'Resign!' Students shout at Dragas after BOV picks interim prez

A marathon session of the Board of Visitors ended the day after it began with no new resignations but with an interim president chosen and, afterwards, shouts of "resign" and "shame on you" ringing in the air, as a small band of students and others followed University of Virginia Rector Helen Dragas to her car at 3am.

"You have done so much damage to this University," shouted one man. "Please resign."

"You're a disgrace," shouted another. "What about the Honor Code?"

As reporters urged Dragas for comment, she replied, "Don't believe everything you read in the papers."

That prompted a Hook reporter to ask her to quantify the level of her contacts with Paul Tudor Jones, the billionaire from Greenwich, Connecticut who, sources say, played a role in the ouster of UVA President Teresa Sullivan June 10. Dragas declined to respond.

One can only guess what discussion transformed a planned two-hour meeting into one that spanned over 11 hours, but Board member Hunter Craig gave some indication.

When the open meeting resumed at 2:30am Tuesday, June 19, Craig said that he had hoped to be able to vote on a motion to reinstate the president and indicated that he'd be willing to give up his place on the Board in order to seat a faculty member.

"I came here hoping to vote for Terry," Craig said afterwards, "but there was not a majority."

The interim president was elected with 12 votes. One board member, Glynn Key left before the meeting ended, two abstained, and one opposed the move.

"I just had some concerns with the process we followed," the opponent, Heywood Fralin, said afterwards. The abstentions were Robert Hardie and A. Macdonald Caputo, the latter who was present via speaker-phone.

Besides serving as the Dean of the McIntire School of Commerce, the interim president, Carl Zeithaml, serves as the F.S. Cornell Professor of Free Enterprise, a signal that this Board means business. At the same time, Zeithaml holds a doctorate in business administration focused on strategic management.

"I think this is a great step forward for the University," said Vice-Rector Mark Kington, "and Carl will be a great leader."

But not everyone at UVA expresses such enthusiasm for the deciders.

"Carl Zeithaml is an outstanding dean & leader...but anyone picked by this BOV will have a difficult time," Tweeted UVA professor Larry Sabato at 2:46am. "This UVA Board will go down in history as the most unpopular in modern times– if not ever."

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


Have fun never being an elite institution a la Yale-Stanford-Harvard, UVA.

And I like the new name -- University of Phoenix at Charlottesville.

See letter from Michael Lewis to Carl Zeithaml re: his letter sent to McIntire alumni supporting the board.

Anyone have the text of Carl Zeithaml's letter?

Yeah, cause only lightweight school go the online route....


Sounds as if Hunter Craig grew a spine . . . or finally realized that he actually lives in Charlottesville.

With commerce/MBA degrees do these business people ever
have to take any science or even humanities classes? Are they
ever exposed to anything beyond getting and spending? This
situation is really tragic. It's a hostile takeover.

@mer... yes, its called an undergraduate degree.

Sorry, Hunter had the chance to grow a spine last week and failed. Doing so at the 11th hour come across as very self serving.

The BOV had no intentions of bringing her back.

Parsing statements from the beginning it looks a lot like the big issue is how to manage the business of the hospital, given the major health care changes of the near-mid term, particularly in light of the enhanced competition from Martha Jefferson, so I have a feeling the Board wants someone who will focus on that and sell the hospital system to someone like MedStar or Universal Health Services, the way Georgetown and George Washington Universities in DC have done with theirs. Watch this space...

Dragas in the photo above looks uncannily like Anthony Perkins in the concluding shot of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho.

"Why, she wouldn't even harm a fly."


selection of another Business degree to be at the top.

My analysis is that Craig saw that the votes were in place for Carl Z., affording him the luxury of supporting TS--no consequence to the outcome, yet he can position himself as a supporter of the madding crowd. With one of the faculty's own in place, they can go back to their union jobs, and give the students what it is they came to do. Time to move forward and get busy with the search for a great leader.

Why have both commerce and Darden? An efficient
business plan would get rid of one. And do undergrads
in commerce really have to take anything other
than business classes?

The McIntire school is a 2 year program. Students don't begin it until their 3rd year.

Dean Zeithaml is an excellent choice as an interim (if the BOV is insistent that we have an interim.)

faculty from all over the university (including some Dean's -- see the law school) wrote letters supporting the faculty senate resolution...

except for the McIntire Schooll (and maybe Darden too). Now they are in charge. Ugh.

Carl Zeithaml is one of the most honorable men at this University. Naming him interim was the only possible solution if they were not going to reinstate Sullivan. Nobody else is even capable of coming close to doing this job. He was called to serve and said "Yes." He has my support.

Ditto. This is not a power play by Mcintire or Dean Zeithaml. This is an academic doing his best to lead the University through a difficult time. Most everyone wishes this never happened. But at least there is now someone in place that truly has the school's best interest at heart. We could not say that 24 hours ago.

Dragas has now made many comments about the importance of the President being able to oversee the hospital. this seems new to me. it didn;t seem important when selecting Sullivan or Casteen, et.al. so is part of the new plan to have the Hospital bring in all the profits possible to pass along to the non-profit, academic side of the University?

I think we'll see the Hospital privatized - consistent with a goal of getting rid of government-owned medical care. In the terminology of MBA's this is called "monetizing assets".

My planned gift to McIntire is toast.

Dean Zeithaml is now tarred with the same brush. So this is why he supported the BOV. He had been part of the plan all along. He should be ashamed of himself.


I would rather not see the hospital privatized. We are the best teaching hospital in an area that includes most of Va, WVa, and NC. That means opportunities for students (like myself) and residents that you can't get at private hospitals.

Strine came from Johns Hopkins, which as we all know has a huuuge medical complex. In fact I assume that's why Ms. Sullivan wanted him; she knew she would need help in that regard. Far from making money, the hospital has financial difficulties, as do nearly all teaching hospitals, since they provide most of the indigent care but get inadequate compensation for that, and if anything Medicaid is likely to get demolished. (That may have been what Dragon Woman meant by changes in compensation in the future.) Strine may have gone to the BoV and screamed that something had to be done now now now; getting Ms. Sullivan dismissed is probably an unintended consequence of that. However, why it's any big secret that must be kept from the public that the teaching hospital has problems, and instead we get buzzphrase-laden platitudes about "strategic management" and "philosophical differences" is beyond me.

My main fear is that this will likely result in significant collateral damage to the academic program. Most of the revenue that is available (Darden and the Law School and I suppose the School of Medicine are independent and don't have to share) is generated by the undergraduate program, especially Arts and Sciences. If they have to e.g. eliminate the deficit in order to sell the hospital, there's only one place to get that money and that's the undergraduate academic program.

Zeithaml was on a trip in Asia with Sullivan at the time of the coup. Coincidence? Keep that in mind as you read his email below. Think the fix was in and he was babysitting while the BOV got their ducks in a row? This smells too. I once thought Zeithaml was an honorable man, but now not so much.

To the McIntire School Community:

As you probably know, President Sullivan and the BOV agreed that she would resign as President effective August 15. Within a few weeks, the BOV will name an Interim President, and a full search will be conducted over the next year. Although I am still in Asia, I called into a meeting of deans and vice presidents with the Rector and Vice Rector on Sunday morning in Charlottesville. I also had discussions with other senior leaders in the University’s administration.

The news is surprising to everyone. As you know, Terry was a supporter of the Commerce School and our faculty, staff, and students. She worked with us on instituting differential tuition and other initiatives that are important to the future of the School. I believe that she supports several key proposals from us currently pending in Madison Hall. Recently, I spent most of a week traveling with her to three major cities in Asia, and she was publicly very positive on the School and all of our activities. I personally appreciate her efforts over the past two years to engage with the University community and to help us achieve our goals.

