Resignation of UVA’s President now national news, interim president named

June 10th, Teresa Sullivan announced that she will resign as president of the University of Virginia effective August 15th of this year. The decision surprised and concerned many who feel that the Board of Visitors forced Sullivan to resign. In a meeting lasting nearly 12 hours, the dean of the McIntire School of Commerce, Carl […]

June 10th, Teresa Sullivan announced that she will resign as president of the University of Virginia effective August 15th of this year. The decision surprised and concerned many who feel that the Board of Visitors forced Sullivan to resign. In a meeting lasting nearly 12 hours, the dean of the McIntire School of Commerce, Carl P. Zeithaml, was elected early today to serve as interim president of UVA. Zeithaml will take over on August 16th.

Mystery still surrounds Sullivan’s forced resignation. Much of the frustration over the decision stems from the Board’s unwillingness to provide specific reasons for Sullivan’s ouster. The Hook has an informative rundown of events following the announcement of Sullivan’s resignation.

One theory is that Paul Tudor Jones, a 1976 UVA grad who pledged $35 million to build a new basketball arena for the university, and his wife Sonia, were displeased with Sullivan’s ability to raise and manage donations. In an Op-Ed released on the day Sullivan’s resignation was announced, Paul Jones wrote: “The Board of Visitors has just told each and every one of us that it is aspiring to greatness. It is about time, and we should all be elated.”

Students and alumni have publicly supported President Sullivan, as her resignation started to receive national media coverage. The faculty Senate voted on Sunday, by a 68-2 vote, to issue a statement of no confidence in the Board. The Senate has also asked for an explanation as to why Sullivan was ousted. Sullivan’s predecessor, John T. Casteen III, openly criticized the Board of Visitors for their lack of explanation.

The Board of Visitors met yesterday for more than 11 hours until the early hours of Tuesday morning. At approximately 2:30am, the Board selected Zeithaml to succeed Sullivan later this fall. When the meeting began Monday afternoon, over 2,000 UVA students, faculty, staff, and alumni gathered outside the campus’s famed Rotunda. Their message was two-fold: support for Teresa Sullivan and mistrust of the Board of Visitors.

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Nathan Cushing

Nathan Cushing is a writer, journalist, and RVANews Editor.

1 comment on Resignation of UVA’s President now national news, interim president named

  1. Chris on said:

    Dragas and Kingston need to be kicked off the Board. This whole thing is a shameful unnecessary travesty.

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