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.