praised the administration's commitment to excellence in education and to diminish "the central controls that might stifle education creativity."

"For our time and beyond, the goal must be to be one of that small number of universities that define our national character, that graduate the women and men who shape our national future, that exemplify the best of our hopes as a people," Casteen said.

Casteen, who began his duties on Aug. 1 after a five-year stint as president of the University of Connecticut, had been dean of admissions at U-Va.

He replaces Robert O'Neil, who resigned to become the first director of the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression, which is scheduled to open this year in Charlottesville.