Dragas to Kington: 'Why we can't afford to wait'

"Mark and I will both be in Charlottesville tomorrow and would appreciate a meeting with you."

So begins the unraveling of a presidency. And a University.

It was Thursday, June 7 that the above message was sent by University of Virginia Rector Helen Dragas to an apparently unsuspecting Teresa Sullivan, less than 24 hours before Dragas and Vice-Rector Mark Kington delivered the news that they were demanding the president's resignation.

"I can be back on grounds by 5," replies Sullivan, who had a previously scheduled off-campus retreat with her vice-presidents. "Is there anything you would like me to prepare?"

The electronic exchanges were released by the University in response to a records request from the student newspap er (and then piggybacked by other news organizations). They provide insight into the mind of Dragas, a leader whose institution fell into turmoil after she and Kington unceremoniously ousted the president over what appears, in large part, to be an alleged failure to leap into online education.

A week earlier, on May 31, Dragas emailed Kington with some of her thinking including an email passing along a link to a story in the Wall Street Journal. Dragas seemingly alludes to the upcoming ouster in her subject line: "why we can't afford to wait."

The article, an op/ed by John Chubb and Terry Moe, points to edX, the partnership into which Harvard and MIT have invested $60 million to create an open-source online system to educate millions of students around the globe.

"The nation, and the world, are in the early stages of a historic transformation," write the authors, "in how students learn, teachers teach, and schools and school systems are organized."

If Dragas read the entire article, she would have noticed that the authors warn that online education as practiced by edX  is still in nascent stages and may turn out to be a misstep.

"There is," they note, "no revenue stream and no business plan to sustain it."

Voicemail messages left Wednesday morning with Dragas and Kington, a day after Kington resigned for his role in the UVA debacle, were not immediately returned.

On June 3, Dragas and Kington get an email from UVA alum Jeffrey C. Walker. A founder of J.P. Morgan Partners and a member of the Private Equity Hall of Fame, Walker tells them that with top universities like Stanford already embracing online education, UVA must get on board to help under-served students (and thereby please the General Assembly).

"Top of the line universities," Walker writes, "need to have strategies or will be left behind."

"Jeff, Your timing is impeccable," responds Dragas. "The BOV is squarely focused on UVA's developing such a strategy and keenly aware of the rapidly accelerating pace of change."

On Monday, June 4, Dragas sends Kington another link, this one a Chronicle of Higher Education story that asserts that college leaders need to innovate quickly.

"The sky is indeed falling," writes author Ann Kirshner, citing disruptive technologies, precarious student debt, and the declining rank of Americans holding a college degree. The article portrayed the academy as fearful and unwilling to change.

"Good article," Dragas tells Kington.

Interestingly, the emails– which appear to have been released from Dragas and Kington's own email accounts– make no mention of Peter Kiernan. Until recently the chair of the Darden School Foundation, Kiernan asserted in an email he broadcast to Darden Trustees and others that he was working on "this project" at the behest of Dragas and "two important Virginia alums."

His leaked email made extensive use of the term "strategic dynamism," a business expression denoting a willingness to change and change quickly.

"Terry Sullivan is doing EXACTLY what the Board of Visitors hired her to do, and doing it well," former UVA Board of Visitors member Austin Ligon, a founder of CarMax, writes on his Facebook page several days after the ouster. "Unfortunately, the new leadership, neither of whom have ever run a large organization, have confused activity with accomplishment."

The released emails show that as news of the ouster began spreading on June 10, Robert Bruner, dean of UVA's financially independent Darden School, sends a missive to his constituents that reads in part: "History will judge this particular action by the Board of Visitors, but the present context certainly affirms the urgency."

"Bob Bruner is at the top of his game– we are so fortunate to have him," Kington then enthuses to Dragas. "As you said today, Darden is a near and visible template for much of what we seek."

By the next day, with a media firestorm already raging and faculty and student protests underway, Vice President Michael Strine forwards a reporter's query to Kington, who then forwards it to Dragas asking for her thoughts on a single question.

"Maybe a modicum of candor is called for?" he asks.

There is no response from Dragas in the released emails.

On June 5, three days before the fateful meeting with Sullivan, Dragas sends Kington the graduation address delivered at Williams College two days earlier and published online by the New Yorker as a "timely" contribution to the matter at hand, the presidency that had fallen out of their favor.

"The sooner you're able to see clearly that your best hopes and intentions have gone awry, the better," physician Atul Gawande told the Williams graduates. "You have more room to pivot and adjust. You have more of a chance to rescue. You cannot let yourself become paralyzed by fear."

That sounds a lot like a definition of strategic dynamism.

 

Note: The original online version of this story misspelled the name of doctor/author Atul Gawande, and it also called Darden "independent and profitable," a characterization which Darden disputes and one which we rewrote for print as "financially independent."

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

105 comments

This article may well be the best analysis yet - thanks to whoever posted it first: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-karpf/uva-boards-lazy-business-_b_16...

And then the emails about checking on the cost of restoring a Pavilion was by Dragas emailing Kington and asking him what he spent on restoring his historic house in Alexandria.

The only way to restore honor to the University is to remove those who have demonstrated that they have none. Dragas must go.

Gatul Awande. Nice.

A long time ago, when I was in prep school, one of my teachers used to say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. It appears that Madame Rector had a little knowledge about on line education. As said in this article, the long term value of on line education in terms of costs, revenue and quality of instruction is largely unknown. As a teacher, a speaker and a early adapter to the Internet, I believe that teaching is about an exchange of ideas. It is very difficult to have that exchange in real time over the Internet. It is clearly not what a quality education is all about.

Interesting, the interim president appears to have a health care background. The money pit at UVA is the Health System. It has failed over and over to raise meaningful funds. The University should not support the Health System. Perhaps the time has come for these two institutions to part ways and have presidents for each one.

It is beyond time for a change in how the University is managed by the BOV and how the BOV is selected. If the sitting governor has a brain in his head, he will move quckly to turn this around and stop the pay for play game. We need educational leaders on the BOV, not a bunch of influence buyers!

The article Nick Payne links to is an important one, showing in detail what many who looked over those e-mails this morning thought: that they revealed the shallow thinking of a couple of people who had read a David Brooks op-ed and a few other newspaper pieces, watched a YouTube or two, and then thought they knew more than all the faculty and the professionals who have spent their whole careers working in and running universities. Kington (thankfully) is gone, but Dragas is still with us, still convinced that she has all the answers and still completely unaware of how abysmally ignorant she is and how much damage she has done.

I can see one narrow and winding path by which Terry Sullivan could be reinstated and agree to return with the confidence that she could fulfill her duties in the exceptional manner she's already demonstrated.

