Presidential gag: UVA Board still trying to silence Sullivan

The days leading up to the first on-Grounds meeting of the University of Virginia Board of Visitors since their June debacle were tense. No public protests, but pre-meeting mention of Machiavelli and Keystone Cops from one UVA professor was just one of several public statements to shine unwanted light– so brightly that when the Board met on Friday, two newly-tapped members demanded blinders. Or a gag.

The week got off to an interesting start when the great Grey Lady, the New York Times, weighed in with the pre-print version of its Sunday magazine cover story headlined "How Not to Fire a College President." The over-5,000-word article mostly retold the June firing and rehiring of President Teresa Sullivan, but hitting the web on Tuesday, September 11, it added several fresh morsels:

• that Rector Helen Dragas may have borrowed her meet-privately-with-all-boardies strategy from her father, who helped oust the president of Old Dominion University in 1988;

• that by supporting Sullivan's reinstatement, former Rector John "Dubby" Wynne so vexed his successor that Dragas publicly vents that Wynn retained a metaphorical "key" to the Rotunda;

• that Rector Dragas really did chastise the president for her appearance.

That last notion created a minor firestorm for this newspaper when a late-June story asked whether appearance-based bullying might have influenced the decision by the athletically trim Rector and then Vice Rector Mark Kington to unceremoniously push the president from her office in Madison Hall. (Both, in a rare breach of their silence, emphatically denied the allegation.)

Speaking of Madison Hall, it turns out that emails released September 12 at the request of the Washington Post show that the Rector– who already had free reign over a house she planned to buy in southern Albemarle– attempted in the days following the June 10 ouster announcement to set up an on-Grounds office right in Madison Hall.

Among the more fascinating set of revelations was the public relations effort– one beset by missteps, six-figure spending, and ethically questionable moves.

For one, Rector Dragas targeted Larry Sabato. An author and pundit of national stature, he's also a professor whose salary can be altered by the Board of Visitors. Dragas asked Sabato to pen an article confirming the Board's wisdom. He didn't do it.

"Time is of the essence," a seemingly panicked Dragas wrote to Sabato on the evening of June 14. "Do you have a staffer who could assist if you make the decision to move forward today? It would be important for it to be someone you trust completely– the resistant forces of change are still lodged within the administration."

Perhaps more troubling were emails showing that Dragas attempted to enlist the lone student member of the Board of Visitors, a young woman– whom Dragas initially convinced of her vision with a two-hour conversation– to tamper with public opinion.

"Do you know of students on grounds who might be willing," Dragas asked student Board member Hillary Hurd, "to assist with a communications effort by engaging constructively in the blogs as guided by a communications consultant?"

Already, Dragas has come under fire for hiring PR firm Hill + Knowlton, whose bills– totaling $209,000 (the public learned on August 23)– were paid by fellow board member John Nau, III, while Dragas told another news outlet that she paid nearly $40,000 to a second firm. This email makes it sound like the Rector has asked a student to put a shill's words into a fellow student's keyboard.

The notion so troubled UVA history professor Bruce Holsinger that he wrote an online article for the Chronicle of Higher Education reminding the Rector that UVA has an Honor Code that strictly forbids submitting someone else's work as their own. And Holsinger isn't alone in condemning the request.

"If I had done what the Rector did, I would be fired, and I should be fired," said Media Studies department chair Siva Vaidhyanathan. "This is so revealing about the Rector's moral standing in this event. She was unwilling to speak herself, and yet she was willing to use her position to manipulate others to do her bidding."

"It's beyond egregious," says Coy Barefoot, an author who has written extensively about UVA history and who has the weekday radio show on which Vaidhyanathan made his comments about Dragas.

"Alumni who live and breathe the Honor Code are so deeply offended by this," said Vaidhyanathan. "She doesn't understand the norms that guide our ethics here. She has no moral standing."

And yet Dragas must have twice signed her name to the Honor Code, as she attended UVA both as an undergraduate and at the Darden School of Business. While the Honor Code doesn't apply after graduation, its principles, Vaidhyanathan said, should guide the conduct of everyone at UVA.

For her part, Hurd– who quickly took back her initial celebration of the president's ouster in a second Cavalier Daily article and who publicly condemned the ouster process even before reinstatement– asserts she didn't actually recruit anyone. "I've never been involved in any blogging efforts," Hurd says in an email.

It was governance issues that appeared topmost in the mind of education professor David Breneman when he appeared on a panel on the future of the University on September 12.

"If a board wants to be Machiavellian, then read Machiavelli first," said Breneman.

"It's too easy to ridicule the Keystone Cops aspect of this unfortunate event," continued Breneman, noting that when he served on the board of Goucher College, his board felt guided by the concept of "noses in, fingers out."

Earlier that day, Sullivan herself spoke of the University's future at the Miller Center. Perhaps taking veiled aim at Dragas– who initially tried to claim that Sullivan failed to address an "existential threat" to UVA's greatness– or perhaps simply trying to reassure the public, Sullivan declared that UVA is not in crisis. She limited discussion about June, though noting that on her nightstand she had three books on forgiveness.

One thing the New York Times noticed that may have spurred Dragas was a mid-May letter signed by a majority of tenured faculty pointing out that in real terms, their pay has fallen through several years of salary freezes. And yet if Dragas felt the letter gave her a mandate to unceremoniously oust the president, she was greatly mistaken. Not only did the Faculty Senate call for the president's reinstatement, but it called for Dragas's resignation.

However, to date, Dragas has received firm support from Governor Bob McDonnell, who criticized those who would criticize Dragas. And in late June, McDonnell, who has made education reform a centerpiece of his administration, reappointed her to another four-year Board term.

At the same time, in addition to other appointments, the Republican governor reinstalled billionaire Bill Goodwin into the Board as a non-voting special advisor.

Non-voting doesn't mean non-talking. Goodwin and a new boardie, a longtime Republican operative, leapt into a public scolding of anyone still seeking answers about the forced resignation.

The comments from Goodwin, a businessman who has given over $50 million to the University, were seconded by Bobbie Kilberg, the board member who, having donated just $100, has made the smallest financial contribution to UVA. Their remarks came after a blistering speech by UVA Faculty Senate Chair George Cohen. At the September 13 meeting, Cohen suggested that the UVA board, despite reinstating the president and hoping to hit what he termed a "reset" button, still would not win a faculty vote of confidence.

"The reset view is a fantasy," declared Cohen. "The simple fact is that this crisis has not gone away."

Cohen noted that two national investigations are underway, that alumni feel "frustrated and upset," and that state legislators– who have statutory authority over the Board– are pondering action.

"Many eyes are watching us," said Cohen. "To date, the Board has not provided a clear and satisfactory explanation to the University community of why it asked President Sullivan to resign."

As Cohen finished his remarks, the basement room of the Harrison Small Institute, a rare books library pressed into service due to construction at the Rotunda, got very quiet.

"Can we discuss this?" asked Goodwin, taking the floor from committee chair Stephen Long. "We need to leave the past alone. The more you dig, the more you make the University look bad."

Goodwin said that his own marriage wouldn't have lasted its 45 years if he and his wife spent time revisiting the past. And that's when Bobbie Kilberg piped up. A veteran of administrations from the Nixon White House to the current governor's transition team, Kilberg wasn't on the board in June.

"I do not know what happened, and frankly I just want to move ahead," said Kilberg. "I think we gain absolutely nothing by rehashing this. My late father used to say that if you walk around contemplating your navel, you might hit a brick wall."

Kilberg also noted, "We agreed at our retreat that we would not be talking to the press." The Hook attended 100 percent of the open portion of that three-day August retreat in Richmond, and while all questions to the Rector were rebuffed, we never heard any board members discuss a ban on talking with media. Kilberg declined to elaborate on her statement.

She went on to say publicly that her daughter, a Washington lawyer and 2002 UVA grad, initially refused to attend a D.C.-area alumni event featuring Sullivan for fear it would "rehash" what happened in June.

Since June, the UVA Alumni Office has fielded literally thousands of comments– almost all critical of the Board– and the alumni magazine dedicated its most recent issue to the June events. Seeking confirmation of the tale of the disinterested alumnus, a reporter reached out to Cameron Kilberg.

It turns out that Bobbie Kilberg has a history of letting her daughter get involved with public bodies. Nearly a decade ago, while Kilberg was president of the Northern Virginia Technology Council, her daughter won appointment as director of a publicly funded group under Council control. Today, the younger Kilberg serves Governor McDonnell as his Assistant Secretary of Technology, which is where we reached her by telephone.

"My comments to her were as an alumna, a mother-daughter conversation over dinner," explains the younger Kilberg, "not as a representation of the governor."

At the Thursday BoV meeting, Sullivan unleashed specifics for her new proposal to bolster faculty salaries. She wants the Board in November to green-light her plan to find $65 million over five years to close what she sees as a $7,700 average salary gap among top peer institutions. She also decided to address the comments made by Goodwin and Kilberg.

"My remarks have been forward-looking," said Sullivan, noting how her recent speeches have focused on raising faculty salaries, on reinventing the curriculum, and improving research. Any talk of June, she said, comes afterwards in the Q&A periods.

"I can't control what people want to ask me," said Sullivan.

"Well, good, Terry," replied Kilberg. "Just say, 'We're not entertaining those questions; I want to talk about the future.'"

Sullivan leaned forward to grab a bottle of water, took a sip, but did not respond.

"I told you my committee meeting would be a little bit different," said committee chair Long to nervous laughter throughout the room.

The September 13 meeting wrapped with the Board's appointment of a new vice rector. He is George Keith Martin, and unlike Kilberg, he somehow breached whatever agreements were made behind closed doors in Richmond by chatting amiably with a reporter about the president.

