University of Virginia Extends Contract of President Teresa Sullivan

President_SullivanIn 2012, the board of visitors at the University of Virginia announced that Teresa A. Sullivan would be leaving the presidency of the university after only two years on the job. At the time, president Sullivan said that she and the board had a “philosophical difference of opinion.” Published reports stated that several board members were not satisfied with the university’s pace in adapting to new technologies and the realities of online education and believed that the university was in danger of falling behind its competitors.

Many students, faculty, and administrators voiced support for President Sullivan, as did the governor of Virginia who controls appointments to the board of visitors. Just 16 days after announcing that Dr. Sullivan was leaving the university, the board voted unanimously to reinstate Dr. Sullivan as president.

Now the board of visitors has approved an extension of President Sullivan’s contract through July 2018. Dr. Sullivan has agreed to serve through May 2019 if her successor has not been chosen in time for her scheduled departure. After leaving the presidency, her new contract extension calls for her to hold the title of president emerita and to serve as a University Professor.

Before coming to the University of Virginia in 2010, Dr. Sullivan was provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and professor of sociology at the University of Michigan. From 2006 to 2010, she was executive vice chancellor for academic affairs for the University of Texas System.

Dr. Sullivan is a graduate of Michigan State University. She holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago.

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