Madame president! Sullivan to take UVA reins

news-sullivan-smallA smiling Teresa Sullivan, current provost at the University of Michigan, greets future colleagues in the Rotunda at an event announcing her hiring as UVA's eighth president.

The UVA board of visitors voted unanimously on January 11 to appoint Dr. Teresa Sullivan, provost and vice president of academic affairs at the University of Michigan, as UVA's eighth president, replacing John Casteen III when he retires in August.

Following the vote, UVA Rector John O. "Dubby" Wynne introduced 60-year-old Sullivan, praising her more than three decades experience in "almost every aspect of higher education," and claiming with incredulity that Sullivan met a list of requirements put forth by the board "so comprehensive as to be unattainable." Among other things, he said, she is a leader "who could create a vision that could be measurably achieved"; a recruiter of top notch faculty; someone who values diversity and understands the benefits of athletics; and an experienced budget manager who was chancellor over nine schools in the University of Texas system. Beyond those characteristics and skills, Wynne said, the board wanted someone with "emotional intelligence, who is self aware, sociable and empathetic."

In her acceptance speech, Sullivan praised Casteen, promising to "pursue the course he has charted." She introduced her husband of 38 years, Douglas Laycock, who will teach at UVA Law, and her two grown sons, Joseph, a doctoral student at Boston University, and John, a recent college grad who is planning a fall wedding.

In the coming months, Sullivan said, she will continue her full time work in Michigan, where, she noted with a smile, "I have a budget due and 200 promotions to make decisions about." She plans to visit Charlottesville at least once a month to meet with faculty, students, board members, and Virginia legislators in preparation for taking over this summer.

While Sullivan may be amply qualified to head a university of any size, UVA's presidency, she confessed, is the only such position she has ever applied for.

"This," she explained of UVA, "is one of the jewels of higher education."

As for the challenges she will face, Sullivan, who is also a demographer and a sociologist whose research focuses on consumer bankruptcy, says her biggest short term challenges as president will be financial. The long term challenge, she believes, will be the "hot competition to get the best minds."

Sullivan's five-year contract promises her total annual compensation of $680,000.

–- story updated at 4:39pm
–Old headline: "Sullivan becomes new UVA president"


The sarcastic remark about Sullivan welcoming gays, feminists,etc to Charlottesville expresses a mentality all too common for what passes for conservative thought in some circles.
"I am not intolerant of gay people" so reminiscent of the old line about "some of my best friends are Jews"- followed by some anti-Semitic stereotype like "well you know they can be so pushy."
I doubt very much that she is a wild-eyed radical of the Abbie Hoffman stripe.The Board of Visitors would never pick someone like that.
Gays and feminists are already here-and they make our community a better place.
And whats the point of bringing up her son's research as if thats relevant to her job? And besides I like vampire lore. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was one of the greatest TV shows in recent history.
Second only to Xena Warrior Princess-whom I suppose some don't like because of her close relationship with Gabrielle.

good pointsm hollowboy. notice the strawman inside of a strawman:

"I am simply against being so politically correct that I must accept my freedom of speech being infringed"

so now we go from "UVA announces next president" to "anonymous internet user claims first amendment violation because new UVA president isn't intolerant of homosexuality".

She does have a great smile and killer body though.

She's a sociologist. This is UVA's baby step towards getting some scientific-like leadership, instead of English and law professors all the time. At least she'll understand research and writing academic research papers.

She’s a sociologist. This is UVA’s baby step towards getting some scientific-like leadership, instead of English and law professors all the time. At least she’ll understand research and writing academic research papers.
Huh, Frank Hereford was a pretty noted physicist.

Well, I certainly agree that John Casteen was the last of the type who would get all of his degrees at U.Va. and then eventually end up as U.Va president type. Although even he went elsewhere for a time (Berkeley as a faculty member, UConn as president). And I don't know what Hereford's scholarly output was.

On the other hand, I don't see Sullivan's scholarly output or career trajectory being on par with that of the current or past chancellor of Berkeley, for example, even though they had also run universities and/or university systems.

Looks like the good old boys were anything but. Good luck Madame president and welcome to UVA

This is the second recent plucking of a Wolverine to take over a vacated Wahoo post; first, Dean Wu was nabbed from Big Blue to fill the Dean of A&S spot that the "loyal" Ayers ditched to take the better-paying Spiders' President gig in the midst of A&S's budget crisis and scrambling to do the South Lawn project, and now we grab Sullivan to wake us up after the long Casteen Snooze. Surpirsed we didn't go afgter Rich-Rod when Groh got fired. I guess we can now forget about offering any jobs to any Buckeyes.

Didn't work out so well the last time they went to the midwest for a new President. He was a real nice guy but Bob O'Neill--who had been head of the Wisconsin state college system--was in way over his head at the University and was shown the door after five years

It would appear that Uva Non Douche is actually a gigantic douche.

Because she is worth so much less.

Harry, where did you see her claim that she is a great fundraiser, or others claim that for her? I'm curious because that's the one aspect of the job that I did NOT immediately see connected with her.

