Sullivan: 'It seemed fine to me'

The tone was cordial, and the information flowed, the president said, "like drinking water from a firehose" on Tuesday, August 14 as University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan and the woman who briefly fired her, Helen Dragas, met in the Potomac Room in the Richmond Omni hotel.

The occasion was an orientation session for new Board of Visitors members, with the two former adversaries seated at opposite ends of a 16-person table facing each other.

As she did recently when overseeing the departure of potentially disloyal lieutenant Michael Strine, Sullivan dominated this meeting, with Dragas inserting just a question or two.

Dragas declined all comment as the meeting ended, but the President said that she thought her first public meeting with Dragas went well.

"It seemed fine to me," said a smiling Sullivan. "I don't know what you thought, but it seemed fine to me."


(You could also have watched the session via this LIVE FEED.)

–original headline: Let the orientation begin

This story is a part of the President Sullivan retakes the reins special.
Read more on: uva bov


Hard to believe they need to lease space to meet about University business. Less than two hours and they could have done it right here and saved our President a long drive late in the day......

Agreed. Why not meet at the University-owned Boar's Head Inn?

This whole UVA scene is repulsive. Let the board and president move forward. You are all a bunch of people with nothing better to do. You got your president back. Now get over yourselves before you ruin the University completely.

The sad thing is is that the majority of you are faculty. You should be ashamed of yourselves. I think Helen Dragas and the BOV are admirable for not calling you all out. You should all be fired.

Agree! About time someone said something nice about Helen Dragas. I'm from Va. Beach and she is well loved here. Known to be fair and trustworthy. I guarantee you that Sullivan wasn't doing her job properly and everyone in the know wanted her out. I'm sure that Dragas was just trying to save Sullivan the embarrassment of a full vote and there was nothing secretive about it. They are all willing to move on, if all the idiots in c-ville would let them.

I'll bet they don't miss Strine .

My bet is he was a good guy doing his job well. Honest. Probably too honest to save his neck.

@ KC they can't fire tenured faculty - thank goodness or Dragas and Co. might have prevailed.

Logan my instincts tell me you are a family member of Helen , that would explain your lack of perspective. Suullivan survived because tens of thousands of UVA affiliated folks spoke out .
Where have you been ?

I would be honored to be a member of such a well respected group. You are all pitiful. And the whole problem with your school is the tenured faculty that wants to sit on their behind and do nothing in an incrimental fashion.

All the hype about UVA is overrated anyway.

Logan, I apologize, when I said, where have you been I forgot, you have been at the beach, that explains everything.

Please take a moment to look at the letter written by 14 prominent UVA Alums requesting a Corporate Governance Review of the events this past June. Members of the UVA community are adding their signatures as a show of support on this petition:

Some of us are alum who see that the BOV shouldn't be comprised of Business People but of those who know how to run an academic institution. Logan is obviously a troll. Dragus' real estate of "well built" homes - with laminate counter tops? Really? It is a racket where you buy a town home and continue to pay for their warranty which you must because the workmanship is below average. Real ethical there. Gonna shake my head and walk away...

Logan, it is "incremental," not "incrimental." I enjoy spotting spelling errors that are not the result of typing mistakes. And please squelch the Mrs. Dragas--Mother Teresa comparison. They have similar necks, that's about it.

R.I.P.: Ron Pallilo

Mean, mean, mean. I am sure you are one of the tenured faculty who was so afraid to lose your precious Sullivan.

Please! Whatever sharp, angry retort you are tempted to make, please walk away from your keyboard until you are calm. Your "smart" remarks do not add insight or intelligence but simply contribute to division. Regardless of how you feel about either party, both are trying to be civil. Please follow their examples.

Thank you.. First intelligent comment so far. You are a very valuable commentary.

I don't understand this piece. Is Sullivan quoted as saying,"information flowed like drinking water from a fire hose" and being described as dominating the meeting? So she was the fire hose? In what way did she dominate the resignation of Michael Strine? There was no meeting. Explain, Hawes.

It doesn't take a tenured faculty member (I am not one, by the way - sorry to burst your bubble) to know that Logan, a.k.a. Kind Campaign, has bigger issues with UVA than just the recent treatment of his dear Helen Dragas.

What's the matter, fella? Having a hard time getting over that rejection letter from the U at the end of high school? Another misguided Hokie football fan who cannott separate his fandom from reality? An acolyte of Pat Robertson sent over from Regent to defend a minion of its most prominent graduate (Governor Bob)? You poor thing.

Hill & Knowlton in da house yo!

