Privileges and Elections / Senate.

P&E meets on Tuesdays at 4:00 p.m. in Senate Room A during session. The first meeting will be January 15. The dockets will show up online usually a day or two in advance (although sometimes P&E will post on Friday) here:

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overview of bylaws – Virginia BOVs

The following is a paper that reviews the bylaws of all the BOV’s in Virginia, put together by one of our members.  The links are not live. You will have to cut and paste to view them.

Overview of Bylaws in Virginia Institutes of Higher Education


The goal of this paper is to identify provisions in the bylaws of other public institutes of higher education in Virginia that might aid the University of Virginia (“UVa” or “University”) as it considers reforms to its own bylaws and governance policies.[1]  It also synthesizes from these provisions or lack thereof questions that might prove useful in weighing governance reforms or in triggering further best practices research.

The paper is organized around major subjects that appear or are noticeably absent in most bylaws: powers and duties of the board, requirements for board meetings and quorums, procedures for board meetings, and board accountability for substantive decisions.  Each section provides an overview of UVa’s approach to the subject and problems thereby raised; it then identifies different bylaw provisions on the subject from other institutions and raises further questions to consider.  It does not endorse any specific set of reforms.

Before considering the merits of individual provisions, it is useful, however, to ponder three foundational questions that recur throughout each section.  First, what should be the proper role and scope of UVa’s Board?  Although all institutional bylaws give their boards final authority and the power and duty to set guiding policies, the reality is that boards must delegate a substantial amount of their power to employees with greater expertise.  The system of delegation and oversight generally functions smoothly; but on rare occasions it produces conflict between those with formal authority and those with greater expertise.  Governance reforms should strive to achieve—whether through the bylaws or through informal means—shared expectations about the roles that the Board and other members of the community should respectively play and their proper levels of engagement.  Achieving shared expectations will require discussion and training between the Board and other constituencies.

Second, how should the Board best be held accountable for its decisions?  The Board is currently largely unaccountable to constituents for both the process and substance of its decision-making.  Although it is under the supervision of the Legislature, the Legislature is likely to act only in the most extreme instances, and then slowly.  Members of the Board cannot be voted out or have their decisions overturned by unhappy constituents.  Given the Board’s lack of oversight, it seems necessary that the Board at a minimum adopt best procedural practices that will help it police its own decision-making. A more debatable question is if it might also be desirable to allow constituents more direct access to the Board and/or formal mechanisms by which constituents could challenge a decision.

Third, is governance reform best achieved through legislation and/or changes to the bylaws, informal mechanisms such as better training or the crafting of policies, or a combination thereof?  The means used reflect tradeoffs between efficiency, flexibility, and accountability. The provisions surveyed here will, hopefully, provide inspiration for discussion.

Powers and Duties of the Board:

The UVa bylaws are similar to other institutions in that they invest the Board with ultimate power and authority over virtually all aspects of university life, from establishing general education policy to issuing revenue bonds.[2]  The bylaws specify that Board sets policies, and the President operates the University in conformance with those policies.[3]

In practice, however, the Board must delegate much of its considerable power to those with the expertise, time and resources to set policy and make decisions.  The events of this summer suggest that there exists confusion amongst both the Board and constituencies about how power should be shared under the reality of delegation.  Specifically, this summer revealed tension between the bylaws that formally give the Board broad authority over all aspects of university life and the university culture in which educational leadership is largely viewed as properly emerging from the faculty with the Board serving as a check.  To avoid future conflicts, and to understand how and when the Board should intervene, it would be helpful for the community to develop a shared understanding of the Board’s appropriate role, how best to delegate, and which persons have primary responsibility for various functions.

Approaches taken by other Virginia institutions:

  • While the UVa bylaws outline the responsibilities of administrative positions like the President, the bylaws do not address which functions are primarily responsibilities of the faculty.  The bylaws of William & Mary, by contrast, define what functions fall primarily to the faculty.[4]

Issues to consider:

  • Are changes to the bylaws necessary or even helpful in achieving a shared understanding of the Board’s proper reach and best practices for delegation?  Or would a shared understanding be better achieved through the discussion and creation of widely shared, informal policies?

Board Meetings and Quorum Requirements:

The UVa bylaws require one annual meeting to be held at the University;[5] additional meetings may be held at times and places determined by the Board.[6]  The bylaws also allow for special meetings to be called by the Rector or by any three Visitors.[7]  A quorum for the conduct of business by the full Board consists of only five members, except where otherwise required by statute.[8]  Removing the President, however, requires assent of two-thirds of the Visitors.  The Executive Committee, composed of six members, is vested with the full power and authority of the Board to take such action on matters in its judgment required. [9] Actions taken by the Executive Committee must be reported to and approved by the full Board at its next meeting.[10]  A quorum for the Executive Committee consists of two members.[11]  Additionally, Board meetings must be held in compliance with Virginia FOIA and other state law.

Although flexibility in meeting requirements under the bylaws is desirable so that the University can adapt to changing technologies and needs, it is unclear whether the Board is required to meet on campus sufficiently often to remain in touch with the University.   More importantly, it is unclear if the bylaws require an optimal number of people to assure deliberation over important decisions.  It is especially problematic that under current bylaws two members of the Executive Committee could make important substantive decisions on behalf of the Board and seek ratification only long after the decision has been made.

Approaches taken by other Virginia institutions:

  • Mary Washington,[12] Norfolk State,[13] Old Dominion,[14] Virginia Commonwealth[15] and William & Mary[16] require the Board to meet four times per year.

Issues to consider:

  • Is one required Board meeting sufficient for Board members to fulfill their duties and deliberate as a body?
  • Should the Board be required to meet physically at UVa in order to foster communication and understanding between the Board and constituents?
  • Are there some substantive decisions that should require the full Board and not just the Executive Committee to take initial action?
  • How many Board members are needed at a meeting to produce an environment conducive to deliberation?

