Ousted university head reinstated in Virginia

Facing a torrent of criticism, the University of Virginia trustees made a stunning turnabout last week, voting unanimously to reinstate the president they had forced to resign over concerns that the university was not adapting fast enough to financial and technological pressures, writes Richard Pérez-Pena for The New York Times.

Upon her return to the University of Virginia, Teresa A Sullivan was cheered by a crowd on Tuesday in Charlottesville. The decision by the governing board of visitors capped an extraordinary 16 days since the ouster of Sullivan was made public. The turmoil leading up to it opened a window on the pressures public universities face nationwide, as they grapple with shrinking state support, rising tuition costs, the growing availability of college-level courses online and pressure to shift resources from traditional liberal arts programmes to education in business and technology.

The board took less than 20 minutes at Tuesday’s special meeting to reinstate Sulllivan by a vote of 15 to 0. The dispute exposed fears about the murky future of higher education at a time of deep cuts in state support and an intensifying debate about whether colleges should be run more like businesses. At the same time, expectations are high for a rapid transformation – through costly technology – to online instruction.
Full report on The New York Times site