Susie...I agree with Pause wholeheartedly. Aren't there 200,000 alumni? Why would anyone want to allow 14 disgruntled bored alumni get them upset? Those poor guys need a life.

@Logan: "You are all pitiful. And the whole problem with your school is the tenured faculty that wants to sit on their behind and do nothing in an incrimental fashion"

Incremental -- yes -- and proud of collective, consistent success for the past 900 years. What other industry can boast that?

@Logan Anderson - you are wrong & have an id address at Hill and Knowlton. Please remove yourself from the post. Your voice has no value. Bye bye.

@ Logan (Anderson with Hill & Knowlton PR firm representing Dragas) - oops 'id' should be IP address! sheesh!

Pause is the only valuable speaker here. The rest will be the death of the University you all hold dear. Good luck to you all.

@ Logan - Dear, you need professional help and meds.

And you should maybe get your hours cut. You are working too hard at UVA.

The above comments are a clear indication of why Helen Dragas must be removed from the BOV. Every time her name appears with UVa in the vicinity tempers flare. She has created an atmosphere of distrust and vitriol that not even the star PR firm of Hill and Knowlton can remedy.

Tempers from a few that aren't worth arguing with. The intelligent don't get on these sights. I have learned my lesson. A worthless bunch you all are. You argue for sport. Not issues. Good luck to you all.

@Kind Campaign, the views of the 14 alumni are shared by many more. Dragas and Co. were trying to undermine the foundation of the university. In the business world, they would have been fired. They need to display some honor and integrity and resign so the University can truly move forward.

There is no Helen, only Zuul.

Dragas has undermined the UVA leadership repeatedly and yet won't resign. Why?

Why doesn't Dragas hold an open press conference and explain her actions regarding President Sullivan so that we can all understand?

Understanding is the stepping stone to progression. Today, UVA stands still with so many questions regarding Dragas' decisions. If the UVA's prominent professor's intelligence is worth its weight, the vetting of truth will continue.

Carry on professors, and side with truth & transparency; otherwise, what is to be believed at the UVA?

Logan, The intelligent know the difference between a sight and a site.

Censure is what Dragas represents. Please release emails that support you or talk live via press conference to the faculty, friends, alumni and students. Have some UVA pride. You make us look foolish.

H. Dragas, please look back to when you were a student. Is this the outcome you would have wanted?

@ Logan - Why would anyone consider these posts "worthless"? I have learned that serious debate (at times, sidelined by PR posts) rests here. Thank you UVA!

I applaud the Hook for not censuring comments! Well done Hook!

Please continue...

The comment about not being able to fire tenured faculty was so revealing. This is precisely what is wrong with UVA. Incompetency is a protected attribute. All of the faculty should be fired forthwith.

@blinky I think the facts reveal the opposite. Without a balance of power ( tenured faculty) the University would be run like Enron.

RE: "...President Teresa Sullivan and the woman who briefly fired her..."

Sullivan wasn't FIRED by Dragas or anybody else. Sullivan was told that there were enough votes on the BOV to get rid of her, and Sullivan responded to that by resigning.
Inaccuracies by the media which misdirect blame will not help the current situation at UVA.
Sullivan is the president, and many of the members of the BOV have retained their seats. They need to work together to move the University forward. As in any business, you don't always get to pick the people you work with, or for, but you still have a job to do, and it's time for all of them to get back to work.

"that not even the star PR firm of Hill and Knowlton can remedy."

Aheh...IF - and I think there's a good chance this person isn't - today's troll(s) are from H&K, they definitely aren't the star talent.

What is sad to me watching the live stream of the BOV meetings is that is is still the same old cast of elite characters running the show. You would think the Faculty Senate would be sitting at the table. I find it really cool that Joan Fenton and other citizens are doing something. They are standing witness and showing what citizens can do to respond to the entire situation. Its not time to forget, move on. its time to learn what happened and what it means for public higher education despite what faculty-bashing posters here drivel out.

Let's remember the initial agenda: Dragas must go or Sullivan would not return, The Faculty Senate called for Dragas' and Kington's resignation, an investigation, and faculty representation on the BOV. I am not seeing a call for any of those things.

Sullivan will have to say certain things that reflect the elite calls for order and moving on. There is still a moral dilemma for he: does she just go along with the status quo or does she take some leadership in making change nationally, in the State, and at UVA. The Post article was not reflective of a President who is going to stand up for Public Higher Education. While the Dean's recent letter had some positive signs, it also reeked of elitism and top-down control. I hope we learned the lesson of transparency and democracy in the organization. Faculty, Citizens, Staff, and students and Alums need to be very front and center in any "moving on" plan.