Meeting Procedure:

Meeting procedure is important in that good procedures can help foster good decision-making.  The UVa bylaws offer little guidance on the subject of process, however, requiring that Board meetings be conducted in accordance with Roberts’ Rules of Order.[17]  While a standard reference, these Rules are easy to overlook because not incorporated in the bylaws.  There is also no practical consequence to the Board if they fail to comply with the procedures.

More significantly, the bylaws do not address best procedural practices or answer important questions about who should have access to Board meetings.  While process reforms need not necessarily be included in the bylaws if policies could suffice, topics currently unaddressed included how (and if) the public should communicate with the Board, who is entitled to speak at and attend meetings, when affirmative votes should be required, how much deliberation is desirable on issues, and how the Board should communicate with each other outside of formal meetings.

Approaches taken by other Virginia institutions:

  • Other Virginia institutions have appointed non-voting faculty, staff student, and/or alumni representatives to their boards, and have explicitly stated that they are entitled to attend and speak at open meetings.  See, for example, George Mason (student and faculty representatives),[18] Longwood (student, faculty, and alumni representatives),[19] Mary Washington (student and faculty representatives),[20] Norfolk State (student and faculty representatives),[21] and Virginia Tech (student, faculty, and staff representatives).[22]  Although UVa has a non-voting student member of the Board, it has not formalized a speaking role for other constituencies at the table.
  • Virginia Tech clarifies in its bylaws that all meetings, formal and informal, are subject to Virginia FOIA, and its bylaws address statutory opening meeting rules.[23]  Clarification of FOIA requirements in UVa’s bylaws could possibly flag their importance to readers who might otherwise overlook them.
  • Norfolk State and Old Dominion require that voting on substantive matters be taken by a roll-call vote, with no secret, proxy, or written ballots.[24]
  • Longwood and Mary Washington (through published policies) designate the Office of the President as the vehicle through which constituencies should communicate with their boards.[25]
  • Norfolk State requires the presence of legal counsel at all open and closed meetings unless the president is being evaluated.[26]

Issues to consider:

  • A fundamental issue is how much direct access the public should have to the Board at its meetings.  Constituencies at UVa have no means of voting for, removing, or, in the case of alumni, disaffiliating from a Board with whom they disagree.  Some degree of constituent access to Board meetings thus seems warranted, though a balance should be struck between granting access and running the University efficiently.  Should Board meetings include time for public comments and petitions?  Should the Board have to consider petitions that secure the support of some percentage of a constituency?  Or is the public sufficiently represented through the Office of the President and/or student, faculty, staff, and alumni representatives on the Board?
  • Should UVa clarify FOIA rules in its bylaws to assure better compliance?
  • Does the Board need more formal or informal guidance on how to apply open meeting rules?
  • Should there be a mechanism—such as the attendance of legal counsel—to assure that the Board follows specified procedure?
  • Should certain voting procedures be required before the Board can take action on substantive matters?

Board Accountability for Substantive Decisions:

            A central problem with the bylaws at most Virginia institutions is that their boards are empowered to make substantive decisions for which they are unaccountable.  Although boards are theoretically under the supervision of the Legislature, the Legislature is unlikely to intervene.  Board members are legally protected so long as their actions do not rise to the level of “gross negligence,” a standard that is exceedingly hard to define and prove absent the most egregious self-dealing or theft.  The conflicts at UVa this summer stemmed in part from constituents’ fundamental disagreement with the Board’s substantive decisions about the future direction of UVa.  Under the current bylaws, however, there is no formal way for constituents to seek recourse absent legislative intervention—an extreme, unlikely, and perhaps clumsy response.

A key question moving forward is thus whether formal mechanisms to assure Board accountability should be put in place, or if campus activism can and should be exclusively relied upon to overturn poor decisions.  The provisions in other institutions’ bylaws generally seek to achieve accountability through procedures that help boards police themselves.  They promote transparency, require decision-makers to follow specified procedures and consider specific criteria when making substantive decisions, and sometimes even require the board itself to be evaluated by an external source.

All institutions currently fall short, however, of allowing constituents to review board decisions or remove a board member.  There is, in other words, no consequence should the board opt to ignore best procedures or make a substantively bad decision.  Greater accountability at UVa could be achieved by requiring the Board to consult with constituencies in a “notice and comment” manner before passing substantive policies or by allowing specified constituencies the rights to ratify or overturn a Board decision or remove a Board member.

Approaches taken by other Virginia institutions:

  • Mary Washington, Norfolk State, and Old Dominion post board policies next to their bylaws in easy to access, publicly accessible locations.[27]
  • Various Virginia institutions, including Virginia Commonwealth and Norfolk State, call in their bylaws for the board itself to be evaluated.[28]  Norfolk State requires an external evaluator and specifies that opinions must be sought from the president, faculty, students, and public at large.
  • Some bylaws require their boards to examine clearly specified criteria when making important decisions.  George Mason, for example, specifies a clear process for the president’s evaluation.  Specifically, the president annually presents goals and objectives to the board, which, along with other specified performance standards, form the basis of her written evaluation.[29]  Norfolk State’s bylaws require the board to establish a clear Presidential Evaluation Policy.[30]  Mary Washington has adopted a policy calling for an external review of the president at the end of three years.[31]
  • George Mason clarifies in its bylaws that Visitor’s are liable only for gross negligence.[32]
  • Norfolk State allows officers of the board to be removed with or without cause by a vote of seven members. Old Dominion also allows members to vote to remove a member from a committee.[33]
  • VMI requires that a decision to remove a faculty member be followed with a report to the Governor of the reasons supporting the decision.[34]

Issues to consider:

  • Would transparency and accountability be promoted if the all governance documents, including bylaws and policies, were posted in one accessible place?
  • Would substantive decision-making be improved if the Board were required to consider and document discussion of specified criteria when making some kinds of decisions?  What would the criteria be and to which kind of decisions would it apply?
  • Should external evaluation be required for both the President and the Board?  What weight should the opinions of an external evaluator be giving in decision-making?  Who should choose the external evaluator?
  • Would substantive decision-making be improved if the Board were required to receive and respond to public comment on some kinds of policy decisions?
  • Should Board members be enabled to remove another member from office?  Should constituents?
  • Should constituencies be given the right to ratify or overturn a Board decision or policy?  Which constituencies, and on which issues?

