Demand a Full Explanation from the BoV and the Resignation of Rector Dragas
  • Petitioned Governor Robert McDonnell

This petition was delivered to:

Governor Robert McDonnell

Demand a Full Explanation from the BoV and the Resignation of Rector Dragas

    1. Suzie McCarthy
    2. Petition by

      Suzie McCarthy

      Charlottesville, VA

Text of Petition "On Friday, June 8, the rector of the University of Virginia Board of Visitors, Helen E. Dragas, and the vice rector, Mark J. Kington, forced the resignation of UVA President Teresa Sullivan with no warning, explanation, or any action by the Board. A vote of the Board was never taken: only an ad-hoc committee of three members of the Board, including Dragas and Kington, voted to “accept” President Sullivan’s resignation. Since then, accounts have arisen stating that the forcing of President Sullivan’s resignation was an ongoing “project” undertaken by Rector Dragas and “two important Virginia alums.”

These opaque and unaccountable actions of Rector Dragas and her associates are shameful and are not how we do things at the University of Virginia.

President Sullivan is the first female president of the University of Virginia and only the eighth president in the University’s history. By all accounts, she is widely popular among students, faculty, and the greater UVA community of businesses and residents. Indeed, since President Sullivan’s forced resignation, many have urged that the Board reconsider its actions—or at least offer some explanation—including the executive committee of the Faculty Senate, thirty-three high-profile UVA faculty members, former UVA President Robert O’Neil, and a variety of lawmakers and officers of other universities.

As aptly stated by Hunter Rawlings, the president of the Association of American Universities and former president of Cornell, “This is the most egregious case I have ever seen of mismanagement by a governing board. It’s secretive, it’s misguided and based on the public statements, there's no clear rationale.”

As students, faculty, alumni, and friends of the University who believe in honor and transparency, we cannot stand for this sort of behavior, particularly by the highest governing body of the school. Accordingly, we pledge not to donate another dollar to the University until: (1) Board of Visitors offers a full and adequate explanation for its actions and (2) Rector Dragas resigns or leaves the Board.

Although Rector Dragas’ term on the Board expires at the end of June, Governor McDonnell will have the opportunity to reappoint her for a second four-year term. We urge the Governor to pass on Rector Dragas’ renomination in light of her actions and instead select an individual better suited to guide Mr. Jefferson’s University.

We will not donate another dollar to the University until the BoV offers a full explanation and Rector Dragas resigns."

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Recent signatures


    1. Reached 2,000 signatures
    2. One Down....

      Suzie McCarthy
      Petition Organizer

      The resignation of Vice Rector Kington this afternoon is clear proof that we are being heard. We are making a difference. Keep up the media pressure. We will prevail!

    3. Reached 750 signatures
    4. We are Broadening the Petition Target to Include Vice Rector Kington

      Suzie McCarthy
      Petition Organizer

      The article in today's Washington Post suggests that Vice Rector Kington was a major driving force behind the forced resignation of President Sullivan. While his term is not up until 2014 (, Governor McDonnell will still have a chance to renominate him this coming week. We call on the Governor to heed the UVA faculty's recent vote of no confidence and remove both Rector Dragas and Vice Rector Kington.

    5. Reached 200 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Grant Fairbairn WASHINGTON, DC
      • about 2 years ago

      Concerned UVA alum

    • Susan Kirksey MIDLOTHIAN, VA
      • over 2 years ago

      Ms. Dragas has become the face of an embarrassing situation. Unfortunately, I don't think she can overcome the loss of respect and trust. She should step down.

    • John Peter James GLEN ALLEN, VA
      • over 2 years ago

      Dragas is not competent as exhibited in the manner of forcing out Sullivan without due process and transparency. She misrepresented to us all and acted NOT in the tradition of honesty. Intentions that were good do not excuse her behavior. She must be asked to resign to benefit the entire community. We do not trust her. I have a law, education and health care degree from UVA and WILL NEVER GIVE ANOTHER PENNY TO UVA IF DRAGAS STAYS ANY LONGER. EVER. i HAVE CONSIDERED RETURNING MY DEGREES.

    • Rob Turner KETTERING, OH
      • over 2 years ago

      The petition says it all. There is far more to this story than we know at this time, and we need, and we have the right, to know.

    • Kristen Russell ROHNERT PARK, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      I am a UVA alum and believe Dragas is a liability to any future Presidents. I do not agree with the way she went about the ousting of Sullivan; it seems transparent, catty, and ultimately beneath our University.


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