'Cabal Hall': Why would Darden trump Carr's Hill?

An alleged clash between UVA President Teresa Sullivan and the Board of Visitors has resulted in Sullivan's ouster after less than two years in office, leaving faculty and staff at the University in shock. However, details emerging from defensive-sounding Board members suggest that the departure was less a mutual agreement and more of a palace coup orchestrated by alumni and friends of the Darden School.

"We are puzzled and dismayed," says UVA Law professor George Cohen, who, like most other UVA faculty, received the news in a morning email on Sunday, June 10, mere hours before a press conference by the head of the Board of Visitors announced the news to the public.

If it at first seemed like a joke, it was one that had already been made.

Indeed, as an April Fool's spoof in 2011, the satirical Yellow Journal at UVA ran a front page story about Sullivan stepping down after six months, with fake comments from faculty members. Sullivan's legacy will be defined "less by what happened," said a mock Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics, "than by what didn't happen during her tenure."

But this time it wasn't a joke. And, according to numerous sources, the forced resignation came as a surprise even to Sullivan, who, according to a report in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, was told on Friday, June 8, in a meeting with Board Rector Helen Dragas, a Tidewater-area real estate developer and Darden grad, that the Board had enough votes to remove her. Faced with the prospect of a board fight, Sullivan chose to resign.

Located adjacent to the Law School on Massie Road, and anchored by Saunders Hall, the campus, designed by New York-based Robert A.M. Stern Architects, has come under fire for being "faux Jeffersonian." Regardless of the quality of architectural design, it is an elite MBA factory, churning out about 300 grads each year, who've paid around $50,000 annual tuition but who often go on to make millions as CEOs and high ranking politicians (former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford is one prominent grad). Some of that wealth flows back to the school in the form of donations, and, it appears, some alums wield tremendous influence over their alma mater.

Rector Dragas remained tight-lipped during the Sunday afternoon press conference, refusing to divulge specific reasons for forcing Sullivan out before excusing herself to vote along with only two other members of the Board's Executive Committee, Hunter Craig and another Darden alumnus, vice-rector Mark Kington. However, details have begun to emerge, and outrage has only grown, particularly after yet another high profile Darden alumnus sent an email in the wake of the announcement revealing that he'd been working on "this project" with Dragas for several weeks at the behest of "two important Virginia alums."

As reported by the Times-Dispatch, which obtained a copy of the email by Darden School Foundation chair Peter Kiernan, the Darden official attempts to calm anxious Dardenites over the suddenness of the decision by assuring recipients that Dragas "has things well in hand" and apologizing for the secrecy, claiming he was "sworn to keep the process confidential."

Prominent UVA-based media scholar Siva Vaidhyanathan says he's disgusted by what he calls "unprecedented" secrecy.

"I have never seen a board act so recklessly, arrogantly, and secretly in my entire life," says Vaidhyanathan, who calls Sullivan's ouster "very scary" and "deeply embarrassing" to the University. "Everything they've done," he says, "is 180 degrees away from the scholarly tradition that had made UVA great."

Kiernan, who lives in Greenwich, Connecticut and who recently penned a book titled Becoming China's Bitch: And Nine More Catastrophes We Must Avoid Right Now runs a venture capital firm. But it's his former role as a partner at Goldman Sachs and as a prospective member of the UVA Board that has raised some eyebrows.

Vaidhyanathan leaps at the "philosophical difference" mentioned by Sullivan in her brief statement following the announcement.

"The philosophical difference is the difference between how an MBA thinks and how a Ph.D. thinks," says Vaidhyanathan. "It looks like a cabal of MBAs have decided that we need creative destruction or some sort of high energy, bold visionary re-engineering of the University."

Another concern is that Goldman Sachs, which recently took a major ownership position in a group of online universities, might find a role at UVA. After all, Dragas noted in her remarks that online classes have recently been "legitimized" by some "elite institutions."

The announcement comes just a month after graduation and the summertime departure of students, something that the perpetrators of the change have not attempted to explain. The Hook's attempts to reach Dragas and other Board members were unsuccessful.

"We are entitled to a full and candid explanation of this sudden and drastic change in University leadership," says the UVA Faculty Senate Executive Council, which praises Sullivan and blasts the statements made by Dragas as "inadequate and unsatisfactory."

Both of UVA's two living past presidents, John Casteen and Robert O'Neil (the latter no stranger to a relatively short term at the helm), have spoken out in support of Sullivan.

"So many things I have seen that seem to me quite positive, things John and I would have hoped to do, Terry got around to in two years," O'Neil says in a phone interview, citing the restructuring of the school's financial model to place more accountability on individual departments and the encouragement of collaboration between departments that could yield savings while simultaneously promoting creativity.

Sullivan's decision to hire Michael Strine and John Simon as her two top officials to implement changes in the financial model has also been widely praised.

While outrage is intense, some wonder whether the seemingly Machiavellian maneuver means the selection of a new president is a fait accompli because in her public statements Dragas demands that critics wait until they see the new president.

"The appropriate day of judgment on this decision," Dragas told faculty and deans in prepared remarks, "will come at the time that a new president has been installed and given an opportunity to prove himself or herself as the leader the institution needs and deserves."

It's as if she's confident that a search will produce a star, someone who will fight the "existential threat to the greatness of UVA," as she put it.

In the vacuum of information left by the Board's reticence, various rumors have bounced around– particularly after Dragas mentioned the Board's wish to make "star hires."

Could a high profile individual, perhaps someone of national stature like Condoleezza Rice or Bill Clinton, have already been eyed to take the position? Hiring a celebrity president might help soothe some critics of Sullivan's firing, but media studies professor Vaidhyanathan says the board's unilateral move is inexcusable, no matter who next takes the helm.

"It's a profound and embarrassing mistake," says Vaidhayanathan, who attended the University of Texas, where Sullivan was one of his favorite grad school professors. Vaidhayanathan says that Rector Dragas needs to explain to the UVA community what the board is seeking in a school president.

"Does she want a top flight scholar and administrator with a sterling reputation who's able to gather support from every constituency in the university?" Vaidhyanathan asks. "If she wants that, she just fired her."

On Tuesday, two days after the announcement, the president's house is quiet. Two envelopes from well-wishers have been stuffed into the front door of the mansion, Carr's Hill, at the time a reporter rings the door bell.

"We're the only ones here," says a member of the house staff, quickly gathering the letters and scurrying back inside. A block away, at Madison Hall, the president's office is equally tranquil.

"She's not here," says a smiling woman at the front desk as she pauses to assist a tourist find his way. "She's traveling."

Reports suggest that UVA's loss will be another university's gain, as interest in hiring Sullivan appears to be streaming in. That doesn't surprise Vaidhyanathan, who cites Sullivan's understanding of teaching and faculty governance, what he calls two core Jeffersonian values.

"She understands that universities are built for the long haul, to interpret the wisdom of the ages and look 100 years into the future," says Vaidhyanathan. "It's not supposed to work like Goldman Sachs. Unfortunately, the guys at Goldman call the shots at UVA."


Note: The next story on the Sullivan ouster: "Head rolls: Kiernan out as UVA faculty condemn Sullivan ouster"

This story is a part of the The ousting of a president special.
Read more on: Teresa Sullivanuva bov


I think Vaidhyanathan is hitting on the very philosophical difference cited by Dragas. The BOV doesn't share the view that UVa has 100 years to figure out how to stay relevant or better, at the front. Higher education in this country has more pressure than it did even 2 years ago when Sullivan began. No one seems to dispute the many talents she brings--presumably she was hired for those, but perhaps skill development to take on the new challenges isn't there. Not her fault, not the BOV's fault, simply no longer a good fit. I don't think that the building is on fire, but I think that the twigs outside are.

@ Elizabeth- What good is a forest without any trees ?
The BOV may not have any trouble finding an MBA to be president, but my guess is, any stellar PHD will refrain from working for a University that gives them no voice in it's governance and operates in such secrecy.

We can always depend on The Hook to get the Scoop.

no matter how they spin it, these woman was let go in some backroom deal that had little to do with the actual current or future performance of UVA, but instead due to the disire of a small group of BOVs that had the political capital to make the move happen. The more I hear of the board via their secret emails and sloppy press conferences, the more I feel the current president was the right person for the job.

UVA is still a very good school, but it drifted slowly down the rankings over the last 20 year under Casteen. I dont see anyone on the BOV that will help change that slide.


I'm not pleased with the decision but you can blame the lack of Richmond support for the drifting down the rankings. 5.6% funding comes from the Commonwealth and yet they feel they should control 100% of the spending. There's a politician for you.

The removal of Sullivan as President of UVa was executed like a big business leadership change with limited discussion, timed to create minimum reaction, cold and impersonal and a "trust us we know what"s best for you" attitude. Welcome to Higher Ed 2.0.

The state government needs to pony up some $$$ if they want a first-class state university. It's ridiculous that they contribute only 8% to the budget but have such control over the institution. Guess what--you can't keep cutting taxes indefinitely without consequences.

The thing that strikes me is this: taking the BOV's (or Dragas') statements at face value - that they are concerned about the loss of prestigious faculty and talented staff, and that they want to attract academic stars - then what they've done to that end seems to be the single most effective way of undermining themselves.

Academic stars aren't going to be interested in coming to an institution where they can't expect solid institutional support and stability. Similarly, top quality supporting staff (the providers of institutional support) aren't going to stick around for below-market wages in exchange for stability. So many people keep saying the BOV's issue with Sullivan was her incremental approach - that it takes a long time to turn an aircraft carrier. Well, that is of a piece with stability and support. You can turn a speedboat on a dime, but you can't land a plane on it.

Keep digging, Hook!

This is the Darden way. They are trained from their first day on grounds to charge into any situation and figure it out as they go along -- then apologize for mistakes later and only if necessary. Totally unencumbered by deep thought, they are posessed of an arrogance and hubris so ridiculous that only Donald Trump would be proud.

Darden teaches students to sniff for money like swine rooting in the dirt for truffles. And it is clear that a cabal of Darden alums are at the root of this fiasco.

Be aware that Darden is essentially a separate and private entity with only a loose affiliation to UVA. Darden operates exclusively on wealthy alumni donors and tuition, with a private foundation "leading" the school. The foundation's board of trustees control everything at the school. The installed leadership merely have titles on their business cards, but no real authority.

What we have seen in the last week at UVA is not university governance; it is a coup d'état. And I would like to know the full role Darden played in this putsch.

Gov. Bob McDonnell is now on record saying he is "surprised" by Sullivan's dismissal. If so, then he must direct the attorney general's office to look into this.

Investigate Dragas and Peter Kiernan, especially, as he and his old cronies at Goldman Sachs have potentially the most to gain by this maneuver.

In fact, I am writing a letter to the governor's office experessing my outrage over this and my opposition to Peter Kiernan being appointed to the UVA Board of Visitors. His emails alone prove conclusively he is unfit for leadership.

If you feel likewise, here is the contact information to write your governor and express your view:

The Honorable Robert McDonnell
Office of the Governor
Patrick Henry Building, 3rd Floor
1111 East Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

Why doesn't the BOV just accept that they made a terrible mistake, resign and the faculty/staff, students, parents & all others can get on their hands and knees and beg Ms. Sullivan to stay.

Regardless of whether Gov. McDonnell says he had no part in this decision, he appointed some of them. Gov. McDonnell needs to step up and see if he can help fix this mess.


Mrs. Sullivan just got off the public transit system from Michigan only to find Mr. or Mrs. prominent X getting out of a BMW ready to take her job and merge Goldman's new on line university purchase with the old UVA.

This is really sad and frankly silly. I think Pres. Sullivan has done an awesome job and replacing someone that the faculty and staff know, like, and respect for someone who is an unknown factor? Don't they realize that this might poison the next president's ability to get along with those same people?

As a student at UVA, I am still in shock over this.

Good take-the big biz mentality- but this is also pure politics; I doubt the BOV would have made a move of this degrees without some discrete communciation with the GOV. She was too liberal for them-it pained them.As to Darden-whom I knew when I was a child-sure he was old fashioned, of the era on sex and race, but a honest, honorable man. Hence the irony of these new so called" Dardenites".

Not all Darden Profs agree with this decision. I just heard Ed Burton, UVa Darden Professor (on the WINA Rick and Jane show), express heartfelt regret and shock at the way the BOV handled this ouster. He even seems shocked by Kiernan's involvement someone he claims to know well. His main complaint was there is no paper trail at board meetings of any of the reasons they took this action.

As evidenced in the interview Dragas, Rector gave to Virginia Business she made no indication only a few months ago of the discontent.

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. (http://bit.ly/KlEOyS)


Ms Sullivan will prove them wrong when she creates a great University wherever she lands.

Any person offered the job under these circumstances should soundly and publicly turn it down for the principled reason that they railroaded Ms Sullivan.

Darden teaches people how to make money but they also end up being some of the most worthless human beings on the planet. If Ia guy tells me he went to Darden I know three things,,,, he has no scruples, his daughter will probably be in a girls gone wild video and his wife is seeing a therapist (to resolve her guilt about the affair with the tennis pro or gardner)

I disagree with
* Sullivan's firing
* The method of Sullivan's termination in particular
* The BOV's make-up
* BOV selection method
* "Darden cabal" theories.
* The characterization of Darden's culture in some of the comments

Firing: Dr. Sullivan was moving in the cautious, incremental mode required of university presidents. They just don't have a CEO's power over their subordinates.

Firing method: Sullivan should have had warning. Faculty leadership should have been consulted.

Board of Visitors makeup: Top-flight universities have a mix of skilled CEOs, wealthy benefactors (of the school, not politicians), and other accomplished leaders in society (academicians, retired government leaders, prominent artists, etc.) See Princeton's board: http://www.princeton.edu/vpsec/trustees/current/ CEO's are not evil but the UVA BOV is a "monoculture" predisposed up to make a bad decision in isolation from wiser counsel. Geographic diversity is also a plus.

BOV selection method: political patronage -- appalling

"Darden cabal" theories: silly. Exhibit A: among Darden Foundation trustees, only Kiernan knew anything. The Darden factor is simply a byproduct of a BOV dominated by Virginia businesspeople.

Darden is a fantastic institution. It emphasizes good teaching and ethics. Most alumni in my class didn't go to NYC. Yes, it's been semi-independent of the University -- by necessity since it got so little support. Darden alumni love UVA -- not just Darden. I know I do.

darden school should be under investigation and heads should be rolled over i can not believe that a coo of folks got together and said she needs to go how about all the big ass phd holders loose there jobs out with the darden school and all that are involved the governor needs to investigate and fire all on the board for bad decisions made this past week THOMAS JEFFERSON WARNED US ALL ABOUT GREED ,MONEY IS THE EVIL OF ALL I HOPE THE U.VA CHOKES ON ALL THERE DAMN MONEY I WOULD HOPE THAT STUDENTS WOULD NOT WANT TO ATTEND SUCH A ASS BACKWARDS SCHOOL AND FACULTY AND STAFF NEED TO STAND UP AND DEMAND AN EXPLANATION WE AS LOCALS WANT ANSWERS WE DESERVE TO BE TREATED BETTER THAN WE ARE AFTER ALL THIS IS OUR TOWN NOT YOURS

UVA is a public institution. What will the public do about this? The way the BOV is appointed is anti-democratic and allows big money to capture and control the University. There should be a move to change that and give control of the university back to a body more representative of the public.
What will parents do? What will the Faculty Senate do? This decision reflects the lack of transparency antithetical to the notions of Jefferson's democratic ideals. Another corporate takeover and after the number these people have done on our economy, how can we let them do it again.