[1] Unfortunately, the bylaws of James Madison University were not surveyed in this paper due to temporary unavailability.  All other Virginia public institutions of higher education are included.

[2] Manual of the Board of Visitors of the University of Virginia, § 2.4, available at

[3] Id. at § 4.22.

[4] Bylaws of William &Mary, Article III, available at

[5] Manual of the Board of Visitors of the University of Virginia, § 2.31.

[6] Id. at § 2.32.

[7] Id. at § 2.33.

[8] Id. at § 2.35.

[9] Id. at § 3.1.

[10] Id.

[11] Id. at § 2.35.

[13] Bylaws of the Norfolk State University Board of Visitors, § 3.01, available at

[14] Bylaws of the Old Dominion University Board of Visitors, § 3.01, available at

[15] Virginia Commonwealth Board of Visitors Bylaws, § 2.01, available at

[16] Bylaws of William &Mary, Article III, Section 1.

[17] Manual of the Board of Visitors of the University of Virginia, § 2.38.

[18] George Mason University Board of Visitors Bylaws, Article 1, Sections 5–7, available at

[19] Longwood University Board of Visitors Bylaws, Article XIV, available at

[20] Bylaws of the Board of Visitors, Mary Washington, Section II.

[21] Bylaws of the Norfolk State University Board of Visitors, § 2.02(k-l).

[22] Bylaws of the Board of Visitors, Virginia Tech, Section 2, available at

[23] Id. at Section 3.

[24] Bylaws of the Norfolk State University Board of Visitors, § 3.07; Bylaws of the Old Dominion University Board of Visitors, § 3.08.

[25] Longwood University Board of Visitors Bylaws, Article IV; Communications to the Board, Mary Washington, available at$file/B.2.2.%20Communications%20to%20the%20Board.pdf.

[26] Bylaws of the Norfolk State University Board of Visitors, § 3.05.

[27] Mary Washington, Polices & Bylaws, available at; Norfolk State, Policies, available at; Old Dominion Board of Visitors Policies, available at

[28] Bylaws of the Norfolk State University Board of Visitors, § 9.03; Virginia Commonwealth Board of Visitors Bylaws, § 2.02.

[29] George Mason University Board of Visitors Bylaws, Article VI, Section 2.

[30] Bylaws of the Norfolk State University Board of Visitors, § 6.01(e).

[32] George Mason University Board of Visitors Bylaws, Article VIII.

[33] Bylaws of the Old Dominion University Board of Visitors, § 4.10.

[34] Virginia Military Institute Board of Visitors, § 3.4, available at

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All the FOIA Emails

The Cav Daily now has all the foia emails available on the cloud.


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Va Pilot: indepth store about upcoming Dragas appt

This article is worth reading. It talks about Dragas’ meetings with legislators to insure she is reappointed and talks about who some of the players are in the upcoming drama. If the link doesn’t work, cut and paste to see the article

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time to contact legislators

22 legislators attended the Sorensen Institute at UVA. Lets contact them about reforming the appointment process to the BOV.
We need  to ask for both student and faculty representation selected by their peers, and a requirement that some members have a background in higher education.  There is currently a requirement for a Dr to be on the board. It makes sense to require that 2 or 3 members have a background in higher ed, such as a retired college president or dean.
Democratic Alumni
Ralph Northam, CTP 2007, VA State Senate 6th District
Kenny Alexander, PLP 2002, VA State Senate 5th District
David Bulova, PLP 1998, VA House of Delegates 37th District
Adam Ebbin, PLP 2000, VA State Senate 30th District
Charniele Herring, PLP 2006, CTP 2008, VA House of Del 46th District
Mark Keam, PLP 2012, VA House of Delegates 51st District
Kaye Kory, CTP Winter 2009, VA House of Delegates 38th District
Lynwood Lewis, PLP 1995, CTP 1999, VA House of Delegates 100th District
Alfonso Lopez, PLP 2003, VA House of Delegates 49th District
Jennifer McClellan, PLP 2001, CTP 2005, VA House of Del 71st District
Mark Sickles, PLP 1998, CTP 2001, VA House of Delegates 43rd District

Republican Alumni
Rich Anderson, CTP Winter 2009, PLP 2012, VA House of Del. 51st District
John Cosgrove, PLP 1998, VA House of Delegates 78th District
Mark Dudenhefer, CTP 2005, VA House of Delegates 2nd District
Scott Garrett, CTP 2006, VA House of Delegates 23rd District
Tag Greason, CTP Winter 2009, VA House of Delegates 32nd District
Danny Marshall, CTP 2001, VA House of Delegates 14th District
Randy Minchew, CTP 2001, VA House of Delegates 10th District
Christopher Peace, PLP 2004, VA House of Delegates 97th District
Bryce Reeves, PLP 2009, VA State Senate 6th District
David Yancey, CTP 2011, VA House of Delegates 94th District
Joseph Yost, CTP 2011, VA House of Delegates 12th District

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UVA gets a warning from accrediting board

from the Washington Post 12-11-12

U-Va. receives warning from accreditors after failed ouster of president in June

By , Updated: Tuesday, December 11, 3:12 PM

The University of Virginia’s accrediting body announced Tuesday that its trustees placed the elite public flagship “on warning” for allegedly violating two compliance standards this year when members of the school’s governing board covertly planned an ouster of President Teresa A. Sullivan, privately asking her to resign in early June and then unanimously reinstating her 18 days later.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, which accredits universities and colleges in 11 Southern states, had accused the U-Va. Board of Visitors of compromising the university’s integrity, not having a formal policy for involving faculty in decision-making, and not following its governance requirements, which forbid a small number of members from controlling the board.


In an exclusive interview with The Washington Post, University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan speaks out about her ousting by the university’s Board of Visitors in June, the tumult that followed and her eventual reinstatement.

