University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan is leaving the institution just two years after taking the helm in what is being called a “mutually agreed upon resignation,” reached by the Board of Visitors and Dr. Sullivan. She will step down from her post on August 15th.
In an email message sent out on behalf of the Board of Visitors, officials informed students, families, and alums of the decision.
Rector Helen E. Dragas said, “We express our deep appreciation to President Sullivan for her effective stewardship of the University. She is a much respected educator, as well as a visible presence in the University community and a prominent voice in higher education.”
At a press conference later in the day, Ms. Drags went on to explain that the Board made the decision based on University needs for a bold strategic, visionary leader to take us to the next level stating, “For the past year, the board has had ongoing discussions about the importance of developing, articulating and acting on a clear and concrete strategic vision. In a rapidly changing and highly pressurized external environment in both health care and in academia,” Dragas said, “we believe that the University needs to remain at the forefront of change.”
Rumors have swirled of disagreements between the president and the board and Sullivan alluded to that tension in a press conference, stating, “Although the board and I have a philosophical difference of opinion, I will always treasure having had the opportunity to work with so many gifted faculty and staff, talented students, and loyal alumni. I am also grateful for the privilege to have worked with our extraordinary vice presidents and deans.”
Dragas said the board expects to move expeditiously to name an interim president and to begin the search for a new leader.
Sullivan was the first woman to hold the post of university president at UVA.