Based on the discussion in the meeting, the BOV decided that the University requires more bold and assertive leadership. The Rector and Vice Rector emphasized the need for a compelling vision that can drive fundraising and new revenues. They also discussed the need to make difficult resource allocation decisions in a time of great challenge and change for higher education. Terry’s approach was more incremental, and the BOV essentially concluded over the last year that a "philosophical difference” existed regarding the best approach to deal with the issues confronting UVA and higher education. During the discussion, the Rector focused on several issues that she believes are critical, including recruiting and retaining great faculty and staff, lagging compensation for faculty and staff, tuition and the overall financing of the University, and the use of new technology. I completely agree with these issues, and, as you know, we are fully engaged with them and have several proposals and actions under way to address these issues with respect to the Commerce School.

All of you realize that the challenges and pressures on higher education and business schools are real, and the pace of change is accelerating. We have been and will continue to respond to this environment through innovation in our programs and an aggressive approach when confronting the tough problems mentioned above. We need to redouble our efforts to attack these issues and position the School for continued preeminence. Thanks to each and every one of you, our record of success and commitment to continuous innovation and improvement speaks for itself. I believe that we have much more to do, and we have the faculty, staff, students, and alumni to innovate and to achieve continued excellence.

At this time, we should rely on one of our most important assets: our strong sense of community. We need to continue to work together to pursue our goals and to be a leader on Grounds and in the industry. I hope to work closely with John Simon, Michael Strine, President Sullivan, and the Interim President on our pending proposals, and we should forge ahead with new ideas and activities. The BOV is looking for decisive and bold action, and we should continue to give them what they want. I intend to stay focused on the important tasks at hand and try not to engage in useless speculation. I ask you to do the same. I am telling you everything that I know, and I will keep you informed on the evolving situation.

Please let me know if you have any questions/concerns or if I can help you in any way. From all reports and my personal observation in Southeast Asia and China, the M.S. in Commerce students are having a tremendous set of experiences. I know that all of you are working hard for the School through the summer. I look forward to being back in Charlottesville, and I am very proud to be a member of such a wonderful community. Thanks and see you soon.


I never thought I would say this about any faculty member or leader of the University, but ... SCAB!!!!!

Don't blame Dargas... she is just a patsy. She was duped into thinking that she could play hardball with the big boys.... she will soon learn that they used her like a hooker at a convention to get what they wanted.

UVA will pay a dear price for this when the donors choose sides.

Words of wisdom from a 20 year college president on the UVa situation: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/patricia-mcguire/teresa-sullivan-uva_b_160...

Don't believe everything you read in the papers? Okay - review the Dragas Company http://dragas.com/. How the heck are laminate counter tops and vinal flooring "high end"?

Did anyone get this: "When the open meeting resumed at 2:30am Tuesday, June 19, Craig said that he had hoped to be able to vote on a motion to reinstate the president and indicated that he'd be willing to give up his place on the Board in order to seat a faculty member." - Apparently this was Sullivan's demand if to be re-instated that faculty would be seated as BOV members. (Perhaps I am assuming here. But why would Craig state just this?)

Privitize the hospital? I hope not. You would loose many of the established, talented and caring doctors and nurses there. UVA Medical Center would become a DC Childrens or Roanoke Memorial Hospital - everyone would go elsewhere for serious needs. Donations would stop. Only those who couldn't afford to go elsewhere or who knew no better would be treated there.

Deleted by moderator.

If the name of the Dragon Rector is on the list of boards and commissions reappointments that the governor's office will email to the news media at the end of this month, we will know Bob McDonnell was behind this boneheaded maneuver.

If it is, the repucurssions could be massive and totally unrelated to the present situation. It's a presidential election in just a few months. Obama and Romney are neck and neck; Virginia is a battleground state; Charlottesville is filled with Democratic voters; conceivably, a couple of thousand of votes in the commonwealth could determine the presidency ... Get my drift?

I bet McDonnell does.

And by the way, the only way that eliminating "programs" i.e. majors, saves any money is if they also eliminate faculty and staff. So if they get rid of the German department would they fire all the faculty or just the lecturers? How would students take any German classes? And in terms of majors, some of the smallest programs are the STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) fields. According to many reports this is because even among those with sufficient talent in those areas (which is not really that small a fraction of the population that goes to college), American students simply don't want to work that hard. There are right and wrong answers so their grades aren't as good as in humanities courses, laboratory work is harder than reading books, etc. It also costs more per student in STEM fields. Yet I keep hearing politicians screaming for universities to turn out more STEM majors while at the same time insisting on cutting programs with few majors. I don't know how they will accommodate that inherent contradiction.

Dave -- best teaching hospital in WV certainly, in VA, VCU has longer and deeper history, and in NC -- you have Duke, UNC, and Bowman that are clearly better. Medicine has never been UVA's strong suit. Check out USnews rankings. UVA lost their world class infertility program to Martha Jefferson for crying out loud. What major academic medical center does that?

well, now you know how power works. Let's see how much the faculty cares-any fac resignations in the offing? Here's a little song: "'Old McDonnell had a farm ... and on that farm he had some profs...with a yak-yak here and a yak-yak there..here a yak there a yak,.etc,

@knitten it's not that American students don't want to work that hard at science, technology, engineering, and math. It's just that those programs have never been strong at U.Va., so students go en masse elsewhere--Virginia Tech being one of those other, better universities at STEM programs.

@DoubleHoo: Hey, there's an idea for a bold, cost-cutting, tough decision--shut down the medical school and hospital entirely! It could solve a lot of problems. (Note: I know nothing about the history of the medical school, I haven't checked its ranking, etc.--I'm just saying that if it's a money-losing venture that is draining the rest of the university, a true slash-and-burn President would surely want to consider the possibility.)

Didn't the UVA Hospital make $184,000,000 in profit last year? That doesn't sound like a troubled hospital to me. Any Board member with a shred of integrity should resign. Except that would allow that spineless Regent's College alum McDonnell to appoint the entire BOV, and I bet he'd populate it with people like Jerry Falwell, Jr. and the Koch Brothers.

I think this whole experience hits us in C'ville particularly hard. It's coming on the heels of top-down decisions regarding the Ragged Mountain Dam and the Western Bypass that were made in similar ways, without public input and in back rooms. I am starting to feel like our community--really, our country--is being ruined by business interests. There is more to life than the almighty dollar, and this idea that we are all in service to the bottom line is just another ideology--it is not a truth.

@ewg118 -- my comment about STEM students wasn't about UVa in particular. It was based on national statistics and some studies as to why the attrition is so high in STEM majors at most universities. And Tech is excellent in engineering but like UVa did not have much of a reputation in pure science. They are trying to establish that but unlike UVa they were willing to put money into it a few years ago.

@ DoubleHoo

My statement was meant to be interpreted as best teaching hospital in Va that serves large parts of NC and WVa. Sorry about that. USNews rankings are largely BS, and highly dependent on amount of research funding. And using the loss of one department to suggest that we are not home to a stellar medical center is far from a valid argument. Even if I am an apsiring REI : )

Of course I say all this was an obvious bias. But having worked in and been a patient at multiple hospitals in the state of Virginia, UVa is wonderful. Unfortunately, I cannot personally comment on MCV.

If the Beatles once were, per John Lennon, "more popular than Jesus," Helen Dragas is now more unpopular than the Devil.

@girlygirl: maybe they did, maybe they didn't. Creative accounting can do wonders, you know. But the BoV won't tell us.