In an exclusive interview with The Washington Post, University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan speaks out about her ousting by the university’s Board of Visitors in June, the tumult that followed and her eventual reinstatement.

In its decision, commission trustees decided that the university was not in compliance with two of the three — those concerning faculty involvement and following governance requirements.

The U-Va. board has repeatedly denied these allegations. In written correspondence with the commission this fall, board leaders maintained that while mistakes were made during the failed ouster — which threw the historic Charlottesville campus into turmoil — the board never violated accreditation standards, state laws or its own policies.

The commission has placed the university on warning for one year and will send a team to Charlottesville early next year to further investigate, according a mass e-mail sent by U-Va. Provost John D. Simon on Tuesday afternoon. Simon is handling the inquiry, as Sullivan has excused herself from doing so.

“This action does not imply any criticism of the University’s academic quality and programs, nor does it affect the institution’s ability to receive federal aid, including financial aid and sponsored research,” Simon wrote in the e-mail. Simon added that the university “pledges to work diligently to address the concerns cited by the commission.”

A warning is one of the commission’s lesser sanctions, although it often — but not always — precedes placing a school on probation, according to a policy posted on the commission’s Web site. The longest that a school can remain on warning is two years. Accreditation is required for universities to receive federal funding, and concerns about a school’s standing can hurt its reputation.

Belle S. Wheelan, president of the commission, has said that it would be “very unusual” for U-Va. to lose its accreditation.

It has been six months since the leadership crisis shook the university, but questions remain about what exactly happened, the specific reasons Sullivan was asked to resign and what changes occurred to motivate the board to unanimously reinstate her as president.

Sullivan said in August that she did not know what had happened and that she would not push for answers. In early November, the U-Va. board voted to extend Sullivan’s contract for another year.

The leader of the board, Rector Helen Dragas, has remained in her position despite hundreds of calls from faculty, alumni and others for her resignation. Soon after Sullivan was reinstated, Governor Robert F. McDonnell (R) reappointed Dragas to the board for another term.

The U-Va. board has also enacted changes aimed at preventing repeating missteps that occurred in June. The board’s manual now requires that “[a]ppointment, removal, requested resignation, or amendment of the contract or terms of employment of the President may be accomplished only by vote of a majority (or, by statute, two-thirds in the case of removal) of the whole number of Visitors at a regular meeting, or special meeting called for this purpose.” The board also plans to institute quarterly evaluations of the president and better involve faculty members.

The decision to place U-Va. on warning was made by the accrediting commission’s Board of Trustees and was announced in Dallas on Tuesday morning during the commission’s annual meeting.


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Guardian Article 11-14-12. Even the Brits are interested in UVA events

Did climate change controversy cause UVA’s sacking of Teresa Sullivan?

The University of Virginia board that fired, then reinstated UVA’s president earlier this year owes us all a full account of its actions

    Helen Dragas University of Virginia

    University of Virginia Rector Helen E Dragas talks about the decisions of the Board of Visitors on the ousting of Teresa Sullivan, in June 2012. Photograph: Sabrina Schaeffer/AP

    “Without an understanding of history, we can’t understand the present or predict the future.”

    Being a historian myself, I couldn’t agree more. But the statement jarred with me because the person making it, University of Virginia Board of Visitors (BOV) member Bobbie Kilberg, had implied exactly the opposite just half an hour before, when she urged UVA faculty senate chair George Cohen to stop asking why the board had unseated President Teresa Sullivan in June citing “philosophical differences” about the administration of the university. After uproar on the UVA campus and far beyond, the board was forced to reverse its decision two weeks later, reinstating Sullivan on 26 June.

    Cohen, addressing the board at its 13 September meeting (pdf), had listed several reasons for doubting the most frequent justification the board has offered for pursuing Sullivan’s removal: her supposed failure to produce a bold strategic plan. And he complained of the board’s refusal to explain the lack of proper communication – with Sullivan, with the faculty, and among its own members – in the making and execution of its decision. Until the board provides a more compelling account of the ouster and its rationale, he asserted, the faculty’s vote of no confidence from June cannot be reversed. Yet Kilberg insisted: “I just want to move ahead … I think we gain absolutely nothing by rehashing this.”

    UVA’s accrediting agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, is also asking for more explanation. In a report submitted 20 September to SACS in response to a 25 June inquiry (pdf), the board acknowledged complaints about “flawed” procedures and lack of transparency, which it defended on legal grounds, but claimed nothing had been “so egregious as to in any way sacrifice full compliance” with the agency’s principles of accreditation. The board promised that the explanation it gave in June for opposing Sullivan had been “true and honest” and “the sole reasons behind requesting her resignation”.

    But SACS isn’t convinced. On 5 October, the agency warned that because of the still vague account of the motivations behind the ouster, “questions remain” as to the integrity of the board’s behavior and requirements that it not be controlled by a minority of members, or by outside organizations or interests. In December, two committees of SACS trustees will review the case and the possibility of sanctions. The Washington Post, after reporting the SACS response, ran an editorial supporting the agency’s “demand for better information”.

    Cohen’s and SACS’s demands are at odds not only with the board’s remonstrations, but also with recent commentary by UVA Professor Siva Vaidhyanathan and New York Times Magazine reporter Andrew Rice. In the Chronicle of Higher Education, Vaidhyanathan claimed to have influenced Rice’s 16 September cover article by convincing him to stop looking for any “real story”, “nefarious conspiracy”, or “hidden agenda”. Board members’ emails released under the Freedom of Information Act, he argued, show no more than the “confluence of ignorance and arrogance executed by a group of people unused to having their judgment questioned”.

    That conclusion, which is based partly on a failure to understand FOIA’s restrictions, is premature. I have followed closely both the June fiasco and the abundance of analysis published and posted since. Amazingly, some facts that leap out as significant remain virtually unaddressed in public discourse, outside of independent blogs and reader comments on online news articles.