What is sad is how all the midlevel bureaucrats like the Deans just bend over. They keep the chain of compliance going by being politically inert. But they were bred for compliance and conformity so I doubt there will be much leadership there.

There needs to be a movement to oust the BOVs, change the BOV appointment procedure, and wrest control of the public university. It won't come without struggle, conflict, and ugly politics. But the alternative is rolling over and watching as the MBA ruling class destroys public education.

Take back the University from the Oligarchs/BOV executive Committee. Do we want to be as good as UC Berkeley or will we settle for University of Phoenix-Virginia Campus?

It depends on what people here in Cville, and around the state do from this point on. It can't just be faculty, but also parents, citizens who don't even have a connection to UVA but understand this is a metaphor for the private take over of public space everywhere in the state and in the U.S.

Reinstate Sullivan now! Write letters to the Gov and the legislature now. Start a petition now. Protest in front of the Rotunda now. If you follow Dragas' advice to not pass judgement until a new President is installed, it ignores thew real problem here, control of the University.

To The Hook webmaster: you should know that the link in the 9th paragraph for Siva Vaidhyanathan goes nowhere.

The chosen ones at Goldman-Sachs spreading their toxicity and gluttonous greed everywhere.

@ Darden Alum--great post; thanks for an island of sanity in the swamp of vituperation against all things corporate/Darden/Goldman.

@CitizenParty - I agree! I've already written to Gov. McDonnell twice - once to share my disappointment and once to add that although he may not have been involved in the decision, he still appointed some of those on the BOV.

Dear Ms. Sullivan - I apologize on behalf of all of us who care about the University. Please don't leave. We have until August to make this right. Don't start packing yet!

Ms. Dragas says, "The appropriate day of judgment on this decision will come at the time that a new president has been installed..." OK, but signs point to a second, even larger failure on the horizon.

Already there are hints that the fix is in...floating names like University of Richmond President Ed Ayers. http://chronicle.com/article/UVa-Faculty-Push-for-Specifics/132211/

Really Ms. Dragas?? Fire UVA's first female president, only to replace her with a Governing Board Member of Richmond's Museum of the Confederacy? http://www.moc.org/about-us/board-trustees.

Check out the wide variety of Confederate Flags and Confederate Flag apparal that they sell in their museum gift shop. http://01f78b5.netsolstores.com/flags.aspx

Hey, maybe some of these fine items could be distributed as party favors at his inauguration. After all, that flag is just a part of history and it used to be displayed widely all across the campus.

Seriously, you think your BOV messed up now? (Well, maybe Ms. Dragas doesn't, but many others would disagree.)

Choose Ayers as Sullivan's successor. Send the message that your "distinguished public-Ivy" is keenly aware of its southern heritage. Display the roots of what many of us had hoped was a bygone era. Boot the woman for the good ole boy and then let's see how that "day of judgement" plays in the media for y'all educated folk.

Keep digging Hook. There is a big enough scandal here to garner this little free paper a Pulitzer.

This goldman thing seems like a load of crap. I'm not sure what goldman has to do with anything. Someone used to work at goldman?

The Darden thing is probably the right track. Remember that Kiernen is the head the robin hood foundation. Know who founded the robin hood foundation? Paul Tudor Jones. There are a lot of powerful darden types living in Greenwich CT (including Jones/Kiernen/BOV members) and it seems they may have a hand in this --- but its nothing to do with goldman and it detracts from his argument to attempt to take advantage of public anger at banks.

But really, those power people are idiots.Get this--

Kiernan's email “As many of you know no major decision of this kind can be made at Virginia without the support and assent of the Governor.”

"On Tuesday, Kiernan and the governor’s office said that the section referred to Kiernan’s own nomination for the school’s Board of Visitors, not Sullivan’s resignation."--DP (!!!-sic!)
They must think we are idiots and we would be if we believed them-and that includes GOV.

Speaking for the MBA crowd, that's BS. An MBA would first look at the university's core strengths and capabilities- its practical ability to create leaders, innovate through research, and its world-wide reputation for academic excellence- before recommending radical or incremental changes. No sane MBA holder would ever conclude that it was preferable to damage a nearly 200 year-old institution's reputation or to destroy its ability to innovate- as befits a research university- through the creation of radical change (as has been suggested in the Wash Post) rather than incremental change. Even something as benign as implementing Six-Sigma would destroy the ability of professors to be professors, and students to be students. The entire college experience is about discovery first, not analysis and profit. This stinks of something else.

Interestingly, the UVA endowment went up 28% from 2010 to 2011, so not meeting endowment goals timely enough is not the most likely culprit. This smacks of politically motivated activism against the university by the new crop of Board members.

Good people: please write the governor about this. He is the only individual empowered to make decisions affecting the composition of UVA’s Board of Visitors. If you are outraged by these recent events, contacting the governor is the clear and straightest path to wielding your influence as a citizen and constituent. You have more power over this than you may realize.

The governor’s office reads all correspondence. If they see critical mass building in opposition to Sullivan’s ouster, they will be compelled to do something. A public release of full information on the rationale behind this move is the absolute minimum the governor should demand. A full investigation is probably warranted, based on the cracks already widening in the stories of the individuals who engineered this heinous move.

The Dardenites are already circling the wagons, which is understandable, if misguided. If they are the ethical people they make themselves out to be, there can be no harm in ferreting out the truth of these various connections coming to light.

Take a few minutes to write that letter. Call the governor’s office. Send email. Together we can halt the unchecked ambition and lust for power that would seem to infect the university’s BoV and some individuals who desire to join their ranks. Stop them now, or they will only feel emboldened to commit their next outrage.

Darden alums seldom get a taste of their own medicine. They've been breathing their own fumes for so long, and counting money, that they have lost sight of what's important in life -- treating people honestly and with decency.

Show some class, Darden alums. Now is your best opportunity to do so. Don't cloud the issue with your silly rhetoric. Demand the truth as we all deserve.

The address:

The Honorable Robert McDonnell
Office of the Governor
Patrick Henry Building, 3rd Floor
1111 East Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

@ Noel Munson: "No sane MBA holder..."

Yes, you just identified the weak link.

Correction - Ed Burton is not a Darden Prof. He is an Economics Prof in the College of Arts and Sciences.
To date no current Darden Professors have come forward to disagree with the way their former students, now Rector and Vice Rector have handled this.

Thank you Professor Burton for speaking publicly and taking such a wise and ethical stance
His remarks are in the first 20min of this
Podcast at WINA

What is the point in writing the governor if he is behind this? (He denies it, but I simply don't believe him.) I think the legislature is empowered to amend UVA's charter to change how the BOV is selected.

Darden Alum, I'm sure you're correct and I'm also certain that the Darden faculty are just as shocked and angry as the rest (after all, they are faculty first). Perhaps "hostile takeover bid by Goldman Sachs" fits the circumstances better, though we don't have hard evidence of that yet. It's also a consequence of the widespread attitude that all institutions should be run like a for-profit business. But if a cabal is going to form it's most likely going to be centered around Darden alums since they will generally be the most wealthy and powerful.

Dawg, to understand the governor's surprise, you have to understand the machinations and motivations behind Sullivan's ouster. We are in Star Chamber territory, with a select few individuals calling the shots and running amok with their power in secrecy. Power can be taken away from them and, it seems, probably should be.

A friend and fellow UVA alum once commented that he had considered applying to Darden, but realized his application would be denied as soon as they discovered his parents were married at the time of his birth.

I, for one, was extremely dissatisfied when Theresa Sullivan was named president of UVA and was happy to have received that email on Sunday notifying me that she had basically been fired (effective in August).

I am proud that Darden churns out hundreds of business people that get jobs with banks or executive leadership positions at major corporations and represent The University. Whether you agree or disagree with the major Wall Street banks, last I checked, it were those graduates that make a REAL paycheck and give back to the scool. Thank you Comm School, thank you Econ, thank you Darden, (and thank you Law School and Med School). In today's world, we don't need a Ph.D to run a school. We need a CEO. And if we don't have that in place, get us a celebrity, like Condy Rice as mentioned in this article. I'm sure her status would attract some of the brightest high school minds to Virginia and get us moving up in US & World News Report's rankings.


Not every institution in the world can or should be run like a for-profit entity. We don't need more sociopath CEOs in leadership positions, particularly for institutions like UVA. A paycheck does not have to be in the millions to be "real." Methinks you worship at the altar of money too much.

The Governor will show his stripes in July - Rector Helen Dragas is up for reappointment.
I plan to write and protest as part of the public record. But the Governor did nothing to stop this when he was told and I doubt he will now. He has already told us he trusts his appointees on the BOV to do the right thing.
Is this the type of individual you want in elected office ?

Has anyone heard that the "philosophical difference" is that the BOV, for financial reasons, wants to scale back or completely overhaul the School of Arts & Sciences b/c it is not a money maker and President Sullivan, an A&S advocate, refused to go along with this? Pres. Casteen, also an advocate of A&S, was pushed out. For the same reason? Is Darden directing the overhaul with the big moneyed alums with ties to Goldman Sachs, etc. giving the financial directives? A&S faculty are leaving for schools that actually support faculty. World class faculty in A&S who are retiring are not being replaced. With that in mind, here's what Kiernan wrote: "[...] funding, internet ,technology advances, the new economic model. These are matters for strategic dynamism rather than strategic planning. Many of the schools will face the notion of self sufficiency, steps that we at Darden and others have taken already." Just wondering.........

after more reflection, I feel we are all missing a big piece of this puzzle, which will be revealed soon.

what would give the BoV the idea that their decision will be "vindicated" soon, other than that a *very* high profile individual will be announced soon as the new President?

much higher-profile, and more Darden-friendly, than Ed Ayers. More like a national or international business or political leader.

this would, in retrospect, dampen the controversy considerably.

imagine this: the Darden "cabal" learned of the availability of such an individual a few months ago, and since then has been working to engineer his/her ascendency to the office.

this would explain all the facts we've been given so far, and explain how the BoV expects to walk away from this without serious damage to UVa. Even Robert O'Neill in his WINA interview suggested this in an offhand comment as the only way this makes sense--the more one thinks about it, the more it's true.

Not "the abrupt firing of T. Sullivan" but "the sudden availability of Bill Clinton" or "Ron Paul" or "Jamie Dimon" or "Puff Daddy." Something like that. And god help us all.

If Jamie Dimon becomes president of UVA... fingers crossed. I can only hope such a good thing could happen to Mr. Jefferson's University.

RECALL Gov "Bob" ...His right-wing nut-so hands are all over this travesty ...look at the make up of the BOV...and those he placed there. McDonnell is a disgrace to Virginia.

The Governor needs to decide in the next few days whether he will appoint Ms. Dragas and one other boardmember for another term. If he is smart, he will distance himself from this debacle and appoint new people. He also will be appointing 2 new boardmembers for July 1st to replace boardmembers who are term-limited. Now is a good time for Virginians to let themselves be heard.

I stopped reading after this hilarious line about Goldman Sachs taking over UVa because the board member expressed interest in online classes.

Board member interested in online classes + Goldman Sachs ownership in online universities = GOLDMAN SACHS TAKING OVER UVA!!!! OH NO!

Keep digging! You seem to be really on to something here!

The Facts So Far: I don't see how appointing some non-academic business or political leader would "dampen the controversy." On the contrary, it would really cause anger among the University community. If they want faculty to flee, appointing some business or political type as a result of a coup is a good way to make that happen.

I guess MrJeffersonAlum is eager for somebody whose "oversight" results in a multi-billion dollar loss. That's certainly what is needed, yep.

Someone threw up, no I mean out, the name of Donald Trump. Somebody else scared us with the name Condoleesa Rice. George Bush isn't doing much these days. After all, the Governor would approve of all of them. Yikes. I'm gettin' scared.

So-called Goldman Sachs connection:

Peter Kiernan was an old-school Goldman partner from the days when the firm operated on the basis of long-term relationships, not trading. They had a reputation in the corporate world for high ethical standards. This was repeatedly drummed into everybody (including myself during a summer internship). "We'd rather make a slow dime than a fast nickel."

My investment banking career lasted all of 90 days; I later went to manufacturing firms in small Southern towns. I came away with a lot of respect for Goldman, notwithstanding our total incompatibility with each other.

In the last decade or so, short-term trading has come to dwarf the firm's long-term corporate financial work. The culture there has changed to the point that GS is held up as a punchline for greedy Wall Streeters.

Kiernan is not a product of the "new GS".

Yes, write the governor, but better still, keep the press on this story. Don't let it die. That's what the BOV expects and wants. Initial outrage (yawn) from the little people, and then faculty, staff, and citizens get back to work or summer vacations, the news cycle moves on, and this all goes away. Don't let it go away. Talk to the press on background or off the record, if you're UVA employees. Get to the NYTimes, the WSJ, the Chronicle of Higher Ed (no offense, Hook). Point out the larger implications of this story, and make it "have legs." If the public pressure stays intense, we will eventually get the full story. Right now all of our "outrage" is just so much noise to the BOV. We're insignificant in their scheme of things. But not if they -- and Richmond -- continue to get media and citizen pressure.

@MrJeffersonAlum: you've clearly spent a great deal of time reading Mr Jefferson's thoughts on corporations (which he despised, *before* the advent of the monstrosities known as limited-liability and corporate personhood), and the centrality of absolutely independent, humanistic- and science-centered education on the functioning of his beloved democratic experiment, the United States.... or have you? If you honestly think you could convince him of the rightness of the merging of business "ethics" and education, you must have access to a far different set of his writings and statements than do the rest of us. Sadly, UVa already started turning his grave over years ago, when it violated his express wishes that the University not be confined to the country's elites. Darden is a Disneyland mockery of his vision, physically and educationally. Funny that Dimon is testifying to Congress today about things that violate every principle he claims to have been living by (so that he said bank regulation is unnecessary), & as an apparent Darden booster, you think he would be a great choice. Since UVa could not match his salary, maybe a more direct realization of your dreams would be Bernie Madoff--I hear he's got a lot of time on his hands.

I've heard rumors that Goldman Sachs is considering appointing Charles Koch as the new president of UVA...

I think that the new BOV appointments and the new vice rector will speak volumes. But the real test will be who they pick for the new President.

The student BOV member has some interesting comments:"Fourth-year College Student Hillary Hurd, the student representative to the Board of Visitors, is one of the first with internal knowledge about the “mutual agreement” leading to University President Teresa A. Sullivan’s resignation to comment on the matter. She told The Cavalier Daily yesterday she had full confidence in the Board’s decision. Her interview with The Cavalier Daily took place following a two-hour conversation she had with University Rector Helen Dragas.

“This is a decision which I think will prove in time to have been a wise one, and that it’s hard now, on the Monday after the decision was officially released, to fully appreciate kind of what the Board was considering,” Hurd said. “Students would be best to remember that these Board members are people who know and love U.Va.”

As the student member of the Board, Hurd did not have a vote in the Board’s decisions about Sullivan’s contract. She declined to say when the Board began to consider seeking new leadership but said she did have advance knowledge of Sullivan’s resignation."
Cav Daily


Well written essay by a Darden professor about the message about service that President Sullivan provided Sunday morning at her AME church right before the announcement became public.

I agree that we need to be careful not to paint all Darden grads and officials with a broad brush. Kiernan said it his leaked email that he didn't tell top people at Darden that he was involved.

Interesting comments. It will be even more interesting to see how this plays out.
I hear Idealists crying fowl, I see some covert movers and shakers preparing to take over.

Much as i wish to sympathize with the idealists, I can't. You folks need to move out of your basement apartments in Cville and get some sun.

Pro sports, college sports, olympics, universities, cities, states, and many other forms of human organization, need capital investment to succeed. The University's endowment is nice, thanks John Casteen and his friends, but it is small compared to the institutions that compete directly with us for top faculty and students. Where do you think Harvard got that 27 billion endowment? Corporations didn't help that?

