Faculty Senate soliciting input

Please comment with questions you would like the Faculty Senate to ask the Board of Visitors regarding President Sullivan’s departure, the naming of Carl Zeithaml as interim president, their plans for UVA’s future, and other relevant concerns.  These questions will be considered by the Faculty Senate when preparing for future communication with the BOV.

Any other concerns or questions you would like to share with the Faculty Senate are also welcome.

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24 Responses to Faculty Senate soliciting input

  1. Jason Sisney (Alumnus--College 1995) says:

    Why did the board not engage the faculty and the entire community in a full, open, and detailed discussion of its concerns related to the pace of institutional change, online learning, and other factors? If this remains a concern, should not this engagement begin in earnest now, perhaps urgently? Given the failure of the current board to engage in this open, transparent engagement previously, how can the current board leadership and its interim president build trust related to this discussion and future decisions? Should a collaborative process be established immediately to choose a new interim president, assuming (if, in fact, this is to be the case) that President Sullivan is not reinstated?

  2. Kristine Bean says:

    I am married to a UVa professor and parent to two alums. I have volunteered at the University in several capacities. I have been following this event every waking hour of every day and I participated in the rally on Monday. I have read all of the Deans’ responses to the forced resignation of President Teresa Sullivan and each response itemized just how each School was successfully and enthusiastically attacking all of the issues and challenges that were mentioned by the Rector. My question: If all of the schools have been successfully addressing these issues, it stands to reason that President Sullivan has been providing these schools with the inspiration and support to do so. Yet to my knowledge, only the School of Law actually stated that they supported the President and the work she started during her brief time at UVa. If it’s working, then, why break it? Why stop the momentum that she has started?
    Thank you for your leadership in this matter. UVa matters–to all of us in this community.

  3. Matt says:

    Ask Dean Z:
    Many do not regard your selection process as legitimate. Do you? If not, how can you claim to be a legitimate interim president come Aug 16?

    How can you work with Dragas and the Board after they have shown such contempt for due process, honesty, and academic culture? Why didn’t you ask for their resignation as a condition of taking the job?

    Do you believe in “strategic dynamism” or “creative destruction” as management philosophies? What do those terms mean to you? (What do you think of Clayton Christensen’s ideas about innovation — there is some evidence you admire them?)

    Is it mere coincidence that you — who work on issues such as “knowledge-based sources of competitive advantage, corporate political activity, strategic decision making, the strategic role of the board of directors, the implementation of acquisition and diversification strategies, and organizational transformation” — were chosen by this Board, at this time? Is the Board hoping that you will implement their “strategic dynamism” initiative?

    Given the current climate, don’t you think your areas of business expertise will undermine your credibility with the faculty? Many do.

    Do you think the president of UVA should have a PhD?

    Do you agree with President Sullivan’s remarks when she said: “A university that does not teach the full range of arts and sciences will no longer be a university. Certainly it will no longer be respected as such by its former peers”?

    Will you support the efforts in the legislature to fully investigate the process by which Pres Sullivan was ousted?

  4. Chuck Mathewes says:

    I think we need a large statement of the faculty collectively. I don’t know if it can only come from the senate, even as representatives of the faculty; I think we may need the immediate voice of the faculty. I propose we call a faculty-wide vote of (a) no confidence in the BoV; (b) no confidence in their decision to fire Pres. Sullivan; (c) no confidence in their illegitimate selection of Dean Zeithaml to replace Pres. Sullivan; and (d) that we also demand, in that vote, that Pres. Sullivan be restored to her position, the BoV resign (or at least Dragas resign), and the BoV be redesigned to have at least three faculty representatives as voting members (in the original number of 16), these selected from a group of faculty proposed by the deans acting collectively (or some sort of mechanism–we can figure that out later).

    The point of this is that the BoV needs to know we are increasing our resistance. We cannot sit still. We have them on the defensive, on their heels, and we have to keep shifting the axis of attack on them. If we escalate in this way–using the senate to get the faculty to voice their views directly–it will be a powerful signal that we are not backing down.