@ Nancy Drew. Tens of thousands of people????? Now I know you must be an Obama supporter to exaggerate your figures like that. We had a couple of thousand people on the lawn (maybe) and only a few people actually spoke out. Tons of people have commented on why Sullivan should not have been forced out. What I have not heard is why she should stay.

@cviller22. Is this kettle cussing pot to criticize NancyDrew's tens of thousands of people. You referred to "tons of people". Were they all fat, seriously overweight? Are you an Obama supporter as well by your own reasoning? This is too funny. Lets get back to evicting Dragas.

Sullivan is also "the Elite"-just the kinder, gentler brand.

Personally, I think Dragas and the BOV aren't speaking because none of you will listen to the issues. You've made up your mind that you want Sullivan no matter what the issues are because she has your faculty backs. Just sayin'. And sorry, this is not Hill and Knowlton speaking.

After all this time I don't care what the Rector or the rest of the BOV has to say. It is time for the BOV to listen to the Alumni and the faculty. Dragas should be long gone. No I am not an employee of UVA, I am a Grad and a member of the Alumni assoc. and a former donor.

Like I one cares about the issues.

@outragedalumna - clearly you have missed the point. Why should Sullivan stay? What has she done? Again, all I hear is why Dragas should be forced to leave because her beliefs are not the same as yours. The argument for Sullivan to stay focuses on the WAY she resigned, not that she resigned.

@cviller22 I don't think I have missed the point. You clearly have. First you object to exaggeration by exaggerating then you seem to think the issue is whether Sullivan should stay. That was never the issue with the Alums. The first issue was the inappropriate conduct of the Rector and the rest of the BOV. The second issue is that as a consequence of disgraceful behaviour the Rector should go. Did you actually graduate from UVA or from anywhere reputable?

@outragedalumna - yes I graduated from a University with a much better reputation than UVA. Again, you have failed to answer the question "Why should Sullivan stay?" and instead resorted to the typical response from Liberals to evade the question and resort to personal attacks. Bravo and thank you for proving my point.

And I graduated from a place with a much better reputation than cviller22.

So there. My opinion matters therefore more. "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog"

FAT cats, all of them,granted some fat cats are better than others-nor can we all be mice

@cviller22 You seem a little slow. Let me state once again, the issue/question is not whether Sullivan should stay or go. That is of no interest to the alums now. That has been taken care of. The issue at hand that we have been grappling with, and which seems to have eluded you , is that Dragas and her cohorts should be made to leave the BOV for disgraceful behaviour that has brought dishonour to the university. That is why we are lobbying the Governor and the Congress. Sullivan is the President and no one is asking her to leave, no matter how much you squawk. Unbeknownst to you others besides "liberals" have a sense of honour.

Why should Sullivan stay? Because an overwhelming majority want her to stay and she does have the experience and know how to run an academic institution. Dregas as it has been pointed out asked her to resign claiming she had the majority of the BOV to vote her out - it was a claim with no vote, no fact to it at all. Not unlike George W's claim of Iraq having "chemicals of mass destruction" which there were none then. (I only mention that because it is a fact - not to state anything political here at all.)

And Logan, since I will quote you: "The intelligent don't get on these sights. I have learned my lesson. A worthless bunch you all are."

And that makes you?

BTW - Intelligence has nothing to do with education or the degree or where you received the degree if any, you obtained. I've known PhDs who couldn't verbalize a coherent sentence much more write them. I've known MBAs who are clueless too. I've seen resumes from graduates from Ivy League schools that appeared to be written by 10 year olds. I've seen people who graduated from schools I attended, I'm embarrassed they did. I've seen people who graduated from schools elsewhere - they should be embarrassed they did.

Point - Jobs, Gates and Zuckerberg never obtained degrees but I venture to guess all of us here would love to have their wealth. Degree or not, if I met any of those three, I would pay very close attention to every thing they stated.

I'm in Richmond covering the main Tuesday session of the retreat if you wanna follow the coverage here:

@outragedalumna - Once again you fail to give any performance reasons why Sullivan should stay, you fail to mention one single achievement, and like a true liberal, you begin with an insult. However, if you would like to have a debate on any issue, name the time and place.

Dragas needs to resign. Damage continues. An honorable leader (Rector) would not covertly have President Sullivan resign. Dragas masterminded nothing but a public relations disaster for UVA. How one relates to the public is key. Dragas failed, and she will never recover her image; but she can resign and make the U image better.

I'm not faculty. Strine was not a good guy. Dragas is just a puppet. Sullivan?!?
What a stage? Oscar winning performance.
I'm trying to get over myself but this Greek tragedy prevents me from doing so.