You might not like the folks that are coming, but they are coming, and they are bringing a good game. At least, they better!

And to those "loyal" UVa supporters preparing to jump ship......ahhhh... Bon voyage! You couldn't see this coming? What do you really understand about the U? Its not done by magic.

The for-profit, on-line university theory is ridiculous.

UVA has a few, very good online courses (I took an engineering course) taught to the standard University rigor and offered as an extension service to mostly state residents. Other land grant schools have offered extension courses by correspondence, then later the Internet, for years.

But there's no way to turn UVA into the U. of Phoenix and make it profitable. You offer stuff online as an extension of your existing mission.

The much-vaunted MIT-Harvard hookup is not about profit, either.

The Darden angle: also ridiculous.

This came as a surprise to the Darden alumni that serve on Darden's board. Only Peter Kiernan knew -- and he wasn't one of the decision-makers on the BOV.

Why would the academic and alumni leadership of the Darden School want to fire the President, anyway? Somebody explain how that might possibly help the Darden School?

Some of the BOV are Arts and Sciences alumni -- why not posit an A&S conspiracy? Lawyers and doctors, too:

The 2 most likely reasons for the change:

1. A bone-headed move in good faith by well-meaning, loyal, smart people who are too much alike each other. They talked among themselves and worked themselves into a lather without going outside their circle for objective input. In particular, they might not have gotten input from experienced academic leaders who would have told them just how different academic management is. (Note: any of the supposedly nefarious Darden faculty would have immediately warned them of their folly).

Believe it or not, even the smartest CEOs, lawyers and doctors make dumb decisions sometimes, especially when their decision-making is "inbred".

2. OR, there's some grave problem the BOV's not talking about. Something like another Jerry Sandusky.

Time will tell.

DardenAlum et. al,

I apologize for not making it clear earlier... I may not have liked ex-president Sullivan's appointment to UVA, but I do not hate the woman herself. I just never thought she was right for The University.

Also, she has a family, please do not tarnish the woman's name with a Sandusky-reference.

@Darden alum: I agree that it's not all of Darden. But having spent a great deal of time on grounds, it is not at all clear to me that either Darden or McIntyre understand the word "education" to mean the same thing that Arts & Sciences, Engineering, or even Law or Medicine do. That's not UVa's fault or an attack on it in particular; it is a comment on the general profitizing of education everywhere, which scholars like Chris Newfield and others have written about extensively. You might call it "idealism" to oppose this, but among the "idealists" were Jefferson himself, who saw the existence of institutions of higher education outside the pressures of commercialism to be absolutely essential to the functioning of democracy itself--which is the ONLY reason he founded UVa--to educate ALL the citizens so that we could run our country. Our country made a "decision" decades ago to hand everything over to money; I think it's put us in a terrible bind, but obviously you may differ.

It's not all of Darden, but some people at Darden, who appear to be behind this, from all the media reports, and yoiu're right that it isn't fair to tar all of Darden with that brush. Although I am not the only person who looks at the Darden "grounds" and sees a grim parody of the Academical Village, not a modern updating. Frankly, Darden is not at all the worst of the business schools in the country, in part because of their formal need to bow toward Mr Jefferson's mission; I do not believe for a second that *most* of its members were clued in on this change--just a few, effective, perhaps especially cutthroat individuals.

I don't think a business leader will be the new President, in fact; I suspect they know that that would bring more controversy. However, a figure like Condaleeza Rice with both political and educational leadership experience--I think that would really take the wind out of many protestor's sails, no matter how wrongheaded the process that got us there, and whether or not we actually like her as President. Honestly, she's the best guess anyone has put forward yet, and since she has personal ties to UVa (her assistant Phil Zelikow is a longtime faculty member, among other things), it's not out of the question.

Why would Condi want to work for this crowd - now Bill Clinton that's a possibility.

Condoleesa Rice in the middle of a very Democratic city with a progressive faculty would go over like a lead balloon. Talk about an uproar.....!

Maybe it's Mayor Bloomberg--I hear he's looking for a new gig.

@the facts so far wrote: "I agree that it's not all of Darden. But having spent a great deal of time on grounds, it is not at all clear to me that either Darden or McIntyre understand the word "education" to mean the same thing that Arts & Sciences, Engineering, or even Law or Medicine do. "

I have a background in liberal arts and engineering as well business. I found the Darden faculty were better teachers and more student-focused than university teachers I've had elsewhere.

Darden has been a plus for the University, Charlottesville and the Commonwealth over the last 50+ years.

I don't see why everyone's picking on it today when nobody really knows what happened -- other than the 2 key decision-makers happened to have Darden MBAs.

Are today's Darden Caballists the new Birthers and Truthers?

The real story (which I heard directly from a member of the committee that hired Sullivan) is that UVA had an outstanding President already lined up so the search process was never intended to be thorough. Unfortunately this predetermined person bowed out at the 11th hour and the committee had to scramble to fill the spot and thus hired Sullivan. She was only on the list of candidates because the committee had to include a woman and/or minority. She was never their top choice. My guess is that the original person is now ready to commit to UVA again and therefore Sully is the odd woman out. No Darden conspiracy, sorry….just a hiccup from the first search. Kudos to committee for having the courage to correct this. The easy way out would have been for them to do nothing.

I agree with the obvious: That this move is tainted by some reckless, if not egomaniacal Darden-related morons.

If it runs deeper -- let's say to the roots of the school itself -- some of the finest people I have ever known and have held as respected leaders in business and education -- I am more than deeply saddened.

You have to wonder what gets into some folks heads. No aspect of this move conforms to the core principles and values I knew as a Darden student in the '80's (MBA 1983), nor saw in evidence as a local alumni since, nor detected during my son's stint as one of its top students (MBA 2010) not that long ago. The process, in a word, sucks. Dragas' actions, Kington's actions, and yes, Kiernen's actions, are indefensible, not just arrogant, and just plain stupid.

It does remind me as to why -- wisely -- Dan told Goldman Sachs to take a hike. One does not need to look far beyond Washington DC, or Wall Street, to know what damage that unholy cabal has wrought. This is a training ground for dubious practitioners of the otherwise sound, ethical, and honorable business practices they were taught.

I desperately would like to hear from Dean Bruner, and other leaders at Darden on this. I'd gos so far as to say it is time -- past time -- to give some "kids" a spanking. I care not how important they think they are, or how "rich" or "successful" they think they have become.

The silence may conform to some "code" that one does not speak out against "family", or "bite the hand" that feeds you. But this transcends $$$. Or at the least, it ought to.

@Concerned UVA alum

I share the concern and outrage. That said, you have an awful lot of unsubstantiated opinion as to what goes on at Darden, which is well and good, but have the honor to own your remarks.

All the hysteria over "Darden types" and "MBAs taking over" is stupid (and let's not even comment on the Goldman Sachs conspiracy theory). Take off the tin foil hats and Occupy sunglasses, kids.

DardenAlum is absolutely correct. Either this was just a stupendously boneheaded move by some members of the BoV, many of whom demonstrably should be replaced; or there is truly some dark, dirty scandal that the Board wants to hide for the protection of the University. Time will tell.

Here is the full text of Peter Kiernan's email to the Darden board .
Strategic dynamism --- what is this suppose to
mean ? I agree with Burton, Cohen, and O'Neill we are all owed a better explanation !


@Darden alum: On point. Ed Burton will not be the last word from the Darden academic community, nor will your words or mine be the last from Darden alumni.

No need to post anonymously, unless you work for GS or the Governor. ;)

Eric H, what gets into some people's heads is wealth and power and being surrounded by yes-people. The only reason that Darden alums might be more likely to engineer a coup like this than graduates of other schools is that they are more likely to be or become wealthy and powerful. You should also expect that all the Deans are in CYA mode right now and hunkered down.

@Bob: LOL... really, defending GS and attacking Darden? I think the respective reputations speak for themselves. But you are right insofar as this is not GS at work, even as GS is a fitting reminder of this sort of miscreant behavior.

@Knitten: A lousy generalization. But it does fit a superficial narrative that has become quite popular these days.

@Well informed: If that is what you call courage, I'd love to see what you consider integrity. Does Jerry Ratcliffe, or Rob Schilling, write your material?

Eric I appreciate your goodwill, but do you have any concrete proof that the Governor or Attorney General were not involved in the Sullivan ouster ?
Do you have any concrete proof that individuals at Goldman Sachs had no influence on members of the BOV ?

Eric, why lousy? It says nothing about Darden per se or most of its graduates. Do you disagree that wealthy and powerful people are more likely to being accustomed to getting their way and to have the means to do so? If Kiernan got it into his head that UVa needs "strategic dynamism" he might well decide to replace a president who wouldn't implement it, and he and some allies might easily persuade a board that they should do so. That hasn't got anything to do with Darden except for his affiliation with it. And of course not even all wealthy and powerful people do this!

Eric is very lonely from his perch over at the Daily Progress since they went to facebook login. He is a blog troll of the 1st rank. Eric doesn't need proof to go on a vendetta or wide eyed speculation. He often doesn't check facts before he writes something- for example Ed Burton is not a Darden prof but a College econ prof.

@My Two Bits: Speaking outside criticism of the manner and means of the BOV, yours is a valid question that the BOV and the President must face. Indeed, very few higher education institutions will continue on functioning with the kinds of academic vigor and diversity in, say, the model envisioned by Ezra Cornell who wrote "“I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study" (1868). Like Cornell, I had always figured UVA was a bit different than the usual paradigm of public vs. private -- in the case of UVA, a rare public institution that (of necessity) successfully pursued an intensely personal and loyal following of alumni willing to step forward with financial support in lieu of broad based fiscal support from taxpayers. What ran amok? Perhaps Sullivan was too inflexible to envision a large restructuring project. Those of us relegated to the cheap seats will never know. At Tulane, it took Katrina to make some radical changes possible, and despite it all, the "new" institution flourishes. Maybe Scott Cowen (not a fave of mine for other reasons) is available?

@Oh Eric: That's funny. Who posts regularly under their name. Who isn't?

Philip Shuchman profile:


Doesn't look like an ideologue.

Eric since you posted for years as antiboyd at the Progress (and then changed that) your comment is even funnier

The idea of a for-profit university is not so strange. Read the article below and tell me this wouldn't look like a good idea to the business types at UVA.


U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren co-authored the paper with Teresa Sullivan that Philip Shuchman attacked (see links above), so this issue is not going away, given the intense media focus on the Massachusetts race.

I think that I might need to remind people that the econony has changed over the last 4-5 years. People (yes, even "rich" people) don't have as much money as they did in prior years.

If anyone ever wants to know how the minds of insane, conspiracy theorists work, just read through these ridiculous comments.

Do people seriously have nothing better to do?

Final thoughts for this thread...

My bad on Professor Burton. Mea culpa.

As posted, Knitten, yours was a lousy generalization. You walked it back, not me.

And Nancy, do you have any proof that the Governor or Attorney General were involved in the Sullivan ouster? Do you have any proof that individuals at Goldman Sachs had direct influence on members of the BOV? Fact-wise, what we do know is that the Governor makes appointments to the BOV, and that he signed off on the BOV decision in some fashion. He avers that he was surprised. I don't buy his story. I believe that UVA leadership is often viewed as an irritant, in a political sense. Could be a case of benign neglect on his part, but I would expect him to have asked some serious questions of Dragas when this "decision" was presented to him. Cuccinelli's involvement would be wild speculation, but then again... he is ripe for it. As for GS, direct involvement appears far-fetched. Is their a culture of corruption present in that firm and a segment of its alumni? My opinion is yes. Do they run Darden, or UVA, or any of its boards? No. That's tin foil stuff.

And, Oh, what brought you out of your hidey hole? My gratuitous slap at Jerry? Or Rob?

"If anyone ever wants to know how the minds of insane, conspiracy theorists work, just read through these ridiculous comments.

Do people seriously have nothing better to do?"

Well, don't you, Kate?

@Eric: "Final thoughts for this thread..."

I'm going to hold you to that, Eric.

@kate burg - hate to tell you; but this ranks right up there on my important list. If there is anyway for me help "fix" this embarassment, I will.

Appreciate everyone's comments and hoping that all turns out for the best.

I agree that the Goldman-Sachs theory is bogus. I also agree that tarnishing all of Darden because of the actions of a couple grads and one foundation boardmember is absurd.

I have two main theories:

1a. The Board was angry because Sullivan's new budget did not slash staff and expenditures by the "unprofitable" departments in the College. She gave them a budget that basically froze staffing and expenditures for the academic side.

1b. The Board was angry that Sullivan did not propose a big cutback in need-based financial aid. Several boardmembers have complained about the cost and insisted that the U. hire consultants to recommend changes. That study (by UVa alums) came back and said that only minor tweaking is needed to financial aid, and that financial aid is a critical part of maintaining high quality students.

2. Alternative Theory: That Cuccinelli was the powerbroker. One of the key boardmembers is one of his largest contributors. He may have been angry at the drawn-out legal battle with UVa over the Mann emails. Then, a story was published a couple months ago that UVa was about to offer an endowed professorship to Mann, to bring him back to UVa. In addition, a couple months ago, Sullivan had the chutpah to submit a budget to the Legislature asking the state to reimburse the University for the legal costs of fighting Cuccinelli.

@Mom of UVA Student - this is seriously at the top of your list of important to dos? Wow. Do you really think that there's anything you can do to change it? Doubtful.

I'm all for people making their voices heard, but to think that you will be able to change this seems a bit naive.

I think the whole thing seems to have been handled poorly (from a PR perspective at least). But I guarantee your child will receive just as good of an education at UVA in the future as he/she did when Sullivan was there....just as I did when Casteen was there, and on and on and on.

The more things change at UVA, the more they stay the same.

While i don't know any more than I've read the Cuccinelli stuff is utter nonsense as is the Elizabeth Warren book stuff. This is a pretty serious thing for any BOV to do and it points to two things:

1.They have (what they believe to be) a superstar president in the wings and decided to make the change, whatever the cost.

2. There was a very real differences between the BOV and Sullivan- they could have told her to do X and she refused. The BOV are filled with people to whom the word "no" is a fighting word.

The good news is there are too many people involved for this not to spill out in the next few weeks and months.

@kate burg - all I can do it do what I can, and hope for the best; but at least I'm taking an active part. Sort of like the saying "don't complain about who wins elections if you didn't go vote."

Well my diploma stands for something else now... I guess I always knew those in power really didn't care about the students and faculty, and more about appearances and revenue... Never once, until now, have I contemplated taking the diploma off the wall, and not sending any money to the alumni association...

@St. Halsey. I'm with you. They found someone who would be SO more cool as a president - just wait until you see...??HIM? You'll see what we mean. You'll love him. We'll be vindicated then. And here's the thing -- unless you already have someone in mind...how can you know you'll be vindicated? And how can you be sooooo sure you'll have someone in place by mid-August? Because you already have the guy. Yeah, guy. So stop complaining that no one in academia will take the job because they're not looking in academia. It is the government or private sector. I'm voting (so to speak) for private sector turned government. Federal government. Or... could it be Bill Gates?

@Friend2 that literally made no sense. I think it was a failed attempt on your part to be witty? Sarcastic?

Everyone - Not that I think anyone, including myself, would get it right, but who do you think UVa will choose as its next president?

@Friend2 and others: it's not about a more attractive candidate waiting in the wings. This appears to have been a preemptive move ahead of the appearance of serious, comprehensive analysis of Sullivan's prior work from the early 1990s alleging serious "scientific misconduct" in her scholarship. See the links I posted above and them skim the material.

