UVA Faculty Senate Expresses No Confidence in Board

The University of Virginia’s faculty expressed a lack of confidence in the school’s leadership today following the sudden resignation June 10 of President Teresa Sullivan.

The faculty Senate passed a resolution supporting Sullivan and saying it lacked confidence in the university’s rector, vice rector and board of visitors, according to an e-mailed statement. The rector and visitors serve as the corporate board and are responsible for the long-term planning of the university.

“We offer this resolution mindful of the best interest of the university and the Commonwealth,” the Senate said in the statement.

Sullivan this week said she’s stepping down because of a “philosophical difference of opinion.” She began at the school in 2010 after serving as provost of the University of Michigan and plans to leave on Aug. 15.

Rector Helen Dragas today issued an invitation to meet with the faculty Senate, though a meeting hasn’t yet been set up, Carol Wood, a spokeswoman, said in an e-mail.

In a letter to faculty members, Dragas said “matters of disagreement” would be kept confidential.

“We comprehend how deeply the entire university family feels a sense of loss and distress at what appeared to be an abrupt turn of events,” Dragas said in a June 13 statement. “We have heard your concern that our deliberation on this matter was not inclusive of the faculty or transparent to the university community.”

Another Resignation

Peter Kiernan, the chairman of the Darden School Foundation Board of Trustees, resigned today, apologizing for an e-mail he sent to other trustees after Sullivan’s resignation. Darden is UVA’s business school. In the e-mail, Kiernan said that several weeks ago, he talked with two university alumni about a strategic initiative involving Dragas and a search process for it, according to the text of the e-mail published by Virginia newspaper The Daily Progress.

Founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson, the school’s alumni include actress and writer Tina Fey and journalist Katie Couric.

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