'Spines need stiffening' Casteen leading protest charge

According to an email sent to colleagues from UVA English Department chair Cynthia Wall on June 16, former UVA President John Casteen has been working to "protest the process, content, and consequences" of the decision by the UVA Board of Visitors to remove President Sullivan. Wall says that Casteen has written a "powerful, eloquent letter to Governor McDonnell outlining the damage that has been and will be done."

"And let the pressure keep coming from us as well," writes Wall, encouraging fellow school chairs, faculty, staff, and students to gather in large numbers on the Lawn on Monday, June 18 at 3pm for the BOV's scheduled meeting.

McDonnell, however, has not seemed to share the outrage that Casteen and the University community  expressed for the BOV's actions. To date, McDonnell has taken an ostensibly hands-off approach to the situation, saying he had no pre-knowledge of the BOV's intention to remove Sullivan and did not want to "meddle" in the BOV's affairs. He has also expressed confidence in the BOV's judgement and asked the University to move "swiftly" to name an interim President.

As the Hook reported, financier and UVA alum Paul Tudor Jones II appears to have had a key role in removing Sullivan, as her ouster may have been a condition of a major donation from the Greenwich, Connecticut billionaire. However, Jones also had a key role in McDonnell's 2009 election campaign as a major donor, giving the candidate $100,000.

Meanwhile, Jones appears to be busy trying to influence this year's Presidential election. In May, the The Hartford Courant ran an article tiled Greenwich: Ground Zero For Campaign Cash, naming Tudor as one of the super rich who had gathered at a 10,000-square-foot, 10-bathroom Greenwich mansion to raise money for Restore Our Future, the Super PAC (which allows for limitless donations to candidates) supporting Mitt Romney for President. Tudor ponied up $200,000. Back in 2008, Tudor worked in similar fashion for President Obama, organizing fundraisers and donating the same amount.

"He's come full circle: 180 degrees opposite,'' a Republican State senator told the Courant. "All of the hedge fund guys I know are squarely with Gov. Romney. Paul Tudor Jones is the poster boy for that movement.''

Meanwhile, Jones could become the poster boy for a different kind of movement at UVA. In an op-ed printed in the Daily Progress, Jones placed himself front and center in the debate, endorsing Sullivan's ouster by summoning the spirit of Jefferson, and poet John Keats as well.

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

Wall, meanwhile, passed along a message from a "well-connected alum" who said: "the size of the crowd on the Lawn Monday at 3 pm may actually be quite influential. Spines need stiffening."

"History, Politics, Economics, and Batten are all walking over together as departments," says Wall about Monday's gathering, "we can do the same from Bryan."

"As a school of Leadership and Public Policy, many faculty felt strongly that we were called to weigh into the debate," says Jeanine Braithwaite, faculty senator for the Batten School. "Some of us even think we will be teaching this as a classic case of failed corporate governance in the near future."

The plan, said Wall, is not to "picket or rabble-rouse," but to "look effective and dignified en masse."

Wall also encouraged faculty to attend a Father's Day Faculty Senate meeting June 17 at the Darden Abbott Auditorium at 5pm, where various faculty groups, including the Senate, the Arts & Sciences Steering Committee and the Council of Chairs have been meeting throughout the week with University leadership to discuss the situation.

According to a story in the Washington Post, which takes readers inside Sullivan's office the day she was fired, the ousted President has hired prominent higher-education attorney Raymond Cotton, who happened to write an article for the Chronicle of Higher Education a few years ago that the BOV may have wished they'd read:

"Savvy boards understand that a public confrontation with the president can affect the institution's fund raising and accreditation, as well as the board's ability to attract a top-flight successor to the presidency."

The Post also says that Sullivan, who has been silent so far, will meet privately with the BOV.

On June 8, the Post reports, University Rector Helen E. Dragas and ‪Vice Rector Mark Kington‬ appear to have walked into Sullivan’s office at Madison Hall late in the day, unannounced, and told her she was out. Sullivan, the Post reports, was "speechless."

Later, Dragas informed "Sullivan and husband Douglas Laycock, a tenured law professor, to leave the presidential home at the end of July, two weeks before her official Aug. 15 departure."

At the end of her email, Wall passed along a message she had received from History Department chair Brian Owensby.