  5. Matt says:

    Paul Gaston suggested this a few days ago, along Chuck’s lines: “Over the forty-five years I have been here, the faculty has convened the Assembly of Professors on four or five occasions. It is the sole body of the entire professoriate (no administrators are included at its meetings) and it might be worth calling it into being again, perhaps to endorse the responses already announced and to frame a resolution directed to the BOV, representing the voice and views of the entire professoriate.”

  6. Kevin says:

    IMO the focus should be on removal of Dragas. Lets do one thing at a time.

    Once the individuals preventing open communication and discussion are gone, we can have the public debate we need about the future of Pres Sullivan, online learning, board structure, and everything else.


    I would prefer we end up with a voting faculty member and voting student member of the board. Both who should be elected by their own constituencies and not appointed by the Rector or Governor. But that is a discussion for a later date. Dragas first (if not more of the board than that!)

  7. Yatzek Krzepicki says:

    A concrete plan of reform for the board of visitors would be prudent; inclusion of voting positions for faculty, ex oficio membership for living past presidents of the university, quorum reform, etc. If we’re to prevent such a calamity from ever happening again, the BoV can’t remain a political spoil for gubernatorial campaign contributors.

  8. Yatzek Krzepicki says:

    also given the imminent ending of terms on the board of visitors, perhaps send Bob McDonnell a list of suggestions for new appointments? It’s very likely the nature of this entire process will change considerably after the July 1 end of the BoV term, and planning for after that also needs to happen.

  9. Steven Looke says:

    1. What do you hope to accomplish in your first 90 days?
    2. How can UVA do a better job raising money?
    3. Rahm Emmanuel says “Never waste a crisis.” How do you plan to unite the school and grow from this crisis?
    4. The UVA brand has been tarnished by the deluge of negative media attention. How can we redefine, clarify and bolster the UVA brand?
    5. Does UVA need fundamental or incremental change?

  10. Dave says:

    My main questions, at least those that haven’t already been asked, regard incoming and returning students in the fall, who may not have been following these events, esp. if the current battles continue into August:

    Who will be responsible for informing them of what’s going on?
    What media will be used to reach out to them? (UVA-wide emails, public protests, teach-ins, anti-Board sentiments expressed at the top of course syllabi, etc.?)
    What’s the general message the faculty/staff want to send to them?
    What’s the general message the BOV plans to give them (probably self-justifying business jargon, but who knows)? Likewise for the interim president and the provost.

    In other words, if we’re still fighting this thing in August, a lot of students (particularly incoming ones) might not appreciate what we’re doing. Right now there is broad student support for Sullivan and the faculty’s position, but what if further measures are called for when thousands of new, potentially uninformed students will arrive on Grounds? The more serious the actions the faculty/staff take, the more important it will be to have the support of the whole community.

    • Brittany Z says:

      As an incoming graduate student for this fall I would like to see Dave’s questions answered sooner rather than later. I feel that it is important for the University to be able to promote a unified image as soon as possible. In order to acheive that goal the University must first restructure itself in order to keep power over academia in the hands of the academics.
      As it stands I am watching the news closely to see how this issue is resolved, and how it will affect my department in particular.

  11. Benjamin says:

    I think it would be fair to say that the Board of Visitors, through their actions of the past few weeks have betrayed the trust of those in the University community: faculty, students, staff, alumni and others. I believe it will be extremely hard to move forward without properly addressing and repairing this breach of trust. That said, I don’t see how any healing process can begin without a proper explanation of the motives and rationale of those who have chosen to markedly shift the direction of this University. Opaque statements by the Board of Visitors have proven to do nothing but insult those who want to understand why the recent changes are necessary for the success of this institution. A proper explanation of the “philosophical differences” at play in the dismissal of President Sullivan is imperative if for no other reason than to allow the current discourse within the University to veer from frustration and confusion to constructive discussion. Without transparency, how can anyone expect any cooperation between students, faculty, the President and the Board of Visitors in moving this University past this unfortunate event? I’d ask that the Board of Visitors explain in clear terms the reasons why they asked for the resignation of President Sullivan.

