Zeithaml in charge? Dragas pick embraces Simon, pans Sulli-sack

"I realize that some of you don't trust me," says Carl Zeithaml, the day following his selection by a deeply divided Board of Visitors that followed getting hand-picked to lead the University of Virginia by a person who has been called the most despised woman in the state and by the man who quit his post as Vice-Rector mere hours after helping the Board of Visitors spend over 11 hours to reach a split verdict to seat him.

Now, despite his credentials as a popular figure on Grounds as Dean of the undergraduate commerce school, some faculty are calling Zeithaml a puppet, the illegitimate spawn of a small cabal that bent or broke the usual rules after concluding that Sullivan wasn't leaping fast enough into online learning.

Despite the Faculty Senate call for the resignation of Rector Helen Dragas and the restoration of the presidency of Teresa Sullivan, Zeithaml stepped in because "I had no choice," he says when he meets with the press on Wednesday, June 20.

"The reason I felt like I had no choice was that I love this University," Zeithaml says. "I didn't assume this role lightly."

A surprise that emerged from the press conference was that Provost John Simon, who won a pair of standing ovations six days earlier by hinting at an emotionally charged public Faculty Senate meeting that he'd quit his job if the Board doesn't "do the right thing" has decided, instead, to stick around.

Simon said after the press conference that he enjoys working with Zeithaml and that seating a "corporate CEO" would have forced his hand. And outspoken Faculty Senate chair, George Cohen, said afterwards that he's fine with Simon.

"He's been very supportive of the issues we care most about," says Cohen, and if he thinks he can stay and help the University, we think that's great."
So what does Zeithaml say about various things. Read on.

How long would you hold the reins?
"Realistically, probably a year."

Would you stay longer?
"I have absolutely no intention of being a candidate for the permanent job."

What do you think about Provost John Simon?
"I wouldn't do this unless he stuck around, and I'm very glad that he will."

And about President Sullivan?
"Tremendous respect."

What's key right now?
"The most important thing we have to do right now is rebuild trust."

How is that done?
"Conversation, engagement, and an open dialogue."

What does he think about the ouster of the president?
"I think everybody recognizes that the process was deeply flawed, and I don't condone it."

But does he agree with the decision to replace her?
"I don't support the Board's decision to remove her."

Then why not make the Rector's resignation a condition of serving as interim president?
[Zeithamal dodges the question by talking about moving the University "forward in a positive way."]

But with your legitimacy in question, why not do that?
"Okay, I didn't do it. I view my responsibility as trying to work with my colleagues, students, and friends. The decision around the Board of Visitors and who's on it is a decision of the governor."

When were you asked to step in?
"A week ago yesterday [presumably, Tuesday, June 12], I came back from Asia and I received a phone call and an email message from the Rector. She asked me for input and secondly she said, 'Do you have any interest in the presidency, to which I said 'no.'" I'd rather work behind the scenes." [He later asserts that it was the Vice-Rector who asked if he would serve as president and then– after an "unequivocal no"– pleads for him at an evening meeting two days later to serve as the interim president.]

What's your view of Rector Dragas' insistent hold on to power?
"Whether the Rector resigns or not is up to the Rector."

How will you repair relations with donors?
"I think many of them, if not a majority of them, are saying this is not a time for us to walk away. In fact, I had conversations with two donors this morning saying they were planning to do even more than they were planning to do in the past. If you withhold donations, you're only hurting faculty, students, and staff."

What about the online education issue?
"Obviously, some of our competitors have made major moves in that area. We can't wait. We really need to dig into that."

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

47 comments

" I had conversations with two donors this morning saying they were planning to do even more than they were planning to do in the past." One has to wonder who these donors are. Could one of them be Paul Tudor Jones. From past McIntire records it looks like they were colleagues. Is that true ?

McIntire School of Commerce Faculty

www.virginia.edu/registrar/records/05-06ugradrec/.../chapter8-7.htm
Robert I. Webb, B.B.A., M.B.A., Ph.D., Paul Tudor Jones II Research Professor. William J. Wilhelm, Jr., B.B.A., M.A., Ph.D. Carl P. Zeithaml, B.A., M.B.A., D.B.A., ...

Forbes has picked up the Jones connection and one has to wonder if he is the wizard behind the curtain still pulling the strings.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/calebmelby/2012/06/19/charlottesville-paper-...