It is hard to avoid cynicism here. I am a strong supporter of public education and especially UVa. As a public institution there is universal pressure to keep tuition under control. Clearly, it is a challenge to build an excellent university under these conditions and President Sullivan and the BoV have often mentioned this challenge. However, now the McIntire School and its Dean are being held up as the model for the university undergraduate programs. But how do they achieve excellence? They raise tuition rates! They charge undergraduates a tuition differential that is scheduled to increase from $3000 to $5000 over three years. From their web site:

"In 2012-2013, differential tuition will generate approximately $1,870,000 to McIntire, representing approximately 7 percent of the School’s annual revenue."

I'm sure all UVa departments could use a 7% funding increase from tuition increases.

The hypocrisy is stunning.


As I noted elsewhere, the firing of Teresa Sullivan was a process that took place diligently over 6 or 7 months, but originated when Helen Dragas became rector in July of 2011. During the course of about a year, Dragas worked in secret to secure the ouster of Sullivan. 
Dragas plotted with venture capitalist Mark Kington (a business pa of Sen, Mark Warner) and with rich-boy Peter Kiernan. Hedge funder Paul Tudor Jones was also intimately involved. 
UVa’s chief financial officer, hired by Sullivan, was involved too in some way, although the degree of his collusion is unclear. The Post reported that he ' ..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. Nowhere close. 
Worse, Dragas just doubled down on her duplicity, and even hired a public relations firm to help her lie about it all.  
But this kind of behavior has become almost commonplace anymore. Conservative Republicans keep lying about climate change and supply-side economics. Republican and Democratic politicians keep promoting inaccuracies about the health of Social Security and Medicare. The corporate-style business "model" (if it an be called that) is foisted on public education.  And technology is often assigned a far greater role and importance than it deserves.
What just transpired at UVa is what's been occurring throughout the country for quite some time. 
It's about time that it stopped. 
However, as long as their are perpetrators of distortion and untruth, there will be those who believe them. That's part of why public education – K-12 and higher ed –– is so vitally critical in a democratic republic.

And it's why the administrative putsch at UVa matters so much.

It never was a coup orchestrated by the Darden School, was it Hawes? You have to think smaller. Just as the BoV did. Zethaml will fail, as will this "strategic" move by Dragas and the Board.

The concern over the Medical Center is real. They've been pouring $$$ money into that losing enterprise like they are printing their own. Undisciplined financial oversight and bloated excesses it is a monument to arrogance and self-importance. Now it is sucking the life out of UVA? Nice payback, eh?

Differential tuition is common around Virginia and the rest of the country. Undergraduate business schools are wildly popular with students and the costs are simply higher than some other majors. The knee-jerk response 'no tuition increases' because of political considerations has caused a lot of the issues facing public universities. Revenues have to be aligned with costs. The voters may ultimately have to decide if they want to support comprehensive universities like UVa or prefer smaller, more specialized institutions.The discussion about implementing online education is also more complex than first appears. The platform selected can range from Cisco's Telepresence (mentioned by Sullivan in her statement) using virtual representations of the instructors in physical space to simple video cameras set up in a classroom recording the traditional lecture. I believe that many of the general ed requirements could be met with online technology instead of putting hundreds of students in a room with a TA..

While legally and by identity UVa is a public university, follow the money; for decades now less than 10% of Uva's budget has come from the State.Once that happens, the admin culture changes. Basically- you have just seen UVa work like a private corp.The words, the petitions, the protests-just like at the corp-board meeting, meant nothing. Does anyone think that under a GOP gov and state house, anything is going to change? Wait for the faculty resignations!

Today is a day of mourning. There has been a death in the family and many will wake to find that the President they loved has been taken from us. We hoped it would not be this way. Thousands of us gathered together to pray ( even if not to God ) that the patient would survive . That the great advancements in healing and technology would bring about a cure. But there was no cure, there was a death. And the finality of the end of this chapter in the life of the University of Virginia has not yet fully been comprehended.

Now we are left with the grief and sorrow and realization that Teresa Sullivan, who had given us so much, and in return had allowed us to care and love - is gone.

May we all even in this moment of sadness find peace and the will to do the next best thing - whatever that may be.

Dr. Sullivan we will never forget you or all you have done for this once great University.

As reporters urged Dragas for comment, she replied, "Don't believe everything you read in the papers." Isn't that the point? Everyone wants the truth but only Dragas' PR firm is talking. Well, Ms. Dragas, what is it that is reported in the papers that we all shouldn't believe? Please, enlighten us all.

@Knitten -- I am not a proponent of running a University like a corporation. I teach at a major academic medical school (not UVA) and recognize the fiscal realities, but I continue to hope we serve for much more than money....I learned that value at UVA and am baffled by how it has apparently vanished there....

Bet that PR firm told her to wear that white suit...

Today is a day of mourning. There has been a death in the family and many will wake to find that the President they loved has been taken from us. We hoped it would not be this way. Thousands of us gathered together to pray ( even if not to God ) that the patient would survive . That the great advancements in healing and technology would bring about a cure. But there was no cure, there was a death. And the finality of the end of this chapter in the life of the University of Virginia has not yet fully been comprehended.

Now, we are left with the grief, anger, and sorrow and realization that Teresa Sullivan, who had given us so much, and in return had allowed us to care and love - is gone.

May we all, even in this moment of sadness and anger, find peace, and the will to do the next best thing - whatever that may be.

Dr. Sullivan we will never forget you or all you have done for this once great University.

Yes, "incent" is a real word...sort of...straight from the same lexicon as "strategic dynamism," and coined at the start of the Reagan years:

Definition of INCENT

transitive verb
: incentivize
Origin of INCENT

back-formation from incentive
First Known Use: 1981

You are spot on that the PR firm picked her words, her clothing, everything.

What the BOV has done is terrible, poor business practice and dishonorable. People's livelihood at stake, young people mislead. But for some of us. College wasn't the place where dreams were made, where we made friends for life or met our spouses and were the epic subject of boring party stories, seriously people, some of you need to move on with your life and accept change. It's just college. UVa was never perfect, the arts and science admin dept is a cliquey disfunctional mess. And procurement dept is disturbing. It's basically a club for people who want to relive the glory years, a fortune 500 company can not grow having it's children, who got jobs there, stay home till they're 30

I'm thinking of taking my UVA diploma over for a revision. Seems like it should read, "UVA, Inc. A subsidiary of Goldman Sachs."

In all my over-analyzing, there may be a very simple explanation. If as "democracy" states, it started a year ago, before Sullivan even had an opportunity to get her team in place, all this talk about the hospital and "existential crises" and all may be complete red herrings. Maybe Dragas just had an intense *personal* hatred of Ms. Sullivan for reasons she will never explain, and she was willing to do whatever it took to get rid of her. It is rumored that some alums hated the idea of a woman as president and it's not at all unusual for women to hold opinions like that about other women (except, of course, for themselves).

There is a lot of talk about converting the first two years into online coursework, in which case we might as well just turn "universities" into two-year institutions for the second two years. It's true that large lectures don't by themselves hold a lot of value to the students who can be bothered to attend. A decent lecturer can get an idea of whether students are confused if they're "live," however, and can tailor the lecture to the class, which is impossible if it's canned. Admittedly not all college faculty are even decent, much less good, but many do work at it. And most online courses are absolutely terrible; they're all rote memorization and drill. (How can a computer grade English essays? Count the red and green squiggly lines that Word puts in?) The Harvard-MIT effort's stated purpose is to try to find a way to deliver online education in a way that's actually effective. It's not at all clear what that may be but whatever it is, it will cost more than people think; that is, if they care whether it's effective or not.

And McIntyre charges the extra tuition largely because they can. There's no way it costs more to educate a Commerce student than an Engineering student, but the engineering students don't have to pay a big surcharge (they may have additional fees).