    UVa president Teresa SullivanUVa’s president, Teresa Sullivan. Photograph: UVaLet’s begin with the elephant in the room: the ouster’s political context. Most commentators on the June crisis have politely avoided it, as if they believe a flagship state university with a state governor-appointed board can exist in a bubble, safely quarantined from political controversy. It’s no secret that board members, who are mostly businesspeople, are much more likely – even when appointed by Democratic governors – to be on the conservative-Republican side of things than employees and students, who are significantly, if not predominantly, liberal-Democratic.

    Sullivan is, no doubt, in the latter camp: a sociologist of labor, she co-wrote two books about middle-class debt with Harvard law professor, consumer advocate, and now Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren. Warren has been such a lightning rod for conservative ire in recent years that on 11 January 2010, when the BOV announced its unanimous selection of Sullivan as UVA’s next president, I wondered whether the visitors’ politics had shifted recently – or had they not done their homework?

    Five days later, the state of Virginia inaugurated Governor Bob McDonnell and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, both rightwing Republicans. In April 2010, Cuccinelli, seeking evidence for the alleged international scientific fraud known as “Climategate”, demanded from UVA the records of former faculty member Michael Mann, co-author of the famous “hockey-stick graph” showing a historic rise in average temperatures. Shortly after Sullivan took office, a judge dismissed the demand, but Cuccinelli issued another. By the time of her ouster, Sullivan had spent nearly $600,000 in UVA funds to defend the university against litigation that many described as a politically-motivated witch-hunt and an attack on academic freedom.

    Meanwhile, nine different investigations, including one by the highest US arbiter in such matters, the inspector general of the National Science Foundation, have cleared Mann of any suspicion of wrongdoing. But that has made little impression on most of Mann’s detractors, who cling to their accusations and continue to vilify him.

    Both Warren and “Climategate” crossed my mind when the BOV announced Sullivan’s “resignation” on 10 June 2012. By then, half the board members were McDonnell appointees. But when no overtly political angle established itself in the press, and attention settled on issues of online education, finances, management styles and curricular cuts, I went with the flow – despite suspecting none of these explanations had more than a shred of evidence behind it (which is still the case today), and a nagging feeling that those issues aren’t “hot” enough to account for the meanspiritedness of the board’s actions and the lack of transparency in its conduct.

    But then, I found a reference to the Joe D and Helen J Kington professorship in environmental change. In 2011, board vice-rector Mark Kington donated $1.5m to UVA to endow the chair in his parents’ memory. Amid the public protest after Sullivan’s removal, Kington resigned from the board (the only visitor to do so). Kington’s gift was matched by UVA alumnus Paul Tudor Jones, who had written an editorial a week after the coup praising the board’s action, when, at the same time, Charlottesville’s the Hook reported that Jones had been directly involved in it. In short, both men were involved in the dismissal of the president and were the co-funders of a chair in environmental change.

    I later learned that UVA’s department of environmental sciences attempted in the spring of 2012 to rehire Michael Mann (now at Penn State) as the first Kington professor. A four-person search committee unanimously selected Mann; on 10 April, a majority of assembled department faculty affirmed the choice. Two days later, the news was leaked as an “exclusive” on a website devoted to climate-change skepticism and denial. From there, it spread to similar sites, where it produced disbelief and outrage.

    But Mann never received an offer. According to a source in environmental sciences, the dean of UVA’s college of arts and sciences, Meredith Woo, refused to approve it. Such an intervention is a rare event. The department chair later revealed that Woo had indicated even before the vote that she would oppose hiring Mann. Some department members went over the dean’s head and appealed to Provost John Simon, but Simon supported the dean’s decision. (In June, Simon appeared to co-operate with the board, before switching his support to the protesting faculty.)

    The Kington professorship remains unoccupied, although the department has issued a new call for applications, with review to begin in January. An assistant professor on the search committee (and my chief source regarding the search) was so disturbed by the quashing of Mann’s appointment, and the lack of a rational explanation for it, that he resigned from UVA in August. A climate change researcher himself, he saw the incident as a warning that he could not expect a fair tenure review there.

    After 10 June, a few of the skeptic/denier blogs theorized that the Mann controversy had led directly to the board’s removal of Sullivan. According to this scenario, the board had directed the dean and provost to block Mann’s appointment against the wishes of the president, who, having already ruffled some board and alumni feathers by defending Mann against Cuccinelli, supported the environmental scientists’ effort to rehire him. After blocking the hire, the writers implied, the board’s coup de grace was to get rid of Sullivan herself. Some of the blogs hint that their speculations are based partly on inside information, but they reveal no sources.

    So, a university that aspires to raise its profile in the sciences tossed aside the judgment of its own environmental scientists, spurning the opportunity to hire one of the country’s best-known climate experts. Given Mann’s high profile and the intensity of opinions about him, it is hard to believe that the blocking of his rehiring by UVA was not related to “Climategate”. Whoever was responsible for blocking Mann’s appointment abetted, in effect, the rightwing campaign against him and against an entire field of research – even if they may have thought they were only protecting UVA’s reputation.

    That was the first of UVA’s two spring scandals – fully worthy of its own investigation. The second occurred less than two months later, when Sullivan was removed.

    The possibility of a relationship between the two scandals, no doubt, warrants close investigation. Those who assume that the June coup was only about online education or business models because those concerns appear in board members’ emails need to remember that no communication bearing on personnel matters (either Sullivan’s or Mann’s) is subject to FOIA disclosure. Also, at least since 2009, the board, with FOIA in mind, has instructed its members: “don’t write it down unless you wouldn’t mind seeing it on the front page of the Washington Post.”

    As many others have said, only full disclosure of all the circumstances behind Sullivan’s ouster can restore the faculty’s – and public – confidence in the governance of UVA. But it’s high time to realize that such disclosure won’t be achieved by vague demands for transparency. It requires specific questions about specific circumstances – whether posed by the press, by the university community, or by SACS: were board members aware of the proposed Mann appointment, and did they discuss it with the dean and provost? What was Sullivan’s view of the matter, and was it known by the visitors? Did the board have any communication with Attorney General Cuccinelli or other state officials between the Mann controversy in April and Sullivan’s removal in June?

