Sullivan stepping down as UVA President

According to a Sunday email from UVA Rector Helen Dragas, University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan is stepping down August 15, citing a “philosophical difference of opinion” with the Board of Visitors. Sullivan replaced President John Casteen, who served as president for 20 years, back in August 2010.

During a press conference at UVA today, broadcast live on WCHV, Dragas rebuffed questions about "what on earth" had changed about the BOV's relationship with Sullivan in just two years, and what the specifics of the philosophical conflict with her were. As for the timing of the decision, Dragas said it had been "evolving over time," before refusing to answer additional questions because she said she had to rush off to a meeting.


Stay tuned for updates. Here's the letter from Ms. Dragas:

June 10, 2012

On behalf of the Board of Visitors, we are writing to tell you that the Board and President Teresa Sullivan today mutually agreed that she will step down as president of the University of Virginia effective August 15, 2012. 

We express our deep appreciation to President Sullivan for her effective stewardship of the University. She is a much respected educator, as well as a visible presence in the University community and a prominent voice in higher education.

President Sullivan commented on the great honor to serve as President of the University of Virginia.  She said, “Although the board and I have a philosophical difference of opinion, I will always treasure having had the opportunity to work with so many gifted faculty and staff, talented students, and loyal alumni. I am also grateful for the privilege to have worked with our extraordinary vice presidents and deans.”

For the past year, the Board has had ongoing discussions about the importance of developing, articulating and acting on a clear and concrete strategic vision.  The Board believes that in the rapidly changing and highly pressurized external environment in both health care and in academia, the University needs to remain at the forefront of change.

We remain guided by Mr. Jefferson’s inspirational vision:

“The great object of our aim from the beginning has been to make this Establishment the most eminent in the United States.” 

In service to that vision, the Board is committed to preserving the legacy with which we have been entrusted.  At the core of that legacy is the quality and care of our faculty and staff. We have made a clear choice to act in the best interest of all concerned.  

We assure you that the Board of Visitors will move expeditiously to name an interim president and to begin a search for a new leader.  We hope you will assist us as we move through this time of change and strive for a smooth and productive transition.

On behalf of the Board of Visitors,

Helen E. Dragas, Rector
Mark Kington, Vice Rector


–––>At 7:42am Wednesday, June 13, we uploaded a new story on the issue and turned off the commenting function here.

This story is a part of the The ousting of a president special.


Can't wait to see what white man they hire now!

Dear Board of Visitors - as a parent of a current female engineering student, Dr. Sullivan was regarded as a passionate and engaging leader. You've made a mistake and you have til August to fix it! You had better reach out to your future donors.

Follow the money. My condolences to all the faculty and staff who value academic interests first. One more example of the control that money has over our lIves.

Reactionary, Mom? Maybe we should see the reasoning?

My hope is that wealthy UVa donors will make their voices heard and stop this . Only they can make a difference. Sometimes being #1 is more than meets the corporate eye.

We have yet to learn the full story behind this, but it is deeply disappointing to learn that UVA is determined to remain a middling institution. "On the forefront of change?" What a joke, UVA -- you are nowhere near that mark. The UVA faculty remain stellar (at least those who stay -- there are five Nobel laureates at other institutions who were driven out, and received the Nobel prize for work done at UVA. UC Berkeley -- 9 Nobel laureates; UVA -- 0), but its administration is mired in frat-boy, boy-tie, old-school, left-over-from-Easters mud and can't seem to get out. Please note that over the past five years, nearly every woman at UVA who has held a position of power has been canned. UVA prefers to maintain a hostile environment to women. I will NOT be sending my daughter there.

UVa failed to reach there overreaching ( in the face of ongoing economic uncertainty ) fundraising goal. And Sullivan is now being blamed.

Big egos small minds -UVa may be rich in dollars but poor in spirit.

" Oversized Check From Reality
January 5, 2012 - 3:00am
Kevin Kiley

In the last eight years, the University of Virginia raised about $2.6 billion in private giving.

Given the state of the economy, the volatility of the stock market, and the low rates of giving during the past few years, most institutions would trumpet that kind of giving as an outstanding achievement.

But for Virginia, the total is still $400 million short of the $3 billion goal the university said it would hit by Dec. 31 when it established the campaign in 2004. While administrators have extended the campaign until they reach $3 billion, the “Campaign for the University of Virginia” is one of the most high-profile fund-raising drives to fail to make its deadline in recent years.

Read more:
Inside Higher Ed

Cav daily is reporting that she was too conservative and that the changes needed to stay competitive were not happening fast enough-- she was too stay quo

My D is a student there, loves it, and told me this morning that most everyone there on campus is not a fan of the President. Her idea is to turn UVA into another sprawling Michigan or Wisconsin, which is not what Jefferson really had in mind.

And by the way Alumna, you won't be sending your D to UVA? Narrow minded and BTW, thought it was you D's choice, not yours. Another helicopter parent imposing their views.....

Im sure they felt it was absolutely necessary, otherwise not worth the headache of dealing with all the folks who will be in an uproar because they fired a woman

And if you read the article from Inside Higher Ed it is clear that UVa intended to roll out yet another over the top fundraising campaign and my guess is Sullivan said no - someone needed to blow the whistle on this out of touch - it's all about money university . Thank you Dr. Sullivan I respect your values and your decision not to go along with those who have dollar signs for eyes.

We should have seen this coming when Sweeney was moved to the lawn.

" He also said the effort has left the university in a good place for its next campaign, which will likely be more ambitious than the current goal and tied to the university’s bicentennial in 2019. He said the institution has created a cadre of significant donors in their 40s and 50s who will likely be in position to give more next time around, as well as a significant volunteer structure.

Sweeney said the university is in talks about several potential gifts of at least $100 million. He said an optimistic scenario would be meeting the goal by June 30.

Read more:
Inside Higher Ed

Who wants to see UVa become a sprawling megaversity - here's my guess. From Forbes profile:

Helen Dragas
Age 50

Ms. Dragas has served as president and chief executive officer of The Dragas Companies, a diversified real estate concern, since 1996. She is rector of the University of Virginia Board of Visitors. Ms. Dragas served on the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia, Commonwealth Transportation Board and Governor’s Economic Development and Jobs Creation Commission. She received both her undergraduate degrees and an MBA from the University of Virginia. Ms. Dragas serves on the Audit Committee.

need I say more .... ( guess she came out on top )

"The Power Issue by Inside Business "
Posted on May 9, 2011 by Dragas Team
Congratulations to our own Helen Dragas, who made Inside Business’ “Power List”. Helen was recognized as being one of the 75 most powerful people in Hampton Roads. Click here to read the entire article:

Would the comnenter above list some of the women who have been run out of UVA over the past five years?

NancyDrew - your name would suggest you have exemplary investigative skills, but you seem out of your element in this discussion. Here's a newsflash - EVERY university in America is either currently in a campaign, just finishing a campaign, or about to start their next one. If you have an issue with that, you have an issue with the dynamics of higher education in the US today, not specifically fundraising at the University of Va. Campaigns are a constant in today's environment - not the occasional event you might seem to think they should be. Those dollars keep the university going and they are a fact of modern life at any institution that plans to continue operation, like it or not.

Is there any doubt in anyone's mind that the next president has already been (secretly) named? It's Edward L. Ayers, currently (on sabbatical as) president of the University of Richmond. Doh.

@Welcome, certainly fundraising is a part of every universities mission, but when it becomes the main focus, and the president's views of how this needs to be handled are not respected, because the board is weighed to corporate and not academic interests, then there is a problem. This is what I have heard is the case at UVa. I had hoped the appointment of Dr. Sullivan had signaled a change.

Look at the board , look at which governor appointed them, look at the agenda Governor McDonnell has for UVa. As I said in my first post - follow the money.

Not since Shannon and O'Neil has intellectual prowess or academic values been a priority for the Board of the University . The drive to make UVa a sprawling state university is coming, truth be told, from the Governor and all the moneyed interests he represents. The board members he picks are his pawns ( " to meet the goals he has outlined ") and do his bidding or they are out.

" The new members will replace several who stepped down after serving two terms, as well as Austin Ligon, who was not reappointed by the governor."

"McDonnell wants the new members to work with UVa to meet the goals he has outlined in his recent higher-education push, including greater access and affordability for higher education and 100,000 more degrees in the state through the next 15 years, according to Taylor Thornley, McDonnell’s deputy director of communications."

Welcome back, Ed Ayers!

@Welcome, Did you read the Inside HigherEd article ? It clearly outlines why the ambitious narcissism of UVa was a mistake.

" unlike other institutions that had some room at the outset, administrators said the the ambition inherent in Virginia's goal -- $3 billion was more than double the university’s previous campaign, and on a level more typical of an Ivy League institution than a public flagship – meant that everything needed to go right for the university to hit the number. “Consultants said that something in the $2 billion-plus range would have been a much safer approach,” said Robert D. Sweeney, senior vice president for development and public affairs at Virginia. “But our aspirations were greater than that.”

Read more:
Inside Higher Ed

It would appear that NancyDrew has a serious axe to grind regarding our Governor (and perhaps Republicans in general). My guess: She voted for Creigh Deeds.

@realist , if I have an axe to grind it is that those with money have a disproportionate amount of power in our country.

Oh Nancy, take the Occupy junk elsewhere please.

All university fund-raising is not driven by the same motives nor guided by the same pilots.

As a state correspondent covering U.Va. for The Richmond News Leader in the 1980s, I watched and reported on a major transformation at U.Va. The University's first capital campaigns, launched in those years, were driven by a desire to make the school independent of state policies governing all of the Commonwealth's public colleges. The reasoning was: If we have our own money, the state has no say in what we do with it. Plus, we will no longer be subject to the political whims of public education funding. And the first couple of campaigns succeeded wildly.

But as often happens in such situations, aggressively raising money -- and also managing for maximum profit the funds that aggressively raising money yielded -- became an end unto itself. And that raising and managing generated a lot of very well paying jobs and created a whole new, highly influential layer of U.Va. administration.

Under that influence, U.Va. brought Robert O'Neil in from Wisconsin for his short, deeply underwhelming presidency. Having learned nothing from the failure of an apparently dyspeptic outsider, they brought in Teresa O'Neil, an apparently ebullient outsider, a couple of years ago.

John Casteen served between the two. An interesting Washington Post article from the 1990s made the case that he was headed for an early end to his tenure as U.Va. president because he wanted to follow scholar/president Edgar Shannon's example and continue to teach while also working the world-wide room for donations. According to the story, Casteen was given an ultimatum: Either drop the class and hit the road or step down. So he hit the road with distressing personal repercussions..

All of which is to say that given the diversion of educational and economic missions that began back in the '80s, U.Va. has been headed for a "philosophical" crack up for quite a while. And the clear mishandling of recent internal issues ranging from individual bullying at Virginia Quarterly Review to institutional bullying at WTJU only made things worse.

As for Ed Ayres being next in line: He had the chance, of course, to beat out Sullivan in the last cycle. But he was too smart to try and I would hope that for his sake he would stay as smart this time around. He's doing a great job of being president of a relatively small, but relatively affluent private university that appreciates him and leaves him every sort of room to be the eclectic, independent scholar and public personality he's successfully become. The U.Va. of today doesn't deserve him and would severely cramp his style.

...and why is anyone surprised? Uva is a 21 century plantation that operates on the "good 'ol boys" network system. The university is a wanna be Ivy League quasi- government capitalist business...that hates diversity...especially AA's and women in leadership positions!
UVa outs anyone who get in their way and/or questions or refuses to support their agendas and their own economics $$$.

Well, well, well..

It seems as if Dr. Sullivan had a conscience after all. Her last gasp was to try and throw UVA's abortion/medical misinformation regime back at Patricia Lampkin - one of the few Casteen cronies to keep doing the dirty work.

Stay tuned. =o)

Nancy, I'm curious. If you are so knowledgeable about the situation, why are you spending your Sunday afternoon posting on the Hook.

They will try to get Yres in as soon as they can. They know that the BOV is changing hands slow but sure, so the what's left of the Casteen crew are doing everything they can to install one of their own before they are outnumbered by McDonnell appointees.

Congratulations to Dr. Sullivan for having a conscience, and at least trying to do what she could with the bloody mess she inherited.

UVA has lost its way -- if something doesn't change, it will end up morally bankrupt like its founder.

EJ -- if you look at the list from the UVA Commission on the Future of the University and google the women listed, you will find that most have been replaced. Often by men. There turn out to be many more than the four I know of personally.

In the 2010 salary listings for UVA (latest available) only TWO women make the top 25.