I was hoping Dragas was going to resign but alas she has shown her true colors. I am amazed at her arrogance and lack of consideration of others. According to the laws of Karma, her day will come.

@NancyDrew - thank you for all of your posts. I have enjoyed reading them. To help you with your grieving process....Teresa Sullivan is set for life as a result of this and well deserved, I might add. I certainly wish her the best in her future endeavors.

For the record, many if all deans sent let a message to their schools. Below is the message from Dean Woo of the College. Note the third paragraph. Does this make her a traitor, too? Or were the deans each trying to help steady the ship at a turbulent time?

Dear Alumni and Friends:

By now many of you will have heard that President Sullivan will be stepping down as U.Va.’s president on August 15. Below are links to the Board of Visitors announcement and the remarks of Rector Helen Dragas at yesterday’s meeting with the University’s Vice Presidents and Deans.


I know I speak for many of you in expressing my gratitude and admiration for President Sullivan's work over the last two years. She has engaged all aspects of the University and has been a ubiquitous presence on Grounds. Her leadership has touched the lives of our students, faculty, staff and alumni. As a faculty member in the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, she has always had a soft spot in her heart for us, and has been naturally supportive of our efforts. I will miss working with her.

Transitions like this can be unsettling. They can also be catalysts for reflection, renewal and reinvigoration. I trust in the wisdom of the Board of Visitors which is unequivocally resolved to swift and bold action to ensure that the University remains in the top echelon of universities well into the 21st century and beyond.

The College is a community that brings together brilliant talents to create new ideas, to find solutions to complex problems, and, most important, to provide the kind of profound educational experience our students expect and deserve. That will not change. With the support of our alumni, parents, friends and volunteers, I know we will stay focused on our mission and our work. I assure you that the College will continue on its ambitious course toward excellence in academics and the extraordinary student experience for which we are so well known.

I would be happy to address your questions or concerns. In the meantime, I thank you for your continued interest in and support of the College.



Meredith Jung-En Woo, Dean
College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
University of Virginia
P.O. Box 400772, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4772
Email: mwoo@virginia.edu

@Realist315 I want mine to read University of Phoenix at Charlottesville. They can make the change after I'm done wiping my kid's rear end with it.

As the old saying goes: Your sins will find you out.
The BOV will answer for this...some way, some time. And I bet it will be sooner rather than later. Donors typically make their allocations at the end of June so the BOV will have their day of reckoning soon. And I have every faith that the faculty has yet to finish their say. A great big bravo to the Faculty Senate, and esp. to George Cohen.

Et tu, Brute? But who will understand when the classics are no longer taught? We alumni, however, who are devoted to the liberal arts, will understand. We will not forget. Perhaps these words of the Bard are in order: "Then you, and I, and all of us fell down while bloody treason flourished over us."

There's always a silver lining. I expect to make a penny out of this because I just bought the domain name


UVa student Corey French captured my sentiments exactly on this video feed of Dragas's attempt to escape her dirty work through a back door - with no one watching. Thank you Corey ! I have to say that he is far more mature and than principled than she.

What a coward. No student, faculty member, alumni, or community member should give her any respect for the lack of transparency she has championed.


It's fun that Dragas's hand-picked interim president in waiting wouldn't do it. Hop on back to Bawlmer, fella.

I'm very disappointed in Dean Woo's choosing to praise the "wisdom" of the Board.

@Will--remember that the Deans and VPs all had to be very cautious and circumspect right after this happened. They were all blindsided as well.

When looking at percentages of budgets provided by the statute or any other source be careful to understand what less than 10% and other percentages mean in reality. Tuition and fees paid by current students along with endowment investment returns provide the highest percentage (75 to 90% approx.) of annual budget dollars. State money and other sources are incremental or marginal contributions. These contributions to the annual budget are important but comments referencing the small% provided by the state seem out if context to me.

A word about Academic culture. Teachers are smart people who care about their subjects, number one. When smart ones move into academic governance or admin, they want to do a good job.How do they get those jobs : not by high courage or rocking the boat.You are not going to see heroic, buck the trend stands. It just doesn't happen or does some time - South Africa, or Viet War; -on issues like this-- its get on with the job. Hence Woo's and Strines and (grand standing) Simon's statements

Old Man ... take your Geritol. John Simon's remarks were most definitely NOT grandstanding. They were the remarks of a principled leader, a man who has more honor and integrity than just about everyone on the BofV right now, the remarks of a man who understands what a liberal arts education at a secular public institution of higher learning is all about.

Mr. Jefferson knew. John Simon knows.

Evidently you do not.

er Logan, eat your berries.He got applause, he looked good, he drank the kool-aid with his first letter, with Simon.Now he will rest on his fine words-and do try ,do, to be at least polite.That's the Uva way!

True colors: sneaking out the back door of the Rotunda in the dead of night after doing her dirty work.

This woman allegedly has aspirations to elected office. Lieutenant governor has been mentioned.

It's one thing to be on the receiving end of bull$hit from a political appointee, which is all Dragas is, but if the people of Virginia -- or any other state she might choose to carpetbag, vote this woman into office, they will truly get what the deserve.

Buck the trend, good people: don;t have short memories.

Finally -- a viable and realistic solution to the problem.....and a very Jeffersonian one indeed -- rebellion! Please pass it on....


I don't think Simon is grandstanding. I think he had an initial knee-jerk cautious reaction like the other administrators and then thought about it. I think there's a good chance we will lose him.

The Commerce Dean...really?...could not be more clear what this hostile take over is about. Venal corporate raw power.

No Confidence in the BOV
Resignation of BOVs
Resignation of the Three BOV organizers
Change the rules of appointment to make the BOV representative now!
No Confidence in the COMMERCE Lackey-he should resign
Bring in the AAUP to help organize the faculty
Strike or whatever the VA equivalent is if need be

There is mourning for the loss of Sullivan.


This is going to be a long haul fight against the corporate interests who have a lot of resources (like the Brits in 1776 and the US in Vietnam) and who want to privatize every thing and transform everything into a business.

Let's wait for the Faculty Senate to organize and then help them. Non hateful, nonviolent resistance. Gandhi chased out oppressors from an entire nation. Surely we can chase out the oppressors from one University.

I'll be Strine is shown the exit. He has shown himself to be a backstabber, so why would he be kept around?

PS see the sppech given by Sean Penn playing Joe Wilson at the end of the movie Fair Game for some inspiration to act:


@Old Man, my apologies, my blood pressure has been on the rise since 1118 a.m. on June 10 as this palace coup has unfolded. Plus, I only had a pot of coffee for breakfast this morning.

@knitten: I don't think we need to worry about the provost leaving ... not at all. Trust me on that one.

As a graduate of both the college and the law school, I agree - RESIGN Ms Dragas. No more donations from me while you are on the board.

One note on the budget and the "states" contribution.....

The University as should all universities be self sufficent and never need money from the state unless it is for capital improvement, expansion or the occasional unexpected expense. The University should multiply te students by he avalable tuition and live within its means. If endowments come in they should be required to cover the legacy costs asociated with them. Someone should n ot be able to donate a building with crazy ornamenal arcitecture and unproven technology and leave the state or University holding the bag when it all falls apart.

This is not the reality but should be the goal. The 10 percent the state kicks in is a subsidy for their failings.

A modest proposal in the tradition of Jonathan Swift....


@Bill Marshall, do you not believe in public education? If a university doesn't need money from the state, how can you call it a state university? And if the state is not going to pay for the school, why should state officials have any say in its operation? The (less than) 10% the state kicks in is just enough to keep the University by the short hairs.