We have sold out. No more cloaked liberalism. A full onslaught of the left, point blank favoritism for the gays & lesbian movement and the mushroom cloud of radicalism from Sullivan, Wu and so many others. The rotunda has changed from a shining crystal of education in the South to a parfait of currents and directions that will morph The University into trainwreck. Watch the downward direction of the donors and the endowment. The cancer has spread.

"Sullivan has lots of experience at defending affirmative action. When politics demanded an end to affirmative action, Texas and Michigan officials both found creative ways to continue the old policies." -- allan

Thank God! We need more affirmative action in higher education, and less political interference.

didn't take long for the defenders of white male privilege to get their knickers in a twist about this one....

Thank GOD, a woman! And an "outsider" at that! The idea that a UVA president needs to be a "Virginia man" (i.e. Ayers) is antiquated and has kept UVA caught in a time warp compared to other institutions. The good 'ol boys club that promotes its own has created an atmosphere that makes it very difficult to retain top-notch scholars who aren't white males and to recruit students (particularly graduate students) from more diverse backgrounds. Alumni may not want to hear that, but UVA needs to open its doors and bring some fresh air into its staid culture. They need someone who can challenge the white male patriarchical culture that still exists at UVA. I hope Sullivan will shake things up and I applaud the search committee for this refreshing choice.

Indeed, I was wrong about the single, childless part - but hey it wasn't covered in any of the articles I read - and it appears at the very bottom of her first advertisement at My apologies to UVa's newest law professor. Were they really looking for one?? Or was this part of the deal? Either way, sounds kind of expensive.

But of all the points I brought up, the matrimonial one was the least. The rest of them are topics people around here simply want to hush up. Like I said, there are pros and cons here.

Many people will think she's great just because of her gender. Same folks who love Obama because his deadbeat dad was black. But even I say the cover ups of date rape and missing girl details will likely leave with Casteen.

The looney left partisans of C-Ville will love her from the start because of her gender and her majors. Womens studies and sociology are liberal only-or else academic paths.

It will be good entertainment to see her interact with Virginia's new very conservative governor, however. I suspect she will be forced into accepting some changes that were not on her agenda.

"Woof"- MaCaulay Culkin

This is cleaerly another selection based upon sex and affirmative action (God, when will it ever end.). All of the females commenting are remarking on those two points - one way or another. Sexism rules, yet still. This female is just another academic plucked from the barrel. (There are so many these days in it). This university will not be richer for this selection. She has no concept of any Jeffersonian tradition as far as I have been able to research.

I agree. Give her a chance.

Can't be any worse than what we've had for 20 years.

UVa is 20 years behind the times? Huh?

I suspect that some people have a very, very naive view of what "the times" really are. They may want to take a good look at the new governor - and his landslide victory - if that helps. And 2010 aint gunna be any better for those folks.

We'll see if her and McDonnell can get along.

Yeah, you can't expect too much from the readthhook forums these days. About 4/5 is seriously depraved ranting, libertarianism or joke posts. The rest is interesting, though.

Welcome to UVa, Pres. Sullivan. Hope the hospital workers get a better shake soon.

The Washington Post ran a front-page picture a while back of a Redskins fan on her couch, in all her fan gear. The punch line was that the Redskins were suing her because she stopped paying on her season tickets (something about a mortgage). Well, you could run the same picture of a die-hard UVa fan, with a hospital employee badge, being sued for an ER visit. UVa should be creating a community health system instead of competing with Martha Jeff for every suburban snook out in exurb land. Or at least make sure its own contract employees are covered.

I can't believe the Hoos hired someone that has tread foot in the evil North. Why can't we stick to the south? And a woman? What would TJ say???

PS. Salary...who cares...Al Groh is enjoying his 4.7 mill. Chew on that you Hoo prezidentz.

"Because she is worth so much less"

...and yet, somehow, a lot more than you! unless someone who hangs out all night posting on The Hook under the nom de plume "Max Brando" is somehow making $680,001.

which I doubt.

I think ot is great that we will have a Univerity President who will welcome gays feminists, and left thinkers from all minorities into UVA. It is obvious that the University would be a better place if it was full of folks who came here BECAUSE their particular agenda was welcomed. Just look how well it worked out for San Francisco.

It is about time we got someone in there who can make life fair.

After all that is what is whats wrong with the world.

The only reason women have never really been able to accomplish things is because life isn't fair.

It simply is not fair that men were given more physical strength, gumption and curiosity than women. It is unfair that women were stuck with emotions that paralyze them from accomplishment.

Hopefully putting a broad in charge will show the world that all those inventions (and buildings) that men created were only done because men spent half their time beating ideas out of women and then tieing them up while they acted on those ideas and took the credit.

What the University really needs is someone who can figure out why they spend 55k per year per student and end up with such mediocre results.

Ayers is not a Virginia "good ol boy"... he is from Tennessee. He is not behind the times. He is progressive, and globally and technologically-minded. He would have been a good choice. It's like they just plucked a woman out of the hat to have a woman. Sure... I'll give the 60 year old a chance, but here's to you in '15, Ayers! I agree with you MaxBrando knowledge of Jeffersonian tradition is key to us 'Hoos.