    What is at stake here is not only the future of a major university, or even of American public higher education in general, but the public interest – in the broadest sense imaginable.


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    BOV 11-9-12 . Tuition and AccessUVa

    11-9-12 BOV meeting.

    I’ll edit this later, but the essences is the consultants think UVA is under priced and could  have a 6-7 % increase in tuition without an effect. The discussion was also that an increase should be offset by increases in financial aid. There was no consensus of what should be done, it was simply a presentation.  However, this is on the table.

    They also  discussed the  need to sell it to the public and people in Richmond. Decisions will not be made till 2014.  The bulk of this discussion is at the end of the post.

    UVa live streamed the event. We will post it later

    8:22 open session.

    Hogan introduces Steve Camada (?) to talk about ACCESS UVA.

    Assistant VP for finance

    The Access UVA program is a need based program.

    Jefferson Scholars is a merit based program.

    Steve is defining the terms that they use.

    Cost of attendance = tuition and fees + room and board + personal expense and travel + books is the cost.

    Subtract expected family contribution and that is financial need.

    Every school is required to have a net price calculator on their web site.

    Net Tuition Revenue is the perspective for the institution.

    Tuition discount rates is 14.5 %.

    Key financial ad / admission terms

    All of this should be in the materials posted on line

    UVA is need blind. , which meets full need.

    Cost of attendance drives expenditures.


    During the program they have increased the number of low income and pell grand recipients.

    04 and 05 had a slight decrease in low income students. Since 08 and 09 have had an increase.

    Also some students have had their income status change since the downturn.

    Dragas arrives.

    Access UVA has been important to allowing students to stay in school and graduate.

    Access UVA took 4 years to fully implement, and it was fully implemented in 2010

    The current  cost is $97million dollars,  from different sources. but the unrestricted institutional funds is about $40 million

    Robertson points out that there are a lower percentage of students are middle and low income when you look at the charge of Percent of Low-and Middle-income students.

    Dragas points out that without Access UVA perhaps the % would be lower.

    Low income is  a under 200% of the poverty level

    Martin asked how they came to that figure

    Steve says originally was 150%. The BOV and President raised it to 200%.
    Hogan introduces Arts and Science Consulting Group

    Ben Edwards: principal managing partner. Has BA from UVA

    Craig Gobel.

    They have a handout

    Looking at cost and effectiveness

    1. what would happen to  revenue and class make up if you change how you award aid:

    2. understand effects of aid relative to all factors in enrollment decision.

    3. Gain perspective from peers

    Financial aid optimization study was presented to BOV in Feb 2012

    The study was a what if changed: cost,

    Students accurately mirror parents reactions.

    Did a study of 904 inquirerers ( that’s the term they use)  and 775 admitted students.

    Also looked at UC Berkeley, U of Mich, UNC, VT, Cornell, Duke and Vanderbilt.

    Still in findings stage. Recommendations will come this winter.

    Conclusions so far

    UVA prospects are much more aid-sensititve than price sensitive

    Reductions in levels of aid to students receiving aid would have negative enrollmenteffects

    The effects would have been relatively modest in-state and more significant out-of-state if the cut back on aid

    Can have increase net tuition revenue modestly by increasing the cost of attendance or by combing in increased tuition and aid

    Conclusion: UVA is underpriced.

    UVA program is generous for a public institution.

    Meets full need of out-of state students.

    Have no work study requirement for low income students

    Debt cap based on cost of attendance rather than family income

    No minimum student contribution, while most students have this

    Goodwin: I don’t remember that we put a lot of emphasis on aid for out of state students.

    He wants to know how much of the  $97 million goes to out of state students.

    Simon asks Steve to look this up.

    Steve: in the beginning, it was designed to give access and affordability to all of their students.

    Leonard says: that is accurate. He points out that the cost to out of state students has gone up more dramatically.

    Goodwin: the board was frustrated with the tuition being kept down and they took in more out of state students to get the (income up?).  They knew they were going to incrase the tuition a lot and they knew that …

    They were trying to level the playing field

    Goodwin asks : if ¼ of the Access money  is going to instate tuition.

    Consultant: net tuition revenue is the key factor.  You reap from having that student come, you may be taking more money in from them, you may be getting a greater amount of revenue from them than an instate student

    Steve says: of the $40.2 million from the school.  $18 million goes to out of state students. ( the other money comes from Pell grants, and athletic scholarships etc)

    comment: not sure who: not sure who he is, not a BOV member

    This means disproportionately the money is going to out of state students

    UVA has a lower percentage of students on aid, than other peer school.

    He points out you raise prices and raise aid and net tuition revenue can often remain the same. There was a paper about this from the Aspen Institute written 15 years ago.

    Warns about the  something.

    Hogan: comments on Goodwin statement that they are looking at the intent vs how it has evolved.

    Robertson: is there a minimum grade requirement to receive aid.

    reply: no. there is no specific  grade requirement, but they have to remain in good academic standing.

    Someone else talks about the Aspen Institute study:

    Return to the presentation:

    Increasing prices :

    If you raised out of state 6% you would not have any change.  Would have net revenue gain by $1.5 million  with no negative enrollment effects.

    Could offset larger prices with aid increases, but would require aiding all students. And you then get into non-need based aid

    Awareness of Cost and AccessUVA

    Prospects don’t have an accurate awareness of the cost of attendance or components of the AccessUVa program.


    Over estimate cost

    Not through to be as generous as competitors

    Perceived as need blind by not meeting full need

    ½ of respondents think UVa does not have a debt cap or don’t know.

    Comments lead to the statement  the  “Take away: under priced.”

    All the peers institutions they spoke to are seeing same issues and none has changed their basic policy. They are assessing their aid policies.  Looking to clarify their objectives.. The UVa findings are typical

    Most of the peers have

    Diverted other fund to aid,

    Created funding initiatives: summer school, study abroad, loan caps, housing allowances

    Had successful fund raising for need based aid.