Public education is an unassailable public good. It's a tragedy that so many people don't value it. Like roads and transit and defense, good education, in part because it is labor intensive, will never be profitable, nor should it be expected to generate profit. It's something the state and federal governments should subsidize heavily.

bill, if that's the case then there's no longer any such thing as a public university. If that's how the public wants it that is fine, but then state legislatures need to stop capping tuition at levels below what it costs per student. Right now UVa soaks the out of state students because most of the colleges can't raise tuition on in-state students, or can do so only minimally.

Fully agree about donations that don't cover legacy costs. Donations should never be sinking funds that expect the university to come up with operating costs after some number of years, yet that happens over and over again.

We all know that universities have to achieve cost savings but I just don't think the slash and burn approach is the way to go about it.

Raise corporate and private wealth taxes. Pay for 100% of UVA's operating expenses and we would not be having this problem today.

We let the neoliberal politicians turn up the anti-tax heat under the kettle a few degrees every year. We let them attack higher ed and separate higher ed from the people, we let them allow the characterization of higher ed as elitist.

Now UVA is starved and forced to beg for private and corporate funding. The capitalists set this up with their politicians and now they are capitalizing on the situation and they have taken over the BOVs and and are carrying out their plan to destroy public education and academe, the only source of opposition to an Ayn Rand, 1984 world.

The good thing is this Sullivan thing is a line in the sand. Step up people of VA.

Dragas says "don't believe everything you read in the papers"... so ironic as her sister contributed a somewhat sad and pathetic defense of her in a letter to the editor published in today's Daily Progress.

The entire process has been tainted. I don't care who the interim president is. This entire Board of Visitors must go, and a new Board has to (1) fully disclose what the disagreements with President Sullivan were, (2) determine whether to retain her or select a new president, and (3) fully engage the students and faculty before making another decision.

We have to demand transparency, honesty, and integrity from those who serve UVA. This is not a ruthless, soulless corporation. This is an academical village, and we must do everything in our power to protect it and TJ's vision.

To Mer: The McIntire School of Commerce is ranked as one of the most quality undergraduate business schools in the country. A little digging on your behalf would tell you that students admitted to the McIntire School complete 2 years of study in the College of Arts & Science (liberal arts) before entrance to the McIntire School.

Thoughts from Patricia McGuire, 23 years as the President of Trinity

" Boards must understand the balance between challenging and undermining the president. Even more seriously, they must realize that their duty to the institution calls them to exercise utmost prudence in destabilizing the presidenc itself, through clandestine decision-making that betrays the public trust in the board and the institution it serves. If the reports are true that the UVA board allowed its Rector Helen Dragas to make such a momentous decision as firing the president solely on the basis of assessing votes through telephone conversations, without ever calling a board meeting to discuss the issues -- and without giving the president an opportunity to know the accusations -- then the real change that's needed at the University of Virginia must start with the board and governance process.......

By all accounts, President Sullivan is an experienced university leader who understood the changes that had to come, and who was engaged with winning the trust of the faculty who have to do the hard detailed work of academic change. The sadly premature ending of her presidency does not augur well for UVA's ability to find the right kind of change leader for the future. Meanwhile, the damage to the university's reputation -- protecting institutional reputation being among the most important duties of a board -- is considerable and will require a very brave and talented new leader to repair.


Simon's remarks on Sunday to the Faculty Senate were billed, in part, as a gift to my 2 sons. What will Helen Dragas's gift to her children and community be ?

The Rector who Wrecked UVa ?

From a local news source:

Dragas Apologizes With Huge Wooden Horse

Students and professors found a giant wooden horse left outside the Rotunda at 3am on June 19 following a super-executive session of the Board of Visitors of the University of Virginia. A letter attached to the horse was signed by Rector Helen Dragas, which apologized for all of the trouble caused by her ham-fisted assassination of University President Teresa Sullivan the previous day and asked the finder of the horse to bring it inside the Rotunda as a permanent gesture of goodwill.

Dean Quincy Adams Wagstaff immediately emailed UVa students and alumni in response to seeing the horse, “I know I speak for many of you in expressing my gratitude and admiration for the Board of Visitors and Helen Dragas in leaving us this wonderful wooden horse. The zeithamlian inlay of the horse looks wonderful in the early morning light against the deep laughing red of the crape myrtle, and I also detect some wonderful tudor workmanship. There will be lots to remember of our dear departed friend from Michigan State, but this is no time for eulogies. Nature loves to fill a vacuum and I join the cheers as a mass of orange and blue surrounds this gift. I hope you will welcome this wonderful horse into our Rotunda.”

Third year student Mallard Firkin said the gift from Dragas had surprised him and made him reconsider his view of the Board of Visitors. “I thought [the Board of Visitors] wanted to destroy UVa by making every department run on a profit and loss basis, just like the Comm School, but with the promotion of Dean Carl and the gift of this awesome horse, I know the Board just wants to say ‘Sorry’ and leave us alone. Helen Dragas may be a Greek warrior but she writes a nice apology and this is a fantastic gift.”

Helen Dragas was spotted by a Channel 29 news team leaving the Rotunda by the back door and running to her limousine as faculty and students crowded around the horse. The horse is estimated to be about twenty feet tall. After initial surprise and joy the crowd began arguing about how best to get the horse inside the Rotunda.

There are many uninformed comments here. Zeithaml sent an email that the BOV asked him to send - what would you have said? When they called him a week later about serving as interim, he agreed to help try to heal an institution that he loves. Coincidence that they were in Asia together - as it happens, yes. There is no conspiracy or power play here. He was asked to serve - I doubt he even wanted to actually do it. Instead of calling him names, how about praising him for his courage in tackling a situation that has thrown him into the center of a firestorm.

I for one am proud to finally see an honorable man come forward here. If anyone can help heal these wounds, it is Zeithaml.

Since Dragas played the 'we are keeping it confidential to protect the parties involved card', is there anyone out there who partied (attended) UVA with her? Surely there is some 50 year old UVA frat boy who had some fun with Helen.

@UVA Faculty, it doesn't matter what you think of Zeithaml. He's the product of a tainted process. Until a legitimate BOV is in power, no one will accept its decisions.

And if you really don't believe that this was part of a power play and conspiracy by Dragas, Kiernan, and Jones, then I have to question whether you should be teaching anyone anything.

Band together and hold all donations. That is the only thing the BOV will listen to. If you really believe in the cause that means football and basketball. How serious are you.

When I was an undergrad The Declaration ran a spoof article suggesting a new name for UVA, with the acronym SUVAC (State University of Virginia at Charlottesville).

It was hilarious then; maybe it's apropos now.

It is regrettable, but true, that "Two years, ten years, and the people ask the conductor, What place is this ? Where are we now? I am the grass, I cover all." Dragas and the Board hope that this is exactly what will occur after their coup. All the more reason to do it in the summer and say nothing. The students will not leave, they need an education and have no where else to go. The alumni have no place else to which to return to relive "the dream of [their] youth" so they will come back to football games and make their modest donations to their own schools, all the while feeling trapped by circumstances. The best of the present faculty and staff may leave, but there are so few jobs in academia and so many needing them that the U. will have no problem filling them with other, more compliant, "workers." Of course, it will be hard for a year or two to attract persons of real quality. But those large donations waiting in the wings will make it possible to offer temptingly high salaries to a few stars. They will offer a fortune to someone to be President who will not be concerned with what has happened before and who will do their bidding, all the while soothing alumni with soft words about "excellence." [After all, it took them no time at all to find an "Interim" President from within the present administration, a Brutus as far as I am concerned.] They are betting that in two years, ten years all will be forgotten. But the very nature of the University will have changed forever. It will be more "modern," i.e. corporate, in nature. Fear will reign. The Board, politically appointed millionaires and billionaires, will really be in charge. And the idea of collegiality between faculty, students, staff, administrators, Board, and alumni, a chief hallmark of the University we have loved, will be gone, never to return. It will be like a big plantation. If you are on the Board or in their administration, you will be in the "big house." If you are not, you will "chop cotton" or be "sold South." Rest in peace, University of Virginia. The dream was great while it lasted.