You certainly live up to your pen name, Nancy.

Nancy, your act has grown tiresome. It's not all some type of mass conspiracy. The Board messed up and came to this guy for help. He said no to one job and yes to a shorter gig.

Leave it at that. If Jones was calling the shots, I doubt Zeithaml would be an interim appointee.

Yes, we are ALL hurting, but we are strong and we can do this!
Three actions will get the attention of the BOV:
1. Withholding all donations
2. Boycotting all paid athletic events
3. FACULTY continuing to stand together for all of us (students, staff, administrators, alumni and community)
Once again:
1. Remove Dragas from the BOV immediately
2. Reinstate Teresa Sullivan as President of the University of Virginia ASAP.

Stay strong Hoos.

Sullivan willing to return if Dragas is out reporting in Washington Post --do you find this boring as well, Boring ?

" 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...

No I don't. But I've also seen the article 3 other places tonight.

I hope she's able to come back. I'm also willing to support the guy that said he's willing to help until she does.

How about this. Did you know there will be the largest rally yet to reinstate Sullivan --this Sunday at 2pm on the lawn ?
I hope he's ready to resign soon, maybe that will be a relief. He doesn't look very happy.

Could someone post some information about the Sunday rally on the Lawn?

I know that I'm a sorry luddite not to be on Facebook.

I respect Terry Sullivan and would like her to be UVa's president. Nevertheless, I have a very uneasy feeing about NancyD and gang's motives. Is she and her gang/cabal/whatever looking out for the best interests of UVa or themselves?

Are we looking to trade one power-tripping group (BoV) for another, NancyD and Co.? Given the extremely intemperate tenor of her remarks on this board, I am truly concerned.

If I am off base here, why has Nancy ignored my request on the Kindgon/Dragas email story thread that she tell us the faculty's "demands" she mentioned there?

Observer:

If you'd been following the recent events, you might realize that it's Kington not "Kingdon". Kinda makes one wonder who's paying you.

The only cabal or conspiracy we've seen is the DragKing conspiracy.

The faculty "demands" can be seen on the website of the Faculty Senate. They aren't really demands.

I don't know Nancy Drew and only read the Hardy Boys as a kid. The Governor might appoint her, whoever she is to the BOV; but I can guarantee you that he sure as hell ain't gonna appoint me.

Rally on lawn organized by students, community, students: Sunday 2-4 Lawn. Everyone welcome.

"Obviously, some of our competitors have made major moves in that area. We can't wait. We really need to dig into that."

Tip off that he uses the same frame as the corporate BOV's that put him there for a reason.

Faculty Senate: No confidence in BOV, No confidence in Interim appointed by a BOV with no confidence.

Best news in Post: Sullivan considering reinstatement if Dragas gone. BOV could and some considering calling a meeting by end of day Today that would allow a vote on the resignation. They may have the votes with or without Dragas resignation. There's a chance this might happen.

Write BOVs today, now.

Bleed -- your comment supports my concerns. What a mature response -- someone doesn't support your point of view (or they have a typo) so they must be "part of conspiracy," paid by your new blood enemies, yada yada.

Betty's post suggest she has a connection to the faculty. I sincerely hope she is not on the faculty given the intemperate language in many of her posts.

The BoV made a major blunder in their handling of this. Based on the FACTS known to date -- not the rumor, not the innuendo, or the rank speculation spewed by the media and some who post here -- there has been nothing revealed that would appear to support forcing Terry Sullivan out at this time.

The comments of Nancy and others suggest, however, that from their perspective this is not just about reinstating Terry Sullivan. They don't like the fact that the school is overseen by a BoV they don't have a hand in. They don't like Republican governors (really rankles them that they can't blame Dragas on McDonnell). They don't like business schools, business men and women, and they don't like folks who make a lot of money. So they are using this admitted debacle to pillory all of that, while at the same time inflicting additional damage on the university that they purport to support with their take-no-prisoners approach.

However this ends, whomever is President of UVa and regardless the composition of the BoV come July1, we need an OPEN debate on higher ed in the Commonwealth, including at UVa. Even as the parent of a current Arts and Science student there, it is getting hard to listen to the exaltation of the Liberal Arts and the inference that a liberal arts education is the only legitimate one. Hog wash!

