Fast-moving day: Sullivan reinstatement could be happening

The people in the Hook newsroom were trying to write some thoughtful analysis for next week's issue, but then we checked around and realized that events are happening so fast we can't keep up with a real story for every development. So here are a few highlights from today, Thursday, June 21:

- President Sullivan reveals she's still the president with a friendly note to the community,

- UVA faculty open portals for public input,

- The American Association of University Professors calls for Sullivan's reinstatement and reminds the public that it has called for an investigation into her ouster,

- The deans of 10 of the 11 schools at UVA (interim president Zeithaml, Dean of McIntire wasn't asked) sign a letter calling for Sullivan's reinstatement,

- The United4Honor Facebook page tops 12,500 members

But most importantly.....

- UVA spokesperson Carol Wood issues this press release at 4:45pm: The Board of Visitors will meet on Tuesday, June 26, 2012, at 3:00 p.m., in the Board Room of the Rotunda, to discuss possible changes in the terms of employment of the President.

No immediate word from Helen Dragas.

A source who has been conferring with a member of the Board of Visitors says that the resignation of Kington proved instrumental, that the board had been firmly deadlocked on reinstatement until Kington dismissed himself. The source says that the Board member can't guarantee a majority on Tuesday, that some members have gone "hiding," but that whatever vote is taken will need to be in open session forcing the attendees to abstain or reveal their stance to the public for the first time.

Board rules provide that any three members can call a meeting on three business days notice. Spokesperson Carol Wood says that the three members calling the meeting are A. Macdonald Caputo of Greenwich, Connecticut; Timothy B. Robertson of Virginia Beach, and one of the trio who accepted the resignation in a bizarre Sunday afternoon meeting June 10: Charlottesville's own Hunter E. Craig.

The source also indicates the key strategist on the Board pushing for Sullivan's reinstatement is Roanoke-based W. Heywood Fralin. The only person casting a "no" vote on the appointment of the interim president on the morning of June 19, Fralin denounced the process behind the ouster in comments to reporters after that vote.

Fralin (pictured here) is the immediate past Rector of the University as well as a trustee of both the real estate arm of the University and its athletic scholarship foundation. A 1962 UVA grad, he's the chief executive officer of Medical Facilities of America Inc., a nursing home operator in Virginia and North Carolina.

How does Dragas respond in the wake of these developments, which include widespread calls for her resignation? Around 6:30pm Thursday, Dragas released a statement that lays out ten "strategic challenges" faced by the University. These challenges range from a retreat in state funding to a need for better communications.

A crisis in confidence was NOT among the ten challenges, though Dragas did "sincerely" apologize for the way Sullivan was ousted.

"In my view," writes Dragas, "we did the right thing the wrong way."

Shortly after 8pm, comments under this story suggest a new problem for Dragas, who the Hook reported, a week ago, to have employed the services of Hill & Knowlton, a crisis management firm. As the commenters point out, the PDF document supplied to the Washington Post containing Dragas' statement carries the name of a Hill & Knowlton executive, John Ullyot, as its original author.

While Board of Visitors members are not bound by UVA's vaunted Honor Code, some of the commenters have noted that submitting someone else's words as one's own carries negative ethical implications.

The PDF is downloadable from a link below.

–story last updated 7:25am

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

159 comments

Please give a shout out to the Cavalier Daily, too: @CavalierDaily. Their coverage, along with WaPo, has been outstanding.

Rally on Sunday on the Lawn, Rally on Tuesday. Let's show them we mean business. Show up. This is hopeful news!!!!

@26world: I initially attributed the scoop to the Washington Post when I put up this little story shortly after 5pm, but then I checked my email and saw that the news came straight from Carol Wood, so I changed it. I will say that the WaPo has had the only coverage of the vote-counting and strategizing that suggests that Sullivan will soon be in need of another inauguration here. But, yes, it was the Cavalier Daily's recent freedom-of-information-request that helped the public see how Dragas and Kington manufactured their own debacle.--hawes spencer, editor

This is very hopeful.

Let us show the academic world that faculty, staff, and student voices count at the University of Virginia.

We can travel the high-tech route, but we also still do some of the old fashioned things, in the right ways: a community of trust, honor, and the VIrginia Way.

Reinstate President Sullivan on Tuesday!

I'm a U.Va. staffer and don't have 80 brazillion dollars to give to everyone who is doing such an amazing job covering this story. But Hawes, Anita, Dan, everyone at the CD and those whose names I don't even know: you get four karmic hearts for every karmic dart I've sent this week! I hope I can find a more substantive way to repay you!

I think Mr. Spencer is being a bit modest. He and all the good folks at the Hook take a back seat to none when it comes to the coverage of this fiasco (with the happy ending, we hope).

Yes WaPo and the Cavalier Daily deserve great credit, but it's my impression that it all started with journalism from the Hook.

Can you share a Pulitzer 3 ways?

Let's hope that all 15 members will see the light and reinstate President Sullivan .

Like everyone else, I am cautiously thrilled (is that an oxymoron?) at this late-breaking news. Like the sage Larry Sabato, though, I urge everyone to appreciate that we are not yet at end-game. That will occur on Tuesday. In the meantime, EVERYONE is urged to:

1. Be ON THE LAWN AT 2PM ON SUNDAY--RALLY FOR HONOR!

and

2. CONTINUE TO SEND EMAILS TO THE BOV TO REQUEST REINSTATEMENT OF SULLIVAN!

Both of these continued efforts are absolutely mission-critical to success of this endeavor.

Media will cover Sunday's Rally for Honor, and the more who show up, the better.

There IS power in numbers! Let our voices be heard and our numbers be seen and we can indeed effective positive change.

Power To The People!

Siempre La Revolucion

So if she remains beyond August what does it mean in existential measurment ?

Frank - it means that Helen and Mark aren't quite ready to sit at the grown-ups table.

The Rally for Honor on Sunday at 2 pm on the Lawn will give people an opportunity to express their support for the University who may have not been able to make the workday rallies held so far. This gives current students and alumni from around the commonwealth to come and express their support.

Bring water and behave honorably.

And let us terminate her political aspirations at every opportunity before any campaigns have a chance to blossom.

Might as well boycott her family's real estate business, too. So if you live in the Virginia Beach area, buy or rent from anyone but Dragas. Kick 'em in the wallet as hard as you can.

I would rather see Ho Chi Minh sitting on the BOV than this treacherous woman. Lady Macbeth is a homecoming queen in comparison.

Dragas be gone. You are a conniving, duplicitous fool and for that -- and that alone -- you will be remembered, if anyone bothers to think about you at all after this month.

Curse you for wasting people's time, causing strife, tarnishing UVa's good name and for generally making a jackass of yourself.

Do da people dat quit get dey jobs back mane?

Dear Helen,

We all make mistakes and perhaps you can see your way clear to admitting yours. I'm sure you did what you thought was best and it is difficult for all of us to say I'm sorry .
But this is a community of good people and if you can find the courage to vote for President Sullivan 's reinstatement and then resign, that will be the greatest gift you could give to the Universiry you have worked so hard for. Life is short . And make this a lesson to all young people that the greatest leaders know how to say -
I'm sorry I made a mistake.

Sincerely,

From one who has made many mistakes

Nancy Drew

What if--Sullivan is re-instated and Zeithaml is made Associate VP for Strategy(or something). This is what may resemble a solution that would have been arrived at had the board had open discussion on direction and pace of change. Everyone saves a little face.

Maybe give Dragas an appointment on some other board(businessy kind of thing)

We could all then move on for the common weal.

Boy she is stubborn.

Power to the people! The little people, that is, who don't have a gazillion bucks to throw around. Instead, we possess something far more important: honor and a sense of justice. Here's to encouraging the BOV to do the right thing on Tuesday! And kudos to those who worked so hard to bring the truth to light!

The Dragon Rector speaks.

Or at least the Hill & Knowlton PR team the University of Virginia Foundation is paying for.

http://www.newsplex.com/home/headlines/Statement_from_Rector_Helen_Draga...

Dragas in her letter says:

"1. State and federal funding challenges – Since 2000, state funding per student has declined from $15,300 to $8,300 per student in constant dollars. Governor McDonnell has done much to restore stability to state funding, but the outlook for economic growth in this area over the long term is bleak. Federal research funding and federal support of student loans are both in decline, with no expectation of a recovery, putting pressure on the University to replace these revenue sources with sustainable alternatives. The University has no long-range plan to do so.?

We say the BOV ought to start fighting the Gov and the Legislature to raise corporate and taxes on the wealthy to pay for public programs and public education. Oh...but that's against her private interests...I forgot..

Remember all you conservative small government nut jobs out there I did not say raise taxes on middle class or small businesses.

Dragas in her statement today said:

"2. The changing role of technology in adding value to the reach and quality of the educational experience of our students. Bold experimentation and advances by the distinguished likes of Stanford, Harvard, and MIT have brought online learning into the mainstream, virtually overnight. Stanford’s president, John Hennessy, predicted that “there’s a tsunami coming”, based on the response to online course offerings at Stanford (one course enrolled an astounding 160,000 students). Michigan, Penn, Princeton, Yale, and Carnegie Mellon are all taking aggressive steps in this direction. The University of Virginia has no centralized approach to dealing with this potentially transformational development."

We say: We are not HArvard or Stanford and we may not want to be like them. A lot of students come here because they don;t want to be at those institutions despite the phony rankings game. We also say online education is not quality education. A lot of other places play the online attrition game in which they get students to enroll, take out student loans and then take their cut while many students drop out without a degree and have a huge debt problem. UVA is better than that. Sometimes efficiency is right for the business world but not for the education world. Read Dewey Dragas.

