'Important alum': Donor Jones had role in Sullivan ouster

With the chair of the Darden School Foundation board Peter Kiernan having resigned to distance himself from raging fires of discontent over the ouster of UVA president Teresa Sullivan, attention turns to the power of other wealthy donors and their role in the forced resignation. It turns out that Kiernan wasn't the only UVA giver with advance knowledge of what has been defended as a confidential personnel decision.

Knowledgeable sources say that one man, already well known for pledging $35 million to build a UVA basketball arena in his father's name, had a key role in removing the president. That man, 1976 UVA grad Paul Tudor Jones, is a Greenwich-based hedge fund manager who began building his estimated $3 billion-plus fortune in the 1980s, and who sits, alongside fellow Greenwich resident Kiernan, on the boards of several corporations and nonprofits.

"We should all be elated," Jones says of Sullivan's ouster in a Sunday morning op/ed (see sidebar).

As previously reported, hours after news of Sullivan's firing broke on Sunday, June 10, Kiernan sent an email to members of the Darden Foundation board assuring them that University Rector Helen Dragas had the situation "well in hand"– and inadvertently laid out a roadmap to the most controversial move in recent UVA history.

Kiernan revealed that he'd been contacted several weeks earlier by "two important Virginia alums" who'd asked him to work on the confidential "project" with Dragas.

Who are these "important alums" who seem able, according to Kiernan's email, to influence the University's top job?

If Kiernan's donations to UVA have thus far flown under the radar, Jones' have not. In addition to providing the lead pledge to UVA's John Paul Jones Arena, 57-year-old Jones and his yoga-enthusiast wife, Sonia, are the money behind a proposed "contemplative center" that UVA announced in April after the Joneses authorized a $12 million pledge.

According to sources, however, both of those pledged multi-million-dollar gifts would pale in the shadow of what UVA was hoping to elicit from Jones: more than $100 million. Given that the school's Capital Campaign, launched in pre-recession 2004 with a goal of raising $3 billion in seven years, fell short by $400 million, a nine-figure gift would help close the remaining gap– and might encourage a flurry of smaller gifts.

But could a nine-figure gift have strings attached to the head of a president? Sources say yes– with the reasoning three-fold.

For starters, donors typically like to see their gifts spark other gifts, so-called challenge gifts. Kiernan and Jones, neither of whom replied to requests for comment for this story, reportedly told associates that they did not have full confidence in the fund-raising skills of Sullivan.

Another factor was the allegedly slow pace of restructuring at UVA. Rector Dragas revealed her thoughts on the subject when, in the wake of the controversial ouster, she wrote: "We do not believe we can even maintain our current standard under a model of incremental, marginal change. The world is simply moving too fast.”

The third piece of the puzzle revolves around the phrase that Kiernan used three times in his email: "strategic dynamism," a term heretofore hardly heard outside of Wall Street or the business schools that groom its leaders.

Sources indicate that Jones and Kiernan joined Dragas in asserting that Sullivan simply did not possess the will for "strategic dynamism," an ability to take rapid action. While Kiernan's email thus far remains the key public manifestation of his thinking, sources indicate that Jones had prior knowledge of Sullivan's ouster.

That Jones has been targeted for a nine-figure donation is well-known in the University administration. That Jones would allow his money and power to get wielded this way makes jaws drop.

 

One prominent alum and donor says he just can't fathom it.

"There's always a way to make a donor happy without the neck of the president," says Buford Scott, a seven-year veteran of the Board of Visitors.

 

Scott, whose heritage includes longtime ties to UVA as well as one of the state's most venerable investment firms, resigned his board seat in the 1990s before his final term expired to make room for a more racially diverse group.

Scott recounts the way things used to be done– how Depression-era university officials approached his grandfather to explain the need for a football stadium. For a donation of $300,000, he recalls, the new stadium received the Scott name, although he says that was not a demand.

"The names at the University of Virginia are not for sale," says Scott.

If anyone could buy things at UVA, it would be Paul Tudor Jones II. According to Forbes, which ranks him #106 on its American billionaire's list, Jones has wealth amounting to $3.4 billion.

In 2005, the year he made his Arena pledge, Jones earned at least $800 million at Tudor Ventures, the group of hedge funds he helms, according to a trade magazine. While a $35 million pledge might make some gasp, his Arena gift amounts to just two weeks of that year's pay. (And it's a pledge that, according to recent minutes of the Board of Visitors, he is still fulfilling at the rate of about $4 million per year.)

The paucity of information emerging about the rationale for terminating President Sullivan just two years into her five-year term has provoked a wave of speculation, some of it wild, including the notion that a celebrity has already been secretly tapped to lead the school or that a two-decades old bankruptcy book by Sullivan and U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren relied on faulty research.

One UVA alum working on her history doctorate at Duke poked through public records and then posited a theory that Wall Streeters hoped to privatize online education at UVA and use the ensuing profits to close the gap left by dwindling state support, which has fallen to just seven percent of UVA's annual budget.

"The theory I have is that Goldman Sachs’s Education Management Corporation, a for-profit education provider, wanted to make or made a bid to offer online education through UVA," writes Anne-Marie Angelo on a blog that's been turning heads.

While the Hook's sources downplay any planned privatization by Goldman Sachs, there's no question that Jones and Kiernan favor the idea of applying business principles to education. A year ago, the two helped launch the New York arm of StudentsFirst, the advocacy organization that openly embraces such reforms as eliminating teacher tenure, pushing merit pay, and supporting charter schools. Some of its officials have advocated outright privatization.

For all their strengths, business people can make mistakes.

Kiernan, a venture capitalist savvy enough to have served in the 1990s as a partner at Goldman Sachs, clumsily broadcast his roadmap all the way to the president's desk by using his email's "reply-all" function. Rector Dragas, a real estate developer from a family with voluminous experience in building houses and shopping centers, reportedly circumvented open-government laws by communicating the attack on Sullivan one-by-one to other members of the Board of Visitors.

"In the 21st century," writes UVA-based media scholar Siva Vaidhyanathan in Slate following Sullivan's ouster, "robber barons try to usurp control of established public universities to impose their will via comical management jargon and massive application of ego and hubris."

In the past decade, UVA's business school– which, along with its law school, stopped taking state money– appears to be fighting an internal battle over its level of independence. Fortune magazine recently offered a glimpse of this when noting that Darden School Dean Robert Bruner "has declined to follow the advice of some benefactors who urge real privatization." Under Bruner, Darden not only hasn't broken free from the University umbrella, but it willingly pays 10 percent of its revenue back to the university, a "tax" that appears to have gotten under the skin of some benefactors.

Such benefactors appear to have found a voice in the form of Rector Dragas, whose only post-college role at UVA prior to her governing board appointment was the two years she spent getting her MBA. In her explanatory letter to UVA faculty, Rector Dragas expresses a wish to "advance Mr. Jefferson’s University in a way that fulfills his original vision for it to be the most eminent in the United States."

However, historian Coy Barefoot, who has taught UVA history classes, notes that while Thomas Jefferson had bold ideas about UVA's desire for excellence– particularly with his famous quotation about not fearing to pursue the truth– the founder also expressed concern about the creeping influence of money.

"I hope we shall," wrote Jefferson, "crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and to bid defiance to the laws of their country."

***

Notes: This story was clarified at 10:08pm June 17 to clarify that Dragas received her undergraduate degree from UVA in addition to her MBA.

At 7:15am Sunday, June 18, this story received an additional sentence and a sidebar about Jones' public statements.

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

172 comments

If true, this is unbelievably sad...

Glorious. Good journalism still thrives.

Keep after this story, Hook! Bring as much public shame on these bastards as they have been long overdue in receiving.

Philanthropy should be conducted for its own sake. Anything else with strings attached isn't real philanthropy; it is merely a purchase that cheapens UVa and makes it beholden to a handful of money-minded fools.

Please continue to seek the truth. This will be a defining moment at UVA. Thomas Jefferson is watching with much hope that the BOV will do the right thing. Perhaps reversing position...perhaps some BOV members should resign. Nice reporting...Again!

Sickening!

Thank you HOOK!

The recent actions of the BOV in ousting President Sullivan have seriously damaged the reputation of the University at the state and national levels, destroyed the trust and confidence within the University that are required to achieve excellence, and insured that no talented person in their right minds will consider assuming a teaching or leadership role in what was, until last week, a well-respected institution.

At this juncture, the only way to ameliorate the dreadful outcomes of the BOV’s decisions is for Rector Dragas, Vice-Rector Kington, Mr. Craig, and any like-minded members to issue a public apology and resign effective immediately.

This is exactly why I look to the Hook each week for my news. Great coverage. Keep it up.

Shame on UVA. This is an embarrassment.

One bright light in this entire sordid mess (which seems to get sleazier by the hour) is Buford Scott. I've respected him for years, but my admiration for him has increased enormously with his willingness to stand for principle.

He'd be an exceptional replacement for Ms. Dragas.

Great reporting - this gives me hope that investigative journalism is still alive and well.
" we can handle the truth " Now let's so something about it.
Maybe they should move tomorrow's meeting from Darden to JPJ just to remind us all how we got into this mess.

UVA, Inc. Courtesy of the .01%.

Mr. Jones gave $100,000 to Bob McDonnell to run for governor.
http://www.vpap.org/donors/profile/index/85986

Now it's clear why governor McDonnell told the UVA Board to "replace Sullivan swiftly".

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/college-inc/post/mcdonnell-urges-u-v...

In other words, don't even think of questioning it. Just shut up and move on!

Wonder how reliable any research that comes out of UVA is now that it is obvious that money trumps all at the university. In my opinion not very.

The University of Greenwich... er, I mean Virginia.

I've been teaching at UVa for 36 years, and always proud of
my affiliation. If this story is even partially true, that pride has
taken a huge hit.