It would require Bob McDonnell to display great leadership and look beyond partisanship and petty politics. It would require him to take a stand on behalf of the University and its community. Come to think of it, this might just be the type of action he needs to reverse the horrible year he's had.

First, Helen Dragas must immediately resign.

Second, Heywood Fralin would call an emergency meeting of the BOV and working with the other honest and capable members (Mastracco, Diamonstein, perhaps Key - I think she left the meeting early out of total frustration wtih Dragas/Kington) reinstate the President.

Third, Governor McDonnell would agree to work with Fralin to fill the 5 BOV seats that will be vacant on July 1 in a non-partisan manner in which excellence is the only criterion. Two candidates come immediately to mind: Buford Scott, the former BOV member who has repeatedly demonstrated his good sense, honor and generosity; and Ben Davenport, the former Virginia Tech BOV member and Rector. Both are business leaders and Davenport was a significant supporter of McDonnell; but both have also proven to understand how a BOV should operate and have made great non-monetary contributions to the operations of great universities. Certainly, there are other such individuals around the Commonwealth.

Fourth, Hunter Craig's resignation would be accepted and his seat would be filled by George Cohen.

Fifth, President Sullivan would agree to return.

I'm not sure if this is narrow and winding, or completely fanciful, but the results would be extraordinary. The entire University community (maybe 2 exceptions) is overjoyed and reenergized. A wrong is righted. And, Bob McDonnell gets a huge win which he would much deserve.

"If Dragas read the entire article, she would have noticed that the authors warn that online education as practiced by edX is still in nascent stages and may turn out to be a misstep."

"There is," they note, "no revenue stream and no business plan to sustain it."

Hawes, you are exactly right!. Seems like Dragas and her microscopic team merely read an article or two, there is no evidence of massive research being put into the online education endeavor, and clearly Terry did not know how important this may have been to these few people... so... you don't just demand that if this is not happening this second, our leader has to go. So arrogant. No process. Just a couple of people who think they run the world. Jefferson would NOT be "cheering this on", to quote PTJ. Last I checked he was one of our most democratic forefathers and was strongly opposed to privilege, aristocracy and corruption. I do not believe he would like this.

I heard some rumors this morning that Dragas may have had a financial interest in an online education company that president sullivan did not want to use. again this is a rumor but may be worthy of some investagative journalism. BOYCOTT the JPJ!!!

Dragas' term is up next week - all that's required for her to go is for the governor to not reappoint her. Hard to to see a reappointment being in the cards

Did someone read these articles to Dragas?

The WSJ and Chronicle of Higher Ed typically do not include a lot of pictures to go with all that text. In the absence of pictures for her to enjoy, Dragas surely must have had someone read these articles to her before she did a half-assed cut & paste of the web links that were then forwarded to her co-conspirators, er, email contacts.

Difficult to believe that a pampered, petulant child like Dragas managed to read a grown-up newspaper all by herself, considering her fluffy credentials and a conniving mind that is utterly unencumbered by deep thought.

http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/2012/jun/20/morrissey-offers-to-pay-e...

Send messages to request a General Assembly hearing. Thanks Joe Morrisey.

""The sooner you're able to see clearly that your best hopes and intentions have gone awry, the better," physician Gatul Awande told the Williams graduates."
Dargas seems to have missed the point. She certainly is unable to see or appreciate just how wrong her putsch has gone.

@BleedOrangeandBlue:

I think if McDonnell is smart - if - then he'd appoint a "blue ribbon" committee to do a recovery/rescue operation here. A bipartisan group selected from former governors, former UVa presidents, former deans, department heads, at least two "outside" authorities on university polity, etc. should be assembled to pull together a recovery plan and to separately launch an investigation of recent events (since President Sullivan's appointment)..

That blue ribbon committee should begin by asking for a letter of resignation from each current member of the BOV. Whether or not to accept those resignations is a decision to be made later in the course of the investigation and planning.

This is a way to begin to "restore" the university's structures, reputation and relationships.

At some much later date in the process, if that committee sees fit, it should advise the governor, the BOV, and the faculty regarding the possibility of asking President Sullivan to accept re-appointment.

would the Gov McDonnell we are hoping for redress be the same gov who proclaimed Confederate history month?Now I am the direct descendent of Confederate soldiers but the least thing Va need is CSA history month....

Maybe I was wrong.

Apparently, the Governor has better things to do:

http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/2012/jun/20/mcdonnell-heading-to-utah...

@Nick Payne I like it!

Nick Payne:

A "blue ribbon" commission as you've suggested means that Dragas and Kington win and Sullivan is gone. No one with self-respect is going to wait in a holding pattern for the completion of such an investigation.

If her rapid reinstatement can be accomplished, a "blue ribbon" could be appointed afterwards.

Alumni we know enough . End this tragedy now the University is on fire !
Call the University and say you are withholding all donations until

1. Dragas is gone
2. Sullivan is back

We owe this to the students and faculty

ACT NOW

Is there any truth to the rumor that UVA is considering spinning off the health system? And that entities like MedStar have shown interest in acquiring them? Makes you wonder if all this hub bub about elearning is all just a smoke screen.....

Bruner (right on on cue): "History will judge this particular action by the Board of Visitors, but the present context certainly affirms the urgency."

Kington: "Bob Bruner is at the top of his game– we are so fortunate to have him... As you said today, Darden is a near and visible template for much of what we seek."

Sounds to me like good ole Bob was running interference for Dragas/Kington. Somebody want to tell me again how the Darden crowd was not privy to this lynching?

No time to wait UVa is burning

Wina reports :

Another Faculty Resignation At UVA

Another faculty resignation at the University of Virginia.  Ian G. Macara, Ph.D.; Harrison Distinguished Professor of Microbiology; Director, Advanced Microscopy Facility resigned Wednesday.  His resignation letter to Dean Zeithaml read in part "My wife and I are moving to Vanderbilt University, together with our $6 million in grant funding."  William Wulf, UVa University of Professor (in Computer Science) and recent 11-year President of the National Academy of Engineering resigned Wednesday. So did Vice Rector Mark Kington.

@BO&B:

I disagree. I would never advise a client in President Sullivan's situation to return, mainly because there is nothing to return to. At the moment, she is still the sitting President. Once a committee was convened, she could be approached for a tentative, non-binding agreement to return, but even that would be asking a bit much.

If she were asked to return and agreed to do so, she'd be coming to a school with a BOV comprised almost entirely of people who never once actively protested the dishonorable behavior of at least two - perhaps more - of their colleagues. They took calls, read emails, and never once went to President Sullivan to advise her of what was happening, even going so far as to apparently sign off on a positive evaluation of her while this was brewing. One of them accompanied her in travel abroad as the whole thing was being staged and executed.

There is, simply, no one to trust at UVa ... it's apparently become a nest of vipers surrounded by a bunch of pussy cats.