Dragas in her statement today said:

"3. A dynamic and rapidly changing health care environment. The UVA Medical Center, while excelling at cutting edge patient care and research, competes with competent and sophisticated private health systems providing high quality health care in a market undergoing substantive structural change. At the behest of the Board of Visitors, the Medical Center undertook a strategic planning study in 2011 that resulted in a well-articulated plan. Implementation will require strong leadership and very ambitious interim steps."

We had a leader, Terry Sullivan who was strong and ambitious and you tried to push her out. We have confidence in Terry and not in you and the Board members you duped. The market is undergoing structural change because your buddies in the insurance business have turned medicine into a huge corporate greedy mess. No thanks.

Dragas in her letter today said:

"4. Heightened pressure for prioritization of scarce resources. Difficult choices will have to be made to balance competing demands for financial aid (the University’s generous, $95 million per year financial aid program, AccessUVA, has consumed resources at an unsustainable and alarming rate over the last five years, yet it is considered necessary to compete with many elite private institutions in attracting the best and the brightest students) and faculty and staff recruitment, and retention. A wave of faculty retirements is coming over the next seven years, and faculty retention is increasingly difficult due to stagnation in faculty salaries. The College of Arts and Sciences alone estimates it would take $130 million by 2016 to provide competitive compensation and start-up costs to fulfill its aspirations in the humanities and the sciences. Yet, the University has no articulated long-range plan that prioritizes these competing demands for resources"

We say see no. 1 above. Raise corporate and wealth taxes, support financial aid. Get the Wall Street folks to pay back what they took from our economy. Use the Endowment to fund students not buildings. We don;t want to compete, competition and unbridled capitalism are what is eating away at our nation.

"Bring down Dragas," just a clarification ... the University of Virginia Foundation is THE foundation that's paying for the Dragon Rector's PR firm. Here's the organization's website; it's the main UVa foundation on Grounds: http://www.uvafoundation.com/

And Citizen Party, I am with you 110 percent. You are dead on in your analysis of the Dragon Rector's bullish*t.

Dragas says in her statement today:

"5. Issues of faculty workload and the quality of the student experience. The ratio of students to faculty is deteriorating. This change has not occurred as a part of a thoughtful process and planned strategy to integrate technology into introductory courses while extending importantsmall group and individual interactions between faculty and students. Rather, it reflects the stresses of increased enrollment and insufficient resource prioritization."

Fund our University and leave the rest to us.What does she know about micromanaging a University? We don't want to sacrifice quality for efficiency in the introductory courses. We don't need BOVS micromanaging. Sullivan had a handle on these issues.

:-)

In her letter today Dragas said:

"6. Issues of declining relative faculty compensation. In a letter dated May 11, 2012, the College of Arts and Sciences faculty issued a letter to the Board almost identical to one it issued to the Presidential search committee in 2009. It demanded urgency in addressing the decline of UVA in faculty compensation from 26th to 36th since 2005 among Association of American University peers, and noted our relatively poor performance vis-à-vis key public competitors such as UCLA, Berkeley, Michigan, and UNC."

We say: Look at No 1 above again. Get the Gov and legislature to raise corporate and wealth taxes (not middle class and small biz taxes). Fully fund Public Education rather than starving it to death. Use the endowment to pay faculty. We don't believe for a minute that Dragas was interested in the problems faculty face.

In her statement today Dragas said:

"7. Drifting engagement direction – The securing of philanthropic gifts and grants from a broader base of supporters is critically important as our devoted volunteer leadership attempts to finish the UVA capital campaign. Large gifts received over the last year include much appreciated, donor-driven funds for international squash courts and contemplative sciences (the confluence of Eastern thought, yoga, meditation, etc.). Central institutional priorities should be articulated and highlighted for engagement, but cannot be without development of a specific vision and plan."

We say: You were not listening when President Sullivan last addressed you on Monday. LISTEN. She had a great vision and the confidence of the faculty students, alums, parents. You do not. You want to let your donor friends come in and corporatize the place in their image. We are not buying your vision. Sullivan did a fine job of fund raising in a down economy created by your buddies up on Wall Street and in the Real Estae biz. The only hting drifting here is the memory of you and your cheap coup attempt.

In her statement Dragas said:

"8. Research funding and activity – Research funding has been in decline, and we have decreased in federal higher education research rankings in the past five years. In 2008, we were #70 in the nation overall (compared to Virginia Tech’s #43 ranking). These statistics are incongruous with other characteristics of the University that suggest we should be a research powerhouse. Mr. Jefferson’s vision for his University and his early encouragement of the sciences suggests the same. In areas of applied research, UVA often is not the first institution in Virginia that governmental units and businesses go to when they need a partner."

We say: Research and funding are in decline because your buddies up on Wall street created the biggest depression since the Depression. Rankings were created by corporate types who like to put everything on a distribution to make people think they are not good enough. We have great Faculty doing great research and everyone who reads Inside UVA knows it. We are not buying your characterization of decline. You are constructing a crisis for your own gain and profit. Besides, Terry Sullivan was on top of these issues and we trust her.

Sullivan isn't returning to her office unless Dragas quits. Dragas won't quit. This BoV meeting will occur several days in advance of the governor's decision whether to reappoint Dragas on July 1. So Dragas will still be on the BoV and for all Sullivan knows, potentially reappointed. So what happens is the BoV offers some minor concession so they can claim they are trying to make amends, and Sullivan rejects it because she won't work with Dragas, and then the Bov claims Sullivan is being peevish and rejected their overtures and that's that. So long as Dragas is still around this problem cannot be solved.

I her statement today Dragas said:

"9. Increasing accountability for academic quality and productivity. These issues are foremost on the minds of students, family, and legislators. The Board well understands that curricular programming is the responsibility of the faculty, and the Board has never suggested any specific curricular adjustments. It is the Board’s responsibility, however, to ask for evidence that the current curriculum is meeting its stated goals and also to ask how well anyparticular curriculum or program actually prepares UVA graduates for the increasingly complex, international world in which they will live and compete. There is no long-term program in place for assessment, reporting, and improvement in many disciplines."

We say: We are on to you. You and the Koch brothers want to end tenure and and replace the accountablity we have in our profession with your corporate Ford factory accountability. We are accountable to our students and their parents who keep coming back to us in droves. President Sullivan has a good handle on this with the new financial model you would not let her finish designing and implementing. We are in the business of creating knowledge and teaching our students how to be well rounded citizens. We measure that by the number of students and alums who have take an active role in stopping your oligarchic scheme to corporatize and control our universities. Our graduates are shutting your plans down. We are proud of them and measure our success in their capable democratic action.

I have not combed through the minutes of the board or the statements from them over the past two years, but have the issues in her diatribe been raised by the board in any substantive way during Sullivan's tenure? I'll leave to the reporters the rhetorical destruction of the details of her venal statements--but these are the type of issues that should be addressed in public to the full board with input from the community. This looks like a late night pr flack's work to quickly come up with a list of Festivus style grievances--without acknowledging that it the Board's responsibility at all times to address these issues in public session--if they consider them important. Any notion that THESE TYPE of complaints are only suitable for confidential personnel review sessions or executive committee phone calls is nonsense--even if they WERE true.

She will only leave with the acts of courage and honor that will be required of the members of our board. They have a special responsibility at a big moment in time--may they have the wisdom and courage they need to allow reason to prevail.

I her statement today Dragas stated:

"10. Increasing importance of a proactive, contemporary communications function. The recent events unfolding at UVA have proven a demonstrated need to fortify university communications functions with updated technologies. We need faster, multi-platform communications including cutting-edge use of mobile, digital and social media to complement a more traditional media-relations function and press outreach to tell the UVA story."

We say: Look at how are faculty, students, alums, parents, staff are using technology right now to shut down your corporate takeover. I mean have you seen the Facebook page with 13,000 people who oppose your misguided takeover attempts? Do you know how many emails the givernor and the BOVs got in the last few days? We are using these media to tell the story about how UVA is a public university with a tradition of transparency and democracy and critical thinking, one that can't be bought and sold like real estate. So I think we are well on the way to technology reform if recent events bode well for our cause to rid our governance from private take-overs by a cabal of special interests.

Is it just me or does the Dragon Lady's statement contradict itself? From an educational perspective, the worst thing you could do with first year (read freshmen in the real world) is to put them in classes where they are not able to ask questions and where they are bored by the computer screen or television. Also, it is clear to those in eye MD profession that watching a computer screen beyond twenty minutes or so at a time can cause major long term vision problems. The experience of a first class university is the experience of both well thought of professors and those who are kind and understanding. The use of the Internet at Harvard et al is for "free" classes. It is not a revenue enchancer and it is not been studied enough to determine what the educational outcomes of this medium are.

Not being able to smell the coffee is a trait common to many in the industry that the Dragon Lady practices. Virginia Beach and most of the Hampton Roads area will likely be underwater in the next twenty to thirty years. The ground is said to be sinking from over building. Ask some of the other "quality" builders in that part of the state what they think of the Dragon Lady and her family. I don't use those words in polite company or where children might read them. Check out whose law firm she uses. Can you say Mickey Mc Donnell?

BOV do the right thing on Tuesday and bring class, quality and grace back to UVA.

In her statement today Dragas said:

Believe it or not, the last time the University developed a concrete, strategic plan was a decade ago – in2002. We deserve better – the rapid development of a plan that includes goals, costs, sources of funds, timelines and individual accountability. And, without micromanaging details such as calling for the elimination of specific programs or mandating distance learning, the Board did insist, and still insists, that the University leadership move in a timely, thoughtful, and organized fashion to address these and similar issues. Failing this, the University of Virginia will continue to drift in yesterday.

At the time of President Casteen’s retirement, the search process should have included a thoughtful assessment by uninvested third parties who, in collaboration with the institution’s stakeholders, would have examined everything from academic programs, faculty assignments, student services, research activity, technology, tuition and admissions strategies, administrative expenditures,public service and outreach, private support, the Medical School and hospital, and, yes, governance, both at the administrative and board levels.

