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