LOL - mort de rire

President Sullivan is an excellent leader for the UVA. She is respected by alumni, faculty, donors and students. She works 20 hours days. She is very forward-thinking; and she carefully pushes the needed changes at UVA. We are so fortunate to have her as our President.

Donations have increased since the President Sullivan's appointment. Online classes have been in the works for nearly 2 decades. President Sullivan acts judiciously so that the pace of change does not disrupt the learning at UVA.

I respect her candidness, and based on this article, Dr. Sullivan had no reason to believe her job was in jeopardy. Who would work with someone like Helen Dragas?

Dragas has set a terrible example of decision-making at UVA regarding the president's career, and all done behind the scenes. This type of covert process eliminates a lot of presidential candidates for our future. Who, in their right mind, would want to wade into these waters? I would be long gone after the Dragas June fiasco, and President Sullivan stayed. Now, that's integrity!

President Sullivan is definitely who I want representing UVA. She is a very positive catalyst for change at one of the best universities in the country. She has shown her true colors for the University of Virginia. She stayed when offered some type of "parachute" from Dragas.

I expect the BoV to be restructured so it is a more representative body of those who are affected.

Please contact Governor McDonnell and your local representatives to make sure our unified UVA voice is heard.

Again, no issues are discussed. No mention of students or patients.

Logan (Hill & 'Nothing'), Dragas must resign or be removed by Gov. McDonnell. President Sullivan supports students and patients simultaneously as she enters this unknown world brought about by H. Dragas. Unless you happen to have some FOIA releases or insider information, you have no validity in this process. Why do you post?

You are a public relations plant from Hill and whatever ( I choose not to give your PR firm specific promotion due to your posts)

For the greater good of UVA, Dragas must resign.

Dragas, please throw in the towel for the greater good and not your ego.

Dragas must resign. Dragas is a drain on UVA resources. Dragas has not proven to be an effective leader. Her actions wer covert at best. This is not the way for the leader of BoV to behave. Dragas has been the source of the demise and negativity at UVA.

Proven leaders stand on merit. I see no merit with regard to Dragas. Helen Dragas needs to throw in the towel and understand that her actions are frowned upon by the majority at UVA.

President Sullivan is completely aware of student, faculty, patient, alumni, and citizen needs. She has a comprehensive plan involving many non-voting members at the BoV. Miller, for one, is completely on President Sullivan's side.

President Sullivan was BULLIED by Dragas to resign. Facts are facts. President Sullivan is the UVA.

President Sullivan has a progressive plan that will catapult the UVA into the next century. She has the faculty, staff and students rallying to support her.

President Sullivan will follow through and continue to have the support of the faculty, students, alumni, staff, patients and citizens of the great state of Virginia. Dragas is the only impediment...dragging UVA into the ground.

Dr. Sullivan does not need the head-winds of Dragas preventing her from accomplishing her goals.

Dragas is an impediment. Get rid of Dragas. Dragas is an embarrassment to the institution.

Rector Dragas cannot be trusted.

Dragas is not who I want representing one of the best universities in the nation. Who is allowing this miscarriage of justice? The majority of people in the state of Virginia want Rector Dragas gone. Why is she still remaining on the secretive BoV at UVA?

If Hellen Dragas cared about the UVA, she would resign. Why does she think anything will change with her on the board of visitors? It won't. Everyone on the BoV for UVA is walking on eggshells. Everyone.

Dragas is of grave concern to me, and will continue to be under the microscope because she cannot be trusted.

@Alumni 99 & American Dogwood - Understood.

Non-Resident Taxpayor wrote: "Online classes have been in the works for nearly 2 decades."

Change doesn't always occur overnight, but, really, don't you think that is just a little slow? Let's get on with it!

Nancy Drew, you seem so intent on protecting your turf - and incompetency. Perhaps your own?

I posted the link to the live stream incorrectly. It is streaming live at

Dear Joan, I was offended by your assumption that the closed session was the rector resigning. Clearly this was not the case and you were WAY out of line. If you do support the president, why do you continue to act in a way she has asked you not to behave? I understand that she is asking for unity.

@Logan and Kind Campaign

In acknowledging your interest in focusing on the actual issues, consider the full text of President Sullivan's May 3 memo, full text here:

Remember, Sullivan had been President for fewer than 2 years. However, under her leadership, U.Va. posted its second highest fundraising month in history in December 2011.

Regarding discussing the issues and what President Sullivan has done, please consider the following, as recounted by the Daily Progress (and also covered by the Washington Post and Richmond Times-Dispatch):

As controversy about the “philosophical differences” that led to Teresa A. Sullivan’s ouster as president at the University of Virginia continued to swirl Wednesday, a memo written by Sullivan in May appeared to shed some light, at least, on what her philosophy was.