And how are women doing in UVA Leadership Positions?
Dean of Students – male
Dean, College – female
Dean, Medical School – male
Dean, Darden School – male
Dean, Law School – male
Dean, McIntire School of Commerce – male
Dean, School of Engineering – male
Dean, Curry School – male
School of Nursing – female
UVA Alumni Association – male
CEO, Hospital – male
Provost – male
COO – male
CFO – male
Development and Public Affairs – male
Investment Management – male
Human Resources – female
Admissions – male
Athletics – male

"In service to that vision, the Board is committed to preserving the legacy with which we have been entrusted. At the core of that legacy is the quality and care of our faculty and staff. We have made a clear choice to act in the best interest of all concerned."

Although we haven't told you what threat there may have been to that legacy or to the best interests of all concerned, therefore we have given you no data from which you can draw your own conclusions to decide whether you agree with us or not, we HAVE taken the trouble to write this letter full of flowery glittering generalities about Thomas Jefferson and eminence, so the least you could do is believe every word we tell you when we say that UVA did nothing wrong and that this was the best thing to do. If there was a bad guy, it wasn't UVA. As our letter clearly implies, Sullivan was a threat to the "quality and care of our faculty", so now that she is gone, expect there to very shortly be more, even better qualified professors at UVA and for our professors, in general, to soon be earning more than they currently are. We wouldn't simply write a meaningless letter committing ourselves to some implied change that we had absolutely no intentions to follow through on. Keep your eye on UVA this upcoming year...if you don't see better professors and better pay for all of them, then you say we were lying in this letter...unless you've simply completely forgotten about this letter by then...which would be very unfortunate.

Dr. Christine Peterson 1, Dr. Teresa Sullivan 0.

Just the beginning..

Ms Dargas quotes Jefferson saying :
"We remain guided by Mr. Jefferson’s inspirational vision:

“The great object of our aim from the beginning has been to make this Establishment the most eminent in the United States.”

I wonder if in her walks about UVa she has ever read the quote that grace Jefferson's statue on the lawn ?


I am not sure Jefferson would be so approving of this latest Board action. My husband and I have many UVa friends and colleagues and we have heard nothing but enthusiasm for Dr. Sullivan's presidency. I fear many will be greatly disappointed once they learn of this.

Antoinette W. Roades: first-rate comment. Thank you.

@Waiten Cee, I'm posting what I believe to be the truth and I care about the truth being known. I don't claim to know the truth, but looking at the background of those who made this decision will be one way to find out. I also appreciate others speaking out who are knowledgeable about the back story.

I, like many others are upset that a president who many considered just what UVa needed has been forced out by developers, lawyers, and big donors to UVa ( who make up the board ). And Ms. Dargas says this has been in the works for awhile so look at the timing - the students have left town.

The Old Guard on the BOV is watching as their numbers dwindle, and it turns out that Dr. Sullivan has a conscience after all. Looks like they finally realized that they had hired a practicing Catholic to run an abortion/medical misinformation infrastructure. And she was doing a pretty thorough job of replacing the Casteen/Sandridge goons with people who were not interested in towing the line of keeping UVA a partisan, liberal party school with a private militia in the UVA Police to keep bad publicity a secret. They made their move while they still have a majority on the BOV for the moment, figuring they have to get old school Ayers into her office before they all become dinosaurs.

The BOV says it acted on behalf of “the quality and care of our faculty and staff.” I think that faculty and staff wear white robes and work in the hospital. Face it, folks - the people who currently run the state don't have a problem with expansion, fund raising, alumni (many of them are), the VQR scandal, or building projects. But obviously they DO have a BIG problem with a publicly funded state university beheading infants, lying to their own students about "little" things like preterm birth and cancer, and not being able to produce a record of their abortion funding stream the last 20 years either.

It may not matter to any of you, but it most decidedly matters to the Attorney General, the Governor, the General Assembly, and - indeed - to a rather devout Catholic woman who inherited this mess and then was repeatedly told she had to tow the Old Guard's line.

From the Cav Daily..

Dragas cited a 'philosophical difference' between Sullivan and the Board about the 'vision of the future of the University,' mentioning quickly changing environments in the fields of academia and health care."


Sean Cannan...notice that your abortion tangents still aren't catching on. That's not what this article is about. Counterfactual "scientific information" about abortion has an echochamber somewhere else.. Bye bye

It's money, Sean.

Ed Ayers will never return to UVa. He is a terrific man with a clear eye on what is good for everyone, and had a deep and very quiet conflict with some deep power bases at UVa. My interpretation is that he was forced out and will never be asked back, despite all the overt good intentions toward him about which one hears. Go ahead, UVa--prove me wrong! I'll be the first to cheer about the news.

I have never read such twaddle, particularly from the distaff side. Please withold the scathing critcism until the facts are known.

@ Nancy Drew and Ms. Roades: You are SO on target. Congratulations for your thoughtful comments. There's already word on the street out of state: UVa will pay dearly for this >>>> alumni with megabucks have already decided that $$$$ that was headed this way will go elsewhere. AND, don't anyone underestimate the underhanded maneuvering by the government in Richmond in this debacle.

Let's see... President Sullivan is blamed by some for a fundraising shortfall (during a recession) for a Campaign that was initiated well before that economic collapse by another Administration. In reality, her progressive thinking matches up with everyone except a Board loaded with inept leadership and spineless followers. The Board is mediocre not the University.

Yet, in response to the universal financial problems the entire planet is facing, President Sullivan directed the U to streamline to create financial efficiencies; proposed a new budget model that will result in increased funding for the Academy through incentives based teaching, research and service; actively and personally pursued unprecedented outreach efforts locally, nationally and abroad with students, employees, alumni, friends, neighbors and politicians. All of this happened in just her first and only 22 months! Madame President hasn't been still long enough since arriving on Grounds summer before last for anyone to accuse her of anything other than establishing priorities and initiatives to solve problems she inherited and for being selfless to the point of caring for our beloved UVa more than the BOV corporate pirates and political minions.

Shame on the BOV for bringing such dishonor to themselves and our once esteemed institution. This has harmed UVa globally for many years to come. Two years and out? T.J. would have kept TS and tossed the Board. Maybe our Governor will consider the same with public pressure. With such a contentious climate in the boardroom, what reputable and proven presidential candidate of sane mind would step into that rattlesnake den?

As mentioned, U.Va. presidents have been expected to be primarily fundraisers since the early 1990s. I saw that Sullivan taught some sort of fluffy sociology class about managing work life or some such. That probably didn't go over well with the Board.

Sean Cannan is still delusional and solipsistic. Yes, Sean, all existence is about you and abortion.

Yes, Ed Ayers is the obvious candidate, if not choice. I can't imagine that the Board would look fondly on his doing the "History Guys" shows and whatnot.

@Shame, the majority of the board are appointees of Governor McDonnell.
I am not taking political sides but isn't it common sense to believe the Governor was a major contributor to forcing her out ?

As one can read at the Cavalier Daily. He had a prepared statement immediately after her departure was announced by Ms Dargas, the Rector.

SO ................ what were the health care disagreements, if not the very obvious ones? Because Charlottesville media doesn't cover something, a lot of you seem to think that makes it vanish.

I've talked to three of my eight colleagues this afternoon, and gotten a number of messages also. To be perfectly honest, this will take a few days to sus out. But we have a pretty good idea already. The nine of us running the Human Rights and Scientific Honesty Initiative at UVA will be issuing a press release sometime late this week or early next. But if you are so sure that Dr. was so enamored of UVA abortion/misinformation program - then tell us all what the health care issues WERE instead.

The math here is real simple folks. We speak to state legislators all the time. One of my colleagues was Delegate Kathy Byron's Legislative Assistant until just recently. Yes, I've got some info - but it not confirmed as of yet. Stay tuned, and check our facebook group wall is the best I can tell you right now. Do you local folks REALLY kid yourself into thinking that McDonnell, Cuccinelli, Byron, Puckett, Colgan, and Marshall had/have NO interest in this Initiative? LOL. Another of my colleagues - a UVA alum - is a field director for the democratic party. Talked to her an hour ago.

Is "health care" the whole story? Who knows at this point? But remember to DO THE MATH. Ms. Dragas herself has TWENTY DAYS left on the BOV, and THREE more of the Old Guard's terms expire on July 1 also - which just so happens to be the same that that Kathy Byron's Ultrasound Informed Consent law comes into effect. Well, guess who it is that will be replacing them (or re-appointing them)? Same guy who will also be replacing/reappointing four more next summer - which means he, THE GOVERNOR, will have put 12 of the 18 board members there at the table. That's how it works.

You folks beginning to smell the coffee yet?
No? OK by me. Not affecting anything anyway.

Sean, it may surprise you that U.Va. Health System does anything but abortions, but it is a billion dollar operation -

Growth at U.Va. has been fueled by the health system side for decades.

@NancyDrew: Understood about not taking political sides...I offered my closing comment only to connect the appointment process in alignment with the self-preservationist attitudes of most politicians.....enough protests in Richmond and publicly may help focus the target when it comes to the truth being "daylighted" in the weeks to come. The Governor has the ability/authority...only question is does he have the backbone to deliver a "surgical strike" as a one term Governor with future political aspirations? Toward your point of his prepared release, I assume in a normal reporting line as an appointee, Dragas at least gave him a CYA in advance but underestimated the overwhelming support of President Sullivan after this action. The action has been taken today....addressing the root cause is what can save the institutional integrity. This is only beginning.

I saw that the spirit and philosophy of The University were obviously undermined when it began harassing the student-run Pep Band and installed a state-U style marching band. While it sounds simplistic and as if I am joking, I have had no respect for The University since they allowed the athletic department to destroy the Pep Band. I now only give a small sum each year to support the library. The majority of my charitable contributions now go to other entities who uphold their heritage and maintain their mission. It really doesn't matter who they have as president--they lost track of what they should have been doing a long time ago.


Can you possibly think that UVA has a financial interest in performing abortions? The reimbursement that the hospital receives for most abortions is miniscule compared to that associated with, say, coronary artery bypass grafting, joint replacements, LIVE BIRTHS... the list goes on.

Try reading something other than the Bible and your own silly screeds sometime. Try USING YOUR BRAIN (I know it'll be hard, but I have faith in you).

List her accomplishments.

Did UVa run just fine for the past two years?

Why does UVa need a President?

Bet the separation package is pretty good.............

Flats, one of UVA's own deans threatened her own students (plural) by warning them that they had better resign from our managing board if they wanted to stay in UVA medical school. They and the rest of the UVA health system are indeed involved in saving many lives every day. I have many friends and colleagues also on the inside. I know much more about it than you I am guessing.. But the bottom line here is that they have deliberately killed almost 3,000 infants inside a state funded university hospital - and they can't seem to come up with any documentation proving that they did NOT use taxpayer, tuition, and student health funds to perform those killings. THAT is where they are really screwed here. As in, wonton violations of state and federal law for over twenty years. I have reason to believe that Dr. Sullivan did not appreciate inheriting this mess, and was willing to place it upon the laps of those responsible. But, again, this has ot been confirmed and I can only call it an educated guess at this point.

Nancy, the old guard on the UVA BOV is still in control. McDonnell has only placed 4 members thereon. There are 18 members if you include the annually appointed student. But 4 more terms are up in three weeks, and four more next July. Clearly, the Casteen/Sandridge goons had to make whatever move they could as soon as possible. As in, before July 1. Ayers is one of them, and they need to get him or another old guard candidate in Madison Hall before they become a minority on the BOV.

Thus, the suddenness of all of this - as well as smoke and mirrors.

Alumna- and your point is?

Sean - health care issues = money . She wasn't raising money fast enough .
What makes you think Dargas won't be reappointed ?

@sean are you sure about your BOV information.
Waldo posted this at his website

Waldo Jaquith
7 hrs, 52 mins ago
According to the BOV tenure list these are the members who were appointed after Sullivan was hired: Mark Kington, Hunter Craig, Allison Cryor DiNardo, Marvin W. Gilliam Jr., Stephen P. Long, M.D., George Keith Martin, John L. Nau III, Timothy B. Robertson, Hillary A. Hurd (student member w/ a 1-year-term), and Edward D. Miller, M.D. Out of an eighteen-member board, that’s ten members who weren’t on the board just two years ago.

Despite all the negative comments about the BOV, UVA did NOT get where it is today because of Sullivan. The BOV did. And don't you forget this. She was nothing more than a left-wing liberal feminist who wanted to turn UVA over completely to females - run by white ones and populated by black ones. Down on the farm. My mercy.

