Heywood Fralin, the only member of the UVA Board of Visitors to vote against the appointment of interim president Carl Zeithaml at the end of the Board’s marathon meeting early this morning, has issued a statement about his decision to stand his ground.
In a statement e-mailed to media, Fralin said he believed Zeithaml is a strong leader, but voted against the McIntire School Dean’s appointment to express his unhappiness with the way the Board ousted President Teresa Sullivan.
Fralin was reported to be one of at least three Board members who wasn’t informed of the majority of the Board’s plan to push for Sullivan’s removal until just before the president herself was asked to resign.
"I have served on two search committees with Carl and believe him to be an extraordinary and capable leader," Fralin said in his statement. "I like him as a person, and admire his leadership at the Commerce School, which is the highest rated school at the University of Virginia and is viewed by many to be the first or second best Commerce School in the nation."
"My vote was an indication of my dissatisfaction with the process and the decision that lead to the resignation of Terry Sullivan. I have not been presented with evidence that I believe merits asking for her resignation, nor have I ever indicated that I would be willing to support such an effort. Given an opportunity I would have also voted to support her reinstatement. It is my opinion that the process leading to her resignation was flawed. I am convinced that in the future the Board of Visitors will always meet in a scheduled meeting to discuss issues involving the President."
"Now that Carl has been selected as the Interim President I believe that we should all join behind his selection and work together to unify the university community in support of this institution that we love. It damages the university for us to be divided."