Jun 10, 2012

UVa President Sullivan Abruptly Resigns

University of Virginia
In a widely circulated message sent to students, families, and alums, the University of Virginia Board of Visitors and UVa President Teresa Sullivan announced Sullivan's resignation effective August 15, 2012.
“We express our deep appreciation to President Sullivan for her effective stewardship of the University,” said Helen Dragas and Mark Kington, on behalf of the UVa Board of Visitors.  “She is a much respected educator, as well as a visible presence in the University community and a prominent voice in higher education.”
At a press conference later in the day, Ms. Dragas went on to explain that the Board  made the decision based on University needs for a "bold strategic, visionary leader to take us to the next level."
Also hinting at possible disagreements with the board, President Sullivan commented, “Although the board and I have a philosophical difference of opinion, I will always treasure having had the opportunity to work with so many gifted faculty and staff, talented students, and loyal alumni.  I am also grateful for the privilege to have worked with our extraordinary vice presidents and deans.”
The statement from the Board goes on to say:
For the past year, the Board has had ongoing discussions about the importance of developing, articulating and acting on a clear and concrete strategic vision.  The Board believes that in the rapidly changing and highly pressurized external environment in both health care and in academia, the University needs to remain at the forefront of change.

"In service to that vision, the Board is committed to preserving the legacy with which we have been entrusted.  At the core of that legacy is the quality and care of our faculty and staff. We have made a clear choice to act in the best interest of all concerned."
Sullivan was the University’s eighth President and the first woman to hold the post.  She succeeded John T. Casteen III, who served as the University’s president for 20 years. 

Notably, Sullivan did not come from among the University’s extensive network of “loyal alumni.”  Her tenure ends just two years after assuming office.

The Board of Visitors plans to move quickly to name an interim president and to begin a search for a new leader.  

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