With this said, I agree with critics who say that we should have handled the situation better. In my view, we did the right thing, the wrong way. For this, I sincerely apologize, and this and future boards will learn from our mistakes. However, as much as our action to effect a change in leadership has created a wave of controversy, it was motivated by an understanding of the very stiff headwinds we face as a University, and our resolve to push through them to forge a future that is even brighter than imaginable today."

WE SAY: You hired Sullivan and she has been doing all this. She just wouldn't capitulate to your corporate agenda and for that we thank her and ask you to resign immediately. You were micromanaging and all the emails FOIA'd show the world you were. Sullivan was foing a great job both carrying out themission and taking input for the future. You have cause an enormous amount of difficulties for UVA during a period of time in which we need support not attack from within. YOu have cheapened our university and brought dishonor to the institution.

You did the wrong thing in the wrong way and its so clear even your own Board, once bamboozled by your backroom manners are now waking up to make amends and do the right thing. Do us all a favor, resign and go back to your corporate machinations. Dragas: Leave thoes kids alone.

No Confidence!!!!!

Citizen Party FTW!

The other very big news of the day - remember not so long ago Dean Bruner, Dean Woo, and the Health Science Dean along with others supported Sullivan's ouster - this is a 180 and I'm sure did not go unnoticed.

- The deans of 10 of the 11 schools at UVA (interim president Zeithaml, Dean of McIntire wasn't asked) sign a letter calling for Sullivan's reinstatement,

Did any of you notice the irony of Sullivan's "free speech is good but let's not be vandals" letter cited in this article? It had to be APPROVED. "Executive Vice President and Provost Simon approved distribution of this message." The President of the University cannot address the community without the approval of a censor, one of Dragas's minions. Hawes sorry, but you are wrong in saying this shows she is still President: it shows she isn't. She's the last Queen of Hawaii, living in a gilded cage, doing what the rich plutocrats who took over and locked her in her own palace bedroom allowed her to do, saying what they allowed her to say--until they get rid of her altogether.

If you download the pdf that contains Dragas' June 21 statement and do File>Properties
you will see that it was written on a MAC that belongs to John Ullyot. Who is this guy?
Here is the answer:

http://blogarchive.hillandknowlton.com/blogs/ampersand/articles/10920.aspx

My inference is that this was written by Ullyot. So I believe we have a case
of Dragas submitting under her own name someone else's work. There is a name for this behavior at UVA and there is a Single Sanction for it.

Hats off to the Hook. Your outstanding coverage has kept the public informed -- and the comments have allowed people to exchange ideas and thoughts and pass messages .... all which will lead to the reinstatement of Sullivan, I'm sure!

Thank you Macdonald Caputo, Timothy Robertson and Hunter Craig for calling the meeting.

Wow. John Ullyot & all them there folks calling for immediate introduction of all that there new-fangled communications gee-gaws and whatnots and social media whatevers should learn a few of their pitfalls first.

AS -- if indeed that statement came from Mr. Ullyot's MAC, I say, excellent detective work! And make "Single Sanction" the newest rally cry.

Marvellous detective work, AS! This wouldn't be the Rector's first brush with an honor offense in these last few days. Hopefully it will be one of her last.

I worry that Realist may be on to something. Why on earth isn't she resigning?

No one is entirely awful. Dragas' sister's op-Ed was an aching reminder that we are all wildly complicated, and that even the most toxic person in one situation is adored by someone. But this is a swath of destruction that can be laid at the door of one person, and she spends a 1500 word statement saying, in essence, "I did a bad thing, but I'm a good person." to which I say, "Fine. Now have some shame, and resign with a modicum of honor, if not candor."

@Shemp

Good thought but I'm quite sure Dean Zeithaml will be thrilled to just get back to Mcintire.

Hats off AS - with commenters like these who needs a PR firm .

And my sincere thanks to Hunter Craig, Macdonald Caputo, and Timothy Robertson.

Well done, AS! Brilliant!

I'm ashamed to say that I know John Ullyot. He's a former staffer to Senator John Warner. At Hill & Knowlton, I believe that is premier client is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and he has dinner with the Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. almost every Sunday night.

At least we could get Dragas a nice new board seat to occupy. There IS a vacancy on the Department of Occupational Regulation Professional Boxing, Wrestling and Martial Arts Advisory Board beginning July 1. Give her a cushy post ringside and allow this great University to recover.

I call on our Hokie friends to join in the protest. This is an assault not just on the University of Virginia, but to the excellence embodied in all of the great universities in Virginia.

Guess I'm surprised knowing the widespread support for President Sullivan that Hill and Knowlton Strategies would take this case. Am I wrong in thinking this could hurt their client base --although, if Saudia Arabia is on their list maybe little Virginia doesn't matter.

But if McDonnell reappoints Dragas all bets off on his political future.

Does anyone know where Rob Bell stands. We the voters need to know.

I am sure that Mr. Ullyot is less than pleased that he has been revealed as the Wizard behind the Dragon. PR firms need to be smooth and invisible. I mean, successful PR firms. Boy, the seams are showing everywhere in this fabrication.

If only people were so eager and willing to band together and rally and fight for all the ways in which the U.S. has been stripped of its Constitutional rights over the past 11 years. If only people had the same energy and enthusiasm for restoring America to the country it used to be as they do for restoring a UVa president.

I wonder if anyone has insight into Board of Visitor's member, John Nau? I'm afraid he is solidly in Dragas' and McDonnell's corner on this one. He was a major political appointee of George Bush and is a major contributor to McDonnell as well as the University (he funded Nau Hall).
We need to keep pressure on the Board and deeper scrutiny into their vested interests.

What? Someone who dines weekly with a guy who thinks not letting women drive is a normal stance for an entire country to take, doesn't see any problem representing Ms. Dragas?

There's a quote from 'Lonesome Dove' that I adore: just before they hang Jake Spoon for having crossed the line and fallen in with horse thieves & murderers, Jake responds, "I didn't see any line."

So many people don't. Clearly not Dragas. Probably not Ullyot.

@freddi so true. With this entire debacle, and the ability of crowd sourced fact-checking and bio searching, it feels like we're glimpsing Oz behind the curtain. And Oz is looking rough.

Has anyone heard why Glynn Key left the meeting the other night before the vote?

What will it take for Dragas to LEAVE already? Is McDonnell the only one who can remove her?

Maybe someone she trusts should pop by her office around the end of the day tomorrow and tell her they have the votes to remove her and bully her into resigning. Oh, wait...

If Sullivan stays on after August 15, how could she work with Strine? He should be park of the package that goes.

@hookreader Just a guess - She only had a few days left, was not up for reappointment and was disgusted

@ if only,

What you are seeing may the be the beginning of what you want. Big hings have littel beginnings :)

Has anyone talked to Ms. Sullivan to see if she even wants to come back? Wouldn't it be a kick if her husband would resign in protest?

Dragas states:

At the time of President Casteen’s retirement, the search process should have included a thoughtful assessment by uninvested third parties who, in collaboration with the institution’s stakeholders, would have examined everything from academic programs, faculty assignments, student services, research activity, technology, tuition and admissions strategies, administrative expenditures,public service and outreach, private support, the Medical School and hospital, and, yes, governance, both at the administrative and board levels.

How does she know this didn't take place??

Nancy Drew, that's what I figured, too. I wish she had stayed on to support Dr. Fralin with a "no" vote, at least, but maybe by leaving she made more of a statement.

From the WaPo: Is this true?

"If you download the pdf that contains Dragas' June 21 statement and do File>Properties you will see that it was written on a MAC that belongs to John Ullyot. Who is this guy? Here is the answer:

http://blogarchive.hillandknowlton.com/blogs/amper...

My inference is that this was written by Ullyot. So I believe we have a case
of Dragas submitting under her own name someone else's work. There is a name for this behavior at UVA and there is a Single Sanction for it."

And:
"You might be interested to know that Dragas' PR guy appears to be John Ullyot who used to work for Senator John Warner. I believe that, currently, his biggest client is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and he has dinner with the KSA Ambassador to the U.S. almost every Sunday evening."

@SkipD

" Sullivan has informed board members through an intermediary that she wants to remain president if certain conditions are met, current and former members said. Those conditions include the resignation of Dragas and better communication with the board. "

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/u-vas-teresa-sullivan-ur...

Sad that Citizen Party has decided to hijack our #sullivan crisis into some left wing screed for his own purposes of political gain and influence. Unfortunate but it sounds like Citizen party is just like Dragas.... forget the real story, and make it about anything you want to push forward because you have people paying attention. Sad. The crazies are coming out now. I'm actually surprised it took this long for some loon to get on the docket and rant. Let's not debate them if they're going to hijack our efforts which are solely about UVA and not some upcoming election.

Is there a phone number or email address for the BOV? Or any particular board members who should be targeted for solicitation of their support to reinstate Sullivan and oust Dragas?

@mutt http://www.virginia.edu/bov/visitorsandstaff.html just click the names for email addresses. If you're composing emails, take a look at this as well, great advice on construction of communications to BOV. Civility rules the day!

http://athriftstore.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/request-bov-emergency-meeti...

Go Hoos asked about university-wide planning around the time that Casteen left UVa. There actually was a high profile planning exercise that took place in 2007-2008 that was supposed to chart a long-term course for UVa. It all started with a "a thoughtful assessment by uninvested third parties" in a report known around UVa as the "WAG Report" for the advisory group that prepared it - but also called "Enhancing UVa's Reputation as a Research University". This strategic planning exercise was finally reported as the Commission on the Future of the University (COFU):

http://www.virginia.edu/planningdocuments/commission/index.html

This strategic planning exercise is still the guide for UVa and I believe that Provost Simon now is in charge of developing plans to implement the recommendations. (I actually owe him a report by June 25 on a COFU project that I am working on). I fully expect that President Sullivan was informed of this recent planning when she arrived on Grounds and this existing program is the reason she was asked not to begin another round of strategic planning.