For the same reason, I would never advise a client to consider employment there. Granted that Dragas and Kington are the main players here - this required at the very least the passive collusion of nearly ALL of the President's "colleagues."

"Welcome to Mr. Jefferson's University," someone will say, while shaking the hand of their next President. That person will be - at the very best - a suspect.

Dragas , Kington. Kiernan, Paul Tudor Jones , Strine , Bruner, Zeithaml,

And who was investing in online learning ?

We get the email 419 from con artistes in Lagos,
They're small fry though compared to those from Mrs Rector Dragas.
Her statement says she writes to us as "fellow sons and daughters."
She's fishing though for online gold from out of Hooville's waters,
But what she craves that makes us sad and want to hide and cower,
Is just to have Ms. Sullivan completely in her power.
Teresa's gone and that's just that, now eyes turn towards the statehouse,
Will Guv'ner Bob obey the nobs or change Dragas to a late louse?

And McDonnell fiddles while UVA burns...

Any UVa employee who has received Governor McDonnell's e-mails over the past two years is well aware that he does not believe in funding government or public universities with tax funds and that he is completely pro-business. My feeling is that he put the seed for on-line education in the rector's ear and she botched it, but achieved what he was hoping for... His comments yesterday were quite supportive of Sullivan's dismissal, just not the process.

NP:

Any way out of this morass is asking "a bit much" of President Sullivan and many others.

There's certainly no reason not to proceed along both tracks (is that strategic dynamism?).

As for there being "no one to trust," don't forget Heywood Fralin. He may have gotten blindsided, but he has behaved throughout with dignity, honor and courage.

Please distribute widely!

FACULTY SENATE SILENT VIGIL

Subject: FACULTY SENATE SILENT VIGIL, TODAY (June 20) AT 5 PM

The Faculty Senate calls on all faculty, students, and staff to attend a silent vigil in support of the reinstatement of President Sullivan at 5 PM TODAY at the steps of the Rotunda facing the Lawn. Please come if at all possible. Tell everyone you can. This is not over.

Everyone is welcome!

FILL THE LAWN!

Ms. Dragas, what in the hell were you thinking when you began your “project” of removing Ms. Teresa Sullivan as the President of the University of Virginia WITHOUT due process? Did you consider, at any time, that this “project” could blow up in your face and your political aspirations would be doomed forever? Did you actually “think” that our beloved students, staff, faculty, administrators and concerned citizens would roll over and play dead without a fight?
May I remind you, Ms Dragas, the dots are dropping closer together. Tick Tock.
RESIGN TODAY!

FACULTY SENATE SILENT VIGIL

Subject: FACULTY SENATE SILENT VIGIL, TODAY (June 20) AT 5 PM

The Faculty Senate calls on all faculty, students, AND STAFF to attend a silent vigil in support of the reinstatement of President Sullivan at 5 PM TODAY at the steps of the Rotunda facing the Lawn. Please come if at all possible. Tell everyone you can. This is not over.

Everyone is welcome!

FILL THE LAWN!

Dragas is a product of her graduate education, in this case, the Darden School. I have spent more time on the grounds of that school than any MBA who ever attended. For years I have seen the entitlement mentality of the students and their coddling by the faculty. These people are indoctrinated from the onset with the false notion that they are in training to rule the world. They are obsessed with money to the exclusion of human decency.

Dean Bruner in one of his welcoming speeches to an incoming crop of students told them that by coming to Darden they "Have it made. You're all set."

Getting out of Darden with a diploma and availing oneself of their alumni network and job placement services virtually guarantees a minimum six-figure income.

These people, financially speaking, are upper-class before the ink dries on their diplomas.

Sadly, they start acting like tycoons long before graduation day. The entire school is a massive Frankenstein laboratory for creating monsters.

Oh, and long before they graduate, these students can count on the Darden development office to pursue them throughout their careers for giving money back to the school.

Go take a walk around Darden some time. Everything is for sale. Hell, even the bricks on the sidewalk and pation surrounding hte main building, Saudners Hall, are engraved with the names of alumni donors. There are enough bronze placks bolted to the walls that, if removed, you could melt them down and start your own door-knocker business.

And don't even get me started on that ugly sculpture of Jefferson parked at one end of Darden in front of an enormous fountain. The price tag for those pink flamingoes, um, lawn ornaments, would make your ears wiggle.

Money and power are the Darden mantra. There is nothing else.

@BO&B:

Agreed - my weasel word is "almost" as in "... BOV comprised *almost* entirely of ...." It does seem some where deceived or perhaps just bypassed.

But the whole BOV needs to offer their resignations because of their miserable failure to prevent this debacle and, more important, because it's a way of showing clearly that they are completely supportive of whatever process is put into place to begin rebuilding and the leadership selected to do that. It's also a matter of honor. "I'll serve or resign, at your pleasure."

A dose of humility can go a long way toward rebuilding trust, in my opinion.

I don't think it's important at this point whether or not Dragas and Kington "win." Believe me, they are people do believe they cannot lose. As this whole thing becomes more and more chaotic and more and more devastating to UVa and the individuals they have savaged, they will console themselves with the "knowledge" that the rest of us just don't get it and "couldn't handle the pace of change."

Win? Lose? I sincerely hope that will be determined in court at some point (Pres. Sullivan and, probably, all her direct reports might have a good case here and there, regardless of whatever might have been signed under duress in exchange for severance consideration) ... but the focus now should be on bringing in people who are as untainted by all this as possible, whose knowledge and investment in the longterm outcomes is clear and unimpeachable, and who have no known axes to grind.

I'm all for silent vigils but at some point you need to do a little something to keep people rather than have them drift away as, to some degree, happened on Monday.

Perhaps for the next gathering, John D'earth might agree to put together a group of musicians to perform.

@BleedOrangeandBlue, I respectfully disagree with what you state that the Governor should or would do. His statement was he does not get involved with these matters - aka employment matters of the State (that he governs). I personally do not believe he could dig his way out of his year if he dug to China. I also don't believe he would do all you state.

On-line learning has it's place and could be implemented but these idiots were comparing apples to gasoline here. This was based on one course, that was offered for free and had an overwhelming response. I worked at a company where we had employee training on-line and it did work but still nothing replaces an instructor beside a student or in front of one that is able to answer questions.

It is true that many will utilize more and more on-line learning to obtain their degrees, write their dissertations and perhaps take some courses but that does not negate hands on, going into a classroom learning at all - it accents it.

Agreed with all here who believe the entire BOV needs to go and they need to figure out another way on appointments to this Board - yesterday. I also agree with Nick Payne - Sullivan would not come back and any who take that position will always assume the BOV is after them next.