Question. Doesn't one smell a rat when Rector Dragas' only important function at UVa prior her appointment to the BoV was earning her MBA? And now we are seeing who the 'rats' really are with there wealth and greed. And why is a donation(s) from a man with money that wants to plaster his surname all over the university more important than the upstanding president that was hired by the BoV to do her job? I guess we'll all have time to think of that while we sit in the "Jones Contemplative Center" at Uva.

Starting to make more sense. Good job researching this Hawes. Keep it up!

Gov. Bob McDonnell touts Virginia in Europe -

Can't you hear it now..."Invest in Virginia...hell, for $100M we'll let you buy a top-tier University! We have the team of 5 in place...it's already been tested and it works!!!" Come to Virginia where wealth rules...

Investigative journalism? Really? You people are fools. No sources, no evidence, nothing. If any of you commenters are UVA grads I'm embarrassed. Another hack job by Hook - writing whatever they please to stir up some controversy. Stuart's sources are probably the lowlifes who post on this forum!

Countries in the G8 are hit very hard with increasing debt causing an increasing yearly service fee on the debt while the debt gets bigger . Greece ,Ireland ,and some of the smaller countries are feeling the effects more severly before the larger G8 countries. Nevertheless, the USA is severly inpacted abd there is no growth in the economies . Adjustments have been required across the board . Folks should not overlook the economic realities of our time . If Sullivan was not the person to lead then leaving her there for 3 years would simply create a larger problem and delay any chance of turning the fortunes around . Many academics are unaware of where the money comes from , they just assume they are entitled to whatever amount they want . It simply looks to be a poor hire in the first place which she herself acknowledges by her lack of effort to retain the position . There is no easy way for the BOV to correct the situation especially where she was the first female to hold the position.

My hunch: this group of fools posting here couldn't come up with $100 collectively to give to UVA. Little jealous of the rich folks -- big bad Greenwich people who have the AUDACITY to give more money than any of you could ever conceive of to UVA. Don't you all have some place to occupy??

The Board of Yankees... er, I mean Visitors.

If we leave education up to MBAs, it's only a matter of time before trivial things like Latin and botany are completely thrown out the window in favor of chairmanships named after credit cards:

http://im.dev.virginia.edu/endowments/professorships/long_name/dardensch...

I really don't think The MasterCard Professorship in Business Administration is in the spirit of the Jeffersonian ideals that the university uses to market itself.

Yes it is quite apparent they mistakenly put a kid in a job that required an adult . Get over it as the error is half corrected already .

Rampant speculation, but I love it! Keep digging and keep the pressure on!! We need proof so we can run these guys out on a rail.

The College and Graduate School of Strategic Dynamism... er, I mean Arts and Sciences.

Why's everyone making a mountain out of a molehill? Frankly, I thought using 9/11 as a pretext to eliminate the halftime pass-out at home football games was a bigger deal than one overcompensated individual losing her job.

Could it be that all these petulant academics are creating this sturm and drang out of their obvious jealousy at the financial success people like Kiernan, Jones, & members of the BOV have attained? It must be tough for professors - who were always the smartest kids in the class - to see the B students achieve well-remunerated financial success in the real world while they have to settle for regular upper-middle class lifestyles. But that's no reason to coalesce into a mob and go on the hunt for scalps. It is typical of an entitled mindset though.

Of course the people behind this nasty hemorrhaging quagmire are big donors to the Governor! I truly believe the Governor knew all along and that Ms. Dragas is a scape goat. Granted she has not exhibited any backbone but I also think she's been used. I am appalled and disgusted by this blatant disregard for the world wide UVa family. These people focused only on what they wanted and to h--- with the rest of us...... countless employees, students, faculty and alum. They are so full of themselves with their deep pockets that they never thought they'd be "found out". (Great job Courtney!) Who do these people think they are? Well I'll tell you who they are: they are a bunch of big bad narcissists. This is yet another example of how big money corrupts decency and it seems to be going around this country like dangerous virus. Again, great job Courtney.

"Could it be that all these petulant academics are creating this sturm and drang out of their obvious jealousy at the financial success people like Kiernan, Jones, & members of the BOV have attained?"

Really? Really? As they teach at Darden, it's much easier to make your 2nd million dollars when your daddy gave your the 1st million...isn't it now?

"It must be tough for professors - who were always the smartest kids in the class - to see the B students achieve well-remunerated financial success in the real world while they have to settle for regular upper-middle class lifestyles. "

There's a fundamental flaw here. Most professors do not assume that being human means only one thing: accumulating wealth, privilege, and power. Most professors know, in fact, that as middle-class Americans with interesting, secure, jobs they are among the best off folks on the planet, and are suitably grateful. Perhaps, Bartleby, you'd "prefer not" to think life might be something beyond grubbing for more money?

Helen Dragas, General Secretary of the Politburo... er, I mean Rector of the Board of Visitors

@ Bartleby: envious are you by any chance?

Paul Tudor Jones gave $100,000 to Bob McDonnell!
http://www.vpap.org/donors/profile/index/85986

I was just looking up Dragas on vpap for my curiousity, then decided to plug in Jones since I had just read this article. Holy Cow!

The citizens of the Commonwealth have to decide if they want to finacially support Higher Ed iincluding UVa and the schools. the percentage of budgets paid by Virginia have dropped by half or more in the last decade. This started with Gov. George Allen and right after by Gov. Gilmore in the 90's. If the state won't fund the schools someone else will.

@Hahaha I'll cover yours too, you imbecile. As implied in so much that has been reported of late, you *seem* to agree with the notion (based upon your asinine comment) that money is the only thing that matters in life. I'm not discounting what people like PTJ have done for the U and for others with their money, but when people start believing that money trumps all rules of civility, principle, and integrity nothing good ever results. I feel very sorry for you.

Money speaks for what Mr Jefferson wanted better than his own words can.

Hogwash. The President is to oversee the fundraising - you have fundraisers do the actual work and do the research, set up the meetings and do the social events. Only when they are reeled in does the President step up to secure the donations of that magnitude. What it is - these select donors didn't want Sullivan as the President - for whatever reasons. I would bet my bottom dollar still that the Governor had a hand in it too.

UVA's Fundraisers have long had issues - the first campaign they ever did (when the economy was good) the under estimated how much they could raise - by millions and that shows that someone didn't do their research and know what they were doing. You want your goals to be met or exceeded, but never by that much.

Hook, keep digging these baffoons may be business people but they are horrible at covering their tracks.

@ Old School ...That was a low blow

I was surprised that UVA's announcement of the creation of a Contemplative Sciences Center after the Jones's $12M gift didn't generate more scrutiny from local media. Everyone (including President Sullivan, based on her comments in the assessment report that was circulated last week) has portrayed it as a Good Thing, enabling the creation of a multidisciplinary center drawing on talents of existing faculty like David Germano in Religious Studies. That much is well and fine. But the Center comes with a clear agenda, to specifically promote Ashtanga Yoga and to "honor the life of [the Jones's] Ashtanga yoga teacher, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois" (cf. the Progress story, http://www2.dailyprogress.com/news/2012/apr/11/uva-open-contemplative-sc...). And, no coincidence, the major business sponsor of Ashtanga Yoga in the U.S. is Sonia Jones. The Vanity Fair piece from last April on her venture should be required reading locally: http://www.vanityfair.com/business/2012/04/krishna-pattanbhi-trophy-wife....

If a rich alum had donated $12M to UVA to fund, let's say, a Center for the Theological Sciences that purported to be nonsectarian but whose donor intended it to honor, let's say, the work of theocrat R. J. Rushdoony, locals would have raised holy hell. C'ville's soft spot for anything new-agey and yoga-ish (and heck, Integral Yoga is my favorite local store, so I'm with the pack here) shouldn't prevent us from looking with intense skepticism at what strings came attached to the Jones's most recent gift.

Follow the money. Because unfortunately it usually is the root of all evil.

Since the BOV quoted Jefferson in their ouster decision, perhaps they should review Jefferson's other quotes about openness, transparency and good governance.. Here is one they should follow from Jefferson on Dec. 27 1820 about UVA. "This institution will be based on the illimitable freedom of the human mind. For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it." (to William Roscoe, L&B.15.303) The BOV must share the truth no matter how ugly it may be...

If--emphasis on "if"--it is true that John Tudor Jones was one of the two "important alums" referred to in Kiernan's email, then that now raises the count to two (Kiernan being the second)...two individuals outside of the BOV who were made aware well in advance of scheme to effect Sullivan's untimely ouster.

Two outside individuals who were clearly given access to the most sensitive of confidential personnel information--the planned jettisoning of the president of a premier public university.

Two outside individuals who knew...when *at least three members of the BOV itself did not know*.

The irony is palpable.

When called to account for her actions last week, Dragas repeatedly refers to the need to maintain confidentiality of the proceedings surrounding Sullivan's departure. It appears that that same need for confidentiality did not extend to the two outside individuals with whom this debacle was orchestrated.

Ms. Dragas, I daresay that you cannot have it both ways.

Ironic all the hate being directed at Paul Tudor Jones, Kiernan, Dragas, etc by people who take Joe Biden seriously.

@Bartleby No hate being directed from this camp, but major questions about the integrity of all three. And, no, I don't take Joe Biden seriously.