"It is important that the faculty make its presence felt and both meetings," said Owensby. "Big decisions will be made in the next few days with the potential to affect the University and our lives in it for years to come. We should keep front and center as well that this matter has spilled beyond Charlottesville. All eyes are on us as we grapple with the challenges faced by higher education generally and public universities in particular during a time of diminished state support and intrusion on the faculty's role as stewards of the academic mission of American higher education."

Updated 6/16/12 10:50pm

Updated again 6/17/12 10:57am

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


Good for President Casteen. The BOV needs to reverse this decision, and the Rector and Vice Rector should resign immediately.

karma, the result of thoughts, words and deeds, according to the law of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, they cannot be undone, I am chanting for a peaceful resolution to this unharmonious energy, that the result will be harmonius for all people who are affected by these causes

Former UVA President John Casteen has written to Governor McDonnell, "outlining the damage that has been and will be done" by the BOV's move to remove President Sullivan. - and I'll bet that doesn't even begin to address the potential litigation costs from Dragas and Kiernan admitting they were acting in their own self-interests and - breached their fiduciary duties to the University. What a mess.


JTC... Good form! With Board leaders devoid of honor, we welcome your command, action and example!

United We Stand Wahoo Nation!

This is why he held power for so long!

Where was he on the day it was announced? and the next day? and the next? next?

He smells the change in sentiment and is now on the winning side. You can bet Sullivan will be reinstated.

Good job the tobacco industry isn't opening a department on campus! But I'm sure there has to be a correlation between the tobacco industry and higher education, otherwise why would they be paying Casteen millions!

This is great. People get after Casteen for being a "money man" or whatever, but he was also a public servant who always seemed to have the University first in his plans.
Every alum I know is enraged and sad.
Reverse this.

In my unimportant job at UVA, I occasionally talked with former President Casteen, and traded emails with him weekly. He treated me as though what I had to say was important and wished me well when I retired. I was impressed with him then and am immensely pleased that he has spoken out. Hopefully it will make a difference.

Note: this story was updated on 6/16 at 10:50pm

Nothing to see here, John. Trust me, Helen has things well in hand.

Please call or fax Mark Warner and urge him to ask Kington to step down:

Phone: 202-224-2023
Fax: 202-224-6295

Suppose this protest or whatever it is could get the Board to reverse its decision, do we even know that Sulkivan would come back? Is it possible that the firing was justified and the Board is respecting President Sullivan's privacy by not airing dirty laundry out in public?

I find it funny how quickly people are jumping to conclusions here. A fascinating situation to watch.

Where is the "updated story" of 10:50pm? I only see the 8:04pm dated story.


The story above, originally published at 8:04pm, was added to and updated at 10:50pm.

Mark Warner's email address: warner_info@warner.senate.gov


Does this sound like someone who wanted to leave ?

from the Washington Post:

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.

Days later, Sullivan embarked on her first overseas trip for the university. She returned to welcome alumni to campus for a busy reunions weekend.

On June 8, Dragas and Kington walked into Sullivan’s office at Madison Hall. Sullivan had just returned from a day-long retreat with her senior staff. She was surprised the two were on campus but welcomed them in for a chat.

The conversation was brief: They told Sullivan they had 15 votes, more than enough to remove her. They told her they weren’t satisfied with her vision, and that she was moving too slowly. Sullivan was “a good president,” they said, “but not a great president.’’ Sullivan was speechless.

In publicly announcing Sullivan’s resignation June 10, Dragas voiced deep respect for the president. Privately, she told Sullivan and husband Douglas Laycock, a tenured law professor, to leave the presidential home at the end of July, two weeks before her official Aug. 15 departure.


Thanks Dr. Casteen for doing what is right.

The post reports:

"The board has called a special meeting Monday to name an interim president, weeks ahead of the original schedule, in a bid to calm the campus. Dragas had lined up a candidate, Edward Miller, an ex-officio board member and former chief executive of Johns Hopkins Medicine, before Sullivan’s departure was announced. But now the board is reconsidering that choice. "

So now one really has to ask if Michael Strine had any role in this debacle? He came from JH. It was reported earlier that two sources in the President's office said he had gone behind Sullivan's back to the BOV. So its it the external-internal Cabal of Dragas, Vice rector, Hunter Craig, Kiernan ad Goldman, now this other donor making his mega offer cntingent on Sulivan's ouster, and some internal Judas'? I hope all the dots get connected.