"I personally have a great deal of confidence in her ability to lead the University and attract the talent we need in the future," said Martin. A lawyer with the Richmond powerhouse McGuireWoods, Martin would be the University's first African-American rector when– unless external forces intervene– the torch will be passed to him next summer.

However, that torch could be passed sooner. The recent trove of FOIAed emails included one from Reston-area state legislator Kenneth Plum asking Dragas to resign. Plum, a Democrat, would join fellow Democrat David Toscano and Republican Steve Landes, both of whom have confirmed to this reporter to be leaning toward voting Dragas off the Board, something the General Assembly can do when it meets in late January. A majority vote against Dragas by either of the two legislative branches would remove her.

Toscano and state Senator Creigh Deeds have slated a meeting at the UVA law school on September 27 to discuss their options.

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

139 comments

Appears to me that Sullivan doesn't have to say anything, Dragas and company have made fools of themselves and the BOV. This is a time they should evaluate how they are appointed and clean house.

How ironic that they continue to look to Sullivan to "make this go away." The way you cure a diseased body is to get rid of the cancer -- and unfortunately she's still at the table. I hope the General Assembly will have the courage to do what is needed, in order to save the highly damaged reputation of the state's greatest institution. All the wishing (and scolding) in the world won't "make this go away," but removal of the blight should do the trick. Problem is, the longer you leave the cancer alone the more it spreads...

The General Assembly also has to re-evaluate how these people are chosen. Even with Dragas removed the current board has exhibited, in last weeks meetings, a serious lack of professionalism and more of the same arrogance that created this mess to begin with.
This ongoing climate of distrust of the BOV will be a serious blight on the reputation of the University and hamper their fundraising and ability to retain and attract faculty.

If UVa's rankings fall blame the BOV not President Sullivan.

If Ms Dragas was to be held to Honor Code standards, metaphorically she would now be living in her parents basement filling out community college applications.

These two statements alone should make us all cringe at what lies ahead.

" Goodwin said that his own marriage wouldn't have lasted its 45 years if he and his wife spent time revisiting the past."

Kilberg: "She went on to say publicly that her daughter, a Washington lawyer and 2002 UVA grad, initially refused to attend a D.C.-area alumni event featuring Sullivan for fear it would "rehash" what happened in June."

Time to bring in the professionals for a diagnosis. Dr Thompson what ya think ?

The Sabatos are part of the bigger problem, over paid,over texted and over here.Why the scramble to raise cash? over paid profs,one factor. And for anyone who say Prof Larry has raised the U's profile- you may find serious opinion he has lowered it. he has played the UVa insider game, from undergrad years very well.

Excellent reporting, Hawes. Thank you for staying on this story. If people would like to see for themselves Cohen's speech and the reaction it drew from Goodwin and Kilberg, they can see a video clip at:

https://tjsuva.wordpress.com/videos/bov-meeting-914-915/.

Interestingly, just a few minutes after this exchange, an education expert asked the BoV members what knowledge and skills they would like to see in U.Va. graduates. Seemingly unconscious of her previous comment to Cohen, Kilberg said she thought U.Va. grads should have an understanding of history. You just can't make this stuff up.

My personal experience has been very telling. This institution is corrupt to the core. The fish stinks from the head but when it comes to UVA the entire fish stinks. The only area that has any integrity still is faculty. They need to group and fight this now when these corrupt Roman senator types are weak at the knees. Get the long knives out and slay them to save Jefferson's institution. Strike and Sullivan might grow some courage and take charge!

It is unconscionable for someone in the rector's position to attempt to enlist the student board member in her ridiculous p.r. campaign. And it is telling that she was so desperate she was trying to create an illusion that she had supporters. But offering the services of 6 figure p.r. firms to help students blog? Anyone smart enough to get into UVA is smart enough to blog without professional assistance, thank you. This would be funny if it were not so sad and scary.

Great article, Hawes. In response to "Old Man"'s comment above, I have to say how tired I am of these kinds of comments about "overpaid" professors. I have taught at UVA for 16 years and I make roughly 20 k less than my peers at my level at other institutions. I have to struggle month to month as an associate prof at an "elite" institution. We work outrageous hours to serve our students, our colleagues, and the University. You can look up our salaries, they are public info. The funds that go into sports and some administration, however, are indeed way out of proportion.

The only hope to get the full story is that there will be an investigation by the legislature as part of their oversight role. Not likely. If any investigation happens it will be superficial.

For those who talk about 'overpaid faculty' I hope you also talk about overpaid professional athletes and CEOs, if you don't you are hypocritical.

Free rein, not free reign.

THREE THOUGHTS:

1.) Larry Sabato is a real assest to UVa. He's the "go to" guy for his views on all levels of politics. He has brought much attention to UVa with his frequent TV comments.

2.) From all indications, the current UVa campaign has failed to meet its goal. But Bob Sweeney continues to hold his north of $300,000 a year job. By his own admission, Mr. Sweeney did take the advice of a highly paid consultant. Why pay over priced consultants if you refuse to take their advice?

3.) Clearly this problem will not go away until some change takes place. Ms. Dragas needs to find other activities to fill her time. Perhaps she could continue to build marginal houses with defective Chinese drywall that supports a regime where a person of her failed integrity would fit right in.

THREE AND DONE

The best teachers I had a UVa were underpaid junior fac . However we may disagree or agree about Prof Larry, the contextual sense of my remark is clear enough:over paid "star " faculty"; there is only is much of the salary pie. Now even a much less elite eduction that a UVa one might allow one to see that a criticism of "overpaid profs" is a criticism of those overpaid, not to mention certain admin and coach. As to underpaid, talk with UVa staff...

Instead of attacking faculty pay perhaps you should be focusing on the Admin Department Heads pay - that is disgusting. Insane that their staff all barely earn the "living wage".

Speaking of Cameron Kilberg, here's an email from that last FOIA batch that she sent to the Board of Visitors:

From: Cameron Kilberg
Sent: Tuesday, June 19, 2012 5:54 PM
Subject: Re: A rare letter not placing full blame on the UVa leadership.

Board of Visitors: I submitted this email to the alumni comment page, but I also wanted to share it directly with you.

I think the Board lacked a communication plan when they made this decision, thus making it appear that this decision was done in haste and perhaps at the request of one or a few individuals. I do believe in transparency, which has lacked here and which should be rectified immediately, with appropriate legal steps being taken as needed.

HOWEVER, the professors and alumni are the ones who have blown this to epic proportions and have given the University bad press. I see no legal reason why Sullivan herself could not share what she was told upon her firing with the University. She herself ensured this lack of information sharing became a 2 way street.

An example of the out of line and over zealous behavior by professors, came from a mass email I received from David Leblang, of the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics. In this email, he had the bad judgment to state that students were turning down their UVa acceptances because of this situation. I find this highly unlikely and without proof a ridiculous statement to make.

What I have seen from alumni on social media networks is no better. Their comments and accusations have embarrassed the University and have ensured these individuals' lemming status.

I am embarrassed by the behavior of our professors and the lack of ability to think and process information appropriately by our alumni; we are supposed to better than this.

As noted, I believe transparency is now the key to this situation. Its time to properly educate our community on this decision. In my current role I have worked with UVa and under Mrs. Sullivan and I have seen some great strides in focusing on technology education and research and development. I, however, do not think that this grants her the right to stay on as President. But I cannot make such a decision without understanding why she was removed. I only wish that the rest of our community was able to stop, gather, and think, before they speak and make such accusations.

Again, I am embarrassed by the UVa community, not because of Mrs. Sullivan's removal but by the alumni and professors who have acted inappropriately as a result. The Board can help fix this situation and become as transparent as possible. Mrs. Sullivan could do the same thing. And the rest of the community should stop, listen, and learn before they continue to open their mouths.

I only hope the rationale for her dismissal was a proper one, not made in haste, or as the basis of any form of revenge, as there is simply no place for this at UVa. Its time the whole community begins to behave like we belong at UVa, because right now, what I am seeing does not garner the respect the University deserves.

--A proud and currently embarrassed alumni.

Just like predicted. Sullivan and co. think they are bulletproof. Very, very sad state of affairs.

what a mess. and the "stinking fish" analogy is apt. as for the entire BoV, get them out of there. i certainly don't know if sullivan is right for the job, but she's there, seems bright, and has some ideas. hopefully, it will choose to be a wise selection in the end.

regarding the salaries, having left uva for other (more expensive) environs, i can say that the few thousand difference in salaries is more than made up for by the cost of living. view the whole picture, folks. good luck.

As far as pay goes.. comparing salaries with other instituions is not really fair because it must be compared to the cost of living at the location. For instance... 400k near the University of Maryland buys you a crackerbox and outragoues property taxes to go along with it... In Albemarle 400k can get you a nice home with an acre or two of land.

The real way to determine how competitive the pay is would be to place an ad out for a replacement and see how many people line up for the job.... If it goes wanting then it pays too low.. if 100 people want it it is too high. In between is the answer.

My guess is that the entire faculty could be replaced for less....
The entire administration could be replaced for half
and Dragas could be replaced by a lump of coal and UVA would be better off.

OLD MAN, you don't appear to not understand the salary picture for faculty. "Star faculty" like Larry Sabato, and many in engineering bring in not only much of their own salary in research grants, but those grants also include salaries for research associates, students and a significant overhead cost. Before assuming they are overpaid, it helps to look at exactly how much or little of the stated salary comes from research contracts. For at least two faculty I know, they were still teaching, but funding their entire salary, benefits and pay for 3, and 5 graduate students by their efforts. Star faculty are stars for a reason.

These are entitled faculty. The worst kind. Sullivan is one of the most entitled and they all think they are bulletproof. Retarted beyond measure. You are all getting very bad advice. Sullivan included.