The circumstances surrounding Pres. Sullivan's departure remain clouded in spite of what appears as honest and energetic work by the Hook. But I wonder what the real strategic differences between Sullivan and the Darden group were. There's no shortage of serious concerns about education, not just on wall street but on main street. Should young people be leaving undergraduate school with a 100K-200K loan on their shoulders? Can technology be used to make education more accessible, lessen costs for students, and not cheapen the reputation of universities that offer it? How can we inspire students interest in areas critical to us as a society, and for which graduates can find employment and move forward building a satisfying life? How can we promote educational excellence in areas that are critical to employment? Etc., etc. I'm unaware of Gov. McD. commenting on this situation but perhaps this could serve as an opportunity for a more public discussion of the strategic issues facing higher education in this state. I hesitate to tar and feather the Darden crowd without knowing if the dust up is simply over attaching larger letters to a name on a building or over the substantive issues of improving the excellence of education, its availability financially and geographically, aligning education with opportunities, etc. I'd be interested in hearing what Hook readers believe the strategic issues are facing UVa? Is it possible these same issues are at the heart of the leadership conflict? I wait to learn more about the substance behind this messiness.

assuming much of this information is true and you're onto something, it is not a huge stretch to imagine that the esteemed Rector isn't magnanimously taking a hit on this. I'd be very surprised if she wasn't promised some lovely multi-million dollar construction projects for her company (ditto for the vice rector). These days construction isn't happening much, is it? So maybe even poor rich people need a boost....

Please ignore all my prior comments.

I've taken a look at the VF article, and if Dragas or Jones can get me a date with the guy in the background of the first photograph, they'll have my support even if they appoint a rabid hedgehog as President of the University.

It looks like some members of the BOV or other sympathic, pathetic individuals are blogging now. Good chat and great "bird-doggin" to The Hook".

My observation would be that UVA would benefit greatly from having a School of Journalism. And no, that is not what Media Studies is a substitute for. Let last week's article "Cabal Hall? Why would Darden trump Carr's Hill?" is Exhibit I for the need of some remedial education. This article follows suit. Innuendo. Suspicion. Circumstance. Bias. The stuff of dime store novels now passes as "must read"?

The irony is the excuse offered by some that this is what happens -- and justifiably so -- in a vacuum. It's just desserts. "They" didn't play fair or ethically -- and it appears certain that 95-odd percent of those UVA stakeholders responding to a survey judge that to be so -- therefor, all is fair in love and war. To heck with integrity. We wouldn't know it if we saw it. I believe that is so... for some.

Others, it just "fits" a narrative, albeit a populist narrative and one that sells well in erudite and rarefied Charlottesville. Robber Baron scripts. T-Bagger diatribes. All red meat for the left-wing vultures.

Funny, these half-baked conspiracy theories ring as true as, say, birther myths, yet they have cache for the "enlightened".

Hoo-duh thunk?

All of which would be entertaining if it were not for the real issues that need to be tackled honestly, openly, and in good faith.

Way to lead by example, eh?

just to get a show of hands - how many believe that Dragas was merely a duped stooge or forced to follow orders from some higher power?

"My observation would be that UVA would benefit greatly from having a School of Journalism."

Uh, The Hook has been right on, and their findings seem to be corroborated in the Post, NYT, CHE, and RTD.

^^ except that the Hook hasn't been right on. In it's zeal to make head lines and sell scandal, their writers can't even get basic facts correct --

Like this flub, above, by Courtney Stuart, "Rector Dragas, whose only major role at UVA prior to her governing board appointment was the two years she spent getting her MBA . . . ."

Ummm, except that, as has been widely reported, Ms. Dragas is a double Hoo, with undergraduate degrees from the College (not McIntire), in Economics and Foreign Affairs . . . . See: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/helen-dragas/6/365/a26

OK -- I get it, folks are upset about what went down last week. I am not happy about it either. But, looking at The Hook as the messiah that will deliver us from evil is totally misguided. The Hook staff is out for web hits, (like any good capitalist) and will twist, turn and misspeak, if it makes for a good headline. Their willingness to over reach in order to turn a fun phrase, only serves to allow those in power to ignore those who worship at this alter.

Observer--The BOV can put an end to all speculation, articles, etc. They brought this on themselves with their secrecy and covert actions. To end it, they need to tell the truth, explain themselves, apologize and resign. Then we can all get on the business of restoring UVA to the honorable institution that it was before this mess.

UVA is failing.

Here is a early morning Sunday Meeting in complete violation of Virginis Code § 2.2-3707. Meetings to be public; notice of meetings; recordings; minutes.

Look Here http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?000+cod+2.2-3707

The BOV is a Public Body. Three member meeting together is a Public Meeting.

Three days public notice of meetings is a requirement.

Minutes must be taken.

Minutes are available to any Va citizen through the Freedom of Information Act.

Does UVA have a law school? Do the know and love the law.

We all know Hawes Spencer is on this. I bet he researches better than all the law faculty.

This story is getting CRAY!

Gee, for a yogi, Jones certainly seems to have forgotten that whole non-attachment to material goods.

I read the VF article a month or so before the announcement of the "gift". I don't doubt for a moment that there is more to this than meets the eye.

Note: This story has been clarified at 10:08pm to clarify that Dragas received her undergraduate degree from UVA in addition to her MBA.

So the Bov wants to make deep cuts in academics, according to the Post, but they want to support this ?
Maybe President Sullivan didn't want to be in the Yoga Biz
The VanityFair article is a must read, but this you must see-

ttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxmJ6p-ATG8

To have the curtain ripped back and see the hedgefund wizards' overreach to incorporate institutions of higher learning into their greedy pyramid scheme to enrich and glorify themselves. ma for an excellent opportunity to indeed get philosophical. Let Uva have the opportunity to address the egregious attempt by few to impose their vulgar illusions of grandeur on the plenty, and may this transgression of the BOV, "influential donors", and possibly the governor be a turning point.

Oh dear people.
Lets hope that this is Barack Obama's Hole in the Wall.
That some nice rich person gives him a presidential library.
That some of his friends and admirers come to Cville.
That in 4 years , he comes out swinging.

just a summer nights dream
oh little nemo

UVa Parent -- except that I heard President Sullivan personally extol how she hosted a multidisciplinary group of faculty to support the donation. Now it is possible she saw it as the same BS as you and I appear to believe it is but felt required to support the donation. . . .

I have heard they tweaked it enough to support, but their enthusiasm did not reach the level of " strategic dynamism".

Strategic dynamism is China's bitch.

Dear Sleep walkers.

Did it ever occur to you that you are asleep, in a dream?
That you are not living in an objective reality, but instead, live in a perceptual delusion?
A nocturnal fancy, a passing flicker of light, that makes you believe in what you see?

That our friends, so cleverly appointed and endowed, call to us to awaken, and see
their emiment light.

Here's what I would do, listen up boys.
Get Colin Powel in there, set up some security apparatus.
He can stay a few months, or longer.We will be sure in NOvemver.
Then, he can give it up to Barack, who can become only the second AFrican American to lead the U.
I believe, it would have a positive effect.
And , then Terry could say, she was in on from the get-go.
And the best of all, Colin Powell could reasonably stick around even after Barack comes in. Cause, he's pretty cool on his own.

Haha, yaky yaky. Don't talk back

Oh crap, that only makes the society idea better.
Lamkpin, I am sorry I called you a dog.

There is a light, and you cqnnot hide from it.
Dawg! I am drunk!

Frank Speaker says:

"Countries in the G8 are hit very hard with increasing debt causing an increasing yearly service fee on the debt while the debt gets bigger . Greece ,Ireland ,and some of the smaller countries are feeling the effects more severly before the larger G8 countries. Nevertheless, the USA is severly inpacted abd there is no growth in the economies . Adjustments have been required across the board . Folks should not overlook the economic realities of our time ."

Nor should we overlook who got the G8 and us in this current mess: greedy coprporate financiers, CEOs, Wall Street magnates and MBAs, the same ones who now have their grubby little hands via the BOV on UVA and want to a) sell it off for profit, and b) control it so it becomes a training ground for their conformist corporations.

First these corporate robber barrons create the new depression, get their politician servants to starve the public universities of funding by preventing the fair taxation of corporate and millionaire profits, then say the "environment" has changed and public universities have to get 90% from market sources like corporate sponsors and private donors.

Then Frank Speaker, corporate lackey goes on to say:

"Many academics are unaware of where the money comes from , they just assume they are entitled to whatever amount they want ."

I know where the money comes from, in VA it comes from greedy little corporate CEOs and financiers and private donors who want to control public education and feel they are entitled to because they have money, mostly made given to them by their rich mommies and daddies or taken from the use of public resources and the sweat of other people's labor. Your Helan Dragas' and Keirnans, and Yoga boy and Hunter Craig think they are entitled to ruule the world because they are the masters of the Darwinian universe they have created.

The money should come from the general fund but the VA legislature is full of little enron-loving, anti-tax fools who don't care much about all of us serfs on the plantation. The Universiites produce citizens who make this place a better place to live, they serve a public purpose not merely a private purpose. Society is not a market its a polis.

The Speaker goes on to admit that the BOV were buffons by hiring her in the first place:

"It simply looks to be a poor hire in the first place which she herself acknowledges by her lack of effort to retain the position . There is no easy way for the BOV to correct the situation especially where she was the first female to hold the position."

It was a great hire and everybody but the corporate masters who demand compliance, knows it. She was vetted carefully, she has a superb track record as an academic and and adminsitrator. She is well liked, other universities want her and we will probably lose her and millions in funding because the short terms market thinking of the corporate CEOS on the BOVs.

It is clear she was blind sided and has many offers from other places who probably would actually treat her with some dignity. It simply looks like a great hire to me and that the BOV just got dumber recently probably due to an influx of McDonnel hires. Though we know Dragas and other idiots on the BOV were Kaine hires.

This brings us to the main pint, it doesn't matter if your a rich democrat or a rich republican, all you care about is the profit motive and letting the market run its magic, like the magic that brought us to the biggest depression since the republcans did it in the 20's. Remember what Stalin did t the Russian universities and Mao did to the Chinese, well now our global capitakist leaders want to do the same to our public universiites. The magic that now has become local via this heinous lack of leadership and venal M.O.