    Goodwin: any tuition raises will not be acceptable to Richmond . Don’t think you can raise tuition 7 or 8%.  Doesn’t think politically this would be acceptable.

    Linney. indicates that in asking about this thought they might have difficulty with this.

    My take was he is a believer in upping tuition.  I believe he should have research papers and published papers that would indicate what he thinks on these issues.

    Nau: we need to sell the why before we sell the ask. From Feb to April someone need  to address key decision makers and the public at large,  if the recommendation is to go with a larger than expected tuition increase or cutting back on aid.

    Linney: communication is very important.

    UVA should do a better job to get awareness of what AccessUVa is.

    Another ; need to tell our story better.

    Robertson would be good to go back through the minutes to see what the original objectives were.


    Recommendation: Feb 21-22 2013.

    Tuition and fees – special meeting in April 2013

    Final approval of AccessUVa program modifications May 20-21 2013

    Helen asked do we have to wait till April to change the tuition

    Reply: it would be for the class 2014, so there is no need to rush in February

    Dragas: I was thinking if we wanted to communicate, maybe we wanted to do it sooner.

    Is there a reason to wait

    Hogan: I think we could get recommendations soon and then get working on other things.

    It would be helpful to get direction sooner.

    Nau: coming back to communication and the battlefield. I suggest we come up with the communication plan before we come up with a decision.  A lot of people consider this on a non-revenue reason. If we are going to make a major change we are going to have to pre-sell that.

    Hogan: I think you are asking that we have a range of recommendations as soon as possible
    Dragas: I thought we were going to have this considered sooner,

    Hogan: Maybe these dates should be a no later than.

    Dragas: what is unclear to me. I think it would be helpful to spell out  what is administrative and what is..  We don’t have a cap on this. Maybe the change from 150 to 200% of poverty level was brought to back to the board. I am not advocating a change, but a small % increase is a …  What is board and what is administrative?

    I think we should consider if there should be a budget cap on this program.

    Sullivan: I think appropriate as to what is administrative and what is board. The board said work related income should not be part of the package.  We are thinking of paid internships for our low income students.  Our students value the work with faculty. We have treated that as an administrative tweak, as we don’t know how it would work out. Perhaps it should come from the board as it would violate one of those principals.

    9: 34 end of this session.

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    fb page Hoos University

    fb page Hoos University

    Link to the new student group

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    BOV meeting Nov 8th, 2012

    These are rough notes from the 2012 BOV Meeting  Nov 9, 12:30 pm

    However, the action took place outside today. The students mentioned in the protest  below were only part of the group. A larger group were dispersed by the police. There is more information on their FB page and ours. There’s is Hoos University


    11-8-12 12:40 pm
    The BOV meeting has started Several students have come in with signs, They sit behind Dragas, Martin and another BOV member. Some signs read:
    End the Silence
    Education not Corporations
    Transparency, Reform Now, Accountability.
    This Crisis is NOT Over.

    The media had been notified of the protest, and they are at the open end of the table taking pictures.
    The UVA live stream does not show the protestors. Ours does.

    Hilary Hurd read a statement suggesting a series of dinners each with 2 BOV members.

    Now Sullivan is reading her statements. She sits across from Hurd on the other long leg of the table.

    Sullivan is talking about supplementing faculty salaries. Says the foundations want her to ask whether this priority has the support of the board.

    Up 15 % in early action application in spite of having extended the deadline due to Hurricane Sandy

    Nau and Kilberg received awards in their states.

    Reports on a 3 Million grand from NIH Advance institutional …

    I am sure all this is in her notes.

    Donations increases in architecture, athletics , law, women enter, uva fund, and others.

    She lists the donations since the last meeting, including the gift for Mormon studies.

    Manning donation for $999,999.38.

    Mead Westvaco to Darden

    1:06 Sullivan introduces Milton talks :

    there are working committees for the strategic plan. They have met.

    They have a web site for the plan and are about to update it

    The consultants “art and sciecnce group” are the consultants for the ….

    Somehow they were involved with top jobs 21. I missed the connections

    Each work group will identify their top 3 items.

    Work groups will bring their reports to the strategiv committee before the next academic year

    They need to think about what it means to be a public insitution.

    It will be an ongoing process.

    Better integrate U and school plans

    First part is on the U.

    Approaching 200th anniversary in 2017.  1824 is when the first students attended.

    Dragas asks for more detail on the institutional assessment phase.

    The consultants want to meet with Mr Rose and Mr Atkinson and there is a meeting for them to meet with the Provost and the President.  In the next couple weeks

    George Cohen just arrived.


    Rose: they anticipate that their committee will need to meet before the next board meeting.

    Looking at possibly 29th or 30th of November.

    So that will be an open meeting

    Sullivan: intention is to have an open process and each group will have a meeting that anyone can attend

    Each working group will have their own email address so people who cannot attend can contact them.


    Important to distinguish between goals and strategies.

    If you are setting goals for the next 5 -7 years and half the faculty that will be here then are not here now, need to have a plan that allows for this and is open.


    Thanks Terry and her leadership team and says this is a  transformative moment at the U.

    Governance and Engagement committee had a meeting on OCT 19th,

    There are some recommendations that are posted on the web stie and will come up for a vote tomorrow

    Notes they are going into the executive committee portion of the meeting.

    1:17. ( we are ahead of schedule)   .

    2add faculty to each committee: to be recommended by Sullivan

    3. to have vice chairs to each committee

    enhance their presidential evaluation: now by rector , vice rector and a former Rector

    new proposal for ¼ review by heads of committees and the Rector.

    Ties the review to specific metrics that the U is trying to meet

    4. changes to the manual. Additions of someone from medical center, changes quorum and changes name of external affairs to advancement. Also whenever there is any chance to the Presidential contract there has to be a full meeting of the board.

    She opens the floor to discussion

    Q. Rose: when is the annual evaluation

    Dragas: last year it was in Nov, but there is no date.  We can add it.

    No one comments.

    Rose:. seems that that time frame makes sense.