I am surprised that this program apparently slipped out of Rector Dragas's memory.

Keep up the great work to both The Hook and the Sullivan supporters. We couldn't do this without each and all of you.

I find it interesting that the UVa Foundation is paying for the Dragas statement - will Hiill and Knowlton also be writing statements for those who want Sullivan reinstated ?

I happened to see Ms. Key as she left the Board meeting though didn't know who she was. Hate to admit it, but I was sitting on the bricks out of exhaustion.

The look on her face was one of devastation and frustration, from my perspective.

All of us on a given night (or early morning) have our limits. My impression is that she will do the right thing and that she wanted to do the right thing Tuesday morning.

Today's news that the BOV will be meeting on Tuesday provides the first ray of hope since this sad episode began. Are we, as we have posited for nearly 200 years, a self-governing community? Perhaps we will find ourselves reminded that we are, and the BOV will be reawakened to the fact that they hold a public trust and are not lords and mistresses over us. I am holding out hope that we will emerge as a more unified community led by Teresa Sullivan and managed by a reconstituted BOV reminded of its place within, and not above, our ecosystem.

"The recent events unfolding at UVA have proven a demonstrated need to fortify university communications functions with updated technologies. We need faster, multi-platform communications including cutting-edge use of mobile, digital and social media to complement a more traditional media-relations function and press outreach to tell the UVA story."

In other words: "None of this would be a problem if UVA had a better communications system in place to spread my propaganda." Right. THAT'S the problem.

Perhaps anyone who has given to the Foundation should contact John Ullyot at

john.ullyot@hkstrategies.com

I would think he'd want input from all sides.

citizen party.... even if the raised the taxes on corporations and the wealthy there are a dozen other things that we are already on a revolving charge with china paying for them.

There is not enough "wealth" to cover the overspending that is currently going on.

Public Universities should be given buildings and start up capital and then only count on the state for less than 10% of their budget annually. They should have used endowments for scholarships and provided their own student loans. It should not cost 66k per student per year to run the place.

if anyone would like to email Ms Dragas personally her email address is HDragas@dragas.com.

I think the Rector's 10 arguments are certainly valuable to communicate to the President in ongoing action, but wholly indefensible grounds for the drastic removing of the president, let alone for choosing the thoroughly dishonorable, back-stabby and illegal process the Rector did choose.

She's also distorting some pictures of things in a way that has become all too commonplace in our national political discourse - selective bits edited to paint a narrative.

My spouse took that Stanford course that the Rector praises in her letter for having enrolled 160,000 online students. Two points: a) It was free. Generated no student-revenue for Stanford. b) As of the first homework assignment due date, that enrolment number dropped to almost a quarter, around 43,000, I think. Many fewer actually finished the whole course through to the final.

Further, I understand that UVa has long led the field in thoughtful online options. Thoughtfulness matters.

Doesn't change a damn thing either way. Only a bunch of losers would show up demanding this woman get her job back. It's none of their business whether or not she's fired or not. Are any of you losers running this university? And btw, wtf is UVA doing with 4 billion dollars?? Is it a friggin' bank or something? You apply to a school, you get educated, you pay for it, you leave. End of story.

AS. Brilliant work in re the Dragas pdf, but where can you find the statement in pdf format?

AS, nice work. Perhaps Ullyott might indictate to the ambassador that Americans don't appreciate the Saudis financing global terrorism, the Wahhabi stuff, the Salafis and all that. Just a thought. So how much did he get in fees for the statement of the real estate princesst?

Are we out of the deep water just yet? Maybe there is a ways to go even if President Sullivan is reinstated.

Aside from the Goldman Sachs and Wall Street crowd's various behind the scenes moves and dealings, there still remains the issue of hidden and not so hidden agendas which remain opaque. Some deep investigation needs to continue on these matters, hopefully The Hook and others will do so.

The mess may have a silver cloud in that public debate, and national attention, has been sparked on the matter of the future of Mr. Jefferson's University. It seems to me that a fundamental commitment to the Humanities is one essential requirement.

Citizen Party, Thanks for posting the contents of Ms. Dragas letter. One can only hope it was prepared by someone from Hill and Knowlton, else you would have to conclude that UVa had already shut down the English Department well before Ms. Dragas received her undergraduate degree. I have never read such drivel.

First, in the impossibly long run-on sententence that makes up the entire second paragraph she (he?) speaks of a "...fuller explanaion... to reach a fuller potential....to fulfilling its mission....". Extremely poor form and sentence structure.

Then the author tries to make us seasick by refering to the "shoals and dangers that exist below the surface"... a "tsunami" is coming.. ..a "wave" of retirements
...., a "wave of controversy"...... the "very stiff headwinds" and finally... " the University of Virginia will continue to drift in yesterday".

Then some (most?) of the author's points just don't make any sense. The author was "reluctant to detail our concerns", yet expects the UVa communtiy to "navigate" through the troubles. How can the community participate in the dialogue if it is hidden?

Then you have that "wave" of retirements coming. How is replacing a senior professor with a newly-promoted professor injurious to the bottom line? The older prof retires, everyone moves up a step, and you have a new tenure-track hire at the bottom. What have I missed here?

Also the author now has the students having a "premier" experience at UVa, but the school "will continue to drift in yesterday". You can have one or the other occurances, but not both at the same time. Which is it?

It is probably not too smart to use the term "cutting edge" when talking about the hospital.

The rest of the missive is a collection of buzz-words like "prioritization" and "strategic" repeated endlessly.

All in all, my dear 11th grade high school English teacher, a kind and gentle woman, would have given this dreck an F grade.

Here is the link that takes you to the pdf document that the Washington Post so conveniently provided instead of cutting and pasting the text -- you can see Mr. Ullyot's name easily just by right-clicking and selecting "Document properties" (this link worked as of 10:30 EDT, but the crack PR firm might have it taken down by morning if they are sharp. Not that they have indicated they are sharp.):

http://www.washingtonpost.com/r/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2012/06/21/Loca...

@cwr you can find the pdf on the Wash Post site. Above here, a poster I think Jamie Capin tells how to look at the file properties. you would have thought that the PR firm author guy would have been smart enough to have "secured" his (Dragas' work product) but I guess not.

My text seems to have vanished, but I just posted the direct link. It may be gone by morning if the PR firm is on the ball. Just open the link, then right-click on it. Select "Document properties" after you right-click.

AS - Nicely Done!

CWR - the document can be found here:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/r/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2012/06/21/Loca...

There may be some other useful nuggets in the meta data. Perhaps "Who Cares?" is the alter-ego that John Ullyot assumes after half a bottle of Scotch (nothing against Scotch drinkers mind you).

Teresa Sullivan cannot be faulted for the state of affairs at the medical center. That train wreck has been forseeable for some time now. If they want to demonstrate accountability, they need to fire the people who run the place and get some new ones who have at least a modicum of compassion for the people who work there. Why can't someone on the board make a motion to fire the CEO? If they do that there will be a standing ovation from many employees.

Globe, regarding John Nau, I think you are right on. Huge donor to McDonnell and capable of putting lots of pressure on him (in terms of withholding donations). He's also on the Curry Board and according to a recent UVA Today story, is "excited" about Curry initiatives and plans, including, it seems, a planned U.Va. Institute for Innovation in Education, which Dean Pianta said would "foster, incubate, test and market innovations." I mean, I don't know, nothing about that is sinister, and it's a stretch to imply something going on there, but the whole "online education" BOV push makes me think Curry would be involved somehow, and with Nau's support.

Just an FYI, William Hansen also sits on Curry's board -- and he's also on the advisory board for the Education Management Corporation, the Goldman Sachs online education company that came up in Anne-Marie Angelo's theory regarding the ouster.

But that's all just distraction at the moment and veering back towards conspiracy theories we can probably discard for now. The real thing is to keep pressure on the story, on the BOV, on the governor, and to get all to do the right thing on/by Tuesday.

This was posted by commenter to WaPo article:

Alex70
10:10 PM EDT
My God! Someone did some fine work. I just confirmed that Dragas’s release was authored by John Ullyot, presumably the J. U. who is “Senior Vice President, Media Relations and Issues Management, based in Hill & Knowlton’s Washington office.” Apparently “he also directs the office’s public affairs and crisis communications practices.”

See: http://blogarchive.hillandknowlton.com/blogs/amper...

Hill & Knowlton is especially memorable to me because it reprehensibly constructed a lie that was used to justify our first invasion of Iraq. Think back. Do you recall the name Nayirah?

“The most emotionally moving testimony on…came from a 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl, known only by her first name of Nayirah…. Sobbing, she described what she had seen with her own eyes in a hospital in Kuwait City. Her written testimony was passed out in a media kit prepared by Citizens for a Free Kuwait. "I volunteered at the al-Addan hospital," Nayirah said. "While I was there, I saw the Iraqi soldiers come into the hospital with guns, and go into the room where . . . babies were in incubators. They took the babies out of the incubators, took the incubators, and left the babies on the cold floor to die.

At the Human Rights Caucus, however, Hill & Knowlton…failed to reveal that Nayirah was a member of the Kuwaiti Royal Family. Her father, in fact, was Saud Nasir al-Sabah, Kuwait's Ambassador to the US….The Caucus also failed to reveal that H&K…coached Nayirah in what…investigators later confirmed was false testimony.

