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Friday, June 22, 2012 - Page updated at 10:00 p.m.
Ousted University of Virginia president may get her job back
By The Associated Press and The Washington Post
RICHMOND, Va. — The University of Virginia's governing board will consider reinstating President Teresa Sullivan at a meeting next week, as the leader of the embattled board defended the ouster that threw the flagship university into turmoil.
The board has announced plans to vote Tuesday on whether to retain Sullivan, appointed in 2010 as the first female president of the prestigious public university founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson.
Ten of the university's 11 school deans and the faculty senate demanded Sullivan's reinstatement amid condemnations of the board's firing of the popular Sullivan.
Sullivan, 62, who previously served as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Michigan, was forced out during a closed-door session of the Board of Visitors in which no official vote was taken. The June 10 announcement that she would resign blindsided Sullivan and ignited outrage and protests at the school in Charlottesville.
Rector Helen Dragas, meanwhile, who faced criticism for a perceived failure to articulate clear and specific reasons for seeking Sullivan's ouster, responded with a list of "difficult challenges" that, in her view, demand immediate action rather than Sullivan's "incremental" approach.
Sullivan admitted to being an incrementalist, according to remarks released after her appearance at a closed session held Monday: "Sweeping action may be gratifying and may create the aura of strong leadership, but its unintended consequences may lead to costs that are too high to bear."
A majority of the 15-member board would have to approve the reinstatement for Sullivan to remain in office.
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