    Dragas thanks the governance and engagement committee.  Says this is a first step of what she hopes is a series of measures.

    Motion to recommend this to the full board. Passes.

    Victoria calls the finance committee to order, 1:23 pm

    Pat Hogan to make a presentation.

    The students with the signs appear to have all lefts.  Much of the meia has gone outside to talk to them

    Ted strong from DP has stayed for the presentation.

    Victoria passes this off to Paul Hogan.

    Fiscal years 2012 has completed audit. Expecting to get back from “Public Accounts” the auditor. They will meet with the board at another time.

    Dave Bowling, controller shows up to make the presentation

    In 2012 net assets increased by 4 %  by $248

    Pg 2&3 of the finance committee book as hall the info

    Net assets increase by 9.8% over 9 of the past 10 years

    Total revenue is 2012 was 2.5 billion with 67 % of that from medical center.. do I have this correct.

    Investment returns only bad in 2009.

    Next graft shows how reenues have increased over the pas 10 years.

    The biggest increase is tuition and fees.

    State is even from  2012

    All of these materials should be available on the BOV web site when you go to the agenda or the committees and click on materials

    Collette on current fiscal year

    Positive reports, sources exceed budget by 1% uses are below

    Keeping an eye on sequestration.

    Now looking at the 2013-2014 budget projections.

    Tuition to grow by 2.5 to 3.5%

    Research  2.1% decrease

    No growth in state appropriations is what they are anticipating

    The  grow by degrees does not bring revenue with it. they do expect to get revenue for that.

    4 year plan

    1st year bring average of salary Faulty/ U Staff.

    up to 20th  position of AAU. This would put them in the top 1/3 of schools and this  number has been used before as a goal.   Currently at 26th position.

    1&{ merit bases 2% increase if maintained in budget by GA

    Classified sat 2% raise if maintained in budget by GA

    They take a look at the cost drivers.

    Long range budget planning:

    1:51 pm.

    q. where does this fit in with the discussion of differential tuition.

    Simon, they have asked the deans of the  schools to weigh in on this, and they are looking into it.

    Salary: assuming state will give in to the 2% increase

    Sullivan wants rigorous faculty peer review

    Funding for salaries

    From operation efficiencies,

    Stat pays 35% and tuition pays 65% of increase for employees paid from state funds.

    For other employees paid by other sources, the sources will pay the increases

    Philanthropy and existing private resources

    Talk about the plan for the new financial model

    Some schools will not be able to cover their costs.

    Begin to phase out hold harmless provisions

    Make subventions transparent.

    Not sure what the implications of this

    Simon: answering question from  NAU:

    Some departments my not have lots of income, but if you want them, then you should make them outstanding.

    This is the first year Provost has ask each department for hiring plans.

    3 matters for action;

    1 property acquisition   of   Spring Creek , an out patient Facility by Zion’s Crossroads.

    2 authorization to intent tax exempt debt to finance that acquisition

    3.  a. Optional Retirement Plan.  Removes the minimum dollar amount on the annual employer contribution of any individual participant’s account.  Allows for flexibility for the employer to not put in the minimum of $10,000 per year.

    b . Qualified Governmental Excess Benefit Plan: allows the decisions o the way to distribute your funds when you retire, not when hired.

    COO HOGAN : a couple comments . He has just completed 2 weeks of work.

    He went to NOVA to meet with Victoria Harper and talked with her and others about Access UVA.

    This was a more involved session, with a lot more interaction, more questions, more laughter, and less tense.

    By now all the press has left, though they may be watching on line

    Had a meeting with Standard and Poors this week and expect report back in a few weeks.

    Talks about 10 categories of employees and it is very complex. There is a chart in the materials

    2:50: taking a 10 minute break. We are ahead of schedule

    Nau: report on the newly named external affairs committee

    Bobby K  is on the committee and is now the vice chair

    Nau gave a review of the meetings October 19th

    See the notes from that date

    Elizabeth Bass exec director of Madison House

    Mission: serves as the student volunteer center at UVA. Coordinate volunteers, develop leasers, build community partnerships, and promote lifelong volunteer service

    Have  more than 3000 students. Total was 105, 635 hours.

    Board of directors 1/3 each students, community and faculty/staff.

    Have an alumni councill

    They have 19  categories of programs they work with  and within that there are about 100 different organizations they work with

    Students can ask for  a new program for them to volunteer at

    When they create a new community partnership they work with the staff at that organization and see if it will work .

    They are an independent non-profit so don’t come under the U financially or liability

    Annual budget of $550-600,000 per year.

    Own their building.

    Donations from alumni

    They place their volunteers in Cvlle and Albemarle Count.

    Shared responsibility for training, management and liability of the volunteers.

    50% of each graduating class has volunteered with Madison House at some point during their time at UVA

    Now go to the “Advancement “part of the meeting

    Nau talks about annual giving and how important it is.

    Nau talks about the fact that there is  misunderstanding that leads to fear of having central office write the annual giving message for each school He is a proponent of getting into a more sophisticated messaging done by professional copy letters written with the deans.  It will free up the annual giving staff  and let them focus on the bigger gives

    Sees this as a change in how annual giving will be done.

    Turns this over to Bob.

    A million  dollar donor may make 16-17 gifts before they make the million dollar gift

    Mr John Campbell talks

    Annual giving Direct marketing Exploratory Study

    The cost of the plan when fully implementer is $1.4 million

    Mean average direct response donation of $297

    The goal is to invest in combing fundraising for all departments.

    Suggest that this would increase participation

    Suggestion that they could guarantee each department that they would get the same amount of funds that they had been getting.

    Take components that are done through public affairs and phon-athon and other things

    and put it all in this one group. Do direct mail and phone work for the reunions.

    Nau: this million four investment gets UVA the dollars they are wanting: unrestricted.

    Fundraising report from Bob.

    They had a great 1st quarter last year.   $66 million that quarter, plus 17.6 from alumni association.

    Fyi 2013 will show a lower cash flow  because last year was so good.

    They go into an executive session.



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