University of Virginia

State of the Profession: An Amethyst Remembrance—Almost

The recent turmoil at the University of Virginia surrounding the forced resignation of President Teresa Sullivan sent shock waves throughout the academy. Reverberations continue. Regardless of the largely happy outcome of events, the Association has launched an investigation into what went wrong. Though some problems seem glaringly obvious, the investigating committee is taking a close and objective look at UVA’s procedures and is considering whether they were adequate and whether procedures already in place were actually followed.

AAUP Investigating Governance Issues at UVA

On June 8, the University of Virginia Board of Visitors asked for and obtained the resignation of Teresa Sullivan from the presidency of the university without explanation to her, the other chief administrative officers, or the university’s faculty and student body of the specific grounds for its displeasure with her performance.

New AAUP Chapter at UVA

The recent crisis at the University of Virginia (UVA) regarding governance was the impetus for the reactivation of a dormant local chapter of the AAUP.  The chapter has adopted by-laws, elected officers, and received a charter from the national office, which recently sent an investigative team to UVA in the wake of the events of summer 2012.

College and University Governance: The University of Virginia Governing Board’s Attempt to Remove the President

This report documents a major breakdown in governance at UVA, focusing on the role of the board of visitors and its rector, Helen Dragas, who initiated the effort to force the president’s resignation. It finds that the events at the university resulted from “a failure by those charged with institutional oversight to understand the institution over which they presided and to engage with the administration and the faculty in an effort to be well informed.”

AAUP Releases Investigative Report on UVA

The report documents a major breakdown in governance at UVA, focusing on the role of the board of visitors and its rector, Helen Dragas, who initiated the effort to force the president’s resignation.

The Removal and Reinstatement of UVA’s President

The AAUP has published the report of its investigation into the University of Virginia governing board’s attempt last June to remove Teresa Sullivan from the university presidency. The report documents a major breakdown in governance at UVA, focusing on the role of the board of visitors and its rector, Helen Dragas, who initiated the effort to force the president’s resignation.

Academic Leadership 2.0

In a commentary accompanying the Chronicle of Higher Education’s report on how the University of Virginia’s board of visitors abruptly forced the resignation of UVA’s president, Teresa Sullivan—and then just as abruptly reinstated her—William W.

University of Virginia Governance Investigation Update

The Committee on College and University Governance, in a statement presented to the Ninety-ninth Annual Meeting, condemned the deplorable actions of the University of Virginia Board of Visitors under its outgoing rector. The committee sees reason to hope that principles of shared academic governance will prevail under the board’s incoming rector.

Report of the Committee on College and University Governance, 2012–13

The Committee on College and University Governance has been active in three areas this past year: a governance investigation at the University of Virginia, the publication of three policy statements, and the holding of a governance conference last fall.

The American Tradition Institute v. Rector & Visitors of the University of Virginia & Michael Mann, 287 Va. 330 (Va. April 17, 2014)

In this case the Virginia Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a professor’s climate research records were exempt from disclosure as academic research records, as AAUP argued in an amicus brief submitted to the Court.  The Court explained that the exclusion of University research records from disclosure was intended to prevent “harm to university-wide research efforts, damage to faculty recruitment and retention, undermining of faculty expectations of privacy and confidentiality, and impairment of free thought and expression.” While the decision was limited to a Virginia statute, it provided a strong rationale for the defense of academic records from disclosure.

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