If Hunter Craig is such a stand up guy why didn't he vote NO like Fralin ?

dawg and knitten I said that the state should ay for the university, and its capital costs and expansion... but the bottom line is that TUITION should cover the operating costs and maintanance. They need to multiply the number of students by the probable tuition and THAT should be the starting point for thier top line budget. They then need to figure out how to get buy on their annual income like the rest of us. When you divide the annual budget by the nmber of students it is nearly 1000 a week per student to get them educated and from what I have seen they are not graduating all winners.... The state should NOT subsidize UVA theyalready have PAID for UVA many times over. If they want to spend some money on public education they should spend it a piedmont where 90% of the students would learn exactly the same amount. UVA is a public university that wants to be a private university but still wants all the money and none of the responsibility to the taxpayers. Sullivan was trying to CORRECT this. SHE understands that there is such a thing as accountability to the public at large which is why she was railroaded out. These donors want UVA to be their state subsidized private school. If they want that then let them buy it from the state for about 500 BILLION dollars which is what it would be worth on the open market because of its reputation (well 4000 billion after this fiasco)

I am not against education, I am all for accountability. and responsibility. just like Mrs Sullivan. The problem was not the size of the hose filling the bucket it is the holes in the bucket and the fact the well is only so deep. So patch the holes and shop for new water sources but don't just get a bigger hose and turn the pump on full blast and run the current well dry.

The donors are going to PUNISH the BOV for this and rightfully so....

My first guess was that after several people turned it down, Zeithaml decided that somebody had to take the bullet so it might as well be him. But we'll have to see how he handles the situation. It is true that the Comm faculty were the only ones strangely silent in the whole mess. But the real problem is that nobody will trust this BoV to find a "stellar" permanent president. Oh, they'll find somebody, but it may not be anybody with any academic vision.

Et tu Carl? Carl is UVA's answer to Judas or Brutus.

He was traipsing around Asia with Sullivan while Dragas was lining up votes and then he's conveniently named interim President???

Anyone besides me think that STINKS?

bill, the published annual budget includes the hospital and probably all the other non-academic units as well. You must take that out before you can calculate the cost per undergraduate student.

knitten --

I read the situation differently. I see a single philosophy here, one which dictates that the corporate approach to organizing an institution is the correct approach for the University. I see a Rector who comes from a corporate background organizing the Board of Visitors in this affair.

Now we see a Darden leader being elected by that board to be the president. Sounds like a single philosophy is governing these decisions, and the Sullivan was not a subscriber to that philosophy.

-- B

Dragas' comment ..."don't believe everything you read in the papers" is incredibly immature. I'm not surprised given her conduct but this comment is so juvenile. And she wants to run for elected office...?!...where would that be exactly....Antarctica? Her elected office days are now a mere figment of her imagination.

SUVAC B&M (State University of Virginia at Charlottesville, Brick & Mortar Campus).

Knitten -- your comments on the UVA hospital are cruel and misinformed. A public hospital is like the public school system (i.e., comparing STAB to the local public schools). A public hospital is required by law to accept the patients who present at their door, unlike MJH who will take you, but will shuffle you off to UVA once your immediate concerns are addressed, especially if you're a Medicaid recipient. And I'm assuming you've never been a patient or had a family member or loved one cared for (and cured/healed) by the exemplary physicians, nurses and staff we're so fortunate to have here in Charlottesville.

@ E Mendenhall

Sorry, it's not a madding crowd; it's an angry crowd.

Lynne, if you meant my comment about "bold and decisive" action meaning to close the hospital, sorry about the lack of a sarcasm tag. (But it would be BOLD, don't you agree?)

The requirement or expectation to treat indigents does put them into a terrible bind, though, and it's not just the UVa hospital that has this problem.

Betty, you're very mistaken and with each of your conspiracy theory posts you sound more and more foolish. Everything is not black helicopters and covert operations.
Was the Board wrong in doing this? Yes. Do 99% of the people out there feel it should have been handled differently? Yes. Is Carl Zeithaml a servant of UVa? Yes. Has he dedicated his professional life to teaching others? Yes. Has he been a strong leader for Mcintire? Yes. Is UVa in dire need of strong leadership at this time? Yes. Would you really expect a man like Carl who has lived and breathed UVa since the day he set foot on Grounds to ignore UVa when it needs a strong leader who understands thge pulse of The University? HELL NO. You don't turn your back on a loved one (UVa) when it needs help just because you don't agree with who hurt it in the first place. That doesn't fix anything.

I respect your opinion and appreciate your frustration. But you're taking it out on the wrong person. Direct it toward the BOV and even Govs' Kaine and McDonnell. Not the guy who is taking on a monumental task for the good of a place we all love.

Not every dean issued a statement supporting the board of visitors. Read the statement of the dean of the law school.

Also, I do wish someone could find out what the board was discussing. There was a report John Simon was meeting with them. Was he? What about

Was Dean Zeithnaml the board's first choice? If so, what took so long? If not, who was?

History treats Eliot Richardson better than Robert Bork.

Knitten -- apology accepted. It would be bold. It would also be totally unrealistic. UVA has the only trauma center in a 60-mile radius of Charlottesville and I've seen firsthand the care provided, to both "paying" and "non-paying" patients. The patient and family care, concern and compassion is exemplary. Indeed, there is waste and fiscal abuse throughout the University and there are programs that need to be overhauled and controlled, no doubt in the hospital setting, too. Good luck to CZ and his successor--he or she will have a plateful of problems.

knitten here is the budget breakdown...


The ACADEMIC budget.....
1.4 BILLION divided by 21000 students is $66,666.66 per student... sorry my 50k number was not totally accurate....

I agree with Old Wahoo at 12:16 p.m.

Or if you want to look at it another way...

21,000 students times 30 credit hours is 630,000 credit hours for the year

1.4 billion dvided by credit hours is $2222.22 per credit hour taught.

So if a Professor has 200 kids in his class at 2200 each thats 440k per class taught?

(just fooling around with numbers.. don't go all crazy... )

The secretive, ruthless and soviet-style manner in which president Sullivan was dismissed (for the greater good of the university community) marks a sad turning point for Uva. If this was a sample exercise of the new way to treat employees in the future, as disposable rags who follow orders, I fear for the role of academics and all that work at the institution. Shocking and depressing is what it is, and not an isolated incident considering the Ragged Mountain dam, the Biscuit Run scheme, and Western Bypass decisions that have happened without any kind of input or participation from the community. What will be next?

I think Dragas is a person of questionable integrity and is doing a perfectly terrible job of convincing us otherwise. That said - I don't think it's helpful or relevant to make disparaging comments about her looks, her age, or her (real or imagined) sex life. Those tactics undermine all women and distract us from the real issues here. It's not hard to find legitimate things to criticize about her.

@Voice of Reason. Thank you. To all who still think the Zeithaml portion of this "stinks" - look elsewhere for your conspiracy to continue. I guarantee you he was as shocked as anyone to learn of Sullivan's dismissal. He is trying to pick up the pieces - we should let him try.

The Board should be calling for the resignations of its leaders. They have handled this poorly beyond measure. Do not take this out on Zeithaml - he is a true and honest leader who has stepped up to the plate when others would not.

The director of Athletics should weigh in on this. What would happen if in protest he said no Football or basketball until Terry Sullivan is reinstated, the BOV is resigned?

That would be the end of it. Sullivan would be back in a second and the BOV would be gone.

Do it now Mr. Littlepage. You have the power.Exercise it now.

