Teresa Sullivan: UVa. board to discuss reinstating ousted president

Sullivan (center) stepped down over a 'philosophical difference' with the board, sparking a series of protests.

The University of Virginia's governing board is meeting to consider whether to reinstate Teresa Sullivan, who was ousted as president without a vote several weeks ago.{ }

The Board of Visitors is to meet Tuesday afternoon at the university's historic Rotunda.{ }

Faculty, students and others plan to hold a demonstration outside the meeting to show their support for the popular president.

During an appearance on WTOP's Ask The Governor program, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell reaffirmed directives he made last week about making a decision on Sullivan.

"I thought the process could have been handled better," McDonnell told WTOP. "(They need to) do what's best for the short and long-term interests of the university."

On Friday, McDonnell asked for swift action by the Board of Visitors on the school's presidency. He said if no decision was made by Tuesday, he would ask for the resignation of the entire board on Wednesday.

"The time is now for finality and closure," Gov. McDonnell said in a letter to the board. "I expect you to make a clear, detailed and unified statement on the future leadership of the University.”

Sullivan became U.Va.'s eighth president, and its first female leader, in August 2010.

Board Rector Helen Dragas announced on June 10 that Sullivan would step down on Aug. 15, and has since said that Sullivan wasn't acting quickly enough to address funding reductions and other strategic challenges.

Sullivan's abrupt firing triggered mass protests and calls by deans, faculty, students and alumni for the board to return her to office.