Both quotes from Jethro:

"What the University really needs is someone who can figure out why they spend 55k per year per student and end up with such mediocre results."

"So if UVA has been run by white guys for 200 years”Š then I guess white guys did a pretty good job”Š"

Jethro does not seem to know what he thinks exactly. Either the extremely elite white guys who have thus far run UVa have done a mediocre job, or they've done a pretty good job. But hey, when you've got smarts and a pedigree like Jethro has, who needs to be consistent or even accurate? women are probably lining up to bring him a sammich!

WBF, you're right that Hereford was a noted physicist. However, he was not the kind of modern academic-scholar that you see at top-tier universities today. By that I simply mean that the teaching-research-publishing triad that faculty today deal with is very different from what we had in the 50s (particularly the research-publishing end of it). We don't have too many of those older kinds of faculty who got all of their degrees from the university that they end up working for and don't have a long and active record of publication. Sullivan's resume looks a lot more like the resumes of modern faculty than any president UVa has ever had.

ummm... 'sympathy', San Francisco is an awesome city unless you are intolerant of the people that live there. It's hard to see your point, actually. You seem to be sarcastically suggesting that UVA should exclude people because of what they believe?

At UVA, the times they are a' changin'. Fact is, every where else they've already changed. Welcome to the 21st century, UVA.


San Francisco SUCKS. It has been overun by gay people who believe the world revolves around their gayness. Charlottesville is a gay friendly place. I am not intolerant of gay people at all. I am simply against being so politically correct that I must accept my freedom of speech being infringed while Charlottesville becomes the San Francisco of the East.

OK, here's a factual question - can someone clarify how much power the chancellor of the UT system has?

funny how those that claim she only got the job because of who she is apparently have prejudged her because of who she is.

She claims to be a great fundraiser. Her electors claim she is a great fundraiser, everyone who "likes" claims she is a great fundraiser......."Money talks, BS walks"- let's see how she does at the end of fiscal 2011.

At least she took care of her husband in her plan.

Wow there is must hate in this thread. First since the BOV is full of old white guys, do they get any credit for this selection? So much for the old boy network not wanting this. Don't you think they connected all the big donors before this happened.
I don't care what her gender or race is, can she do the job? From what I've read she seems qualified but really I don't know. I'm going to wait and see what she does.

Lastly, even if UVa is state school and the BOV is appointed by the Governor and their selection is the only one that matters. Let Madame President do her job before everyone gets into a tizzy trying to determine if she can. If you hate her after she starts to work then fine but at least let's she what she actually does first.

Damon. Those are nice ideas but Jefferon is dead, and instead of his values (which do include farming, fine arts, and service to others), U.Va. is steered by Athletics, prestigious yet conventional graduate programs, and did I mention...Athletics. U.Va. will never become the progressive place that you describe above. You need to go to the north to places like Bard College, College of the Atlantic, Marlboro College, Bennington College, Bowdoin College, or to the West..Carleton College, Stanford University, UC-Santa Cruz, to see real progressive higher education fortresses. I strongly suggest you transfer or move. Such a tranformation will never happen here.

It never stops being hilarious when these looney left folks call themselves "progressive."

They'll do illegal drugs every weekend, financing death and torture and rape to Mexico - and gang shootings in C-Ville. They'll spend their days spending their trust funds and living off family money while they vote for anyone who will tax and spend us into another depression. They'll abort their kids like they pop zits saying they they are inconvenient. They sleep around like alley cats, get divorced 3 times, and insist on teaching their lifestyle to 10 year olds in schools.

But they all think they are wonderful people for recycling.

Academia at looney left schools (including UVA) is about the only place they can isolate themselves from the working classes they pretend to support but will never associate themselves with - or live near. Just look at California and New York. They would turn Virginia into those fiscal messes if only you let them.

Predictable. Doubtless this choice will displease many deep-pocketed alumni.

Is this a good choice?

doesn't seem like it

What a disappointment- no offense, Mrs. Sullivan- but what about Ayers????? He's the man for the job. Who better knows and deeply cares about the U than he? Why did we have to go farther afield when our man was right in our back yard? Shame on those board members. Something's not right about this.

Yes Uva Lover and Matt-

Ayers is dynamic, he's loyal, he knows the professors, staff, grounds, programs etc. like no one else. What happened here? Someone please explain....

Yeah, this choice is underwhelming.

Ayers is a good leader, this is true. But for a university that is trying to bolster its national and international academic standing, sometimes it is better to fish outside the pond rather than to rely upon a more local talent pool, no matter the quality. Sullivan has lots of experience at UT Austin and Michigan -- two prestigious public research universities that UVa considers to be "peer institutions" -- and that is a major plus. I'm pleased that UVa selected someone from outside the Old Dominion.

"single, childless academic"? "yet another hyper PC president"? Where do you get this, UVa Non Douche? Read the press release: Her husband is major legal scholar, and she's got two grown kids.

