Reinstate Teresa Sullivan as President of the University of Virginia
  • Petitioned Rector and the Board of Visitors of the University of Virginia

This petition was delivered to:

Rector and the Board of Visitors of the University of Virginia

Reinstate Teresa Sullivan as President of the University of Virginia

    1. Bob Elkins
    2. Petition by

      Bob Elkins

      Long Beach, CA

Terry Sullivan, the first female president of the University of Virginia and only the eighth president in the 193-year history of the institution, was abruptly fired this past weekend by the Rector and Board of Visitors after only two years of service despite a plethora of positive reviews and support from students, faculty, staff, alumni, state and federal officials.

Dr. Sullivan is a highly respected educator of national stature. As reasons for her termination, a statement from the Rector and Board faults Sullivan’s administration for a culture of “incremental, marginal change” and claims the institution needs a leader more adaptable to “the realities of the external environment.” These arguments do not justify depriving the nation's first public university of a superior leader like Terry Sullivan. She must be reinstated immediately.

Recent signatures


    1. Teresa Sullivan reinstated as President of the University of Virginia

      Bob Elkins
      Petition Organizer

      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."

      Please watch the video from the Washington Post website at the URL below.

    2. Reached 5,000 signatures
    3. Board of Visitors to meet to reconsider Sullivan's ouster

      Bob Elkins
      Petition Organizer

      The Daily Progress in Charlottesville is reporting the following:

      The University of Virginia's Board of Visitors will meet at 3 p.m. Tuesday to reconsider its ousting of President Teresa A. Sullivan.

      The meeting was announced minutes before the close of business Thursday.

      A report in the Washington Post suggested that the meeting would only be called if the pro-Sullivan group believed they had the eight votes needed to reinstate her secured.

      The composition of the board will change on July 1, when Gov. Bob McDonnell makes more appointments to the board. He has remained largely mum on what he will do with the appointments.

    4. Distinguished UVA Professor Resigns In Wake of Sullivan Dismissal

      Bob Elkins
      Petition Organizer

      A UVA professor has resigned in the wake of the Sullivan dismissal, and he is urging other faculty members to do the same. His resignation reasons were in part that he does not want to "to be associated with an institution being as badly run as the current UVA". He also chastised Interim President Zeithaml for being a part of what he called the "debacle".

      Bill A. Wulf University Professor, Dept. of Computer Science University of Virginia, and President Emeritus, National Academy of Engineering:

      Dean and Interim President Zeithaml,

      By this email I am submitting my resignation, effective immediately. I do not wish to be associated with an institution being as badly run as the current UVa. A BOV that so poorly understands UVa, and academic culture more generally, is going to make a lot more dumb decisions, so the University is headed for disaster, and I don't want to be any part of that. And, frankly, I think you should be ashamed to be party to this debacle!

      Please see the link below

    5. Teresa Sullivan releases first public statement since ousting

      Bob Elkins
      Petition Organizer

      Statement from Teresa Sullivan, released on June 18, 2012:

      In 1816, our founder Thomas Jefferson said, “as new discoveries are made, new truth discovered and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times.”

      We are all aware that the UVA needs to change and for the past 2 years I have been working to do just that. Apparently, the area of disagreement appears to be just how that change should occur and at what pace.

      I certainly want to take some time and talk about the many changes that I have made because they are significant. But first, I need to make one thing clear. The current reaction by the faculty, staff, and students on and off Grounds, and among the donors and alumni to my impending departure, is not something I have stirred up. I have made no public statement.

      For the rest of President Sullivan's statement:, please see the link.

    6. Reached 3,000 signatures
    7. Please Join the Rally for a Transparent UVA Monday June 18th at the Rotunda

      Bob Elkins
      Petition Organizer

      There will be a silent gathering in support of President Sullivan on the Lawn, tomorrow, Monday, June 18th, during the Board of Visitors' meeting taking place in the Rotunda from 3:00 - 5:00 pm.

      The call to the rally is being made by Suzie McCarthy and the members of the Facebook group, "Students, Family, & Friends United to Reinstate President Sullivan. This is an open group and everyone is encouraged to join.!/groups/332890806789033/

      Please help spread the word on this. According to the event page (link is below) all interested should gather at 2:30pm in the Colonnade Club (Pavilion VII) and then everyone will walk to the Rotunda together from the Colonnade Club. Be prepared to stay from 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. (which is the length of the BoV meeting). It is anticipated there will be some public announcement from the BOV between 4:00 and 5:00 p.m. Please note all times are Eastern Daylight.

      Thanks, everyone!

    8. Reached 2,500 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Kibra Yohannes BROOKLYN, NY
      • over 2 years ago

      Arlyn Newcomb stated is best "This decision looks more and more like an illegitimate coup d'etat by special interests. It is the true existential threat to the University." I echo and amplify the sentiment.

      Kibra A. Yohannes

      CLAS '98

    • Audrey Bilger CLAREMONT, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      Because I care about the future of the University of Virginia and believe that Dr. Sullivan has U.Va.'s best interests at heart.

    • Jonathan Moore LOS ANGELES, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      The voices of three are a coup, the voices of thousands are a mandate.

    • Don Patterson CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA
      • over 2 years ago

      Because the style, motives, and process were all wrong. The first thing a board should do is sit down with a chief executive and share their issues, then the issues should be debated publicly among all the stakeholders. The BOV delivered a Coup as if they were the Egyptian military or the generals in a banana republic. They did what they did because they had the power to do it, not because what they did was right. Sullivan should be restored to office as part of the process of raising issues as they should be raised. The treatment she has received was unworthy of the university, and because the board has not known better how to handle their job, they should be replaced---if it is clear that a better one would replace them. The practice of rewarding big campaign funders with board seats is also wrong, and even corrupt, no matter if the board's intentions were good. Process matters, and board composition also matters. Both students and faculty should sit on the board, and it should be widely diverse. Shame also on the Governor(s) for shaping a board of only business and financial people sharing their own political persuasions. Shame on everyone who is only concerned about money issues. The Rector and Vice Rector were the most at fault, but others could have blown the whistle on the failings, but they did not.

    • David Murray OAKLAND, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      CLAS '04


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