If Nayirah's outrageous lie had been exposed…, it might have at least caused… Congress and the news media to soberly reevaluate the extent to which they were being skillfully manipulated. As late as December 1990, a New York Times/CBS News poll indicated that 48 percent of the American people wanted Bush to wait before taking any action if Iraq failed to withdraw from Kuwait by Bush's January 15 deadline. On January 12, the US Senate voted by a narrow, five-vote margin to support the Bush administration in a declaration of war. Given the narrowness of the vote, the babies-thrown-from-incubators story may have turned the tide in Bush's favor.

Following the war, human rights investigators attempted to confirm Nayirah's story and could find no witnesses or other evidence to support it. Amnesty International, which had fallen for the story, was forced to issue an embarrassing retraction. Nayirah herself was unavailable for comment. "This is the first allegation I've had that she was the ambassador's daughter," said Human Rights Caucus co-chair John Porter. "Yes, I think people . . . were entitled to know the source of her testimony."

See: http://www.prwatch.org/books/tsigfy10.html

This is the article where I saw the above comment:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/u-vas-teresa-sullivan-ur...

Fascinating -- plagiarism!

Really, Ms. Dragas?

I'm not at U.Va, but like faculty all over the US, I'm paying attention.
Note:
.This is one of the strangest item in this ongoing story--this video purportedly is one Dragas et al watched to get hyped about online teaching. Hope the link works for you.
http://www.dailymarkets.com/economy/2012/06/21/the-video-that-led-to-uva...

Okay, I downloaded the PDF the Post supplied and pasted it here at the bottom of the article (just before the comments start) for anyone who needs to check it out in PDF form and click "inspector" in the Mac Preview application that I use (maybe some other authorship-finder in Adobe Reader).--hawes spencer

Was the PR firm hired by Dragas personally or in her role as Rector? Can she do this without going through procurement services at the University?

CavMan:

You should contact the firm and ask them: john.ullyot@hkstrategies.com

Well, this is really funny. Kiernan clicks on an ill-advised "reply all" and Ullyot neglects to remove himself as author of the latest Dragas statement. It would seem that the new technology is too much for some folks.

Good point Valerie...and these are people who are pushing for online education.

Hopefully President Sullivan's first act upon regaining her position will be to FIRE Michael Strine.
Mr. Strine.......I am sure you can work for Goldman Sachs....or somebody in Conneticut. Unless of course you were some sort of patsy to begin with and you are the last to find out. And let's all not forget what a pussy Gov. McDonnell has been and plainly is.

Note also that the .pdf document appears to have a remnant of pagination at the end, which suggests that it's part of a much larger document, at least 30 pages in length.

Google Hill and Knowlton's role in the Nayirah testimony leading up to the first Gulf War--slime of the first order. This hastily researched and poorly constructed drivel is in line with their low ethical baseline.

If these were issues, and indeed they were not on the radar screen of Dragas until this week, then they would have been examined by the board throughout Sullivan's tenure. This is a last minute, poorly written and unconvincing attempt to fabricate reasons for a dismissal.

Pathetic.

@ humble

You are on to something regarding Darden and the Curry (education) school (and John Nau and Bill Hansen).

As I noted earlier, the administrative putsch of Teresa Sullivan is not just about UVa.

The fiasco that unfolded at UVa is what's been occurring throughout the country for quite some time. It's not healthy for public education, K-12 through higher ed. It's not based on research, and it's antithetical to perpetuating and strengthening democratic governance. But that is exactly the point: privatization of public education is the goal.

The whole corporate-style "reform" movement just keeps getting worse....the University of Virginia is proposing a joint education-business master's degree program to integrate the "business model" into public education (as if it's not already quite alive and doing well there).  It's called (cough) Partnership for Leaders in Education.
 
You can review a whole host of the tripe here (be warned, there's a lot of it):  
 
http://www.darden.virginia.edu/web/Darden-Curry-PLE/News/Home/  
 
Here's but one example, a teacher who's become a school "turn-around specialist" through the joint education-business school program:  
 
She says this, with no comedic intent: "Similarly to operating a business, there is data that must be broken down and heavily considered or relied on in order to determine what areas we should be focusing on and how to go about improving in those areas. It's not taking the social aspect completely out of it in terms of what a principal should stand for in interacting with staff and students, it just provides incentive to add the concept of business manager on to the title, allowing you to see things in a more concrete, data-supported way."  
 
And then adds this: ""That information is in turn, used to educate our teachers on what is working and what is not, factually, based on data. It isn't the opinion of myself or any other entity within the district or outside of it, it is concrete data that shows what areas students are failing in, need mild improvement in or are showing success in. It's all about accountability, and our teachers know that they are responsible for creating change where improvement is needed."  

The intent of the program is "to take the best business practices available through the training program and apply them to education using this data as the foundation."  
 
Notice how well the "best business practices" thing has worked recently –– and is (or is NOT working) –– working for the economy. Applied to education these "best practices" are based on terms like "data-driven" and "accountability" (ahem...who, exactly, was held "accountable" for war based on mythical weapons of mass destruction? for Wall Street fraud and corruption?).

Bob Pianta, dean of the Curry school, recently "told the Board of Visitors’ Educational Policy Committee meeting
'We’re poised for promise. We can really go much further in the next five years'.” Pianta said that "U.Va. and Curry have to be a 'first-mover' and make a difference in a 'major social challenge' – education reform" (is this sounding familiar?).

Pianta told the Board that the Curry school is "offering online and off-Grounds courses to help expand the presence and influence of the school." Pianta wants to “foster, incubate, test and market innovations” (and make money off it). Rick Hess, at the conservative, free-market American Enterprise Institute, promotes the same core ideas of "accountability" and "entrepreneurship" that get pushed at the Darden-Curry partnership, and lauds what the Curry school is doing.

See: http://curry.virginia.edu/articles/pianta-curry-school-of-education-pois...

Of course, Rick Hess also wrote this nonsense about school vouchers and competition:

"The absence of competition means that public schools, like other government agencies, typically are not subjected to this kind of discipline. No matter how inefficient, employees have little to fear. Subjecting school systems to real competition would indeed produce more effective schools --and other benefits as well. It would provide quality control beyond that afforded by standardized testing, empower entrepreneurial educators to offer alternatives to reigning orthodoxies, and permit good schools to multiply without waiting for permission from resistant district leaders."

In other words, fear in the workplace is a "good" thing. It leads to "effectiveness." It causes "quality control." It fosters the proliferation of "good schools."

The firing of Teresa Sullivan is most certainly not just about UVa.

Nick Payne--the notation -30- at the end of an article is an old-fashioned journalistic notation meaning that the piece is complete. I assume many reporters, especially those of a certain age, still use this. Not busting chops--just clarifying

http://saila.com/journalism/thirty/

Just to plays Devils Advocate, isn't the more plausible explanation that she probably send her email to the PR Firm for editing and then it was forwarded to the proper outlets.

I mean at this point I guess anything is possible. But I just don't find it very likely that this dude constructed the enitire email.

First, all hats off to AS for his/her mad investigative skills! Without that we might never have known that Dragas was not the author of this latest diatribe, but instead used her high-priced PR firm to craft the missive under her signature. [The irony of this latest move--like Kiernan's "reply all" mis-step--is palpable.]

To Ms. Dragas I would say "Too much, too late"; however, this document does not even reflect your own words, so even that doesn't count.

Can you say "plagarism", "honor code violation", and "single sanction", Ms. Dragas? As a double-Hoo, I might think that these words would be most meaningful to you.

On an altogether different note, on June 21st, 2012 | 7:28pm Realist said:

"Sullivan isn't returning to her office unless Dragas quits. Dragas won't quit. This BoV meeting will occur several days in advance of the governor's decision whether to reappoint Dragas on July 1. So Dragas will still be on the BoV and for all Sullivan knows, potentially reappointed. So what happens is the BoV offers some minor concession so they can claim they are trying to make amends, and Sullivan rejects it because she won't work with Dragas, and then the Bov claims Sullivan is being peevish and rejected their overtures and that's that. So long as Dragas is still around this problem cannot be solved."

I remain very, very concerned that Realist is onto something. However: The Governor may choose not to re-appoint Dragas. [He will not if he has a grain of sense in his head.]

The problem: the BOV meeting may take place before the Gov. announces his re-appointments...although he has the option to announce them earlier. Meaning:

The Gov. may choose to announce before 6/27 (the meeting date) that he is not re-appointing Dragas. Then the meeting takes place, w/ Sullivan and everyone knowing that Dragas is leaving. Sullivan then agrees to return.

Regardless...all readers and FB peeps need to continue to bombard the BOV to reinstate Sullivan.

And be at the Rally for Honor on Sunday.

Let your voices be heard and your numbers be seen!!

@CavMan1000 June 21st, 2012 | 11:39pm
"Was the PR firm hired by Dragas personally or in her role as Rector? Can she do this without going through procurement services at the University?"

Call the UVA Procurement Office and check the procedure policy.
I think all areas must go though the Procurement Office but “procedure process” change so rapidly one never knows until one makes a mistake. Been there done that! Foundations may be exempt from the procedure.

Does anyone know if the 10 point statement released by Hill and Knowlton is Dragas’s views alone, or does it represent the Board’s views ? I read in the Richmond Times that the statement was released by the PR firm. We all know that political figures have ghost writers, so is the fact that this document had an author from Hill and Knowlton unusual ?

@bhp - thanks for your post! As I suspected, a thorough analysis had taken place prior to Sullivan's hiring so I would imagine some of the BOV's may be finding the PR firm's list (under Dragas' pen name) a slap in the face. I might add that the foundation paying for the PR firm may want a refund.......for obvious reasons.

Although I don't think this is a political issue - I doubt the governor had this high on his list of priorities until it became a firestorm - it's interesting to note that Timothy Robertson is one of the 3 who has called for the upcoming meeting. So if the governor was in on this, Mr. Robertson is taking a position contrary to a political figure who is a graduate from the educational institution started by his father. I personally think Robertson believes he was duped and is doing the right thing (along with other BOV;s.) to try to correct things.

