UVA Rector John Wynne welcomed Teresa Sullivan to the University community on Monday, January 11 as the eighth UVA president. Sullivan succeeds current President John Casteen, who announced his retirement last June after 20 years at the helm of the University.
Teresa Sullivan was unanimously selected by the Board of Visitors as the eighth president of UVA on Monday, January 11. She hails from the University of Michigan were she serves as the provost, executive vice president for academic affairs and chief budget officer. “I bring my dedication, extensive experience, and above all my passion for the task ahead of us,” she said. “I welcome this wonderful opportunity to be a part of the University of Virginia as it contributes to the progress of Virginia, the nation and the world.”
In a sense, there is no escaping Casteen’s legacy. “The University of Virginia has enjoyed strong leadership in John Casteen for the past two decades. We have achieved a great deal in John’s time,” said Wynne. The thought hasn’t escaped Sullivan, either.
“He will be a hard act to follow, yet I venture to say that he would prefer that we pursue the course that he has charted, rather than try to march in his footsteps,” she said in her remarks.
Yet, by all accounts, Sullivan will likely steer the University in her own way.
“We have been extremely fortunate to have presidents here who have been exactly right for their time in history,” says UVA COO Leonard Sandridge via e-mail. “Each provided leadership that met the needs of their term in office. President-elect Sullivan will be that leader for the next chapter in our history.”
Sullivan, 60, who is a leading labor force demographer, currently serves as provost, executive vice president for academic affairs and chief budget officer at the University of Michigan. She is also on the board of the college’s health system. Sullivan is a graduate of James Madison College at Michigan State University and received her doctorate in Sociology from the University of Chicago in 1975.
Prior to joining the ranks in Ann Arbor in 2006, Sullivan spent 27 years at University of Texas at Austin, where in 2002 she was named executive vice chancellor for academic affairs for the university system.
In a statement, University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman says that Sullivan is “both a distinguished academic and stellar administrator, known for her sparkling intellect as well as her superb people skills. She has won the utmost respect of the faculty and the administration for her inclusive management style and her strong leadership. Working with her has been one of the highlights of my career, and although we will all miss her, we take pride in knowing that she will preside over one of the nation’s great public universities.”
Click here for a comparison of Sullivan’s old position versus new.
Sullivan is also a prolific scholar. “Leading a public university is a hard challenge,” says Faculty Senate Chairwoman Ann Hamric. “And she’s got experience in every facet of what we do here at UVA, which is really quite extraordinary.”
Sullivan will also be the first female president at UVA. Hamric says that her selection was a statement that the University was looking for the “very best person to lead UVA,” she says. “I think she is going to bring changes by force of her personality and her style of leadership, because she will bring her own way of doing things and that’s probably more important than any gender-related change.”
In August, Sullivan will inherit a capital campaign, ever-declining state support and tuition increases. It may not, however, be an unfamiliar situation. Just as she joined Michigan six years into the school’s $2.5 billion “Michigan Difference” campaign (which ultimately raised $3.2 billion), Sullivan, as provost and chief budget officer, dealt with a decrease in state funding that has amounted to 10 percent in 10 years.
UVA, in its own right, is facing a first: This year, for the first time in the history of the University, “an in-state student is now paying more to come to the University of Virginia than the state is supplying in terms of assistance,” said Colette Sheehy, UVA vice president for management and budget, at a November Board of Visitors meeting.
Casteen, who was not present on the day of the public announcement, welcomed Sullivan in a letter. “So welcome and godspeed in this beginning,” he writes. “May your years here be times of success and satisfaction. May you and your family find here generosity, goodness, and human talents to make the exertions of your position worthwhile, and much more.”
Charlottesville police have released a description of a man they say is a person of interest in the disappearance of UVA second-year Hannah Graham. A witness identified the man as having contact Graham in the early hours of Saturday morning, September 13, shortly before she disappeared.
