Teresa A. Sullivan
|Teresa A. Sullivan|
|Speaking at Miller Center of Public Affairs, May 2012|
|8th President of the University of Virginia|
August 1, 2010
|Preceded by||John T. Casteen III|
|Provost of the University of Michigan|
June 1, 2006 – July 1, 2010
|Preceded by||Paul N. Courant|
|Succeeded by||Philip J. Hanlon|
|Born||Teresa Ann Sullivan
July 9, 1949 , Kewanee, Illinois
|Spouse(s)||Douglas Laycock (m. 1971–present)|
|Alma mater||Michigan State University
University of Chicago
|Website||Office of the President, U.Va.|
Teresa Ann Sullivan (born July 9, 1949) is the president of the University of Virginia, a position to which she was elected in 2010. Before this, she had been the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Michigan, and had held administrative positions at the University of Texas. In addition, Sullivan has written or cowritten six books and over 80 scholarly articles in sociology.
Sullivan received her undergraduate degree from Michigan State University's James Madison College, where she was asked to stay on as an intern in the office of the president by Clifton R. Wharton, Jr., then the president. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of Chicago and joined the faculty of the University of Texas as an instructor in sociology. At Texas, she held a variety of academic and administrative posts, including the chair of the sociology department, vice provost, and vice president and dean of graduate studies.
Presidency of the University of Virginia
Sullivan was unanimously elected on January 11, 2010, and became the University's first female president on August 1, 2010. However, on June 10, 2012, it was announced to the University that Sullivan would step down from her position on August 15, 2012, after serving only two years of a five-year contract. Leaders of the university’s governing board decided to remove Sullivan, "largely because of her unwillingness to consider dramatic program cuts in the face of dwindling resources and for her perceived reluctance to approach the school with the bottom-line mentality of a corporate chief executive". Other sources presented the dispute as being more about differing view of the academic culture and future direction of the university than immediate financial concerns; whether less popular traditional-classical academic studies should be cut, with funding refocussed on more profitable and business-oriented courses and programs. Later news reports presented the resignation as an "ouster" organized by Helen Dragas, rector of the university's Board of Visitors; with strong suggestions of Dragas' conflicting views of the future of the university, and personal ambitions playing a role in her actions. Although a formal meeting and vote of the full board was not held at the time, Sullivan was presented with the news of her loss of majority support within the board, and given the 'opportunity' to resign.
The announcement of Sullivan's resignation was communicated via an email by Dragas on behalf of the Board of Visitors. The message quoted from Sullivan's resignation letter and cited "philosophical differences" on how the University was to be run. Large-scale protest against the action, and support for Sullivan from students, faculty, alumni, as well as the national academic community, resulted, including a faculty senate demand for the removal of the Board of Visitors leaders - Rector Helen Dragas and Vice Rector Mark J. Kington - and demands from the student government for an explanation for the ouster. In the face of this pressure, including a statement from Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell that he would remove the entire board if they failed to resolve the issue at their June 26 meeting, the board unanimously voted to reinstate Sullivan as president. 
One major change that Sullivan facilitated early in her tenure at UVA is the change in how the University and it's departments manage money and who takes responsibility for day to day accounting. As late as the 1980's the University had a centralized accounting and finance department, and the changes she made, took the money and put it into the Deans' hands. This made them responsible for their education commitments, and the financial workings of their departments, effectively giving them two jobs. Deans now need the financial skills of a CEO and their administrative staff must be extremely talented. It's unknown currently why Sullivan had a temporary split from the UVA Board of Visitors in this unprecedented resignation. Human Resources privacy policies are cited as the reason for silence.
- "President Sullivan Ushers In a New Era at U.Va.". UVA Today. 2010-08-01. Retrieved 2010-08-01.
- "Teresa Sullivan to Step Down as President of UVa". NBC 29. 2012-06-10.
- De Vise, Daniel (2010-01-11). "University of Virginia picks its first female president". Washington Post.
- "Teresa A. Sullivan, Extraordinary Leader and Respected Scholar, to Become Eighth President of U.Va.". UVa Today. 2010-01-11. Retrieved 2010-01-12.
- Daniel de Vise and Anita Kumar, "U-Va. Faculty Senate to meet in emergency session Sunday over Teresa Sullivan’s ouster", Washington Post, 17 June 2012
- Associated Press (June 18, 2012). "University of Virginia asks rector, vice rector to resign after president’s ouster". Retrieved June 19, 2012.
- Karin Kapsidelis (June 15, 2012). "U.Va. Student Council seeks full explanation of ouster". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
- Anita Kumar and Jenna Johnson (June 22, 2012). "McDonnell tells U-Va. board to resolve leadership crisis, or he will remove members". Washington Post. Retrieved June 26, 2012.
- Sara Hebel, Jack Stripling, and Robin Wilson (June 26, 2012). "U. of Virginia Board Votes to Reinstate Sullivan". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved June 26, 2012.
- THE ASSOCIATED PRESS (June 26, 2012). "University of Virginia Board Reinstates President". The New York Times. Retrieved June 26, 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Teresa A. Sullivan.|
John T. Casteen III
|President of the University of Virginia
Paul N. Courant
|Provost of the University of Michigan
Philip J. Hanlon