UVA to Explore President’s Botched Ouster in Class

University of Virginia students will explore the ouster and reinstatement of the school’s president, Teresa Sullivan, in an oral history class that aims to capture the drama of the 17-day conflict.

Students in the course, which will be taught by two professors and labeled “Documenting U.Va.’s Future: Oral History of the Ouster and Reinstatement,” will collect interviews to compile a record of the saga for UVA’s library archive, according to a statement from the Charlottesville-based university.

“It’s a teachable moment about higher-education policy issues, about the relationship between democracy and education, and about students’ roles in their own civic life,” Walter Heinecke, an associate professor in the Curry School of Education and one of the professors teaching the course, said in the statement.

The university was plunged into turmoil on June 10th after Sullivan was forced to resign without a full vote of the school’s governing body. She was reinstated by unanimous vote less than three weeks later following student and faculty protests and a threat by Governor Bob McDonnell to fire the entire board.

Virginia’s library is gathering items related to the period of unrest, including student protestors’ signs. Archivist Gretchen Gueguen has compiled 80,000 tweets, 263 online articles and 123 blog posts, according to the statement.

The school’s library also plans to hold an exhibit on the events for students returning in the fall, according to the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeanna Smialek in New York at jsmialek@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lisa Wolfson at lwolfson@bloomberg.net

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