"My vote was an indication of my dissatisfaction with the process and the decision that lead to the resignation of Terry Sullivan. I have not been presented with evidence that I believe merits asking for her resignation, nor have I ever indicated that I would be willing to support such an effort. Given an opportunity I would have also voted to support her reinstatement. It is my opinion that the process leading to her resignation was flawed. I am convinced that in the future the Board of Visitors will always meet in a scheduled meeting to discuss issues involving the President."

Heywood Fralin - one of the most respected, honest and generous men in Virginia who served two terms on the BOV of Virginia Tech and two terms on the BOV of the University where he served as Rector.

I doubt that Zeithaml was part of the conspiracy (and that's what this is: a conspiracy led by Dagas), but it is not a coincidence that the leader of the business school, who certainly views corporate-style organizational approaches in a positive light, was selected by the BOV, who have a similar view. This is part of a much more general process to break down the academic structure of the University and replace it with a more corporate-style structure. One philosophy is attacking and defeating another; it just happens to be playing out in a very public way right now.

Zeithaml's gentlemenly qualities are not the issue. The issues are;

The BOV that appointed him has no confidence by the faculty.

Zeithaml is dean of the Commerce School...hello...he agreed with the BOV's rationale for firing Sullivan and will merely be their agent of stratergery dynamite to blow up UVA only to rebuild it in the image of University of Phoenix.

Nothing has changed: Sullivan is not reinstated, the BOV still in power. Dragon lady still running the show, no faculty representation, BOV still dominated by corporate capitalists.

Change is never easy and if we want to change this its going to take work and protesting of all varieties and continual struggle for months. We need to get organized.

Bev (Nursing66)
The events of this past week have dealt a severe wound to The University. Ms. Dragas, for whatever reason, has managed to reduce The University's statue in the nation. The Board members have acted in a horrible fashion. In the name of leading The University into a new era thay have created a MESS! Dr. Sullivan moves on to greatness with the overwhelming support of UVA's alumni, students, faculty and staff. Good for her!!!!! What do we as individuals do to support UVA. I believe we can do the following:
-- Since board members are political appointees, let the Governor know in writing how disappointed you are in the UVA BOARD. Be careful who you elect to any state and local office. Just as they have changed UVA, they can change other important entities.
-- Let the Board of Visitors know that they are in their important positions to care diligently for UVA NOT to just have an appointment on their resume, go to parties, get free tickets to sports activities, and, most importantly, to inject their own special interests into The University.
-- By all means, continue to support UVA. If UVA ever needed us it is now!!!!! Thanks to Dragas and the Board's recent actions!
-- Businesses can be a great help to UVA with their donations and by hiring UVA grads. Their role is to assist unversities and not to become their managers. Many universities have business leadership councils that assist the schools in planning future development. They do not take over the universities!!!
-- Continue the vigilance throughout the UVA presidential election process. Contribute to the process where you can. It will make a difference. Thanks for taking the time to read this!!!

A great football season will make a lot of this nonsense--and what the BOV did was wrong, don't misunderstand--seem like a distant memory. By football season, the storyline will be all about redemption, and most people will have moved on.

Speaking of moving on, if faculty members really want to leave, go ahead and do it--talk is as cheap as the state legislature. If you're tenured, I challenge you to find a better place. It seems to me that most liberal arts profs are overpaid (summers off, spring break, etc.), and fungible in the sense that there are very few truly great ones. Take your skills out to the marketplace (not to sound like some annoying business major)--if you find a better school, better pay, better students, more power to you. My hunch, though, is that very few faculty members will leave.

Snowy Owl --

Professor Bill Wulf, one of the most prominent professors in UVA's engineering school, has just resigned. So much for talk is cheap, and so much for liberal arts. In case you do not know, Prof. Wulf was president of the National Academy of Engineers, which advises Congress on engineering matters, and has served in several other positions of power within his field.

Yes, there are better schools that UVA professors could go to. There are also lots of professors in the engineering school who could go into industry and be researchers, and get paid a lot more. UVA managed to attract these people by presenting itself as a friendly place for academics; this sort of behavior by the BOV presents UVA as something much different, and will discourage professors from staying or from joining.

-- B

This would be a good time for introspection by all, not just the BoV but also the faculty in all disciplines, including A & S. If those on the BoV and others do not adequately value some of the A & S departments/instructors, those departments might ask for meetings to find out why or to educate the BoV on what they do. Just maybe, each side in those discussions would learn things that will benefit the institution going forward.

Bill Wulf is also 72 years old and was going to teach one class in the Fall. I'm not saying it;s not a loss because he obviously has a tremendous resume. Just sayin'.....retirement is probably sounding pretty good after this week.

I find the comments by Snowy Owl and those of similar opinion to be most disconcerting and arrogant. If our professors are all worthless, lazy, and over paid, then why ever did we come to this University? I don't know about others, but some of my fondest memories are being instructed and mentored by some truly great men and women. I think back to instruction by and social occasions with Bernard Mayo in Pavilion 4 and with Kenneth Redden in Pavilion 3 (or was it 5, my memory is getting weak), meeting Edgar Shannon on the lawn, classes with Julian Bishko, Emerson Spies, Dick Howard and Bob Scott, etc. as some of the highlights of my two University careers. I still fondly remember Howard Hamilton and Fred Diehl in Bio 101. My professors profoundly affected my life and I am grateful for that. Overpaid? Hardly. Lazy? Of course not. But then again, perhaps a history major and lawyer has a different view from those whose sole course of instruction was in how to make money or from those whose view of life has been molded by Fox News and other anti-intellectual forces that constantly denigrate the academy in general and the liberal arts in particular.

Old Wahoo... do you think the current crop of professoers are a) better or worse than those you profess to love and b) have it easier or harder to teach and c) have a higher or lower standard of living for the same position.

My take is that the profesors of today live considerably better than those of yesteryear, are less skilled and have it a lot easier due to technology, which makes everything from research, writing, grading and scheduling a thousand times more efficent.

Not to say there are not some real gems.. but there are also some drunks who do little to nothing for a lot of money and who would NOT be hired at a major university.

Old Wahoo-- I never said "all" professors are "arrogant, lazy" or the like, and not every argument can be tossed aside by pigeonholing it into a Fox News versus the Enlightment, good versus evil dichotomy. I despise Fox News. Professors are the heart and sould of any great university, such as this one. Only a fool would fail to acknowledge that. Some are great, and some are not-so-great. Those in fields such as the sciences and engineering--in my opinion--have certain skill sets that are more in demand and not nearly as fungible as the skill required to, say, teach a course about literature. I don't disparage the liberal arts at all. A worthy education in the liberal arts is one of the greatest pursuits available, and, if done right, it keeps us from all becoming corporate drones. I stand by my opinion that "most" liberal arts professors are overpaid at the so-called best colleges. Once upon a time, this was not the case. This is UVA--for every one factuly member who wants to leave, hundreds of worthy candidates will step up to replace that person. It's an awful job market out there for profs, and a tenured position at UVA is a coveted one indeed.

Bill Marshall: If they "would NOT be hired at a major university" then I gather you don't consider Virginia to be one. Many of us alumni would disagree with that assessment. So too would many others in academia and otherwise. Are they better paid today? I hope so. Do they have it easier? I don't know. Technology has increased productivity, but I don't know that it has actually made writing and research any easier. I never knew any "drunks" on the faculty. I take that back, I can think of one; and he taught one of the most popular courses at the U and was otherwise functional, albeit perhaps not a great scholar. My general impression is that overall the University is a better academic institution today than it was 40 years ago, although I think I got a first rate education from some great teachers back then. And I would not trade that experience for anything.