While we may never get answers, one thing is clear in all of this: the board appointment process is inherently flawed in that it is tied only to politics and money. A public institution should not be run like a business; simply having the most money invested in the institution (or whoever happens to be in office) should not buy you a seat at the table. To my knowledge, no one sitting on the BOV has any long-term experience or extensive education in the field of higher ed. It's not surprising that Sullivan, who many would call an expert in the field of higher ed admin, cannot get along with a bunch of business people who barely remember what going to college means to a person.

@ Liz

Right on! I have to say at this point while Dragas acted dishonorably, if she were not reappointed by the guv this probably would have blown over by now.

Having her around keeps the story and ferment going so we can get to the real issue: the way the corporate-loving governors of both stripes appoint millionaires and billionaires in exchange for campaign contributions and who a) know nothing about higher ed and b) have a corporate agenda of privatizing the university, leading to less public funding for UVA, greater reliance on corporate and private wealth, fewer tenured faculty and more adjunct-contract faculty, less financial aid for low income students, more commercialization of the university, more low quality online schemes, less shared governance and faculty input, less academic freedom and ability to criticize unbridled capitalism.

And we need to keep focusing on getting more faculty, staff, and students as voting members of the BOV. I would like to see more attention to those issues than the Dragas angle. I hope in January the Legislature nullifies all of the Governor's appointments. Its clear from the last BOV meeting the new ones have the same arrogant, elitist, corporate approach as the original gang.

The American Association of University Professors will be coming soon to conduct their investigation and it could lead to a censure and more national embarrassment for UVA if the BOV doesn't get its act together.

Show up to the Legislator Town Hall Meeting. Get vocal, let them know No on BOV appointments, Yes on new appointment process, No on corporate domination, yes on faculty, staff, student voting representation.

There are, initially, two unanswerable questions, given that Ms. Dragas is fundamentally responsible for the continuing mess: Why doesn't she resign for the good of the institution, and why was she reappointed? The second of these questions is compounded by the next move from McDonnell. Why did he bolster the already failed, foolhardy and amateurish coup against the University's President by commissioning these two strange attack dogs in Kilberg and Goodwin. Isn't Goodwin supposed to "advise" the board? By whose rules is he unleashed to silence the just inquiry into Ms. Dragas's destructive misdeeds?

@Eurohoo...Good questions, but I don't think Dragas and McDonnell believe this is a true, dangerous crisis. I think the bigger picture is their belief that the paradigm of higher education is shifting and that colleges will become less "worldly institutions of research" and more schools to prepare students for a career. In other words, a few courses on grounds and the rest online and voila, you're degreed! Leave the heavy research for the other schools. It is kind of a "push" marketing strategy: increase tuition radically, foist the idea that online education is the answer, and charge for a lesser product at a lower price.

She won't resign because her picture of the "institution" is markedly different than the academicians. She is not, in her mind, harming UVa; just bringing it through some painful, long metamorphosis to emerge as a lovely, cash generating, largely online career school. Kind of a community college with four year degrees instead of two.

It is about money more than educational philsophy, and it is about the idea that faculty often live in the pretend world of academia while the "leadership" (BoV, heavy donors) live in the real world. So, who will win this war? As Ozzie Myers said: "Money talks and b***sh** walks." Sad but true.

R.I.P.: Buddy Cianfrani

What is sad is that none of this group has stopped to listen to what Dragas has to say. Including me at first. Stop and listen instead of spouting off to hear yourselves talk. You are intelligent people. Listen for a change. I think you'll be surprised at what you hear. She is not a demon.

Chris, I have been "listening" to her as carefully as I can. All I've heard from her is stonewalling and the kind of corporate double speak I would expect from a local real estate developer trying to impress Wall Street, while knowing virtually nothing of that world, either. Would you be so kind as to explain her so that a moderately intelligent person can understand? That would really be great.

Hawes, you might want to investigate the Kilberg's a bit more.

It appears that Cameron Kilberg likes achieving success her own way, just so long as mommy gets her the job! Its pretty evident that Cameron has only gotten her positions because of her mothers policital power...much to the shock of many!

Here is tidbit I found at the following website regarding good ole' Cameron's being give a leadership position of one of the publically funded groups her mommy is the President of...

http://discardedlies.com/entry/?53690_

Of course she is. Mommy loves her.

The Small Business Administration is giving the Northern Virginia Technology Council $1 million to create a Technology Entrepreneurship Center, a program designed to work with students and businesses in Northern Virginia.

The program, which hasn't received any funds yet and won't be formally announced for at least a month, already is causing a stir within NVTC and regional economic development circles. The controversy centers around why federal funds are feeding an already-healthy entrepreneurial region as well as the woman NVTC has put in charge of the new program.

NVTC has hired Cameron Kilberg, daughter of NVTC President Bobbie Kilberg, to oversee the program. Christine Kallivokas, vice president of operations for NVTC, says she hired Cameron Kilberg after interviewing several other candidates for the job.

"This certainly raises serious questions about conflicts or the appearance of conflicts," says Steven Weiss, spokesman for the Center for Responsive Politics, a D.C.-based watchdog group.

Bobbie Kilberg says her daughter is in a junior-level position with no decision-making authority.

"We needed to begin the process," says Bobbie Kilberg. "We needed a young project coordinator."

A half-dozen members of the group's board, however, say they were told Cameron Kilberg was hired to direct the new program. Several of them, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, say they're "shocked" that someone so young — she's 24 — and someone related to Bobbie Kilberg would be installed to run such an important program.

@Chris

I have listened to Dragas and I agree with her. Sullivan has been a very poor leader and an aweful as someone trying to run this institution!

The problem is the end does not justify the means. The way they terminated Sullivan was draconian and unethical. So if Sullivan is guilty of being visionless iand unable of leading this institution Dragas made it worse by showing how corrupt and inept the BoV is. Besides the lack of ethics and transparency Dragas didn't even have a better replacement in the wings before axing Sullivan. It's her stupidity that Sullivan was able to return. Think about that!

The only people left in this institution with integrity and passion for education are the hard working and dedicated members of faculty. So please show them some respect. I don't think they are in love with Sullivan, they just, rightly so, find the BoV's corrupt methods abhorrent.

You are correct in much of what you say. My view is that it was handled in the way that it was so that Sullivan could leave with dignity instead of holding a public vote. It is truly how most presidents of universities are terminated.

@chris

This political correctness crap is what has destroyed this country. I'm not attacking you but am frustrated by all the lies, misinformation and skullduggery. People have been muzzled and BSed. I truly do not see how it was dignified. Firing someone by a democratic vote can still be done in a civil and polite way. What you really mean to say by dignified is that you don't do any harm to the person's resume. So let's pass the buck on to another institution so all these presidents get recycled. Was Strine fired? I guess the $850k was to dignify it?

Please take a moment to come visit TJs UVA (http://tjsuva.wordpress.com) for further coverage of the events in June as well as the current reaction of the UVA community

Check out my latest piece discussing the Holsinger article on Dragas: http://tjsuva.wordpress.com/2012/09/19/uva-prof-rector-dragas-undermined...

Suzie- this is exactly what I am talking about. If you bothered to get the facts, you would be taken seriously. Your intentions are good but your facts are all wrong. Listen to the issues. You and this movement are all off base. Dragas did nothing wrong and has crossed no honor barriers. If anything, Sabato did and Hurd for that matter. Open your eyes, guys. You are not seeing this clearly and in the meantime are making fools our of all of us. Please let the University move forward. We are going to fall behind if you keep this up.

Chris, I guess you missed my previous request for an explanation of how Dragas's actions make any sense or are useful to the institution. I look forward to hearing more than "just listen", when all we've gotten from that quarter is babble and silence. As you are obviously better than the rest of us in understanding /Dragas, please educate the rest of us. I would truly appreciate it. In any case, it seems that she should take the lead of Mr. Kingston, who is a business pro and not merely the beneficiary of a local family business where the head simply gets her way in everything If she (or you) cannot explain and defend the disruptive dysfunction she caused the University and continues to cause by remaining there, she really should move on..That way, we can move away from the horror of the past.

@ Chris:

"The times they are a changing" -Bob Dylan

Thanks Suzie, your articles are excellent and you are performing a tremendous service for the community. I am still hopeful there will be another Rally to oust Dragas soon. I agree, the only way to bring about change is through collective action.

Yes, great work on Cameron -- no one else has that, and I think it's worth looking into those Kilberg connections and others like them (any other nepotism with BOV members?). I'm itching to edit Cameron's letter to the BOV, also, which I know is petty, but I just can't help it, since she does seem so smugly unaware of her position of privilege, and so quick to judge the UVA faculty who are "embarrassing" her. Honey, you're embarrassing me with your command of the English language (and you're a UVA grad, come on). It's "it's" not "its," you silly embarrassed Cameron, and are you really signing off as an "alumni" -- do you contain multitudes? Do you know that reference, by the way? What would Whitman make of Cameron, Dragas, and the rest? Oh it's all so twisted -- how can UVA ever find its way out of this mess? God, now I'm like Clint Eastwood, talking to the "chair" that is Cameron Kilberg...

I will not succumb to the counterproductive ugliness. My contention remains that all you all are doing is harmful and I am a former supporter of your cause with no cross to bear.

@chris

I agree, what is going on is harmful in the short run but what the BoV, the prez and admin are doing is far more harmful in the long run. The era of clandestine leadership is over. A case in point is Penn State. Had this Sandusky scandal been outed in 1998 it too would have harmed Penn State and that's why they covered it up. But look at what the cover up did to Penn State a decade later. Because UVA is neck deep in covering up rapes! When that lid is blown off how much harm do you think that will cause? Yeardley Love died because not one UVA official stepped in to save her from the repeated harassment, it was easily avoidable. A dead body was found on campus last June, no follow up, not even the hook. NO TRANSPARENCY. Sullivan promised to clean up and she hasn't. All the ills of the past could have been bygones if she started with a sincere fresh page. SHE FAILED. So now the cover ups and control of everything that goes on in C'Ville continues until they trip and get caught. That day might not be tomorrow, next week, next month or next year but I will bet every dollar I have that day will come if they don't stop. When it does the harm will be MASSIVE. The cost will be devastating! The damage from last June's shenanigans will look like a picnic.