Dear Governor McDonnell,

If you don't care about the rest of us at least think about your twin sons, now UVA students.
We would hope being the smart person we believe you to be that you could figure out a way to force Dragas out and Sullivan in . For the sake of your sons Governor McDonnell this is an emergency.
Come home.

Richmond Times headline: U.Va. interim president does not support Sullivan ouster

http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/state-news/2012/jun/20/4/uva-faculty-...

@UVa Parent.....

Just an FYI, the Macara announcement happened back in March.

Who watched Dean CZ's press conference? Where are the experts at body language? CZ often didn't look directly at the audience, and looked down and to the right before answering questions about the President, the BOV and that donors should not withhold support. When he said donors should continue to give, he was shaking his head no. He looked down and to the left (and looked at the audience) when talking about his own personal feelings. Was it obvious to anyone else?

edX is basically an act of philanthropy on the part of MIT and Harvard. The key phrase is "open source." MIT has been at this for at least a decade witht heir "opencourseware" initiative -- free online course materials. Yes, free. They're basically giving their curriculum away because a) they can afford to, and b) it builds good will in the broader educational community.

Did these people really just read the headline of a WSJ article and think that UVA was missing the boat on the financial salvation of higher education?

People, Dragas will not resign but won't be re-appointed. She will be gone very soon and the Governor could appoint 5 (or even more) BOV members in the next 10 days. If the new board wants they can simply met again and vote Sullivan back in (After 1st asking if she would take it). If that doesn't happen then Sullivan's cause is lost. If you really wanted to make your voice heard it would be with the Governor and his appointments.

As for Delegate Joe Morrisey I can't help but think this is political grandstanding on his part. This once disbarred lawyer's ability to get press coverage is quite well know. If he is joined by a chorus of other Delegates than fine but I would not bet that way.

What about the curry school, its leaders, board members. Who there would benefit from the university investing in online education? Who there already has ties to online education companies and/or advocates? Who would run online initiatives, if the university were to initiate them?

Why should Dragas get to finish out her term and leave as if all is well? Tossing her out, even a short time before her time is up, is at least symbolically important.

Operative IF " If the sitting governor has a brain in his head," but....... then he doesn't
The Gov should go too. It is not ok to lie to the electorate. He maintains he was "surprised", yet the emails show that he was fully appraised.
Da Troof's observation. copied here needs to be studied until the truth actually sinks in. It is overwhelming. What evil walks among us.

"Bruner (right on on cue): "History will judge this particular action by the Board of Visitors, but the present context certainly affirms the urgency."

Kington: "Bob Bruner is at the top of his game– we are so fortunate to have him... As you said today, Darden is a near and visible template for much of what we seek."

Sounds to me like good ole Bob was running interference for Dragas/Kington. Somebody want to tell me again how the Darden crowd was not privy to this lynching?"

@ St Halsey - 2 weeks is too long the Governor needs to understand this is his University this is his board - UVa is burning this is an emergency and he will be held responsible .
Contact the Governor - this is now his emergency

Tell the Governor to end the DragKing conspiracy now!

I do not believe that UVa will burn to the ground in the next 2 weeks and it is alarmist to say so. It is serious and deplorable what has happened. However if in the course of BOV appointments this error is rectified, I can wait for that to occur. Even if there was a rule or law to make Dragas resign (I'm unaware of one) it would probably take longer than 10 days. Drags would get more due process that President Sullivan ever could.

I share most here's outrage and disappointment but if this is about righting the University and moving forward then a small moment to allow those in charge to do the right thing seems warranted. Hating Dragas and seeking vengeance seems like a waste of time and energy (again not saying she hasn't earned her legions of scorn ). I have called and email the Governor and urged him to carefully consider new BOV members who can quickly begin to heal this rift of trust and move us forward. Even if Drags resigns tomorrow nothing would happen until the BOV got together and appointed her replacement (which is how I'm told they will deal with Kington's seat) and that wouldn't happen until all the new BOV were announced.

If you all think that McDonnell is going to do ANYTHING that is in the best interest of UVA then you're sadly delusional. He's in on this whole thing. He's happily pretending he can't hear anything every time someone shouts at him. You think the timing was coincidental that he was abroad with the sh*t hit the fan? Hardly. These were his henchmen doing his bidding, all of whom have ponied up the big bucks for his campaign and his PAC (and no doubt his fellow conservative political cronies, because that's what they do, they pass on the big money donors to each other like a communicable disease).

I've said it once and I'll say it again: McDonnell has no respect for education and all he cares about is lining the pockets of those fat cats who've backed him financially. He's all about selling out any and everything to advance his political ambitions, cloaking himself in god, patriotism and gee golly folksy behavior, acting like he's everyone's Dad-Next-Door when he's one of the Really Bad Guys.

The only good thing that could happen at this point would be for enough skillful reporters to do some very clever sleuthing to follow the trail back to him and ultimately lead to his ouster. As much as I'd dearly love to see Terri Sullivan return, I can't imagine in what universe she'd ever return because as someone said about, it's a viper pit surrounded by pussies cats

@Outragedalumna -- I'm missing something. Where is the proof in the emails that the governor was appraised all along?

The YouTube video of Zeithaml's press conference says it all. Look at his and Simon's expressions. They look like survivors from the Night of the Long Knives. This is beyond disgusting. How can I ever give another cent to the University and have any sense of honor as long as this charade continues?? Not that they will miss my modest, middle class donations anyway. I keep thinking this must be some sort of nightmare from which I will surely awake.

@Billionaire...I do not doubt that McDonnell was in on it. However, I truly blush at some of your logic. "Conservative cronies pass money along like a communicable disease?" McDonnell received $100k from Tudor-Jones. Obama receives $40k per plate for a Hollywood fundraiser...and not for the first time.
Please do not frame this in the typical Obama-ese "class warfare" prism. This was about money--not Republican or Democrat. Kington was a Warner buddy (and we have not heard word one from our team of ineffective and noninfluential U.S. Senators). A lot of the academics at UvA complaining about this are quite well off, part of that so-called "1 percent."
Let's frame it for what it is: some greedy people--conservative and liberal--trying to influence an academic institution to pursue a direction that will line its pockets. (Remember, Ted Kennedy, Chris Doddd, John Edwards, Barney Frank were/are liberals...were they not greedy and PAC influenced?)

R.I.P.: Barry Cowsill

So where is Dragas's high price PR firm
Hill & Knowlton Stategies - just came from the latest Faculty Senate led rally on the lawn - next rally this Sunday 2pm . I'd say the Senate is winning the PR battle hands down .
How much more damage can Dragas do to McDonnell ?
Each day will tell .

