- A report issued Thursday by the American Association of University Presidents says that the University of Virginia's Board of Visitors displayed "a failure of judgment and, alas, of common sense" in its ouster of president Teresa A. Sullivan last summer.
- The report criticizes the board for ignoring its own presidential evaluation guidelines and for forcing out Sullivan, who was rehired two weeks later due to public backlash, without consulting faculty.
- Particularly critical of board rector Helen E. Dragas, who allegedly made secret efforts to secure Sullivan's firing, the report says that her call for more "boldness" at the university "reflects the mind-set of entrepreneurial control common in small- and medium-sized business enterprises" and that such a corporate mindset is ill-fitting in the role of a trustee.
From the article:
... The ouster of Virginia's president is widely regarded by higher-education experts as a textbook example of poor governance. The full board never met to discuss the matter, much less vote on it. Moreover, the vague reasoning provided for the decision left many flummoxed about how a popular president had proved such a disappointment in the eyes of the board.
The AAUP's report makes recommendations for improving governance at the university but does not suggest that last summer's events leave it vulnerable to censorship by the association. ...