"Sullivan has lots of experience at UT Austin and Michigan "

Sullivan has lots of experience at defending affirmative action. When politics demanded an end to affirmative action, Texas and Michigan officials both found creative ways to continue the old policies.

@Jethro: HELL yeah! speak, brother! I especially liked this part:

"What the University really needs is someone who can figure out why they spend 55k per year per student and end up with such mediocre results."

I'm OUTRAGED that we allowed women to run this university into such a mess in the first place! All the previous female presidents, provosts, chancellors, etc. who created this situations should be held accountable!

Socialogy liberal only? So women only matter to liberals?

All such comments do is remind everyone how the conservatvie party is a white fat guys only club. We have thousands of years of studying male history, why not give some attention to the other half without which we would have no more fat white males.


If you choose a woman you are affirmative action, if you choose a man it's because he was the better choice. Give me a fricken' break. This country is in the crap whole because of that sort of thinking.

It simply is not fair that men were given more physical strength, gumption and curiosity than women. It is unfair that women were stuck with emotions that paralyze them from accomplishment.

Except of course, when women are not paralyzed by their fear, and hit as hard as a man. then men hate them for being unwomanly and call them a B*** and all sorts of sexist names.

You know why Spain only lets in female workers for northern africa?

Becuase the women actually work and send money back home to the family and get an education. The men just get drunk and find prostitutes. It's no mystery that societies improve when women become educated and are allowed to participate.

1. Out of all the currently-sitting university presidents, not one wanted to come to the #2 public university?

I find that hard to believe. A provost isn't a prez, no matter how you argue it.

2. It was time for Virginia to hire a woman, 20 yrs after this became a popular/ist move. It was time to do it, instead of just reserving the positions of coaches and deans for women and "people of color" (or, preferably, somebody who's both).

That's how this appointment reads.

If I remember correctly, as of a couple years ago, UVA was 59th out of the top 61 public universities for hiring and retention of female tenure and tenure track faculty. If that's not proof of the boy's club dying hard, I don't know what is. Hooray for looking foward.

And also (when will we stop having to have this argument?) so what if part of why they hired her is cause she's a woman? People have been hired because they're men for hundreds of years now. What's the difference?

For those that have any sense of merit at all, UVA is certainly not just any other University. It is a certain University, distinctive of all others, and cannot be compared to any others. If you believe otherwise, you should change schools.
I believe the most of the coments are from students from out of state. You are, indeed, a despicable lot and should go back to from wherever you came from. You are here to merely "trade" on a great "brand" (UVA).

Anyone who would write "distinctive of all others" in a paean to the special merit of UVa has a tragically mistaken sense of his own special merit. That idiom is completely wrong. I doubt you went to UVa, and if you did, well...maybe UVa *is* just another top-flight public university.

To those who really belong at UVa, the right idiom matters.

I am disgusted with this thread. There are many ways to be a Virginian, and a UVA alum. Too many of the comments here assume there is one kind of Virginian and one kind of UVA alum. Open up your eyes to the incredible diversity around you. UVA is a much better university now that it was when it was an all-white male's club in the 1960s. What are we hoping for? a frozen vision of an institution holding on to its mediocre mid-20th century past? or the best university we can be in the 21st century? The BOV and search committee have voted for the latter, and done so EARLY in the academic year with someone they are obviously thrilled about. This search could have dragged on for 3-4 more months. The fact that it did not means that this is a great person for the position. Time to celebrate!

So if UVA has been run by white guys for 200 years... then I guess white guys did a pretty good job...

so now feminsits think that now that it has come this far they can take over and make it better...

that may be true, but i doubt they could make it from scratch....

I don't understand how so many people can hate white guys while sitting in their car (white guy invention) sipping a latte (white guy invention.. even if he WAS french) and playing with whatever internet gadget they own.. (bill gates, steve jobs both white)

Women in this country have 50% of the money and 100% of the vaginas...
sounds more than fair to me...

now go make me a sammich....

Look, I will stick to my guns. UVA's BOV has chosen someone who will likely prove unpopular to traditionalists while missing the greater opportunity of choosing an entrepreneurial green scientist/engineer who would develop the sciences and engineering at UVA - the greatest opportunity to transform the University into real world class status.

Consider a President who could lead rather than simply fundraise and regulate, oh, and have high emotional and social intelligence to keep everyone thinking they are happy while the outer world - outside of Charlottesville falls into a Depression. One would combine William McDonough's and related work with a commitment to focus on developing new productive enterpreneurial collaborations among engineers, scientists, architects, and ecologists [and yes even lawyers and business students who might help us figure out how to reign in our clever bankers].

Her background: Sociology. Women's Studies. Affirmative action. Law. This is cultural communism. What the state and the teetering Republic needs is a plan to put people back to work. One that is shocking in its audacity. Thrilling, dynamic entrepreneurism and a mission orientation. Why not a cradle to cradle, fifty or hundred year plan that puts the middle class and skilled labor force back to work setting new standards for the world.