The days of cover ups are over with the advent of the internet. Just look at this board. People are being heard like they could never before!

I cannot speak to this as I have no knowledge or education about this. I am very sorry if this is true.

Nor did I have a clue and yes it is true. The FBI stats show 1 in 4 women are sexually assaulted in College. Yes 25%. UVA claims the annual cases reported to them range from 13 to 20. Not one student on student case has been prosecuted in C'ville in years. They just never find enough evidence! Other districts in the country prosecute but not Cville. Apparently the girls in UVA don't like to prosecute because they don't want to ruin the rapist student's life or they can't go through with it even though many other girls around the country do. Do people actually believe this crap?
Not one student has been expelled from UVA for rape in over 12 years. Ms. Russell spent years fighting UVA until Sullivan offered an apology. In her case the rapist was found not guilty by UVA and then he raped again and was found innocent again. THIS SPELLS THAT UVA HAS A POLICY TO COVER UP RAPE. They preach that they are for Women's rights and issues, you know that BS "Take back the Night" BS but they prosecute the crudest and most merciless form of WAR on WOMEN.

Now you can say you have a good understanding!

seems like Chris the PR guy made a mistake with choosing moi on his team...whoops.

Seems so. Kpsmo. But, she did create a nice screen behind which Chris could continue not answering the questions at hand.

Again, I sympathize with your plight, Moi, even though others want to poke fun. I wish you the very best. And PR guy I am not . Faculty I am and am simply trying to help, Not create hate. The students are my concern. Yes, the students.

Hawes Spencer, if you want to blaze an investigative trail, you should make a FOIA request for these emails: Sullivan, Wood, Sweeney, Harris, Wynne.

Goodwin and Kilberg, first class bullies. They behave in this manner even realizing they are being recorded? Disturbing. If not one student has been expelled for rape in years we can only assume it was decided better to move on and not risk a drop in rankings. Goodwin, Kilberg and Dragas' bullying demeanor with President Sullivan kind of makes you wonder what is done to students who are the victim of rape to convince them better to move on.

Hoo cares...very good point but the side with integrity doesn't stoop to that level. They are first class all right... But bullies they are not. Sullivan, wynne, and co. are the bullies.

@chris

Thanks for your comments. The fact that you didn't diss my posts speaks volumes about your integrity. you are entitled to your opinions as we all are and i think you make some very valid points. the enemy in any institution is corruption and nepotism with a lack of leadership. UVA suffers from all three. A new leader is needed, one that will focus on delivering a first class college education efficiently and create a nurturing environment to foster brilliance.

By the way my other gripe is with the honor code. Jefferson's intent was for a sincere and frank form of honor. Instead the students are scared to death of being accused of cheating. It prevents them from sharing ideas and work out of FEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ask any student off the record. It's a form of UVA fascism!

I'd be interested to know why Tim Kaine appointed Ms. Dragas to the Board. Did she give him campaign contributions or was there a really good reason that just hasn't come to light? If anyone knows please share.

Great question, Cvillerealist. But, it pales in comparison to the question of why McDonnell re-appointed her after she created such havoc, which can only be repaired once she moves on to some other target.

Again, the focus on Dragas I think takes away from the main action emphasis moving forward: 1) the way the BOV is appointed, 2) the type of people who get appointed, 3) the lack of faculty, student, and staff voting members.

Perhaps of McDonnell had not reappointed her, we wouldn't have such an opportunity to be focused on structural change. Of course the Legislature can choose not to approve the appointments in January.

I hope the community stays focused on those types of changes. Let's get a lot of people out for the Toscano town hall.

I have a great deal of experience with corporate governance issues all around the world and believe that the greatest examples of abuse, corruption, incompetence, mismanagement and wrongdoing come from individuals -- like Ms. Dragas. Structural safeguards really only go as far as the people in positions of authority respect. The initial focus has to be on Dragas. Until she leaves, by he own doing or act of the legislature, the institution she so vitally harmed will be paralyzed.

Eurohoo, the irony of Goodwin and Kilbergo's strategy is they are counting on the importance of honor at UVA to be so shallowly held that they can wait us out till we no longer see honor as worth the fight.

Tig,

I am well familiar with honor as a hallmark at the University. However, before we get anywhere near that standard (by which the students are bound together), the conduct of Ms. Dragas and those to whom she may be beholden (the heavy handed appearance and bloviation of Goodwin, as an "advisor to the board" and Kilberg, as what should have been a fresh perspective as new-appointee, certainly gives rise to questions about whether some higher source than Ms. Dragas is really behind the bad conduct) does not satisfy the ordinary care standard, much less the fiduciary care standard by which stabdards of conduct most corporate boards are required to act. Although I do not pretend to know whether a public board like the BoV is subject to only a malfeasance standard of conduct (doubtful), I would suggest that even that has been left unsatisfied by Ms. Dragas, and, now, it seems, others. Of course, the other apparent hand in all this, who does know about standards of conduct; Mr. Kingston, resigned immediately, as would most honorable (in the universal sense) members of such a failed coup. Someone should explain to Ms. Dragas what Napoleon meant when he advsed: "If you start to take Vienna, take Vienna." It is simply time for her to go.

Everyone here is entitled to their own opinion free of rebuke and discord. My opinion is that Dragas threw the University a lifeline and it went ignored but not for long. She will be heralded in the end as a visionary.

Chris, Why have you ignored all my requests for an explanation of that view? Your only response has been "just lsten". i am truly interested in understanding your position, but, you have been as devoid of explanation as has Dragas, herself. I am reminded of the unbelievably strange article written by Ms. Dragas's sister, Jennifer in the Charlottesvile Daily Progress last June. It basically said that the writer had no clue what Ms. Dragas was up to, but that we should all buy into whatever it was because she loved her sister. Is "Chris" a nom de plume for one of the Dragas sisters? Or, are you the other person she pursuaded to write strange, supportive messages without substance?

Sister I am not. Didn't know she had a sister. I have been very impressed with Dragas's tuition concerns as well as her vision of the future of higher ed which is spot on. Amazing to me how upset people are that a president who had basically done nothing got terminated. This happens all the time for the same reasons.

Chris,
I was not upset about Ms' Sullivan's termination, itself, when I got the email that strange afternoon in June-- mostly because she had harldy any time since the same BoV hired her for that enormous job to become known to me here in Europe. . But, I became critical of both the process and the apparent lack of justification as events became public. I watched, from across the ocean (as many in my community did) with amazement as Ms. Dragas revealed herself to be a Rector who operated, not only behind closed doors, but by bluffing about the "support " she had garnered for her unexplained action. As the BoV then took the unusual step of reinstating, it became obvious that Dragas had acted in a way that was unsupportable in any good governance model. I must say, that your answer above, is the first time I hear an attempt at a justification. Interesting that neither Dragas, nor any member of the BoV, nor any member of the UVa faculty on the public record (including the one who had been appointed "interim president"), nor her sister in the famous article I mentioned (you should read it. it is quite amazing), nor any donor of whom I am aware -- having followed virtually every keystroke of this story, nor any student leader, nor any publication of serious mindedness -- within or without the Commonwealth --, nor any alumni group, nor Ms. S/ullivan's record, itself, not even Tudor Jones in his later-retracted editorial, effectively no one, until you -- finally -- said that the president had "done nothing". So, in weighing the value of the thought that has been contributed to the discussion so far, I will let your positive impression of Helen Dragas's "vision" speak for itself.

Did you read the article in the NY Times magazine by Andrew Rice last weekend? I think it will help connect the dots.

Of course I did. Do you believe that article somehow justifies the destruction and horrible governance effected by the Rector, apparently to gratify her family-business-owner-hewn ego, or her attempt to impress some dark force to whom she is somehow beholden?

Chris is entitled to his opinion folks! That's the beauty of a democracy. We can agree to disagree.

@Eurohoo -
I lived in the UK in the 60s and 70s and do visit from time to time. In the US we have to teach ethics. I once asked a regulator how can you teach someone "ethics"? Either you have them or you don't. He laughed and agreed but said the reason we make it compulsory is so that those who don't have ethics cannot say, "I didn't know it was unethical". In my own business dealings and serving on BODs I have always been astounded how so many people and board members are unable or unwilling to recognize a conflict of interest. If you point it out instead of stopping and reflecting they will argue and forcefully push their case. What is a conflict of interest? I truly believe most in our society don't know or choose not to know. It reminds me of a response I got once, "no conflict, no interest". It seems to me most of these people who serve on BODs either volunteer for pure self-interest or they are hand picked as a rubber stamp board member. Very few actually do it for the public good. Its all about self-promotion and self-serving. One would hope sitting on the BoV of UVA you would have representatives of Virginia in their capacity as members of our society looking after the interest of all the stakeholders of the institution. Well what a pipe dream that is. There's nothing about the current UVA that in any way resembles the Jeffersonian spirit.

moi,

You are exactly right. Chris is entitled to rely for his opinion on the andrew rice article, which, at best, states that Dragas was well-intentioned -- HOWEVER MISGUIDED. That means that her would-be apologist concludes -- like everybody -- that she is WRONG. But, yes. Chris is so entitled. and, if you are right (as I hope not, but am afraid you may be), then, starting with the conspicuously amateurish, wrong and destructive Ms. Dragas, the whole rotten board and its loudmouthed, oppressive "advisor" should be thanked for their efforts and dismissed.