@ Sean your link just proves Waldo's point . McDonnell placed 4 members on the board in 2010 and 6 members in 2011 = 10 members out of 18 that are McDonnell appointees. He already controls the board from my calculations

Sean- Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

@ Charles, then why were her two top appointees men, Simon and Strine ?
And they came with stellar credentials will they be leaving as well ?
Many people will wake tomorrow in shock and we will see if UVa raises the remaining money to reach 3 billion and then announces an even larger fundraising goal, or if some wealthy donors will finally have had enough of over the top parties to make them feel important.

Where lies the soul of UVa ?

@Charles: I was of a mind to ignore you because people like you should be ignored but I've decided to just say one thing to you for the record: Go hang your head in shame; your comments are disgraceful, misogynistic and racist.
@ Nancy Drew: Keep at it. You are tops.

Indeed, there were four terms that started in 2010, and four more in 2011. So the balance of power is switching hands in three weeks. Nine of 18 BOV members were either appointed or survived since McDonnell won by a landslide.

Makes more sense now why this all happened so quickly. Old guard desperately doing what they can with what very little time they have left.

@ Sean please check your facts in 2011 McDonnell appointed 5 board members and one ex-officio, Dr. Miller.

Never noticed before that Leonard Sandridge served on the board of trustees for the University of Richmond. Welcome back Ed Ayers!

Sean, I don't get your logic about the 'old guard' wanting to change things at the last minute. The 'old guard' put Sullivan in, and they wouldn't have time to replace her with someone they support if that was the plan. All this does is make it possible for a board controlled by relatively recent appointees to pick a replacement.

As for those pointing to Ed Ayers, I don't see it happening. He's got more freedom, and better pay than he's likely to be offered, at UR.

It's going to be an interesting summer. Depending on what other departures are announced (or not) we might get some clue to the nature of the disagreement. Which means we'll get a clue as to the near future of the University, and who on the board currently has power.


Ummmm. I have no idea what you had in mind when you credited Ms. Sullivan with "unprecedented outreach efforts locally." But as someone whose people have been here since the mid 19th century -- indeed, my great grandfather did job printing for U.Va. groups in the 1870s -- and also as someone who's lived literally in the shadow of U.Va. since 1987, I have never felt more like a U.Va. lab rat than in the last couple of years. And try as I may I cannot recall anyone asking me even once what kind of cheese I might want to be rewarded with for running the latest maze..

It is interesting to see so many comments and opinions stated so forcefully and so quickly in regard to this issue. As Thomas Jefferson said, "Follow the truth wherever it might lead and tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it".

If one attends the University and learns anything about wise counsel from its founder, this concept in my view is one that will serve one well throughout life.

Maybe this controversy will help everyone involved or interested in this issue (and others) to pause and think if they are not present to this concept that perhaps it might just be an essential new element in their better understanding of life and their own thoughts in regard to it. Just my humble opinion and certainly not the truth.

Mark, Sullivan fit their prescription for a (anybody but another white male) caretaker/seat warmer for Ayers to hang around for 3-5 years. UVA profs with whom I am friendly have told me this. I had no idea about it - or even who Ayers was until they did. A few things happened since then:

1) McDonnell and Cuccinelli rolled to huge victories. Nobody at UVA saw that coming in 2008/2009. Casteen would still be president of they did.
2) Madame Sullivan also turned out to be a devout Catholic. This is a big no-no among liberally minded, hedonistic academic types.
3) Republicans rolled to big victories in the General Assembly elections also. Pro life comfortably took control of the state senate 22-18.
4) Sullivan was blindsided by the abortion/funding/misinformation mess. Didn't see it coming, and wasn't responsible for putting it in place. Was torn between personal beliefs and trying to get along with her new colleagues. Same could be said of the HB2490 bill. VQR tragedy also.
5) Sullivan replaced a number of high ranking people due to retirements and people going elsewhere. She did much to put her own stamp with her own preferred people on UVA in very short time.
6) She didn't exactly make friends and promote the Athletics Department. Not her thing. This effects fund raising in a negative way. VAF has power, make no mistake.
7) Perhaps most importantly, the old guard realized that their last chance to do something to preserve things was now - before July 1.

Just my 2 cents. I certainly can't think of any other health care related issue that would have had the BOV firing their own president to protect their own faculty and staff from her. Nobody else here can seem to even come up with a relevant alternate theory either.

Mayberry, that is exactly what me and my colleagues did. And UVA has had an abundance of time to reform itself. Instead, they took down their entire student health web presence, farmed it out to third (paid) parties to try and defer legal vulnerabilities, and made a few changes behind the scenes such as forbidding the Teen Center to hand out Morning After Pills to children for free like candy.

We employed Mr. Jefferson's quote in our graphic and document when myself and Ms. Hazzard delivered to Madison House on 2/15/01:


Sean, what is a "wonton violation"? Is that like an undercooked dumpling?

Sean, also "some friends of mine said this to me" has never made anything true. Someone pontificates something and it becomes true because you quote it? I don't think so. Next, you pull some abortion-centered theory squarely out of your bum and think THAT theory is gaining steam because no one else reached into THEIR bums and invented any alternative healthcare-related theory? Again, no dice. Finally, "hedonistic academic types"?! Really?! Are you one of those right-wingers who calls everyone with an education an elitist?

Maybe Ms Sullivan thought that UVa should actaully do the responsible thing and get rid of the exesses so that they would need to raise so much GD money.

"Finally, "hedonistic academic types"?! Really?!"

I have a marvellous proof that will demonstrate that Sean is right on the mark here, but unfortunately this comment box is too small to contain it.

Also, my graduate students have almost finished peeling my grapes, and after that we're going skinny-dipping.

Plus, Sean still hasn't told me where I can sign up for his newsletter.

Ms. Roades,

Considering your evidently negative personal perspectives and experiences "living in the shadow of UVa since 1987," as one living here even longer than that, I think it would be of great value to use your journalistic skills expressed in your previous posting to dig deeper and bring any injustices out of the shadows and into the light for all to see. Since you've not been asked for input, have you considered providing it anyway? Whether it's 2 years or 25 years, any time is a long time to tolerate living in the dark if you know the cause. Activism, not entitlements!

Sean - re #6 above, anybody that knows ANYTHING about Pres. Sullivan knows that characterizing athletics as "not her thing" couldn't be farther from the truth. Way to stereotype...and best I can tell, just make stuff up out of thin air for your own entertainment.

By and large, my UVA prof drinking buddies tend to be of the elderly, straight talking, one liner variety. We don't agree on much, and indeed they would never be pictured with me. But they know what is going on from their chats in all those stuffy lawn cocktail parties and such. They never led me astray before (that is, more astray than I already am..)

Which reminds me, UVA lost a lot when Donald Shaw's plane left Dulles the day after graduation. I'm really going to miss that guy.

"Sean, please understand that my flat is a bachelor academic's disaster area. Books are piled everywhere, the kitchen is a mess, and I only bought one curtain for the window by my bed. When I have money to spend, I spend it on booze - not home furnishings."


I seem to recall that Ms. Roades also had some rather pointed statements to make regarding Mr. Casteen in another thread about a year ago. She does indeed seem to know much more than I about the internal dramas that are inside UVA.

Perhaps she could be a bit more forthcoming now that this news has us all wondering just what exactly is going on. All I'm getting in my phone and on facebook is a lot of unsubstantiated stuff. This might take a week or two. Naturally, I'm really hoping Dr. Sullivan takes some parting shots and names names.

Connect the dots! It is so easy. She looked at the facts asked for change, then it was c-ya. We do it our way, damn the students, is the UVA way. At least she tried!

It appears that Nancy Drew is on to something in suggesting that the UVa Board, and more precisely, Bob McDonnell’s appointees to that Board, have much to do with Teresa Sullivan’s imminent departure from the University.

As The Washington Post reports, “(Sullivan arrived at U-Va. in the summer of 2010 with one of the most illustrious résumés in public higher education. She spent four years as provost at the University of Michigan, an elite state flagship in the same academic tier as Virginia. She had worked previously as executive vice chancellor of the University of Texas system... Sullivan is widely popular among university faculty and students”

Moreover, while at UVa, and very much unlike other university presidents (or local school superintendents, for that matter), Sullivan “kept up with her scholarly research, which won her respect with U-Va. faculty. In January, Sullivan taught a two-week sociology class in her conference room, blocking out time in her schedule for office hours and providing students her direct e-mail address.” It would appear hat Sullivan emulated the Jeffersonian ideal of an academic scholar. Indeed, UVa’s own website touts Jefferson’s idea that “learning was an integral part of life. The ‘academical village’ is based on the assumption that the life of the mind is a pursuit for all participants in the University, that learning is a lifelong and shared process, and that interaction between scholars and students enlivens the pursuit of knowledge.”

What may well have gotten Sullivan in deep water with the Board, and with McDonnell’s appointess on it, is that she “wasn’t afraid to confront controversy. The day after Graham Spanier was ousted as Pennsylania State University’s president because of the handling of allegations of child sex abuse by a former assistant football coach, Sullivan spoke at a U-Va. board meeting. An outspoken advocate of transparency, she said universities need to foster a culture in which it is okay to question authority and to flag wrongdoing.”

I’d guess that the majority of the UVa Board has a very deep affection for Group Think, the term that psychologist Irving Janis used to describe “irrational and dehumanizing” behavior caused by a lack of “independent critical thinking.” Sullivan said early on that “if I am to lead effectively, and I must set a tone that says bad news can rise to the top of this organization without any messenger being shot for bearing it.”

That so-called “philosophical difference of opinion” cited by Sullivan and the Board was the sound of the messenger being shot.

The academic model v. the business model. In this as in everything
else the latter is winning despite its monumental failures
to perform well. Of course that doesn't stop its adherents from
claiming it's a superior "existential" (Dragas' word) strategy.
Maybe one class in the humanities would have helped

There isn't enough information to know what happened. The President IS well liked, but what about her COO and the Provost? Are they with her or against her? She personally wrote the response on the VQR - which clearly covered up wrongdoing not only with Genoways, but across the organization, then has never made sure the University is doing more than lipservice to the commitments she made. Faculty retirements are not her doing - but what about administraiton retirements? The Board is certainly impatient - they gave Casteen quite a long leash, why such a choke collar for Sullivan? And why a vote of a quorum of the Executive Committee - a mere three people? One would imagine such an important decision would merit a full board vote.

Reading between the lines, the outgoing madam president either could not or would not fuflill fundraising expectations set by the BoV. Her predecessor had the personality of a wet dishrag, but paradoxically, he was a skilled rainmaker. Money fell consistently and abundantly on UVA during his reign, um, tenure.

And money is what it's all about. Basektball coaches get fired and have their contracts bought out if just one wealthy alumnus picks up the phone to the athletic department and demands a change. He writes a check to buy out the contract and -- poof! -- the coach is gone.

People pulling the strings behind UVA wield ungodly power and influence over the school. You can scarcely imagine the extent of it.

The graduate business school at UVA booted the last president of the private foundation that runs the school -- primarily for his failure to meet goals for their fundraising campaign, but also for a grating & toxic management style.

Academics is just the mission facade at UVA. The covert mission is to fill stadiums full of money to purchase winning athletic programs and plump up the salaries of faculty fossils who no longer perform meaningful work, but whose past laurels (on which they now rest) still give UVA some sort of cachet.

Jefferson would have these clowns horsewhipped and run out of town.

Money and power: that's all it is.

It is contemptible, frustrating and sad, but not in the least surprising.

@friend2 " why a vote of a quorum of the Executive Committee - a mere three people? " My guess is, this was not a unanimous decision. My hope is, that journalists will expeditiously FOIA for Board minutes and give us the rest of the story.

President Sullivan advocated transparency in her tenure and this was anything but that.

I congratulate Mr. Vroom for speaking out and hope that others will do the same.

Johnny Vroom, 21, U-Va.’s student body president, said he learned of her impending departure as all students did — via a mass e-mail Sunday morning.

He criticized the board for making decisions “behind closed doors” and not fully explaining what happened. “We all had a very positive outlook on President Sullivan,” Vroom said. “That’s why it was such a shock.”

It will be interesting to see how this plays out, but I think Nancy and Antoinette are onto the truth: it's about money.

UVa is indeed, as Dragas says, in real crisis, and will start to see an even bigger exodus of first-tier quality faculty and staff. I think Sullivan's moves since she got here have also demonstrated that she recognized this is the number one issue. I think they agreed on the problem and disagreed completely on how to handle it. And yes, I think that disagreement falls along political fault lines. While this conflict between Dragas and the other McDonnell appointees on the one side and Sullivan (and the Warner/Kaine appointees ) on the other side may have been brewing for some time, the McDonnell people only got full control last year.

