Kington resigns from UVA Board of Visitors, signals need for “healing process”

UVA Vice Rector Mark Kington has resigned from his position, according to a letter sent to Governor Robert McDonnell today. The Daily Progress acquired the letter, the full text of which reads as follows:

Dear Governor McDonnell: 

It has been a great honor to serve on the Board of Visitors of the University of Virginia, and I am deeply grateful to you for giving me that opportunity.

In order to better serve this university which I love and respect, and to help bring about new leadership on the Board of Visitors at this critical time, I am resigning my position as Vice Rector and as a board member effective immediately. I believe that this is the right thing to do and I hope that it will begin a needed healing process at the university. 

Thank you for allowing me to serve.

Sincerely,

Mark J. Kington

As Vice Rector of the UVA Board of Visitors, Kington was in the room when Rector Helen Dragas informed President Teresa Sullivan that her services were no longer needed. According to the Washington Post, Dragas also said in an email that Kington had been involved in an ongoing process to review Sullivan’s performance that had informed her determination to look for a new president.

“I refer you to board meeting minutes from the fall of last year when the board adopted procedures for presidential review, which were followed,” Dragas wrote. “There were ongoing discussions between the Vice Rector, the President, and myself, as often as bi-weekly, on areas of presidential responsibility. At no time did I conduct a personnel review of the President with no other members present.” 

The formality of Kington’s statement makes it hard to determine if he resigned his position on the Board of Visitors as a way of indirectly accepting blame for the fallout from Sullivan’s removal or avoiding it, but he clearly indicated the move was motivated by his desire to help "begin a needed healing process at the university."

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