In the memo, Sullivan provides blunt talk about the state of the university and what she thinks needs to be done, strategically. She notes that there are already reviews of the UVa Health System and the financial aid program AccessUVa underway. And while there’s been much faculty criticism of comments from Rector Helen E. Dragas, her words do touch on some topics that Sullivan also covers in the May 3 memo to Dragas and Vice Rector Mark Kington.

“At the time of my appointment, I was explicitly instructed not to do a strategic plan for the academic program,” she wrote. “The university had already conducted a series of strategic plans, and the faculty were said to be fatigued and discouraged by the lack of follow-through on those plans.”

The university had plans created in 2002 and 2008, she wrote.

She identified five “strategically important” issues: the budgetary model, faculty hiring, a reputation gap, fragile “top-ten” standing of some schools and departments, and curricular issues. She also wrote that, while it was not a “strategic” issue, there was a lot of “routine organizational maintenance” to be done, revamping and streamlining policies to cut red tape and improve efficiency.

In remarks made to a collection of university officials and released to the public, Dragas said the board is facing a variety of challenges. Among the issues she brought up: resource allocation, faculty compensation, fundraising (“development efforts”), online education and rankings.

Dragas had this to say about how the university handles its money: “The pace of change in higher education and in health care has accelerated greatly in the last two years. We have calls internally for resolution of tough financial issues that require hard decisions on resource allocation.”

Sullivan wrote that the University of Virginia needed a new budgetary model. (She and her top lieutenants had been implementing a new model in the months leading up to her unseating.)

“The highly-centralized decision-making fostered by the current model frustrates planning, innovation, and collaboration, while hardening silos,” Sullivan wrote.

She added, “If we do not get the resources aligned appropriately with the academic vision, then we will lose our competitive edge in the years to come.”

Dragas identified faculty recruitment and compensation as another “existential threat” to the school.

“The compensation of our valued faculty and staff has continued to decline in real terms, and we acknowledge the tremendous task ahead of making star hires to fill the many spots that will be vacated over the next few years as our eminent faculty members retire in great numbers.

Sullivan viewed faculty hiring, recruitment, retention, the reputation gap and the fragile status of some programs’ rankings as inter-related problems.

“It is true that we have some international ‘star’ quality faculty, but many fewer than most of our peer institutions,” Sullivan wrote. “Rather than relying on a star system, Virginia has achieved its rankings through strong teams of faculty, and the whole has been greater than the sum of its parts.”

She added, “This is a financial problem, but it cannot be reduced to only a financial problem. Making the right hires is critical.”

A wave of retirements is coming at UVa and at other schools, and competition for talent will be intense, she wrote. The search and recruitment processes needed to be improved, she wrote.

“We face a special challenge in hiring new faculty,” she wrote. “Every institution says that it prizes teaching, but the university really does. Virginia’s unique undergraduate experience cannot be maintained with the average PhD being produced in American universities.”

She proposed the university search for innovative ways of encouraging teaching abilities for young academics.

Sullivan referred to a “reputation gap.”

“In a number of critical areas we are reputed to be better than we actually are,” she wrote.

Traditionally, the strength of the university has been in the humanities and the professional schools, she wrote.

“The more recent emphasis on science and engineering is interpreted in some quarters as a sign that we will no longer cherish our traditional strengths, and recent political attacks on universities reinforce this fear. Meanwhile, our need to improve [science, technology, engineering and math] fields persists,” she wrote.

Those departments with fragile top-ten statuses have seen their situation weakened by the university’s inability to keep faculty salaries for the best academics competitive with those offered at peer institutions, Sullivan’s memo states.

“It must be candidly admitted that some of the fields that bring us the greatest distinction are not those in which most people would today invest (e.g., Spanish, English, Religious Studies),” Sullivan wrote. “In some of these units, our reputation is derived from a small number of faculty, rending the reputation of those units particularly vulnerable to the outside recruitment of a single person or a few departures of senior leaders.”

Sullivan wrote that UVa’s choice to remain small meant it would have to push collaboration to stay competitive.

Dragas also mentioned the university’s stature in the world of academia.

“We want UVa to remain in that top echelon of universities well into the 21st century and beyond,” she said.

She said the board wants a “bold leader who can help develop, articulate, and implement a concrete and achievable strategic plan to re-elevate the university to its highest potential.”

Dragas was direct in approach to online education: “We also believe that higher education is on the brink of a transformation now that online delivery has been legitimized by some of the elite institutions.”

