Sullivan oustermath: A timeline of UVA in tumult
Late May to early June - In the "why we can't afford to wait" emails later obtained by the Cavalier Daily, Rector Helen Dragas and Vice-Rector Mark Kington swap newspaper and magazine articles as well as a YouTube video to convince each other how important it is to launch online classes and– with a doctor's speech to Williams College– to make sudden directional shifts when they smell a whiff of failure in the air.
6/07 - Thursday – "Mark and I will both be in Charlottesville tomorrow," Dragas emails President Sullivan, "and would appreciate a meeting with you." The President asks if she can prepare anything.
6/08 - Friday – Making representations about Board of Visitors support for their move, Dragas and Kington personally deliver the blow to the President.
6/10 - Sunday – Kington & Dragas recruit Hunter Craig, the sole Charlottesville-based member of the BOV's executive committee, to create a three-person quorum to accept the resignation. Dragas and Kington hold a press conference on the steps of Madison Hall. Later, Kington emails Dragas: "I am proud to serve with you."
6/11 - Monday – After receiving talking points from Dragas the previous day, various deans begin releasing a smattering of we're-surprised-but-we'll-survive emails.
6/12 - Tuesday – Like the Rosetta Stone, a leaked email reveals key aspects of "this project." Released by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the culpabilty-grabbing missive from then Darden Foundation chair Peter Kiernan proclaims that he was recruited by "two important Virginia alums" that the effort has "the support and assent of the Governor." (And the unforgettable line: "Trust me, Helen has things well in hand.")
6/13 - Wednesday – The Hook's first major report connects certain threads including the Darden connection of Kiernan, Dragas, and Kington and their talk of "strategic dynamism" into an article headlined "Cabal Hall."
6/14 - Thursday – Peter Kiernan resigns from the Darden Board via a letter whose reading by the dean at a Darden town hall meeting gets met with applause.
6/15 - Friday – In a candid interview, former UVA president Robert O'Neil criticizes the ouster and explains how smoothly his own 1989 non-renewal went: for him, for UVA, and for the free speech organization he ran until his 2011 retirement.
6/16 - Saturday – Immediate past president John Casteen named as a protestor. The American Association of University Professors launches an investigation of possible governance violations. And, in a Hook exclusive, sources reveal that billionaire hedge fund manager and UVA donor Paul Tudor Jones was involved in the ouster. (Less than a day later, an "elated" Paul Tudor Jones gushes in Sunday morning Daily Progress op/ed: "The spirit of Thomas Jefferson, the first rector of the University of Virginia, is cheering this action by the Board of Visitors.")
6/17 - Sunday – The Faculty Senate holds an open meeting to confirm its "no confidence" vote in the Board of Visitors; and the University spokesperson reveals that the President, supposedly on the job until August 15, has been stripped of supervisory roles and that several key employees have been ordered instead to report directly to Rector Dragas.
6/18 - Monday – On the day that Rector Dragas is revealed to have hired Hill & Knowlton to manage information, the Faculty Senate's executive committee calls for the reinstatement of Sullivan, for the resignation of Dragas, and the appointment of a faculty member to the Board. Walking through a crowd of about 3,000 on the Lawn on her way to address the Board, Sullivan evokes cheers and tears.
6/19 - Tuesday – The day dawns mere hours after an 11-hour Board meeting– at which Hunter Craig now urges reinstatement– taps McIntire School of Commerce Dean Carl Zeithaml as interim president. A few individuals shouting "shame" and "resign" follow Rector Dragas to her car at 3am. Later in the day, an esteemed computer science professor resigns in protest, Kington resigns, and the man who appointed Dragas, former governor Tim Kaine, begins criticizing the process.
6/20 - Wednesday – Interim President-select Carl Zeithaml denounces both the decision and the process of sacking Sullivan. The Dragas-Kington emails released the previous evening by the Cavalier Daily incite a new wave of outrage.
6/21 - Thursday – The 10 invited deans (McIntire Dean Zeithaml wasn't asked) call for Sullivan's reinstatement, the United4Honor Facebook page tops 12,500 members. And then this jaw-dropper: three members of the BOV call for a Tuesday meeting to vote on reinstating Sullivan.
6/22 - Friday – Citing the groundswell of support for Sullivan and the BOV's call for a reinstatement vote, Interim President-Select Zeithaml returns to the deanship of McIntire. Governor McDonnell says he'll fire the entire Board if they can't close the matter and unify. Five days after Democratic Delegate David Toscano urged reinstatement, Republicans issue similar messages.
6/23 - Saturday – A day so calm that it may have seemed the only thing close to news were the accidental broadcast of a pro-Sullivan video by trapped-in-place University spokesperson Carol Wood (now forced to report to Dragas) and the standing ovation that President Sullivan received at the evening's performance of 1776 at Heritage Theatre Festival. But then the members of UVA's Council of Foundations revealed that they too have joined the near-unanimous reinstatement call.
6/24 - Sunday – Rally for Honor on the UVA Lawn draws Wahoos from across Virginia and the region.
6/25 - Monday – No major developments, other than frantic vote-counting among those handicapping Tuesday's BOV meeting.
6/26 - Tuesday – What will surely be the most Tweeted BOV meeting in UVA history, an event called to reconsider the employment of Teresa A. Sullivan. As this paper went to press, the Board of Visitors voted unanimously to reinstate Sullivan.