A mission orientation that would help steer President Obama's vision and grants Charlottesville a reprieve from her world class hubris without service.

By the way, her son, Joseph P. Laycock, a PhD. candidate at Boston University has devoted his educational prowess to becoming an expert on satanism, oops I mean vampires. His book:
Vampires Today: The Truth About Modern Vampires

Her husband's last book: Same Sex Marriage & Religious Liberty.

I think that we will have a President and her family at odds with many here and an opportunity was missed.

It is all about money. Why is the head fund raiser living on the lawn? If she can bring in the bucks she will be here a long time.

I don't know much about her but wish her luck. I don't care if the new president is black or white, male or female, gay or straight, etc. if they do a good job.

What really worries me is what will the University do when Leonard Sandridge retires. He is the real heart and soul of the University. What makes the University unique has been disappearing for a long time and will disappear much faster without him. Eventually it will just be another business.

I'm assuming that chancellor is charge of the budget and administration of the system generally, but do how much do they influence the academic direction of the universities in the system?

It will be interesting to see how enthusiastic she will be with carry on some of Casteen's pet projects. Since it seems obvious that she was picked at least in part because she is ideologically similar to Casteen (see: partisan liberal) - she will most likely carry on with most of them. But I for one am guessing that will include Access Uva, new buildings replacing perfectly good old ones - but not so much John's penchant for keeping local media from covering anything bad involving UVa folks and the like (I saw someone posted about rape cover ups and the Harrington debacle).

Hopefully, she will be more visible and personable. Not hiding behind the scenes and acting like a politician constantly on the defensive.. UVa could definitely use more of a "people person," and I'm guessing she is.

As for the question of how the new president will get along with the new governor, I can see only one flash point - one of Casteen's dearest projects that Mr. McDonnell has made a career of opposing. For lack of a better way of relating this..

This could get really interesting, long before she even takes office. Johnny boy may not have all that quiet a retirement.

Can some one please explain to me how Casteen has "hidden" the Harrington story (since information is posted everywhere On-Grounds and UPD have been all over it 24/7 since it happened). Also--did it ever occur to any of you that survivors of rape don't love having their stories shared with the world. My guess is that the new president will follow the law and protect individual rights just like the current president.

"Johnny boy" and the new president both deserve some respect for managing the huge jobs they have with thankless people like you as "customers."

(PS - republicans are "partisan" too--not just liberals)

She says she can ID one of the men in a lineup, but of course there isn’t going to be a lineup”Š

Are you suggesting that police round up every male Lawn resident and have them appear in line-ups, even though these supposed three males may have not lived on the Lawn? Yeah, that's some real probable cause.

Two players were suspended - one indefinitely - right after she vanished.

Yes, and it was made clear that these were for academic reasons.

Do you think Playboy will want her for next years Girls of the ACC?

If you read the Hook article that came out about a MONTH after Harrington vanished, it finally printed what nobody else would dare print - that she was with UVA basketball players in the U Hall parking lot getting out of practice that night. Two players were suspended - one indefinitely - right after she vanished. Neither has ever come forward to explain things because nobody has put pressure on them to do so.

The article goes on to say that a single eye witness then spotted her on the lawn at 3:45 am with three men. She says she can ID one of the men in a lineup, but of course there isn't going to be a lineup... These kids are protected from the vaguaries of the law, and they know it. The students on the lawn have lawyered up and are keeping quiet. None of the 4 people spotted have ever come forward to explain anything. It would seem to me that if it were a case of mistaken identity, the 4 would have come forward and cleared their names by now. So the parents are left with these huge unanswered questions, and UVA just shrugs and says "too bad."

It took a long time for these details to emerge in the Hook - about a month, and C-Ville weekly still won't dare touch it as far as I know. The Cavalier Daily didn't reluctantly print a blurb about it until December. Casteen can and does keep bad - or even potentially bad - news about UVA students from being covered by local media. No idea if these students had anything to do with her going missing, but it doesn't give one a good feeling to see details covered up in a MISSING PERSON investigation, now does it? The students in question should be ashamed of themselves for keeping quiet instead of getting as much info out ASAP to help find her. But they know they have Casteen to protect them. I also hope the new president isn't like this.

A student assaulted multiple police officers at a football game this year and is facing multiple felony charges, but you sure as hell didn't read anything about that, did you? Ask a UVA cop some time, off the record, about all that goes on that is covered up. They'll tell you. They are the ones who have to deal with it.

As for the rapes issue, well, there are bound to be a lot of date rape issues on a drink till blackout party campus swimming in coke also. I found this site real easy a few minutes ago..

"She's a sociologist" and that represents a "baby step" towards "scientific like leadership". Mmmm, Whatever sociology is it sure isn't science any more than stamp collecting is.

That aside, we'll have to wait and see. If UVA wanted a woman president they had one who had a 30 year resumee like that who worked right there until a couple of years ago. But we'll see how this one works out.

It's time that we elect a progressive-minded woman as president of UVA.