Sullivan also thought the curriculum had some issues. This was where she addressed the idea of technology in the classroom. Such problems are usually for the faculty to resolve, but there was room for the administration to “be helpful,” she wrote.

“We currently lavish many resources on first-year and second-year courses, even though increasingly our students come to us having already completed substantial portions of the traditional lower-division curriculum.”

Students often arrive at the school with credits from various advanced high school classes or dual enrollment programs with community colleges.

Sullivan advocated shifting faculty attention more heavily to upper-level courses.

She thought lower-level courses would be a good place to use “hybrid courses and problem-based approaches.”

“Hybrid courses will be common for introductory courses, providing online resources for students to review material (such as math modules) and also providing asynchronous means to complete the introductory courses that other students will have completed in high school,” she wrote in a section in which she imagined the university of the future.

And she wanted to get more specific about what fields the university tried to add or strengthen.

Dragas also addressed fundraising, though Sullivan did not directly address it at any length.

“We need a leader who is able to passionately convey a vision to our community, and effectively obtain gifts and buy-in towards our collective goals,” Dragas said.

As you note, Dragas may be a respected and revered business person and philanthropist in the Hampton Roads region. It is a very different ballgame, though, in Charlottesville and at the University of Virginia.

Sullivan vs. Dragas is a non-comparison, non-competition. It's not even close. This is Sullivan's stock and trade, and she does extraordinarily well at it.

Dragas is out of her element in her role as Rector, and while it is no crime for someone to be in over-her-head as is Dragas, her woeful performance is problematic at best.

If I went to a doctor for a treatment plan for a diagnosis I'd received, and came away with something analagous to the memo above I would ask for my money back. The is a reiteration of the diagnosis. I can't find elements of a plan, or proposed measures to counter these challenges. It seems the BOV already had knowledge of the questions, they were anxious for some answers. It is not solely the president's job to be the idea genius, but it is that leader's job to find the resources needed. If they do not exist within her current staff, then it's time to look for new staff or seek external help. This is the philosophical difference that is now being addressed. The "time to move forward" message is exactly right, so that no more time is wasted.

@Lift -

She already had implemented changes to address several of the diagnoses but also had to gain Board approval for other proposed changes because those changes involve signficant overhaul of outdated fiscal practices which, under U. Va.'s governance model, require Board ratification to modify.

You could also reference Helen Dragas's 10 point statement from June. Look it up. It is amazing.

Logan, most folks already are well familiar with Dragas' 10 points.

@ Logan - Not amazing. Let me know when Dragas resigns.

Today, Dragas got her term extended to 3 years instead of 2. I hope the General Assembly will vote her out.

Dragas would not visit the question about adding a faculty BoV with voting rights. I thought Dragas was going to resign?

@Logan Perhaps you jest. Dragas' 10 point statement was cribbed and cobbled together by a PR staffer who had drunk too much coffee.

I understand that Dragas will never choose to resign, but why is she still rector?

Unfortunately you are all a bunch of frustrated miserables bent on hurling insults at fine, upstanding leaders. I will not be posting again or be any part of such a sad affair. Best of luck to you all.

@Logan, Thank you so much. Please keep your promise.

@Logan I believe you are a bit histrionic in calling a large community frustrated miserables. Perhaps you know a different Dragas than the one who arranged a coup that failed. Fine, but you do not seem to be a Charlottesville resident so stop generalizing about people here. Dragas has provided no answers and hollow platitudes. UVa is a public institutition and in that spirit many members of the UVa community are seeking a genuine statement from her.

Virginia Legislature:

Please conduct a thorough external investigation of the June episode at UVA.

Please reconsider the Governor's recent appointments to the BOV.

Please change the way the BOV is appointed. Stop campaign pay off appointments by politicians. Make the BOV look like typical Virginians not the 1%. Reconstitute the BOV. Make it leas elitist and more representative of University stakeholders.


Don't do anything until the above are accomplished.

President Sullivan:

Please take some bold leadership on the national lessons learned from tis episode. Don't be so quick on the move on rhetoric, there are important lessons to be learned and we owe it to the people of the Commonwealth.

Please reform the culture of UVA and its internal governance. Many live in fear of retribution if they exercise free speech. Use this as an opportunity to really create a democratic institution in terms of management practices. Small "representative" committees chosen to lead the revisioning process will end up being the same old people unless you do this first. Get a list of people the Deans recommend against appointing to such committees and appoint some of them.

Please demand that the legislature and the Governor fully fund public higher education. Go to the wall on that. Get creative, sell the University's jet, give up the cook and offer to give that money to the university if they don't. Play hardball with the no tax types.