Old Wahoo:

Mr. Redden lived in the annex of Pavilion V.

" I stand by my opinion that "most" liberal arts professors are overpaid at the so-called best colleges"

Want to suggest some salaries? A full professor of History at a research university after 25 years of teaching having published university press books, etc., making $85,000. Let's see. Less than a public school teacher in DC. So what should you pay this 60 year old nationally known faculty member? 20K? 30K? Give us you figure figure please.

And the Daily Progress is reporting that Vice Rector Mark Kington, a.k.a., Darth Kington, has resigned both as a vice rector AND as a visitor.

Link to his letter:

Just got a tweet that the vice rector has resigned.....is this true??

Many citizens of the idiocracy are criticizing academics. These fine upstanding citizens are the shock troops of the corporate fat cats who have duped them into believing that they too can make it into the 1% if they only oppose taxing the wealthy and corporations and defund public institutions and services that serve the middle class and the struggling poor.

The great ones btw are leaving UVA as of today.

"On Tuesday, engineering professor William Wulf sent a stern letter of resignation to the new interim president. It was unclear if Wulf had another job lined up. Wulf’s resignation was considered significant because he is one of fewer than 20 “university professors” among a faculty of 2,200, an honor bestowed on the school’s most accomplished educators."

faculty are not just units of labor.

So to all you university/faculty haters out there, back into your caves and walled housing developments and your tea party rallies. We are on to you and will be doing research about you like Sullivan did.

Good news?

NBC29 has confirmed that University of Virginia Vice Rector Mark Kington is resigning.

This is a developing story. We will bring you more information as it becomes available.

A thought or two about yesterday and that 11-hr., long, super-secret meeting that took place yesterday--the one that not only was closed, but that had no minutes taken? Perhaps it included heated negotiations to have Kington resign today, but not force Dragas to resign because she will not be re-appointed by the Gov. in 11 short days. That allows her a somewhat graceful exit, subdues some dissent via Kington's tendered resignation, and the Gov. gets to be the good guy by not re-appointing Dragas.

Jus' sayin'...

@ No Seriously - thank you for saying what I have been thinking.

When you have a problem with someone's actions, why do you need to discuss their appearance? Would it be acceptable to criticize President Sullivan's appearance or question her sex life? No.

Please stop talking about women (Dragas included) in a way that discredits all the good points that are being made, and perpetuates the idea that women in positions of power should be ridiculed based on their appearance. It is utterly disgusting and petty. And sexist.

When are educated people going to demonstrate some class? Words and actions are choices we all make every day. We do not chose our level of attractiveness, and it certainly isn't reasonable to discuss a woman's appearance when there is plenty of material regarding her actions. What credibility do we have if we are behaving like school children who tease one another based on physical appearance instead of discussing the content of character and the choices being made?

Lastly, to anyone who thinks we can just erase the UVA medical center, you clearly haven't known someone who is alive today because of the level one trauma center, or the accomplished neurosurgery team, or the transplant team or the NICU or SICU or the burn unit or the cardio team, etc. Good luck if you go to MJH with a serious issue, because they send ALL of those to UVA. Good for you that you do not know someone who has had to make the trip to UVA hospital every day for weeks on end, wondering if a precious life will end or will the the talented staff move mountains and invest everything they have in their hearts and minds to fix what is broken. Your idea is not well thought out, the exact same behavior you are highly critical of the BoV for.... I guess you can see how easy it is to make snap judgements that are uttterly ridiculous, because you just did.

It is not unreasonable to wonder if the comments on the message boards (as a representation of the cville/uva community) are starting to embarrass cville/uva slightly more than Dragas...

Let's all reach a little higher, shall we?
Skip the commentary on outfits, haircuts and the like. I know all about "free speech" and perhaps one tiny lesson can be learned from all of this - behave in a way that is honorable. With your thoughts, actions and words.

Vice Regent Kington resigned

One BOV down, 11 to go.

added above...

Pressure mounts?
On the afternoon of Tuesday, June 19, media began reporting that Vice-Rector Mark Kington had submitted his resignation to Governor Bob McDonnell.

"I believe that this is the right thing to do, and I hope that it will begin a needed healing process at the university."

Does Dean Zeithaml plan to move into Carr's Hill?

"Less than a public school teacher in DC"

Why the need to make a point by referring to public school teachers in DC? Public school teaching is a noble profession, and public school teachers are underpaid, in my opinion. That prof you mention does seem underpaid. But one example does not an argument make, as any good prof will tell you.

@Voice of Reason and UVA Faculty -- Have some more UVA Kool-Aid!

CZ is one of the most self-satisfied, overly ambitious people on grounds. He couldn't wait for a chance at the big show.

When the General Assembly conducts an investigation into the dealings of the BOV and a timeline is established as to who knew what when, you'll need to put some salt and pepper on the crow you'll be eating. Of course we'll let you wash it down with some more UVA Kool-Aid. Enjoy your deluded version of reality while it lasts.

@Hob Bryan, Charlotte Z. called the movers three weeks ago. LOL

@ Borkman, good one...U of Phoenix at Charlottesville. Somehow my diploma seems a bit tarnished today.

@UVa Parent my thoughts exactly. That was incredibly self serving of Craig. Not a stand up guy. He seems to be in the news a lot lately and in a not very flattering light.

Thanks Betty. Keep watching for those black helicopters. In the mean time, I'll stick with the things I actually know to be true.


@Betty--you are obviously disgruntled about something; I have a few theories, but I dont't need to embarrass you any further than you have already embarrassed yourself. Get a life, a job, a clue.

@Really? You didn't leave any wahoo koolaid for the rest of us

@Hmmmm I sure hope you're right about Dragas not being reappointed.

This Board needs to go - NOW
here is why - watch last nights proceedings


General opinion: NO CONFIDENCE!
Message to BOV: Resign.
Message to Governor: Meddle.
Message to Rector: Resign and ooze on out the door.
Message to donors: Wait and see.
Message to prospective BOV members: Show some integrity.
Message to President Sullivan: You show real class and integrity.
Messae to Dean Zeithaml: Good luck holding the bag.


I am disgruntled about quite a few things at UVA and the hits just keep on coming.

Make a list some time of all the disgusting and dishonorable things that have taken place at UVA over the past ten years.

For such a swell school, lots of missteps. BOV disaster is just the most flagrant.

Interesting. Zeithaml accepts when he should have declined due the nature of his predecessor's ouster. Without him, the BOV would have been pushed harder to consider reinstating Sullivan, as the vast majority of students, parents, faculty, and Virginia citizens want.

What a mistake.

everyone seems to assume that President Sullivan will be willing to come back
if the bov snaps its fingers again and undoes this week what it did last week.

i'm not so sure i'd want the job back, at this point. might be better for her to move on to somewhere else where she might be more appreciated, and let uva fend for itself.

i have a feeling that if she does decide to move on UVA will have a really hard time finding a replacement of her stature any time soon.

it is hard to believe that a person like ms. dragas was entrusted with a position of such great prestige and responsibility in the firstr place when she has so consistently exhibited such an utter lack of even the most rudimentary sense of courtesy and dignity throughout her tenure in office, perhaps most famously in her performance recorded the other night before the television cameras at the back door of the rotunda.... hard to believe..

the candid observations made by the student interviewed after her hasty departure certainly accurately describe the surprise and insult we all experienced. The damage done to the reputation of the University of Virginia caused by ms. dragas and her associates in causing the forced resignation of President Sullivan will take many years to repair.

The diminishment of the value of the degrees held by me and other alumni may prove to be permanent as the once great school we knew is replaced by a for profit internet distance learning cyber school administered by a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs run for the benefit of hedge fund operators and institutional investors.

Well put Dr. Kiracofe. I agree completely.