What a mess that looks like a third world Palace coup, its like Woody Allen's Bananas but tragic rather comedic because its about the fate of public higher education and not turning them into training programs for corporations but keeping them the primary grounds for creating citizens not consumers.

Everyone come out to the faculty Senate meeting tomorrow at 5 at Darden, everyone is welcome not just faculty!!! Come to the Rotunda on Monday at 2:30 and at 5:00. Be respectful and polite but firm and resolute: This aggression will not stand, reinstate SUllivan, dismiss the BOV (or atleast the three in charge of the Cabal), chnage the rules for BOV appointment to make the BOV represntative of all economic interests!!!!

Jaxemer--I plan to protest the HOW of this situation. I don't need to know the WHY, because the rector's lack of forethought and preparation in the handling of this matter constitutes such a gross miscarriage of the responsibilities of her role. If any regular employee of the University brought such shame and dishonor on the institution as her actions have, you know he or she would have been fired. We should accept nothing less that Ms. Dragas' resignation. Whether Ms. Sullivan will return or not isn't the point; the point is to stand and simply say, "No, not here, not like this."

According to the Virginia Public Access Project, the amount Mr. Jones gave to Bob McDonnell was actually $100,000.


IF they reinstated her, it would be foolish of her to accept the poisoned chalice. No, she'll get paid however and you can bet the back room negotiations will be tense. Anyone who's worth a damn is unlikely to be in much of a hurry to leave a position in good standing to roll the dice by hiring on with this BOV after its "summary execution" of a well regarded administrator wooed away from a good prior position only 2 years ago and then trashed, probably for being too much of a yankee for them to abide. What did they think they were getting anyway?


Thanks for the link. I've corrected the amount.

Another number to correct: it's a 10,000 square foot mansion, not 100,000 where the donors met in Conn. Read the article in your own link.

How about she is reinstated and they dismiss the BOVs? Then she could come back to a normal situation. She could then clean house of the rats that were complicit.

If she wants to stay, that's what I would demand. At least that the three who actively orchestrated her firing should go immediately. And maybe she should ask for a hand in picking the new ones as a tip of the hat from the Gov, that she was mistreated so badly.

Jaxmer, everything revealed so far does not point to your conclusions. We will probably know more Monday. It would be good if Sullivan spoke to the Faculty senate on Sunday at 5. I hope they invited her.

Does Casteen not have a relationship with Paul Tudor Jones? Say no more....

Yes, but he doesn't want that to be his legacy.

John Casteen has always been a class act. As for the board...

Regarding Dragas telling (not asking) Sullivan to leave her Carr's Hill house early, what's the rush? Is there someone waiting in the wings who needs to move in ASAP?

Is there any limit to the boorish behavior from these people?

See you @3 on Monday!

Who woulda thought - something to eclipse the Landmark Hotel auction!

tick tock tick tock STRINE!

This is a terrible situation for all who attended, are attending, and who love the University of Virginia. However, I find it extremely infuriating that Mr. McNair would insert politics into this article. .If the Governor did "step in", then the media would comment that he is overstepping his authority, etc. Donations to McDonnel, Romney, etc - what is the relevance? I'm a Romney and McDonnel supporter and I love President Sullivan. I was waiting for a whack at GWB - since "everything" gone awry is his fault. Keep the liberal bias out of this mess.

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 clear 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.

Note to wahoofan: One has to wonder why you support Mitt Romney (more tax cuts for corporations and the rich ,paid for by everybody else) and Bob McDonnell (throw public subsidies to every corporation that winks an eye at Virginia, cut public and higher education funding), and then make the claim that you "love" the University and find this a "terrible situation."

I'd love to see Governor McDonnell do the right thing and show Jones and the world that he and UVa are not for sale to the highest contributor. If he refuses to do that, that would say a lot about a man with greater political aspirations...

The good news:

There is no need to call for Dragas' resignation at this time. In 13 short days, the Governor will choose not to re-appoint her for a second term on the BOV. To do otherwise would negatively impact his future political aspirations. He is abundantly aware of this fact.

Two members of the BOV said that they thought that (and I quote) "this (controversy) will go away in a day or two".

Prove them wrong. Assemble on the Lawn for the BOV meeting tomorrow. Let them see the power of your numbers.

More remains to be revealed. Stay tuned, strap in, and ensure that your tray tables are in the full, upright position. It's going to be a bumpy ride ahead.