Yeah, we want to leave the direction of our public universiites to those who brought us Enron, the real estate collapse, the derivatives scam and the new depression. They are entitled to this after all because they are better than everyone else. The hubris is tragic.

There is an easy way for the BOV to correct its mistakes: Reinstate Sullivant, resign, and get their money grubbing hands off our public resources and then pay their fair share of taxes so that we can fund the universities and let them go back to do what they are best at, creating well rounded thinking citizens who can keep the moneyed interests from ruing our Republic.

Hop on back to the DP blog and the County which has one of the largest disparities between wealthy and poor (see Pro Publica) and one of the largest numbers of millionaires in the Country. hey will eat your rivel up with their silver spoons.

Paul Jones, Rector Dragas and all associated with this fiasco have spoiled the reputation of the University. Shame on all of them for utterly failing o learn anything about ethics in general or the legacy of Thomas Jefferson while here at the University.

For their own personal aggrandizement they have harmed any and all who have graduated, attend or work for this now seriously diminished institution.

Putrid! Disgusting! Pathetic!

We just added this sidebar this morning:

"Jones digs in"

In an op/ed piece published in the Sunday, June 17 edition of the Daily Progress, Paul Tudor Jones leaves little doubt about his stand on the Sullivan ouster and even the controversial manner in which it occurred.

"Change is never easy and often quite messy," writes Jones. "The spirit of Thomas Jefferson, the first rector of the University of Virginia, is cheering this action by the Board of Visitors."

Jones goes on to cite some facts that back his assertion that Sullivan had to go:

• that UVA's ranking by U.S. News and World Report has fallen from 15th to 25th place from 1988 to 2011,

• that a UVA full professor would need a 32 percent raise to match a counterpart at the top ten most-highly-compensated universities,

• that the 43 percent of UVA admittees who actually enroll-- being lower than the percentage at Harvard, Yale, and UNC-- needs raising

Jones closes his essay, not yet available online, with this:

"The Board of Visitors has just told each and every one of us that it is aspiring to greatness. It is about time, and we should all be elated."

According to reporting from the Washington Post, the firing of Teresa Sullivan was a process that took place over 6 or 7 months but originated when Helen Dragas became rector in July of 2011.
According to The Post, “By the time she took the reins as rector, Dragas was becoming convinced that Sullivan would not make the hard spending decisions necessary to keep U-Va. competitive in a volatile higher education marketplace.”

Apparently, however, rather than dealing directly with Sullivan,“Dragas laid the groundwork for Sullivan’s removal over several months, working in secret with a small team of collaborators. They included vice rector Mark Kington, a venture capitalist from Alexandria...and Peter Kiernan, a New York investor who led the foundation of the university’s business school.” And, we also know that hedge-funder Paul Jones was involved intimately as well, since UVa wanted to tap his deep financial pockets for more “contributions.”

UVa’s chief financial officer, hired by Sullivan, was involved too in some way, although the degree of his collusion is unclear. The Post reports that ‘Strine...read a statement at a staff meeting to quell rumors that he, too, was involved in her removal. He acknowledged meeting with members of the governing board and said they posed critical questions about Sullivan. He said he told the board members to take their concerns to Sullivan.” One has to wonder if he told Sullivan about meeting with Board members, and about the nature of the “critical questions” and “concerns” they posed to him.

The machinations continued, although “publicly, all seemed well. At a May 21 meeting, board member Alan Diamonstein, a former Democratic state delegate, praised Sullivan for her recent performance, drawing applause from the full board.” However, while applauding Sullivan in public, “ Dragas and Kington quietly built support for removing Sullivan, polling board members individually to attain the necessary 11 votes, a supermajority.”

It’s more than evident that Dragas is a sneak. She deliberately operated to avoid open meetings and public disclosure or input. Her under-handed duplicity “unfolded without a vote of the full board, without participation of several campus constituencies and without public evidence of blatant wrongdoing.” Moreover, Dragas had already found an interim president.

If nothing else is clear (yet) from this fiasco, one thing surely is: Helen Dragas has demonstrated that she is not a person of integrity.

I love this story and Hawes for being on top of it. I keep hearing about the honor and reputation of UVA. I did not attend school here. I am a carpet bagger from the north who attended Harvard. It is my recollection that Jefferson owned over 200 slaves and died deeply in debt. It seems the karmic thread from Jefferson has been woven into a hypocritical tapestry. When will people in this town ever admit the truth or at least discuss it? Thanks Hawes for the good work

all the stats that Jones cites are true; however the truth about them is they were conditons that Sullivan inherited and it appears one year later Dragas was on her ass to start the firing process. I am ambivalent on Casteen, but all the conditions left to Sullivan were more his doing than hers. Perhaps the state has not given the school the resources needed to remain in the top 15. Over the last 25 yrs, the academic credentials on an incoming UVA 1st year and grown significantly. Many of those who long to re-attain UVA status from 20 yrs ago could probably not get in today.

This woman was set up, pure and simple

The Hook's Dave McNair has the latest including a push by John Casteen for answers: http://www.readthehook.com/104256/spines-need-stiffening-casteen-leading...

And we typed up Jones's full defense of the sack of Sullivan: http://www.readthehook.com/oped-paul-tudor-jones-endorsing-sullivans-ouster

I am not a hater. My impression is that Mrs. Sullivan is fully capable in many respects, but that she unfortunately falls into the "inmate running the asylum" category. This helps explain why so many who depend on UVA for a paycheck are outraged, although I realize it is more complicated than this. If I was the owner of a business with a liberal political agenda, I'd still prefer "business" decisions to be made by an MBA than a Sociologist.

Final Exam question: (I think most of the protesters would answer d)

The purpose of UVA is to...
a. educate and support research, among other lofty goals.
b. to act as a giant, social engineering employment agency with nearly unlimited funds.
c. make the faculty happy.
d. all of the above.

The baby boomer generation (I'm a member) is often accused by younger folks of a variety of shortcomings including our high divorce rates, a boomer centric view of what's best for society and narcissism. While I valiantly defend my generation in most cases the explanation by Mr. Yoga Jones of the justification for the removal of Sullivan is simply too much to bear. The first point of how UVa has fallen from 15th to 25th in US News and World Report's rankings is simply astonishing to me. Using this metric as the first reason for this boorish action demonstrates the sheer shallowness and obsession with 'metrics' that provides insight into the level of emotional intelligence and general intellectual shortcomings of this individual and his followers. Stunning.

Logan Martin seems to have the purpose of education –– public education in general, and higher education at the University of Virginia in particular –– confounded with the business model (especially the corporate business model) bottom line. Here's a better "Final Exam" question than the one Martin posted:

Thomas Jefferson created the University of Virginia because:

a. he recognized the critical importance of "the spread of information among mankind"
b. he believed in a public university that was "broad and liberal and modern, as to be worth patronizing with the public support"
c. he understood that in a democratic republic, "wherever the people are well informed they can be trusted with their own government"
d. he saw the value to individuals, community, and country in developing "the reasoning faculties of our youth, [to] enlarge their minds, cultivate their morals, and instill into them precepts of virtue and order"
e. all of the above
f. none of the above

Bonus points: Which one or ones of the preceding possible answers was best exemplified most recently by the University of Virginia's Board of Visitors and its Rector?

Thanks to smart, rich people like Paul Tudor Jones, we've off-shored our industrial base. Might was well offshore our great research universities as well. Welcome to the University of Virginia's Tractor Trailer Institute.

NOTE: The Daily Progress has not published Jones' op ed which is in the print edition on their website. They have this op ed instead:
http://www2.dailyprogress.com/news/2012/jun/17/board-visitors-all-blunde...

I read that Op-Ed piece that was/wasn't published in the DP. Jones talks a big game about excellence, high standards for the university, etc.

This is coming from a man whose biggest donations to the university have funded (a) a basketball arena and (b) a center for promulgating yoga.

Are we seriously, seriously supposed to bow before the wisdom of this guy in matters relating to higher education? He made tons of money as a hedge fund manager. That's it.

Comment by ptj is a good example of narcissism and arrogance. Needs to work on character. It is not great.

All fingers point so far to the Machiavellian Helen Dragas being the pilot that drove the plane into the Rotunda. Bravo, Helen, for successfully --and very publicly--dragging the University down in one fell swoop. I still do not doubt for a second that there are plenty of the aforementioned Richie Rich boys who fancy themselves architects of some cold, sterile New World Order scheming at her side her, including the unfortunately esteemed governor, who saw the great urgency to re-open the roadside toilets in the Commonwealth, since he felt that symbolized that Virginia was "open for business" (one could ask if that business was #1 or #2; more like we should've known that Dragas and company would dump their #2 on the entire University community. But I digress.).

Does anyone see irony in McDonnell spending precious Commonwealth resources on ubiquitous public toilets while chipping away with a sledgehammer at all that made UVA special? I know these wealthy bozos truly believe that it's all about making money, and if such "useless" departments as Classics can't pull their weight, well, off with their heads, but the truth of about a broad-based liberal arts education is it creates critical thinkers, not money-grubbing greedy bastards who'll do anything to earn boundless reams of cash while the country falls into greater disrepair thanks to their greediness.

This is what you get when you have a political party foolishly place everything on a "no taxes" platform for over a generation: a picked-through populace in which resources for anything and everything that should and could feed ones soul are stripped bare. But dammit we'll have our concrete paeans to peeing left standing, intact, with well-clipped lawns, natch.

What these policies have given us on a silver platter is a dark, soulless world in which the rich can immerse themselves in the finer things (ashtanga hostile takeover, anyone?) as THEY see fit while the rest of us unwashed masses are more and more denied all that is beautiful, diverse, the things that make life gorgeous, robbed from us by these robber barons who take from the poor and give to themselves.

