Timeline: Teresa Sullivan's resignation and return as UVa's president

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin Share via Email

The controversy at the University of Virginia surrounding President Teresa Sullivan's forced resignation has been in the national spotlight and on Education Dive's radar for more than two weeks. A surprise Sunday afternoon meeting gave way to Sullivan's own cryptic announcement that she would leave UVa, but disagreement on the Board of Directors, one prominent board member's own resignation and a loud voice of dissatisfaction from the UVa community came to a head Tuesday.

The result was Sullivan thanking the board for inviting her to return as president.

Education Dive has compiled a timeline of the events that transpired, just in case you got lost amid all of the fierce letters and title changes:

Sunday, June 10: The University of Virginia announced that its Executive Committee of the Board of Visitors would have an "emergency closed meeting" at 2 p.m. "to consider amending the contract of a university employee."

Sullivan released a statement saying that "the board and I have a philosophical difference of opinion." It was revealed that she would leave the school as of Aug. 15.

Sources reportedly told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that Sullivan was notified that she would be forced to resign late on Friday, June 8.

Thursday, June 14: The Faculty Council's Executive Senate passed a no confidence vote in Helen Dragas, the board's rector, and Mark Kingston, the vice rector.

Saturday, June 16: The American Association of University Professors released a statement expressing "deep concern" over Sullivan's removal.

Sources reportedly told The Washington Post that Sullivan was reluctanct to cut programs in foreign language and classics studies—a position that may have contributed to the tension between her and the board.

Sunday, June 17: The University of Virginia Faculty Senate met in a 5 p.m emergency session that was open to the public in anticipation of a Board of Visitors meeting the following day. The full senate approved the no confidence vote from Thursday.

Monday, June 18: The Faculty Senate met with the board and called for Dragas and Kingston to resign.

Sullivan released a statement, writing, "Corporate-style, top-down leadership does not work in a great university."

Tuesday, June 19: The Board of Visitors named Carl P. Zeithaml, dean of the university's McIntire School of Commerce, as interim dean.

Mark Kingston resigned as vice rector of the Board of Directors.

Wednesday, June 20: Emails indicated that a more concerted push into online education in the spirit of Harvard and MIT's edX program may have been on board members' minds.

Zeithaml spoke, calling the procedure surrounding Sullivan's departure "deeply flawed."

Thursday, June 21: A Board of Visitors meeting was announced for Tuesday, June 26, at 3 p.m. The Associated Press and The Washington Post reported that votes were being collected to reinstate Sullivan as president.

Friday, June 22: Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell wrote a letter to the board calling for a unanimous decision at their Tuesday meeting.

Monday, June 25: UVa College Foundation trustees signed a letter supporting Sullivan's reinstatement.

Tuesday, June 26: The 15-member Board of Vistors unanimously voted to reinstall Sullivan as president. Sullivan thanked the board for its renewed confidence.

 

Want to see more education news and resources like this in your inbox on a daily basis? Subscribe to the Education Dive email newsletter!