Strategic dynamism would seem to dictate that Gov. McDonnell not reappoint Ms Dragas, no?

Another Citizen wrote, "More remains to be revealed."

Yes. A good place to start would be to investigate the decades long relationship that Sullivan has maintained with US Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, aka 'Fauxcahontas'.

Interesting, don't you think, that the faculty, many of them stellar researchers who understand the need to obtain factual evidence before coming to an absolute conclusion, have failed to wait for all the facts to be gathered and are ready to crucify the BOV?
Maybe the fact that she spent so much time endearing herself to the faculty instead of making hard financial decisions to cut some of the fluff had something to do with it too?

People need to be careful about making Sullivan out to be some sort of saint. Yes the BOV badly handled this and look like clowns, but the reporting to date on this makes it look like Sullivan hasn't and can't do any wrong. The budget model that is touted as one of her visionary changes is no where implementation. It languished in committee for over a year with zero executive leadership or follow through from her or her team. If the major donors aren't impressed with her, then sorry, that is a problem. We get as much, if not more from them as we do from the state. Our faculty and staff are under-paid compared to our public peers and we have one of the lowest in-state tutitons due to political pressure, with no corresponding state support to make up for it. If you don't have a plan to address that as president, then you do have a major problem.

I don't have a dog in this hunt, but I fail to see how it would have been better for the University had the BOV been speaking in public for seven months about removing the president. Or that is is a bad thing to have a plan for an interim president.

I agree with JRP who posted above. The University of Virginia should not be for sale. The sleezy, slimy hedge fund managers have gotten their dirty, fast money by betting against the United States. The hedge fund managers seem to be sucking all the money out of the honest brokers on Wall Street - if there are any left - and leaving Middle America with holding the bag. It is like blackmailing the cash strapped colleges and universities with this dirty money. The rest of us in Middle America will not live long enough to recoup our losses.

If this Board of Visitors' Sullivan decision was unanimous and really wasn't, then what other decisions were so called unanimous and really were not?
We need open, transparent dialogue on our Boards.

We definitely need strong - not just a token - strong representation from all
economic sectors on our boards - particularly the Board of Visitors.

Thank Goodness for John Casteen!!

Interesting comment about the possibility Dragas herself might be out by the end of this month. Maybe, given she was a Kaine appointee and an alleged Democrat.
All the mention of finance issues is interesting in light of pressures on all such institutions in recent years stemming from weakening of the exponential growth paradigm in the economy. The deluge of money from exponential growth was what enabled the somewhat over-the-top growth of universities, not only of existing universities, but of all the new ones ginned up from obscure state colleges. Maybe university presidents in years to come will find themselves more to blame for the failure of past growth to extend into the future.

Casteen, like the rest of the whiny faculty, has missed a good opportunity to shut up.

If there is any credibility to the story that Mr. Jones was part of a conspiratorial group to replace the president, we should consider no longer referring to the JPJ arena as an honor to him and his family, but rather the Teresa Sullivan arena.

as was said quite well earlier - it's not the WHY, but the HOW that is the problem. Pres. Sullivan may be deserving of being let go, but do it properly. my problem is with the backhanded manner being used.

Dragas just seems like a mean girl out to get Sullivan. And all of this makes UVA look like a huge mess. Why anyone would want anything to do with us after this would be news to me.

Thanks for tarnishing a nearly 200 year old reputation, BOV! Thanks a ton.

Op/ed by Paul Tudor Jones endorsing Sullivan's ouster

Has anyone seen any statements of support for President Sullivan from UVA Health System officials/employees or from Nursing School or Med School groups?

I hope those engaging in such over-the-top hostility toward Rector Dragas will follow the example of Frank Pentangeli when their coup fails.

Interesting that when a wealthy American donates to Obama, they are never described as "trying to influence an election." Derisory statements like that are reserved for rich people who give to Republicans.

This clown McNair has a great future writing for the HuffPost.

Sullivan's May strategic memo to the BOV included Big Data and how it should be pursued. This is the exact reason why she is in the forefront of where UVA should be going. Prescient or just knowledgeable, here is an announcement of where MIT and others are going to pursue this big data computer science undertaking: http://mailview.custombriefings.com/mailview.aspx?m=2012053101asee&r=567.... She's got it covered in my opinion.


Well gee John, where was your outrage when the EXACT same group of big money athletic supporters took down the Pep Band? Hurts when it's a little closer to home doesn't it?