If you ask me, the billionaire is the new street thug. The sad thing is they've won for good. They have the capacity to take everything wonderful from us by hook or crook, and do so feigning they know what's best for us. My generation sucks: filled with greedy bastards who've mined the world dry for their own benefit. And killed it for our children.

who gives a rats ass what or how much money you have given your greed is the root of all your evil i say out with the jones as well take your damn money and shove it as deep as it can go and leave our cville area we dont need ass holes like you ruining our area or our world

Dragas resign immediately! You are incompetent and simply not intelligent enough for a position of power. Please go back to making money. This is where you belong. Not at the helm of an important institution. You are simply out of your depth and would be well advised to acknowledge it. No one --alums, faculty, students--supports your further involvement in our institution.

"Change is never easy and often quite messy," writes Jones. "The spirit of Thomas Jefferson, the first rector of the University of Virginia, is cheering this action by the Board of Visitors."

Let me guess, Mr. Jones channelled the spirit of Mr. Jefferson while sitting in the University's new overpriced yoga studio.

Yoga -- more important than the Classics? Please...

RioDistrictGuy, keen observation and include the glaring omission of Athletics.....Littlepaige, Oliver, and Miller. Oops....after Mr. Jones's involvement, someone said that they are still sitting on their toilets.

Jones gives us several reasons for the ouster in the Daily Progress op-ed. My question is -- why are we hearing it from Jones and not from the BOV?

The whole thing has been handled so poorly and just brings to light the billionaires who are the ones really in charge and it feels icky...

These are the "alarming facts" that Paul Tudor Jones uses to justify the Teresa Sullivan firing debacle:

• First, Jones says that "UVa's U.S. News and World Report ranking has fallen steadily since 1988– from No. 15 to No. 25, with a ding from No. 24 taking place as early as last year."

But in those rankings, "only three public schools—Berkeley, UCLA, and the University of Virginia—are ranked among the top 25 National Universities." More importantly is the fact that Jones takes the US News rankings seriously. About twenty-five percent of the US News assessment is based on peer perceptions (what people think about a school) rather than any solid evidence. And, most college admissions officers and experts don't think the rankings are very accurate. So, why does Jones?

• Second, "a full professor at UVA would need a 32 percent raise to earn as much as his/her counterpart at one of the top 10 best paying universities in the nation."

But he says not a word about teaching assistants, assistant professors or associate professors. And he fails to note that all of the so-called "top 10" universities are private institutions. If the state of Virginia is one of the top 10 most affluent states in the country (and it is), then why is it not adequately funding higher education at state schools? It certainly can afford to. Why isn't Jones talking about that?

• Third, Jones whines that "UVA's most recent reported admissions yield is just 43 percent, which means the rate at which students accept a place at UVa after receiving an acceptance letter from Peabody Hall is well under half…"

Um, so what? Has Jones not considered the fact that many students who apply to UVa are also applying to UNC, or JMU, or Princeton, or MIT, or Harvard, or Columbia....? Why, exactly, is the "admissions yield" a problem? Or is it, once again, simply an image thing – a snob problem, as it were – to Jones?

Here's a short message to Paul Tudor Jones: You don't show your esteem for a "beloved institution" by relying on poor-quality information that's more fiction than factual, or by resorting to skullduggery and deceit, or by being a rich bully.

Thomas Jefferson would be jeering and not "cheering" this move by UVa's Board and its Rector. If Paul Tudor Jones had an ounce of common decency, he would be too.

@the billionaire is the new street thug. I gotta say, your's is a remarkable, well-written essay and entertaining to boo t(as good writing should be). Maybe you can make it a bit more generic and ship it off to the NY times for publication so more can share your thoughts.

Jones's offensive statement about Mr Jefferson shows how closely he, and others like him, have actually read what Mr Jefferson wrote--about everything, and about UVa in particular.

Considering that UVa was actually established by Mr Jefferson to educate people about just these issues, that is beyond "ironic." How dare he suggest even for a second that TJ is smiling on this--but it's hard to imagine that he is one of those folks who have deluded himself into believing that Jefferson would have smiled on the Disneyland "recreation" of the Academical Village at Darden, too.

As the AAUP's welcome statement shows, the very nature of an institution of higher education is such that the BOV does not have the right to do what it did without buy-in from the other community stakeholders. You can't abrogate the principles out of which an institution is built wholesale, on the one hand, while claiming to be realizing them on the other. To say nothing of having gotten UVa to build a shrine to your favorite semi-religious leader while trying to jettison core academic subjects for being unprofitable. This episode is almost beyond belief, even for an institution that routinely violates its own principles (and those of its founder) as often as does UVa.

Waiting for something besides empty language to emerge from the BoV. Clear as a collective that we might want to attend to the process of communication - a la the Sullivan-supported Day of Dialogue:

http://humanescientist.wordpress.com/2012/06/16/uva-bov-we-need-transpar...

So we have a gazillionaire who thinks that if he gives enough money, he gets to run the university (and be the sole interpreter of Jefferson's 'legacy'), a board that's OK with that, and a governor who conveniently says he doesn't want to go against some of his biggest donors.

Oops. Sorry. I was speaking above my station.

Carry on...

Jones and Kiernan and the corporate bagmen they have running the BOVs are short-sighted, market driven, venal people who have no business running a University. Jones is a wealthy idiot with delusions of grandeur. When business and government conspire like this its called Facism, (see WWII Italy for a good comparison).

The job now is to make sure people like Dragas, Kiernan Jones, Goldman-Sachs,and the rest of the corporate, greedy corporate/MBAs keep their hands off our public university.

The rules of the appointment game have to be changed. The way the BOVs get appointed has to change so that this can never happen again. The BOVs should look like all the economic interests of Virginia and UVA, poor, middle class, and not just corporate CEO upper class wealthy individuals. One should be ineligible if they have given a major contribution to a politician. The BOV should be 51% faculty, students, and Parents of UVA.

Second, UVA is a public university and it should be funded by public not private funds, even it that means raising corporate and wealth taxes. Donors should be allowed to give to a general pot that gets distributes like a general fund not to pet projects to promote private interests, that way the Billions in the endowment could go to improving average faculty salaries. Most of us are not superstars making above 100,000 a year.

The short run goals ought to be to a) reinstate Sullivan; b) dismiss the BOVs or at least the Troika that orchestrated the debacle, c) get a full accounting and vote from the full BOV.

Show up today and Monday!!!!!!!

Paul Tudor Jones is a real man of genius.

http://www.wannafork.com/humor_audio_play.php?ID=129

@CitizenParty: Corporate bagmen indeed. It's quite laughable that Jones is all about yoga and mindfulness when it appears he's merely mistaken mindfulness for selfish, perhaps with a soupçon of Ego Gone Wild thrown in for good measure. It's sadly ironic that true yoga devotees and those in the world of mindfulness are so busy actually adhering to the precepts of the practice that they don't bother to intervene when maniacal egomaniacs co-opt their cause for their own good.

These hedge fund whores who truly believe they are the Great Thinkers of their day are such fools, chasing after immortality through their "deep thinking", not deep thinking at all but rather a result of their overblown egos fueled by their crass accumulation of power and money. More like a result of either ADD meds making them go into hyper overdrive, or could it be a tetchy side effect of Viagra abuse? Meanwhile they hang their faux arguments on the US News and World Reports rankings which are at best specious and as noted above, much of the bogus rankings are derived from equally bogus peer review (psssst, you prop up my school, I'll prop up yours, and we'll par-tay with the boost in salary we get from the greater admission yield and big buck donations).

What has happened here at UVA just reaffirms how tainted our country has become, so enamored with materialism and greed and crushing skulls in a shameless gambit for primacy. Hats off to a select few at this University who have managed to take UVA from a shining institution to one in which the spotlight is now shining on how corrupt its leaders are.

The silver lining: perhaps their malicious actions have finally awoken the sleeping giant--a complacent public who lets these arrogant manipulators trample their rights until taken too far. Just hope it's not too late for the giant to beat down these reprobates.

that would be selfishness ;-)

Strategic dynamist or selfish dumbass?

Dear Dr. Drag,

At your earliest convenience, could you please inform the UVA community who Mr. Jones has chosen to succeed Teresa Sullivan?

Thank you.

@the billionaire is the new street thug: Absolutely. Well said. Thank you. Please keep writing, and publish far and wide.

@Rev'er up and @Mike--thank you so much. Hope this writing can help stir up the masses--we rabble really need to rally, especially with students gone for the summer and so many faculty on summer leave. Just call me madame defarge...knitting needles clicking!

Here's the thing that's really scary - that these wealthy benefactors don't seem to mind the blatant dishonesty and avoidance of the rules of BOV to achieve this coup. It's like they think they are entitled to this because they have made lots of money, thus they know better.

It should make you wonder then how they really made their money; that there is a good chance they behaved the same way in their business lives, doesn't it?

Just think, in China, big money hat does this goes to the gallows. How long would these guys last there? Not very long.

It's time we wake up and recognize that many of the well heeled do not play by the rules, they aren't necessarily smarter, and no amount of money is worth the damage it is doing to the fabric of our society.

@ Billionaire is the new street thug...sorry I can't "like" any of these comments but you have said it well! And it is time to reform the BOV system and get rid of politically based appointees. It is time for the BOV to "serve at the pleasure of the University," not the other way around!

You can't make this stuff up: UVA President ousted by hysterical connivings of female Rector induced by Wall Street big swinging . . . .

So true @Richard Cheatham, and thanks @Catherine C.
You guys must read this pathetic gushfest on His Royal Highness Jones...keep clicking through to the whole piece, and notice the common thread: he says again and again "well, I started that, but I got bored." Then he says, "well, I got bored." And then again, "Well, I got bored."
Methinks this was another of his latest projects that happened along when he got bored, sadly...

http://www.businessinsider.com/paul-tudor-jones-ptj-islands-spell-his-in...