I take back my initial criticisms of the BOV; this was not a boneheaded move and I'm glad they made it as soon as they knew.

Dr. Sullivan would have a hard time getting the respect of the faculty after something like that surfaced, unless she could handily and readily refute it. Given the stature of the person who wrote it, I'd say that would be hard.

I agree with DardenAlum that the "Darden cabal" theores are silly. What is true is that the BOV is dominated by MBAs and CEOs: of 16 BOV members, 11 are CEOs or bankers or venture capitalists; 4 are lawyers; 1 is a physician. As DardenAlum says, this is a "monoculture" -- there's not a single academic among them. I repost here a comment I made on the Chronicle of Higher Ed website:

[[When you appoint, overwhelmingly, business people to the University’s governing board, you will get, inevitably, an institution run more and more like a business. Not just one driven by the bottom line, in which “growth” and “innovation” (vaguely defined) are fetishized, but where education becomes a commodity, students the consumers, and the University (and “Mr. Jefferson”) a brand. Of course, this process has been well underway in almost every aspect of American culture for a while now -- including in hospitals and healthcare (the patient as consumer of "services”). Do we really want our educational and health institutions to be recast in the image of business?]]

I would add: Dragas' promise that this decision will make better sense down the road when a new president is appointed is inadequate, not to say patronizing. As a public university that depends (if ever so little) on public funding, the citizens, not to mention UVa's faculty and staff, have a right to a detailed explanation on how, exactly, Sullivan's "vision" differed from the BOV's "vision" (a word that has become utterly meaningless). What exactly constitutes those so-called "philosophical differences"? (To paraphrase a jokester on another board - so what, the BOV is Kantian and Sullivan is an ardent Hegelian?!)

Everyone read this email sent by Peter Kiernan. It is the sketchiest thing ever, and is proof that this Hook article is not just a stretch.

Darden alum - You say, "This appears to have been a preemptive move ahead of the appearance of serious, comprehensive analysis of Sullivan's prior work from the early 1990s alleging serious 'scientific misconduct' in her scholarship." I couldn't get your link to work, but this theory seems unlikely. If her forced departure was based on evidence of scientific misconduct, surely the BOV would have provided such evidence to the faculty senate, ahead of this move?

just to have a show of hands:

how many think that the way the uva bov handled this situation was worse than how the psu bot handled firing JoePA. I's like to hear a little chatter/discussion about the similarites and differences.

One thing I think both situations have in common is that supposedly the bov and bot are comprised of very intelligent people - go figure.

So Goldman Sachs owns UVA now, I guess . . . Wish I hadn't pumped all that tax money into the place

@Jane: you wrote, "surely the BOV would have provided such evidence to the faculty senate, ahead of this move?"

They probably wanted to handle this as gracefully as possible under the circumstances. By all accounts, they liked and respected her prior to this. They wouldn't want to embarrass the University anymore than possible, either. Better the world should fuss at them for a few weeks or days for their MBAs than have all this drag out before the Faculty Senate.

I suspect they figured it would surface on its own without their help, given the Elizabeth Warren connection. At that point, the Faculty Senate would calm down.

These people are very loyal to the University, whether or not you agree with the way they were selected. They're not in this for the money. I think they do it because their love for the school and the satisfaction they get as stewards of such a great institution.

Re: Peter Kiernan (ex-Goldman Sachs)

I hate seeing people trash a great guy and good friend (and major benefactor) of UVA.

I don't know him but I know his reputation. He's a product of the "old Goldman Sachs" that put a premium on excellence and honor. I challenge anyone to go out and find any of his former clients that have anything less than a positive opinion of him.

The school needs as many friends like him as it can find. (Although I stick to my earlier point that the board is something of a "monoculture").

I hope that Democrats and Republicans will reconsider the BOV appointment process. It's probably politically unrealistic to eliminate the current governor-appointed seats, but perhaps the Commonwealth could also add some some more seats for Visitors nominated by the Alumni Association and elected by alumni. This would allow for adding some academics, former military, artists, etc. to add some professional diversity to the BOV. It's how Princeton got its board which I think is a good model:

I agree with Jane, if Sullivan' firing was about a paper from the 1990's we would know by now.
I doubt Kiernan was lying to his foundation members about the reason - strategic dynamism - and apparently those who fired her know what this means . The Rector has agreed to meet with the Faculty Senate maybe then the truth will come out.

This is hilarious, you know nothing about how a decision like this would be approached , it surely has nothing to do with obscure,unproven charges charges from 25 years ago, come on!- you say " This appears to have been a preemptive move ahead of the appearance of serious, comprehensive analysis of Sullivan's prior work from the early 1990s alleging serious "scientific misconduct" in her scholarship. See the links I posted above and them skim the material." yes do see them...

Here comes a handful of Darden alums to provide spin on a story they know no more about than anyone else posting here. Yet we should hold their opinion in high regard?

Oh, my. The laughter echoes across many state lines at the arrogance of these ding-dongs. You think because you lived through a bunch of esoteric case studies that you actually know your a$$es from a hole in the ground?

Apparently there are not too many pairs of blue eyes up on Darden Blvd. But plenty of brown, as evidenced from the self-proclaimed alums posting here.

I don't know Kiernan, but I read his email, which is proof that anyone with $100,000 and hubris can get an MBA. Basic communication skills and plain speaking must be electives at the Darden School. Or perhaps that course Pete took is called Obfuscation 101?

If it looks like BS, sounds like BS and smells like BS, why, let an MBA taste it just to confirm.

None of this is new:

The Higher Learning In America: A Memorandum On the Conduct of
Universities By Business Men
by Thorstein Veblen


@Old man and I love it: I didn't care for your ad hominem attacks. Also: "'See the links I posted above and them skim the material.' yes do see them..."
So you didn't read that stuff but you dispute it anyway?

For others, here's some more detail:

The link I posted above is to a 60-page critique of Sullivan and Warren's book in the Rutgers Law Review. Sullivan and Warren wrote a book, As We Forgive Our Debtors: Bankruptcy and Consumer Credit in America, which Philip Shuchman critiqued. He was harshly critical of their methodology. From his preface:

“I report my own interest as a part of this essay. I was deputy director of the Commission on the Bankruptcy Laws, and am the author of three of the empirical studies listed below. I was also one of the reviewers of Sullivan, Warren and Westbrook’s grant proposal to the National Science Foundation and wrote in favor of awarding their grant.”

“Most of their study replicates several earlier research publications. These are hardly mentioned. The writers make extravagant and false claims to originality and priority of research. There appear to be serious errors in their use of statistical bases which result in grossly mistaken functions and comparisons. Some of their conclusions cannot be obtained even from their flawed findings. The authors have made their raw data unavailable so that its accuracy cannot be independently checked. In my opinion, the authors have engaged in repeated instances of scientific misconduct.”

I'm not an academic (just a worried alum) and don't have the publication access or search skills to find what the reactions were to this critique; I'd be interested in anything others could find. Perhaps this was just a flash in the pan but a 60-page criticism by an expert in the field sounds like more than a drive-by attack.

If Sullivan's work was as unprofessional, even unethical, as Shuchman alleged, the Board of Visitors might have wanted to preemptively remove Sullivan as smoothly and quickly as possible. They might have thought that this paper would inevitably surface as a result of Warren's candidacy; it probably would have -- a Google search on ["elizabeth warren" + shuchman] shows this has been gathering momentum on sites like breitbart.com for several months.

Delegate David Toscano goes on the record this afternoon on WINA with his reaction to the resignation/firing of President Sullivan: http://bit.ly/M4lkcO

Might be interesting to ask questions for Dragas here: http://blog.dragas.com/index.php/helen-dragas-elected-to-become-first-fe...

With Goldman's Foray Into Higher Education, A Predatory Pursuit Of Students And Revenues


I've read through these comments, and I think the notion that this strange decision can only come up trumps with the quick appointment of a celebrity President is probably correct.

And speaking of Trumps, isn't the Donald available?

I'm predicting that McDonnell's upcoming BOV appointments will make this mess much, much worse.

On the positive side, the talk of drafting John Casteen for Governor may get much, much louder.

Darden Alum: "I have a background in liberal arts and engineering as well business. I found the Darden faculty were better teachers and more student-focused than university teachers I've had elsewhere."

Which begs the question, which was about their understanding of "education" being different than in the other disciplines--not their skill at teaching based on a different philosophy.

MBA programs are part vo-tech for the upper middle class, part private business club. Even so, your smear of Sullivan is, I hope, not something you learned at Darden. Your notion that a review of Sullivan and Warren that appeared 22-years ago is the "scandal" that justifies this decision is risible.

I am beyond amazed - flabbergasted, perhaps - that no one has even mentioned that Cuccinelli's first act as Attorney General was to sue the Science Department of the University of Virginia BECAUSE THEY PARTICIPATED IN THE RESEARCH THAT PROVED THAT HIS THEORIES ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE WERE DEAD WRONG! And you are planning to appeal to this Governor to intervene in a positive way in University affairs?! Appeal to him first to make Cuccinelli reimburse the University for all court costs and legal fees incurred by the University as a consequence of his specious and ridiculous lawsuit! And while you are at it, have Cuccinelli reimburse the taxpayers of the Commonwealth for their funds that he wasted on his "wild goose chase"! Out of his own pocket, of course, because he cannot reimburse the taxpayers for the money he took from them with more of their own money. The real reason for all of this is obviously the same corporate greed and lack of ethics that brought about the recent financial debacle from which we are still trying to emerge. It is absolutely chilling that these same amoral predators are going to be allowed to dispose of those very important parts of the University's make-up that might instruct the students in ethics - a subject clearly beyond the ken of the Governor, the Attorney General and far too many other people in authority. I weep for Thomas Jefferson, who would never in his wildest nightmares have approved of anything so amoral as this!

I like how Darden 'alum' continues to peddle the most bizarre of reasons behind this. What a shill...

Darden alum, why not try to summarize the allegations of scholastic misconduct? Here's my summary: Sullivan, Warren and Westbrook redacted the personal information of the people that were the basis of their case studies.

That's it. THAT'S the "controversy" over which you claim Sullivan got fired.

It's dressed up in misleading language, which apparently ensnared you hook, line, and sinker. But that's the thumbnail sketch of the "allegations" being breathlessly reported by breitbart.com

Just because something's published on the internet, doesn't make it credible or worthwhile.

You represent yourself as a Darden Alum. I'm afraid that your comments do not reflect well on the quality of the Darden education or its graduates.

This alum mines the Goldman theory a bit more. Thought provoking.

Has anyone heard anything from people in the UVa development dept, and how they are faring ? I heard today from a friend who was on a trip with some of them and they said that donors in DC have shut their wallets and said, they'll wait and see what happens. Has anyone else heard how the fund raising is going at UVa since the firing ? They are under enormous pressure to raise a million a day .

This article says donors may present a challenge for the BOV decision. It certainly doesn't sound like it has created anything but upset in our community.
President Sullivan was a huge asset for the PR efforts of UVa and the locals I know are angry, and want to see her reinstated before more damage is done --if they can get her to come back. Even former President Casteen has said this, and acknowledged mending fences would be tough, but if they don't try I think UVa will never stand a chance of being a first rate university.

"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?”


All readers are strongly encouraged to pay strict attention to this well-researched and reasoned article.

It speaks for itself.


Casteen for GOVERNOR? He was a good steward for UVa but the man couldn't run for public office to save his life. He is most definitely not a people person nor has any vestments nor sensibleness of the common man.

That may be the funniest thing I have read in this entire thread.

So two anonymous big name donors decide to develop, in conjunction with the Rector (who happens to have major ties to business) a "project" to oust the sitting President of the University of Virginia, one of the most prominent public institutions of higher education. Apparently, money really does buy you anything. Proof that something is terribly rotten in Denmark.

This may be how businesses are run, but it is absolutely no way to run a university. The BOV has made the UVA presidency an absolutely toxic asset. Who in their right mind would consider taking the post after the way this has been handled? They will inherit a faculty that is outraged and has no confidence in the governing structure of the university, a bewildered student body, and a BOV that appears impatient, reckless, cut-throat, and tyrannical. I don't see what could possibly be so beneficial for the University as to warrant the incalculable damage this entire episode is doing to its reputation.

I have an inside source telling me Mark Zuckerberg is looking to move back East and is looking for a new gig. Maybe be able to somehow hook up UVA to Facebook for digital learning...Word has it he's going to be the new Prez...details at 11

Wait--when does Bernie Madoff get out? Maybe they've lined him up for the job--he has proven to be extremely creative in fundraising...

Teresa Sullivan ouster: 33 faculty leaders protest her dismissal from University of Virginia presidency

By Daniel de Vise and Anita Kumar
Thirty-three department chairs and program directors at the University of Virginia signed a letter, released Wednesday, that protests the Board of Visitors’ decision to remove President Teresa Sullivan and urges the panel to “reopen discussion” with the ousted leader.
University of Virginia spokeswoman Carol Wood, left, walks alongside UVA Rector Helen Dragas and Vice Rector Mark Kington to Madison Hall for a news conference Sunday after the announcement that President Teresa Sullivan would be stepping down. (Sabrina Schaeffer/The Daily Progress via AP)

The Board of Visitors has called a special meeting for next Monday to discuss candidates for interim president, state and university officials said. The meeting will be held in closed session.

The faculty missive adds to an unusual and apparently growing backlash against the move, executed by board leaders Friday and reported to the university community Sunday. Rector Helen Dragas asked Sullivan for her resignation Friday afternoon, telling her a majority of the board favored her departure, according to several sources. Her last day will be Aug. 15.

On Monday, the 16-member Executive Council of the university’s Faculty Senate released a statement opposing Sullivan’s removal. Others, including former U-Va. President Robert O’Neal, former Chief Operating Officer Leonard Sandridge, and current Provost John Simon, have spoken in strenuous defense of her abilities.

The new letter, dated June 12 and addressed to the board, comes from faculty leaders representing the university’s academic core unit.

“We believe that this abrupt and, from our point of view, opaque decision will deeply threaten the way UVA is perceived by prospective as well as current faculty, students, and donors,” they write. “We strongly urge the Board of Visitors to reopen discussion with President Sullivan and the faculty.”

In remarks to deans and vice presidents Sunday, Dragas said the board felt “strongly and overwhelmingly” that it needed a kind of “bold and proactive leadership” that it found lacking in Sullivan. “We have calls internally for resolution of tough financial issues that require hard decisions on resource allocation,” she said. She alluded to stagnant faculty pay and looming retirements and portrayed them as “truly an existential threat to the greatness of UVA.”

Late Wednesday, Dragas released a statement that read in part: “Consistent with sound employment practices, it is the policy of the Board to keep confidential matters of disagreement and those relating to evaluation of progress against mutually agreed upon goals.

Nevertheless, the Board can assure you that there was ongoing dialogue with the President over an extended period of time, regarding matters for which we are responsible,” she wrote. “These include ensuring the long-term health and well-being of the University through development of a credible statement of strategic direction and a long-term resource plan.”

Many educators at U-Va. contend there were no signs of organizational weakness at the university or of shortcomings in Sullivan’s leadership.

“Our surprise and concern arise directly from the fact that we have been very pleased with the direction in which President Sullivan and her administrative team have been leading UVA and with her accomplishments thus far,” the faculty leaders write. “She is an extraordinary academic leader, with superb administrative abilities, the heart of a faculty member, and evident strength of character.”

They add, “One hears from colleagues elsewhere that Terry Sullivan was widely recognized as a rising star among university presidents. We expect that her positive impact on the University of Virginia will be felt—and will be appreciated by all of us—for years to come.”

This post has been updated since it was first published.