Well, now that Mr. Tudor Jones has weighed in with his op-ed, we can all go home and accept the decisions of the money crowd since very few of us have a few $billion to hand around.

Namaste and may y'all have good contemplation.

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? 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....? 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.

@ Bartelby the asinine scribbler:

Quid pro quo, bubba:

When Dragas is booted off the BoV, either by willful gubernatorial actions to remove her or by the gov's refusal to reappoint the tricky harridan, at that time I do hope you will do us all a favor by following your own advice from Godfather II and marinate in your own fluids in the bathtub until rigor mortis sets in.


Michael Corleone

Paul Tudor Jones: "When I feel I am not performing up to my capabilities at work, I review a list of quote [sic] for inspiration. One of my favorites is by John Keats, who said, 'I would sooner fail than not be among the greatest.'"

Thank God he wasn't actually reading a poem. Or even Keats's letters, because then he might not have misquoted Keats's letter to Hessey of 9 October 1818, and perhaps remembered that what follows this statement is "But I am nigh getting in to a rant."

Reading boobs like him puts us all in to a rant. I hope he didn't believe that misquoting Keats was going to persuade us in to thinking that he and Ms Dragos care about education.

By the way--how many of the schools ranked above UVa don't have a classics department?

Just outsource UVA mgmt to Strayer? Turn the president's house into a hotel--lots of wealthy families would love to stay there! --and they already have the online component up and running. Forget classics, or even science! business management is where it's at. Efficient, publicly-traded... a profit powerhouse! Then UVA wouldn't have to keep expanding and building those expensive buildings--it could sell some of 'em off, even!

An editorial by Paul Jones makes clear he is one of the "important alumni" who approves of the ouster of Teresa Sullivan.

He notes UVa has fallen in the rankings of top universities.

All who have sought to explain the actions of the BOV mention aspirations to eminence as a reason for the President's ouster.

The Washington Post has recently reported that members of the BOV felt President Sullivan was not moving fast enough to make the "tough decisions" financially, for example to close "obscure academic departments" such as Classics and German.

German, obscure? Has anyone seen what is happening in Europe today? Germany an "obscure" concern?

Here is a list Paul Jones and others should consider, of the top 10 American Universities according to U.S. News. How many of them reached eminence by closing "obscure" German and Classics programs? Have a Look:

Harvard yes yes
Princeton yes yes
Yale yes yes
Columbia yes yes
Cal. Tech. no no
M.I.T. no* no
Stanford yes yes
Uchicago yes yes
UPenn yes yes
Duke yes yes

(*MIT offers a Major and a Minor in German)

And didn't Mr. Jefferson read Greek and Latin?

How will these cuts, and cuts like these, lead the University to eminence?

That is, "yes" means these programs have programs in German and Classics.

"If the major donors aren't impressed with her, then sorry, that is a problem. We get as much, if not more from them as we do from the state. Our faculty and staff are under-paid compared to our public peers and we have one of the lowest in-state tutitons due to political pressure, with no corresponding state support to make up for it."

You are rather foolish to believe that Dragas' visionary dynamism includes pay increases for staff or faculty. "Visionary Dynamism" is corporate speak for cuts - drastic cuts - in order to build up a war chest for future faculty hires. You are even more foolish for imagining that the more ridiculously non-core-academic initiatives (like the Tudor's "Contemplative Sciences" pet project) will be touched. It is true that the university spends a lot of money on a lot of ridiculous programs - like the one above and the VQR debacle (Staige Blackford's prior version as a counter-example of doing it on the cheap) - will remain, because they feed the egos of huge donors.

Do not for one minute envision that any savings from the elimination of some departments or programs will translate into wage increases for anyone who has demonstrated a willingness to remain at UVa this long given the existing wage disparities: you're playing poker with a rapacious shark and you've already shown your hand.

Now who was it that hired Mr. Strine? The Board or the President? I could have sworn the EVP/COO reported to the Prez. And why is it he feels the need to be sooooo clear that he serves on behalf of both...to his own STAFF? And so precise in his recall that he knew about the Board's displeasure in group meetings at which the President was present. He sure has great recall. Methinks Mr. Strine protests too much. Or maybe I'm just confused by all those private meetings with Rector Dragas. And that inspiring email from his office. And his love of the UVA culture that has been so obvious to all. Who's the resolute and authoritative one now?


