In a unanimous vote Tuesday afternoon, UVA’s Board of Visitors reinstated Teresa Sullivan as president of the University.
The vote came more than two weeks after the surprise announcement of Sullivan’s resignation June 10, and just over a week after a divided Board voted to appoint an interim president, who then stepped aside as anger mounted on Grounds over the secret ouster.
But the spirit was one of unity as Helen Dragas, the embattled Rector who orchestrated the forced resignation, entered the meeting alongside Sullivan and took a seat next to Heywood Fralin, the only Board member who voted against installing an interim leader last week.
Fralin introduced the Board’s resolution reinstating Sullivan, and before the room voted, Dragas urged unity—and indicated she’d changed her mind.
She said she’d spoken with Sullivan before the meeting, and the two agreed that “it’s time to bring the UVA family back together.”
Each Board member then voted in favor, many adding brief statements. “With high honor and great pleasure, yes,” said Hunter Craig, one of the three members who requested the emergency meeting to reinstate the president.
As cheers rose from the Twitter-following crowd assembled outside, Sullivan herself addressed the Board.
“I do not ask that we sweep any differences under the rug,” she said. “All of us want only one thing: what’s best for the University.”
The cheers grew louder when she emerged with the Board, and after an introduction from Fralin, addressed the crowd as president once again.
“My family and I could not have imagined the events of recent weeks when we moved here 22 months ago,” she said. “I am not good enough, I am not wise enough, and I am not strong enough to do everything that needs doing at UVA on my own. But you have shown me beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am not alone.”