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U. of Virginia reinstates president Teresa Sullivan, 16 days after her forced resignation over differences with board

University of Virginia
June 26, 2012

Teresa Sullivan rehired as UVa president

The University of Virginia Board of Visitors today acted to reinstate Teresa A. Sullivan as president of the University.

"The past two weeks have been trying for all of us in the University community," Sullivan said. "While this period of uncertainty has been difficult, I believe that those with opposing viewpoints have been well-intentioned, acting only with the best interests of the University in mind."

"While many believe that the past two weeks have threatened our great institution, I believe that we have been strengthened by the experience. It has, in fact, propelled our academic community to a new place and made it ready to face a quickened pace of change.

"My goal is to harness the enthusiasm that has been generated and use it to the University’s competitive advantage."

The board's decision follows 16 days of vigorous dialogue about the future of the University, which was sparked by the announcement on June 10 that Rector Helen E. Dragas and other board members had asked for Sullivan's resignation.

The resolution reinstating Sullivan reads as follows:

"The Board of Visitors rescinds the Second Amendment to the President's Employment Agreement, subject to the approval and acceptance of the President, thereby reinstating the President's initial Employment Agreement of January 11, 2010, as amended by the First Amendment to the Employment Agreement; and further

"The Board of Visitors rescinds the naming of Carl P. Zeithaml as Interim President of the University, and rescinds the authority previously granted to the Executive Committee to negotiate and execute a contract or employment agreement with the Interim President."

Sullivan called on the University community to work together to craft solutions to the challenges facing U.Va. and higher education and to quickly move beyond philosophical differences that have emerged.

"I pledge to set aside any differences we might have, and to work hand-in-hand with Rector Dragas and all members of the Board of Visitors as we face the challenges that have been articulated – and find solutions that will further distinguish the University," Sullivan said.

Board of Visitors member and former Rector Heywood Fralin said the university is "united unlike ever before in my memory."

"The University community has been solid in its support of President Sullivan and has clearly communicated that to the rest of the state, the nation, and the world. Today, the board has made the right decision in reinstating President Sullivan," Fralin said.
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