Moreover, the traditional profit-centers: Law, Business and Commerce schools are no longer able to subsidize the rest of the University - largely because the "market" blew up and is in terrible shape - anything building and real-estate based (look at what 'market sector' most of our 'business' people in the admin and on the Board are from). The medical center is profitable, but I don't believe it subsidizes the rest of the University.

I believe the McDonnell people - like so many on the right - have a fantasy notion of reality: how much money - how much of the budget gap - can really be addressed using the old revenue sources: endowment and fundraising. The reality is that the donations are lower because the donors are poorer in the recession, and the endowment itself is poorer because like the donors that seeded it, it's not earning so much in the "market". The McDonnell people - rather glaringly: Dragas and Craig (developers) - don't like to acknowledge the failure of the 'free market donation' funding system and the recognition that it will take tax dollars committed by the state to higher education (and not just at UVa) to fix this budget gap. And given the economy and the state budget, that will require raising taxes. That's not just to fix higher-ed, that's to fix VDOT and everything else. They want the benefits of an expansive state institution (increased UVa enrollments) without having to pay for it.

The "right" is determined that there is some way to do this other than raising taxes and providing state support - or allowing, as Sullivan (and better protected and ensconced W&M President Taylor Reveley) pressed hard for - tuition increases (the real free-market solution - let the market determine how much people are willing to pay for a UVa degree) - because they know full well the public will be furious. The cost of a UVa degree would very likely quickly get out of reach of most middle-class Virginians, and access would be limited, scholarships and Access-UVa programs notwithstanding.

I had a suite-mate (long live Webb!) my first year who, after we got assessed the $5 fridge-fee, branded UVa "Nickel-and-Dime U" and he was right; sadly, nothing has changed. But, we've reached the end of the road with 'tweaks' - there has to be a new revenue stream. And Dragas and Co, seem to believe the answer is in asset-stripping (the right-wing economic playbook, for the past thirty years), in this case the academic reputation of the University.

They'd like to tap into the lucrative degree-mill "online education" "market". They'd like to offer to sell a bit of the UVa pedigree/shine in exchange for a few on-line computer tests and a bunch of credit card transactions, and use that to make up the gap. And by the time - five to twenties years along - when the flood of UVa diplomas devalues the brand - they'll be long gone and will try to blame whoever the current occupant is.

I think Sullivan tried, on principle (and not having staked her entire career and life on UVa and Charlottesville, had that luxury), to speak truth to power: that the frantic efforts to deny reality and close the gap with extraordinary fundraising were simply doomed from the get-go, and that any move into the online space required planful, cautious and incremental moves. I don't think it's so much that she insisted on remaining academically active - I'm sure like so many things a president does those were to some degree symbolic - as it was that she simply refused to endorse a broken/failed approach.

I believe this has nothing to do with hot-button social-wedge distractions like representation of women in top level positions or - the entirely ridiculous - abortion. The notion that Madison Hall is populated even by the "old guard" who frowned on Easters while tolerating it is preposterous and a shibboleth of ignorance. The "old guard" who ran things back then are retired and dead mostly; the "old guard" who (appropriately) stamped out Easters (Sandridge) and have overseen the gradual decline and reigning in of the Greeks are also mostly retired. The fact that the last two real budget powers - Katherine M. Reed and Yoke San-Reynolds - are women, and the fact that women have held that role for years, puts the lie to the notion that UVa is somehow captive to boys. The abortion silliness doesn't even merit comment.

I believe UVa employees should expect more death-by-a-thousand-paper-cuts to try to make stop-gap closures, while the teaching load increases. We should expect the push for on-line degrees to explode. The people running things have no notion that quality and quality control are what really underlie and provide the foundation for "branding" - they believe "branding" is nothing more than good PR, Advertising and packaging, and that it's an asset to be stripped for value. As great as JMU, VT, GMU and ODU are, they are not comparable institutions; yes, their intro to calculus and ENWR are probably nearly identical, but the quality of the student, TA and Faculty cohort is not, and diluting that at UVa (or WM, also in the cross-hairs) will not improve those two institutions.

Ok, this rant is insanely long. As an alumnus and employee, I do not believe this bodes well, at all. Yes, Dragas gets a chance to demonstrate that she genuinely means what she says about stopping the hemorrhaging, but I'm putting my money on it being a fine example of cynical double-speak.

How does one draw sexual bias from the statement she made?????

To clarify an earlier comment about revenue sources, the UVA medical center contributed 44.3 percent to the UVA budget in 2011-12. State allocations accounted for 5.6 percent and student fees and tuition covered almost 18 percent. The rest comes from other comparatively smaller sources.

The med. center is overwhelmingly the cash cow for UVA's operating budget.


@'Hoo from '92 - yes, that's the revenue side; how much were the expenditures on the MC side? What's their net contribution?

@ non-resident: Yes, your comment is long, but thoughtful. And, I suspect it contains much truth.

Helen Dragas, the rector, and the carrier of the rhetorical spear used to slay the messenger,was a Kaine appointee to the Board. See, for example:

Nonetheless, it is true that Dragas is a UVa Darden school alum, and the Darden school is not well-known for open-minded, critical, reflective thought. Anything but (and sadly, perhaps ominously, the Darden school is partnering with the education school to push more of the so-called "data-driven business model" onto public schools).

What's interesting is that as Rector, Dragas had to come front-and-center and "explain" away the firing of Teresa Sullivan, and she did so in words that can – at best –– be described as opaque, and at worst as outright distortions of the truth.

Consider what Dragas said in a 20 Questions interview with the Darden alumni news:

* Question: "What characteristics do you look for in people?
Dragas: "Emotional intelligence, integrity, motivation and initiative."

Now, either Teresa Sullivan lacks emotional intelligence (she doesn't), integrity, motivation and initiative, or Dragas doesn't really believe in what she says when push comes to shove. Her statement shoved Sullivan straight out the UVa door (and down the steps).

* Question: "How do you unwind?" '
Dragas: "I escape to Albemarle County with my family. We have a 'no technology' policy there that we do a fair job of sticking to."

Ah, technology. On-line "learning." Virtual schools. A no technology policy for her family, and a forced, and flawed, technology policy for UVa.

* Question: "How do you deal with conflict?"
Dragas: "I seek understanding and try to encourage others do the same. Awareness and understanding go a long way toward taking the negative energy out of a conflict."

Perhaps Dragas should take the time to tell students, faculty, UVa employees, and citizens of the Commonwealth the honest truth –– in the spirit of promoting "awareness and understanding" –– about why Sullivan was pushed out as president.

So, my mistake on Dragas - I thought she was a McDonnell appointee - well, Kaine certainly has his share of corporatists to whom he toadies. Whether or not she's one of McDonnell's people is irrelevant - that mindset has long pervaded and slowly captured the BOV.

I just think there is overwhelming pressure - on both parties, on all Virginia politicians - to "do more with less" (a mantra I hear repeated frequently in my corner of UVa). That is: teach more students, award more diplomas and do it for lower per-pupil cost (just hold tuition flat and allow for inflation). That's a great and reasonable goal, but I think there are just real-world limits to how much you can apply the manufacturing line and "widget" model to students and education. I'd say only that whoever appointed Dragas, I suspect she's a believer that anything can be treated like a widget - when what you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. We all see the world through the framework of our own expertise.

I think Sullivan believed in "do more with less" but I think we've now hit that limit and are in a crisis, and she refused to sign on to measures which are futile (fundraising) or damaging (degree mill).


Right idea, wrong people. Further up the org chart to influence BOV action.

NancyDrew June 10th, 2012 | 12:43pm

My hope is that wealthy UVa donors will make their voices heard and stop this . Only they can make a difference. Sometimes being #1 is more than meets the corporate eye.

They did make their voices heard. hence her stepping down. The problem seems to have been fundraising. They were not able to keep up with faculty/staff salary raises to keep the top people with the federal and state support being slashed without it being offset with fundraising. That just wasn't her strength apparently. Too bad, as she seems like an excellent administrator.

non-resident taxpayer -- how can you say that fundraising is futile. It is one of the, if no the, primary job of the president of any school. Some people are much better at it than others. It just isn't her strong suit. She has no background in it at all. They should have known that when they hired her, so it was a poor job of vetting by them. Perhaps they just thought they could bridge the 5 or so years she was intended to be president (she was always intended to be a bridge president) without a strong fundraiser in place, but that was foolish given the slashing of state support by the GOP legislature.

@red- what makes you think that weathly alumni haven't already made there voices heard and this is why Sullivan is gone. Raising 100 of millions ($400 million to finish the campaign goal for example) is about buy in from the 1%. Most on the BOV are members of the 1%.

I don't have any inside knowledge but I do think that if Alumni are going to ride to the defense of a 2 year term president with no previous UVa connection is patently naive. If she had been raising large sums of money ( and I'm the 1st to say it's a brutually tough time to raise large donations) she would have probably kept her job.

This was so well writtent hat I had to post it again:
Let's see... President Sullivan is blamed by some for a fundraising shortfall (during a recession) for a Campaign that was initiated well before that economic collapse by another Administration. In reality, her progressive thinking matches up with everyone except a Board loaded with inept leadership and spineless followers. The Board is mediocre not the University.

Yet, in response to the universal financial problems the entire planet is facing, President Sullivan directed the U to streamline to create financial efficiencies; proposed a new budget model that will result in increased funding for the Academy through incentives based teaching, research and service; actively and personally pursued unprecedented outreach efforts locally, nationally and abroad with students, employees, alumni, friends, neighbors and politicians. All of this happened in just her first and only 22 months! Madame President hasn't been still long enough since arriving on Grounds summer before last for anyone to accuse her of anything other than establishing priorities and initiatives to solve problems she inherited and for being selfless to the point of caring for our beloved UVa more than the BOV corporate pirates and political minions.

Shame on the BOV for bringing such dishonor to themselves and our once esteemed institution. This has harmed UVa globally for many years to come. Two years and out? T.J. would have kept TS and tossed the Board. Maybe our Governor will consider the same with public pressure. With such a contentious climate in the boardroom, what reputable and proven presidential candidate of sane mind would step into that rattlesnake den?

hook reader -- I think you are agreeing with me.

Red you're right I meant Nacy Drew (which was in your comment)

This would be a great story if any of the three newspapers in Charlottesville could break through the UVA PR machine. But nope --- three friggin newspapers, three links to the press release.

to 'Hoo from '92-

You're reading the budget incorrectly. The Medical Center doesn't provide 44% of the academic budget, instead, it spends 44% of the overall budget. The actual profit generated by the MC is less than 5% of the academic budget even if it went to that, which it doesn't.

@Well said,

Well said!

I agree, the problem is with the BOV/McDonnell/Cooch, not Sullivan. It's a shame.

My guess is - in the short term this will hurt their fund raising not help it, unless of course they name Donald Trump the next President of UVa.

I doubt that the majority of donors to the University had anything to do with ousting President Sullivan. My bet is that a few unhappy donors, either on the Board, or who had the Governor's ear, drove this bus.

Now we'll learn how the majority feels when they go for their next hand-out.

Let's not forget that Governor McDonnell's idea of higher education in Virginia is Regent "University".

So, per Helen Dragas's statement:

"At the core of [Jefferson's] legacy is the quality and care of our faculty and staff."

I guess that's why none of us has gotten a raise in--what, four years? five years? If the budget cuts Sullivan was reluctant to make constitute faculty and staff "care," then please neglect us.

Well you may have not gotten a raise in four years but nobody is resigning over compensation so odds are that you are adequately paid.

UVA needs to cut spending and tuiition not increase spending and try and milk donors for the difference.

They have plenty of money to educate the kids but they place too much emphasis on thier "cultural" experieince which brings 90% of them disappoiuntment when they reach the real world and actually have to produce to survive. Not everyone can work for facebook and google.


Actually, I've been a Charlottesvillian for 65 years. My parents were natives, too. In fact, my father's grandfather got here in 1859 and my mother's grandfather arrived in 1868. U.Va. didn't allow women when I was ready for college, but I did take a summer school class on Grounds. I've also taught classes in the English Department, Continuing Education, and the Education School's Young Writers Workshop. And I've covered a wide array of U.Va. people and projects over the years not just for the Richmond News Leader but for other publications such as Historic Preservation News (of the National Trust for Historic Preservation), Media General's Metro Business, and U.Va.'s own Alumni News as well as for WVTF Radio.

When I said that I'd lived in U.Va.'s shadow since 1987, I was being literal. I live only a few blocks from U.Va.'s current outer edge in my direction. And at the rate that edge is moving, I'm sure I'll live even closer soon.