John D Simon
Executive Vice President and Provost
University of Virginia

Dear Professor Simon

I just read all the e-mails related to on-line learning among members of the UVA BOV published in the Lynchburg paper. I am appalled and saddened that we could have a Board of Visitors so devoid of curiosity and critical thinking, and so ready to jump on a bandwagon with little debate or reflection. If I were sent David Brooks’ fine editorial as a Board member, my first questions would be “What is UVA currently doing in this area?”, “What should we be doing?”, and “Who is our competition?” If the proceedings had been open and transparent, President Sullivan and the Deans could have enlightened them about our capabilities and potential.

At UVA, the School of Engineering and Applied Science has been involved in Distance Learning since 1983. The Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program (CGEP) will be 30 years old soon. Five major universities have collaborated to offer graduate courses and degrees in most areas of engineering. This program was a “cutting-edge” model for distance education, institutional cooperation, and academic outreach. It initially had receive-sites around Virginia and the nation, and is now essentially worldwide. Faculty advisers work with students to structure their degree programs, and monitor their progress. Professors are available for office hours – traditional and virtual; and students can interact with them as much as they wish.

I have taught in CGEP since 1985. From 1985 to 2002, we offered a set of highly popular courses in Manufacturing and Computer Aided Engineering with enrollments often approaching 100 students a semester. Many of the students were engineers working full time in Virginia Industries. I currently offer a graduate statistics course Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists. It has been offered in the traditional classroom environment and via synchronous distance learning. Three years ago with a grant from Micron Corporation, I adapted my graduate statistics course to an asynchronous on-line format. Enrollments have been consistently high (61 in 2010; 55 in 2011; and 64 in 2012) and student response has been overwhelmingly positive – among both on- and off-grounds students. There is great demand for additional statistics courses, and the potential for renewed activity in manufacturing. In the School of Engineering and Applied Science, we have state of the art facilities and capabilities, and can compete with anyone given our technologies. All we need to do is commit the resources to make it happen.

The two major players in free on-line education are the Khan Academy and UDACITY – neither of which is associated with a university. UDACITY is not a Stanford initiative but a private enterprise undertaken by a former Stanford professor. A major player in UDACITY is Dave Evans who is on-leave from his faculty position in Computer Science at UVA. A few weeks ago we had a seminar with Dave from his office in California where we learned about his experiences teaching large numbers of students and his views on the future of on-line education.

Our competition is not the programs cited in the BOV e-mails. We need to look to those schools and organizations that have been seriously committed to on-line higher education, such as the University of Illinois (http://www.online.uillinois.edu/) and the Sloan Consortium (http://sloanconsortium.org/). As a major university, it is our responsibility to separate the hype from reality. Distance education is a valuable resource and can enhance our value to the Commonwealth and nation. But it will never replace the university or the experience of being immersed in a community of scholars. Which courses are best delivered on-line, as hybrid offerings, or in the traditional classroom is a matter for experimentation and research. We have solid data on our existing courses, and plan to continue exploring what works with various courses, content, and students.

We have to move fast to make sure the administration and the Board of Visitors knows our capability and potential for on-line education and the resources needed to do it well. We can be a major leader in this arena while maintaining a world class educational environment for all our students, both on-grounds and off.

Sincerely

Larry G Richards
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

@StH Donors are leaving in droves -2 weeks is too long

Dr Ian Macara leaving is not new or b/c of Sullivan. He accepted that position in March. And he is from the Medical Center....

And if they want President Sullivan back they have to act fast before she signs another contract. For the good of UVa I am sure she will return. Now they need to apply the principle of" strategic dynamism " and bring her back !

For Georgian

By: DAILY PROGRESS STAFF REPORTS |
email sent by Peter D. Kiernan, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Darden School Foundation, to the other trustees. It is reproduced exactly as The Daily Progress received it,
"Everyone involved has been a class act. And though the decisions have been difficult and painful ones, the unswerving dedication to keeping Virginia as stable as possible through this challenging times has been paramount.
----------
As you might expect, the decisions involving my modest role in all of this have not been entirely mine to make. As many of you know no major decision of this kind can be made at Virginia without the support and assent of the Governor. I am not sure what my future role in this process will be. Those are the facts."

Did anyone notice in the e-mails that the DragKing's initial PR firm was The Communications Center: 202-463-1683.

If the board wanted an excellent example of online learning, they looked in the wrong place! Obviously, Dardenites are not train in strategic dynamism. Otherwise they would have run across Khan Academy and realized that they've been beaten to the punch.

This bears repeating:

"I am appalled and saddened that we could have a Board of Visitors so devoid of curiosity and critical thinking, and so ready to jump on a bandwagon with little debate or reflection."

The issue is not right vs left, rich vs poor, ivory tower idealism vs hard-nosed business acumen, or Darden vs the rest of the University. The problem is simply that the BOV are woefully incompetent. That, not ideology, is why they need to be replaced.

Agree with Michael!

I have good information that President Sullivan will return if the faculty demands are met. Write to the Governor and the Board ( accept Dragas ) and make your voice heard.

Bring back Terry !

http://www.virginia.edu/bov/visitorsandstaff.html

@NancyDrew- Done.

I have just emailed the governor, also. Anybody know what the count is at this point?

What are the faculty demands?

@Nancy Drew

Done!
Good work; continue digging.....

It will take more than writing the governor with sad, outraged pleas. Continued press coverage and pressure is necessary. Continued pressure on all Board members also, particularly those who are big donors to the governor and who can influence his decision. Dig into who they are, what they've contributed to which VA politicians, what influence they have at UVA (what other boards do they sit on at UVA), who else are they promoting/supporting or trying to take down at UVA. Make it public. Post it online. If anyone has anything on any of them, get it to the press on background or off the record -- or go on the record. Keep this story going. If no new angles appear, the story will die. Investigate each BOV member thoroughly and get press -- Cav Daily, perhaps -- doing FOIA requests for their emails, doing other investigative work on each one of them. They've made themselves fair game for public inquiry -- they made this mess.

MITCourseware, KahnAcademy and Harvard's online courses are free. MIT and Harvard have invested $60M in the development of their online programs. How did Dragas and Kington miss this? There is no revenue for these universities.
My children used the Kahn Academy and MIT Courseware as a tutoring supplement in higher level Math and Science courses in high school and college. The videos of lectures were very good, and the professors top notch.
Johns Hopkins runs online courses for high school students on the AP level. They do charge for them. So does Stanford's EPGY- another high school online course program.
Dragas and Kington reacted to a couple of articles, without the research, or development of a strategic plan to investigate online education for profit. They were looking for the reasons to oust Sullivan and took to forwarding each other articles to stregthen their stance. I still cannot fully comprehend how UVA's future was placed in such incomponent hands.

Good reporting, many thanks and looking forward to ongoing coverage by the Hook.

I would like to see more investigation of "the project". Just what is the hidden agenda?