It would be unusual if the statement wasn't processed through the PR firm. I don't think that all the many communications that have come out of President Sullivan's office under her signature were all written by her each and every word either.

It's still pretty funny.

As this drama has unfolded, I have a couple of thoughts about what should occur in a logical sense if the BoV votes to reinstate Sullivan. First, assuming that Dragas wasn't blowing smoke about having 12+ votes to remove Sullivan, if the BoV votes to reinstate, those of the 12+ who switched should immediately resign, as they have shown gross mis- or malfeasance in not considering what their actions would do. Or their spineless and really believe she should go, but are bowing to pressure. Either way, they're unfit to serve.

As for Sullivan, she resigned rather than have an open vote, and now she wants to be reinstated? Frankly, her act of resignation alone should disqualify her from reinstatement - again, like the above mentioned BoV members, her resignation without investigation or a fight indicate she is more interested in herself than the U. Now that there's a chance of reinstatement, she appears to have changed her mind. Simply put, she should have thought of that before she tendered her resignation.

For me, the honorable thing to do would be (1) the BoV offer her the position back, (2) her respectfully decline, (3) those BoV members who switched should resign, and (4) new members representing the interests of the U be appointed to the BoV, and a new search for a president begun.

democracy and humble, many thanks for your inputs.

I was an undergrad at UVA some 40 years ago and then went forward into grad school there for my MA and Ph.D. Thus I am naturally concerned about the situation/mess.

It is important to analyze in depth the entire policy process and decisionmaking process here taking into account all factors. As a political scientist, I would say this is most certainly NOT engaging in so-called "conspiracy theories" ( we do recall Catilline...). ..it is analysis from investigative results. This is an interesting case.

There is sufficient data to establish the connections to Goldman Sachs, hedge fund operator Jones, and others mentioned in the various threads. It is a fact that Goldman Sachs is engaged in commercializing education. I heard the minutes of the BOV indicate a presentation by the Goldman Sachs education types in February or some such. Jones and Kiernan are on the board of StudentsFirst established by the controversial figure Michelle Rhee.

It would appear that further investigative research by all concerned and the press would clarify the behind the scenes schemes and doings. It is not unreasonable to surmise the Wall Street Goldman Sachs and hedge fund types who are closely linked to the so-called "educational reform" movement nationwide have an agenda for Mr. Jefferson's University.

Part of the personal business agenda of the Wall Streeters might be imposing the Goldman Sachs educational apparatus on UVA with respect to the online matter. It might even be that certain participants hold stock in Goldman Sachs and in the Education Management company...conflict of interest here? Moral issues here?

It is also not unresonable to surmise that there has been a move behind the scenes to attempt to foist Goldman Sachs etal. services on the University in the online area. This for profit move could well have been greased by UVA insiders with BOV and other influential positions within the University.

It is also not unreasonable to surmise that the Wall Streeters/hedge fund types, namely Kiernan and Jones, who sit on the board of StudentsFirst have a policy agenda and an agenda to change the culture of Mr. Jefferson's University. The agenda can be inferred from the underlying "philosophy" of Michelle Rhee and company on the one hand, and from the "profit motive" of the Wall Street manipulators on the other hand. The policy agenda is political and not just "philosophical " as proponents wish to change education in the United States. Folks in Wisconsin have lately had a taste of such agendas.

So was President Sullivan fired because she would not go along with the hidden agenda? This is quite a bit more than so-called "philosophical differences". This is about the future direction of the University.

For lawyers: have any state or federal laws been violated in this affair? Just curious.

It is good to know there was one honorable man on the Board and Mr. Fralin is to be commended for his no vote.

@Voice of Reason June 22nd, 2012 | 7:08am
Just to plays Devils Advocate, isn't the more plausible explanation that she probably send her email to the PR Firm for editing and then it was forwarded to the proper outlets.

The Dragas June 21 statement appears to be a Word document "saved as" a PDF
(based on the same "Document Properties" page that told us the author is John Ullyot).
If A creates a document and then emails it to B who possibly edits it and then saves it as a PDF, the document will declare A as the author.
I conclude that, though Dragas may have edited the statement, Hill+Knowlton created it.
(This experiment was done between Wintel machines, but I don't see why it would be different if one or both are Macs but someone with a Mac could experiment.)

Are there any other pdf's by this group posted on the internet?

@Humble The BoV, who I am defining as Dragas as this point, does not care anything about Curry. This is all about getting a President with a business degree who will make top down cuts and bring in a magical revenue stream. It is not about growing a substantive education environment.

@CWR

Interesting. Could he just have saved it as his own doc after editing? After all, it's a lengthy doc. There were probably multiple sets of eyes on it. ie. She sends it to him as Dragas1. If he made changes and then sent to someone else, would he not have saved it as something like Dragas2 which would techinically be a new doc from his machine?

Again, I'll believe anything at this point. Just bringing up other possible scenarios.

If Dragas wants to point the finger at our Health System---then fire ITS CEO, not the University's President. Clearly the Health System CEO has a more limited area of oversight and could do more on a day to day basis without having to run the rest of the University.

And, in case you haven't heard, apparently the Health System is in shambles under his leadership.

ONeil was a slacker and got das boot so what is different? The lady is middle management caliber riding on affirmative action and political feel good. But if like ONeil you cant find the acorns on the fundraising trail you are fired. She may know some buzzworkds but a capital campign requires a lot of talent. Sullivan and ONeil nutting honey.

If Dragas hired the PR firm through a foundation, it is NOT subject to the usual rules of UVa Procurement. Pretty much all of the foundations are allowed to spend money on things that are normally very, very difficult or prohibited under the state/UVa procurement guidelines.

(When this all dies down, I wonder if a FOIA would apply to expenditures by the various foundations at UVa. It would make for interesting reading and not be flattering at all, I suspect.)

Hill & Knowlton (at least under that name) is not a registered vendor with the University or with the state so we will probably never know how much this is costing donors. OTOH, if you donate to a UVa foundation, you take your chances on how they spend their money.

Now, the other question I have is this: At the end of the email from Dragas, it says it was approved for distribution by her. Does this really represent what the Board said or if these were even discussed at the last meeting (or even at previous meetings -- after all, this was an emergency).

So far, in the last 24 hours, we have an email from President Sullivan, a BOV meeting planned for next week, an email from Rector Dragas and this morning an email from possibly former Interim President Carl Zeithaml. He is suspending negotiations with the BOV as interim president as well as any activities associated with this role and focusing on McIntire School. He concludes, "Trust cannot be restored in our community until President Sullivan's status is clarified and ultimately resolved."

Let's not get distracted by the PDF. We already knew she had a pr firm.

What I find more amazing is that Dragas & co didn't have an interim president already lined-up. Or a new
President identified OR a plan for a search committee. All the comments/emails seem to lack any organization/planning for ANY type of transition. What was the rush in removing TS? why the short move-out notice?

I keep waiting for some new piece of the puzzle. It just makes no sense at all!

You really don't need to pick apart the Dragas "statement" to discern that it is complete baloney. No, the whole thing becomes abundantly clear when you read just a few paragraphs and encounter this little gem:

". . .our faculty creates dynamic new knowledge every day. . ."

What?! They "create" knowledge? New knowledge? every day? Is this like getting up early to make the donuts, or what? Using tediously verbose language, I suppose Helen is saying, "the faculty makes it up as they go along, every day." Or maybe she has a more Orwellian idea in mind: "We'll just create knowledge and pass it around. Here's you daily does of knowledge. Trust us."

I'm sorry, but unnecessarily wordy, polysyllabic language can't hide ignorance. On the contrary, such expression tends more to HIGHLIGHT ignorance and corrupt thought. In fact, neither faculty nor anyone else "creates" knowledge, which, if it were created, would by definition to new, now wouldn't it? One may discover facts, and offer theories of their meaning, but you don't make them up; you don't create them.

Unless, of course, you are Helen. But let's see if we can boil down her wordy narrative to the bare essentials:

1. Government Funding is going down. We need to whip up some news ways to get money.
2. Technology is being used by schools to reach more students. We need to be like other schools.
3. Our hospital is competing with other hospitals. We have a plan to remain competitive. I can't tell you what it is, but it will take some guts to get it done.
4. Faculty salaries are going up, and so is tuition cost. We need to figure out how to move money around better, but the University has no plan in place.
5. Hey! You want proof? Look at the ratio of students to teachers. That's because we don't have enough money. We need more money.
6. Hey! You want MORE proof? UVA formerly ranked 26th in faculty compensation. Now we are 36th. See what I mean?
7. "Drifting Engagement Direction." This means we're getting money for stuff like squash courts and Yoga and Meditation, but this is no good unless we have a plan. Just thought I'd throw that in there. These top ten lists can be tough, know what I mean?
8. We're not getting as much money for research as we once did. Heck, even Tech does better than we do. We need more money.
9. We need to make sure the kids are really getting the education they are paying for (or someone is paying for). We need the school to prove to us they are doing a good job.
10. Increasing importance of a proactive, contemporary communications function. In other words, we need to open a Facebook page so everyone know's we're really hip.

Offered as a public service.

From what I understand, there was someone lined up and he pulled out. Correct me if I'm wrong.

The really important item about the document is that it was discovered that it was authored by a PR flack. She cannot come out and clarify that she wrote it and the pr firm just distributed it without drawing more attention to the fact that this is all a miserable attempt at a slick public relations campaign--but apparently PR dollars don't get you what they used to. If she clarifies or tries to explain--it just brings her BAD press. Maybe the bill for Hill and Knowlton WON'T be that bad after all--they certainly are not doing much to burnish her image and their clumsy attempts to help her end up backfiring--not worth alot, it would seem.