I guess now Dragas and a few big donors are learning the truth about strategic dynamism - it is high risk with massive backlash potential. No doubt with the bought money world they live in, the figured their money could buy them a limited amount of risk - only this time there is no Federal government standing by to bail out their reputations.

"Interesting that when a wealthy American donates to Obama, they are never described as "trying to influence an election.""

That's not really true I.Publius. A lot of Americans are deeply disgusted by it, which is why Obama is losing steam now. That's why his orginal backers think he is spineless, and plays too nice with Wall Street and the GOP.

Good article--except that it wasn't classy of the writer to publish--without permission--an email sent by Professor Wall to her colleagues, and, as for whomever sent that email on to The Hook without asking her permission, shame on him or her.

Come to the Faculty Senate Meeting at Darden.

Open to Public. Come now!!! Parking available.

Please come and express your opinion an support the faculty!!!!!

Come now! Thanks.

Note to democracy:

Thank you for more political talking points - tax cuts to the rich etc.

I love the University because it prepared me, a first in her family to graduate college, a native of a small VA town of 10,000, to think globally, analyze, opine, collaborate, and listen, (to name a few) WITH honor- all skills required for building a career in the industry of my choice. I believe UVA provides an environment for young adults to ready themselves for the next steps of their lives. So yes, I love the University and all that it portrays, but what is the point of having a great education if students are not able to secure jobs in areas of their expertise when they graduate? That's why I support McDonnel and Romney - but as I originally posted, politics, at the local, state, and national level are not relevant for this discussion and that is why I expressed my frustration at Mr. McNair for inserting political comments (and they were a stretch) into his article.


I'm calling Bravo Sierra on your comment. Liberals thought it was just hunky dory when BHO recently had a glitzy affair with his Hollywood backers, all of whom stroked a big check for his campaign. II didn't hear David McNair, or any other liberal, complaining about the Hollywood big shots "trying to influence an election."

I certainly hope that along with Dragas, Kington is repremanded and doesn't just walk away with a slap on the wrist!

What are the realistic chances that both he and Dragas would be forced to resign?

I understand governor's tough spot. He does not to bite the hand that feeds him but doesn't he understand that the smarter PR move is to stand up and denounce a decision that increasingly by the day was tied to those who contributed to his campaign? Why not come out and question the decision and just let the chips fall where they may? Oh, yeah, we are in an election year.


• Is it true that the Darden School is named after a decent and honourable Virginia Gentleman and former governor named Colgate Darden . . . who has been spinning in his grave ever since graduates of his school instigated this rude debacle?

• Is it true that the Darden MBA's want to fire folks

JENNY STRAUSS CLAY, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Classics, is the author of The Wrath of Athena: Gods and Men in the Odyssey, The Politics of Olympus: Form and Meaning in the Major Homeric Hymns, and Hesiod's Cosmos, and has published numerous articles on Greek and Roman poets. Her latest book, Homer's Trojan Theater, which attempts to envision the Iliad's battlefield and its meaning for Homeric poetics, has just been published by Cambridge University Press. She is currently engaged with Horace's Odes and fomenting a synthesis of the Greeks' views of their past and present entitled History of the World: Part One.

because they don't fit into their idea of what a university is?

• Is it true that the salaries in the Darden School are secret since they are no longer state employees, so we have no way of knowing if they are more or less than that of James Reid, the Assistant Football coach at UVa who makes $356,000?

• Is it true that women who attend Darden are so strait-laced that they are known as the Darden Elles?

One of my parents served on the BOV of another Virginia university; and I learned a bit about how BOVs operate, especially with respect to a decision of this magnitude. I would be astounded if the McDonnell administration had not been aware of the efforts of Ms. Dragas and Mr. Kington. Indeed, I would bet the administration instigated them.

Parse the Governor's statement.

It also should be noted that the Governor was furious that BOVs across the Commonwealth ignored his "suggestion" as to maximum tuition rate increases.

Hey! Where's Leonard Sandridge while all this is going down?

In her 6/10 email to UVA alumni announcing Teresa Sullivan's resignation, Helen Dragas cited Sullivan's "philisophical difference of opinion" with the board as the vague yet sole reason for her resignation, three years shy of her presidenial term. In the ugly days that followed, the BOV has failed to articulate any more specific rationale, yet details have surfaced as to Sullivan having been strong-armed into resigning and possibly resulting from a condition connected to a large donation made to the University.