By Daniel de Vise and Anita Kumar | 04:15 PM ET, 06/13/2012


If financing is a problem, as it always is in education, again, making Cuccinelli reimburse the University for the court costs and fees that he caused the University to incur with his specious lawsuit should help considerably.

thank you, Darden alum, for thoroughly discrediting yourself with your Breitbart-fueled theory.

i can guarantee you exactly one thing: if there were even a shred of truth to it, not one of the four prestigious Universities that immediately expressed interest in Sullivan would have done so. as your links show, the evidence (or what you call evidence) is already available; those places all have easy access to whatever inside story there is. if there was a *whiff* of malfeasance around Sullivan, not one of those schools would have dared come out in support of her, let alone appear to make her actual job offers.

What " strategic dynamism " in the words of Peter Kiernan, this is - no interim president ?

from Post article above :

"The Board of Visitors has called a special meeting for next Monday to discuss candidates for interim president, state and university officials said. The meeting will be held in closed session"

and from the Daily Progress:

Tuesday, Kiernan said that strategic dynamism is similar to strategic planning, but more proactive.

“Strategic dynamism is taking your strategic plan and making it activist,” he said. He described it as adding an “action orientation” to such planning.


"Apparently, money really does buy you anything. Proof that something is terribly rotten in Denmark."

You leave Denmark out of this. It's consistently ranked one of the least corrupt places to do business. Danish universities have never granted an MBA.

One thing is clear to me is that online education will be a key revenue generator for all state schools. McDonnell and his crew are very aware of the dollars generated by Liberty University:

"This expansion is in large part due to its new online-only classes, called Liberty University Online, which enroll 52,000 of the school’s students (they pay 2/3 of a resident student) (compare that with its 12,000 students who live on campus). Such an expansion means the school spiked in its percentage of student aid by 56 percent to almost $450 million last year alone." http://campusprogress.org/articles/conservative_liberty_university_reaps...

With Harvard, MIT and Stanford moving quickly in the online space UVa has to compete but the traditional academics will fight every inch along the way in my opinion

Here is the letter released by the 33 faculty leaders.
Thank you to all these individuals that speak for so many of us in the community, former students, faculty, and friends across the world.

the last paragraph of their letter :
( entire text here )

The entire university community would benefit from a full airing of the specific “philosophical differences” mentioned by you and President Sullivan in order to form a clear vision for the months and years ahead. We believe that this abrupt and, from our point of view, opaque decision will deeply threaten the way UVA is perceived by prospective as well as current faculty, students, and donors. We strongly urge the Board of Visitors to reopen discussion with President Sullivan and the faculty.

We share with you the urgent concern to ensure that this most distinctive of American universities can maintain the sources of excellence that have characterized it now for nearly two centuries.

Respectfully yours,

Cynthia Wall, English
David Leblang, Politics
Brian Owensby, History
Paul Halliday, History (incoming)
Charles Holt, Economics
Douglas Taylor, Biology
Siva Vaidhyanathan, Media Studies
Krishan Kumar, Sociology
John Miller, Classics
Fred Damon, Anthropology
Susan McKinnon, Anthropology (incoming)
Tom Bloom, Drama
Edmund Brodie, Mountain Lake Biological Station
Richard Will, Music
Farzaneh Milani, Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages & Cultures
Deborah Parker, Italian, Spanish & Portuguese
John Arras, Biomedical Ethics
Ellen Contini-Morava, Linguistics
Charlotte Patterson, Studies in Women & Gender
Deborah McDowell, Carter G. Woodson Institute
Gabriel Finder, Jewish Studies Program
Talbot Brewer, Philosophy
Anne Behnke Kinney, East Asian Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
David Herman, Slavic
Michael Suarez, Rare Book School
Patricia Wiberg, Environmental Sciences
Christopher Krentz, American Sign Language
Christopher Tilghman, Creative Writing
Deborah McGrady, French
Sandhya Shukla, American Studies
Kevin Hart, Religious Studies
Edward G. Lengel, Papers of George Washington
Colin Bird, Politics, Philosophy, & Law

hhhmmm...no signatures from either business school?

Will - my apologies if I offended Denmark with my literary allusions. One of my dearest friends is a Dane and she is definitely good people. She makes living in Denmark sound quite nice, actually. Universal healthcare, free college for all, low crime, low poverty, etc. I may have to migrate there.


I think you're anything but a "Mr Jefferson" alum. I'd call you Recalcitrous J. Landgrant-Maven III instead. The world needs balance sheet driven biz-heads (rhymes with?) with a practical focus, of course. If we only had academics no one would ever get a flat tire changed. But let's fact it: Darden people are largely Philistines who find their highest cultural expression in tailgating and talking about the latest field slave, sorry, I mean football player to be trotted out on the field as surrogate warrior proxy against those of a group of other bourbon beswilled white crackers from a different state.

The University needs passionate, intelligent, and profoundly curious professors who look for meaning and celebrate the complexity and absurdity of life, and encourage new generations to think, inquire, and challenge the boundaries of our assumptions. Not just those who dream of honarary urinals at Scott Stadium (oh wait sorry the ante got upped didn't it?).

I work in the most data-driven and practical of fields and make a tidy salary in exchange. But I treasure the time spent acquiring a BA and two graduate humanities degrees at UVA, and I'm so grateful for the contact with profound thinkers within the real University, not the trade schools of the outer ring.

On Monday this group : the Executive Council of the Faculty Senate issued this letter. This group represents all schools including business.

in part:
"We find the Board’s statement inadequate and unsatisfactory. We understand that the University, like most of its peer institutions, faces tremendous challenges. We believe President Sullivan made meaningful progress toward meeting these challenges, and put in place strategies and personnel to move the University forward.

As elected representatives of the faculty, we are entitled to a full and candid explanation of this sudden and drastic change in University leadership. We intend to investigate this matter thoroughly and expeditiously, and will meet with the Board as soon as possible. The Faculty Senate will continue to gather and give voice to faculty views and do all we can to preserve and protect strong faculty governance at the University.

We are determined and committed that Mr. Jefferson’s University will continue to be a beacon of excellence, honor, and compassion in a troubled world.”

( full text )

The members of the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate:

Robert Kemp
Ramon W. Breeden, Sr., Research Professor

George Cohen Chair-Elect
Chair, Planning & Development Committee
Brokaw Professor of Corporate Law
Barron F. Black Research Professor of Law

Gweneth West
Past Chair
Professor, Head of Costume Design,
Drama Department
Arts & Sciences

Brandt Allen
Co-Chair, Academic Affairs Committee
James C. Wheat Professor of Business Administration

Carolyn Callahan
Co-Chair, Academic Affairs Committee
Commonwealth Professor

Cassandra Fraser Professor
Arts & Sciences

Chris Holstege
Chair, Faculty Recruitment, Retention, & Welfare Committee
Director, Division of Medical Toxicology

Howard Kutchai
Chair, Grievance Committee
Professor of Molecular Physics and Biological Physics

George Mentore Associate Professor of Anthropology
Arts & Sciences

Elizabeth Meyer Associate Professor

Peter Norton
Chair, Policy Committee
Assistant Professor, Science, Technology, & Society
Engineering & Applied Science

Stephen Patek Associate Professor of Systems & Information Engineering
Engineering & Applied Science

Shayn Peirce-Cottler
Chair, Research & Scholarship Committee
Assistant Professor of Biomechanical Engineering

James Sutphen Professor

Alfred (Alf) Weaver Professor of Computer Science
Engineering & Applied Science

Timothy Wilson Sherrell J. Aston Professor of Psychology &

Professor Wilson name should read:

Timothy Wilson Sherrell J. Aston Professor of Psychology & Dept. Chair

Wow. A lot of looney tune BS going on here.

To the Hook (and Ms. Stuart): Slandering the Darden School on the basis of an association, albeit not an insignificant one, with some inept alumni, is a bit lazy... if predictive. In a phrase, some morons f-ed up, if not in planning, surely in execution. If this is Exhibit I in "strategic dynamism", let's hope the rest of the "case" that follows is not so tribal in nature.

The banality of Dragas' alert to UVA leadership is stunning, coming from a Darden grad. It gives no clear sense why the least among UVA's many stakeholders should have one whit of confidence in her leadership on the BOV.

Heck, Ken Boyd would do a better job -- in a coma.

Kington isn't far behind.

Scary is that the latter succeeds the former. Such continuity in mis-governance is frightening.

Scarier still is that -- at least in his own mind -- this dude Kiernan expects to be appointed to the BOV. Heck, why not? He ought to be made to eat his own dogfood.

The word on the street -- WS that is -- among Darden alum is bewilderment, shock, anger. Words like "toxic" abound. I have to agree. "D" for dumb.

Ironically, the Darden School itself is a model for transforming education -- except for its price tag. Very innovative. And, until this broadside on its prestige and integrity, well respected. As an alum, I am saddened by the fallout.

Dragas' did not have to go "nuclear", not matter what the "board" (or some derivative thereof) was thinking (or wasn't) in re urgency, and change.

The next -- unannounced, and perhaps imaginary -- President is going to face a lot of headwind unnecessarily created by those behind this coup de etat. Best of luck with that.

They'd be advised to make a pre-nup agreement requiring the current leadership of the BOV step down from their leadership roles. With cohorts like these, who needs enemies?

I'd reiterate those calling for some serious changes in the governance structure of UVA. It is not even debatable that most, if not all, of the primary stakeholders were x-ed out of this process, and worse, left in the dark afterwards. "Trust Helen" will go down in UVA history as one of the most hollow and insignificant utterances ever made, a helluva testimony to Mr. Kleiman's business acumen. No, Peter, people are just not that stupid, gullible, or sheeplike.

No grand conspiracy here. Jamie Dimon has demonstrated how even a well run organization can produce stinky cheese. Washington, DC has made an entire public industry of it. So, three Darden alum did the business equivalent of streaking across the Lawn covered in pig excrement. UVA will survive.

It just did not have to be this way.

Dennis Tracz: To put UVA and Liberty in the same sentence is really, truly abhorrent. But leave it to someone like McDonnell, who got his law degree from the 700 Club (Regent "University" is a mere invention of that execrable institution) to use Liberty as a shining example of how UVA should reach for the stars. Sad, sad day.

For those of you keeping score Eric H Schmitz's also calls himself proac

This entire matter is just very sad. As a former faculty member at Darden and the School of Education, I have watched over many years the growing influence of politics in the Academical Village. Since I am unable to channel Mr. Jefferson, I can't say what he would think of this entire circus, but my guess is that he would be disgusted. This is not how civilized people treat each other.

If this entire matter is about moving things faster and on line education, there are many things that could have been done to accomplish these ends. A person or persons could have been hired to manage these two areas. All of us are imperfect and impatient. Unlike a business, a university can't turn around on a dime and can't move to an on line approach to education without a great deal of preparation. UVA will rue the day that one can obtain a UVA degree on line. This is simply not what a great university is all about. Great teachers aren't by defintion great TV performers. On line education is a fad and like all other fads, it will come and go. Perhaps the BOV could hire Katie Couric to teach and have a class in perkiness.

I hope that the BOV will rethink this decision. From the outside, it appears to be questionably legal. If the BOV acted in the way suggested in the press, perhaps they acted illegally. I don't have the governing documents in hand and feel that a good legal scholar with some board legal experience might wish to review this entire matter.

Good luck UVA, you are going to need it.

Go Hoes Go!

@Oh: Nobody cares about your imaginary whims any longer. What is your problem? Leave the poor guy alone.

1to1: The idea of a Cooch v. TMac gubernatorial contest is abhorrent to all people with any sense (Stick a fork in Bilbo. He's done.). That's why there is a movement to draft John Casteen.

The extremes of the right and the left laughed that Colgate Darden, Mills Godwin or Linwood Holton could never be elected Governor of Virginia. They were surprised by Governor Darden, Governor Godwin and Governor Holton.

I wouldn't say that I know John Casteen; but I did first meet him more than 33 years ago and have kept up with him during the intervening years. You may not think that he has "vestments nor sensibleness". Some of us do.


Not a trivial matter that Brandt Allen signed that letter on behalf of the Darden School. Mr. Allen must be shaking his head in disbelief on this one.


The theory put together by Anne Marie http://www.annemarieangelo.com/?p=40 is intriguing. If even half true, it would appear that there is some serious governance issues related to conflict of interest involved. I hope there is another explanation.

I'm not a Darden grad, so I can't speak with full confidence, but my guess is Darden grads don't sit around maligning English and Environmental Science majors. If you hate business so much, go live in Venezuela or Cuba. They've been putting the academic approach in action for years.

Would Hillary Hurd of Richmond, the student member of the BOV, be related in any way to Bill Hurd of Richmond, the Republican activist and litigator?

To blame the Darden experience as the cause of an individual (Helen Dragas)'s action is ridiculous. I doubt her two years at Darden has that much impact on her personality any more than her undergraduate alma mater makes her ethical and honorable.

Wait, everyone knows that Helen Dragas graduated from UVa undergrad in '84 with degrees in Foreign Affairs and Economics, right?

Peter Kiernan has done many good things for UVA and Darden but not for just the goodness of his heart. He got 3 children into the University and those of us who have been in class with any of them would know that they probably did not get admitted on just their academic prowess. I happen to have met the family and they walk around the Grounds like they own it.

"The theory put together by Anne Marie http://www.annemarieangelo.com/?p=40 is intriguing. If even half true, it would appear that there is some serious governance issues related to conflict of interest involved. I hope there is another explanation".

If any of the Darden people would like to take up Anne Marie's suggestion to find an explanation, they may want to start with investments made by Kington and Kiernan in on-line education ventures. THAT'S a very good place to start but be aware that one will have to navigate through some pretty fancy funds and holding structures. EMC may be a good place to start but don't stop there.

Read, people, read:


Paul O.Maxx said:

"If any of the Darden people would like to take up Anne Marie's suggestion to find an explanation, they may want to start with investments made by Kington and Kiernan in on-line education ventures. THAT'S a very good place to start but be aware that one will have to navigate through some pretty fancy funds and holding structures. EMC may be a good place to start but don't stop there."

I would only change the above by saying if *anyone* would like to take up Anne Marie's suggestion, they may want to start with investments made by...

Readers are encouraged to do just that.

Of course Kiernan has investments in online education. There's no coincidence that he was the only person (or so he claims) at the Darden Board of Trustees with advance knowledge of the putsch coming down on Sullivan.

When is The Hook going to file FOI paperwork to see the disclosure and holding forms for every member of the UVA Board of Visitors? When will the media demand financial information from Kiernan? He is ostensibly just a schmuck on the sidelines who should have no involvement with this issue affecting a university president, yet he appears to be in this deep up to his Armani-covered lily-white a$$.

When someone stands between you and an investment potentially worth millions, you eliminate them. THAT's the MBA mentality. What's amazing is these jack-booted thugs are so unsophisticated that their cover story is unravelling day by day.

Helen, Pete, et. al., you're not playing a very good game of chess. This game is going to blow up in your faces.

Taking bets on how soon these arrogant, incompetent buffoons will be staring down the barrel of a ruinous lawsuit.

It seems the Living Wage Campaign at UVA had all the coverage a few months ago like that was the big story at UVA. (As one poster said) "the people who make the real paychecks" were working on the big story and we had no idea what was coming.

Is this true or not? This seems to imply that Sullivan knew her position was at risk but all other accounts say she didn't know this was coming. “Nevertheless, the Board can assure you that there was ongoing dialogue with the President over an extended period of time,” she wrote, about “ensuring the long-term health and well-being of the University through the development of a credible statement of strategic direction and a long-term resource plan.”