Frankly, the pressure is shifting to the Arts and Sciences to prove their worth in the 21st century. At $80,000+ in state and close to $200,000 out of state for undergraduate degrees at UVa and its peers, these students need to exit college prepared for the careers available today. It is no longer sufficient to be able to think great thoughts and to write well -- though both of those are important.

Faculty members who spent years studying to reach the tops of the higher ed ladder in some of these disciplines don't want to admit it, but their areas of expertise may no longer justify the expense of full-blown departments at cash-strapped universities. They've become the men's wresting and gymnastics teams of academia.

I would hate to have the price of Terry's return be that such needed discussions are deemed off limits.

You might want to watch:

http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/state-news/2012/jun/20/2/jeffs-notes-...

Full disclosure: Jeff is a friend of mine.

The job of upper level business people is to exploit others for
money. That's why the rest of us don't like them. There are
plenty of "nice" rich people--that's not the issue. The issue is
exploitation which has been a major theme in human history
and most have quite a bit of knowledge accumulated at this
point. Ask anyone in West VA a resource rich state that has given great
wealth to a few and great poverty to many. The new prez is a scab.

"Frankly, the pressure is shifting to the Arts and Sciences to prove their worth in the 21st century."

While it is certainly true that there is increasing pressure on Higher Education - not A&S - in the 21st century, the pressure is to increase enrollments and educate a much larger slice of our population - largely because of the success of higher education in proving it's value in preparing an educated, high skill workforce. The pressure is to teach a much larger slice of our population, much more cheaply, not to prove that the education is still worthwhile.

"At $80,000+ in state and close to $200,000 out of state for undergraduate degrees at UVa and its peers, these students need to exit college prepared for the careers available today. It is no longer sufficient to be able to think great thoughts and to write well -- though both of those are important."

And this comment gets to the nub of how profoundly people misunderstand undergraduate higher education.

I can tell you as someone who hires and supervises people in a "knowledge worker" field that even those non-A&S students - engineers - are hardly or almost never "prepared" to start working on day one. They require a period of spin-up time and on-the-job training to learn to do the job I need them to do and to understand how our "shop" works.

What they do have - and the A&S students have as well - is the ability to "think great thoughts" and express themselves well. Indeed, you can teach any old monkey to the same old repetitive task, but what you can't do is teach them to think creatively, critically and independently. That's what the Liberal Arts does.

The business community wants workers - they somehow imagine that college is a worker training program where you turn out thousands of carbon-copy widgets with very specific discrete "skills" - in much the same way a trade school turns out a machinist, a business school turns out a MBA. It's not and it does not work that way.

I'd like to point out that all the math and physics majors who work alongside the computer software engineers help the less-sharp business majors at the highest payscales in our banking sector are trained at the College of Arts and Sciences - and they are the ones with the 'knowledge' to build new statistical models, not the business majors who only know how to repetitively (rote learning, regurgitation) plug numbers into the same old formulas in the same old spreadsheets - the formulas created for them by the "Liberal Arts" math majors.

Dear Observer,

I apologize if you feel my posts have been intemperate. I want only to understand why a President, who everyone I know highly respects and believes was doing a good job was fired. I just want to get to the bottom of this, and because Rector Dragas has offered no reasonable explanation I am looking under any likely rock to find one . I personally believe the best course for UVa is to rehire President Sullivan and I am thrilled she is willing to put the harm that has been done her aside and come back.

Observer, I do not believe I am alone in my views, and if I am part of a group, it is a group that includes individuals all over the world that believe a grave injustice has been committed by firing President Sullivan.

WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- George Washington University President Emeritus Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, one of the country's most respected former university leaders, is calling on the Board of Visitors at UVA to resign over the still mysterious forced resignation of President Teresa Sullivan.

http://www.wusa9.com/news/article/209554/373/Former-GW-President-Says-UV...

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 there 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 – contrary to what some suggest –– it's not just about UVa.

Apparently, there is an effort within the ranks of the BOV right now to reinstate the President.

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

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/21/education/university-of-virginia-vice-...

Write to BOV members (emails found here: http://www.virginia.edu/bov/visitorsandstaff.html )

Write to the Governor!!!

Non-resident -- Arts and Sciences is a broad collection of disciplines. I did not say nor did I mean to suggest that every discipline within would fail the test or even justify a discussion. You and I both know that in the widely-talked about acronym STEM, S stands for science and M stands for Math. (Maybe they equate to college football and college basketball.)