I live out of state but I hope all you local people are going to show up for the "public" part of the BOV meeting tomorrow...and give them hell!!

fingers crossed for a huge turnout

If Terry Sullivan was forced out because she stood up for the integrity of the university, then now is time for students and faculty and alums (and the whole community) to stand up for her!

Are the Jones quotes for real? They sound alot like something Thurston Howell III would say.

The BOV has never recovered from the loss of Patricia Kluge.

Please someone stop this self-destruction. Are you out there??

Americans are so self righteous about business dealings because, unlike many countries, our business dealings generally don't involve bribery. Guess what? If a donor gives a large amount of money to UVA or any other organization and expects favors in return, i.e. admission for his relative, ousting of senior leadership etc., I have news for you; that constitutes a bribe. It goes on all the time at Darden as well as the rest of UVA. Employees and alums, take off your rose-colored glasses about the place. It is fraught with unscrupulous leaders. UVA churns through 30 good employees and keeps the problem leader. They do it all the time. I hope this whole Teresa Sullivan debacle forces UVA to scrutinize every leader of every department and really starts to listen when employees have concerns. People won't shop at Walmart because of the way they treat their employees. Give me a break. UVA treat their employees poorly as well.

Dude bemoans the fact that the US News ranking has slipped since the '80s So what. That was before certain private universities started buying their way up the ladder anyway (I'm think about schools in Atlanta and St. Louis and LA, to take just two examples). Plus, the rankings have a built-in bias against public universities. But '88 doesn't matter. I hate this term, but the UVa brand is beyond strong in the place where it matters most: Northern Virginia Plus, it seems like there are tons of brand-hyperconscious international students willing to pay full freight. The number of applicants for '16 was insane. UVa is too big to fail. On another note, someone please make me president-- even for a day-- fire me the next day for some corporate-babble reason, and give me a fat severance and a tenured professorship at $350,000 a year. A great job, if you can get it--and there's no need to keep it.

The Daily Progress op/Ed is so stunningly ridiculous. Even more stunning is that there are people in Cville who seem to think these out of touch, ego driven people who don't even live here (Dragas et al) are UVA. WE are UVA. We must act...especially if our governor doesn't have the desire or nerve to step in.

@democracy....outstanding post - thank you.

At the end of the day, Paul Tudor Jones may be right in thinking about the financial and national standing of UVA BUT it does not justify the behind the scenes and lack of transparency. Who in their right mind would want to take the job of UVA president now? Would a new UVA president not be susceptible to the same under the table secret deals? That is the issue at hand. This is unsettling as expressed by many and will be a defining moment for UVA.

Did these BOV members really think that this action would go unnoticed and accepted without question? This shows an incredible lack of understanding of the UVA and Charlottesville community or an incredible level of arrogance.

This guy is a moron... he could have EASILY engineered a dream job for Ms Sullivan for a couple of million bucks...

He should learn something from the cretins before him... make her an offer she couldn't refuse.

Is that a FOR SALE sign in front of Madison Hall?

Presidents and governors do more than enact laws -- they make appointments, such as to the Supreme Court or, yes, even to university boards -- think about this minor point the next time you're in the voting booth -- and let this be a modern civics lesson (is civics even taught anymore, or was it thrown out to make room for "strategic" courses that will help you get a "dynamic" job after graduation?). We never know when a well-thought-out appointee will "go rogue," out of hubris or a misguided (read condescending) sense of what he/she thinks will be "best" for the institution without concurrence in the public arena.

All the public relations consultants (retired from Dominion Power or elsewhere) won't be able to put this PR-disaster of a horse back in the barn, not with the social media-sphere galloping headlong toward the the "sunshine" and, hopefully, the truth about the reasons for this dead-of-summer coup.

If Ms. Dragas is such a "savvy" businessperson, why didn't she ask the tough questions that a boss would ask an employee during the two years' worth of public Board of Visitors' meetings if she had such "concerns" about Dr. Sullivan's abilities from the get-go -- rather than sneaking around behind the scenes to do her dirty work? And if she is such a savvy biz-person, from Hampton Roads no less, a region with very competitive news media, did she think she could stand on the steps of the Rotunda last Sunday in little ol' Charlottesville making her bombshell announcement and no one would notice? Do members of these appointed boards receive *any* guidance on the protocols of public governance of the civic institutions they are charged with overseeing -- including rules for conducting "government in the sunshine"?

Also -- someone should remind the public of the (chump change) $2 million fine Paul Tudor Jones paid in the early '90s for wetlands violations on the Maryland Eastern Shore and the contractor who took the fall for him (i.e., jail time) because PTJ wanted the work done quickly, never mind the federal wetlands regs. (And if this firing of Dr. Sullivan was a way to get the planned U.S. 29 bypass out of the news so another of Gov. McDonnell's appointees [the transportation secretary ] can get the lowest bid signed, sealed and delivered at this week's Commonwealth Transportation Board meeting to get that project moving, couldn't think of a better way to grab the attention -- yet another issue approved in the dead of night.) Where has all the civility gone? Did Ms. Dragas watch too many episodes of "Celebrity Apprentice" to perfect her firing technique? We can only hope that that show's "star" (and now local vintner) isn't also a "player" in this sordid soap opera.

PT Jones is NO friend of the University! Boycott ANY event at the JPJ Arena until his father gets his boy straight. JP Jones should ask to have his name removed from the Arena, his son has discredited his name around here. May a herd of circus elephants crush Greenwich Connecticut into dust. Money...the root of all evil.

... and still no ultrasound from the Honorable Governor, just hurry up and get the procedure over. Follow the money.

Well done Hawes!! Are you looking into Hunter Craig's role in all of this?

While I could not find a way to directly respond to Mr. Jones' op-ed, I think he makes some strong points, with which I happen to completely disagree. I'm sure Ms. Sullivan is aware of all the issues he points out, probably more so than he is. The problem is that he offers no specifics for how to address these issues, and it is that everyday challenge which makes the president's job so difficult at any university. Ultimately, no one would care to hear from Mr. Jones above other alumni were he not so very, very wealthy that he could easily donate $12 million to the school for a yoga center. This is why some people, including Jones and Ms. Dragas, should stick to attending expensive parties put on by the development office, and other people--educators and experienced administrators--should run educational institutions.

Test

Would Mr. Paul Tudor Jones kindly post his University grades transcript here?

I've never seen more group think in my life, and it's disappointing from a community that fancies itself as progressive and independent. Are you all so afraid of the unknown that you cannot imagine that something good can be replaced by something better? I can't wait to see if UVa can achieve excellence in its next chapter.

Always good to do a "Test" first. That way you can be sure to go out of the gates running first thing in the morning. Nice to know the public relations firm dollars are being well spent. No second rate PR for Dragas!

"Always good to do a "Test" first. That way you can be sure to go out of the gates running first thing in the morning. Nice to know the public relations firm dollars are being well spent. No second rate PR for Dragas!"

Ha! LOL. You are spot-on. The flacks are up early this morning, putting on their "spin."

Nice thing about being a PR flack is that even after Dragas has had her a$$ dragged off the grounds, the PR firm still gets paid. Win, lose or draw, the flack gets paid.

But there is a major difference between determined 'Hoos and Dragas' spin machine: we are determined and our hearts are in this fight. A PR firm's loyalty must be bought. and it's loyaltey ends when the money stop flowing.

Sooner we get rid of Drgas and her goons, the sooner the PR firm can go back to other meaningful projects. Like trying to convince the world that Darden alum Peter Kiernan is not an idiot. Good luck with that, flacks!

@Elizabeth Mendenhall...let's assume, for sake of a test, that Jones, Dragas, et.al. were 100% correct in their conclusion that Sullivan needed to go. The means to their end was fundamentally flawed from the beginning, and in the end has caused considerable damage to the University. For the sake of "good" being replaced by "something better," one individual and the reputation of one of the preeminent universities in the world have been sacrificed, and any notion of trust, honor, and integrity have been sacrificed as well.

Achieving ANY type of excellence, from any perspective, will not take place any time soon. If anything, the University has achieved excellence at gaining notoriety.

The test was because the last 3 comments I've posted through the week have disappeared--good freedom of speech, Hook.

The only damage I see so far is all of you standing around saying that there is damage. I think it's in the eye of the beholder, not real.

@ Elizabeth Mendenhall ....

Girl, are you getting paid per post, by the hour or is it on a retainer basis? You should try the per-post route for your most lucrative results. Don't worry; Dragas has lots of money, if no credibility.

Oh yeah and rest assured Dragas and her henchmen will ensure that The University foots the vast PR bill for their gross miscalculation. Didn't slip my attention that this whole crew of Dark Lords got their diplomas at UVA back when you didn't have to be brilliant to get into the school...Clearly their collective brilliance shines through...

@ Billionaire: yes, sadly, I suspect you are right. Leaving UVa with a fat PR bill will be Dragas' final act of hubris as she struggles to get out the door of the Rotunda -- before the door handle knocks her upside the a$$.

As for Miss Medenhall, oh dear; I hear only the sound of crickets. She's probably regrouping to foment a new strategy.

"just to get a show of hands - how many believe that Dragas was merely a duped stooge or forced to follow orders from some higher power?"

Um, look up "Quisling". A willing, enthusiastic underling. Like anyone, I'm just speculating - taking a WAG - but I'm sure Dragas would like (just like all those low-taxer bottom-of-the-middle-class red-staters) to believe that she is just like the other .01% (PTJ, et al) and that as a member of their class, she's on their side in the class war. I doubt very much she's a "puppet" or was "duped" or anything else.