Given that combination of proximity and long acquaintance, it would be impossible for me not to have noticed a good many negative aspects of what U.Va. has become in the relatively recent past.

I am NO fan of Sullivan (way too "touchy-feely" for me). No, not everybody thinks she was great! My analysis of her handling of the VQR crisis was that she just wanted everybody to get along and not make a stink for good ol' U.Va. But I am curious what Dragas means by saying challenges pose an "existential threat." What the heck is an existential threat?

And don't misintrpret the growing presents of the Mooslims at UVA and in Charlottesville. Because they are every where around here! And because termenating a woman president is a neccesary first step to establishing the Sharia law.

existential threat as in -- won't exist any more? Wow, it is hard to imagine that UVA would go out of business. Or existential threat as in existentialism? I like Wikipedia's definition of existentialism: loss of hope. Maybe we should go with that one... sounds a little closer.

The comments so far have served to show that we are still learning at UVA

let's face it nobody knows what's going on except the privileged few involved in the coup? and since they ( as in the rector they) are only talking in glib generalites- as usual those of us who give a damn are in the dark being treated like children who can't handle the truth

Staffer June 11th, 2012 | 1:38pm

I am NO fan of Sullivan (way too "touchy-feely" for me). No, not everybody thinks she was great! My analysis of her handling of the VQR crisis was that she just wanted everybody to get along and not make a stink for good ol' U.Va. But I am curious what Dragas means by saying challenges pose an "existential threat." What the heck is an existential threat?

They need more money to pay faculty to remain elite. Otherwise they become just a regular school, which is an existential threat to what UVA was intended to be. It is not supposed to be aq normal state school.

She was great at doing provost duties, but they have a provost for that. She was poor at fundraising, and that is a huge part of the position. She will undoubtedly get another position at a very good school as a provost type. She seems like an excellent person and is really good at the provost/acedemic side of things.

Ah UVA such big dreams and ambitions and yet you are not even in the top 100 of world university rankings.
Good old frat boys don't you know that UVA is not the center of the universe ?

You need to change but here you are another step backwards.

Oh, please. UVA has a ginormous development department that winds up the UVA VIPs and sends them out to raise money. It's not like the President has to come up with her own fundraising strategy. Blaming her for an unrealistic development campaign begun before her tenure in better economic times is just bogus. They wouldn't have hired her if she hadn't been able to produce a fundraising track record. No, this stinks of politics, of the continued right wing hatred of education and critical thought and particularly of their hatred for spending tax $$ on higher education. Sullivan probably went to the BOV, who are just proxies for McDonnell (alumnus of that crackerjack institution of higher ed, BJ College, now Regent) and said "The well is drying up; realistically, you need to raise taxes to keep us where we need to be, and you only give us 8% of our budget anyway" and they freaked out.

The cost of failed leadership is equal to the politics of the led.

Someone forgot to tell Dr. Sullivan that she wasn't "really" the president. The BOV are really running the show and you do as they say. I guess that's what they mean about “philosophical difference of opinions". I guess Sullivan had one!

The BOV should be fired, and perhaps pick up the separation package that Ms. Sullivan will receive as they made the mistake........

Stepping down?? I suggest it was a firing...............................

still waiting to hear her list accomplishments

and her hubby, will stick around........

"Sullivan’s husband, Douglas Laycock, will stay on the faculty of UVa’s law school, Wood said."

Fundraising is part of all colleges and universities and UVA's has been notoriously mis-managed for decades not the funds I speak of but the goals and various other backend items.

She was not raising money fast enough for the board. A quorum of only 3 people (out of a board of 18) was needed to accept her resignation. I also believe our governor had a hand in this all too. Many of the comments here - one thing we all know about C'ville - there is the news out there and then you want the truth - keep your mouth shut and listen...

Interesting, both the Rector and Vice Rector graduated from the Darden School and both serve on the Board of Directors for Dominion. Mark J. Kington (VRector) was appointed in 2005 to the BoV.

Small world.

There are no requirements for membership on the BoV. You do not need an background in higher education - you don't even need to have a college education. The Governor appoints the members according to his whims. What UVa needs even more than a new President is a a new way to appoint the BoV-a merit based process where members are selected based on their qualifications rather than their good favor with Governor.

The public statements from Ms Dragas fall far short of being clear, articulate or honest. What did she mean by 'this has been in the works for some time'? My hope is the UVA community will demand that the BOV become transparent quickly. Just exactly what is the clear goal the BOV feels President Sullivan failed to embrace?. Anyone who has been connected to the University knows they have never had a clear idea about what or how to outline goals for more than a few months. Long range thinking has never been their best suit.

There is a good ole boy tradition, and its alive and flourishing. It is truly the darkest mark that plagues this community. Fortunately, over the years there are fewer of them than what used to be 3-4 decades ago. I wonder how President Sullivan worked together with the governor. Attorney General Cucchinelli fiercely attacked academics at the University. Do I think these small events were the reason Teresa was asked to leave? No. President Sullivan wasn't playing the UVA political game. She possesses more integrity than her adversaries.

Elections are only a few months away. Votes will speak volumes, and through the process, the community can remove this cancer that plagues us. The Governor, the AG, and the BOV can be replaced with men and women who have vision, character and integrity, the very ideals Ms Dragas claims as her guiding beacon. She wouldn't recognize a Jefferson ideal if it smacked her in the face.

Meanwhile the community needs to write the General Assembly, which, by the way, controls the BOV. The BOV should be held accountable. Protest is part of democracy. The entire community needs to keep up the pressure until we hear something concrete as to this midnight decision. Don't you find it odd they waited for the student body to leave town, and chose a Sunday to announce this to the UVA community? Shameful!

No one can possibly meet the expectations of the BOV ( Governor) -
more Virginia students, low tuition, high donor giving (to make up for low state support.) Oh, and no new taxes, please, don't even ask, it will make the Governor look bad and he wants to be president someday and Cuccinelli wants to be Governor.

Good luck to whoever will replace her. It will have to be someone who is out of a job and needs some cash, let's see, fired bank executive or out of work investment trader . Just make sure it is someone who knows how to follow orders - from the Governor.

How sad for the faculty, staff and students. The BOV has given up a quality president and is looking for a lackey.

Ms. Roades,

Respectfully, I do not question your perspectives as they relate to you. My question only centered around any action from you associated with them in your metaphorical shadow of the University. Peace.

To everyone saying the "separation" is about fundraising, political pressure from Richmond, etc... A simple and "un-FOIAable" way for the BOV to POSSIBLY regain any semblance of credibility and honor would be to require 360 degree evaluations of Strine and Simon (since they're the only other two new executives in the trifecta leadership team) querying ONLY the VPs and academic Deans. Bring back Leonard Sandridge, Tom Farrell or Dubby Wynne to oversee the process instead of the Board or Rector and the truth would quickly surface. Only public outcry and pressure on the Governor could make this happen in order to equip the full Board with information to keep yesterday's "rail job" from happening again and to re-establish the body's integrity! UVa is better than this and we should expect a tidal wave of resistance and questions until clear answers are rendered instead of the paradigm spewing BS we heard yesterday.

And one more requirement for the new prez to meet - direct from the Rector, Ms. Dargas:

We remain guided by Mr. Jefferson’s inspirational vision:

“The great object of our aim from the beginning has been to make this Establishment the most eminent in the United States.”

There appears to be some educational institutions left that know a good thing when they see it. The news is reporting that President Sullivan has received offers from Duke, Michigan and Texas ( both systems she has previously served ) and Berkeley . Interesting that her pick for Provost was John Simon who came from Duke. One has to wonder if Duke will be the winner, and not only will Sullivan sign on, but Simon may return as well.

Simon speaks:

No one has mentioned that Sullivan and Elizabeth Warren, MA senator hopeful, we're questioned about scientific misconduct for a study they published. Maybe this was not part of the vetting process when Sullivan was originally hired and now that Ms. Warren is in the spotlight, the info came out.

More grist for the mill: See

Hopefully the full story will come to light soon.

@NoWireHangers - this comment of yours makes no sense whatsoever:
"Elections are only a few months away. Votes will speak volumes, and through the process, the community can remove this cancer that plagues us. The Governor, the AG, and the BOV can be replaced..."

Um, do you even live in Virginia? First, Governors can only serve one term in Virginia, so obviously the Governor would be replaced. But most importantly, Governor/Lt. Gov and AG aren't on the ballot until 2013.

Thanks Observer - just what I thought she got the corporate way of saying good- by . NO WARNING
Sounds like Simon will be leaving as well .
Wouldn't it be great if the faculty, staff and students would rally to overturn this travesty.

"existential threat" really? Look it up.
Interesting choice of words.

Strine is now at the helm -- smells like a coup to me.

Pam how do you know Strine is at the helm ? He was brought here by President Sullivan and the Post article claims that the leadership team had no idea this was coming, that would include Strine.

With regard to fundraising, you all must know that university presidents don't go around fundraising on their own. They are guided --- particularly when new, one would hope -- by a group of professionals who develope appropriate strategy short and long term. At UVA this team is led by Bob Sweeney. He is ultimately responsible for the recent $400 million shortfall against goal. Why was HE not fired? Instead in their May meeting the BOV extended his term in his Pavillion for another five years. What gives? Did he throw Sullivan under the bus? A few whispers in BOV ears "she isn't good with donors?". Teflon!

@Pam, you're right the Post article says her duties have been divided between Simon and Strine but I'm not sure they will stick around .

From the Post :

“The faculty is in shock. The faculty is hysterical. This is like a death in the family,” said Gweneth West, a drama professor and former chairman of the Faculty Senate. “She was everything we had hoped for and more. And she remains so today.”

Shame on the BOV. This is a great loss. Terry Sullivan will go on to do great things at another university, and we'll have a new president who will know to keep one foot on the next log. How could anyone feel secure here?

Mr. Jefferson -- ever the chameleon -- and however we all like to co-opt him for our own admiration and purposes... must be rolling over in his grave on Monticello to turn over the earth. I'll stop there.

As far as new candidates, the list of possibities is endless:

Barack Hussein Obama will soon be looking for work.
As will:
Eric Holder
Marion Barry
John Edwards
John Kerry
Creflo Dollar
Justin Bieber
Beyonce (our first lady's "role model")
Elizabeth Warren
Tom Cruise
John Travolta
Howie Kurtz
Joy Behar
Chris Matthews
Roseanne Barr
Rosie O'Donnell
Charlie Sheen
Bill Maher
Jeremiah Wright
Jesse Jackson
Al Sharpton
Michael Bloomberg
Lady Gaga
Lindsay Lohan
Miley Cyrus
Bill Press
Pat Robertson
Howard Dean
Tim Kaine
SpongeBob SquarePants
Sean Penn
Alec Baldwin
Hosni Mubarak
Saddam Hussein
Moammar Qaddafi
Arlen Specter
A Teleprompter
Anthony Weiner

We could go on and on and on...

Here's the Richmond Times-Dispatch this morning on Sullivan's firing:

Some excerpts:

"while Sullivan, faculty and top administrators were blindsided by the action of the board of visitors, the chairman of the U.Va. business school's foundation said he knew of 'this project' to oust her weeks ago."

"The board's rector, Helen E. Dragas, and vice rector, Mark J. Kington, requested Sullivan's resignation late Friday afternoon with no prior warning or board action, three sources told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. A vote never was taken by the full board on Sullivan..."

"Peter Kiernan, chairman of the Darden School Foundation board of trustees, sent an email trying to reassure those expressing shock at the announcement. 'Trust me, Helen has things well in hand,' Kiernan, a former Goldman Sachs partner, said in the email, which was obtained by The Times-Dispatch. 'A number of you have asked if we were surprised by this announcement. Here is the truth,' his email states. 'Several weeks ago I was contacted by two important Virginia alums about working with Helen Dragas on this project, particularly from the standpoint of the search process and the strategic dynamism effort'."

"faculty members are demanding 'a full and candid explanation of this sudden and drastic change in university leadership.' The executive council of the faculty senate, which held an emergency meeting Sunday night hours after the surprise announcement, issued a statement Monday blasting the board of visitors for its 'inadequate and unsatisfactory' explanation and vowing 'to investigate this matter thoroughly and expeditiously. We were blindsided by this decision,' the council said. 'She has impressed us with her intelligence, leadership, and commitment to transparent administration and open, honest communication. We witnessed her renowned dedication to higher education. She excited faculty across the Grounds and created a sense of optimism about the university's future,' they said."

"Dragas did not respond to requests for further elaboration on the decision or to questions about Kiernan's email. Instead she sent the written explanation for the board's action that she had presented Sunday morning to the university vice presidents and deans."

