Alums for Sullivan: Dragas' top employee sends out emotional video

"Maybe it was a mistake," says Carol Wood, the spokesperson for UVA, who sent out a link on Saturday morning to an emotional video of alumni standing up in support of ousted President Teresa Sullivan.

The video, which opens with a Thomas Jefferson quotation about opposing tyranny and depicting an array of alumni– stretching from the hallowed UVA Grounds to foreign nations– is an under three-minute vignette of support for Sullivan as an instrumental version of UVA's "Good Old Song" plays quietly in the background.

The video was created by a group called "Students, Family & Friends United to Reinstate President Sullivan," a YouTube account created June 22. At the time of this posting, it had 234 views.

Wood, who now reports directly to Sullivan's nemesis, University Rector Helen Dragas, says she intended to send the video just to fellow members of the communications staff, and the header on the email suggests as much.

"Maybe I should apologize," says Wood. "I'm tired."

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


In a way, I am glad that these people are making such technological gaffes. It is a sign that their communications system was not designed to keep things secret or confidential.

Good on ya, Carol. Being tired doesn't mean being wrong.

Thanks, Carol Wood, for putting together this inspiring video!

Thank you Carol. Mistake or not the actions of Rector Dragas and the firing of President Sullivan are so egregious that every staff person at UVa should refuse to work for Dragas EVER .
No apologies needed, only applause.

If there is one thing that everyone ( Republican, Democrat, Independent, God fearing and not ) agree on --Dragas must go and I hope the Governor is listening !

@UVA Worker: Carol didn't put it together. And after I telephoned her about it and told her I intended to put it online, she sent out another email apologizing for sending out the link: "I'm really tired and should not be allowed on a computer today!"--Hawes Spencer, Hook Editor

From all that I have observed, Carol Wood is the consummate professional. She provides news and information from other sources to the UVa community in a fair and balanced manner. The system is overwhelmed and even those of us on the perimeter find it difficult to concentrate. I think the headline hints at something subversive and stirs the pot unnecessarily. Thank you, Carol Wood and staff for keeping us all so well informed.

And thank you, Hawes, for the clarification on the video attribution. You jumped in before I finished my comment. I'm sounding a bit defensive and need coffee.

Students, Family & Friends United to Reinstate President Sullivan thank you for this moving video, not a dry eye in the house.

Please rent a huge screen to show this Sunday at the rally - the world needs to see this.

This is a special moment when people of all walks of life and all political persuasions are coming together to stand up for honor and justice and to bring President Sullivan back.

My granddaughter, whose father is a UVa alum, having read the entire Harry Potter series 5 times, offers this quote to inspire us:

“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Intentionally or not, thank you, Carol, for communicating but a few voices from the alumni community. (I only wish I had been able to get in on the action!)

Dear Governor McDonnell,
Please read this:

Interview at Newsplex with Buford Scott

CS: Where do you see UVa. going from here? There hasn't been a lot of good press in terms of how this was all handled. Do you see this as being a black eye as some have said?

BS: Yes, I'm afraid it is. I have been in a number of meetings in Richmond the last couple of days since i got back from Florida with my two sons, and people sort of in an embarrassed way titter with the subject of UVa. They asked me what's going to happen and what can I do to fix it and some say, 'Buford, we wish you were on the board up there and this would have never happened,' which of course is not the case. But it is an embarrassment not only in Virginia but in academia across the country and maybe around the world. It'll be a while before we live this down, and I think the Board of Visitors, again, while I'm sure they were doing what they thought was the right thing for the university, they really did not handle it very well at all.

Please contact the Governor and ask him to put us out of our collective pain now and announce that the Dragas/PR machine can come to a halt, the staff at UVa can go home and rest, and the Board can vote to reinstate President Sullivan on Tuesday. Even if Helen Dragas sits in the Rector's chair, if the Governor announces she will not be reappointed the struggle will come to an end.

Thank you Governor- please let us get some rest !

Wait. We're quoting Harry Potter now? I thought we were supposed to argue about whose Thomas Jefferson could beat up whose Thomas Jefferson.

Go Carol!!!!! Thank you, honorable, honorable, honorable!!!!

Please email the Governor, and yes, I think Jefferson would agree with Harry Potter.

Carol, you are the ultimate professional and a delightful human being. No apology is needed! The past few weeks have taken a toll on all of us and it was soooooooo....UNNECESSARY!

Hang in there, my friend!