The comments of moi and Citizen party are the most productive, in trying to turn us away from the sensational focus on the too easily identified "evil" personalities and more towards the systemic problems that allow such unworthy people to gain and keep power. Hawes already seems to be looking into the money connections between political donors and board and other types of powerful aappointments. As someone else pointed out, this isn't a problem that is limited to the so-called "moneyed right," as Dragas came to us via a slightly left-of-center prior Governor. The system seems to keep producing the same inferior results at the board-level -- Goodwin's and Kilberg's reactions to Cohen's thoughtful and deferential criticisms were pathetically stupid. It's as if this institution can't agree to bring itself out of its good ol' hard drinking backroom mindset and into the realm of the really major research universities, which don't try to just coast along on ancient reputation and a culture of "we don't discuss such things in polite society." The instinct to cover things up here is severely ingrained, not just at the board level but all the way through the UVa culture. As moi pointed out, the reported instances of rape and attempted rape here are anomolously low -- and the incidents that go unreported to enforcement authorities are apparently not limited to student-on-student assault, but according to legend have also involved acts by UVa academic employees that have been punished in only our own quite ways such as euphemized sudden "sabbaticals" that temporarily remove the perps from the local spotlight. As long as the system allows that kind of result for those most horrific breaches of UVa's trust repsonsibilities regarding other peoples' children, we are no better than pre-reform Penn State.

It is clear now that Gov. McD appointed another batch of arrogant no-nothings who claim authority via their wealth and status in life and personal connections with the Gov. It wasn't the personality problems of the previous (summer's) board, it was not just Dragas' personality, it is the entire structure of our society and the structure of the governance system of UVA. It is fixated on the market, private benefit, and is out of balance and corrupt.

Last week we saw arrogant well-to-do new BOV members chastising Cohen and Sullivan and basically threatening a gag order. The problem of governance being out of touch with reality persists and those BOV members just added more fuel to sustain public protest and legislative investigation that will last through January. I say thanks to them and to Joan Fenton for making sure it was done in the sunlight and on camera for posterity. Now Everyone can see travesty in action: Kliberg saying history was a top subject for higher ed in one session, then turn ing around and tell ing Sulllivan to shut up about history. "It's a mad house."

@MST,
You are so on to it with the culture angle, Its the whole political culture of ole virginny we are dealing with here. and it's not just the BOV, I find the same is the case with the City Council, the BOS, the School Systems, and UVA adminstration.

@Chris is right to a certain extent. I was no big Sullivan fan before the Summer (though I thought she was a breath of fresh air after Casteen) but agree with most of you above that what and how it was done to her was heinous but also exposes the whole system of governance corruption. Get the rich out of the governance of a public university and weed out its corrosive influence that has built up over the past decade or so. Just exchanging out Dragas doesn't do that. My point: they(BOV) all need to go. I am willing to give Sullivan a chance because I think she is sincere. But I want to see some more evidence of her leadership that is 180 from the current BOV. She can't operate with the kind of BOV she has now, that pressure will skew the Strategic visioning process she is leading. I too don't get @ Chris' argument about supporting Dragas, I think she was wrong on vision and way wrong on tactics. We should be careful not to fetishize Sullivan either.

i do not profess to know anything about your governor, as he is hardly front page news in Europe. However, Money Trail Sniffer doesnt have to be a bloodhound to follow the stench of Ms Dragas's reappointment, Ms. Goodwin's appointment( as "advisor to the Board -- HA!) and Ms/ Kilberg's appointment directly to the governor's mansion. Who has committed to take care of this politician into his none-too-soon retirement?

There is a wide gap between events changing course, timing mistakes, and inadequate PR at certain junctures...and any dishonesty. Andrew Rice is no apologist for Dragas, he's the son of a professor, a freelance writer, and not an expert on what is misguided for higher ed in my view. Few noted that released emails affirmed the support of the BOV in requesting Sullivan's resignation, one of the initial misconceptions leading some to accuse the Rector of lying. If you rewind the narrative back, you'll find no deception--at least on her part. As for others, I note a failure to disclose. However, I see no value in "outing" new villains, as it really distracts from some very serious work to be done by all universities.

The University of Virginia Board of Visitors is attempting to silence the faculty AND President Sullivan supporters. There has been very little posted about Dr. Sullivan until this article came along.

Are we still living in the USA?

Seems Dragas has 'rehired' her PR firm once again. What will the bill be this time around? Instead of 4-5 scholarships for UVA students, maybe only 2 or 3 will be sacrificed. Thank you Mr. Nau!

The UVA BOV had the Cavalier Daily website completely renovated so that all conversation is tracked through Disqus. Conundrum at best.

This is not a communist country! Sheesh!

GET RID OF DRAGAS!

Hoo cares.. You are so reasonable and intelligent and are the reason I have taken the time to see both sides. Both sides are worthy of consideration. Very interesting point of view.

@ Chris from Hill & Knowlton - you were paid and now funds have run out, right? You don't see both sides...ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

DRAGAS MUST RESIGN! That is what I stand for!

@Chris: DRAGAS MUST RESIGN IS WHAT I STAND FOR!

Chris, I don’t buy your charade.

You disparage the "entitled faculty" then later say "Faculty I am."

You use the phrase “retarted beyond measure” [sic] then claim you “will not succumb to the counterproductive ugliness.”

You condescendingly chastise Suzie, then profess that "Everyone here is entitled to their own opinion free of rebuke and discord.”

If you had once provided any sort of compelling indication that you were actually a “former supporter” who changed your mind, I might give your words a little more consideration.

If you’re not a stooge of Dragas, Goodwin, Kirk, Kilberg and the like, you’re certainly not doing anything to help anyone else reach the same sort of revelation that must have changed our mind.

I call bull.

MOI is pretty obviously Sean Cannan, so despite having all of his usual issues at least he's not a PR flak. Chris on the other hand... Still wondering what Chris has to say to explaining Dragas's actions. Surely by now someone has come up with at least an attempt at an explanation for what she did and why she was reappointed.

Weekend Reader, John and b17,

I completely agree. the simplest message is that the University can only experience dysfunction so long as Ms. Dragas remains intransigent. In any functioning system, she would have gone or been removed. So, either the General Assembly should do that rarest of things -- politicians acting correctly and doing good -- and remove her, or she has to leave on her own accord, taking a slowly-learned lesson from Mr. Kingston who acted correctly and honorably once the ridiculous, Dragas-led coup failed. To b17, I would recommend that you not hold your breath while waiting for Chris, the agent of obfuscation, comes up with an explanation of what he claims is so simple to understand.
While there are systemic issues to address -- as everywhere -- none of that can even begin in any serious way so long as Ms. Dragas clings onto her chair. Once she leaves, the designated suppressors, Kingston and Goodwin, will lose interest and move on to urinate in someone else's sandbox. At that point, I am confident that the BoV, including any incidental wrongdoers from last June, can and will tackle systemic issues in a positive way.

As soon as everyone gives up trying to get resignations and looks forward instead of backward, the university will prosper. Until then, it will continue to be stagnant. I agree that these are the times for change. The BOV is willing to work with Sullivan and unfortunately, many in the camp asking for resignations are just wasting time. My opinion is that you have all the resignations you are going to get and the General Assembly isn't going to change anything either, so let them work, folks.

@chris

You don't move forward for a long trek with a major injury. You go to rehab and get fit first. We need a major overhaul of BoV. Funny how they came to such a quick resolution last June when the governor gave his ultimatum. So much for their principles, including Sullivan. Clearly they are all self-serving and they all need to go. A new BoV that reflects all the stakeholders should be in created.
Candidates from the following should be elected to the BoV:
Alumni
Faculty
Students
Parents
Government
Charlottesville (born and bred)
Virginia Small business
Virginia Corporate

It's such a pity that an institution carrying Jefferson's legacy is unable to be transparent nor democratic. Actually they are more like King George. Even the Brits have moved forward and we have regressed.

The tides are moving so fast. I would hate to see UVA get left behind. I hear your ideas though.

@Chris - Dragas proved to be an impediment to the necessary changes at UVA. Remember June, 2012? What a mess she made! Despite Dragas' - President Sullivan has a strong command of the UVA and the changes needed.

Dragas is an embarrassment to UVA BoV, and she must resign.

Agree to disagree.

Dragas's intransigence is inexcusable and unacceptable. There is simply no good whatsoever that obtains other than for her misguuided ego from her staying. The great institution is seriously harmed by every day that she remains. As she is obviously ineducable, and will likely never do the right thing, and take care of her family, the General Assembly is the best hope of the good of the University and the public. Chris, you seem to have pursuaded no one. But, then, whoever hired you at whatever cost, gave you a pretty empty hand.. Best to you.

If the State of Virginia contributes only 7% of UVA's funding, why does the state (Governor & GA) have 100% control over the Board of Visitors?

Seems to me, the Governor should "pony-up" (sp?) about 93% more funding; especially since he's bragging about his budget surplus.

Faculty could get living wage raises. Reliance on corporate dollars would evaporate. Hometown kids could obtain a higher education without going into in debt. Best of all, we could get rid of this "dysfunctional" board of visitors.

@Weekendreader,

You nailed it on all fronts. If they ponied up, we would not have to rely of philanthropic and corporate funding that has a corrosive effect on the way Academe is supposed to function.

People don't realize that by a 1000 paper cuts the function of higher education as a form of free investigation into social life is going away. The technical disciplines aligned with technology and business thrive, including the Law School. Compare Darden to the Curry School in terms of budget and donor support. Donors should be allowed m=to make one donation, to the University General Fund and then it should be up to the University about how to spend it for the public good, not private gain.