As an alumni and a Virginia tax payer, I believe the BOV is in a PR tail-spin and has brought the stellar reputation of UVA down with them. If the board doesn't appropriately and publicly justify Dragas' extreme tactics, then Governor McDonnell should consider requesting her early resignation as well.

May I just add that I admire the grace that Sullivan has displayed under this intense media scrutiny and pressure. While no doubt her career is has taken a severe hit, she has proven that she is both classy and professional.

Interesting article from the News & Advance on McDonnell's BOV appointments last year, which included Dr. Edward D. Miller, whom Dragas then supposedly had "lined up" to take over for Sullivan, according to the Washington Post:

"In a highly unusual step, McDonnell added Dr. Edward D. Miller, Dean of the Medical Faculty and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine, as an ex-officio member of the board. The number of out-of-state voting members the governor can appoint to the Board of Visitors is limited by statute. Miller will also serve as a member of the Medical Center Operating Board."


So McDonnell's "highly unusual" ex-officio appointee to the board just happened to be a top candidate? That extra non-voting board member just happens to be the solution offered by Dragas? If Miller took over as president they wouldn't even lose a voting board member? How convenient!

@non-resident taxpayer - in full agreement with you there - it appears to me this BOV wants UVA to be run like the many companies out there are running today. Make cuts, saddle the "loyal" employees with more work, never increase their pay or even cut that too. I know of one here in the area that has been doing just this, including cutting all their management's pay by 25% (or more) - take it or leave it. This after spending millions on projects that employees told them would not work.

And @BleedOrangeandBlue, absolutely correct. Do not think for one moment that Governor McDonnell wasn't in on this whole thing, in fact, he and his constituents probably instigated the whole mess. After all, they infiltrated doctor's offices - why not educational offices too?

After this, do you believe we will get the students? The athletes? I would think twice and perhaps even a third or forth time before accepting to attend UVA now.

Thank you Provost John Simon for having the character and courage to come forward with your opinion. The University Of Virginia needs more leaders like you and Theresa Sullivan. This is a defining moment in the school's history.

Good for Simon! Are they listening? Will the BOV do the right thing? The entire community, worldwide, is watching.

If leftwingnut C'ville Native knew that Sullivan was ousted partly due to her staunch pro-life views, because she was undermining the BOV's attempt to make UVA hospital an abortion factory, would that change their opinion? Methinks it might, just a tad.

The entire text of Provost Simon's remarks from earlier this evening, as posted on The Cavalier Daily website:

John Simon, the University’s Provost and head academic officer, read this statement prior to this afternoon’s emergency meeting of the Faculty Senate. Jason Ally is a 2012 graduate of the College of Arts & Sciences and the 122nd Editor-in-Chief of The Cavalier Daily:

“Today is father’s day. This is for my sons, so that they have personal examples of courage during a crisis.

This morning, I got the following email:

Dear Provost Simon,

As someone who walked the Lawn and received a degree from the College four weeks ago, I’ve been closely following the news regarding President Sullivan’s resignation. I’ve seen how this situation has quickly escalated into one capable of inflicting great harm upon the University, perhaps even the most harm the University has seen in recent memory. I can also imagine how all of this has put you in a tough position both professionally and personally.

While I don’t know what the next couple of days will entail, I just wanted to send a quick message of appreciation. You’re an important figure on Grounds, someone who both faculty and the greater community is looking to for support in these uncertain circumstances. Don’t hesitate to do what you think is right, and don’t hesitate to be a leader, especially now when there’s quite the leadership vacuum at the University.

Finally, I hope our paths may cross sometime soon; I believe this is the first time I’ve tried to directly contact you.

Jason Ally

What struck me in this email was the phrase “Don’t hesitate to do what you think is right, and don’t hesitate to be a leader.” I have been trying to do this, with talking at the town hall meeting with the Darden community, meeting with the chairs of the College, and other faculty meetings. But you, the faculty, are the University, and as the Chief Academic Office, I would be running away from my responsibilities if I did not address you. So here it is.

In 2001, then President Casteen established a University-wide committee to explore the concept of honor at the University. The committee was chaired by Patricia Werhane, Ruffin Professor of Business Ethics. Their report entitled, “Envisioning Integrity at the University of Virginia: Invigorating a Community of Trust,” stated in the executive summary, “The revised aim of the Envisioning Integrity Team is to expose the entire University community to sets of experiences in which they confront, question, and reflect on honor, comprised of integrity and trust, as a core value underpinning all University life.”