I understand completely the role of undergraduate education. For you to suggest that all is peachy within the arts and sciences, when large numbers of those recent graduates, even from top schools such as UVa are un- or underemployed (while often shouldering huge student loan debt), is troubling. To blindly accept that whatever the faculty within the College of Arts and Sciences have dreamed up to teach is relevant and valuable is also troubling. Have you looked at a list of the courses actually offered within CLAS? I recommend to you Lou's List -- http://rabi.phys.virginia.edu/mySIS/CS2/index.php. Not only is there some fat there, there are also some glaring omissions, e.g., public speaking.

For the record, I would also welcome a review of undergraduate business education at top universities. I am concerned that far too many of our best and brightest are led to careers in investment banking and consulting. The country would be far better served by encouraging and preparing them to work at, run, or even better, start businesses that make things or perform real services.

@Democracy - it is about asset stripping, which is what "conservative fiscal policy" is really all about: it is about extracting value/wealth, not creating it - it is rooted either in classic rent seeking (ala Henry George) or resource extraction (hydrocarbon or mineral).

In the modern sense, having discovered that the only way to get really big and really rich fast is to latch onto the government (see: Pharma, Military, "private" government contracting, etc.) as it's the largest sector of our economy. Of course, most of that has been 'developed' - so, the assault on still public institions: education and social security!

Observer, to clarify one other point. The evidence so far does not point to this being political, or part of a plot from McDonnell's office. As far as I can tell, and let me know if you think I am wrong, the evidence points to 2 young MBA grads ( Dragas and Kington) and 2 wealthy hedge-fund guys who decided change wasn't happening fast enough.

Is the issue simply internet/distance learning? Or, is there a broader hidden agenda?

Kiernan 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."

Kiernan indicates there are other significant issues here. Perhaps his list does not include them all.

What are the politics here?

Wall Streeters Jones and Kiernan are deeply into "educational reform" as their board membership and financing of Michelle Rhee's StudentsFirst org indicates.
http://www.nytimes.com/schoolbook/2012/04/04/studentsfirstny-announces-i...

What is the real hidden agenda here? Evidently, it is not merely internet/distance learning.

The Goldman Sachs crowd targets education:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/14/goldman-sachs-for-profit-colleg...

Seems to me New York influence at times has been negative in the past for the University.

Some who recall Stanford White's vulgar and ugly Rotunda remake appreciate Prof. Freddie Nichol's heroic efforts to restore it along Jeffersonian lines. I recall Prof. Nichols with his signature bow tie and smile from the days of his class in the ASchool: "Virginia in the Age of Jefferson."
http://www.nytimes.com/1995/04/13/obituaries/frederick-d-nichols-83-a-pr...

Wall Streeters Jones and Kiernan seem to be in the tradition of White and not Mr. Jefferson.

So what is the hidden agenda here? What are the politics?

Its also about the BOV being filled with donors to politicians. In the past it hasn't been so bad because people (for example Pat Kluge) knew it was an honor and no one really expected her to do anything on it and she didn't. But we get a Rector (land developer) who does her research by "google" and sees that Harvard is doing on line classes and we are not. (She didn't read to the bottom to see there is no revenue stream from it yet). She's a fan of Trump and a mini Trump want a be so "Your Fired" and that no thought on what comes after. Quess what we are in a messy after and it is not as easy as doing a goggle search and saying "your fired" like Trump. Of course I'm over simplifying it also, I'll go back to ringing the UVA bell.

Nancy -- I agree with you regarding the governor, and I agree it looks like the disagreement related to pace of change. Without any solid explanation from the BoV/Dragas regarding their decision, I really don't know what specifically precipitated the dissatisfaction with Terry. And, without that, we were all left to wonder and theorize.

If the action had been preceded by a full discussion at the BoV-level (in executive session, but with all Visitors present, face-to-face, to discuss whatever issues precipitated the action), then I think the decision would stand and would not have generated the uproar outside Grounds and outside Charlottesville.

So that leaves the additional question, why the end-run?

I wish Sullivan well.And no doubt the better resolution is her reinstatement.A tactically interesting situation, the BOV bozos who voted "12 to 1 to appoint Zeithaml as interim president until a permanent successor can be found" will now vote at least 8 to reinstate Sullivan?(granted these are two different kinds of vote)? yes they might. But even with the massive support, Sullivan's presidency has been damaged since,daily power is already being. reconfigured..what a shame.