I agree with several of the comments here about UVA needing to look outside its Virginia comfort zone when picking someone to lead this great university in this global environment.

I think Ayers is a great professor (who I enjoyed while I was a student at UVA), but personally, HE would have been the SAFE choice. For UVA to make its mark beyond the South and the East Coast, bold moves have to made. Choosing Sullivan was a bold and good move. Read this Washington Post article about her. At Texas before she came to Michigan, she had EIGHT campus presidents of the University of Texas system reporting to her. She knows what she's doing.

From what I've heard from those who've met her, she seems very intelligent, hard-working and approachable. Come on folks, let's give her a chance. Before you started a job, how would you like it if others were already bad-mouthing you without knowing anything about you?

I work at UVA and I want to make something clear, not only does Sullivan earn less than Casteen, but her salary IS NOT $680,000. The actual released paperwork says her salary cannot EXCEED $680,000 but she is in actuality earning even less than that her first year.

I just hope she puts that same cap on coach's salaries so that some of us working folks at the University can earn a little more and my colleagues can retain their jobs.

Including benefits and all other expenses, I could hire about 15 people in my department for $680,000 plus benefits or about 40 people for what a UVA football coach is paid.

I wish to differ with everyone here. UVA should establish a consul-like position for fundraising and recreate the Presidency of the University. Redefine the notion of what a University President should uniquely provide and do: entrepreneurial leadership performed with the entire extended community to make a new model for the American university founded in an about face. A reversal toward self reliant, self sufficient citizens and smaller communities and universities and colleges that serve that vision.

Virginia needs to rebel again, but this time rightly. Against Wall Street and the soulless, modern research university model. Holistic Tsar Peter the Great approach meets backwater, backsliding, bloated Virginia -- leading her to a mobilization to rethink what a citizen should be far beyond book smart, credentialed, and comfortably overspecialized and likely obsolete -- without the broad set skills that modern american life makes so hard to acquire. Put a one year commitment to a practical ecological, engineering brigade into the curriculum. Serve first, foremost, and always. Crush the self-indulgent fraternity party. Dry out the town a bit.

A UVA where each and every student works on an area organic, holistically run farm. Where students have at least a year of practical service built into new forms of five year programs that gets their hands dirty locally and elsewhere. Solar experiments. Windmills workshops. A Peace Corps-inspired citizen-healer-engineer brigade to train and deploy and then come back for junior & senior years. A place for older citizens to join in and train, ad hoc, brigades of students to go out and do the unthinkably good and hard things that are needed and then return to think through that experience and dream of what their lives and the world should be. No more semesters at sea and extended adolescence at large but a mission-oriented student body interacting with the most practically skilled parts of the adult world.

Obviously President Sullivan will have a contrary vision and most will reject this as hopelessly impractical. Still she might yet best serve us as an administrator that facilitates a change not likely anticipated or envisioned now but one that is worthy of the ambitions of UVA stalwarts and American dreamers of a Second American Revolution at the same time. Jeffersonian and sixties ideals harmonized. Environment, pluralism, and foreign and economic policy. Patriotism and tradition regrounded to the notion of rightly reasoned activism and practical ecological engineering grounded in a new form of required hands on, eggheads upending, doing, serving, planning in new ways, and building working experimental models on all that land that John Kluge donated and elsewhere. Holistic farms, experimental holistic model communities built from scratch by students, in near and far away areas of need. Competitions to reinvent the automobile, the house, office building, workshops. Projects to make a maglev train. Solar and alternative power workshops. Projects to create new forms of restaurants and eating experience to supersede fast food. Rewards for sobriety brigades and experiments in creating a non-alcohol-based fraternity & sorority experience.

Self-reliance, self-sufficiency, and a world of cities on a hill, a globe filled with world class citizen-healers not financial predators wannabes and subject-consumer-bullie boys and vapid, valley girls. The University model: opening hearts and advocating a mission contrary to dystopian globalization that seeks and demands of students the demonstration of the alleviation suffering first and foremost. Envisioning a world of a small relatively self-reliant cities and states. Independence forever balanced against interdependence. A model that makes the globalized dystopic world empire of a Walmart for one and all seem tawdry and obsolete.

Reject the other "leading" universities as a model because they and their acolytes - including our recent Presidents, Wall St bankers, and grand strategists [Kissinger/Brzezinski] have brought us all to the brink of overextended, delusional disaster out of harmony with what good people need and at odds with nature itself -- just as bloated UVA keeps expanding, paradoxically growing more mediocre and deenervating while acting as cheerleader and apologist for the unsustainable status quo America. An American pop culture soft despotism ever more incompetent and dishonest. A few more missteps and failures and the Chinese & her allies may step in and challenge our lead -- and it will not be pleasant. So the first institutional leader and leading institution that articulates a way out and forward is what we all need, not just here but all the land.

Some American institution, perhaps UVA, might do us a great service to lead in new directions as if an ecological holistically minded Abigail Adams or Martha Jefferson or even Elinor Roosevelt were reincarnated to correct everything their hotheaded, harebrained husbands had set into motion that is at odds with what we need do now.

