The University of Virginia today released President Teresa A. Sullivan’s new contract, effective through July 2016. Its one-year extension was unanimously approved by the Board of Visitors on Nov. 9, along with three new policies designed to promote greater accountability and transparency.

President Teresa Sullivan and Rector Helen Dragas review the paperwork that extends Sullivan's contract through July 2016. Dan Addison
Contract Extension: In Sullivan’s contract amendment, the Board of Visitors notes the president’s recent progress in many top priorities, including strategic planning, plans for the development of the next generation of exceptional faculty, and systems designed to better prioritize financial resources. The contract amendment also praises Sullivan for encouraging experimentation that could help position UVA as a leader in “the use of technology in academic delivery,” and for reorganization plans that will promote the growth of philanthropy and legislative support.

“The board is encouraged by and appreciative of the president’s recent activities in rigorously addressing the difficult issues facing all of public higher education,” Rector Helen E. Dragas said. “We sought to publicly affirm the president’s intensified leadership by affording her more time to achieve important, specific outcomes. The board is dedicated to working openly and cooperatively with her for the benefit of the commonwealth and UVA.”

Governance Changes: The University shared three key improvements in governance in its latest response to an ongoing review by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools – the University’s accrediting body – regarding the summer’s resignation and reinstatement of the president. The correspondence also was publicly released today. (PDF)

In the response, the University again clarifies that it acted in compliance with established procedures this summer and affirms that more than two-thirds of the board favored the initial action. Further, the letter again notes that, while UVA was not required to notify faculty before taking executive action, the University is continuing to evaluate its policies to ensure the highest level of accountability and responsiveness to all those it serves.

Revisions to the Board of Visitors Manual provide clarity on procedures for electing and removing presidents. Resolutions passed by the board also set up comprehensive guidelines for evaluating a president’s performance, and provide for more direct involvement by faculty in board deliberations.

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