What is the cabal proposing to do? What is the "revolution" that billionaire speculator Jones calls for from his tacky Greenwich faux Jeffersonian mansion?

Kiernan, the Wall Street poseur-thinker and author of an oddly titled idiosyncratic book is quoted as saying:
"The decision of the Board of Visitors to move in another direction stems from their concern that the governance of the University was not sufficiently tuned to the dramatic changes we all face: funding, Internet, technology advances, the new economic model. These are matters for strategic dynamism rather than strategic planning."

So how to decode this gobbledegook?

So far," the project " appears to include eliminating the classics department and the German department...both if I recall correctly were instituted by Mr. Jefferson himself. So an attack against the humanities is indicated.

What else does the Wall Streeters' "project" include?

Perhaps the real estate princess from VA Beach should go back to something she knows about such as building little boxes which all look just the same...

"Distance education is a valuable resource and can enhance our value to the Commonwealth and nation. But it will never replace the university or the experience of being immersed in a community of scholars."
Larry G Richards

Nice sentiment, but well paid faculty won't decide the fate of brick and mortar higher education; economics and demand will. The true competitors in the online arena make UVa's efforts pale in comparison.

Well said Professor Richards. In the School of Nursing, the MSN in Public Health Nursing Leadership/ Nurse Practitioner is partially online and partially live. There are rigorous courses in Physics and Probability offered online, and there are groups working around Grounds to determine ways to enhance teaching effectiveness in an online environment where the faculty are 'driving the train' so that the needs of students and instructional excellence are in the forefront. There is a right way, and a really wrong way to go about technology enabled teaching. As an alum, I want to see UVA go about it the right way--not in a kneejerk reaction to a David Brooks piece or by reading WSJ headlines looking for a strategy.

"The true competitors in the online arena."

What is this, "Beyond the Thunderdome"?

Not everybody has to fight to the death in every "arena." Chicago has done very nicely without a football team, although a football team is deemed a sine qua non for a university in large swatches of the country.

Sullivan willing to return if Dragas is out reporting in Washington Post

" Still, Sullivan has let board members know she would be willing to stay on as president of the university if Rector Helen E. Dragas, the board leader who organized the ouster, resigns, according to several people who have been briefed on the conservations but not authorized to speak publicly."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/interim-u-va-leader-carl...

Could we have a basic summary of what we KNOW and WHEN did it happen; followed by what we NEED TO KNOW.
OR maybe a timeframe would help.

Anyone?

"Ms. Dragas said at the time that there might possibly be a Board of Visitors assignment for me in the future, but made no promises," Kiernan said of his May communication with Dragas. "In that context only did she raise the prospect of Terry Sullivan's departure. Our conversations focused almost entirely on strategic and fundraising planning for faculty retention and on ways to raise money to help pay for greater faculty compensation."

Read more: http://www.greenwichtime.com/news/article/Did-Greenwich-tycoons-take-dow...

Still pondering why Dragas asked in one of her emails to research if a non-alumni could qualify as a candidate for BOV Rector. I heard awhile back that Hunter Craig had political aspirations. With the Biscuit Run tax credit scandal, his reputation was a bit too tarnished to run for office by election. However, being appointed to the BOV was a nice reward for donating to McDonnel's campaign. Just as donating to Kaine's campaign paid off in the last minute tax credits , pushed through just in time before the year-end deadline and before Kaine's term ended. Perhaps Craig serving as rector was the plan after all?

If getting Dragas booted from the BoV doesnt seem likely, why not write or email Dominion Power and demand that they remove Kington and Dragas from their board? Unlike the BoV which is a volunteer position, the two of them are each making somewhere in the neighborhood of $200k annually from Dominion and firms like this are more likely to respond to a groundswell of negativity than a term-limited narrow-minded governor.
http://www.dom.com/contact/news-media-public-relations.jsp

I sure hope that they've not surreptitiously already signed a contract with Kiernan et al to implement their Brave New World of the University of Phoeix's Virginia campus...Would any of them (Strine, perhaps?) been authorized to do so? Or perhaps when Dragas pulled her Alexander Haig maneuver and took over being in charge of the place? Maybe their Hill & Knowlton cadre is busy planning the roll-out of their ill-conceived plan as we speak...

The other thing I keep pondering is this: why is it that we have this history of Republican governors screwing things up so royally in Virginia? Think George Allen bringing all of the garbage to Virginia and then we could never get rid of it; or how about Jim Gilmore with that "eliminate the personal property tax," campaign rally, which was such a great idea it emptied the coffers so we had no funds to pay for needed services and threw the commonwealth into financial disrepair it took our next governor his entire term to fix. But this one, McDonnell's massive screw-up, will go down in the annals of time as the greatest destructive behavior in the history of the state (maybe not taking into consideration the Civil War). With the silence from McDonnell splitting everyones ear drums, I think it's pretty safe to say he's been at the helm of this all along and is just waiting for his henchmen to finish off the deal.

****
I don't think we need to be side-tracked on Dominion Power, the plight of the artic plover or the attacks on George Soros.

It's become crystal clear that the only way to resolve this fiasco and save the University from further harm and chaos is for Terry Sullivan to be reinstated. Dominion has and will make up its own collective mind.

So far we've learned from the ouster of Terry Sullivan that deceit and duplicity are alive and well in Charlottesville (and Richmond), especially on UVa's Board of Visitors. And we know that Mark Kington and Helen Dragas are master practitioners of both.

Another thing that we've learned is that many on the Board are intellectual bimbos, latching on to half-baked musings and policy goals promulgated by conservative writers like David Brooks (David Brooks??) and John Chubb and Terry Moe, both of whom are ensconced at the Hoover Institution.

David Brooks gained some recent notoriety for his pseudo-scientific book The Social Animal. In that text, Brooks drops a lot of scientific terms but demonstrates that he has little understanding of what the science really means. The overall gist of the book suggests that rugged individualism – nurtured by charter schools – feeds the "hunger for status, money, and applause." To Brooks' warped conservative brain, this need for status is the "psychological origin of political action." Perhaps. But there are an awful lot of people who grow out of the "what's-in-it-for-me" stage of being by high school, or shortly thereafter. Of course, this deluded line of thought comes from someone (Brooks) who gave a backdoor endorsement to Paul Ryan's "budget" plan that gives more unfunded tax cuts to corporations and the rich and pays for it by gutting Medicare, Medicaid and social programs for the less-affluent.

Chubb and Moe are at the Hoover Institution, a conservative "think" (if it can be called that) tank that promotes "free enterprise" and the privatization of public education. Both Chubb and Moe are members of Hoover's Koret Task Force on K-12 education, funded by the Koret Foundaton. The Koret Foundation pushes "market-based K-12 education reform" and subscribes to the mistaken and easily disproved notion that "America's broken educational system lies at the heart of our nation's troubles" and drastic "reform" is imperative for "economic competitiveness."