Please consider a living wage for all employees including contract employees.

The people were there for you, now its your turn. It might be risky but at this moment you have a lot of support to be bold. You can be the face of a national movement to take back public higher education from the forces of venality. Channel TJ.

@Citizen Party - Dragas' decisions are not about faculty retention and recruitment. Dragas' decisions today are about Dragas. Further, the President of UVA is responsible for retention and recruitment. What a terrible position Dragas has placed Dr. Sullivan.

Dragas is the obstacle in terms of retention and recruitment.

Dragas' actions have proven the board of visitors secretive and untrustworthy.

Further, the president's hands are tied. She must comply with Dragas' demands, yet, retain and recruit the best of the best in faculty. Really? Reality is that the quality of faculty will diminish because of the rector. The cost of diminishing returns is upon us.

If I were faculty, I would seek employment elsewhere. Dr. Sullivan will be fired because she will not be able to retain and recruit based on Dragas' performance requirements and the fact that most intelligent profs in the country will not work under a BoV governed by Dragas.

Dragas won't give up on getting rid of President Sullivan. Dragas won't resign even if she brings down the UVA with her. That would be too risky for me. No transparency, no explanation...just a "let's move forward"? I think not.

Dragas must resign or she is risking a better future for UVA.

@Dragas - Spanier may need a job. He is good at keeping secrets too! You two would work well together.

@ Reader. Agreed.

Could this be a former rector speaking?? Rumor has it....

So Dragas will go down in history as the woman who destroyed UVA and Jefferson's creation.

Rumor turning to fact. Gathering information...

@ Chris Gidez from Hill & Knowlton...

Is this what you do for $100,000 in UVA monies?

According to Forbes, Aug. 1, 2012, University of Virginia is ranked #1! And Dragas wanted Dr. Sullivan's resignation because were #1 according to Forbes ranking report published 8/1/2012? Karma Dragas. Dragas needs to resign.

Forbes, America's Top Colleges
August 1, 2012
By Michael Noer

more from the Forbes Ranking by Michael Noer, Aug.1, 2012:

..."Rounding out the top ten are the University of Chicago (#4), a place where undergraduates say “fun comes to die,” West Point (#7), whose cadets pay no tuition, although they must serve on active duty in the U.S. Army post-graduation, Pomona College (#9), one of the seven Claremont Colleges in Southern California and Swarthmore (#10). Excluding service academies, there are five public schools in the top 50,

with the University of Virginia (#36) being the highest ranked."

No Hill and knowlton here. Nice try though.

Dragas increased her term as rector for a 3rd year, but cannot increase UVA BoV to include ONE voting member from the faculty? Is this true? This is not the way to manage a U.

Posted at 03:34 PM ET, 08/12/2012
At peak of crisis, calls for Helen Dragas to resign
By Jenna Johnson and Donna St. George

"The University of Virginia released more than 1,200 pages of e-mails and other documents Friday that contained hundreds of calls from alumni, faculty and others for the leader of the governing board, Rector Helen E. Dragas, to resign."

@ - Chris - Really, that's why your IP address is linked to Hill and Knowlton? Another failure for Dragas, Hill & Knowlton, hired for $100,000 and is responsible for:

Wikipedia ref.: Hill & Knowlton: "Tobacco industry -
In 1953, members of the tobacco industry hired Hill & Knowlton to help counteract findings that suggested cigarette smoking led to lung cancer. As a result, a statement was released to nearly every major newspaper and magazine, which suggested that cigarettes had no verifiable links to cancer.[citation needed] The tobacco industry remained a Hill & Knowlton client until 1968.[5]"

Yes, Chris, I believe you.............

My ip address is not linked to hill and knowlton. Another untruth in a long line .

Chris, my gmail account was also alleged to be a H&K IP address, and I was alleged to be someone else named Elizabeth Mendenhall, despite my clarification. SOP for some posters here.

Dragas must resign. Dragas is out of her league. She has placed the UVA President in a very awkward position. Why should Dr. Sullivan be subjected to watching her back because of some ill-advised person? Why should Dr. Sullivan have to mince words and require Dragas' approval for anything and everything she says, writes, ...? That's right, Dr. Sullivan must have Dragas' approval before she can do anything on behalf of UVA. Why? It should be the other way around...Dragas is the catalyst for failure.

@Chris & EM - Who cares? Why are you defending yourselves? Pretty stupid! IMO...if you have nothing to contribute to this posting, why do you subject yourselves to scrutiny?