@An Observer
“hog wash!” LOL! I haven’t heard those words in years and LOVE it!......and so appropriate! Thanks!

Your points are well received and I concur with most of them however, without the tenacity of the full staff of the HOOK, Nancy Drew, and so many other board contributors (including our local and state media outlets), we would not have the facts that we have to date. Yes, thoughtful and appropriate discussions, without personal attacks, are the preferred way of communicating, but surely you see and hear our community’s frustrations with the BOV lack of transparency and explanation for the firing of Teresa Sullivan. The BOV has had AMPLE time for full disclosure but resist to do so! Last I heard, we are still a state school paid and owned by taxpayers.

As for Nancy Drew, you could be on my team ANYTIME!

Personally, I want to know the REAL hidden agenda ? There’s more to this!

Stay focused and continue digging………..

Hubris- at the end of the day as professor of media stidies SV said on Wina this will be about the hubris of a small group who believe they have the answers to all problems.

http://podcast.wina.com/wina/3527422.mp3

I highly recommend this if you are looking for answers

Charlottesville Right Now: 6-20-12 Siva Vaidhyanathan
Siva Vaidhyanathan, Professor of Media Studies at the University of Virginia, joins Coy to discuss historic events at UVA.

If Zeithaml wanted to do what was best for UVa he would resign now and with Kington gone the board would be forced to reconvene and with the reported votes in favor - reinstate Sullivan.

Let the Strategic Dynamism begin!

I suppose that a gift of 50K - 100K would give the average donor a sense of having made a significant gift.

Imagine a donor being told their significant gift was going to be burned up in a few days of image burnishing by Hill + Knowlton for a failed intriguer who was running a coup d'etat for the really important donors who are actually valued.

Professor Siva Vaidhyanathan says, it was more than just hubris, he also says they did it for love. Is this love ?

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

The clock is ticking.

"Sullivan’s supporters have until 5 p.m. Thursday to call a meeting for June 27, at which a reinstatement vote would be taken. Only three board members are required to request such a session. But they will not do so unless they believe they have eight votes."

And in response to why today - Anita Kumar, Post Reporter, twitters"

" Anita Kumar ‏@anitakumar01
"@cwellmon: @anitakumar01 #UVa why does BofV need to meet by 6/27? That's the target since BOV will change end of next week

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

Snoop -- I appreciate your comments, and I just want to make sure we are not in the situation of the pot calling the kettle black such that if the "other" side "wins" they will block the very types of conversations some on the BoV were unwilling to undertake, at least in the open.

Nancy -- I hope I am not guilty of what I have called out here regarding the comments made about the business types involved in this . . . but the following informs my perspective. I don't see Siva V as a champion, here. That is because my student had personal experience with him as an advisor and as a professor. Siva is no friend of undergraduates. He is an acclaimed researcher and writer on "media studies" (which at UVa is a euphemism for "cultural anthropology" of media) but is not a good lecturer nor the sort of caring professor so many alumni on these boards have described as shaping who they are today. Pompous doesn't equal hubris, but Siva certainly exhibits traits of the former in his dealings with undergrads.

Moreover, Media Studies is precisely the type of department that ought to be reviewed. I know the history -- Communications/Rhetoric was canned as falling to nothing more than "rocks for jocks," and Media Studies replaced it as a more "scholarly" program. The department is very upfront that it is NOT a practical, production minded (i.e., "trade school"?) type program. But a look at the course offerings for this fall shows a number courses that, while popular, suggest frivolous topics. Plus, based on registration information many are populated by a number of jocks. The department graduated 19 majors this year, with 6 full and tenure track professors, 3 affiliated, and 3 adjuncts. Maybe that is totally justified -- their intro classes regularly fill -- but these sorts of stats at least ought to raise some questions.

Thank you Observer for your personal observations. Often the best writers, researchers, artists, are not the best teachers, but from this interview and the piece he wrote in Slate he is in my humble opinion a very astute observer of this situation. I would think that UVa's reputation is greatly enhanced by his presence. And according to those who ousted the President - reputation matters.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/hey_wait_a_minute/2012/0...