Go Hoos: I believe they had names, but were they really going to just appoint someone with no process for non BOV (or Dragas crew) input? Seems hard to believe even in this bizarre story. How Dragas hasn't been pushed out is a travesty. Complete mismanagement.

There is much discussion in these threads (and, although it might surprise the Rector, within UVa) about on-line education. Some of the recent posts have examined the Darden-Curry link. I would first just like say that in my interactions with Dean Pianta (which, perhaps ironically, started when he chaired President Sullivan’s inauguration committee!) and Curry faculty I have found that they are careful academics who are focused on exploring ways to use technology to improve educational instruction. I am in the UVa sciences but I have occasionally talked and met with Curry faculty in this area and I don’t ever recall hearing the words “business model."

I do not perform research in this area, but I try to follow the literature. There is a distinction between on-line training and on-line education. For training, the participant needs to show mastery of a finite, predefined skill set. A key feature of training is that the subject matter does not change in time (think algebra and perhaps basic accounting). This form of “education” can be delivered effectively by internet-related technologies. It is also an area where there is possibly a business model that could support a for-profit company. For these “training” areas, the company need only grant a “certificate” that validates the successful mastery of the training material.

On-line education, at least at the university level, is more complex. The goals in higher education are to have students collect and analyze information and then present their conclusions through a logical, well-crafted argument. In most cases, the basic information they are trying to understand is changing rapidly through university research programs. Being close to the forefront of new knowledge is critical. These activities are more difficult to place on-line because the content is constantly evolving and the “education process” requires discussion among the students and faculty. In my personal opinion, it is hard to see how “on-line” education threatens the essential educational mission of universities. To my knowledge, no university has figured out a way to “monetize” on-line courses because it is nearly impossible for the instructor to assess student performance and justify the awarding of course credit towards a degree.

However, many of us in academia are excited by the idea of bringing the process of learning and research to a wider community (citizens and K-12 students) by making university research resources available to augment courses in educational institutions that could never afford them. For example, the US National Science Foundation has been supporting the development of internet accessible scientific instruments for several years now with the goal that students and researchers around the world could participate at the forefront of science without the capital investment of major instruments (that can cost in the $1M range). The astronomy community leads the way in making their data and analysis tools available to the general public – an area often called “citizen science.” In fact, one of the largest data producing astronomy projects worldwide, the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array has its North American headquarters here in Charlottesville at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and this is catalyzing several projects in “on-line education” locally.

To me, the basic “philosophical difference” here is that the academic world wants to use internet-related technologies to broaden the engagement of the people worldwide in learning and discovery by making our resources and expertise freely available - the 21st Century update to Jefferson’s idea of public education. The business community wants to turn a profit.

@uva prof

Which side –– the "academic world" or the "business community" –– do you think is most advantaged in the "philosophical difference" still unfolding at UVa?

And do you really think this "philosophical difference" is confined to the University grounds and to this particular incident?

@uva prof, I see the need for more on-line or electronic use for the Adult Degree Program. I understand more undergrads are right from high school but the benefit to the community for full-time employees to advance their education (and many do desire to do just this) would open doors a bit more. In no way do we want all of that education to be virtual - but there could be a happy medium because many full-time employees juggle work, family and the various issues life tends to bring. I wished that it was a bit more flexible.

"noted our relatively poor performance vis-à-vis key public competitors such as UCLA, Berkeley, Michigan, and UNC."

Adjusted for the local cost of living, UVA faculty out-earn their counterparts at UNC, UCLA and Berkeley by substantial margins.

Quotes from the blog of Erika Hayes James about the fateful Sunday, June 10th.

A Sudden Departure

” I am a member of the Mount Zion First African Baptist Church in Charlottesville, and a faculty member of the Darden Business School at the University of Virginia. Both affiliations are relevant to a set of unusual circumstances I experienced this weekend. On Sunday I enthusiastically attended church service. On this day my enthusiasm was in large part because our church was welcoming Teresa Sullivan, President of the University of Virginia. As a UVA faculty member I was looking forward to hearing her speak to a constituency often peripheral to the academic community. President Sullivan was invited by our pastor to be a guest speaker with the purpose of ministering to the congregation in honor of the high school and college graduates from our church. As I’ve seen her do on numerous occasions at the university, she delivered eloquent, humorous, thoughtful, personal, and deliberate remarks. Her message centered on staying true to one’s convictions, and leading with a purpose. Referencing bible verses from the book of Romans she spoke of not allowing one’s self to conform to the inevitable trials and tribulations life will present, but to be transformed by them.”

"........At the time that she was so graciously delivering her remarks to our church graduates, President Sullivan must have been experiencing tremendous internal turmoil as the decision to end her presidency had likely occurred within the previous 24 hours. I suspect her charge to our graduates to be transformed by (not conform to) the challenges of life, were drawn from her own immediate need to lead in such a manner at this particular juncture in her career. "

++++++++++++++++++++
In my opinion, that is what President Sullivan meant by "incremental change." That the transformative change in the University must be from within: internalized/externatilized by each student, faculty member, and board member. Not the will of the few imposed from the top down, but (as was shown by GROUNDS-swell of 2000 strong)
the Collective Consciousness of The University.

NancyDrew,

Yes H&K was part of the propaganda/disinformation operation of the Bush White House to stampede the country into the second Iraq War. Having been in Iraq from north in Irbil to Baghdad to south into the Fao penninsula just prior to the first Iraq War, I have some familiarity with the issue.

I would point out that this thread and others have identified the American Enterprise Institute education section, Hess etal., as involved in the "education reform" movement we are presently confronting at Mr. Jefferson's University. The movement is financed in part by the Wall Street speculators.

It could be noted that the American Enterprise Institute was taken over some thirty years ago by the extremist right wing "Neoconservative" policy network. Irving Kristol and all that. AEI and the Neoconservative policy network generally, were prime movers in the push for the second Iraq War. Many Neocons were in the Bush Administration.

So some of the same policy/political machinery and funding sources have targetted Mr. Jefferson's University.

democracy and others here have correctly warned us about a larger national agenda here on the part of these hidden and not so hidden forces.

Not really off topic, let me add that I had heard there is a plan to change the Rotunda back to the Stanford White plan and thus shred Mr. Jefferson's plan. As architecture has a symbolic aspect this would signal burying Jefferson's classical vision based on the Pantheon and so on. I hope this rumor I heard is completely false but given the current situation I would not be surprised.

Couple of thoughts:

1. I expect to see the Hill & Knowlton expenses on the FY12 and FY13 990s from the U.Va. Foundation, but we'll have to wait awhile for those.

2. For the (teensy few) criticizing Sullivan's fundraising or lack thereof, you should know that at a MINIMUM it generally takes 18 months to close a major gift. As a university president, it takes time to learn the culture and to get to know and build trust with existing major donors, and it takes even longer to develop a major donor prospect. Think about it - if you were a millionaire, would you drop a million dollars on some administrator you just met? If you did, you wouldn't be a millionaire for very long.

Not to mention the fact that those of us in higher ed fundraising know that the philanthropic climate since September 2008 has made fundraising more challenging than ever. I can't fault a single professional fundraiser for not meeting pre-collapse goals in a post-collapse world.

C'ville Native: Here is the perfect example of some of the challenges of on-line discussion. Thank you for the points you made about the adult degree program and continuing education more generally. In my time at UVa I have had a few (less than 10) students through continuing education in my classes. Through the Community Scholar program:

http://www.scps.virginia.edu/programs

It has never worked well because, as you point out, the usual structure of undergraduate courses is generally unworkable unless you are a full time student. This a great area where UVa could do better through creative uses of technology and I am upset that this obvious point didn't make it into my comments (the value of open discussion).

I would enjoy a chance to talk to you about this idea. But I also prefer that my e-mail inbox does not get more overrun than it already is. Do you have any suggestions for a way to set up a meeting without posting contact information on this thread? In any case, I will take any opportunities I get to bring this point up in local discussions.

Thank you, John Geare. Very well said!

Lots of long-winded posts. The professors must have arrived.

The kicker is Sullivan : nice as she is and treated badly as she was, now you are stuck with Ms Average. Poor Dean Z- a very good man, way over his head.Jeff's Rounda-back to Standford White, that is pure fiction!.But you might look to that hideous parapet that put on the now sand coloured Pav. Ugly, Ugly .Ok get mad about what I said about Sullivan.

After the crime has been exposed and the vilians in the case await punishment . Then I look for the lesson and in this case -- Think before you act.

The other lesson - sunshine is better than darkness.

Dragas just sent out a message to UVA parents -- it's the same one that was sent to the staff yesterday. So I imagine she's trying to contact as many constituents (or, perhaps, to use JPT's language, "stakeholders") before Tuesday. I imagine everyone associated with the University is going to be in for a long siege of manifestos, justifications, and other assorted emails over the weekend until Tuesday.

And whoever above thinks that you'll find the expenses for Hill & Knowlton anywhere, I bet you will be wrong. I think the foundations do not have to do the things that the University itself is required to do by state law.

More info on Hill & Knowlton
From a commenter at cvillenews.com

‘Citizens for a Free Kuwait’ was notoriously exposed as a front organisation created by international public relations firm Hill & Knowlton and funded by the exiled Kuwait monarchy, in a successful effort to seek American support for the first Gulf War.

http://www.behindthespin.com/features/astroturfing-the-unacceptable-face...

@shempdaddy : Thanks! That's very helpful. Actually it suggests another paranoid question: who's the journalist whose .pdf's include that convention? Now I'm wondering ... Ullyot? No doubt he included it for the convenience of the outlets they were sending the letters out to.

MoJoe - they are (or were very recently) talking about a less expensive rotunda renovation that would have favored/returned SWhite over Jefferson's design. That is a fact.

WAPO today on student reaction "students feel betrayed":

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/university-of-virginia-stu...