  12. Marc Copeland says:

    Please ask Dean Zeithaml to reconcile his “move on” letter sent to the McIntire School Community prior to his acceptance of the interim president position – in which he stated “The BOV is looking for decisive and bold action, and we should continue to give them what they want.” – to his statements today about being against the forced resignation of President Sullivan. Bottom line: Whose side is he really on? And if he’s really for moving on, he should be respectfully asked to do so by stepping down and joining the Faculty Senate in its efforts to have the Rector removed or resign, President Sullivan reinstated and the composition of the Board altered to, at minimum, include one UVA faculty member.

  13. Margaret says:

    I think what the faculty senate is already asking for is what is good — resignation of Dragas, reinstatement of Sullivan and faculty representation on board (I am not faculty, I’m an alum and grad student, but think it’s important for the institution). I am thankful for the board members who have spoken publicly about their concerns with the process, and know that not all of them supported this, and that not all of them had all the facts shared with them (Sullivan’s May memo for instance). Guess my biggest concern is that damage be undone and that protections be put in place against this happening again.

  14. cathy clary says:

    To Dean Zeithaml:
    *Do you see any other way to restore the University’s reputation other than re-instating President Sullivan?
    *Do you support Rector Dragas and her secretive attempts to remove President Sullivan?
    *Do you believe the current Board has the standing and competence to direct this University?
    *What do you think is the value of a degree from Dragas U?

  15. Susanna Nicholson says:

    This is the quintessential Jeffersonian moment, isn’t it? — does the University of Virginia as a community have the right to self-governance or not?

    Are we satisfied with a governance structure that conducts its most critical decisions in secret and without recognized institutional procedures of performance review? What will you do as President to redress that?

    Also. When exactly does one decide to rid oneself of a tyrannical leader? Is there ever a tactful time to do so?

    Before you make “operational leadership” your personal sine qua non, please confirm that you still have something more to save than architecture, ambitious “optimistic” students, and faithful administrative staff …

    How will you make sure that UVa is still the flagship academic center for intellectual and academic freedom?

    Most of us alums are rethinking our donation policy. We’ll send funds targeted to Access UVA and Cavalier Daily. Will this leave the field open for even more “big donor” influence?

    You can see how this is trending: more division, more need for leadership. Can you provide a more affirmative philosophic statement if you are to assume even an interim presidency?

    In your personal email to me two days ago, you said that you would be very happy to see President Sullivan’s restatement. Every member of the BOV should know your thoughts. If you mean what you say, it may be time to use your back channels to get the first on-record vote of the BOV on her presidency: yea or nay. Will you agree to do so? What is your next step?

  16. Susanna Nicholson says:

    oh, and reinstatement not “restatement” Obvious, I hope

  17. Gregory Hays says:

    At his news conference on June 20, Carl Zeithaml stated that he had been approached by the Rector “a week ago yesterday” and asked “‘Do you have any interest in the presidency,’ to which I said no.” According to later statements, this inquiry came from the Vice-Rector. Who made this inquiry, the Rector or the Vice Rector? Did this inquiry refer to the permanent presidency (a position for which no search committee had been formed, nor had any search procedure established)? Was this inquiry made with the knowledge and consent of other board members?

  18. Margaret says:

    “For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and every evil practice.” James 3:16 We have become a selfish society!

    The University of Virginia belongs to the people of Virginia and we should seek counsel from above. Put our trust in God and not in ourselves.

  19. Tamera says:

    Please reinstate President Sullivan. Do the right thing.

  20. Clifford Kiracofe, BA, MA, Ph.D University of Virginia says:

    Note that the “Friends of the Academical Village” established a website for ongoing research and analysis into the situation at the University. FAV seeks the reinstatement of President Sullivan and the democratic reform of University governance.


  21. Pingback: President/BOV Reinstatement Archive - Key Issues, U.Va.

  22. Tom Lyons says:

    Why hasn’t the University spoken up and shown outrage at the harassment and arrest of Elizabeth Daly and demanded the firing of the ABC agents along with the DA that backed them. Is this how you protect your students? Who is going to be next to get hurt from a government agency with the wrong training and getting help covering up their huge mistake. You have the clout use it.

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