Hurray for the students ! Calling on BOV to resign.
Even with school out of session the Cavalier Daily should be commended for doing a fabulous job.

http://www.cavalierdaily.com/2012/06/20/midnight-judges/

Reading this and the DP article, what CZ said reinforces that he is a bagman for the Corporatist BOV. The BOV does not have the confidence of the Faculty. This is the controlling fact.

He speaks of doing exactly what the BOV cabal that pushed Sullivan out wanted done in the first place but at the same time says he does not accept what the BOVs did.

He may be a nice guy but the Commerce School really, what a symbol for just business as usual ala BOV corporate takeover of the public institution.

We either need the BOV to call for a meeting today in which they can over turn the Sullivan decision or we need the BOVs to resign along with Dragas. In any event Dragas must go. Then the rules of BOV appointment need to be radically altered to ensure that corporate types don't rule and that it is representative of economic, SES, racial, gender demographics and that it includes 51% faculty/staff/students/parents.

There is a facebook page "Students, Family, Friends United to Reinstate President Sullivan and a linked event site called "Rally for Honor". They have over 12,000 friends many of whom may show up to the rally for honor on Sunday 2-4 at the Lawn.

They are also encouraging everyone to call the governor and email the BOVs today because the three BOVs can call a meeting for June 27 if they do it today. There is buzz from the WAPO that there may be enough votes to undo this mess and that SUllivan would be willing to come back if Dragas is out.

You are encouraged to email the BOVs today asking respectfully that they do so. Here's the emailing instructions we got:

"COMMUNICATING WITH THE BOARD OF VISITORS: We have been told that Susan Harris, the Secretary for the Board of Visitors, will forward emails to all members of the Board, if you do the following: Write "Board of Visitors" as the subject line of the email message. Include the phrase "Board of Visitors" in the first line of the body of the email.

Please send email messages to both: Susan Harris, secretary for the Board of Visitors, at sgh4c@virginia.edu AND K. Ann Witkower, administrative assistant to the Faculty Senate, aw6v@virginia.edu."

Do it now!!! and Call/email the Gov:

"Gov McDonnell today (804) 786-2211. Tell him to push the Board o'Visitors to reinstate President Sullivan right away. Please share this update. Tell people who are not affiliated with UVA. EVERYONE HELP OUT TODAY, PLEASE!!!!!!"

use Gov. McDonnell's online submission form (which I think we may have crashed). http://www.governor.virginia.gov/AboutTheGovernor/contactGovernor.cfm

The community, citizens, faculty, staff, students, alums, parents are all coming together on this to 1) have Sullivan reinstated 2) have Dragas resign, 3) change the rules by which the BOVs are appointed so that they are representative.

This is a huge historical moment for UVA and for Public education in VA, the U.S., and the World. Be a part of it.

See you Sunday. Bring extra water for friends. Read Gandhi and MLK before coming out. This is America. The public University belongs to us.

Can the Contemplative Sciences lead us to a better understanding of this tudor intrigue?

By incanting: "Om Money Padme Om", will I attain the wisdom of the bodhisattva of Strategic Dynamism?

http://www.vanityfair.com/business/2012/04/krishna-pattanbhi-trophy-wife...

While BOV procedures and personalities as well as the Sullivan issue have received attention, isn't there a larger question here? And some larger and hidden and not so hidden agendas?

What about the strategic direction of the overall University itself and the related issue of the future of the Humanities at Mr. Jefferson's University?

It appears to some that the strategic direction, under the cabal for a fast track or Sullivan for a slow track, will lead to the diminution and eventual decay of the Humanities in favor of sciences and engineering.

The Humanities according to "business models" don't bring in revenue. Science and Engineering through outside funding for research do bring in revenue. Thus the "business model" advocates logically wish to cut the Humanities and emphasize science and engineering over the long run. Of course Virginia already has a premier science and engineering school at Tech....

So irrespective of the Sullivan reinstatement issue...the fundamental issue is the strategic direction of the University and the fate of the Humanities it would appear. Yes? No? Sort of?

If that is the case, those supporting the Humanities as a key and vital component of Mr. Jefferson's University might actually find someone other than Sullivan more in tune with their perspective of the appropriate strategic direction. Not a few note fine leadership at U Richmond for example...BOT there, it would seem, knows what it is doing.