We get University Presidents who change budget models that make use "compete" like corporate departments do. We get deans who use public grant funds as seed money for their own private businesses and then foist the corporate competition model on us and marginalize any academic subject that is not a money maker or that is critical of corporate control. Instead of being collegial and working together, faculty pursue self interest not public interest.

What people don't know is that corporate agenda, which the BOV was attempting to speed-up with a top-down coup by installing a corporate master as president, is already going on within the schools at UVA, if you look closely enough.

If the State put the 93% of funding it was supposed to be doing we would not have this corporate ideology pervading our day to day work inside the University, and tuition would have to go up, we wouldn't have to replace tenured expert faculty with part-time, vulnerable adjuncts and online courses.

The state is allied with the corporates to reduce the tax rate so the corporates can make even more profits without passing them on to the workforce. Just look at the Port Authority debacle where MCDonnell wiped out the public Board and replaced it with his cronies.

We should be protesting that the state does not fully fund higher education. We should be demanding that Sullivan and the BOV demand that of the Legislature and the Governor. Instead, the BOV just goes along with the tax cuts and defunding...why?...they are protecting the corporate class which benefits from a low tax rate. Make the BOV representative of the public and that demand will happen.

Whops, : "...tuition wouldn't have to go up"

WR and CP,

This is a good debate for a functioning governance group. I have no doubt whatsoever that you are both not only well intentioned, but that you have a point that is worth pursuing to its fullest -- despite that I fundamentally disagree. I believe, as is the case for America's (and the world's) best universities, it is best to keep all politicians as far away from the mix as possible. I happen to believe that to be the case in virtually all endeavors, for that matter. None of the benchmark institutions (Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Chicago, Oxford, etc.) are beholden to people who feed on and control the public trough the way your position suggests the University should revert. Those great institutins of academic inquiry are fully supported by private funding and yet they generally avoid the kind of nonsense in which this Dragas and her cabal (probably directly related to the politician in Richmond who appointed them) engage. Sadly, the type of citizen statesmen known to the founder of the University of Virginia have long since perished from the ranks of our public officials, and I believe your position requires their unlikely reappearance. My faith is much more heavily placed in private citizens who -- regardless of their monetary strength -- have both the necessary competence and the best interest of the University in their makeup. This is something that works well in coprorate governance bodies around the world. However, I also believe that your worthy debate on this subject can only be productively undertaken when there is an initial elimination of the identifiable bad actors, like Dragas, Goodwin, McDonnell and Kilberg from the table. So long, in our case, as the incompetent -- at best -- Dragas remains at the helm, we cannot productively engage in such discussion -- or any discussion that is useful. The rot has to be cleaned out. Only then can forward-looking initiatives be productive.

Weekend Reader: can you identify necessary changes that the BOV has halted?

Citizen: please outline this public good of which you write, with specifics.

Can anyone explain how my gifts can be translated into my personal gain?

Well said, HC. And I second the notion to FOIA Sullivan, Wood, Sweeney, Harris, and most importantly Wynne. That would shed a whole new light on all of this.

@HC- What has halted: TRUST & HONOR in DRAGAS, and she controls the BoV.

...seems the PR firm is back on this thread...

You've shared that opinion, repeatedly. Writing of an impediment to necessary change, I thought you could offer some evidence.

Dragas, Kington and Kiernan represent what is being taught at the Darden School. Not a glowing endorsement. Particularly, when you reflect upon what the 'coup' was capable of in June. Kington and Kiernan knew what was best for UVA, and resigned. Dragas is holding her breath, hoping all this will just go away...really, Dragas? She pays PR firms hundreds of thousands of dollars to make sure that risk to UVA is minimized. Hundreds of thousands of dollars that could have been scholarships. What class at Darden did Dragas learn that "burning money" was a good thing?

Dragas is a thorn in Dr. Sullivan's side. Who would ever want to work with an 'employer' who fired them? It's stupid for BoV to believe that "all will be well" after Dragas dropped the 'fire' bomb on President Sullivan. That's just plain stupid...

What honor was involved in Dragas sacking President Sullivan? None.

I want the General Assembly to remove Dragas from the BoV, and appoint Ed Miller as Rector. I believe President Sullivan and Ed Miller are better suited to work with one another.

Honorable actions are never conducted behind closed doors. Dragas must resign, and then trust and honor will be restored to the University of Virginia. Otherwise, the board is really just fooling themselves.

Thomas Jefferson: "For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it."

Chair of the Faculty Senate, George Cohen: "We believe that the forced resignation of President Sullivan was an error in judgment by the Board. We believe that the process leading up to and resulting in the forced resignation was flawed and, most important, inconsistent with the principles for which President Sullivan – and the University – stand. It was done in secret. It was done without full and open discussion within the Board. It was done without consulting constituents inside and outside the University."

University of VA Magazine, June 2012

@HC Honor is the foundation of UVA. Dragas' lack of honor impacts the entire university community.

The Dragas' firing President Sullivan debacle resulted in the resignation of prominent faculty member, William Wulf; a no confidence vote in BoV from the Faculty Senate, and continued fallout from diminishing donations. More faculty resignations have taken place, and many other repercussions are occurring. I believe each of these qualify as impediments.

Further, a time when budgets are shrinking, professor retention rates diminishing, and the lack of online education was deemed (Dragas) an immediate threat to UVA, firing Dr. Sullivan was NOT the right decision.

Political HotSheet
June 23, 2012
By: John Dickerson:

"The underlying debate between the Board of Visitors and Teresa Sullivan was over how to shrink and change the university when budgets are tight. They took a gamble..."Sweeping action may be gratifying and may create the aura of strong leadership," said Sullivan in her defense, "but its unintended consequences may lead to costs that are too high to bear." She's right. The school is in chaos. The gamble didn't pay off."

More:
Time Magazine
June 20, 2012
By: Kayla Webley

UVA's, "Holstege of the faculty senate echoed her concerns. "My fear is what repercussions this will have on our hiring, on our current faculty — we've already heard of some resignations and of other faculty who are no longer planning to come here," he said. "It may also effect our recruitment of students.
And certainly it will have an effect on donors..."

It doesn't seem like you have a good grasp of UVA or you are part of the PR campaign bought by Dragas. In the future, do your own research.

EuroHoo:

"None of the benchmark institutions (Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Chicago, Oxford, etc.) are beholden to people who feed on and control the public trough the way your position suggests the University should revert."

Those are not the benchmarks, they are provate abd have a different mission that the public UVA. UVA is public and the public should govern them and I mean a public unfettered by politicians who have been bought off by the corporate interests. In some places governing board members are elected in general elections. Here I speak of what Jefferson meant when he said as published in this paper a while back:

"I hope we shall," wrote Jefferson, "crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and to bid defiance to the laws of their country."

HC: Public good, like when Jonas Salk invented the vaccine and it was available to the public not privatized. I am also speaking of what happens when large donors give and then have undue influence in University decisionmaking that occludes public benefit. Like at UC Berkeley when corporations were given a place at departmental research committees and it affected the outcomes of research in their favor.

@HC - Dragas is a disgrace to UVA. Dragas is incompetent. You do not know what your are talking about. I am suspect of your vague posts. PR probably.

If you had been following the Dragas fiasco at UVA, you would know the impediments. You are in way over your head!

Lastly, there is NO support for Rector Dragas, except for the cronies that are on the BoV. They have a reason to support her. After all, Dragas could turn on any one of them in an instant, call the Governor, and have them fired in January. Enough said.

CParty, As I said, I believe this to be a worthwhile debate in a functioning system, and your view is worthy of robust support and thought. I would be delighted to discuss with you how we, sadly -- and in stark contrast since Mr. Jefferson's world -- no longer have "politicians who have (not) been bought off by corporate interests" and worse, and, therefore, need to look at more appropriate benchmarks in finding guidance about how the best of the best of public institutions of postsecondary education should (must) be governed, and how -- equally importantly -- they can fund themselves without selling their institutional souls to special interests. Why in the world would you disregard those models, I would ask. However, as all the knowledgeable commenters here have writen without equivocation, such honest debate cannot even be contemplated so long as the incompetent, failed, disruptive and dysfunctional Ms. Dragas remains entrenched. Regardless of whether, as it seems, she is the architect of the failed coup, or, as is also a possibility, a stooge, acting for the politician who, otherwise inexplicably, reappointed her, her continuing occupation and diminution of the Rector's chair blocks any serious ability of the University to move forward-- especially now, with her new enforcers trying to strongarm anyone who promotes openness..

@EuroHoo,

I agree with you about Dragas. And the way it is looking perhaps all the BOVs should go with her. I just don't want us to think that if Dragas resigns, that the fundamental issues are somehow resolved. It's a structural issue at this point from my POV. It's about a system that allows neoliberal politicians of both parties to put BOV's in place for campaign payoffs, and to put a particular type of BOV in place that is not representative of the polity or constituency of UVA and does not adequately represent stakeholders. The latest batch of appointees who scolded Cohen and Sullivan at the last meeting, exemplify the fact that the uber-rich just don't get it when it comes to academic freedom and free speech. Those things are antithetical to the corporate approach to management. But I also agree that if Dragas was removed and we got a new system of BOV appointment, there would sill be the culture of shared governance to deal with. So it is not merely a personality problem or a structural problem but one of state political and UVA organizational culture that has to be reexamnied and perhaps changed.

The research and professional literature is rife with pieces that clarify that publics and privates have different missions. The governing board systems for many privates have the problems we encountered this summer and that threaten the mission of higher education education. In the end public is public and private is private. To use a private governance model does not fit with the public mission of the University of Virginia. Besides its elitist to say the least. Back to the Jefferson quote I suppose.