The Post and Hawes are onto the right thread now. This is, and always has been, about money. The University, due to "fiscally conservative" leadership in Richmond (GOP anti-taxers) who have refused for years to fund it's enrollment and tuition mandates for it's "public" institutions, has slowly bled and become increasingly dependent on private sources of income. Darden and Law were able, as profitable "trade schools" to raise money to close the state funding gap.

After the MBA crowd (the 1% to whom we are supposed to kneel in eternal gratitude for the crumbs and table scraps) successfully blew up the entire economy, things got tight over there at Darden...and they have a heck of a mortgage on that Taj-Mahal they built when they thought they were the smartest guys in the room. When resources get tight, it's everyone for themselves.

They are looking to renege (strategic, or as they call it: ruthless default) on their deal: in exchange for the branding (UVa/Darden) and the real estate, they paid a rent (the 10%) back to the University. Rent-seekers (and MBA/Darden are almost entirely focused on rent-seeking "finance") know all about how this works.

Of course, they are the 'smartest guys in the room' so none of this is their fault - it must be those poor minorities who were forced under the CRA to take predatory mortgages, a scheme cooked up by their predatory overlords, those dirty, long-haired, socialist-Marxist hippy professors of German and Classics.

Hawes and the Post need to dig into how it was that the previous chain of succession - of institutional memory and stability - on the BOV got disrupted. Dragas was the new kid on the block - and while she was appointed by Kaine, she wasn't plucked up to be the new Rector until McDonnell was governor and had made a few appointments (begun capturing the board). There was already a clearly announced successor to John Wynne (the Rector under whom Sullivan was brought in): Daniel Abramson - who was expected to serve a second term and become Rector - something McDonnell clearly disrupted when he didn't reappoint Abramson and instead put his own people on the board.

Elizabeth Mendenhall from Johns Hopkins University? Isn't that where Dragas' original candidate for interim president is from?

I want to add: it appears that Dean Bruner of Darden is indeed acting with intellectual honesty and in an honorable manner. I've taken repeated swipes at the MBA class, but I do not believe that majority of Darden or MBAs there are representative of this.

In terms of red-vs-blue partisanship: while I do believe it's true that Team Blue is complicit in this mess. Dragas is, after all, a Kaine appointee - and Tim Kaine, while far, far better than Curious (Mean) George, has demonstrated a willingness to cozy up for cash. Kington has been a Team Blue supporter for some time. Nevertheless - the problem is the refusal of the state to fund state institutions, exacerbated by their willingness to hamstring those institution's own attempts to become self-sufficient (tuition increase freezes, enrollment increase mandates, etc.), all because of the triumph of "no new tax revenue" ever.

Virginia is, essentially, a 1%-er Libertarian Republican Dream in terms of tax policy: we have, effectively, a flat-tax. We have a very low tax rate. This is the result of that policy - not speculation - the real-world result: no money for roads or schools. The slow erosion of what used to be fine institutions of which we could be proud (great transportation system, great schools). Warner and Kaine were elected and nominally held the Governor's mansion for "team blue" but they were never able to change the policy: neither was able to get money for roads or to really address the Allen-Gilmore cuts in taxes and support for State schools.

While the BOV may agree with Sullivan that the university is facing a critical moment and financial crisis, that crisis is the result of low tax and low spend state policies. There is no free lunch. The people who've been cheering 'sticking it to the marxist-socialist long haired campus liberals may be enjoying this moment, but in truth, those marxist-socialists are nothing of the sort, and they're going to follow the money (like all other capitalist Americans) - like Sullivan - they'll be going somewhere the public is willing to pay the price it costs for top-notch research and instruction. You get what you pay for.

I hear the Hall is behind this...

Did you read Jones' cliche-riddled boosterism in the Daily Progress? "Clarion call"? Really?

The notion of a hedge-fund billionaire calling for cyclical revolution (quoting Jefferson) is as hypocritically paradoxical as Jefferson writing "all men are created equal" and then maintaining slaves. It's easy, I suppose, to celebrate change when you yourself are no longer subject to its discomforts and costs.

If there is a revolution in this country, Mr. Jones, I can assure you it will be of a type that people like you will not enjoy.

"• that UVA's ranking by U.S. News and World Report has fallen from 15th to 25th place from 1988 to 2011,"

And the responsibility for this lies with someone who was hired in 2010? Also, I just checked the rankings and UVA is behind only one public university -- UC-Berkeley. I'm pretty sure that we were ranked below Berkeley in 1988 as well.

"• that a UVA full professor would need a 32 percent raise to match a counterpart at the top ten most-highly-compensated universities,"

The average salary of UVA full-professor is in the 82nd percentile nationally. Also, a UCLA full professor earns 15% more than her UVA counterpart, but would need a further 19% raise to match the UVA prof's local-cost-of-living-adjusted spending power. Also, Jones claims that UVA's average full professor salary "doesn't even place in the top ten of public four-year universities nationally," but I only count five that rank higher.

"• that the 43 percent of UVA admittees who actually enroll-- being lower than the percentage at Harvard, Yale, and UNC-- needs raising"

UVA is never going to match the Ivies in admissions yield, and having that as a criterion for excellence is foolish. UNC has a much higher yield because they admit a much higher percentage of in-state students and charge much lower tuition. Is Jones proposing to raise yield by lowering tuition? Seems kinda doubtful.

Jones also claims in his editorial that when he was deciding where to go to college, UVA was a "destination" school on a par with Harvard and West Point. Putting aside the fundamentally different admissions process for the military academies, and with all dues respect, no. Two of my high school classmates (class of '75) attended UVA, and it was the "safety" school for both of them. They'd have picked Harvard or Yale or Princeton over UVA in a heartbeat, but they couldn't get in. There's no shame in that, on either side.

Unfortunately, Courteney Stuart, your TJ quotation is made up:

http://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/end-democracyquo...

Michael, I wish I had written that--and I will.

Of course faculty members' salaries are indexed to cost of living--mine is, darn it. And, as you point out, the yield rate statistic Jones provides is completely acontextual. But few people know the truth about U.S. News and World Report rankings--some portions of them are made up of what can only be called gossip, and here I speak as someone who filled out my university's survey entry on two occasions. In doing so, I relied on hearsay, impression, and institutional self-interest. UVA did quite well, by the way, in my rankings.

If Mr. Jones were genuinely interested in UVA being academically competitive, he might consider using his considerable influence in lobbying legislators for increasing state support of UVA and giving money for something other than garish fake-Palladian basketball arenas.

"Strategic Dynamism," eh? Google that puppy and guess what you'll find at the top of the page: A lot of references to the current dust up at UVA. Attorney Randolph Brickey, who has his fingers in a lot of things, may have fingered this situation pretty accurately. He has pointed out how the support of Citizens United for big money influence of public opinion on political matters and politicians resulted in the Supreme Court saying the government could not prohibit such actions. Brickey contends that as more funding for any cause comes by voluntary contributions, more people with money will be contributing, and also influencing the agenda. While the original background for this phenomenon was elections and politics, it eventually, perhaps inevitably, has leaked into any situation at all where clout matters. And Brickey thinks that as government funds for UVA have dwindled, private support has conferred unusual power on the big donors.

It would appear, therefore, that a private source is exerting some special agenda with respect to UVA and the BOV. Poor Ms. Sullivan, evidently, is regarded as an obstacle, so she has been dismissed. And evidently, the faculty smells a rat, so we have the current uproar.

Which brings us back to "strategic dynamism," which is basically a fancy way of saying you make things up as you go along to get what you want. So, the questions are, who are the power brokers, and what do they want, and why?

Beats me.

Thank you for this great reporting. Mr PT Jones has left out a key group of "stakeholders" as I suppose he would put it: Virginia taxpayers and parents of future U VA students. I am going to ask my elected representatives to change the way Board members are chosen and vetted. Can't these hedge fund boobs be content with destroying our economy? now they have to ruin our state university? I will most certainly remember in November.

I want to see the full birth certificate for Dragas. She must have been born on another planet to think she can push so hard and get away with it. If in fact she was not born on this planet I think she would ineligible to be on the BOV. What needs to happen? Well the first thing is less people of so called "money and prestige" on Boards, Congress and more people with honor and self awareness not obsessiveness. Good luck UVA speaking to you as a hometown boy that was on your radio station I am with you in this battle. No doubt you will win just "FIGHT THE POWER!"

Wow. I am not affiliated with UVA in any way, shape or form but this is a great piece.

What is happening here reminds me of what has happened at the University of Oregon with Phil Knight, albeit at the athletics level. A big money alum comes in, donates some money and then promises to donate more if certain changes are made. Knight wanted his buddy appointed as AD (athletic directory) and promised to withhold donations/cut off donations if they athletic department didn't honor his request. How about when UO admin wanted to join the Workers Rights Commission (unfair child labor) and, when Knight backed off his donation pledge of over $30 million, they terminated their agreement with the WRC.

Money talks. Sometimes not in the best ways.

No one is blaming Pres Sullivan for problems that preceded her and in fact, are not unique to UVa. No one has said that the university is in ruin. But is the bar so low that anything short of disaster must be tolerated? I find the original explanation by the Board completely believable. "Sullivan was doing a good job. We're concerned that we need something more." As custodians of the school, this is their best judgement. If you think that the university should be governed solely by the inmates, take your case to the General assembly to rewrite the articles of incorporation.

The problem Ms Mendenhall is that had the board really been in accord, and had Sullivan truly not been in touch, there would have been no reason for such dishonest and underhanded tactics. No need for secret meetings, with out having a full board present for a vote. Nor would they be inviting in the conversation non board member alumn. Certainly, Sullivan would not have been caught by surprise, as she clearly was, nor be kicked down the road.

