Monday, June 18, 2012

UVA Board Facing a Tidal Wave

They should have seen this coming.  Major large donors are now abandoning the UVA Board in its effort to defend its decision to sack President Terry Sullivan.  The current Provost John Simon added his voice of protest to that of former President John Casteen over the board's yet-to-be-explained removal of Sullivan.  More than 800 faculty, staff and onlookers convened quietly in the Darden School auditorium last night to watch the Faculty Senate endorse a resolution expressing "no confidence" in the University's Board.  UVA's Student Honor Council weighed in with its own letter expressing views that can't be encouraging for the Board.

Who's left?

Within the next 24 hours, I would expect some major changes in board composition as well as some change of course by the Board itself in the Sullivan ouster episode.  The Board simply does not have the horses at this point and it is time to sound the retreat.  Having the authority to fire Sullivan is just not enough.  There needs to be some buy-in somewhere for this action and, thus far, there isn't any.  Look for some kind of capitulation today by the UVA Board.  Only the Governor and his staff seem content with the current situation and that will change too when they finally wake up and smell the coffee.

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