Citizen Party,

I only wish there were more people involved who are like you -- even though we hold fundamentally different visions of the mission -- once we get past the scourge of the personalities currently infecting the Rector's chair and the portions of the BoV and its "senior advisor" (from Tech, no less) who have been appointed as suppressors. Those people -- Dragas, at a minimum -- must go. They are simply wrongheaded, miserable, dysfnctional and destructive. They do not have the best interests of the University -- however defined -- in mind. Let's all try to focus on that, because you and I will never be able to have our civilized and productive discourse with any effect as long as they are around. After that (just imagine the politicians in the General Assembly doing the right thing!), perhaps, you will give me the opportunity to pursuade you that the mere fact that someone possesses, or has accumulated, wealth, does not disqualify such person from being thoughtful and capable of contributing to a great cause such as the University, without corruptly thinking about personal wealth or power. Peter Jefferson, after, put his son, Thomas in such a position. Then, we can talk about how it does make sense -- following the lead of the University's great founder, to look for guidance to the great and successful institutions of academic freedom, discourse, research and learning, such as the ones I previously mentioned. I would like the University to continue in its greatness, and to be compared favorably by all to the best of the best -- regardless of whether they are "public" or "private". Of course, neither we, nor anyone can move in the direction of understanding and fixing structural issues, mission definition and accomplishment -- even, as we have all read, maintaining unchallenged accreditation -- so long as the failed Dragas remains camped out, surrounded by her attack dogs.

Eurohoo and Citizen Party are the same person. Fact not fiction.

Wrong, as always, Helen. But, thanks for the laugh.

How does it feel to have such hate running through your veins all day every day for people you don't even know? Must be uncomfortable. Very sad for you.

I fear that getting too deeply into exploration of the philosophical underpinnings of the Eurohoo versus CP visions of the mission of a public university might just allow the current sclerosis to continue here. One factual line of inquiry I'd like to see pursued is how things in Virginia have historically and recently gone, in terms of donators to political campaigns getting rewarded with board positions. I'd also like to see if there is a difference based on which parties were taking the donations and issuing the appointments, and how those parties' views regarding public funding of education were advanced by such connections. Then we could compare that data to data for other prominant public universities (Cal, Michigan, UNC, UCLA, Texas, Wisconsin, SUNY, Penn State, etc.) to see if there are patterns involved and to what extent we fit in with them. It really wasn't so long ago when the major publics got most of their funds from their states, and were still able to avoid being overly controlled by political types. if anything, it feels like more political control gets exerted as public funding declines, but that is just a feeling and may be incorrect. By obtaining real data we might at least be able to identify the real scoundrels in Virginia who are perpetuating the current mess and who stand to gain by its continuance. Then we'll know which bums to vote out.

Wrong again, Helen (or designated apologist). I do not hate you or anyone. I only want you to do the right thing and stop trying to destroy Mr. Jefferson's University. I wish you great success with your next target.

Funny how you think Dragas has no supporters. She's still there isn't she? And it's people like yourself who are ruining the University. Move on.

Well, Eurohoo, I guess we know who Kind campaign must really be, based on the lockstep consistency of his/her message and the dialogue in Hawes' article. Gotta be either Goodwin or Kilberg. If we follow their advice, we can be fully confident of never veering from the path to intellectual mediocrity and institutional irrelevance.

Do you all honestly think that the folks on the BOV are sitting around responding to posts on this gossip magazine website? Really?

Funny how "Kind campaign" started posting shortly after "Chris" went quiet...

Kind campaign, maybe you're right -- maybe the BOV members wouldn't stoop to commenting on this blog. The Dragas paradigm, after all, is to try (and fail) to convince someone else to do it for you, as exposed by Professor Holsinger's illuminating article in the Chronicle of Higher Ed. We do know they are at least listening to the chatter, and wish it weren't occurring. There isn't really that much after all to listen to, and these people probably have some time on their hands in between attending lavish board retreats and writing checks to the McDonnell war chest.

Yes, "Kind", or "Chris", or whatever you are calling yourself now. Perhaps it is because I am spending so much time in Germany these days that my awareness of the tactics of the suppressive Third Reich is heightened. Of course, the Germans have learned quite a bit since those horrible and unspeakable days. In the cool light of day, their tactics are as transparent and laughable as yours are, today -- of course they are -- as they are the same. You may not be Ms. Dragas, herself. But her record of having (or foolishly trying to have) paid surrogates speak for her is well established. How is it that you believe that suppression of thought and honest, concerned, discussion in the face of your stupid, failed coup, is something that runs contrary to what you call "ruining the University". Please find a new target. The one you have so desperately tried to take over is too precious to too many people. And, yes. I would commend you to read the thousands of comments on various blogs and messages to the BoV and anywhere related to your mess-- in contrast to the hired or cajoled, ridiculously supportive, and pathetically sparse comments -- to confirm beyond cvil that Ms. Dragas, in fact, has NO thoughtful support anywhere.

Chronicles of Higher Education
September 14, 2012
By: Bruce Holsinger

..."Even more disturbing is a newly surfaced exchange between Dragas and an undergraduate. On June 12, she wrote to Hillary Hurd, the recently appointed student representative on the Board of Visitors:

Hillary,

Do you know of students on grounds who might be willing to assist with a communications effort by engaging constructively in the blogs as guided by a communications consultant?

Thanks, Helen

Let’s think about this for a moment. The leader of a public university, appointed by the governor, writes a student asking for her help in rounding up other students to work with a “communications consultant” she has hired—a consultant to be tasked with coaching the writing of these students’ blog posts in support of the rector’s controversial position...."

correction: "The Chronicle of Higher Education" - Dragas to Hillary Hurd: "... Do you know of students on grounds who might be willing to assist with a communications effort by engaging constructively in the blogs as guided by a communications consultant?

Thanks, Helen"

The Chronicle of Higher Education
September 14, 2012
By: Bruce Holsinger

What I find amazing is the front page of the Daily Progress covering the last BOV meeting where the BOV members were complaining about how UVA does not bering in the research dollars that UC or Cornell or UNC bring in.

First, I am complaining that the BOV does not bring in VA state support funds to pay for more than 8% of the operating budget. Maybe we should meet them half way. They bring in 50% from the state to support UVA and we will bump up our research income. They have to do their part no? Oh but ...they represent the class of people who are against raising corporate taxes in VA. Talk about a conflict of interest.

And by the way those universities w=that were listed as our peers we beat them every year in the rankings because we provide high quality teaching that serves our students. UVA is not at all like those places in terms of size and mission. The BOV is clueless.

PS I am Citizen Party and no one else to the clown who stated I was Eurohoo with whom I disagree but respectfully so.

Citizen,

We have no disagreement whatsoever over your descriptive word "clown". I hope the members of the General Assembly are sufficiently untainted as to agee with us on that point, too. Our number, in the areas of our agreement, is enormous.

Eurohoo,

Agreed. Need to focus on the Legislative Meeting on Thursday. I hope there is a huge turnout!!!!!

Dragas is responsible for the failure of the "Relatively Low Research Dollars" donated to UVA. Failure is synonymous with Dragas, and she wants Dr. Sullivan to take the fall. The problem is that Dragas, Jones, Kiernan, Kington and Nau knew about the lack of research dollars and knew how this scenario would play out. Please check out the "Monty Carlo Theory" being taught at the Darden School.

Failure begets failure. These individuals think they can run UVA by themselves.

You should listen to them at parties in the Hamptons. Ugh!

Dregas and her cabal will end up driving away our talented leaders, there are many good jobs for them to go to. Where would we be then? Time to get rid of this board.

...and the UVA community understands why Michael Strine resigned, really?

Look much deeper into the finances (distribution of assets/donations at UVA) with respect to Strine, Kiernan, Kington, Jones, Nau, Dragas and Edward Miller donations, in particular. FOIA please Hook!

Unbelievable what these people are capable of...right in front of the faculty, staff and students!

Corrupt and dishonorable practices...

Strine did not resign because he wanted to...much more to this story...much more.

Dragas is to blame for all of this mess! Along with McDonnell.

shut the door! we all know it was a forced resignation. resignations don't usually come with hush money...sorry $847,308 in severance.

please don't keep us in suspense. what did he do to cause his forced resignation?

Well, I'm not sure where we go from here. Dragas's intransigence, standing alone, is bizzare and amateurish. Anyone with any sense whatsoever would have done as Kingston (the business pro, who recognized the coup's failure and how he would be rendered forever ineffective had he remained as vice rector) did. However, it seems incontrovertable that this clinging onto position cannot be dismissed as simpleminded, out-of-control, piggish, ego by this woman who has always had her way in the family business given her by her father. When Ms. Dragas's strange refusal to leave as appropriate is combined with A) the wholly inexplicable and indefensible reappointment by Governor McDonnell (Did she threaten to blow the whistle on him for not really being uninvolved as he consistently stated until his return from Europe after the coup failed?), B) McDonnell's appointment of the attack dogs, Nixon operative Kilberg and billionaire blowhard Goodwin to silence any discourse or investigation -- too bad they cannot influence the accreditation bodies their acts have concerned), C) the designated obfuscators like the operative who calls him/herself "Chris", "Kind campaign" and "Hoo Cares" and D) the setting up of Dr. Sullivan for another fall through the research grant failure that was clearly the responsibility of the BoV, it is difficult to imagine that the attempted coup was not more than the crazed ego of the Rector run amok. It is difficult to believe that there is not a whole lot of sub-surface rot and corruption, as various thoughtful writers here have suggested. In any event, it seems incumbent upon the Virginia General Assembly to rid the University of the scourge of this Rector. If they fail to act, perhaps a special prosecutor should be empowered. Hopefully, once the Rector is gone, the other bad elements will return to ground and only our poor friend Honor will have to endure their drivel in the worst parties in Eastern Long Island.