I came to the University of Virginia because I was convinced this was the right time and the right opportunity to be part of a leadership team at one of America’s greatest universities. Economic and political challenges are placing higher education at risk at precisely the time when higher education is needed most to provide the ideas and people to guide our nation and world into the future. I saw the opportunity to work with outstanding faculty, staff and students and through partnership with the loyal alumni and other supporters of this great institution, the University of Virginia had the opportunity to be a beacon for the value of public education, especially given its legacy as Thomas Jefferson’s University. I am a firm believer that at the core of the University of Virginia is, and needs to be, a strong and broad liberal arts education. It is a liberal arts education that provides students with the tools to become the lifelong learners as they must be, and to develop the skills and self-confidence needed to take on the challenges that they will face in their lives.

I now find myself at a defining moment, confronting and questioning whether honor, integrity, and trust are truly the foundational pillars of life at the University of Virginia. I find myself at a moment when the future of the University is at risk and what our political leadership value in the University is no longer clear. Much has appeared in the press over the last week, and the reputational consequences will be with us for many years to come. But I am now wondering whether my own beliefs about the values of higher education are consistent with our Board.
The Board actions over the next few days will inform me as to whether the University of Virginia remains the type of institution I am willing to dedicate my efforts to help lead.”

Posted by eic on June 17, 2012.

Thank you Provost Simon. You have been a shining example, along with President Sullivan, of the kind of leaders all parents hope their children will aspire to be .

I read an article in the local paper today by Paul Tudor Jones who said, " President Sullivan, a good woman " You are both far more than he, who doesn't even rate as good, you are both truly GREAT !

The one good thing about Dragas' Sunday morning coup is that it makes the stain that George Huguely left on UVa fade into the shadows. However, how many national/international stains can Thomas Jefferson's legacy handle??

"I'm calling Bravo Sierra on your comment. Liberals thought it was just hunky dory when BHO recently had a glitzy affair with his Hollywood backers,"

Hollywood backers aren't Wall Street Sean, ooops, I mean I.Publius. Nor does the media neccessarily speak for Obama's previous backers.

Now, that we know you are Sean -the abortion thing just gives you away every time - I will move on and forget about responding to your irrational unsubstiantiated drivel.

Where is the Honorable Governor? Why he's in Europe and under vetting by the Romney team. While not uttering any ultrasounds, he is taking liberty with the future of the University.

"Good article--except that it wasn't classy of the writer to publish--without permission--an email sent by Professor Wall to her colleagues, and, as for whomever sent that email on to The Hook without asking her permission, shame on him or her."

Seriously? The fact that Casteen is voicing, to the governor, his opposition to the BOV's machinations is NEWS. The Hook isn't here to be "classy"; it's here to report the NEWS.

@ Caesonia: Thanks for setting I. Publius (Sean) straight...repeatedly

@ wahoofan, who writes this nonsense: "what is the point of having a great education if students are not able to secure jobs in areas of their expertise when they graduate? That's why I support McDonnel and Romney"

Republicans said when they took control of the House of Representatives that jobs were their first priority. So, two years later, where is the jobs vill they promised? They've obstructed the president on jobs – and economic recovery – at every turn.

Moreover, Mitt Romney and Lil Bob McDonnell are both ardent adherents to supply-side economic theory, which is now Republican ideological orthodoxy. But the essence of supply-side economics is that "a successful economy depends on the proliferation of the rich." Hence the big, and unfunded, upper-bracket and corporate tax cuts (which added greatly to the nation's debt). The rich are richer, and corporate profits are booming. So, where are the jobs?

If you (or others) really believe that politics had nothing to do with Teresa Sullivan's ouster, then your time spent at the University didn't serve you well.

Ah, yes, Gov. McDonnell: Mr. Hands-Off, Mr. Neutrality, Mr. Due Process. Except, of course, when it comes to letting his mad-dog Attorney General attack the University's scientific research and gay rights policies.

@E mentioned Dragas possibly being a mean girl. Helen's alleged BFF locally is a definite mean girl.

I'm not saying McDonnell would suck a dick, but you have to
wonder how long he'd keep one in his jaw before he spit it out.