I'm with Former Faculty Darden. This online education thing is ultimately going to dilute the UVA degree (and with the publics attention span having come down to that of a gnat, likely to fade out with the next great free thing they find on the internet).
Ever since the US News & World Report rankings obsession became de rigeur around here, UVA administration has exhibited an institutional arrogance that to this outsider comes across as downright staggering. I've long said the motto at UVA should be: You Need Us, We Don't Need You, and signs around grounds should read "Talk to the Hand".
They're under the impression UVA is Harvard, and try as they might, it'll NEVER be Harvard. So while Harvard and MIT can get away with online classes only providing further cachet to their coveted degree, it's BECAUSE they're Harvard and MIT. They are untouchable schools. Their reputations are rooted so deeply that their offering freebie online classes is almost like them tossing out bread crumbs to the starving masses. However the true experience at those schools, what will not be tainted for this very reason, is in being there, collaborating with fellow brilliant students (and, alas, the occasional idiot who gets in because of an influential daddy, hazard of the business), working on group projects, studying together, a meeting of many great minds. And never is that going to be tainted by a bunch of people listening in to online classes from some of their esteemed professors.
Not to denigrate the UVA student because most students (with the exception of those who get in because of their rich daddy's donations) are very high calibre. But they're simply not Harvard students. Guess what? The ones who got into UVA and Harvard? They went to Harvard.
However McDonnell and his henchmen are all about commoditizing UVA to maximize income (and line their pockets), period. And they and the BOV are arrogant enough to think the school's reputation is so pristine and so elite that it can do this successfully. "Oh, we'll let everyone who doesn't get in get their degree online, we'll make boatloads of cash, all of my donors will have invested in the project and they'll make boatloads of cash too, and then they'll put me in the White House." The bonehead.
But all that's gonna happen is that the UVA degree will be less valuable to everyone who actually went to the trouble of studying hard and high school, earning good grades, and busting their butts while in school here.

Best part -- "Reputation Gap" comment. Kudos to Sullivan for outing UVA. Such a high opinion of itself based on nothing. Never seen such ingrained institutional arrogance.

Ya think? is spot on about "You Need Us, We Don't Need You." That's the way they roll.

There will be no lawsuit: you can't sue over voluntarily resigning.

Voluntarily resigning suggests that she believed the troika's claim that the entire BOV would vote against her; that she understood and agreed with the reasoning at some level; and that she knew she had no leg to stand on (or did not want to attempt to stand). Because she resigned, there is almost no way to imagine what the BOV did was illegal or even against the rules of UVa (such as they are). Remember, by resigning she gave up a large severance package. Although it sounds like they agreed to renegotiate this, Sullivan could have refused to resign and stood her ground, had she had any political or legal leg on which she wanted to stand. She did not; she saw the logic of what the BOV wanted and knew it was not stoppable.

As I've said before, the only explanations for her agreeing to resign are (a) the exposure of malfeasance on her part, which is virtually disproved by 4 other schools being interested in her, and which nobody on the BOV has even hinted about, and, I think, would have had to have done so at this point to pacify the faculty; (b) another candidate ready to come on-board, of some level of prominence, whom even Sullivan could see would be a boon to UVa.

This was serious hardball politics, and I do think other interested parties (esp. the faculty) have a strong claim against BOV procedures, which appears to be gaining some traction. More power to them. This is not the first time secret power politics have been in charge at UVa, by a long shot. But it's still not clear to me why Sullivan would agree to resign, *even if* she believed there was a 100% BOV vote against her, if there was not a Phase 2 of this affair coming with which she thinks even the faculty will agree. Or unless it was so unpleasant that she told them to eff themselves and got ready to move on, to a real institutin of higher learning.

Have a look at the "Semester at Sea" affair if you want to see an example of Casteen selling out the school, its values & potentially accreditation status, to moneyed interests & the BOV. From what I've seen so far, we have every reason to think it is Sullivan & not Casteen who represents a Presidency of integrity. And that's without mentioning Casteen's apparently direct involvement in the VQR affair. Well, I just mentioned it.

To correct myself: these are not the *only* two explanations, but they are the only two that strike me as likely. In my third paragraph I appear to have come up with a third plausible explanation: what the BOV wanted was so silly/contrary to TS's idea of higher education that in that very short time she gave up on UVa and figured she'd go elsewhere. I'll admit I find this one as likely as the other two. And in many ways it's the darkest explanation of all (and fits into annemarie's blogged theory, as does the candidate-waiting-in-the-wings version).

The comments above -- 150+ at last count -- include some fascinating hypotheses about why the BOV acted as it did last weekend. Bottom line at his point, though, is we just don't know, and as some have pointed out we, we may never exactly what precipitated the decision.

But, if someone wants evidence of what happens in an information vacuum, they just need to google "Teresa Sullivan . . . ."

Maybe UVa needs to re-open its department of Communications and Rhetoric and offer a class on crisis communication. The BOV should be the first pupils.

The best hypothesis presented thus far is the notion that powerful, monied interests demanded changes at UVA favorable to their interests. Sullivan resisted, rightfully so, and a handful of Darden alums trained in the black arts conspired to force her out.

I see her resignation not only as coerced, but perhaps a relief for her as well. I am no mind reader, but think it quite probable that the lady thought to herself, "Eff this bad noise; these people are idiots and I do not wish to associate with them."

There's nothing significant in Sullivan's past that could have led to this. If there was, then the BoV did a lousy job of vetting.

Life's too short to worry too much about a cabal of rich people jerking around an employee making half a million dollars a year. They will all turn out fine.

More troubling, if not surprising, is the way it was all engineered. The slime is dripping off this situation.

If money is your God and all that you worship, then by all means get an MBA and the training you'll need to do whatever is necessary to claw your way to your goals as you run to your inevitable mortality. Maybe they'll name a building after you when you finally relieve the world of your sordid presence.

To paraphrase a great line from the classic film Chinatown,

"Ugly buildings, businessmen and whores all become respectable if they last long enough."

@thefactssofar states "Voluntarily resigning suggests that she believed the troika's claim that the entire BOV would vote against her; that she understood and agreed with the reasoning at some level; and that she knew she had no leg to stand on (or did not want to attempt to stand)."

What if she resign because she didn't want to drag the University into the mud? Is it possible that she knew that without BOV support, she wouldn't be able to continue her vision?

I vote for mediation - and am keeping my fingers crossed that she remains at UVA after August 15th.

"resigned" - my fingers don't type as fast as I want.

Interesting, who is doing the PR on this over at UVA? We had a City Council hopeful who might spread some light on that.

The vacuum remember was created by the BOV oligarchy/politburo (according to the Washington Post). So what are people going to do but speculate and create narratives to explain. The interesting thing is not the accuracy of the theories but the tone of the narratives that people are constructing to describe the situation. Those narratives depict a lot of mistrust for the politically appointed (both sides of the aisle) overseers of the University. The lack of transparency, not the decision itself seems to be the key problem. And it is Mr. Jefferson's University after all-Where's the Democracy? Where's the Public?

I don't think the MBA ruling class expected the kind of push back they are getting. They are used to giving orders and having them executed without thought because workers live in fear of reprisal.

Q:What is the motto of the Commonwealth of Virginia? Are Dragas and her Darden Cabal feeling it now?

I think many faculty are tired of the Darden School and School of Med. Superstar mentality and domination of University governance by money. We live in an academical village not an online shopping mall. The hubris from those two schools is monumental and disgusts the rest of the faculty. Some wish they were not part of the University at all-maybe that's the solution let Darden and the Med School privatize and separate from the University?

The MBA ruling class may have ruined the economy but many of us don't want to let them ruin the PUBLIC University. The problem with the United States today is that it is over run with MBA's and their short term thinking and bottom line morality. The new priestly class. Dragas, Craig, Darden, leave those kids alone.

^^ A. Death be to Tyrants . . . .

Side light. Someone mentions the semester at sea program. I personally know of one instance where UVa cash settled a suit (regarding sas employment) with a agreement of silence. Uva was very wrong, but the person needed the money. Case closed.If Darden alum is still around -my apology if mine was an "ad hominim attack" (surely overboard?) But I was amazed that a a mature person would suppose the unattested charges you mentioned from 20 years ago regarding her book would lresult in this current dismissal. The Academy doesn't work the way you think it does.It would take a panel of scholars to hang sullivan on that stuff.

Why do we have this Motto in VA?

There is a reason the ancient sage Confucius puts the merchant class at the bottom of the four social classes, because merchants reap profits from other people's labor. . .

Here's a curious thing about the response to Ms. Sullivan's untimely departure -- the loudest outcry at the University is from the Arts and Sciences. Much less vocal (tho not silent ) are Architecture, SEAS (Engineering), Curry, Medicine, Law, as well as undergraduate and graduate business.

The A & S outcry may be related to fear for their departments and their jobs.

Among students, today, the push is to get into Commerce. Some for the crass moneymaking potential for the I-banking types being decried above, but for many others, they just want to be employable once they leave Mr. Jefferson's University. The other "trade school - type majors" as some here denigrate -- Architecture, Engineering, Nursing, Teaching -- are also popular because kids want to graduate with a job. The Arts & Sciences, generally, are losing favor nationally because those graduates are finding themselves ill-prepared for the current job market ,and that does not appear to be changing anytime soon.

What to do with A & S may also have something to do with the "philosophical differences" referred to.

This Post article is interesting--it sounds like nothing Sullivan proposed was at odds with what the BOV wanted. The mystery deepens.

The attack on Sullivan's scholarship reeks of Cuccinelli ideological red scare tactics. Fact is an investigation exonerated her, she has had a stellar career both as an academic and as an administrator.

The conservatives and the capitalists and their priestly class of MBAs and Economists won't stop until they control every institution in America, the Church, politics, families, City Councils (ah yes look at the relationship between our Chamber of Commerce and the City Council) , education. They can't take any source of criticism or difference with the tenants of market-placed individual self interest and profit. Pure unbridled capitalism and greed trump anything including democracy or fraternity. As Deborah Stone says we live in a Pollis not a marketplace and this is the fundamental ideological difference undergirding the BOV and Sullivan leading to her firing. This is what is gewtting worked out in the BOV-Sullivan interaction.

When are people in Cville and this state going to wake up and reclaim public control over corporatized political control of our public institutions? We are so passive here. The Party establishment is not going to do anything to upset the apple cart. Its going to take 1000 people in the streets...if you want to stop the BOV, or reinstate Sullivan or whatever you want to do to make change. Where are the throngs of people in front of the Rotunda?

The BOV strategically waited until the students were gone, faculty on summer vacation, and everyone burned out from the end of the academic year.

Is this the smoking gun? :
"Sullivan’s Academic Strategy memo, obtained by The Washington Post, was written in comparatively candid terms and identified five areas of broad concern.

First, a siloed budgeting model that frustrates innovation and collaboration. Second, a projection that fully half of the U-Va. faculty will depart by 2020, mainly because of retirement. Third, a “reputation gap”: In many academic areas, Sullivan suggests, the university is “reputed to be better than we actually are.” Fourth, the “fragile” Top 10 stature of many university departments and professional schools, driven by a precariously small number of actual academic stars.

Lastly, Sullivan suggested overhauling the curriculum to lavish far more attention on upper-level classes and to convert many lower-level courses to a “hybrid” model, partly delivered online. Her reasoning: Many U-Va. students arrive already having taken many introductory courses as Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate-level classes in high school."

It would seem that this could be the tipping point where the seperation between Sullivan and the BOV came to a head and the push to dismiss her began.

An aside. Isn't it really bizarre that what was once the third-best middlebrow news magazine, universally unread by academics, has become the absolute arbiter of excellence in all intellectual fields of endeavor?

"The Arts & Sciences, generally, are losing favor nationally because those graduates are finding themselves ill-prepared for the current job market ,and that does not appear to be changing anytime soon."

The problem is that our society has sold these children on the notion that the only purpose of "education" is very specific "job training" for a particular job that exists at the moment that they begin their training. The truth is that Arts & Sciences majors are just as prepared for today's "job market" as they were for the market in 1960 or 1910. If they're truly educated they're very well prepared indeed.

Of course Dragas will say and do anything to save her skin, But, how many other BOV members want this on their resume ?

from the Post link:

" This is the most egregious case I have ever seen of mismanagement by a governing board,” said Hunter R. Rawlings III, president of the prestigious Association of American Universities and former president of Cornell. “It’s secretive, it’s misguided and based on the public statements, there’s no clear rationale.”

Let’s Look BEYOND this scandal for a minute ... one really has to question the University’s governance system ... called the Board of Visitors (BOV). First off, that is all they are ... "Visitors" … ones imposed on the University by a one-term politician in Richmond. The primary means of getting on the BOV? Contributions to the Governor’s campaign! I have not studied the BOV composition (someone should) but on Sunday a "quorum" of the executive committee voted 3-0 to accept Sullivan's resignation. Amusingly, two of those three BOV members are real estate developers (Helen Dragas the Rector, and Hunter Craig). Indeed, that's the profession I turn to when I seek a steady hand on the tiller … and someone with deep understanding of academia and a long-term outlook. Yes, real estate developers are known for being wise and prescient. Along with investment bankers who take risk with other people’s money, they are the keepers of the long lost art of “strategic dynamism” and are said to fiscally responsible, even "visionary" they claim. I suppose that is why there have been no woes in the real estate market in recent years? Yes, that's Hunter Craig of Biscuit Run fame ... who escaped disaster from that project on the backs of Virginia tax payers. What new burden is he helping to levy upon us now? The TRUTH will eventually emerge, and it won’t be pretty for someone. Maybe Sullivan (but I doubt that). Either way, this system of appointing virtually all the BOV members needs to be reconsidered and changed.

Will this be the next president or interim ?

"Dragas and Kington, for example, are members of the board of directors of utility giant Dominion, whose chairman, president and chief executive officer, Tom Farrell, is a U.Va. alumnus and former rector. Farrell, mentioned for the university presidency during the search that produced Sullivan, is a lifelong friend of Bob McDonnell, the Republican governor remaking the school's board through his appointive powers.

So far, McDonnell has named eight new members. He could appoint four more next month; another four, next year. "


This just gets worse and worse. From the Richmond Times Dispatch:

Meanwhile, university officials interviewed two consultants with strong ties to Dominion Resources Inc. about the possibility of working with the university as it attempts to manage the turmoil.

The university approached Dominion for recommendations, said Jim Norvelle, a Dominion spokesman.

The consultants, Eva Teig Hardy and Carl Baab, are retired from senior public affairs positions at Dominion, on whose board of directors Dragas and Mark J. Kington, the vice rector, serve.

Dominion CEO Thomas Farrell is a former U.Va. rector who is chairman of the governor's higher education reform commission.

Anybody want to bet that Tom Farrell emerges as UVa's new President?

@Will - I've taken many courses at the University that debated the commoditization of all universities. I graduated with an Econ major. I had many friends that either gradauted in Econ or from the Comm School. We're all employed (yes I keep up with them). My many friends who chose the route of English, History, SWAG, etc. are still trying to find an internship (I keep up with them too). I also had some friends from my high school that went to Harvard. Guess what - the ones with "trade majors" (business, architecture, etc.) have jobs. The 2 that did English and Philosophy are unemployed.

The point of the university, not just The University, but all universities, as I said to my professor in class on grounds, is to ready their student bodies for today's world. My friends who chose to go the psychology and other, in my opinion, useless majors, are unprepared for today's world because they aren't attractive to potential recruiters and companies.

I greatly value the broad types of classes I took, and I wouldn't trade my experience at dear old UVA for anything in the world, but I made sure to balance taking an array of courses while also pursuing a degree that will keep me warm at night.


On a separate note, whether anyone agrees or disagrees with me or with what has happened with Terry, I know at the end of the day, we all care about The University immensely. I will forever be proud to wear the honors of Honor, signified by my class ring.