Carol, such an honorable gesture and respected. Thank you for speaking up and out against tyranny. Hang in there and I hope you get some rest soon....blessings and namaste....

I hope that the Foundation's PR guru,, got to see the video.

As an employment proposition, returning to UVa would be one of the worst possible moves President Sullivan could make, in my opinion.

Setting aside all the affection that exists for her on grounds, and setting aside the temptation for her to return just so that "They" don't "win," how realistic is it for her to come back to work for a board - the vast majority of whom either quietly tolerated or actively joined in Dragas and Kington's deceptions and scheming?

When choosing a leadership role, one tries to measure the likelihood of success, the potential for trusting, creative relationships, the possible rewards of service.

To return to UVa might prove a point, but would it lead to a successful relationship between the President and the Board and Faculty? The odds, I think, are against it. President Sullivan returning would be a noble gesture - and would, at a fantasy level "undo" the pathetic failure of the BOV to lead responsibly, but it would, in all probability, not lead to the best use of President Sullivan's gifts.

Let's face it: UVa doesn't deserve her. Dragas is UVa's own creature, as is Kington. The cost of letting Dragas and Kington dance all over the U's principles is a terrible one: it cost them a potentially great leader.

But that's that. Let her go somewhere where she'll be appreciated, where she can start again, and where she can make her mark.

That place, sadly is NOT UVa.

What UVa will do next is anyone's guess. A year or two of interim presidency, a thorough post mortem on this debacle, and some key resignations seem in order. But whatever UVa does next, it's not President Sullivan's problem.

She's already paid to great a price for UVa's weakness. Let her go.

As an alumni, I am grateful you send this video out, produced with great love and care by alumni who are deeply, gravely concerned for their university. THANK YOU!

Obviously, I am tired too. The above comment should read: As an alumna, I am grateful you sent this video out, produced with great love and care by alumni who are deeply, gravely concerned for their university. THANK YOU!

I keep thinking "Too bad 'Control Z' isn't an option."

For UVA to move forward, Dragas and 11 other Board members need to go. (YOU know who YOU are!) The only ones who should remain on the BOV are the three who were kept out of the loop until the last minute when Dragas was orchestrating the coup. Everyone else needs to GO!!!!!!!

Please do the honorable thing. GO AWAY!

everyone should write a note to the governor, here is where to find the official email form

here is a note i just sent in:

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

Terrific video. Perhaps the BOV should be forced to watch it on a loop for an hour before the Tuesday meeting! :-)

It would be good to hear from more faculty, especially those who are emeritus and full professors. In many ways their reputations are at risk here. Less senior faculty can and will go elsewhere and will make names for themselves at other institutions.

No matter what the outcome, the University has suffered damage that can not be undone. My friends in the academic world are outraged by these actions and won't be applying to teach at UVA at any point in the near future.

A story in news today talks about the costs of online testing. It is twice as expensive as in classroom testing. The Internet classes from Harvard et al have yet to make a dime for any of those schools. If UVA wants to become the next Uinversity of Phoenix, it should do so without any support from the State of Virginia or from any donations covered by the status of a nonprofit 501 (3) C organization. You can't have it both ways Rectors!!!!!!!!

The Governor is not going to do any more. If the BOV does not make a decision Tuesday, he will dismiss them all perhaps reinstating Dragas and those that are to his liking such as Jones who donated $100K to his campaign. You need to write your reps in the Virginia General Assembly - because that is who, according to VA Code the BOV "answers to". The Gov only appoints them, the General Assembly approves them.

Thank you everyone who sent in their pictures for the rally and this extremely touching video. Please send the link to each member of the BOV and especially to President Sullivan so she can truly appreciate how much she is appreciated. This is that time - that fork in the road - when each member of the BOV will have to decide if they can rise to that level of leadership, when they think not about their own selves and their own legacies, but with humility consider what is action will preserve the University for the next two hundred years. I guess it is kind of like Harry's last walk into the Forbidden Forest...

Carol- no need to apologize! You are doing remarkable work under very difficult circumstances. I have noticed several small things in your very professional communications that made me smile-- small nods to those who are paying attention. Thank you!

But as you watch what the Governor says and does remember this:

From the Kiernan email about "the Project " to oust Sullivan
These are the kind of people who want to run UVa and they are the Governors big donors.

As you might expect, the decisions involving my modest role in all of this have not been entirely mine to make. As many of you know no major decision of this kind can be made at Virginia without the support and assent of the Governor. I am not sure what my future role in this process will be. Those are the facts.