Chubb and Moe recently (2009) wrote a book titled Liberating Learning: Technology, Politics, and the Future of American Education. In that book Chubb and Moe push all the conservative "reform" buttons: competition, charter schools, vouchers, merit pay for teachers. Technology is what will "make our children better educated." The problem –– and it's a big one –– is that there's little or no research to back any of it up.

Here's their web site. Click on Virginia in the map to find out about "recent developments" in the Commonwealth regarding technology and privatization initiatives.

http://www.liberatinglearning.org/?page_id=20

For those who think Lil Bob McDonnell is involved in all of this, he is, either directly (and behind the scenes) or more tangentially. As Chubb and Moe noted, McDonnell pushed very hard in the last legislative session for more charter schools and "virtual school opportunities." There really shouldn't be much if any question about this. Conservatives, especially Republicans (but also business-oriented "fiscal conservatives like Helen Dragas), view education simply as a commodity to be bought and sold, and not as a core civic responsibility of government in a democratic republic. In that sense, Dragas and the Board (and the governor) are undermining rather that enhancing Jefferson's belief in the importance of public education (and his vision for the University of Virginia).

Technology is a tool. It can be useful to learning. But it is no panacea. Far from it. And it has its problems. Locally one need look no farther than Albemarle County and the glitches and failures and high costs associated with SchoolNet, documented at length in The Hook. As Dave McNair reported, "According to a recent article in the New York Times, education, technology, and big business are now entangled to the tune of $1.89 billion a year, the amount that schools spent on software for classroom use in 2010. Spending on hardware, researchers say, was likely five times that amount. However, according to experts interviewed by the Times, there is very little specific evidence that using technology in the schools enhances learning." When The Hook filed an FOIA for notes and e-mails related to SchoolNet, it was slapped with a hefty bill, and 268 e-mails between the school superintendent and SchoolNet officials were withheld.

http://www.readthehook.com/100248/no-school-administrator-left-behind

As I commented earlier, what transpired at UVa is what's been occurring throughout the country for quite some time. And it's not healthy for public education, K-12 through higher ed. And it's not based on research, and it's antithetical to perpetuating and strengthening democratic governance.

As long as their are perpetrators of distortion and untruth, there will be those who believe them. That's part of why Jefferson believed that public education is so vitally critical in a democratic republic.

It's why the administrative putsch at UVa matters so much. Because it's not just about UVa.

oops....as long as THERE are...

democracy, very helpful. I am trying to identify and understand the hidden agenda of "the project" . Perhaps it will be revealed in due course by the cabal as packaged by the PR firm. But the underlying intentions may well remain opaque and thus light must be shed on that dimension of the challenge as well.

Hoover is well known as a seat of extreme "conservative" perspectives. It is also an activist organization with its researchers quite involved in government. Moe and Chubb are political scientists.

This review of Terry Moe's book on education sheds some light:
http://www.tnr.com/book/review/special-interest-terry-moe

Some data and links anent the Koret Task Force at Hoover:
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Koret_Task_Force

The Wall Streeters appear to admire one Michelle Rhee and support her StudentsFirst organization:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelle_Rhee

The Wall Streeters Jones and Kiernan are on the board of Rhees StudentsFirst:
http://www.nytimes.com/schoolbook/2012/04/04/studentsfirstny-announces-i...

Dan Senor, another board member, is a top advisor to Romney and specializes in Middle East issues.

It is clear that the players in this University of Virginia have an agenda. The agenda is political and financial. More analysis is needed to reveal the game here being played behind the scenes by the Wall Streeters and the real estate princess from VA Beach.

I wrote another story last night about the press conference held by Carl Zeithaml, the man tapped to be the interim president: http://www.readthehook.com/104313/zeithaml-charge-dragas-pick-embraces-s...

Much like religions, institutions of learning are spoiled by money and a yearning to dominate the market.
Quality suffers under this mindset.

This coup d'etat was set up the way you would create a big position on an exchange.

The various phone calls to BOV members were made so as to buy parts of the position without letting the exchange react to the full strategy and move prices accordingly.

Another analogy is a Dark Pool. A trade by a major player is assembled while minimizing the impact of public knowledge, and then the done deal is dropped into public view.

Either way Paul Tudor Jones has, in his op-ed piece, identified himself as an agent in this operation. Essentially it was carried out the way you would at a trade desk, relaying the action in the pit to clerks such as Helen "Well in Hand" Dragas.

All the stakeholders: ex-presidents, ex-BOVs, alumni, faculty, staff, VA are being played by a few 0.01%s who actually do not know what the hell they are doing.

Pardon me, it should be "what the heck they are doing."

Clifford Kiracofe writes:

"The Wall Streeters appear to admire one Michelle Rhee and support her StudentsFirst organization."

True indeed. And what a "character" Michelle Rhee is. Her organization may be named Students First, but it is ALL about MIchelle Rhee (and privatization of public education).

One has to wonder why anyone listens to anything that MIchelle Rhee has to say about education. She lied repeatedly about her own short teaching career. She implemented a culture of distrust, fear and intimidation in the D.C.public schools, the very same type of culture that Georgia investigators blamed for the Atlanta cheating scandal. And then of course, Rhee presided over her very own cheating scandal in D.C.

USA Today broke the story of the cheating scandal in D.C after exhaustive review of city test data. Here's a quick review of the USA Today study:

1. D.C. school officials were very reluctant to have any kind of investigation, and 

2. more than half of all D.C. schools had irregular erasure answer patterns on tests, and

3. "the odds are better for winning the Powerball grand prize than having that many erasures by chance", and 

4. the inquiries that finally took place were quite limited, and

5. the school system refused to release the names of the schools that were investigated, and
 
6. the school system refused to release the investigative reports, and 

7. for a school to be "flagged" for possible cheating a "classroom had to have so many wrong-to-right erasures that the average for each student was 4 standard deviations higher than the average for all D.C. students in that grade on that test, meaning that " a classroom corrected its answers so much more often than the rest of the district that it could have occurred roughly one in 30,000 times by chance. D.C. classrooms corrected answers much more often.”

Statistically, then, cheating in the D.C. schools under Rhee’s “leadership” is a fact.

Michelle Rhee’s installed a "merit pay" plan, but it is unsupported by D.C.’s own data. There are weak correlations between IMPACT classroom observation scores and student test scores. Moreover, variations in IMPACT scores, which range from 1 to 4, are not uncommon, and since a “1” means a teacher is “ineffective” while a rating of “3” conveys “effectiveness” and eligibility for a bonus, those variations are important. Too, IMPACT was set up in the form of a “normal” distribution with an average of fifty percent. Thus, as one analyst wrote in reviewing IMPACT, “ no matter how effective the teachers may be, half of them will fall below the median and half will be above.” Toss in the fact that the D.C. “tests measure limited competencies” and it becomes clear that IMPACT is more illusion than effective education policy. But Rhee is touting this plan nationally.