The statewide debate over hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in the George Washington National Forest continues. Last week, Governor Terry McAuliffe announced at a climate change commission meeting that he will not support fracking in the GW. Local environmentalists and forest advocates said
Dan Catalano’s Odd Dominion is an unabashedly liberal, bi-monthly op-ed column covering Virginia politics. As we survey the Commonwealth’s current political landscape, we see so much worthy of our attention: Governor Terry McAuliffe’s recent (mostly ineffectual) efforts to expand health
UPDATED, 10:20am Thursday, September 18: Charlottesville police say videos of missing UVA student Hannah Graham on the Downtown Mall early Saturday morning have pointed them to a man who said he followed the 18-year-old and then saw her talking to another man. The first video, taken at 1:06am
When Pamela Juers returned to the parking lot at the top of the Thomas Jefferson Parkway walking trail on Route 53 near Monticello after a Saturday morning stroll in May, she was startled by the sight that greeted her. “I instantly saw the passenger side window broken,” Juers recalled. Her
The family of missing UVA second-year Hannah Graham has issued a statement thanking the University community for support and asking for help in finding the 18-year-old girl, whom they say “would not disappear without contacting family and friends.” John and Susan Graham described
It started over breakfast tacos. Alan Taylor and Johnny Pritzlaff of Riverbend Development—music mogul Coran Capshaw’s local real estate development company—were digging in one Saturday morning at Beer Run in January, talking about the future of the historic Coca Cola bottling plant at 722
Each week, the news team takes a look at upcoming meetings and events in Charlottesville and Albemarle we think you should know about. Consider it a look into our datebook, and be sure to share newsworthy happenings in the comments section. The Albemarle County Architectural Review Board meets
Students are back, and with the influx of people needing rides to and from the Corner, business is picking up for local cab drivers after a slow season. But some cabbies are wary of a new kid in town that claims to be a safer, cheaper, easier alternative to taxis. Uber, an app-based
Martha Jefferson Offers Free Spa Day for Expectant Moms, Other Events Martha Jefferson Starr Hill Center will host two spa days as part of its Baby Basics Moms Club, a support group for expectant mothers. The spa days will be Tuesday, September 16, 5:30-7:00pm and Tuesday, September 23,
UVA School of Medicine Dean Nancy Dunlap announced yesterday that she will step down at the end of her term in November. Dunlap, who joined the staff in May 2013, arrived at UVA to serve as dean on an interim basis, replacing Dr. Steven DeKosky, a longtime UVA neurologist who held the position
This year marks C-VILLE’S 25th anniversary, and as such, we’ve been spending a lot of time poring over our archives. For several weeks, most of us on the editorial staff have spent part of every week with our noses buried in the giant hardbound books of newsprint that date to the late
If UVA third-year Sara Surface has to write a “how I spent my summer vacation” essay at the start of this semester, the gist would be something like this: Helped my school end rape culture. Surface, a global development studies major from Northern Virginia and a student leader with the
This week marks our first-ever pride issue—just in time for Charlottesville’s Pride Festival this weekend. Check out our other feature stories on what it was like to be gay at CHS in the ’90s, on UVA’s lack of gender-neutral housing for trans students, and on the festival
This week marks our first-ever pride issue—just in time for Charlottesville’s Pride Festival this weekend. Check out our other feature stories on deciding whether to marry as a gay couple, on UVA’s lack of gender-neutral housing for trans students, and on the festival itself. Here’s
This week marks our first-ever pride issue—just in time for Charlottesville’s Pride Festival this weekend. Check out our other feature stories on deciding whether to marry as a gay couple, on UVA’s lack of gender-neutral housing for trans students, and on what it was like to be gay
Despite a crowd-clearing thunderstorm Saturday night and the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control’s threat to the Lockn’ Music Festival’s license, the local craft beers flowed, around 30,000 music lovers grooved to Tom Petty and Willie Nelson, and the mood was decidedly mellow at the September
Each week, the news team takes a look at upcoming meetings and events in Charlottesville and Albemarle we think you should know about. Consider it a look into our datebook, and be sure to share newsworthy happenings in the comments section. The Charlottesville Planning Commission holds a
African American Heritage Center Hosts First Story Slam Tonight Starting at 6:30pm tonight, September 5, the Jefferson School City Center’s African American Heritage Center (JSAAHC) will host a Story Slam, featuring eight storytellers. This month’s theme is “Grits.” “We were brainstorming about