** Helen Dragas says she values "integrity" in others. She says she deals with conflict by seeking "awareness" and "understanding." But, increasingly, it appears that Helen Dragas says one thing, and does another.

Democracy: a democracy accomplishes nothing (witness: Greece, or the current US Congress) I think you must mean Republic.

But you raise valid points. Which begs the question... who really is in charge of the UVA? Is it everyone? Is it no one? Is it the tenured faculty? It certainly is not we the taxpayers. And I hope it is not the hoity-toity, holier-than-thou tailgaters wearing green sportcoats and plaid ties and sipping Chardonnay who look down their noses at anyone who shows for a UVA football game in blue jeans as if "you don't have stars on your bellies!"

"Project" = Coup. It's definitely not the faculty who are allowed to run things here, nor the students, nor probably most of the administration. It's the money at the top, and the money influence from the outside. I guess it's like any big business. UVa has been able to keep academics at the forefront, but with this economy and with developers in charge, things may change for the worse.

UVa will end up a ghost town as students go to places where
they can train for jobs and/or train their brains. Those places
can keep overhead way down since they are not going in
a million different directions at once and don't have to buy
into the b school mentality. Dragas' jargon laden totally weird
and meaningless epistle is so typical. What's interesting to me
is everyone I know right and left strongly believe this is a huge
black eye for UVa. The faculty may as well strike as they are
about to be replaced by computers.

Man is an insatiable creature, feeding on hate and insecurity, never able to push away from the table.

There will be some follow-up in the Chronicle.

WOW - this is worse than had thought.
Her firing was a " project" driven by 2 important alums and a former Goldman Sachs partner.
And it sounds like Dargas bullied her into resigning by claiming to have the votes to force her ouster --true or false ?

Maybe Goldman Sachs really is running the government and not the Governor.

Now it's time for investigative journalists to hit the ground running, with the Goldman Sachs connection front and center it's time to follow the money.

Exactly what investments do the two former Darden graduates, now Rector and Vice Rector, Dargas, and Kington want the University to move toward, and don't forget who the third party was at the firing Hunter Craig.

Apparently more than a 100,000 Virginia high school graduates who are qualified are unable to attend ANY Virginia state school because of lack of space. Every major Virginia higher ed institution accepts around 30% of applicants from out of state because of financial considerations (double or even triple the revenue per student vs. in-state). The percentage of high school graduates qualified and applying to college is sky rocketing now and in the forseeable future. UVa and the other state schools are facing this huge increase in demand with no apparent method available to fund the necessary infrastructure, faculty and staff. As part of the solution online classes are inevitable. Even tenured professors at major schools are leaving their schools and setting up online teaching organizations I'm not sure that any of us will recognize the successful university of the future.

Are you folks not overlooking information T.S. may have been presented . She has a history with Lizzie Lies a Lot and some very shady information is being brought forward in that case. Was the resignation really due to different opinions or simply to let her leave in good grace . The BOV move doesn`t appear to have been hasty as they were working on it for awhile it appears . Her action to leave was the hasty part . Why so .....

One comment made me laugh "'don't turn Uva into another a sprawling state university".Wake up! Look! That horse bolted out of the barn under the great builder/Beaver.'Castor' Casteen. In infrastructure, the only difference between Uva and most land grant universities is that the land grants actually work and look BETTER (except for the beleagured Lawn)

One comment that made me laugh: "UVa will end up a ghost town"

Dramatic much?. I am sure they'll get this worked out quickly (I expect to see Ed Ayers back). This is not the type of thing most entering students care about. And students pay the tuition that keeps UVa pumping.

Also NancyDrew and the Goldman Sachs conspiracy. LOL - hilarious. Yes, Goldman Sachs pushed Sullivan out. That is insane.

The question of the day: When did the full Board of Visitors meet to vote to demand President Sullivan's resignation? According to the Richmond-Times Dispatch article, the full board never did vote on such an important matter! Was everything done at a bar somewhere? Or did a couple boardmembers bully the rest into going along with their scheme?

What are the relevant requirements of the Va. open meeting laws? Do they prohibit decisions by email, for example??

As noted above, Sullivan found out for the first time Friday night that the Board wanted her out. The Governor was told a couple days earlier.

The only public record available is that Sunday afternoon, the Rector and 2 members of the Board met to handle the resignation. The other board members told everyone to direct questions to the Rector, who then refused to answer any questions.

I read public minutes that are available for the Board and its committees and they do not provide any hint of trouble with the President or her policies. The Board does go into Executive Session for personnel matters, but the last one only lasted 20 minutes.

To restore a tiny bit of trust in the system, it is time to insert a little democracy into the process. I propose that the Va. Legislature be asked to amend UVa's governing documents to allow 2 additional boardmembers to be popularly elected by all members of the UVa Alumni Association. That process is in place for Penn State's Board, and was helpful in restoring some trust after the Sandusky debacle.

Yep, Ms Russell. This is the way the big boys ( a few girls) play ball- hard ball. Was Sullivan soo lacking in vision or was so incompetent that it was needed to act into her third year? Or was this really about politics and personalities?

Does T.S. have something she wasn`t `` transparent`` about when hired . When presented with the known information which became transparent to the BOV she decieded it would be a good idea to accept the offer . A quick getaway in effort to stimy transparency appears to be transparent here .

I meant ghost town figuratively (always the explaining). Rich
kids, athletes, and/or the connected especially will always be here.
The Goldman Sachs thing is
not so far fetched--it happened in the Nature Conservancy.
It's not dramatic because it's insidious and has been going
on slowly for decades in many sectors not just education. If
an education doesn't help people get a job why bother except
for learning for learning's sake. Is UVa providing either much?
Maybe none of it would matter except it's so expensive now
so the value of a UVa education needs to be carefully considered
compared to other places.

I just want to extend my sincere thanks Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R).
Maybe the new conservative board members he appointed can sell the rotunda to IBM and put a logo on it. Or kick out any women that are too academic minded for them and dare to make a capital campaign a long term process.

@ sara, This is so sad that one has to resort to hyperbole, so how's this?
To kick off the next capital campaign the Board of Visitors could announce that :
The Office of Presidency could have naming rights, so it could be called the Goldman Sachs Presidency of the University of Virginia.

Charlieschm- only three votes in favor are required.........

I hope my daughter ends up with half the balls of Teresa Sullivan. Thanks for sticking to your values, beliefs and more importantly, your vision.

Why do we always hire "experts" and then "non-experts" (our BOV) fires them when things don't go their way. If it's about money, then hire an excellent development team. Terry brought the UVA community together.

Terry - you will be missed.

She told them to put all the endowment into the Facebook IPO. This makes as much sense as some of the comments here.

Maybe President Sullivan when faced with grandiose fund raising demands merely said, the emperor has no clothes and that perhaps the State should pay for its flagship university rather than corporatizing it.

The real issue is how BOVs are appointed. They are political payoff appointment for big money contributions to campaigns. These people don't know a lick about education or higher education. The BOV should consist of at least a majority of parents, faculty, and students. Then maybe the University governance would not be a political football and would not be vulnerable to the venality of the MBA types who now run it for the elites in this State.

Raise taxes, pay for the University and be free of corporate/donor elite control.

Maybe this is what Sullivan stood up for?

why not hire the trumpmeister as the next president. He is probably the type of huckster that would appeal to the bov's requirements to raise monies.

Citizen Party wrote:

"The real issue is how BOVs are appointed. They are political payoff appointment for big money contributions to campaigns."

Yes, and sometimes they get appointed because the governor has a fit of sh!ts & giggles. Don't forget that 20 years ago Gov. L. Douglas Wilder appointed Patricia Kluge to the UVA BoV. Rumors swirled around that one, regarding the true nature of Wilder's relationship with Kluge.

Regardless, in terms of her qualifications to serve on a UVA board -- or anything else -- we've all seen the results of her business acumen at work in the years since.

Here is much more discussion on this topic. Some of this discussion on the fourth page includes a theory that Cuccinelli targeted Sullivan for removal because of the Michael Mann climate change fight. After UVa's legal team defeated Cuccinelli in the State Supreme Court, UVa reportedly had the chutzpah to offer Michael Mann an endowed professorship to get him to return to UVa. That must have made Cuccinelli blow a gasket. UVa also recently asked the Va. legislature to reimburse the U. for the costs of defending themselves against Cucci.

Susan R. I;ve been in admin support in Academia for over 30 years and I don't know what to make of what you post either .It certainly should have been investigated at point of hire. Getting thur all the verbiage, it looks like the usual academic hoo-ha over not so much/not so clearly; but others may have a better insight here.What IS clear, the BOV has not been clear and forthright regarding Sullivan.

Re: the link, anything with the Breitbart name attached needs to be viewed with skepticism; it's all in service to the right wing/tea party agenda.

Did Dragas really say that this fine example of academic leadership was an
"existential threat"?

Really. There may be an "existential threat" here, but it seems it is not Sullivan.
A dark day for the University.

It's fascinating to see all of the personal agendas that are "thought" to be the "real" issue in this matter. What a wonderful way to get public attention to so many otherwise uninteresting issues.


Peace? Sure. But not while you -- an anonymous heckler -- continue to dismiss me in near incomprehensible locutions. (FYI from a teacher of writing: There's no such position as "centered around.")

As I noted, I've been an involved observer of U.Va. from both personal and professional perspectives for a lifetime. Indeed, I'll warrant that I've sat through many more Board of Visitors meetings than you have and conducted more follow up interviews with individual members as well. And having read through years' worth of Visitors and Faculty minutes from the school's earliest terms, I might say that I've sat through their meetings, too, albeit second hand. Meanwhile, the U.Va. shadow in which I have lived since 1987 is not metaphorical. It's all too real, as is the sneak attack on Teresa Sullivan that everyone should deplore..

Ms. Roades,

Excuse me, "centered on" your right to observe and not act. My anominity and your incorrect assumption about my involvement aside, please know I've not meant to heckle you or anyone. We are in agreement about the unfair treatment of President Sullivan by the BOV.

If you'll look back on previous postings by both of us, I've pointed out a few of President Sullivan's accomplishments during her brief tenure, as have many, many others. I've also offered actionable ideas to ensure this type of dishonorable travesty can be avoided in the future, however far fetched some may believe those ideas to be. Others have too.

You however, have focused on how the U has negatively effected you personally and while I regret that to be the case for you, the issue at hand is about the injustice to Madame President by several individuals that appear accountable to no one..

I know you've expressed your experiences over many years but the issue of President Sullivan's sudden departure, I believe, can be connected to a very small number of new individuals in positions of authority and shouldn't be attributed to rampant institutional appathy, corruption or community aggression. We've witnessed quite the opposite since Sunday's announcement. The UVa community, both on and off Grounds, is uniting to demand answers and if we don't keep pressing until we receive them, then shame on us as well. This issue is about governance of the collective, not about any of us individually.

As everyone seeks answers for what is really happening, it is valuable to remember the words that President Sullivan offered to the U.Va community after the story broke about the apparent coverup of the pedophilia scandal at Penn State:

"I do believe that tone at the top is important, and I have sought to send a message to this community that respect for the individual, doing the right thing, caring for one another and making every decision with consideration for our values are how we will do business. Not everyone will agree with how I enact these values. There are inevitably conflicts between individuals, or disagreements about resource allocation, in which each side will claim that their position is the righteous one and I have been hypocritical.

That is why we need good processes. A good process leads to good decisions because it requires us to call to mind the important considerations that precede the decision. A good hiring process leads us to consider values such as expertise, diversity, and character. A good personnel evaluation process leads us to offer honest feedback about an employee’s performance, just as grading gives us an opportunity to provide feedback to a student.

Finally, individuals may fail and processes may fail. That is why we need good systems."

among the facts that we can know with certainty so far, those that intrigue me are:

-- whatever the BoV did, it did not fire Sullivan but "persuaded" her to resign. This suggests something deeper than "philosophical differences." Had there been nothing but differences of vision involved, and even a vote to fire her for such differences, this decision would have been subject to significant public airing, presumably a drawn-out administrative process, and contractual obligations that the resignation avoids.

-- that agreement clearly included a renegotiation of the contractual terms that would, ordinarily, provide no severance package to the outgoing President.

-- such a scenario might ordinarily look like circumstances of malfeasance were uncovered, making the situation too uncomfortable for the incumbent President to remain in office while the malfeasance was investigated. The facts that (a) the decision appears to have been in the works for months without Sullivan's knowledge; (b) at least four distinguished Universities immediately made offers to Sullivan; and (c) no malfeasance was alleged in Dragas's statement, all suggest that this was not the case.