Michelle Rhee is what she is...an egotistical, prevaricating charlatan. Does this sound familiar to those following the UVa story?

I am neither a fan nor foe of Sullivan; why anyone would want that job or want to work in the polical environment of UVa is beyond me. However, the emails suggest that the rector and vice-rector are out of control, and that power has gone to their heads. My opinion is that Sullivan was fired without cause and in secret; she should be either rehired or compensated for the termination. Dragas should be fired for cause.

The damage to UVa is done; no do-over on this.

Last nite I was channelling with some card readers and a gypsy friend of mine....astonishingly, in the midst of our activities, Thomas Jefferson appeared and although slightly blurred and words a little jumbled, I am sure I heard him say " OUR DIGNITY HAS DIMINISHED....RID MY HERALD INSTITUTION OF THOSE TYRANT BOV's !!!!!!!!

Ms. Dragas and Mr. Mcdonnell should go visit somewhere else. Or we can rotten egg 'em on whenever they appear. St. Hypomone herself! Second rate minds continuously pat themselves on the back -- no one else will. Where is Edgar Shannon -- now, when we really need him?

Let the students themselves convene an Honor Court to consider whether or not Ms. Dragas and Mr. Kington behaved honorably. And let the University amend its customs to require members of the Board of Visitors to adhere to the Honor Code.

I just realized, thanks to a helpful reader, that I misspelled the name of doctor/author Atul Gawande. Very sorry for the error. (As a member of the zesty name club, I should have been extra careful, not less careful.)--hawes spencer

Delegate Morrisey has called for an investigation of gthe actions of the BOV.
Some say this is premature, I say it is long overdue.

It is simply astonishing that Ms. Dragas has not resigned of her own accord or been forced to resign at the request of the governor. This reflects on both of them.

As a taxpayer in Virginia holding two degrees from the University of Virginia, I personally and publicly call on Ms. Dragas to resign without delay, and I urge everyone else to do the same. I have called and spoken with Senator Deeds, with the Office of the President of the University, and with the Office of the Board of Visitors to express my outrage at the behaviior of Ms. Dragas and her colleagues on the board, and asked that my call for her immediate resignation be recorded. I urge everyone to do the same, before Tuesday.

In speaking with Senator Deeds I told him that even though some say it is premature, I request that he support a legislative investigation of the events leading to President Sullivan's forced resignation. Furthermore, I told Senator Deeds that it is time for a legislative review of the process by which members of the Board of Visitors are selected and confirmed. I do not believe that the Board of Visitors should be treated as a place to reward political favorites or big campaign contributors, rather it should be composed primarily of distinguished educators, including members of the faculty of the University.

This is a cultural and political issue. Anyone who wants to see a change in the way the governance of the University is conducted needs to get involved and get on the phone and call your elected representatives, write to them, and urge everyone you know to do the same. The more people in positions of public responsibility hear, in person, from outraged citizens, the more likely we are to see some change.

Several significant donors to the University have said they will not give another penny so long as Ms. Dragas is on the Board. I think concerned alumni should consider future givinig and bequests in light of this recent abuse by the Rector, and make it clear to the Alumni Office and to the Governor's office that until the process of selection of the Board is changed in ways to prevent repeat of this embarrassing situation they will withhold donations.

Other than Dragas' departure--by resignation or non-reappointment by the Governor--the remaining task is for a definitive book on the episode that will clearly reveal what occurred.

A major issue in the Sullivan affair is the method of appointment of board members. All too often selections by governors are made on the basis of financial contributions--big money--and to a lessor extent politics, at the sacrifice of merit qualifications.

The major issue to consider long term in the Dragas affair: should the Board of Visitors adopt by-laws requiring its members to pledge to adhere to the University's Honor Code? There currently is no such requirement. If you believe the answer is "No" - please state your reasons.

"On steamy hot Virginia summer days, the timeless promise of the columns and the dome—a cool, serene lucidity connected to the world and yet apart from it—inspires a belief in what, for lack of any better term, we may as well call:

Man's immortal soul."

http://chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/uva-s-accreditor-says-sullivan-ouster-...

i wanted to share this latest bit of fallout with those following the story.

many people have questions about the actions of Ms. Dragas, and we all want to know what was really going on and why. It now appears that the accreditor has some questions, too, about compliance. Seems like they may appoint a Special Committee to look into this.

I certainly hope that among the other problems caused by Ms. Dragas and her close associates on the board responsible for the forced resignation of President Sullivan, loss of accreditation is not one of them. Bad enough that this appears in the Chronicle of Higher Education, but it will certainly be more than just another embarrassment if this investigtion
threatens our accreditation.

for laramie in ref to 6:36 post see

http://academical-village.tumblr.com/

@ Dr. James Bartholomay Kiracofe: A mystery to me -- how can the accreditor ASK for unsolicited information?
When will members of the BoV be asked to adhere to the University's Honor Code?

for christian gehman,

i do not know. may be a typographical error, or an unintended artefact from
a cut and paste not caught by the editor... it is odd... but the general thrust that
the accreditor is investigating seems rather serious, in any case. certainly this does not reflect well on the university or its rector.

and how ironic. the rector, ms. dragas, forced the resignation of the president giving unsatisfactory performance as her reason.

now it turns out that it is the unsatisfactory performance of the rector that has called the accreditation of the university into question, a fact now publicized for all to see in the chronicle of higher education, of all places.

and after this truly amazing performance the rector has not yet found the grace and dignity to submit her resignation, nor has the governor found the wisdom to ask for it.

Perhaps someone sent in "unsolicited information" regarding this debacle, and now the organization is seeking follow-up.

For me, as perhaps for others, a salient point might seem to be that the Rector claimed a statement prepared by Hill & Knowlton as something she wrote herself. Whether or not the University's honor code should apply to members of the Board of Visitors - at the very least with regard to their actions as Visitors - is a question that might be discussed in the faculty Senate. If the sense of the Senate is that the BoV ought to subject itself to the Honor Code, then gentle pressure might be applied, perhaps escalating to a vote of "no confidence" in any Board of Visitors that is not subject to the Honor Code. Frankly, I was flabbergasted to learn that the Honor Code did not apply to the Board of Visitors -- and though I am willing to believe that questions about any possible violations might rarely come up with regard to actions of the Board of Visitors, nevertheless, the recent problem demonstrates that it is possible for such questions to arise.

After todays tragic news that The Gov has reappointed Dragas to the BOV, we need to step up efforts for an investigation. It is time for the Gov to resign as well.