@EM - all of a sudden you have the courage to face scrutiny? Because Chris has your back? Stupid move Hill & Knowlton! Interesting that you cannot defend yourself...Where is Logan Anderson from Hill & Knowlton tonight? I really thought she would be defending you too...Oh, she quit posting yesterday, August 16, 2012.

Do you think some of us don't have PR backgrounds and can spot faux paid for posts?

Hill & Knowlton is in the house...going to bed - been here, done that!

UVA Fan2 is a complete nutcase who goes by the name of Michael Sutton, S Jones and a host of other complete'y transparent aliases . He/she should be disregarded. The claim of being able to see ip address is one that although completely ridiculous, is a trick he had tried to pull several times. That said, there were several posters early on in this fiasco who made comments to the Washington Post's site that were obviously being paid to make them and more than a few on this site that were suspicious to say the least. Elizabeth Mendenhall is one whose posts have always been questionable.

@ B7- you are absolutely right, UVA Fan2 seems to be a nutcase, and IP addresses cannot be tracked to a specific person that I know of...unless you are the FBI.

I am suspect of many posts; and I see a clear difference with Chris' post. They are vague, accusatory, and without reference so I discard his comments as well.

Logan Anderson is old news. She posted back in June and was found to be with Hill & Knowlton.

It is my understanding that Elizabeth Mendenhall represents Dragas real estate properties.

Logan Anderson is definitely working for Helen Dragas. She/he does not criticize Dragas but has posts where she takes cheap shots at BOV members who were known to stand up to Dragas.

Logan Anderson may indeed be working for Dragas, but there is no reason to believe that anyone working on behalf of Dragas to create positive spin would come here using a real name. It's not like their is some truth in sock-puppeting clause in a PR contract requiring a paid commenter to self identify.

The Logan who posted above has commented on this site on several completely non-related articles and seems to be someone from Charlottesville. There is a remote possibility that all of that was done to build some sort of credibility to make comments supportive of Dragas seem to come from someone local, but really, who would pay to have someone do that?

A few supportive comments aren't really going to change anyone's mind either way and believe it or not, people sometimes disagree on things. Some love Sullivan, some don't but think the board handled things the wrong way, and some think the board did the right thing.

If someone who agrees with Dragas makes a comment, it would be much more productive to respond with facts rather than accusing that person of being paid. The facts are plenty to condemn Dragas and no amount of spin from a PR firm is going to change that.

Fact : there are Real individuals that feel Sullivan should be replaced
Fact: there are Real individuals ( not many ) who admire Dragas . Probably family members .

The fact is that this summer does not reflect the rich history of women alumni, faculty and administrators working together to uplift the University.

If the posts involve personal attacks the Logan Anderson is an alum who lives in Lynchburg.

@Fact, unfortunately that progress has now suffered a severe setback. With Helen Dragas still holding the reins the future remains uncertain for faculty, students and alumni. Her need to control may make any reasonable progress impossible, and be a signal to the best and the brightest to go elsewhere.

There are larger issues than Dragas personally resigning. How did she get appointed? Who does she represent? Who is not represented on the BOV? How come the BOV is dominated by 1%ers? Why is the Legislature not funding UVA and other public institutions fully and fairly?

How can we make these things happen?

Dragas is incompentent and should have resigned in June when her attempt at ousting President Sullivan failed. This is clearly a sign that Dragas has no leadership skills what-so-ever. Dragas must be removed for reason: complete incompetence, and a no-confidence vote by the faculty senate. What more does UVA want in terms of removing a incompetent leader? Unless incompetence is the goal for UVA BoV?

All statistics will prove that UVA's image, tenured professors, newly recruited professors, long-term donors, and quality students will decline within 24 months of June 2012. When June 2014 rolls around and Dragas is gone, 'business' statistics will prove she should have been removed at the onset of this mess, June, 2012.

Dragas needs to rethink her position on the BoV and realize that she reached the point of "diminishing returns" in June 2012, when she decided it was time for Dr. Sullivan to be removed. And anyone who supported ousting President Sullivan must be removed.

Dragas is such an obstacle for the future of the UVA that tenured professors will be leaving on the first day of instruction. We have a recruiting and retention problem with professors and the Dragas problem is going to remedy it?

This is not what Thomas Jefferson envisioned in terms of leadership for UVA. This is the type of leadership he tried vehemently to avoid.

Dragas is completely indignant and should be removed for her incompetence.

correction: Dragas, remove "an incompetent leader"

Really? NON VOTING MEMBERS of UVA BoV can propose changes to the rector's term, and they don't vote? Hmmmmm.

Sarcasm: why would anyone question the UVA BoV run by Dragas.

What a disturbing sequence of events at UVA.

Sorry to be a Virginia.