Don't count on the General Assembly to solve anything -- it is as dysfunctional as the US Congress, and just as dominated by the moneyed interests who work so diligently to keep things exactly as they are. Maybe we are where we are because we are where we are -- Virginia hasn't been the hotbed of progressive ideas since Jefferson's time, and quiet recalcitrance, resistance to transparency, reliance on obfuscation, and snobbish resistance to intrusion from outside observers is the cultural norm here. Just look at today's DP story about UVa's report (submitted after getting 2 extensions) to the Southern Association of Colleges -- UVa officially claims that the BOV followed all required and proper process in ousting Sullivan -- this, signed by the very same man who threatened to quit during the middle of the crisis due to his view that the BOV had acted immorally and dishonestly! And Sullivan isn't even putting up a fight over this whitewash, out of fear that UVa will lose its accreditation. The longer the cover-up goes on re what happened in June, the more it seems to draw people into it who were once in the rebel camp. Eerie.

deleted

MTS,

Right again. Its the old style Virginia Plantation political model. I think Simon did the politic thing . He signed saying that the BOV verified all the information. But you are right, Sullivan could have come out and made an issue. We need more leadership from her. George Cohen and the Faculty Senate have been doing their share.

You may be right about the legislature but we have to try at least to make a point that democracy is sick here in the republic. If we do nothing on that front, the story goes away and they win. I am still hopeful that the public participation that brought Sullivan back will engage on the reappoinments and the changing of the BOV appointment process.

When the BOV criticizes UVA Admin for not keeping up wit the research dollars competitions, I don;t see why Sullivan doesn't reply with why don't you keep up with the state funding dollars?

@ CP - President Sullivan is an excellent leader. She recused herself again to protect UVA, and to avoid a conflict of interest.

Dr. Sullivan has protected the UVA community - beyond your comprehension. The BoV dysfunctional board is to blame. Dragas is to blame for this debacle.

Cavalier Daily - BOV defends actions to accreditor
By Emily Hutt, Julia Horowitz | Sep 25, 2012

..."Executive Vice President and Provost John Simon oversaw the University’s response to the association. Sullivan, who received the June 25 letter, said at a press conference in August she had recused herself from handling the investigation because the matter posed a conflict of interest."

President Sullivan has recused herself more than once in order to protect UVA.

Honor,

I agree she is a good leader, I supported her in ways beyond your comprehension, and I am glad she was reappointed but I won't fethishize her (or honor, for that matter) either. I agree the BOV is dysfunctional and to blame. I also think there has to be some pushback on the BOV from the Administration, not just the Faculty Senate. If this whole thing was about the elites squabbling and now we are supposed to forget about it because they have made up, then I am disappointed. I have been heartened y statements Prsident Sullivan has made about this being a national issue.

@Honor - why has she failed in changing the way the thugs in the Dean of Student office conduct their sexual misconduct hearings. Lampkin and Davis made this big announcement last year allegedly changing the rules. The new woman president turned the page on how female student victims would be treated. Well we now know at least 3 girls (probably many more) have gone through Sullivan's new process and still no rapists have been expelled.

Does this make President Sullivan an excellent leader? Really? I'm sorry but any leader that tolerates this kind of sadistic policy towards girls is not fit to be President. The women in UVA are the worst offenders, hand picked to enforce a draconian sexist policy. So far she has shown herself to be as bad as Dragas, inept and corrupt. The only reason we all gave her benefit of the doubt was because the way Dragas terminated her. She has just squandered all that capital away. She should have saved her dignity and moved on to another job.

@moi - Dr. Sullivan has been addressing your issue. Your posts here need to be tied to the subject at hand. President Sullivan has the UVA under control. If you have questions for her, contact her office.

@CP - Understanding President Sullivan's position is a must. If you only realized the dramatic positive changes her leadership has brought the UVA...

President Sullivan has led the UVA without a functioning board. She has dramatically changed the landscape of UVA; only to advance and support UVA, and its entire campus community.

According to the "Monte Carlo" theorem, in the next 5 years, Dr. Sullivan will have moved UVA up 2 spots. Ask Kiernan and Kington. They took the class at Darden, and know this is true...they know the math. Even Jones knows Dr. Sullivan is gaining momentum. Dr. Sullivan is the best leader for UVA - and at the worst time.

President Sullivan should be respected for her vision and thoughtful progression in terms of changes at UVA. Dr. Sullivan wants what is best for UVA campus and its' entirety. She is for the UVA.

@moi - John Casteen is to blame for your problems. His administration did not deal fairly with your concerns. This is not the place to debate your issue and I will not respond to you in the future. Your voice has been heard.

Most importantly to UVA, President Sullivan is trying to shore up accreditation issues. I find all other issues moot at this point.

You will not find a better leader for UVA.

@honor - my posts are extremely related to the subject at hand. Am I missing something? or is this not all about integrity and transparency? Perhaps you are uncomfortable with the subject matter but that's because you know full well its a huge weakness and a serious problem, after all the entire faculty, to their disgust, knows its going on.

A good leader does not discriminate or allow her subordinates to discriminate against half the student body, you know that unimportant female half. She's had plenty of time to address this matter. It's been 2 years! She bashed Penn State for not being transparent whilst her own back door was wide open. Perhaps she should invite Louis Freeh to investigate UVA?

I have no questions to ask of her and have no wish to contact her, since she knows full well what is going on and has done nothing. Carol Wood knows and so did Michael Strine. When confronted with solid information and facts they were unable to offer any answers nor could they deny what had happened. Instead they ignored the facts, facts that would shock most normal human beings. If she's suddenly woken up, it's because its about to become a big scandal. Whichever, sooner or later, this will all be exposed unless there is a serious house cleaning and real change. I'm not holding my breath!

@honor,

I sense some scolding condescension here. I have already stated that I am a huge supporter of Sullivan but please describe the dramatic positive changes her leadership has brought to UVA...and how she has dramatically changed the landscape of UVA.

"President Sullivan should be respected for her vision and thoughtful progression in terms of changes at UVA. Dr. Sullivan wants what is best for UVA campus and its' entirety. She is for the UVA."

No doubt. I have great respect for her and... if I question something she does then I am not for UVA?

I have supported her through the summer. And I have questions as welll about some of the direction like the new budget model, like the Kevin Morrissey investigation, like some of her appointments of deans, like the Coursera process. I know the BOV is off the rails and I will support Sullian against that til the cows come home but I am not giving up my reasoning ability in some strange blind fetish for leaders. Just as both democratic and republican governors have gotten us into the BOV mess, Presidents past and present need(ed) to push back and get the State to fund the public university.

@CP - I will get back to our discussion tomorrow. Tired...worked 17 hours today. Looking forward to reading more about your perspective in future.

@moi - I have nothing more to contribute. I wish you well.

Tell Carol Wood you need a break from your job defending Sullivan.

so, it seems that the voice of the Rector behind the green curtain, now going by Hoo Cares, continues her nefarious attacks on the president she couldn't fire. pathetic, in every way, at every turn. i can only hope the General Assembly can rise to the occasion and rid the University of this scourge without the need to commission a special prosecutor. we also need to hope that the accreditation reviewers sees her as one bad apple, rather than representative of anything other than her own, twisted interests.

Nefarious attacks? Scourge? Why is it OK to accuse me of working for a PR firm, but not the other way around? There are 3 posters here who bully others. Enjoy hearing the sound of your own voices. All I hear is the repetiton of angry feelings with little understanding of the situation and unwillingness to consider something outside the narrative that has been adopted.

if you guys would explain your only hinted-at alternative explanations, rather than always obfuscating the indefensible moves from the Rector, you might have some credibility.

btw, hoo cares,

I am sorry that you seem offended by my calling your principal a scourge. however, for the Rector of the University to single-handedly cause the University's very accreditationto be called into question by her self-centered and bad actions, and then refuse to step aside to allow the institution to heal -- as it only can without her -- it is difficult for me to think of her any other way. Who else has done such damage, and who else but such an incompetent scoundrel would have any reason to hide behind ridiculous voices deployed by her -- like yours?

Hoo cares is not alone, I assure you. Also, it is the "bullies" like yourself who are causing the accreditation to be called into question. Go ahead, accuse me of working for a PR firm or being the same person as Hoo Cares. Wish I knew who Hoo Cares was. Would like to meet for coffee. Very interesting, intelligent perspective.

you certainly share a common -- if not identical -- purpose, style and lack of concern for anything other than dysfunction. enjoy your coffee. don't forget to invite your other alter egos, Kind campaign and Chris. It will be a great gathering of mindless obfuscation, with no explanations for anything.

Wow.

@honor

Why would you contribute? All those with integrity avoid or runaway from the issue. It's someone else's problem. Just to set the record straight this is no longer my problem. Mine are a different set of problems. What I have been addressing is UVA's problem, and its quite a big problem since it affects half the student body and the scandal that will follow is like a ticking time bomb.

Since you are conveniently blaming Casteen why have no heads rolled? When "thugs" in positions of power act immorally and in my humble opinion, criminally, why are they still employed? It seems that the U has to be faced with the abyss before it acts. I just can't wait!

ps. I have no anger as I am beyond that. Anger is not productive. So I am not seeking for meeting with presidents or worthless apologies. My mission is to expose this, and that I will, it's also to make sure no other girl has to go through this gauntlet again. Unfortunately, the latter is not going to be easy as UVA has this uncanny ability to continue to do the wrong thing given any opportunity. It's soaked in a culture of corruption and intrigue.

Sorry, gang, but I've got to turn off comments here, as I don't have time to monitor it, but I have published a bunch of new stories on your favorite topic. Here's one of them (with links to the others): http://www.readthehook.com/107414/prospective-presidents-how-they-might-...