-- one of Dragas's main concerns was the speed with which Sullivan was not implementing important changes to UVa; she was asked to resign for going too slowly. Yet the process of hiring a new President will take months and possibly more than a year, under normal circumstances; these circumstances are no longer normal. The likelihood of implementing changes more quickly post-Sullivan than they could have been implemented with her--if they are changes she and other UVa constituents wanted--seem dim indeed.

I am trying to stick to facts and not to draw conclusions too far beyond them: BUT the only way to connect these dots seems to me to be that the BoV was exercising power, not judgment, in the sense that it wants something that many, perhaps most, of UVa community members do not want; that what it wanted Sullivan to do was contrary to her own inclinations so much so that she saw no point in continuing to be employed at UVa; that the BoV has little if any buy-in from other University constituencies for whatever plan it has in mind; and that whatever Sullivan's goals were, they were in line enough with higher education as it is generally practiced in the US that other Universities (all of whom have deep connections into the powers that run UVa) see her as a figure of integrity and good reason rather than the opposite. All of which points to something deeply political and likely quite contrary to what the likes of Berkeley, Chicago, Michigan and other top-tier institutions see as the mission of higher education in the US.

We've never seen, as far as I know, a good example of a clash between the Faculty Senate and BoV as sites of real power at UVa; what follows may be interesting.

Furthermore, the way this has fallen out has been quite predictable, and the attempt to hide it on a Sunday summer afternoon only shows that the BoV predicted it. How they think this can possibly lead to a *quicker* implementation of the unwelcome changes Sullivan was resisting remains to be seen. I await Rector Dragas's "vindication" of this catastrophe eagerly, but doubt it is forthcoming.

The RichmondTimes mentions 2 important VA alums that were instrumental in President Sullivan's ouster,

64 million dollar question ---who are they ?????

"Trust me, Helen has things well in hand," Kiernan, a former Goldman Sachs partner, said in the email, which was obtained by The Times-Dispatch.

"A number of you have asked if we were surprised by this announcement. Here is the truth," his email states. "Several weeks ago I was contacted by two important Virginia alums about working with Helen Dragas on this project, particularly from the standpoint of the search process and the strategic dynamism effort."

Need help please - so, typically a quorum is "at least five members of the board" unless there is a special meeting? and then 2/3's vote of Visitors Present? Wouldn't you think that this was an important enough even to have required more Visitors to vote?

SECTION 2.33 SPECIAL MEETINGS—Special meetings of the Board may be called by the Rector or by any three Visitors at such dates, times, and places as may be specified in the call for the meeting. No matter may be considered at any special meeting that was not included in the call of that meeting except by a two-thirds vote of the Visitors present at the meeting.

SECTION 2.35 QUORUM—A quorum for the conduct of business by the full Board of Visitors shall consist of five members of the Board (as required by statute) except in those instances where other statutory provisions, as, for example, in the consideration of revenue bond issues, may require a larger number for the transaction of particular items of business. A quorum for the Executive Committee and all standing and special committees of the Board of Visitors shall consist of one-third of the appointed members of the committee, except that in no case shall the number be fewer than two members.

2thefactssofar: points well taken regarding speedy action, unless the BOV already have in place the 2 executives they want to implement their desires, and the only thing preventing them from moving forward was those executives' boss. What was it the Richmond Times Dispatch quoted-- deep bench strength in numbers 2 and 3?

The media is also reporting that there were emails flying back and forth among the board members to come to this decision. Can a decision of this magnitude be decided by email ?

@ the facts so far. Thank you for your well-reasoned and well-written analysis. I don't think this situation ultimately will attain the status of the Kennedy assassination conspiracies, but it is an intriguing mystery non the less.

And the emails that the media says flew among board members should be interesting reading . I doubt Cuccinelli will ask for these. In the Watergate - J Edgar era there was the shredder, today's cover-up only requires the delete button.

Don't you know? The real reason she left is because she couldn't stand the heat that Sean Cannon and company were bringing down on her.


"May 1, 2012 — Approximately 150 members of the University of Virginia's Class of 2012 reminisced about their four years on Grounds and peeked toward the future Monday night at a formal dinner hosted by President Teresa A. Sullivan and organized by the Fourth-Year Trustees.

Speaking after the dinner, held at Carr's Hill, Sullivan encouraged the students to store away as many moments as possible during their final days as undergraduates.

"Set aside the apprehension you're feeling about the future and enjoy the next few weeks as fully as possible," she said.

Sullivan acknowledged the tough economic times the country has suffered while the Class of 2012 has been enrolled at U.Va., as well as the economic, social and political issues the students will face in the near future.

"Think of it like this," she challenged them. "The future is a problem waiting to be solved, and you are problem-solvers."

She told them they have spent the past four years cultivating unique and powerful traits that will help them succeed in the future. She said they have expansive knowledge, the capability to listen and understand other points of views and the capacity to participate in an open discourse.

"These are qualities the country needs today," she said. "You're arriving just in time."

Sullivan concluded by encouraging the fourth-years to stay connected with U.Va. as alumni. "Just as your future is bright, the University's future is bright," she said. "We want you to be a part of it."

After Sullivan's address, students were given the opportunity to ask her questions.

One student asked about the transition of new Provost and Executive Vice President John Simon to U.Va. Sullivan responded by saying that after she met Simon, she came home and said to her husband, "Now I can die." While that alarmed her husband, Sullivan quipped, she explained her reasoning – she was relieved to know that Simon could lead U.Va. to success even if she were not around.

Other students asked Sullivan her favorite part about U.Va. (the four seasons, she said) and about the international community at U.Va. Sullivan said she hopes to expand the number of study-abroad opportunities and encourage more students to take advantage of them. Students need international experience in order to be properly prepared to work and thrive in the 21st century, she said."

By: TED STRONG | Daily Progress
Published: January 17, 2012
» Comments | Post a Comment
Saying he sees Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s attempt to investigate him for fraud as a move intended to silence climate change scientists, former University of Virginia researcher Michael Mann cast himself as a reluctant spokesman in the climate change debate Tuesday.

Mann, now of Pennsylvania State University, was speaking at his old employer Tuesday as part of EnviroDay, a research symposium.

Cuccinelli has been battling UVa for documents related to Mann’s tenure. Cuccinelli began his efforts in the wake of the leak of the “climategate” emails, which global warming skeptics allege showed scientists had manipulated data to show what they wanted. Researchers involved, including Mann, have maintained that the skeptics are taking quotes out of context.

Cuccinelli, a climate change skeptic, has said he is investigating whether Mann used false or misleading data in applying for grants.

The university won the first round, when a judge ruled that Cuccinelli had failed to specify what falsehood or fraud Mann had used in applying for state funds. The case is currently before the Virginia Supreme Court, with a ruling expected in March.

“The University of Virginia took a very brave stance against this yet again obvious effort to intimidate scientists,” Mann said during his talk.

He praised those who had come to his defense.

“The best way that I can get back at my detractors is by being the most effective advocate that I can be,” he said.

The university has been closed-mouthed about the issue pending the Supreme Court’s decision. When the case was heard earlier this month, the university released a statement that read in part, “It would be inappropriate for the University to speculate on the outcome of today’s arguments.”

Mann said in an interview after his speech that he expects there to be some manner of attacks against him “forever.”

“I think that a lot of us are worried that these attacks will have the impact of perhaps dissuading young scientists,” Mann said in the interview.

Mann was critical of skeptics, whom he referred to as “deniers” and “contrarians.”

“One-sided skepticism is no skepticism at all,” he said during the talk.

Mann did say that some advocates of the notion that global climate change is a problem have overstepped, linking specific occurrences to climate change in ways that the data doesn’t support. He compared climate change’s relationship to specific calamities to tobacco’s relationship to cancer: It can’t be proved that smoking caused a specific person’s cancer, but it can be shown that smoking increases the risk of cancer.

The debate our society should be having, Mann said, is not whether climate change exists, but how to address it.

Professor James Galloway, in his introduction of Mann, said climate scientists must figure out how such change works, what exactly is changing, why it’s changing and what the course of those changes will be, among other things.

Mann is perhaps best known for being one of the authors of the “hockey stick” graph, which shows global temperatures rising sharply in the modern era. Mann insisted that the graph is one of many pieces of evidence for global climate change, but said the graph has become a flashpoint after it was used in a report on the issue.

“I’m honored that they think that” the graph is the key evidence behind the theory of global climate change, Mann said.

Mann also decried what he called the “scientization of politics.”

Mann was speaking in front of a clearly friendly audience.

When he showed a photograph of Sarah Palin on the projector, the audience started laughing before he said anything.

Mann called for reductions in carbon emissions, saying that it was a matter of what sort of world will be left to future generations.

“Too often it isn’t framed as the ethical issue it is,” he said.

Voluntary measures alone won’t create the reductions needed to stave off dire consequences, but people can start with low-hanging fruit in their own lives, including driving less and saving electricity, Mann said.

Cuccinelli’s office did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

The money-greased fingerprints of at least three Darden alums are all over this sneak-attack putsch.

I Laughed Out Loud at the assertion by one of them -- the current president of the MBA school's foundation -- that the situation is well in hand because, hey, two members of the BoV, including Dragas, are Darden alums.

Yeah? Then that can mean only one thing: the B.S. has only just begin.

@Mom of UVA student, I'm guessing this was a quorum of the Executive Committee, on the theory that it can act in the full board's stead -- there's a description of the exco's powers in your link. As you sagely imply, though, having the power to do something doesn't make it good governance. . .

Thanks @jimmie - you know, mom always taught me that "just because you can, doesn't mean you should."

Teresa Sullivan, "The Heart of a University," Nov. 5, 2010
"Because we are celebrating our top-achieving students today, and because we have their most cherished teachers and mentors here with them, I want to spend the next several minutes talking about the foundation of student achievement. That foundation, of course, is the student-teacher relationship.

This idea may seem old-fashioned, or even unfashionable. A relational approach to teaching is fundamentally different from what many people today consider to be education. Today, we have online universities, distance education, video-conferencing, webinars, and technology-enhanced classrooms. We've created a whole new language to talk about these methods of pedagogy. We talk about synchronous and asynchronous technologies for online learning. We talk about "transactional distance" — the cognitive space between a teacher and student in a distance-education environment.

I don't mean to suggest that we should turn our backs on these technologies. Innovation is a core value at this University. New technologies can help us teach and learn better, and help us reach greater numbers of students. One example: Our own PRODUCED in Virginia program, based in the Engineering School, deploys distance-learning technology to allow community-college students all over the state to earn an engineering science degree without ever leaving their home communities. All of our schools have programs that make effective use of new and emerging technologies. That work will continue, and it will continue to get more sophisticated.

But there is not, and never will be, a high-tech substitute for the supremely low-tech bond of direct teacher-student interaction. The fundamental teacher-student relationship is still the foundation on which each great student stands.

But there is not, and never will be, a high-tech substitute for the supremely low-tech bond of direct teacher-student interaction. The fundamental teacher-student relationship is still the foundation on which each great student stands....."

"To all of the great students, great teachers, and proud parents gathered here today, this is my Convocation thesis in a nutshell: the teacher-student relationship is the heart of the university. It's the heart of every university, we hope, but it's the heart of this University without a doubt. The Academical Village is our University's physical heart, and the student-teacher relationship is its metaphorical heart — the heart within a heart.

New technologies will come and go. Today's "state-of-the-art" will one day be "obsolete." Theories of pedagogy will fall in and out of fashion. What will remain is the essential thing: the eager student working under the careful guidance of a dedicated teacher. Mark Hopkins sitting on one end of the log and a student on the other. William Small strolling with Thomas Jefferson in Williamsburg, deep in discussion, some 250 years ago.

And today, here in Charlottesville, it is the student in the classroom or the student in the laboratory, working side by side with an instructor or researcher. The student in the College, the engineering student, the architecture student, the student of leadership and public policy, the student of business or commerce, the student in the School of Education, the student of medicine or nursing, the law student, the life-long learner in the School of Continuing and Professional Studies — all these students have teachers who will fix the destinies of their lives just as surely as William Small fixed the destinies of Thomas Jefferson's life.

Today, we celebrate these students and their teachers. Thomas Jefferson set a high standard for the students who came to his University. He wrote that he wanted students here to go on "to destinies of high promise." The students gathered here today have begun the journey to reach those destines. Their teachers and mentors stand close by, showing them the way."

I've worked with tons of boards, and I've never heard of a large board that could make a major non-emergency decision with a "quorum of three". No one should have had the chutzpah to demand that a popular and accomplished University President be kicked out the door unless the full board had met to vote on that decision.

Timeline - thanks for posting those great quotes.

