CONGRESSWOMAN JACKSON LEE ADDRESSES THE REINSTATEMENT OF UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA PRESIDENT DR. TERESA SULLIVAN
Jun 27, 2012 -
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, the representative of the 18th Congressional District of Texas and an alumna of the University of Virginia, released the following statement about the reinstatement of University of Virginia president Dr. Teresa Sullivan:
“I am relieved that Dr. Teresa Sullivan was reinstated as the University of Virginia president last Friday by a 15-0 vote. I applaud the members of the Board of Visitors of the University of Virginia for their conclusive action to bring this issue to a close.”
“President Sullivan was ousted from her position at the university earlier this month. Sullivan is the first female president in the University’s history. It has also come to my attention that women have experienced the largest amount of removal from leading institutions. This information prompted me to ask several questions. I am wondering if Dr. Sullivan was afforded due process. Was Dr. Sullivan allowed to respond to those making various allegations regarding her tenure? Was President Sullivan given the appropriate review that would have allowed her to change any of her procedures? What outreach was given to the Faculty, Staff and Students on campus? Finally, what outreach was there to the alumni?
“Members of the Board of Visitors have expressed that they felt that the university wasn't acting quickly enough to address issues like funding reductions and providing online courses. However, Board members never offered any specific examples of how Sullivan had fallen short during her time as president.
“It is unfortunate that President Sullivan has had to endure this controversy, but it is equally unfortunate that the Board of Visitors has experienced overwhelming criticism. The conflict has been tough on our community. Those who love the university have felt like they had to choose sides in this variance; there’s been a proverbial line drawn in the sand. Things should not be this way.
“The University of Virginia is a global academic leader and a standard of educational excellence in our nation. When we engage in shallow conflicts, it detracts from the legacy and esteem of our beloved institution of higher learning. As a graduate with deep respect for my alma mater, I urge all students, faculty, staff, and alumni to come together and move forward for the sake of our great university.”