The University of Virginia Board of Visitors voted May 19 to extend President Teresa Sullivan’s contract until July 31, 2018. Her current contract is set to end on July 31, 2016.
A provision in the newly passed contract stipulates that Sullivan’s successor could assume office as early as November 1, 2017. If the board has not selected a replacement by the end of Sullivan’s term, or if the incoming president cannot assume office by August 1, 2018, her term could be extended until May 31, 2019.
Sullivan told reporters that the contract extension upholds her original decision to stay with UVA for up to 10 years.
“When I came to the university, I promised the search committee I’d stay seven to 10 years,” she said. “I feel when I’ve completed seven years, I will have held up my end of the bargain.”
Not everyone was thrilled with the extension. UVA alum Brock Muir’s problem with Sullivan is “a lack of passion,” he said. “I just think she’s mediocre. There’s no leadership. Virginia deserves better. I’m totally baffled about why they extended her contract.”
According to a report by the Cavalier Daily, the board also agreed to a $15,000 salary increase for this fiscal year and a $25,000 salary increase that will go into effect in August. Sullivan’s current salary is $647,000.
Board member Helen Dragas told The Daily Progress that she did not agree with the proposal to increase Sullivan’s salary after the board voted to increase in-state students’ tuition over the next five years. Dragas said she abstained from voting, rather than voting against the extension, so it would not appear she had any personal resentment against the president.
Sullivan became UVA’s eighth president upon assuming office in August 2010 and is the first female to hold the position. She will be named university professor and president emerita when her contract expires.