If this is to be UVA, it would make itself the first modern research university that follows a holistic and [blue]-green path founded on individuals who have opened their hearts first and then built their learning on a profound caring respect for Creator[s], creation, each other, the animals, and living forms that make it possible -- while also seeking to create a financial model that serves that vision. A financial model to supersede the morally, ecologically, and spiritually bankrupt Wall St, MBA model. And a foreign policy that is Peace through Development based, but development of a new kind, still being born in fits and starts.

In so doing, atomized, self indulgent multicultural malaise is knit into harmonious unities in diversity founded in compassion for everyone stuck down here on this would be good bluegreen earth.. Heartfelt deliberations rooted in a deep respect for what grants us our lives and how we will affect those who follow.

One that leads individuals and small communities to be as self-reliant and sustainable as possible in every way. The opposite of a One World Wal-Mart and iPhone, iWallet, microchipped drones, consumers, and spectators led by overachievers with 25 page resumes. A veto on Globalization and a veto on bowing before smug Ivy League-led, Wall St financial parasitism, soulless Ahrimanic research models and naive flag-waving for the duplicitious false America that betrays its best potential with the no-win, neverending Long War on the world under the guise of fighting terrorism.

And also a veto on the Borgmind engulfing us all out of Silicon Valley, Google, Hollywood, and transhumanist Frankenstein schemes to remake, render obsolete, or rather even dare eliminate most of humanity. Less staring at computers and more living, growing, and dreaming, building the world that might be -- one that we would want to live in, anywhere -- not the world in which we find ourselves in which Charlottesville is a teetering, sometimes lazy safehaven amidst the sprawl, ennui, and emptiness.

UVA would best make a mark by improving and expanding its sciences and engineering but harmonized with the local foods, slow growth, organic movement and green, sustainable architecture and planning that is intended to provide new holistic models for how to build communities, small cities, and learning laboratories and have students become builders and shapers of their lives and societies that are then strong enough to say NO to most everything our clever new world order utopians are doing in our name with what was once a limited, constitutional democratic-Republic.

UVA intended to give birth to new universities where they are needed, communities, and models that are recycling, sustainable, and intended to become self-reliant. Self-reliant enough to survive the coming collapse following the present multi-faceted cascading crisis. In short, UVA, like all of our supersize universities may now be obsolete, even obstructionist as a model-ideal. Still UVa might yet have the means to provide seeds for the new forms by only by returning to Jefferson-Franklin-Adams-Hamilton-Lincoln-echoing grand questions of overcoming American misdeeds and completing the notion of what is valuable in the ecologism and confusing overturning of the sixties that in many ways has paralyzed the best, or found them withdrawing, and allowed the worst to rise and rise again.

Perhaps even venture into forming a Naturopathic and Holistic Health-based Medical School and Dental School. And Nutrition/Diet School coupled with organic but also mass-based, Agriculture in partnership with Va Tech. Leading, daring to provide new forms to revive a faltering, hubris-tainted Republic and shake-off extended high school, arrested development, and political correctness for all. So not safe jovial Ayers. And not sleep-inducing Sullivan.

To get where we need go: Make Sullivan a second in command. Get a Fundraising gladhander with charisma. Then find a President, free from fundraising responsibilities who is: A well-rounded polymath that has created and built something. A entrepreneurial composer and harmonizer akin to a holistic J.S. Bach to inspire and feed those who come to UVA and would find themselves otherwise engulfed in a youth culture swamp that is not much better than their suburban pubic high schools. Someone to inspire the students well beyond self indulgent consumerist pop culture that ill suits them to be carefully deliberating, service-minded, dynamic citizens responsible for reshaping our world for happier generations to come.

Someone to combine Wm McDonough's green visions and ground them by daring to recapitulate what is good, even unique about the South [NOT the Confederacy] and what might represents the South's hardwon gifts that come and came by bitter lessons of acknowledging and mitigating its wrongs and abuses. A vision contrary to NOVA sprawl and suburban tar paper shacks that is shared, and may even be developed, and applied in southwest and even West Virginia, and elsewhere.

Pros and cons here..

First woman president will not cover up/silence date rape victims that are common result of the UVa lifestyle like Casteen has. And the presidents house will no longer be a place where Charlotesville's Hugh Hefner can ply his wares. University will save money not having to pay off ex wives and but their silence. She probably wouldn't suppress information about a missing young girl that put her in the company of UVa students either.

But as an single, childless academic who has been in the Ivy tower her whole life and was a director of womens studies, has a PhD in sociology, and the like - the radical partisan left politics of Casteen's UVa will be entrenched further, I'm guessing. This is obviously not an attempt to bring more open discussion and open minds to UVa - but a clear message that what few vestiges of conservative thought remaining at UVa that are still allowed to whisper could well be silenced under yet another hyper PC president.

UVa Douche doesn't seem to know what he's talking about on any counts!