I for one do not believe this is their best judgement, as it is not a judgement met in open dialog and conversation. If it is their best judgement, then they all need to be removed for so poorly executing it. There is absolutely nothing good or to be admired in what has just happened, even if Sullivan were found not a good fit - which I don't think is the case.

To defend this action makes you sound like hired PR.

I've read Mrs. Sonia Jones's prescriptions for higher education, as quoted in the UVA press release. I've been unable to find any information indicating her own education.

You would prefer that she'd been terminated? Following the theory that she was doing a good job, why would they be so punitive? And will you please explain how one severs employment gradually? In the real world you get handed a carton and escorted to the door. I'm not sure Sullivan was as surprised as you believe.

@Elizabeth Mendenhall from a source - Sullivan was shocked, speachless and never saw it coming. Legally, the BOV did this all wrong - no matter what "reasons" they had, they did this against Virginia Code and it was done unethically. It was WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.

No different than an employee who comes to work to find the business locked up and closed forever. It is wrong. Egad, do not justify the BOV for this behavior! It isn't acceptable.

"No one is blaming Pres Sullivan for problems that preceded her and in fact, are not unique to UVa. No one has said that the university is in ruin. But is the bar so low that anything short of disaster must be tolerated?"

That's a rather strange juxtaposition. First, Mr. Jones in his op-ed piece comes very close to blaming Sullivan for problems that preceded her. Second, you're the only person I've heard describe her two years as president as just "short of disaster." Most importantly, the BOV's handling of this situation is going to make it extremely difficult for the next president to succeed at all, much less raise the bar.

I rerspect Paul Jones for his vision, generosity to UVA, and wisdom . Yet I question his glee in the removal of UVA's President as a "revolution".Isn't that usually an uprising of the people?This move sems to be causing
a Civil War not a revoultion.
We need to be careful that we are not moving from a peripatetic stasis mode to a statist movement controlled by a select few.
A lot of Wall Strret terms such as yield and stategic dynamism are being tossed about, well what about Due Dilegence??
It it appears Mrs. Sullivan was the wrong choice from the"get-go" how did she ever get the job?
Further noted is how can we blame her for UVA ranking falling steadily since 1988 if she just got here?
I remain puzzled.

"If it appears Mrs. Sullivan was the wrong choice from the"get-go" how did she ever get the job?"

The world hasn't changed that much since 2010, but the BOV has. The most charitable reading of Dragas et al's actions is that the current board is indicting the previous board -- the one that hired Dr. Sullivan.

I've served on an advisory board @JMU since 1997. Some of our members end up on JMU's BoV over time especially if they are politically active. Many on the board have said to me over the years that they think college professors have it made compared to them; 6 figure salary, summers off, teach a few classes, live in a low cost but still nice area like the Shenandoah Valley etc.. This type of attitude is why I think PTJ referred to a 'revolution' because his business oriented group scored a 'hit' on the academics of which Sullivan is a member. Many business people are surprised at the sheer effort required to make changes or adopt new technologies at least at JMU and likely at UVa as well. JMU College of Business once tried to work with some folks at Darden's Batten Institute to implement some of the Batten Institute's funds aimed at teaching entrepreneurship to high schools. They had $60 million dollars available for this project. At the time this was a greater amount thean JMU entire endowmwnt I believe.We all thought that since JMU graduates more teachers than any school in VA combined with our Center for Entrepreneurship would be a great partnership with Darden. JMU Faculty thought differently. The Head of JMU's Management department demanded 100% 'control' of the program because they didn't want UVa 'calling the shots' despite their providing 100% of the funds. Maybe the JMU Dean was too weak to get this done among his faculty but the end result is that the Batten Institute is still trying to figure out how to reach high school entrepreneurs and a huge opportunity was needlessly missed. This type of experience by many business people sets up an antagonistic relationship where there is little respect between the two types of stakeholders in my limited experience. This is my guess at what PTJ was implying with his comments.

Contemplative Science Center????? New name: The Paul Tudor Jones Voodoo Bullshit Center

After reading President Sullivan's statement, it now seems clear that Mr. Jones was ticked off that she managed to take his looney-bin idea and actually turn it into something respectable.

It seems to be in the water these days, Dennis. "Some people" believe that "other people" aren't working as hard has they are. Some of the most insistent that this is the case are very wealthy people, who might be working on two fronts--their own labors and accruing money from the immense capital so many of them inherited.

I'd be the first to agree that there are deadwood faculty members--but I defy anyone to tell me that there isn't deadwood in the private sector as well--the marketplace isn't so efficiently Darwinian that it winnows out the useless and lazy. Most of us, of course, are quite hardworking--today, for example, I handled a registration problem and advised a gaggle of graduate students. Wednesday and Thursday, I give two talks to incoming parents and students. That doesn't sound like much work I know, but it's worth mentioning that my contract, like all faculty on my campus, is a ten month one. In short, I'm working for free--and I'm not unique.

But that's not my point. Yes, this may be a clash of ways of viewing the world--business vs academics. Most businesspeople would scoff at the notion that academics could do their work; I would argue that what happened at UVA is proof that businesspeople make lousy academics and academic administrators.

We'll all be banging into this clash again in November, when a business person will be making the argument that his business acumen makes him more qualified than an academic to be president.

@Ray Smith: There is a need and room for all of us. Respect and appreciation for others is a much better way to live than thinking what you are doing is the only way to live. It's not. And stop working for free!

Sullivan and Dragas/Jones/Kiernan are operating on two completely different planets.

As President, yes, it is Sullivan's job to raise funds, however the scope of her job is to represent the institution of UVa, that is, the faculty, staff and students whom the University serves. She is the leader of an organization, not a corporation. You can't buy stock in UVa, it is a "greater good," public institution that is responsible to it's community and the Commonwealth. Incremental change and seeking new endeavors, such as the new Contemplative Center and Environmental sustainability (I can't believe it has taken them this long..) ARE exactly what she should be doing, and the faculty and students should be allowed to have as many resources and materials as needed to reach ACADEMIC goals. That is her job.

When I was there more than 10 years ago, I saw the school lagging behind in instructional technology, facilities, environmental policy, and collegiate social policy. I assumed that this was because large donors want to buy flashy things, not recycling programs and projection equipment and upgraded kitchen/dining rooms, student health and safety education or community programming. Those are things that appeal to prospective, out-of-state students. They want to live on-grounds in a place that is comfortable and on the edge of innovation. Likewise, talented, published faculty want to be at a school that is mission driven and is always polishing it's academic program and promoting publication.

I think that Sullivan was on the right track with promoting endeavors and communicating the community in ways that bring in permanent and sustainable change. Assuming that Sullivan was somehow against online education is misleading, because one can only assume that the BOV did not support it until it looked to be a financial solution and they could bring heavy hitters to install a program without analysis of how it will change the school if it will be a sustainable program. (It seems that that was how they were looking at it.)

Bringing in a huge project for the purpose of producing revenue over education is amazingly misguided for leaders of a University. We have seen how other online programs have had major difficulties and have struggled to gain leverage in academics: Phoenix, Kaplan, Strayer, South University... They make money, but they strangle students financially, and their degrees aren't recognized. It would be a mistake to assume the UVa brand will fix this. Even when UVa builds a solid program online, it would have to be mapped out carefully in each department and interwoven with on-grounds curricula to provide any actual pedagogy. It will take a while, and since UVa doesn't seem to have made a lot of strides in this direction, letting a corporation step in to create a college department seems totally disastrous and might damage UVa's reputation. People can and do discriminate between delivery methods of instruction and it will be difficult to make an online program be perceived half as competitive as on-grounds instruction. UVa will pour cash into a project without academic backing and testing hoping it will be a cash cow, regardless of the impression it makes for the students' career preparation and overall image. Whatever strategic dynamism, it seems to be incredibly risk blind and assumes more capital is always available.

I don't know what the motivations of the BOV and big shot donors are, but they don't seem to be concerned about the University community (although the contemplative center sounds really fantastic) and they are looking to very high stakes, quick fix, sell-out types of solutions. There have to be more substantial money solutions, even if it is just a straight endowment fund raising effort or streamlining departments and renting facilities. And they want to run things from their homes in Connecticut and not Charlottesville. How out of touch can it get?

Here is a conspiracy theory for you:

1) John Tudor Jones II is one of the alumni who supported the ouster
2) John Paul Jones II is a top Mitt Romney fundraiser
3) Bob McDonnell wants to be the Republican Vice Presidential nominee,
and/or Helen Dragas wants to be governor of Virginia
4) John Tudor Jones could make that happen, if the following things occur...

Anyone think this dog can hunt?

Big donors of this sort always see their chosen University as their playground, and they build toys there that they will enjoy playing with. That's fine. But there has to be push-back, from the highest levels of University administration, when these donors over-shoot their mark and start making demands, as a result of their generous gift, about University governance. You have to keep the good folks in the circle, or put them there if they aren't there already, to maintain the University's mission, which these donors typically don't understand.

Maybe it is the playground of liberal professors, enshrined by tenure.

Oh how easily the retorick flows in opposition to the donors. Watch out!

What do ratings from 1988 have to do with Sullivan? These so-called "reasons" are ridiculous and faulty logic.

The problem with your statement Observer is the significant number of big donors who thought what happened was nonsense too.

Jones goes on to cite some facts that back his assertion that Sullivan had to go:
• that UVA's ranking by U.S. News and World Report has fallen from 15th to 25th place from 1988 to 2011,

HOW in the world is this Sullivan's Fault?? She's only been here 22 months! What was anybody doing between 1988 until 2010????

@Grassy Knoll - yes, there does seem to be an agenda that is not driven by public interests.

Obviously when Dragas and Jones attended UVa they were not members of the Debating Society. Their rhetoric hardly rises to the definition.

Gag order.