What;'s it going to take to stop corporate control of the University of Virginia!!!!!

I think Star Power is at work behind the scenes...I'm thinking Hillary Clinton as the next UVA president.

Funny add-on … when I was at Darden I recall a case study about the 1982 Tylenol recall and how it was put forth as a shining example of how to handle a crisis … openly, honestly, and morally right. Funny all these assembled Darden graduates missed that lesson. Perhaps they were in Professor C’s reading class studying Machiavelli or Sun Tzu that day.

But flat broke. You cannot eat student loans.

The crazies are taking over this thread. It is beginning to read like an OWS manifesto. Well, it is The Hook -- what can one expect.

A monumental blunder precipitated by some stark and legitimate differences appears to be the most sane, and likely, explanation here. The BOV erred in the manner and means of wrapping this up. Big time. No empathy from here. A Darden educated alum knows better.

The rest of this response on this thread -- denigrating all things practical as "evil" -- and the bash the money-grubbing MBA/doctor/lawyer monologue -- is downright laughable, if not so reflective of one side of the debate.

One of the appeals to any student coming to UVA is that you can come here for a useful education, whether that be arts and sciences, engineering, business or medicine -- even law -- and (gush) learn. There will always be push and pull on the best way(s) to accomplish this.

One wonders how many of the more hateful comments are generated by fols ignorant of the UVA, or Darden, experience. It aint that bad.

And no, UVA isn't Harvard. And Harvard is not UVA, for that matter. So what? When one looks at the comparative success of alumni, by almost any metric, the undergraduate institution is not found to be a discriminating factor. What you take away from your educational experience remains on you, bottom line.

If this situation deteriorates further, I wonder what would be the precedent for the faculty senate to issue a vote of "no confidence" in the BoV.

The quote by Hunter Rawlings will carry a lot of sway with academics across the nation. What sober scholar, what rising academic star, would come to UVA knowing theire is a toxic governing board carrying on in some locked conference room, slapping themselves on the back over their perceived cleverness?

Also, is it really in the best interests of a public university to have its leadership appointed by a governor with political agendas? This bigmouth Dragas would not even be rector had Gov. McDonnell reappointed her predecessor. But the governor did not because Dragas' predecessor contributed to the campaigns of Tim Kaine and Mark Warner. Let me be clear: Democrats do the same damn thing. But the point is, the political and ideological composition of the BoV changed in the last two years.

If Darden alum Petey Kiernan gets appointed to the BoV after this fiasco, if Dragas gets reappointed, then underhandedness will prevail and collusion with the governor's office will seem obvious to all but those who are deliberately blind.

sorry for the typo -- tghe word is folks, not fols (nor fools)...


Why would Hilary Clinton or Condolezza Rice be better than Sullivan? They wouldn't. They both serve the capitalist neolliberal corporate masters who are after privatizing everything for profit.

@ Michael: Your comment is the perfect explanation for what is wrong with our society and the plight of the University. The global capitalists have taken over society and defined everything to meet their needs. The schools and universities are transformed into training programs for banks and investment firms. I think Mr. Jefferson would be puking after reading the post.

What today's world needs are young people who are proficient at being citizens and democrats and republicans with small d and r). People like Joe Wilson or Martin Luther King. Instead we have a generation who believe that the only purpose in life is to get rich quick or die trying. America is going to hell in a hand basket and its because the greedy corporate types have managed to buy up all the institutions in society like the media. Now they are after the public universities because they are the last bastions of free thought, free speech, and thoughtful citizenship.

The notion that education and life are about making yourself attractive to recruiters and companies is so far from Jefferson's vision that it makes me think UVA students and alums are no different than U Phoenix alums. I thought you all were different from that?

Maybe we need a new major at UVA: Public and Citizen Studies? Then UVA grads could understand the relationship among: the Citizens United Supreme Court Case, The Garcetti Supreme Court Case, The derivatives and Investment fraud that led to the recent depression, The corporatizng of public higher education, the way the BOV's are selected, Darden-Goldman connections, and the Terry Sullivan firing and the need for critical citizens in America.

It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine....

@ proac.

Darden: good or bad? Not the issue. Calling people who disagree with you crazy does not make you right, nor is it anything other than a diversionary tactic.

The fact is, at least three alums from that highly-vaunted graduate school have so completely and obviously screwed the pooch as to question their veracity for the rest of their lives and to tarnish the repuation of the Darden School for some unknown time to come. MBAs already have a bad rep -- deservedly so. I know the score at Darden at least as well as you think you do and I have seen the culture first-hand. I have witnessed the mentality and forces that drive the students there.

It's not pretty.

It's an incubator redolent of unchecked ambition, gleaming-eyed greed and, yes, pure unadulterated sociopathy so widespread that it startles the casual viewer.

You could turn loose a truckload of crocodiles in that school and the brutes would not bite anyone -- partly out of professional courtesy, though partly out of fear of being devoured themselves.

Enlightened individuals avoid MBAs as they would a social disease.

"The crazies are taking over this thread. It is beginning to read like an OWS manifesto."

Couldn't agree with you more, Proac. Insanity reigns.

So if you look at the 2 Richmond Times stories and the information about Dominion. There appears to be a strong connection emerging between the Rector, Dragas, Vice Rector, Kington, ( who both serve on the Dominion Board, CEO of Dominion and former Rector, Farrell, and Governor McDonnell.

"Meanwhile, university officials interviewed two consultants with strong ties to Dominion Resources Inc. about the possibility of working with the university as it attempts to manage the turmoil.
The university approached Dominion for recommendations, said Jim Norvelle, a Dominion spokesman.

The consultants, Eva Teig Hardy and Carl Baab, are retired from senior public affairs positions at Dominion, on whose board of directors Dragas and Mark J. Kington, the vice rector, serve.

Dominion CEO Thomas Farrell is a former U.Va. rector who is chairman of the governor's higher education reform commission."



"Dragas and Kington, for example, are members of the board of directors of utility giant Dominion, whose chairman, president and chief executive officer, Tom Farrell, is a U.Va. alumnus and former rector. Farrell, mentioned for the university presidency during the search that produced Sullivan, is a lifelong friend of Bob McDonnell, the Republican governor remaking the school's board through his appointive powers.

So far, McDonnell has named eight new members. He could appoint four more next month; another four, next year."


Will and others -- I respectfully disagree with your statement that:

"The truth is that Arts & Sciences majors are just as prepared for today's "job market" as they were for the market in 1960 or 1910. If they're truly educated they're very well prepared indeed."

There are many times more college students in 2012 than there were in years you cite. And the job market is markedly different. Gone are the management training programs liberal arts students of yore flocked to post college. Probably because in this streamlined world of business, the middle management positions those folks retired from after 40 years are gone, too.

I am not looking to debate the reasons -- right or wrong -- that got us to this place, but it is undeniably where we are. CLAS is moving to improve career services for current students, but for those outside Economics or pre-professional studies, it may be too little too late.

It's been reported that Peter Kiernan and Tom Farrell were on the list of candidates when President Sullivan was hired.

@Citizen Party Wasn't Thomas Jefferson the 1% of his day? He LOVED academia and learning ... but he also loved expensive wines, expensive books, and other commodities... Why can't I? The only way to buy things - wines, shoes, cars... shoot, how about a decent house and food - you need to WORK. In order to work and afford things is to get a relative and useful degree. I'm not saying we shouldn't question things, but if we sat around pondering WHY the tire needs to be changed instead of actually changing it, we would all be homeless.

You can't hate me for earning an Econ degree and valuing things that make my family and I comfortable and happy.

To someone else's point... I'm glad UVA isn't Harvard. I treasure our history and traditions. I would love for UVA to be on the same level as Harvard, but NEVER a carbon copy of that school.

Oh, look - the UVA community just got yet ANOTHER "shut up and trust us" email from the administration.

Funny about UVa not being Harvard. That's true. Harvard kept its president, Dr. Drew Faust, she's doing great (even despite taking a financial hit following the great recession, that's in the billions of $). It's too bad that UVa doesn't see the wisdom of keeping Dr. Sullivan, given what she's accomplished through the recession (academically and financially) and given that Dr. S. is a a person with a similar background is doing up at Harvard.

Sorry, I meant that given the example of what a lady with a similar background is doing up here at Harvard, why not mimic Harvard a little more by keeping Dr. Sullivan?

When I graduated in 70s with $5K debt with a Liberal arts degree I was despondent at the time over the big debt I had. The person now would be getting out with 100K debt. Student debt has exploded. I'd rather start with a $100K check and skip liberal arts than come out with a liberal arts degree and $100K debt. If you can get it without debt go for it.

@Michael wrote: "The point of the university, not just The University, but all universities, as I said to my professor in class on grounds, is to ready their student bodies for today's world. My friends who chose to go the psychology and other, in my opinion, useless majors, are unprepared for today's world because they aren't attractive to potential recruiters and companies."

As long as you recognize that that is a complete sea-change from the ONLY reason Mr Jefferson founded the University: to prepare the citizens of this country from all classes and backgrounds to properly govern it.

To do that, we need citizens who have read Descartes, Locke, Adam Smith, Jefferson, and all the others whose thinking gave birth, directly or indirectly, to this country.

In my time at UVa, I saw precious little evidence that McIntire or Darden shared this vision, although they did bow to it occasionally.

(And contrary to at least one poster above, I saw nearly every student who graduated with a 3.5 GPA or better find employment or admission to professional school, regardless of major. And the consulting firms who still prefer English, Political Science, Philosophy and History majors still recruit heavily there, from everything I've heard.)

But the ideals of the founders of this country have been perverted beyond belief in nearly every forum of which I'm aware; it's become pure idealism to hope that they could persist even at UVa, despite its clear legacy of having been founding for one and only one purpose.

Did you ever stop to think about the clause in most employment contracts.

It goes as follows: We the employer and you the employee may terminate employment at any time for any reason.

Just because she's a university president it does not make her exempt

@KJ that may be true, but this is a bit more complicated, UVA is a public university. And it does have a special place in our country having been founded and built by our nations president, Jefferson.

Many leaders of our community have expressed the same sentiment. This move has caused great harm to the reputation of the University and will also cause harm to the entire state university system. That list now includes- Leonard Sandridge, John Casteen, Robert O'Neill, David Toscano, and John Whitehead.
I don't think one can underestimate the negative consequences that will follow from this, and will certainly trickle down to our local economy and standing. After all, the University is our major employer and our economic engine.

The overwhelming sentiment I am hearing is that BOV members should not be appointed solely by the Governor, which turns it into a patronage game, that changes every 4 years.

Harvard. Could not afford another mess like Summers. Drew Faust, a bland,sometime charming history professor who is kept on a short leash,wnp people like but no one thinks is hot stuff administratively. She knows the culture and goes with the flow. Governance at Harvard is a matter of very powerful deans and exec provosts and by a body even tighter than the Va's BOV, the small Harvard 'corporation". I know both places very well-Harvard is somewhat better run -it is very careful of its rep and pays good people very well not to flub. up

@Michael - do your research - Jefferson died in debt, deep debt, so he wasn't that 1% and at that time, there wasn't a 1%...

@C'ville Native I am well aware of Mr. Jefferson's life. I was simply saying he lived glamourously during his life before he fell in to deep debt. Thanks.

From our new leaders at UVA: In other words, Faculty sit down, shut up, don't question, and do as you are told-

"Deans, Vice Presidents, Faculty, Staff and Students of the University of Virginia and the Medical Center and the College at Wise,
The decisions of the weekend have generated anxiety on the Grounds and many of you are uncertain about their implications. We know that our community is presently unsettled by the unexpected resignation of President Sullivan.
We recognize that some seek more complete knowledge of events and details, some are still absorbing the news, and many have reached out to offer their understanding and solid support of our present duty. We are particularly appreciative of our academic and administrative leaders who have stepped up to share this challenge by reassuring their faculty and staff with strength, vision and optimism.
The Board of Visitors' action is resolute and authoritative. The BoV will take the next steps on Monday to put an interim President in place and will follow with the establishment of a deliberate, principled and thoughtful search process for our next President.
We are committed to advance the University of Virginia, in partnership, and will support the leadership of the interim and next President.
We encourage all of us, even as we adjust and absorb this change, to focus constructively forward in preparing the institution for its next stage of leadership and our shared commitment to quality and excellence in teaching, discovery and patient care.
We ask that you join us in assuring that the University of Virginia continues to be a leader on the forefront of higher education and health care in the world.

John Simon
Executive Vice President and Provost
Robert C. Taylor Professor of Chemistry
University of Virginia

Michael Strine
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
University of Virginia

I was just about to post that letter. I was surprised to receive it and think they are only making things worse by spewing more double-speak like that.

It is chillingly frightening to think of Governor McDonnell reforming any educational institution, given his and Cuccinelli s demonstrated hostility toward and antipathy to education, as opposed to the indoctrination they favor. I weep for Thomas Jefferson s grand vision, and pride and joy brought low by people he would have despised.

My respect for Simon and Strine just evaporated.

I guess Simon and Strine don't have any other institutions knocking on their door like Sullivan, and they need jobs. Very sad
I hope the community will continue to press for answers to why this happened, because currently there are none and it is impossible that things carry on - business as usual.
Who would come here without knowing what the BOV direction for the University is, and apparently they have some idea, but aren't telling anyone.

If this is going to be the modus operandi of the leadership of UVa I would take whatever opportunity presents itself and head elsewhere.

I say call up and write a letter/email David Toscano and Creigh Deeds and ask them to introduce legislation

1) dismissing the BOVs (apparently the BOV serves at the pleasure of the Legislature) and

2) introduce legislation to curtail future appointments that allow corporate fat cats to dominate the BOVs.

Write that letter email now!!!!!!

Creigh Deeds:

District Offices

P.O. Box 5462
Charlottesville, VA 22905-5462
Phone: (434) 296-5491
Fax: (434) 296-5949
Physical Location: Citizens Commonwealth Center, 300 Preston Avenue, Suite 310, Charlottesville

P.O. Drawer D
Hot Springs, VA 24445
Phone: (540) 839-2473
Fax: (540) 839-6306
Physical Location: 2696 Main Street #2, Hot Springs

Capitol Office (during the Legislative Session)

Senate of Virginia
P.O. Box 396
Richmond, VA 23218
Room Number: 430

Phone: (804) 698-7525
Fax: (804) 698-7651

Please direct all legislative email to district25@senate.virginia.gov.

David Toscano:

District Office
211 E. High Street
Charlottesville, VA 22902
Phone: 434-220-1660
Fax: 434-220-1677

Richmond Office
General Assembly Building, Room 818
P.O. Box 406
Richmond, VA 23218
Phone: 804-698-1057
Fax: 804-786-6310

Check out the UVIMCO board....http://uvimco.venturedev.net/Home/Board

Is the Governor required to accept the resignation?

Eric H. Schmitz is posting under a pseudonym. Funny. Now he can enjoy saying nasty things about people which is his favorite hobby.

That great comedy duo Simon &Strine - two "straight men" without a punch line.
Wel,l they want to soldier on and steady the ranks and keep their jobs and not rock the boat any further ( more cliches, please --Yawn) adf the punch line is this : almost nobody rises up the academic pole by pure guts and honesty.They may be decent chaps-that's another story

The BOV is meeting at 3:00 Monday in the board room of the Rotunda. They will begin in Executive Session and move to open session. While no public comments will be allowed, I hope people will show up in droves to show that we want transparency and truth.

Post says:

“This is the most egregious case I have ever seen of mismanagement by a governing board,” said Hunter R. Rawlings III, president of the prestigious Association of American Universities and former president of Cornell. “It’s secretive, it’s misguided and based on the public statements, there’s no clear rationale.”