Don't take it personally Sullivan-ites but "never heard of her." The rumored names were all much better choices and this is extremely underwhelming. UVA seems to be on quite the trend to try and hire more women even if they are underqualified in the face of others. I do with ehr luck but she has an uphill battle and if things falter serious questions will be asked about the ones that got away.

Which "Jeffersonian tradition" is being referred to here?

Golly jee, give the lady a chance! Everyone is all like, "Yay a woman!" or "BOOOO! A woman!!"

UVA is about 20 years behind the times in many, many ways. Newanda has it right. This is just what UVA needs. Wish her luck.

"She has no concept of any Jeffersonian tradition as far as I have been able to research."
Well she can't get the pool-boy pregnant, if that's the tradition you are referring to.

Only an idiot is going to say, of the provost of the University of Michigan, "never heard of her."

Behind the times? The problem is that the Confederate feudalist legacy warped Virginia's entry into the 20th century and UVA exists as a net parasite on the productive economy even as it embraces a politically correct President. What we might prefer is a entrepreneurial genius-led, production-driven, not consumer-driven economy, and a UVA that comes out of the Confederate lunacy inspired by Mr. Jefferson's enmity for Alexander Hamilton's self-developing, self-reliant full set, economy in which slavery becomes obsolete, one intended to be a new model for the world.

So this President is not the choice of anyone who shares the notion that what Charlottesville and Virginia need is entrepreneurial commitment to scientific and technological progress coupled with all those nice green ideas. An expanded Engineering School and revamping of the Sciences coupled with Ecology and Architecture. A Virginia that leads rightly and dares make the correction that George Washington and Hamilton would have made to Jefferson and Madison's orbit that leads to the Charlottesville of unconcern for how to actually produce the most innovative and useful things, hackneyed entrepreneurs, enforced backwardness even in a world class city, and a petty feel good liberalism and even cultural communism that often makes UVA feel stagnant despite its pretension and the success of some alumni.

Ok, so apparently it's not that UVA is 20 years behind the times, it's that Virginia is 20 years behind the times? I apologize and thank you for the correction.

Interesting to read all the provincial, misogynist comments intermingled with the "undergraduate paper-writer on speed" ones.

Nothing shows better how insular, backwards and inbred UVA is as an institution and as a state of mind than this thread of comments.

quote: The Hook, August 28, 2009...

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports Casteen's annual compensation at $753,672, the highest among all public university presidents."

I am surprised somebody else hasn't asked the question. Why is this lady being paid so much less than Casteen?

How much is she being paid?

Casteen $753,672

Sullivan $680,000

WBF, you’re right that Hereford was a noted physicist. However, he was not the kind of modern academic-scholar that you see at top-tier universities today. By that I simply mean that the teaching-research-publishing triad that faculty today deal with is very different from what we had in the 50s (particularly the research-publishing end of it). We don’t have too many of those older kinds of faculty who got all of their degrees from the university that they end up working for and don’t have a long and active record of publication. Sullivan’s resume looks a lot more like the resumes of modern faculty than any president UVa has ever had.

You seem to be giving Sullivan a lot more credit than I would. We're not talking about David Baltimore leading CalTech here. Instead of referring to her as an "academic-scholar," I would refer to her as an "administrator-academic." She's prolific in her field, but it's obviously not an area that's considered to be at the top of the intellectual and academic hierarchy. She appears to basically be an administrator, both in her academic and administrative responsibilities. If anything, people such as Shannon and Hereford were actually more representative of scholars.

This is indeed a giant step forward for the University, an institution that didnt even admit women as undergraduates less than 50 years ago.
Robert O'Neil's problem was that he did indeed run afoul of the good ole boy network. Hopefully this will not recur, but judging from some of the posts here that mentality is far from dead.
I was an undergrad at UVa late sixties and well remember the heated debates over co-education. Did some grad work after those years so have experienced UVa both before and after co-education.
I agree Ed Ayers would have been a great choice- but then Hillary Clinton(whom I supported) would have made a great President. But I am proud America made history by electing Barack Obama.
Welcome to Charlottesville, Ms. Sullivan.

"She appears to basically be an administrator, both in her academic and administrative responsibilities. If anything, people such as Shannon and Hereford were actually more representative of scholars."

I think we're still differing over what it means to be an academic today, as opposed to in 1950. (BTW, I don't think I was suggesting that Sullivan herself is a high-powered scholar first and foremost.) What I mean is this: the vast majority of professors whom we'll hire or want to hire have not had an experience like Hereford's: get undergrad and grad degrees from the same place, get hired by the place that gave you your degrees, not publish extensively, not do a lot of conferences, not get a lot of research grants. We do still have some of those extremely distinguished faculty members, but they're kind of a dying breed.

At least they didn't hire Condoleeza Rice, who I hear lobbied for the job. Although it would have been fun to see how the foaming-at-the-mouth anti-PC crowd would have reacted to a black woman who happens to share a lot of their political views.

Anyway, can assume that the bow-tie era at UVa is finally defunct? I never learned how to tie the stupid things, but would like to get a little more mileage out of my offical Wahoo khakis and navy blazer.