Once again Terry Sullivan shines in this mess:http://ht.ly/bK7uq

At 4:05 PM 6/21/2012

Message from Teresa Sullivan:

To members of the University community:

Vigorous debate is one of the hallmarks of our university, and indeed of our nation. Freedom of speech is one of the great gifts ensured to us by Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and other Founders of the Republic.

Civility is also an important hallmark of our university. Our faculty and students distinguish themselves by their ability to make a reasoned argument without resort to crude, vulgar, or abusive language. I know that emotions are running high on Grounds, but there is no excuse for abusing anyone with whom you disagree. Let me say in particular that Carl Zeithaml has been an exemplary member of the University community, and he and his family in no way deserve abusive language. The Board of Visitors is made up of dedicated volunteers, and abusive behavior toward them or anyone else is destructive of our community's values.

The defacing of the Rotunda goes beyond free speech into vandalism. The Rotunda needs our careful attention to restore it, not to carry graffiti for any side in any debate.

Teresa A. Sullivan, President

Clifford --

For a long time now, universities have been under attack by the corporate world. There is a general notion that every organization in society should be operated like a business -- that everything should be approached from a profit-minded perspective.

When I was just a teenager applying to college, I was being told that I should view college as an "investment" that will yield "returns." That is the kind of philosophy that drives people like Dragas, the philosophy that universities are businesses that train people for careers. The fact that President Sullivan does not share that philosophy is probably the reason she was fired, and the fact that the decision stemmed from a difference in philosophy is probably the reason Dragas and her co-conspirators have been so tight-lipped.

Universities are places where people are free to have different philosophies, where we can debate such things and where we should never have to fear for our jobs, freedoms, or lives because of the philosophies we hold. Unfortunately, the university-as-a-business philosophy leaves little room for such differences or such debate -- for indeed, debating philosophy is not profitable and has little to do with a career. They have no interest in debate; like some corporate board, they believe that they can and should fire anyone who stands in the way of their "strategic vision." That, in a nutshell, is "strategic dynamism" -- the ability to quickly rid oneself of "assets" that have become obstacles to one's goals.

Of course, most academics, UVA faculty included, hold a very different view of how a university should be run. Academics want to have the freedom to think different from other people, and do not want to have to worry about losing their position over differences of philosophy. "Strategic dynamism" will turn UVA into a place where all the professor think the same thing, where there are no courses that are unrelated to some career, and where the students graduate prepared for a life of corporate ladder-climbing.

That is what this is all about.

-- B

@ An Observer June 21st, 2012 | 10:55am

Uh oh, your comments regarding “jocks” may finally prompt Craig Littlepaige, Athletic Director to make a formal statement. The staff members of the McCue Center, University Hall and JPA have been strangely quiet.

On the other hand, do we have a formal statement from R. Edward Howell, Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of the UA Medical Center? Rumor has it that his first meeting with President Sullivan, did not go well. Hmmmmm.

Have all the schools, organizations, areas etc offered official/formal statements?

B, thanks for your thoughtful comment. As I am not familiar with the UVA scene these days I have been trying to catch up given this current mess. My undergraduate days there were 40 some years ago followed by graduate school there.

Nonetheless, it seems to me that Mr. Jefferson's University must uphold a fundamental commitment to the Humanities in the face of whatever dark forces are out there.

As severe as this mess is, it does open the door wide to public debate on the future of the University and it brings that issue to a broader public in Cville and in the state.

Clearly there are some issues about the way the BOV is selected. The BOV as a dumping ground for campaign donors does not appear a prudent course as we have just seen. It will be interesting to see what comes next after the new round of appointments...

Nancy Drew says this: "The evidence so far does not point to this being political..."

However, as I pointed out (above), members of UVa's Board, and no doubt including the more cognitively-challenged members of Bob McDonnell's entourage, have latched on to the privatization schemes of people like John Chubb and Terry Moe (referenced in Board e-mails).

Chubb and Moe are at the Hoover Institution, a conservative "think" 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).

Give this a second of thought. McDonnell has pushed hard for virtual schools (and taken campaign cash from such companies), and he's promised that UVa (and other state schools) will enroll more undergraduates. Helen Dragas' term on the Board expires at the end of this month. Dragas had been plotting to oust Terry Sullivan for about a year with other Board members. Presumably, as Rector, Dragas wanted another term on the Board.

Does anyone really believe this all transpired without a phone call to Lil Bob to (a) inform him, and to (b) get his tacit approval?