Charlieschm- I quote.......... "The full board of visitors is not required to vote on the matter. The executive committee - which held an emergency meeting Sunday afternoon - accepted the resignation with a 3-0 vote." NBC 29

NancyDrew- not true, the emails all exist on the server...............

Skip does that apply even if they were using personal email addresses ?
And would an organization be able to access the server ?

NancyDrew- Yes. has nothing to do with an email address.

Anything that is sent through a server, whether it be images, attachments, emails, to and from, is saved on the SAN- storage area network. It is the legal obligation of any company, government, school, etc to save E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G to protect them and who ever uses the network and to use any and all info as evidence when needed. (i.e. Enron emails- internal and external convicted Ken Lay).

Even Century Link, or who ever your internet/intranet provider is, saves everything that is sent through their server........

I'm thinking that the Darden School should be renamed the Darden School of Cruelty.

Antoinette - on the side subject of WTJU, there was no "institutional bullying" that I was aware of. I was in the middle of the whole Burr Beard fracas when it was happening, and while Beard started off as a bull in a china shop, when it was clear his way of doing things wasn't working, he committed himself to working with the volunteers on the approach we preferred, preserving the DJs' independence and strong voice in the way the station was run. I think WTJU could have had a resurgence under Beard, although probably not comparable to what we've seen with Nathan Moore, and certainly not with Moore's vision. The volunteers were energized and committed, and Beard could have been known as someone who oversaw positive change, had he not left abruptly. And while he was at times imperious, sarcastic, even flippant, he wasn't a bully (or at least not a very good one), and certainly wasn't backed in his style by the University.

@Citizen Party, "The BOV should consist of at least a majority of parents, faculty, and students. Then maybe the University governance would not be a political football and would not be vulnerable to the venality of the MBA types who now run it for the elites in this State." Parents, faculty and students all have special interest. Parents want cheap tuition, faculty members want higher salaries and students want everything. Why would anybody want them running a University? Parents and students know little about education and most faculty know little about administration. Very bad idea. We have people with their kind of expertise running city government and they hired a person with no credentials spelled out in the city manager's search to be the head of government.
For those of you who keep harping about Democrat and Republican, the Rector (2010) and Vice Rector (2005) were not appointed by a Republican Governor. Why would you think they were doing Gov. McDonnell's bidding? Idle minds often engage in idle thoughts.
@ShameOnUVA, "The UVa community, both on and off Grounds, is uniting to demand answers and if we don't keep pressing until we receive them, then shame on us as well. " So what if you are making demands. What's going to happen if they are not met? You and yours have no power over the BoV any more than the starving protesters do over the "living wage" crap. Do you suffer from delusions of power? Ms. Roades apparently does not.

Cville Eye is one of the few people posting here that seems to have any hold on reality.


Oh,my. Time for the executive summary. My personal and professional and historical experience of the University of Virginia far exceed yours. But none of that is really the point. The point is that you're a compulsive heckler who needs to get over your need to make noise and to get out of the way of informed debate.

Do, please, give yourself a break by giving us all a break.

Terry Sullivan is obviously relationship-driven. The BOV is transaction-driven. They don't want to get to know you. They just want to get to know your money.

Money-grubbing and arrogant to boot. A bad combination.

Too bad we peons can't have an Executive Committee meeting and vote them out unanimously!

Ms. Rhoades, I'm a huge admirer of yours, but in this case I'm afraid I can't see what your point is in making a fuss over another person's comments. I've seen no evidence of anyone heckling you. You are the one who has dragged that petty squabble on and continued to make noise that distracts from the topic at hand. Please stop and go back to being the witty and entertaining woman whose posts I usually love to read.

I think it's too bad. I graduated 99 and really appreciated that UVa chose a distinguished, dare I say enlightened educator as President. Dr. Sullivan was pretty much everything I hoped for in a president - she cared about the University, its standing in the academic community, its community, and its future. As for "rate of change", I don't think it was such a problem - UVa has undergone such a facelift in the last 13 years (since graduation) that the rate of change, if anything, was way too high and the reprieve (if you can call it that) was certainly welcome. I'm sure there would have been more good things to come from Dr. Sullivan. So, in my opinion, the BOV seems pretty juvenile, especially given that Dr. Sullivan performed pretty darn well in an abysmal economy. I think if you match her record to President Casteen for two years, you'd probably say that Dr. Sullivan wins in a TKO.

@Cville eye,

...Not a delusion of power but a belief in the impact of public pressure on an elected official (our Republican Governor with future political aspirations) that will readily "jump ship" especially if he knew about a plot prior to the action in order to look like a hero by not renewing the Rector's appointment since Kaine (a Democrat) appointed her to her first term on the BOV...Kington too, the Vice-Rector. The Governor can rescind a BOV appointment.

We may not have an impact in the end, but we certainly will not if we don't try.

Perhaps you should join your observant colleague and just watch. Words without action are nothing more than amusing conversation. Don't worry about writing me....write the Governor.

Conrad June 12th, 2012 | 4:03pm
Don't you know? The real reason she left is because she couldn't stand the heat that Sean Cannon and company were bringing down on her.

Sean is making quite the fool of himself on the WaPo website claiming to have inside knowledge because Sullivan had a staffer respond to his no doubt ridiculous emails to her. The guy must not have a job (we knew he had no life or sense) since he seems to have been posting comments every few minutes all day long.

Since I do not know why Dr. Sullivan resigned, I have no intentions of writing to the Governor about it. If you, ShameOnUVa, have written to the Governor, would you be kind enough to share your writings with us? I shall thank you ahead of time.

"we knew he had no life or sense" is worth repeating. Once more "we knew he had no life or sense."

Agreed that the next thing to watch is the Governor, and the declared gubernatorial candidates. Reputation matters and how could any of them sit timidly on the sidelines and watch any more of this. It's both a tragedy and now apparently a Darden-scripted comedy; but the BOV remains a state institution, not a private club.
Dragas got one thing right: online learning environments matter a lot. Go watch the Dragas video again ( Does anything in it give anyone any confidence the BOV know what they're doing or talking about? At least, there's something unwittingly appropriate about the peeling paint backdrop used for the public statement. (Or simply google "Marcellus, the state of Denmark, Act. 1, sc.iv).

I'm seeing a lot of buzzword phrases in connection with this firing/resignation. How about "strategic dynamism (sp.?)" "existentianalist" (is this from a philosophy course?) Do these words and phrases mean something important or are they just some sort of in vogue business management gobodedy gook (sp?).?

For those following this story, you won't want to miss this interview with former UVA President Robert O'Neil on WINA Tuesday morning, June 12. O'Neil speaks quite candidly here, on the record for the first time, expressing his dismay and disappointment over the BOV's actions.

@Cville Eye..... Per your request provided below and the letter was not signed anomously.

To the Honorable Governor Robert McDonnell
Commonwealth of Virginia

Dear Governor McDonnell,

I respectfully request for you to initiate an immediate investigation into the sudden "resignation" of President Terry Sullivan from the University of Virginia.

No doubt you are keenly aware of the recent decision by UVa's BOV but given the sudden and questionable circumstances surrounding President Sullivan's departure, as expressed by the BOV's Rector and Vice-Rector, more questions exist than answers. In the interest of preserving the honor and integrity of our Commonwealth's flagship university, please consider committing the resources of your Office to fully explore the events and individuals involved leading up to and around the shocking and globally unexpected loss of our esteemed academic and operationally savvy leader.

Rumors abound and speculation is rampant but in the interest of due process, fairness and restoring the institution's reputation and public confidence, I implore you to muster the necessary resources to provide insight into the BOV's action. President Sullivan held her post for only 22 months, the last 8 1/2 after just completing her new executive leadership core team of Provost and Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer. It seems highly implausible the BOV could accurately assess President Sullivan and her true leadership impact on UVa in such a short time frame. Sullivan's honesty, intelligence, planning and communication practices to initiate action were readily visible to anyone engaged with helping move UVa forward during these challenging times. As such, the Board's action against her makes no sense until more concrete answers are provided.

In closing, please commit to helping restore your alma mater's global reputation and integrity by initiating a thorough investigation into President Sullivan's departure in the "pursuit of truth, where ever it may lead." Citizens of the Commonwealth and the students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the University locally, across the Nation and beyond our borders expect nothing less and hope never to bear witness to such an embarrassment to our beloved UVa again.

Sincerely and with high regard,

Great letter. Is there any hope that you will also post his replay? Do you think it is a good idea for you to initiate a letter writing campaign or perhaps a petition? I believe there a free online petition websites.

@Charlottesville—Right Now!, thanks for the link - very interesting and I wonder if foreboding.

@Cville Eye

Thank you. Not sure if it's appropriate to post a verbatim reply out of respect for the position of Governor in response to my personal letter but I'll accurately paraphrase any reply here. I suspect he has writers to handle such unsolicited correspondence and probably will never see the letter but there should be some type of reply.

As far as a letter writing campaign, I encourage anyone reading any of these posts to write the Governor. Just a three line letter is enough. He's concerned about citizen perception for his career down the road more than lengthy letters. There are many,many far better writers here but if someone just wants to deliver a quick message, anyone can feel free to copy, paste, edit or modify any portion or all of mine above. Quantity matters, not quality. Politicians don't worry about the content of these type letters after reading the first sentence...they worry about receiving large numbers of them.

It's my understanding there are already several petitions circulating around system and faculty are two I know that will each have several thousand signatures.

I defer to your knowledge of how to initiate a campaign and wish you well.

@ShameOnUVa, I never campaign for people who are perfectly capable of campaigning for themselves. Of course, Dr. Sullivan did not ask me to and I am doubtful if she would wish for me to run one as she knows I do not know the particulars of her circumstances. As for asking for more information, I really do not bother with politicians any more because I can not believe a word they are saying. You, however, if urging Antoinette Roades to "act", led me to believe that you believe in activism and are one. I would not be surprised that if enough people demand more information, the Governor may get someone to write a form letter. As for sharing your response from the Governor's office, no politician expects for his written word to a citizen to be private. In fact they do not expect their telephone conversations to be private either.
For those of you who believe this situation revolves mainly around money, Rob Schilling seems to agree with you in the first portion of his radio show.

Cuccinelli 2012!

All of these comments are "wonderful", but perhaps Ms. Sullivan is not interested in keeping her position. Happens a lot in the business world.

Ah, Helen Dragas, the UVa Rector. She says she deals with conflict through "awareness and understanding."
Yet, The Post reports this:

"The campus erupted in protest at the board’s decision to remove Sullivan after less than two years, one apparently made in quiet conversations over several months. Faculty, staff and alumni are demanding explanations. But board members have said little. This week, they have referred calls and e-mails to the board’s leader, rector Helen E. Dragas. On Tuesday, two days after the ouster of Sullivan was made public, Dragas did not respond to a request for comment."

Sometimes, actions do speak louder –– and more convincingly –– than words.

And, The Post makes this point, which some commenters here have alluded to:

"Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) said last week in an interview that he looks for those who share his goals of reducing college costs, increasing slots for in-state students and making schools more efficient. ' If you’re going to have a new vision for higher education and you’re going to have new major reforms that you want to put in place, you need new managers to carry out that vision'. "

It doesn't take a while lot of reading between the lines to make the assumption that McDonnell was, indeed, involved in some way in the firing of Sullivan.

The Post notes that " the board is regarded as a relatively conservative and pro-business group. There are no educators on the panel."

And finally, The Post reports, "The board does have a nonvoting student, Hillary Hurd. On Tuesday, the Cavalier Daily student newspaper quoted Hurd as saying that the board’s decision on Sullivan 'will prove in time to have been a wise one'.”

Presumably, the plot thickens...

If Dragas was planning to fire President Sullivan she gave no public indication, even the business community is shocked, given her previous public statements

What happened?
June 12, 2012 6:22 PM
by Paula C. Squires

In January, University of Virginia Rector Helen Dragas spoke in glowing terms about the new leadership team at U.Va., including President Teresa Sullivan, whom she referred to as “our very talented president” during an interview and follow-up remarks with Virginia Business magazine. The interview appeared in the March issue, along with a full transcript at the magazine’s website. (

The world is watching and if the Board thought this move would elevate UVa to #1 there seems to be some disagreement.

from Dragas's statement:
“The great object of our aim from the beginning has been to make this Establishment the most eminent in the United States.”

------>At 7:42am Wednesday, June 13, we turned off the commenting function here and uploaded a new story on the issue:

I'll bet the question of the week for the BOV is - How are donors feeling about our decision ?

from Virginia Business

"The real issue here, in terms of how it will impact fundraising, is how will the donors react to the resignation? Are they okay with it? I know there are some concerns within the faculty about the decision, but how are the donors going to react?”