Taking action: UVA faculty address McDonnell, launch social media sites
Cries for the resignation of embattled UVA Rector have been echoing for days, and they're only getting louder. On Thursday, June 21, 15 faculty members who are also UVA alums sent a letter to Governor Bob McDonnell demanding that Dragas step down and that Teresa Sullivan be reinstated as president .
"As members of the faculty who are also loyal alumni of the University, our role as stewards gives us a special obligation to speak out when we believe this institution’s core values are at risk," reads the letter, which bears names from across the University including Darden School professor Laurence G. Mueller and Eric M. Patashnik, associate dean for academic affairs at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy.
"People forget that institutions, even those as great as UVA, are fragile," says Patashnik. "Traditions, community, and honor can all be undermined if we lose sight of our deepest values."
He hopes the letter will have some impact on reversing the "deeply troubling" events surrounding the Board of Visitors.
"We love the university," says Patashnik, "and are hoping that our fellow alumni, colleagues and the people of Virginia will realize that it's not too late to correct a terrible error by the BOV."
While Patashnik and his fellow faculty/alums praise newly named interim president Carl Zeithaml as "enormously talented and highly respected," the 15 signees cite the Board's failure to consult the faculty as sufficient reason for his removal.
"The Board has failed to follow proper procedures and has shown an utter disregard for the institution’s commitment to shared governance," the letter reads.
The letter is one of several efforts undertaken by faculty, which also include the unveiling of various Faculty Senate-run social media portals including a Facebook page, a blog, and a Twitter feed (@UVAFacultySen).
"The purpose of these sites," says an email from computer science professor Carl Elk, who sits on the Senate's Task Force on Electronic Communication, "is to provide current information from the UVA Faculty Senate perspective on the events surrounding president Sullivan's departure and to allow the public and faculty to have open forum on this important public event."Attached Documents:This story is a part of the The ousting of a president special.