[UPDATE: 4:30PM PST The plot thickens. Breitbart is reporting that Sullivan has a history with scientific misconduct charges, as well as investigations that exonerate without actually asking the tough questions. h/t to reader Holly Martin ]
Hmmm, this is more than a little strange. From the Examiner: The Board of Visitors announces: UVa President Teresa Sullivan will step down
Early on Sunday morning (6/10/2012), UVa Alumni received a stunning email sent by Helen E. Dragas, Rector, and Mark Kington, Vice Rector of the University of Virginia Board of Visitors, that conveyed startling news:
On behalf of the Board of Visitors, we are writing to tell you that the Board and President Teresa Sullivan today mutually agreed that she will step down as president of the University of Virginia effective August 15, 2012.
In January of 2010, President Sullivan had been unanimously elected by UVa’s governing Board. Rector John O. Wynne, who had chaired the board’s special committee on the nomination of a President, had described Teresa Sullivan as a person of integrity and vision, and “an extraordinary talent who brings to the University an enormous depth and breadth of experience in every aspect of public higher education.”
Now, after reading that, wondering about the abruptness of it all, try to connect these dots:
- Environmental Sciences, at the behest of the Dean of Science, votes to offer Mike Mann the Kington Chair, which was designated as going to a climate person. See Climate Depot story here.
- Mark Kington, a member of the Board (and Vice Rector) gets wind of it.
- Kington calls a quorum of the Board of Visitors and fires Sullivan.
- Maybe this is idle speculation, but why did they have to fire her so quickly and on a Sunday morning? And, just 15 months after her inauguration? Couldn’t it have waited until their next meeting? Inquiring minds want to know!!!
The official firing line is: “A philosophical difference of opinion”. Given what was said about Sullivan at the outset, surely this does not merit an action like this done in stealth mode on a weekend with the bare minimum quorum? This doesn’t pass the sniff test, something smells fishy to me.
In the middle of all this, during Sullivan’s brief tenure, we have UVa spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on legal contortions trying to prevent Mann’s UVa emails from seeing the sunlight of FOIA requests.
Let the speculation begin.
- BREAKING: Virginia President, in Split With Board, Resigns (insidehighered.com)
- Teresa Sullivan, U.Va. president, steps down (wjla.com)
- Sullivan to resign as president (starexponent.com)
- U. of Virginia president to leave over ‘philosophical differences’ (insidehighered.com)