Seems this could be an indication of student sentiment come the fall semester.

NancyDrew, prwatch piece well done, thanks for heads up. My post should have read HandK for the "first" rather than second Iraq War. AEI as I noted was linked to the second Iraq War.

JoeMoe, glad to hear your input that Sanford White may not be on the agenda but I will keep an eye out given the general mess around the University.

Will take a look at the parapet Sunday during the rally. As far as I know that was done exactly (or as close as possible) to Jefferson's original design. In historical architectural restoration there are various approaches. One is to stick as close as possible to the original design, thus the parapet restored and done in the original sandstone color. Logical at Mr. Jefferson's University to stick to the original Jefferson design as much as possible. Monticello and Poplar Forest try to do this also. I well remember the ever cheerful and energetic Prof. Freddie Nichols in bow tie from his classes on architectural history. He was behind the restoration of the Rotunda based on Jefferson's plan. An inspiring professor to say the least.

Kevin Lynch June 22nd, 2012 | 2:11pm
“Dragas and her PR flaks are apparantly hoping that most of the folks on the Alumni email list have not heard about this issue yet, and that this email will be their first impression. If you havent already done so, this would be a good time to contact all of your Alumni friends, especially those who dont live in the area and let them know what is going on.”

Kevin, direct them to www.readthehook.com

Would Prof Nichols decide that Pavilion (fill in blank) cost for restoration was in line by emailing a fellow BOV and asking him how much he paid to have his house redone?

On a lighter note....

Ms. Dragas,
Next time you need to make a group decision, consult the honey bees!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/4601179/Honey-bees-work-togeth...

@ who's in charge:

Form 990, Part VII, Section B must be completed for the five highest-paid independent contractors being paid more than $100,000. Depending on the costs incurred by Hill & Knowlton, they may well appear on this list. It'll be interesting because they're charging and will be paid in two separate fiscal years, which may reduce the expense to a degree that it won't be on the 990. Time will tell.

If it's not there, it will be in Part IX under Functional Expenses, possibly under Fees for Services or Other Expenses. It might end up buried in a category that includes other expenses though.

Sam,

The Sullivan mess and the issue of the restoration of the Rotunda both hinge on "philosophy" to say the least. They are related, in a sense, as both turn on Jefferson and his legacy: Jefferson's academical village versus Goldman Sachs/Tudor Fund corporate u.

Hook covered some of the story on the Rotunda:
http://www.readthehook.com/70920/rotunda-what-devil-do-it

Back in the 1960s the Rotunda was grimy dark and dank. White's interior reminded one of a giant mens room in some New York City railroad station. Not unlike the grimy, dark, and dank doings of the present Wall Streeters in the Sullivan case.

Prof. Nichols and Prof. Mario di Valmarana were interested in the influence of Palladio on Jefferson and in America. In old England, some wealthy persons built in the style of Palladio and were associated with the more liberal Whig politics. So there is some symbolism here. Stanford White catered to the plutocrats and financial tories of Wall Street and so on...

I'll take Mr. Jefferson's academical village over the Wall Streeters corporate u and Stanford White any day.

Just worth pointing out that PDFs aren't Word documents - the "original author" field doesn't necessarily reflect the author of the source document, but rather the person who turned it into a PDF. If I were Dragas (and I'm glad I'm not), I'd probably be using a crisis management firm to help coordinate the release of my statements, including formatting them as PDFs for release to news outlets.

(BTW, none of this affects the fact that the statement in question says nothing about the actual concerns of the community or the reasoning behind canning Sullivan.)

Aprotim - True, but in addition to the original author field, the original title of the Word document used to create the PDF was "Dragas Statement 120621 FINAL.docx". If she had written the document herself, presumably she would not need to remind herself of her own name by putting it in the document title.

Even if Dragas had some input into the original word document, this was an amateur move for a PR firm to make. For a bunch of new digital age wannabees, they dont appear to have mastered 1990's technology yet.

Kevin - how do you know that someone else, like say UVA, didn't add the file name. They would have need to use such a file name as might others. The point is that you are trying to make something out of nothing on this thread.

All this outpouring of support for a leech of a university that sucks up tax dollars, won't accept local high school students into its undergraduate school and refuses to hire minorities for anything other than janitorial jobs. Sullivan, Casteen are cut from the same cloth.

Aprotim - When I try the experiment of having someone email me a Word document that they create and then turning that document into a pdf, I get a document whose author is the person who mailed me the document.
The author attribute is incredibly sticky. It survives even if I edit the Word document before saving it as a pdf and if I save the Word document under a new filename, reopen it, and then save that new file as a pdf. The original author shines through unless explicitly removed. I conclude that the Word document containing the the Dragas statement was created by the PR firm.

here is a note I just sent to the governor, using the official webpage and email form found here: http://www.governor.virginia.gov/CommunityRelations/

i urge everyone to write to him and to your delegates and state senators to record your feelings and to give instruction to our public servants...

Dear Governor McDonnell,

I write to you to express and record my outrage at the treatment of President Sullivan of the University of Virginia by Helen Dragas and other members of the Board of Visitors. I hold two degrees from the university and have lived most of my life in Albemarle County. I find the behavior of Rector Dragas and her associates on the Board of Visitors responsible for the forced resignation of President Sullivan inexcusable, even if there had been some legitimate reason for seeking her resignation. The behavior of Ms. Dragas, both in public and behind closed doors has greatly insulted the university community and diminished the reputation of our institution.

The faculty has made clear its support for the President and its lack of confidence in the Board of Visitors as it is now constituted.

I join the many thousands who are asking for the immediate removal of Ms. Dragas and her close associates on the board responsible for the unfortunate events that have done such damage to our university, as is now being widely reported in the national press, including even in Time magazine.

Furthermore, I ask you to insist on greater transparency in the proceedings of the Board of Visitors meetings where the disposition of public money and resources is discussed and directed.

Finally, I must ask you, as I have already asked Senator Deeds, to review and improve the process by which members of the Board of Visitors are selected so that we do not have a repetition of this unfortunate and painfully embarrassing episode of inappropriate behavior by high public officials.

It seems to me that this most damaging and regrettable chapter in the history of the university could have been avoided if you and Governor Kaine had chosen the members of the Board of Visitors with greater wisdom.

Speaking for myself, I would rather see a Board of Visitors largely composed of distinguished educators rather than regional real estate developers. In any case, in the future there should at all times be a member of the faculty, perhaps the leader of the faculty senate, as a voting member of the Board of Visitors.

In closing, I ask you, again, to act without delay in removing Ms. Dragas from the Board of Visitors along with those other members who forced President Sullivan to resign under duress.

Dr. James Bartholomay Kiracofe

The U-Va endowment is paying Hill + Knowlton's John Ullyot to write Helen "Well in Hand" Dragas' statement.
("Properties" Adobe Acrobat) Apparently 50K - 100K does not get the services of a staff that know document writing to explain how Rector Helen "Well in Hand" Dragas is going to drag us into forefront of online education.

Remember Hill + Knowlton? Remember the "Nayirah" testimony that helped launch the 1991 Iraq war? Whatever the true case for war was at that point, it is certain that Hill + Knowlton was paid millions to concoct absolutely false propaganda, especially the "incubator babies" testimony offered by "Nayirah" before Congress. http://www.prwatch.org/books/tsigfy10.html

"All this outpouring of support for a leech of a university that... won't accept local high school students into its undergraduate school ..."

My daughter (Albemarle High School Class of 2011) just finished her first year at UVA. More that fifty of her AHS classmates were also admitted to the University, along with dozens of CHS, MHS, and WAHS graduates, plus another handful from local private high schools. If you graduate in the top 10% of your local HS class, you have an excellent chance of being admitted to UVA. How many local high school students would it take to satisfy you?

I don't know anything about this issue, but from the tone of the comments, it sickens my heart. As a parent sending their child to college someday, I am certain I will never consider sending her to a place with such a bullying and mean spirited community. There are absolutely no dissenting comments. Obviously, anyone on the other side of this issue is afraid to speak.

for micelle,
when you know more about the issue, that is the forced resignation of President Sullivan
you may come to understand why there are so few dissenting voices. since the person reaponsible for forcing the president to resign, Rector Helen Dragas, did so in such an inappropriate and dissapointing way that has so offended and outraged the entire community, Ms. Dragas has hired a public relations firm, it is said for a fee of $950,000 paid by the university foundation.Consequently, we now have people posting comments to these threads supporting the rector's actions using names other than their own, but who many suspect are doing so to conceal that they are working for the public relations firm hired by Ms. Dragas. this might explain some of the sharper comments you have seen.

but for your information, President Sullivan was forced to resign in a most undignified manner and for no good reason that anyone has been able to uncover. In fact, yesterday on the steps of the Rotonda many distinguished members of the faculty spoke in favor of President Sullivan for several hours in front of over 1,000 members of the community gathered in support of the President, extolling the excellence of her performance as president, many saying that they had never heard a negative comment from anyone about President Sullivan. you should also know that all but one of the deans of the various schools at the university wrote letters on behalf of their faculties expressing their complete support for the president and their complete lack of confidence in the Board of Visitors responsible for forcing the president to resign. The one dean who did not write such a letter was offerred the interim presidency, if i have it correctly.

President Sullivan may be reinstated by a vote of the Board of Visitors, and she may accept their offer of reinstatement. If this turns out to be the case then so long as President Sullivan and distinguished educators like her are President of the University this would be an excellent place for your son or daughter to attend.

CWR - just out of curiosity, what PDF tool did you use? I believe that Acrobat and the "Print to PDF" functionality on a Mac may be different, but I don't have Word on my Mac, so I can't try it myself. If it is true that both Acrobat and the Mac built-in Print to PDF preserve the original author, that's pretty funny.