UVA president reinstated

Published 8:49 pm Tuesday, June 26, 2012

University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan was reinstated Tuesday after a brief but decisive meeting of the Board of Visitors.

After Sullivan’s resignation was forced on June 10, protests and cries for transparency apparently persuaded the board to reinstate her, which they did unanimously.

Local alumni said they were pleased the situation has come to an end.

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“The way they handled it was excellent,” said Billy Chorey, a local real estate agent. “The manner in which it was done was professional, with integrity, with honor. The outcome was as good as it could be.”

Chorey said he watched the Board of Visitors meeting online.

The state’s flagship university in Charlottesville was thrown into an uproar by the decision. Explaining the ouster in a letter last week, Rector Helen Dragas implied Sullivan had not moved quickly enough to address challenges ranging from fundraising and faculty pay to the changing role of technology in education and the student-faculty ratio.

Former West End Baptist Church pastor Skip Irby, who listened in to some of Tuesday’s meeting, said he is happy.

“I’m glad for the action of the Board of Visitors, because I think it’s the only choice in order to start over,” Irby said. He, his wife and all five of their children are graduates of the university.

Irby repeated his belief that Dragas, who is up for reappointment within the next week, should not hold the position again. He said he will contact the governor’s office to share his belief.

“I think that to start over, there needs to be some more neutrality,” he said. “I think she certainly spearheaded a process that was unacceptable, not healthy and not helpful.”

Irby said he will soon hang his UVA flag, which normally flies only during basketball and football seasons, in celebration.