Sent from my iPhone

I think C-ville Native is correct about the governor.
still, flooding his office with e-mail and telephone calls can't hurt.
he is a politician and does count votes.

But I think C-ville Native is correct about contacting our representatives in the
state legislature. I spoke directly to Senator Deeds yesterday at some length asking for investigation of what has happened and for reform of the system by which members of the board are chosen. I also told Senator Deeds that I believe that Ms. Dragas must be removed from the board at once.

I would have had a similar conversation with Delegate Bell but his office does not answer the phone and only has voice mail.

I also called Delegate Morrisey's office, in whose district I do not vote, to voice my support of his effort to conduct a legislative oversight review of the situation.

One comment I saw in these threads said that Delegate Morrisey was grandstanding, but I certainly do not see it that way. The Speaker of the House said he thought it was premature to conduct an investigation, but I think it is long overdue.

Like many others I've been putting together pieces and parsing statements from various sources. What I've gathered is this: There is no issue brought up by Helen Dragas that President Sullivan has not already addressed or indicated her willingness to address, if only she'd been asked.

The statements from the Board on online education are embarrassingly out of date. President Sullivan has already stated her doubts about the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of the talking head lecture and multiple-choice-after model.of education. I have spoken in some detail with someone (my brother) who was incredibly frustrated and unimpressed with nursing classes online. If you are someone who thinks critically and learns most from the Socratic engagement of professor and students, it is impossible to learn and impossible not to feel cheated by a series of lectures on DVD with an exam at the end.

Just because the Washington Post's cultural guru writes up online ed as the latest craze does not make it desirable or suitable for UVA. (And how sad that newspaper articles are offered as support for the claim that this incredibly accomplished scholar should be removed after only two years!) I was so impressed when I came here (in the first year women came) to find first year classes taught by full professors, some of them world class.

I have always been proud of the academic traditions of my university and received two graduate degrees here and one elsewhere. I've spend my entire career in colleges and universities, teaching philosophy and poetry. So I know how members of a university community should conduct themselves.

Helen Dragas has caused incalculable damage, as others have said. The sad fact is that even now she seems to have no idea what she's done.

If we swiftly reinstate President Sullivan, we can start to work undoing the damage and meeting the considerable challenges we face, none of which, I would think it should be obvious, were caused by Terry Sullivan!

I'm just saying, what if Sullivan and Dragas make up and promise to work together? Could you handle it?

I'd agree it's best to stay on topic and not let this devolve into a general gripe session.

On a more critical note--and in conceptual continuity regarding "devolve"--please don't forget that DEVO is back on the road on a reunion tour. (This latest drama proves: We're all DEVO!)

R.I.P.: Malcolm McLaren

Thank you, Carol Wood, for "accidentally" sharing this video.

Ann E., CLAS '08

OK folks, I made a comment. The rape stories are old news ....sad, frustrating, and true ... but old news. I am not going to read nor defend them because I do believe Pres Sullivan has a plan to address these crimes and I was willing to keep the faith that she would. I don't believe a successor would give it the topic the consideration she has. The comment I made on this article was about Wood apologizing for sending this out and I find irony in that. I don't say anything that I have not personally been touched by, involved in, or the subject of ...and perhaps my fault is that I use my real name instead of some pretend pen name. That I can remedy. Enuf...

First woman Rector?
First woman President?

nothing compared to this

Carol, et al

Isaiah 32:8..... "But the noble (wo)man makes noble plans and by noble deeds, (s)he stands"

Accident or not, thank you and know you do not stand alone.

Not one of TJ's quotes but one with which I think he would agree.

I'm confused what the story is here. Did she intend to send it out to her staff and instead sent it to a much larger group of people? Was her "Maybe it was a mistake" comment an opinion about Sullivan's ousting stated in her email, or something she told the Hook after she sent the email?

This video is not very convincing and in fact makes it's point seem fishy . It is comprised of 98% from one gender with children generously inserted .Are we supposed to believe the children are there on their own expressing their own point of view or are they just pushed forward. It looks like they are just put there holding a sign of which they don't know it's relevance . The same ,therefore,must be inferred by the gender block . They also just seem to be there as props unaware of what they are doing .


Good 10 feet elevation view.......try analyzing the photos less and take a 10,000 ft + view of the concept. Not quite "art" but a creative statement about an emotional issue regarding the BOV's dishonorable action.