Corporate capitalist with the help of a coopted political system system (e.g., the system that allows governors of both parties to appoint corporate fat cats to control the BOV and University Governance) are trying to transform the University in their own interests. Top-down, no transparency, a commercial agenda. The University belongs to the people of Virginia, not Dominion Power or Goldman-Sachs or real estate developers.

The Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate is meeting this evening to discuss next steps in anticipation of a meeting with the BOV. Let's hope they get to the bottom of this and then act strongly, swiftly, and with resolve to protect this wonderful public institution from the barking dogs of tyranny and corporate control of Mr. Jefferson's University, our University!!!!!

I hope the faculty ignore Simon and Strine's order to stand down and be passive and unquestionniing. Faculty are professional educators with professional ethics and commitments. Not everything in America has to look like a business.

I would urge the public to support the Faculty Senate and those faculty from the College who have already responded in protest. Let's hope faculty from other colleges join them.

BleedOrangeAndBlue and NancyDrew---those were the dots I was connecting a couple of days ago with the article from the Richmond T-D combined with Hook pieces (tying together the Dominion Power connection). This sounds like McDonnell cronyism at its finest, throwing dog bones (in the form of BOV appointments and University Presidencies) to all of his peeps who have pushed his agenda and paid him the big bucks. Anyone who thinks a law degree from the 700 Club (aka Regent University) is true education would never value the type of liberal arts education that Thomas Jefferson represented for The University. He clearly has no respect for education and is happy to throw TJ and Co under the boss to further his own agenda. What do you want to bet the Rector and Vice Rector eventually end up with some fat construction contracts from the Commonwealth of Virginia in exchange for doing his bidding...
call me a cynic, but when we operate in a vacuum with what appears to be lies and coverups, what are we to do but presume the worst?!

I would encourage all of us to contact everyone we know both here and abroad to protest Sullivan's firing.

Make that a blind eye Cville... just how many "pseudonyms" do you post by? Who acts like a troll?

Like I said before, give Eric a break. He isn't half as nasty as me. And surely not as shy a soul as thee (or me).

"Funny" is the pretense of not being a cyber bully / stalker.

During McDonnell's campaign, he criticized then-Governor Tim Kaine for not disclosing his full schedule and for making out-of-state political appearances as Chair of the Democratic National Committee. McDonnell stated, "The citizens must be certain that the governor is attending to the duties for which he was elected. The governor is Virginia's chief executive and represents the commonwealth at all times."[50] In March 2010, McDonnell received similar criticism for disclosing very few meetings or political appearances on his publicly released schedule.[50] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_McDonnell

Michael: "The point of the university, not just The University, but all universities, as I said to my professor in class on grounds, is to ready their student bodies for today's world. My friends who chose to go the psychology and other, in my opinion, useless majors, are unprepared for today's world because they aren't attractive to potential recruiters and companies."

I think you misunderstood my comment. This is evidently because you are in agreement with the perversion that "education" = "training for a specific job." That you assert without qualification is "the point" of all universities everywhere. Man is not homo sapiens but homo economicus. Soul is synonymous with stomach. Th eonly human life is one spent getting and spending.

An Observer: "There are many times more college students in 2012 than there were in years you cite. And the job market is markedly different. Gone are the management training programs liberal arts students of yore flocked to post college. Probably because in this streamlined world of business, the middle management positions those folks retired from after 40 years are gone, too."

I agree. We have allowed a perverted definition of "education" to mean that American business has transferred the costs of job training to the public. It's similar to professional sports using colleges as their minor leagues for professional athletes. In that case, of course, we make an extra sham of it because we allow people majoring in dribbling and shooting to get a degree in "Business" or whatever. I still think a well educated liberal arts major has excellent preparation for today's work world--reading, writing, thinking--disciplined and imaginative, just as in 1910 or 1960. I didn't say they would get a job as readily as someone graduating in accounting.

Just in:

"The University of Virginia Faculty Senate Executive Council met this afternoon in emergency session and unanimously adopted the following resolution.


University of Virginia Faculty Senate Resolution on the Resignation of President Sullivan

Resolved, that the Faculty Senate of the University of Virginia hereby:

1. Expresses its strong support of President Sullivan.

2. Expresses its lack of confidence in the Rector, the Vice Rector, and the Board of Visitors.

We offer this resolution mindful of the best interests of the University and the Commonwealth.

George Cohen
Chair, U.Va. Faculty Senate"

True, disagreement doesn't make someone crazy. Over the top invective that does not match reality might, or might not. This blog is lousy with it. As for first-hand accounts, we consider the source.

Do what NancyDrew says!

Way to go Faculty Senate. What's next? Action?

Excellent. The vote of No Confidence in a survey posted elsewhere is running at 95% (NO) to 5% YES, students, alum, parents, faculty participating.

I suspect], C'ville Eye, that when the truth outs, it will show that the very anti-education duo of
McDonnell and Cuccinelli engineered this infamy.

@proac, do you have a link to the survey?

A - where did you see that resolution ? If that's for real --WOW and congratulations to the Faculty Senate, this is what I had hoped for.

I'm a UVA faculty member and it was forwarded to me by my department chair about a half hour ago.

I think it's good that the Faculty Senate is making their voices heard but I think it won't mean much.
Remember how the faculty senate voted against the building of John Paul Jones Arena- it didn't even slow the process down. They are (in this matter) a powerless body whose actions have no weight other than stern finger wag. Perhaps this time will be different.

There really only is one person who writing to or calling could possible make a difference at that would be the Governor- he appointed the BOV and one would think he has some influence over them. Toscano and Deeds can do almost nothing but enter bills that can't pass or look troubled as they are interviewed about this unfortunate series of events.

If faculty survey is accurate. Good luck to the Interim and good luck finding another decent candidate and when they install their new CEO qua president, good luck getting faculty support to do anything.

There go the contributions and donations. This egregious miscalculation will cost the University in the millions.

Do these people have the intelligence to run a flagship university?

I would hope if they are not listened to they will call for a strike of all UVa faculty. It is that important. This is a coup and should not be allowed in any democratic country at a public university.

There comes a time to stand up and be counted - and this is that time !

@St. Halsey,

As we have never seen this level of incompetence by the BOV, no telling where the Faculty Senate leadership will lead us. The arena decision pales in comparison. This is messy, not state messy but national messy. I hope the Faculty Senate mobilizes Faculty to act in many different ways. its the p[oster case for corporatizing public institutions.

I have heard there are other legislators examining this and if there is enough of a ruckus, the entire legislature may act.

It really depends on what we the people of VA do from this point on. Its an opportunity for change and political contestation over the future and direction of the University. To leave it to one person, the Gov, ignores that we live in a democracy. Virginia can change one day at a time. If we do nothing, nothing will happen. So who knows.

I would support the Faculty Senate if they said come out and protest at the BOV meeting on Monday. I would support them if they said strike in August. Let's see how they like it in Richmond when thousands of parents call in to ask why their kids are not in school. Or why the donations are not coming in anymore because schools still not operating in September. Just some possibilities, not probable but possible outcomes.

I think the search committee for the new president should be all faculty, parents, and students with no financial ties to any Gov or politician and from all income levels.

"Do these people have the intelligence to run a flagship university?"

Obviously, not. Egos and ambition trump rationality, decency, transparency and every other proper ideal that UVa ostensibly stands for.

MBA may soon come to stand for Masturbatory Bull$hit Artist.

On WMRA Virignia politics call in show just now, WaPo writer Anita Kumar said that tomorrow they will be publishing a story that says "the BoV was *not* unanimous as we and some others were led to believe." "Some others" I took to mean Sullivan herself.

Eagerly anticipate that story and heartened by Faculty Senate resolution; disheartened by statement from Sullivan-hired lieutenants indicating finality of the decision.

A quick survey to register your views about this matter on several parameters:


@NancyDrew says its the time to stand up and be counted.

We heard from faculty at the College.

Where are the voices if the faculty at the Curry School of Education? The School of Architecture? The School of Engineering? Darden? Law? Others?

Don't let Strine and Simon and your Deans control you or take away your free speech and freedom.

Time to stand up and be counted people.

The motto is not so simplistic as, "Death to tyrants," it is a caption to the picture on the state flag and state seal, showing the representative of the people with his foot on the chest of the fallen tyrant, crown fallen off, and the legend "Sic semper tyrannis" = "Thus be it ever to tyrants."

John Whitehead said on WINA, he stood ready to provide any legal services President Sullivan and her husband may need --well, get ready John, the call may come soon.


Anyone seen this http://www.roanoke.com/editorials/wb/310152:

"The wave of angst over the announcement is ample evidence that the situation was not handled properly. One shortcoming stands out for those who value open government.
The Sunday meeting of the executive committee, in which three members of the 16-person board voted to accept Sullivan’s resignation, was wrongly treated as an emergency meeting, circumventing public notice rules."

Thank you Mr. Whitehead.

Will Mr. Whitehead extend that offer to any faculty who speak up against this move and then face retribution by their deans and administrators? UVA has a reputation of going after anyone who speaks out of turn, like Dena Bowers or Wendi Marshall.?

Is there free speech for public employees?

@ Citizen Party The Governor is our democratically elected leader in the Commonwealth (even if you didn't vote for him). To dismiss this is to cheapen the democracy that you and I hold dear. The majority of legislators will not rise up about this. This event does not pale in comparison to the building of a $140 million sport arena. I agree it's very serious but you cannot demand that your ultimate boss not fire your current boss. Conversely you can vote for your new Governor but you will never get the final say on who the new President of UVa is.

If the Senate is going to do more than talk the you will be right but history hasn't lead me to believe that will be the outcome. Remember while the faculty are citizens of the Commonwealth they are still employees of the University. Employees don't have any way to impeach or replace the BOV.
I think we all have the right to find out why this change was made but no one is this thread has the power to reverse this decision.

Protest the next BOV meeting as is your right but understand you don't get to vote. Sullivan is still the President till August 15 and the BOV will convene and vote as a group to make this decision final but because it is an employment matter the discussion does not have to see the light of day to be legal. If Sullivan wants her payout she also have to sign a confidentiality agreement as well.

If she was lied to then she can do more that get a pay out. I sincerely hope that she will stand strong and support her faculty senate and not resign.

@citizen party, listen to Mr. Whiteheads comments. He feels so strongly that this is a miscarriage of justice that I am sure he will support anyone the Administration or BOV tries to injure.

@St. Halsey

Agreed, I don't get a vote. But I do live in a Republic and what happens and the way elected and appointed leaders act is influenced by my behavior and the action of others, especially in groups and in movements. Democracy does not end after the election and we all know that. The polling place is not my only place.

Employees have the right to demand fair treatment from their employer. They have a right in public enterprises to demand some transparency and some input into decision making especially at an institution fashioned by TJ.

The actions and operations of appointed boards are open to public scrutiny and opinion. As a Citizen I have an opinion and that is that the BOV should not be controlled by corporate fat cats who know nothing about higher education or administration and who are there merely because they f=gave large sums of money to any gov dem or rep.

As far as the Senate acting, and the Legislature not acting, you never know. I think this is unlike anything the University has experienced in 75 y or a 100 years. Its is an extreme example of the corporatization and privatization of a public resource. Its about monied interests making decisions in a dictatorial and nontransparent manner. Now it looks as tough there was no unanimity on the BOV about this.

Regardless, this is an issue regarding a public resource and the public should be involved in many different ways to resolve the issue. If not we might as well live in the Soviet Union in 1950.

Lost in the shuffle has been any discussion about another possible theory: bias against those who are not skinny. It is, actually, a serious problem in the work force. Two great, well-respected and forward thinking presidents of the Commonwealth's best and second best (yes, sorry, you are second best) institutions of higher learning--Sullivan and William & Mary's Gene Nichol--were objectively not the slimmest of folks, and were removed. Connect the dots and follow the food. And rest assured that a slender individual will be named as interim president.

I've been reading this post for the last 2 days now and I've literally been moved to tears. How dare they do this to OUR University? I thought the cornerstone of Mr. Jefferson's University was Honor. You can like or dislike Terry Sullivan all you want, but at the end of the day, at least at Virginia, you are to act as a gentleman (or lady) and take HONORABLE action. Whether you graduated from Darden, Comm School, The College, Architecture, Law, Curry, etc. it's all the same. "I wore the honors of Honor. I graduated from Virginia." That is not simply something that you frame in your home or office. You've experienced it. You bleed it. You live it until the day you die. It means something to have been a student at Virginia. Your word means something. If you haven't, may you only be blessed enough to attend UVA and understand what this means.

Honor; this is anything but. At UVA we aren't just taught about the Honor Code and sign our names for assignments and exams ... we actually live it. In a world where few places are left sacred, UVA was (and I believe still can be) a bastion of freedom, a model for all to follow. The fashion in which President Sullivan was told, and how this situation is being handled currently is repugnant at best. Terry deserves better than this. The University deserves better than this. Mr. Jefferson, our demigod on-grounds, would expect better than this... and we would accept nothing less.

The Darden School will teach this in the future as one of the worst ways to do a transition at a school or business.

"I suspect], C'ville Eye, that when the truth outs, it will show that the very anti-education duo of
McDonnell and Cuccinelli engineered this infamy."

Nota bene: both skinnies.

Possibly no board members have spoken because what would be revealed would expose the University and/or Sullivan to shame and/or legal liability. No doubt some of the bov members would like to clear themselves in this horribly executed action. Even if the Darden duo rector and vice rector are truly machiavellian nutjobs, I don't believe the entire board is either ambitious or stupid enough to play along for no good reason.

Online petition calling on the governor to remove Dragas immediately from the BoV and get to the bottom of this mess.

Whether siging will help, I cannot say. But it cannot hurt.


Also, Michael J Mayassi: I salute you, sir.

News: Peter Kiernan has resigned from Darden Foundation Board.

^ "Peter Kiernan has resigned from Darden Foundation Board."

If true, that's the best news I've heard since this story broke.

I will mobilize every UVa and statewide connection I have going back 25 years to keep him off the BoV. At this point, McDonnell wouldn't dare appoint that grinning stooge. But I intend to make sure of it just the same.

You know as long as people in this country vote for people who are mediagenic and appear to be folksy/cheerful/All-American, we're going to get slimy SOBs who operate under cloak of darkness to advance their dishonest agendas. You gave us that halfwit Bush and look what happened there: unnecessary war, destruction of the world's economy, sledgehammering away at the constitution, and Supreme Court cheating. McDonnell and that vile Cuccinelli are of the same ilk, so how can we be surprised when we are dealt such a hand. Wake up, people!

"Peter D. Kiernan, a successful businessman, philanthropist, entrepreneur, corporate and government adviser, and chair of the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business, maintains that: "History reminds us that forward propulsion by the few to the exclusion of all others promotes cynicism with one predictable outcome: Failure."

Robert F. Bruner, Dean of Darden School called a town hall meeting for members of the Darden community, faculty staff and students Thursday.

During the meeting, Bruner and Darden Executive Vice President and provost, John Simon both denied any involvement in the decision of Sullivan's resignation.

Also during the meeting, Bruner read a letter addressed to Darden from Peter Kiernan apologizing for unfairly involving Darden. Kiernan, the Darden School Foundation Chair stepped down as chairman as well as from the foundation itself.

Also at the meeting leaders discussed the Faculty Senate Committee's statement expressing a "lack of confidence" in the Rector, Vice-Rector and UVa's Board of Visitors.


Kiernan out. Dragas and Kington next.

Sorry, people, but we're turning off the commenting here and moving the discussion over to our latest story on this controversial situation: http://www.readthehook.com/104241/hell-breaks-loose-uva-faculty-condemn-...