This threatening of lawsuits against folks for posting their opinions is just the antics of the undemocratic .They only support free speech for themselves and those who agree with them . A person doesn't have to specify that they are merely expressing their opinion like in the old days . Judges take it for granted that those posting on these forums are simply expressing an opinion or providing facts as they understand them to be .So their opinions might be wrong or they error in their facts but that is not libel . Come on bully !!!

@ shame --- It did all that but it is a piece of lame _ _ _ _ . Admit it . Does more to defeat it's intent than support it .

Can't find the time schedules for Sunday's and Tuesday's events without reading all the articles. Anyone have it handy?
Many thanks!

Susan Russell... How can you be so sure Hawes believes all you say? That's a weird statement.

Snoop here are all the meeting times . Tomorrow's rally is at 2pm on the Lawn

Frank Speaker seems to be a shill for the Board. Shame!

Very effective piece of communication science.....I think it will hit the mark, but is already unnecessary since I suspect the we, the dissedents, have most probably already won......there is value in seeking the truth where ever it may lead and to resisting tyrants.

Wrecker, Rector, eRector, or iRector?

It was either deliberate or it was sloppy to send that link. But I've been underwhelmed by that office for years. We get news stories about cats and magnolia trees. Is that the best material we have, or the easiest to run?

old wahoo makes an insightful observation in his 9:00 pm post.

Frank Speaker has been trolling articles here for a while. He has mentioned several times that he's a Canadian but for some reason likes to comment on local events. He typically seems pretty uninformed about the issues he offers his opinion on, so it's understandable that he would appear to be a shill.


I'm not being a smart a$$; but I learned on election night 2000 not to count my birds in the hand until the chickens had come home to blow the house down.

O.k, maybe a little a bit.

This is not over until it's done; and that may well not happen on Tuesday. I think that the vote from the BOV is going to be good; but there are appointments to come who could proceed in much more devious and even less transparent ways. Whatever the motives, financial or ideological, of those who began this mess, they will not disappear on Tuesday.


Block that metaphor! :) (or, was that a portmanteau cliché?

I'm afraid you are absolutely right and that most of us here had better prepare for the worst (btw I was mentally prepared for Sandusky to be acquitted the way OJS and Casey Anthony were).

The next wind that blows from the East(?) Oval Room may have a strong scent of the wind off the pastures. The masters of the universe may have to endure a temporary setback but it's clear they're determined to turn the University into a hedge fund against intellectual honesty or socratic discourse. At least for once it's the Darden & Comm. Schools, not the athletic department as at PSU, which seems to have become the tail which wags the dog.

On topic I'd venture that Ms. Wood's mistake was exactly that. Let us hope the Dragon "Lady" doesn't axe her in another fit of spite.

By the way, Mark Warner first appointed Kington to the BOV (Kington was dropped by Kaine and reappointed by McDonnell).

Has anybody asked Mark Warner what his take is on the current situation?

I was wondering if Macaca Georgie had anything to say about the situation. Didn't he somehow manage to graduate from UVA?

Absolutely, I think we need to hear from both Mark Warner and George Allen.

Mark might have more influence, of course; but I think both of them need to weigh in on this matter.

Hook editor, Hawes Spencer, on WNRN Radio ( 91.9) at 11am this morning .

Hmmm ... it's 11 ... and I'm streaming WNRN, but no Hawes ...

Ahhh ... 11:02 and things are lookin' up!

You know, maybe what the Rally on the Lawn should be about today is a call to lift the agreement between Sullivan and the Board. Truth and reconciliation. Or at least facts presented by all.

Is this Logan Anderson a kid or the Editor of the Editorial Page at The News & Advance in Lynchburg?

Logan is the kid in the video at 0.59 .

@ Pam: " Is this Logan Anderson a kid or the Editor of the Editorial Page at The News & Advance in Lynchburg?"

Dear Pam,

Are you suggesting there is a significant difference?

Separately, as a Media General paper, The News & Advance is a lot like The Daily Progress, only worse.

Back on point: Resign, Dragas! You are useless to the University of Virginia.

I hope to see you all at 2pm on Lawn today. This will probably be the largest demonstration ever on the UVa lawn.

If you can't make it --tune in via video feed

Dear Silly Logan,

So it's OK for you to dish out unsolicited advice and tell Logan Anderson to STFU, but it's not OK for her to do that?

Exactly who TF died and appointed you the forum monitor?